What is a Disruptor in Chief and Why Does Your Small Business Need One?

Why Your Small Business Needs a Disruptor in Chief


If you want your small business to grow and thrive, you’ll need to embrace change. If your business is fairly established, then change can represent a pretty big risk making some business owners uneasy. But failure to change can get your left behind, as plenty of retail store owners, travel agents and newspaper publishers can attest to.

In order to find opportunities for change and growth, you might consider designating a specific team member as you “Disrupter in Chief.”

Michael Haddon, CEO at business software company Kradle, said in an email interview with Small Business Trends, “A Disrupter in Chief (DC) is a stakeholder in a business who inspires and supports positive change by challenging the status quo.”

Why You Might Need a Disruptor in Chief

Haddon also shared some insights on why this position can be so beneficial for small businesses. Here are the top reasons why you should consider adding a disrupter in chief to your team.

You Need to Change, But Are Afraid to Do So

Change is essential for any growing business. But it also represents a significant amount of risk. So many entrepreneurs simply hope to grow without taking that necessary risk that goes along with it.

Haddon says, “As businesses evolve, often the biggest hurdle to future success is an unwillingness to change – or the desire to keep doing things the same way as they have always been done. As an example, based on research we commissioned in 2018 (a comprehensive survey of 700 small to medium enterprises (SMEs) across USA, UK and Australia), we found that 76% of businesses in the US would like to grow however only 27% of those same businesses anticipated change in the next 12 months. A DinC embodies the 27% of businesses which recognize that in order to grow, change must occur.”

You Need Someone to be Proactive in  Making Change Happen

Even if you’re open to change, you might not be able to put enough focus on looking out for those opportunities while you’re busy running all of the other aspects of your business. A disruptor in chief can can be a decision maker within your organization, or an influencer or advisor whose sole focus is on finding those opportunities proactively so that you and the other members of your team can focus on your specific duties while still being able to take advantage of growth opportunities as they come up.

Haddon says, “They recognize gaps and opportunities and they use that knowledge to take it upon themselves to improve the business. This could be by creating and driving a new growth strategy based on market changes, identifying inefficiencies within the operations of a business, inspiring staff to be more productive and loyal to the business, or identifying innovative technologies that can improve the business. In a nutshell, a DC is proactive and always looking for new ways to continuously improve any aspect of a business.”

You Need Someone to Inspire Others

In addition to being proactive, a disruptor in chief also needs to be knowledgeable, driven and able to inspire others. That final quality can really help businesses shape their culture into one where change and innovation are embraced, fostering even more growth opportunities than one person can lead you to.

Haddon adds, “These traits as a complete package can be hard to come by – as reflected in our research which rated finding top talent as the third greatest challenge for SMEs – as they do not always come naturally. These traits can also be taught to the right people and further nurtured by the right mentors/leaders. Businesses need to invest in their staff to bring out the best in them, not simply seek to hire perfection. An irreplaceable quality is attitude. If they lead by example, others will follow. After all, diamonds don’t start out shining.”

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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

3 Reactions
  1. Change will always happen. And in this world of technology where change is everywhere, you should make sure to have your own disruptor in chief.

  2. In some companies, they don’t even have a label. As long as they disrupt the system, they can be helpful in enforcing change in a company.

  3. I think that technology companies need this the most. They need someone who can easily think outside of the box.