Invention, Innovation, Disruption – Where have we gone, where are we going – Business Commentary

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By Mark A. Leon

History has a way of developing trends, fads and generally accepted behavior. It coins terms, inks out phrases and plants ideas that create a world of ants marching to a single tune. Over the last two years, the business industry hot term is “Disruption” or “Disrupt”. Those terms are not revolutionary, but evolutionary in the scheme of business operations.

Over time, we have created, enhanced and repurposed. We have continued to look at ways to stay fresh, make money and make our lives easier with changes and adjustments to simplify existing products and services.

For example, growing up you were taught to never talk to strangers or get in a car with strangers. Now Uber and Lyft have made that an everyday part of our lives around the world.

Before going, on, let us define, the three terms that have evolved business thinking: Invention, Innovation and Disruption

Invention is the creation of something that assists in the completion of a task or action.
Innovation is the evolutionary improvement of an existing product, service or task.
Disruption is a pioneer effort that shakes up the existing principles of behavior in a situation, setting, industry, task, or location.

Yes, this is a simplistic look at the three terms, but, there is a clear understanding outlined.

Is it safe to say everything has been invented and all that is left is innovation or disruption? Perhaps, but we shouldn’t short ourselves of the future. It seems evident, our time on Earth is limited and we must go beyond the boundaries of possibility to continue existence.

Case Studies

We live in a world of disruption now and who is leading this revolution? The media will crown Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg, but, they are the financiers and pioneers of change, not the disrupters. The disrupters are the quiet voices of change.

A.A. Milne developed an unlikely relationship with his son, Billy Milne and get swept up into his imaginary world of a bear, donkey, pig, honey and Christopher Robin. That disruption changed the world of childhood literature forever. Most importantly, it gave the world a reason to smile in the shadow of war and death.

In September 2001, the United States and the world changed forever with the 9/11 hijackings and bombings. That event also delayed the premiere of a show that would forever change television and a character that TV Guide deemed the greatest hero in television history, Jack Bauer. “24” introduced us to the realities of international terrorism, gave us the first black president, first female president, drone technology and fore-shadowed the world we live in today. This show disrupted traditional broadcast thinking and showcased a massive disruptor in political drama, action and some argue was the birth of binge watching.
Netflix is a massive disrupter in the media space. As of Friday, Netflix passed Disney as the largest media company surpassing a net valuation of 152.8 billion dollars. It has affected programming, advertising, behaviors in viewing and has brought nostalgia back spurring reboots of “Will and Grace” and “Rosanne” due to the huge success of “Fuller House”

Now What?

Now that we have defined it and introduced case studies, what do we do with it?

Instantaneous media provides a huge advantage and disadvantage in moving forward.

Instant communication and viral capabilities allow information and content to send immediate shivers and drive change faster than the road runner can upset the coyote. It also provides a platform for over-saturation.

Let us take an example: Take 5 million companies (only a fraction of existing companies globally). All have a presence on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or all of them. Each puts out 3 pieces of content a day (image, article, blog, feature, spotlight).

How does that add up?

  • 15,000,000 pieces of content on social daily
  • 105,000,000 pieces of content weekly on social
  • 5,460,000,000 pieces of content annually

5.5 billion pieces of unique content daily from just about 2 – 4% of the global companies. If each of the 3 was placed on two unique social platforms, that takes us to 10.9 billion pieces annually from this small percentage of organizations.

Now, add in individuals that are creating their own brand. In a way, they are their own corporation. You can see, the number is astronomical. It makes it extremely difficult to make a difference when people need to sift through that much.

So how do you break through the wall of mass communication?

Research, simplify, target and penetrate

Greatness takes time. Even in a world of instant gratification, greatness takes time. I cannot emphasize that enough. Companies cannot live on great products and services alone. They must build relationships, demonstrate success and built on their concepts and ideas. Even then, others are fighting to make their ideas better.

Once you have that great concept, seed money, and great thinkers to surround and compliment, the next step is the hardest.

  • Research – Who is your target and why? It isn’t 6.5 billion people globally. It will be the industry experts, influencers of change, dreamers that think like you and passionate game changers.
  • Simplify – Don’t offer the world, just a piece of it. Make that piece memorable and amazing.
  • Target – Target your marketing and communication approach wisely. It isn’t the amount that will help you succeed, but the quality.
  • Penetrate – Go at that wall with all the force you have and never accept failure.

Now we have it. We live in a world of disruption and here are your keys to succeeding in this new way of thinking.

