In a recent interview Bill Gates revealed that his parents sent him to a psychologist for help when he was twelve. The reason? No, it wasn't mental problems or criminal mischief; instead, it was for questioning rules and pushing back if something did not seem logical. Because he was "disruptive" in this way, the idea was that a psychologist could help break this behavioral tendency. Ironically, it was this same attitude and spirit of disruption that allowed him to become a world-changing pioneer.
At work, leaders often use a similar lens when considering disruptors on the job. Yet, positive disruption is essential for survival. Disruption leads to change. Change permits relevance. Relevance precipitates survival--without relevance a company will die. Most companies do die. The irony, though, is that their demise is often self-enabled. The problem is that companies do not embrace that which is needed to adapt and evolve.
Corporations are full of rules. Many of these started in logic, but over time become illogical. The challenge is to maintain rules that matter, while simultaneously allowing for creative agitation that will take your company to another level. If you only do what you know, you can remain successful only until someone else comes and disrupts you. If you don't push yourself into new areas, somebody else will beat you there.
The most successful companies realize this and that is why they stay relevant. IBM once sold computers; now they do not. Marriott was a root beer stand; now it's a hotel behemoth. Nintendo began by making playing cards before turning to video games. The list of companies that reinvented to maintain relevance is long--regrettably, the list of companies that did not is shorter.
The next time someone is a challenger to the status quo, challenge yourself to listen. Perhaps that crazy idea might just be the next big thing.