I thought I was going to dislike 'Beyond Disruption' for a number of reasons, not least the portentous 'poem' by Lee Clow on the frontispiece - 'Think boldly/Sell brave ideas/Create dramatic business results for our clients'. But the more I read of it the more I changed my mind, writes Paul Feldwick, executive planning director at BMP DDB.
This sequel to JM Dru's 1996 book 'Disruption', is a collaborative effort from some 30 authors who work in TBWA\ and sister companies around the world. It contains a wide range of case histories to illustrate the concept of "disruption" -- some from TBWA\ and some from elsewhere.
There are descriptions of tools and workshops designed to encourage disruption. There are also some really interesting essays on disruption as applied to specific topics: emerging markets, luxury brands, direct marketing. The final two chapters, on the future of communication channel planning and the future of advertising agencies, are among the best things I've read on these two fraught subjects. The various authors write, for the most part, with clarity and an infectious passion.
But what exactly is "disruption"? There were times when I felt that the idea was so broad that it could be applied to anything -- and some of the cases could equally illustrate other ideas, such as focus or consumer understanding. But the underlying theme of recognising and then challenging conventions, while it may not be new, can never be emphasised too much, and this book makes a fresh, stimulating and persuasive case for it. Perhaps the ultimate test of 'Beyond Disruption' is that when I put it down and returned to the brands I was working on, I could immediately see possibilities I had been missing before. Thanks, TBWA\. In the spirit of Tom Peters (who also praises this book), I shall steal many of these ideas and recommend others to do the same.
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