“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” – Psalm 119:105


Last week, I casually mentioned to a long standing Caribbean colleague, who is a Canadian resident, that my next column, at the suggestion of my son, was going to be on Disruptive Innovation Models as a catalyst to sustainable economic development. My colleague’s immediate response was “that sounds very destructive to me!”


Whereas I immediately agreed with him that to disrupt something good may be undesirable but to disrupt a system(s) that is inefficient by introducing innovative models may in fact contribute to a very desirable solution to problems that inhibit the path of progress. I assured him that it was in the latter context that my column would evolve.


Clayton Magleby Christensen first introduced the concept “disruptive innovation” in his first book, The Innovator’s Dilemma, which has been called the most influential business idea of the early 21st century.


It is well known that Einstein’s definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. We are struggling in the Caribbean and I am suggesting that we systematically practise Disruptive Innovation as a means of reversing the haemorrhaging in the average economic growth rate.


At the national level we have to get our governance right. Basically, we know what we have to do:  (1) Restructure the economy (reduce debt and deficit), (2) Reduce government costs (reduce the size of the civil service and encourage and support entrepreneurship) and (3) Re-engineer the productive sectors with potential for economic growth (tourism, agriculture, renewable energy etc. ), all within the context of supporting the fixed exchange rate by appropriate disruptive innovative macro-economic policies.


There are interesting disruptive innovations like Uber which is using information technology to transform a mode of ground transformation which was previously monopolized by the traditional taxi service.


Another disruptive innovation is Airbnb which through online marketing has mobilized the empty beds in homes and guest houses to enable people to lease or rent short-term lodging.


National Financial Security, once the governance is right, can be provided by offering the private sector the appropriate innovative incentives to mobilize the significant funds that are available in the interest of enterprise development and economic growth. This is a win-win situation where the private sector is incentivized to help the economy grow and it also helps the private sector to grow and create more wealth. There is no shortage of money, the problem is access to money.


The information age has provided an opportunity for many marketing innovations. With the advent of social media marketing and the virtual models for the delivery of services, consumers are satisfied and service deliverers make a profit.


The Shepherding innovation is about management efficiency across the board but specifically in the production of goods and services.


Human beings procreate to keep the species going. In business we have to motivate and train people – we have to innovatively get them to affirm the concept of abundance, as beings with mind, body and soul, to achieve high levels of abundance and hence productivity and sustainability to keep the businesses going.


Let us be flexible and embrace change willingly. Stay tuned in prayer for divine guidance, often cloaked in disruptive innovation, which will be the light to our feet and shed light on our path.