Blackbaud to Announce Unprecedented Number of Innovations at Annual Conference for Social Good Community

Media Release:? SOURCE Blackbaud, Inc.

Software leader kicks off bbcon 2016 with launch of Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact

CHARLESTON, S.C., Oct. 26, 2016 – Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB), the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good, today welcomed thousands of change-makers for its annual three-day conference. Nonprofits, education institutions, foundations and corporations gathered at the Gaylord National Harbor to explore innovation, network and share best practices at the intersection of technology and social good.

bbcon 2016 offers more than 200 expert-led sessions spanning topics from cloud innovation, big data and artificial intelligence, to Omni-channel marketing, the next generation of fundraising and more. Attendees will also hear directly from industry innovators like Microsoft and the UN Foundation.

Mike Gianoni, Blackbaud’s president and CEO, kicked off bbcon 2016 by reflecting on the company’s rapid innovation, highlighting stories of customer success and making commitment to make at least 40 strategic announcements throughout the conference.

Among the first major announcements was the launch of the Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact. In partnership with key influencers and organizations across the sector, the Blackbaud Institute will lead strategic research initiatives designed to provide direct, informative perspectives on best practices and other industry trends. “To see a healthy, sustained movement, the social good community needs to be able to access and leverage an ongoing stream of actionable insight,” said Gianoni. “In collaboration with our strategic partners, the Blackbaud Institute will tackle the most pressing questions on the topic of philanthropy; equipping the world’s change agents with the knowledge they need to contribute to a thriving ecosystem of good.”

News of the Blackbaud Institute is receiving rave reviews out of the gate from leading voices in the market:

  • “Blackbaud has consistently demonstrated an understanding of how research and data can be used to inform our sector and help drive a collective rise in social good,” said Jason Lee, interim president and CEO of Association for Fundraising Professionals (AFP). “It’s exciting to see the company deepen its commitment to growing the body of knowledge and resources through the launch of the Blackbaud Institute.”
  • “I see the Blackbaud Institute as a great resource for practitioners to stay on top of the latest research and expert strategies,” said Amy Sample Ward, CEO of the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN). “For people working in philanthropy, it will arm them with the tools and skills they need to keep pace with ever-changing technology.”

In conjunction with today’s announcement, the Blackbaud Institute released a self-service resource library and “Sustainers in Focus,”?a report to help organizations understand how expanding recurring revenue can impact their bottom line.

Aaron Sherinian, chief communications and marketing officer for the U.N. Foundation also joined the main stage at bbcon to discuss the mounting importance of cross-sector alignment around the Sustainable Development Goals. “When governments, the private sector, nonprofits, civil society and individuals unify around the Global Goals, we are speaking a common language that organizes, collaborates and gauges progress within the social good movement,” said Sherinian.

Blackbaud’s Vice President of Data and Analytics, Steve MacLaughlin, shared Blackbaud’s comprehensive approach to the Social Good Sciences?, which combines big data, artificial intelligence, analytics and unmatched expertise to give customers unmatched, value-added insight and capabilities.

Day two of bbcon 2016 will kick off on Thursday morning with major announcements from the leaders of Blackbaud’s innovation factory, Kevin McDearis, EVP and chief products officer, and Mary Beth Westmoreland, chief technology officer. Also on Thursday, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in an event, called “Off the Grid at bbcon,” that creates collisions between technologists and social good organizations. Attendees will have the opportunity to see the latest disruptive innovation from Blackbaud and then will vote for the creation they would most like to see built into the company’s next generation solution lineup.

The #bbcon Social Media Lounge will be open throughout the conference, featuring pop-up session led by industry experts. Steve MacLaughlin of Blackbaud, Lyndal Cairns of NTEN, and Jeanette Russell and Rosalyn Lemieux of (a Blackbaud company) are among those scheduled to present.

Media interested in attending to hear the major announcements during the conference should contact For more information, visit? Follow the conference news on Twitter at? like Blackbaud on Facebook?at? To learn more about the Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact, and for additional resources and supporting materials, visit

About Blackbaud
Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB) is the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good. Serving the entire social good community-nonprofits, foundations, corporations, education institutions, and individual change agents-Blackbaud connects and empowers organizations to increase their impact through software, services, expertise, and data intelligence. The Blackbaud portfolio is tailored to the unique needs of vertical markets, with solutions for fundraising and relationship management, digital marketing, advocacy, accounting, payments, analytics, school management, grant management, corporate social responsibility, and volunteerism. Serving the industry for more than three decades, Blackbaud is headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina and has operations in the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit?

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