Asset-Based Disruption for Nonprofits

According to Dru’s The Ways to New: 15 Paths to Disruptive Innovation, “Disruption is a specific three-step method: Convention, