The A-Z of Disruption: G is for Gruffalo

17th December 2019

Take a stroll into the deep dark wood for our latest A-Z of Disruption article, G for Gruffalo.

Author Phil McSweeney has taken inspiration from the popular children’s book to put together The Gruffalo guide to disruption.

Tech Corridor ambassador Phil is the executive chair of Patientsource, a company that develops electronic medical records for international markets, and a Director of Techvelocity, the only tech accelerator covering the East of England.

The A-Z of disruption brings together thought leaders from East Anglia to answer questions on topics relevant to disruptive companies. It accompanies The Disruptors, our new video series showcasing interesting businesses from around the region.

Find out more about The Disruptors here.

Phil McSweeney brings us the Gruffalo guide to disruption

Phil says: “Increasingly in business we are disrupted and have to lead disruption ourselves to succeed. We also have to fail sometimes to succeed, and conquer our fear of failure. That takes a dose of courage. The Gruffalo is a cherished children’s book we might learn some lessons from – among others about outsmarting our fears. The mouse outwits a fox, an owl and a snake, all having the intent of swallowing the mouse up, by sharing the entirely fictional story of the utterly more terrifying Gruffalo. The mouse lays it on really thick – the dreadful monster with orange eyes, black tongue, poisonous warts, purple prickles on his back, terrible teeth and turned-out toes.

“All looks to be going well until the mouse meets the Gruffalo for real. Then he sets out to convince the Gruffalo that all the other animals are scared of him and so should the Gruffalo be.

“So what can we learn from the mouse as leaders of our businesses? First is the power of imagination, the power to think big, to be what you believe you can become. Second, that fear of failure is real but not to be paralysed by it. It’s OK to be scared. Talk about it. Do something to change the rules of the game. Spin the story if you have to. Third, harness the advantage given to you by others. Look for alliances to fight bigger enemies. It’s much harder to disrupt anything doing it all on your own.”