Dominic Cummings: A model of disruptive leadership?

"The best way to spot those at the vanguard of disruption is by their unpopularity."

by John Philpott

Disruption, dynamism, discontinuity.

Sit through any management conference presentation nowadays and these words will feature as prominently as the Trinity in an old school Bible class. Change, we are told, is the only constant in a fast-changing world, making ongoing innovation and the so-called ‘disruptive leadership’ needed to deliver this the key imperatives of any successful organisation.

You’re doubtless well-versed in depictions of visionary masterminds who take on the status quo. People so keen to push boundaries they will eagerly tear up the best-practice manual to move organisations forward. Yet look beyond the frequently quoted examples of such individuals – Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and the late Steve Jobs, for instance – and it’s actually quite hard to spot much effective disruptive leadership in action, least of all here in the UK.

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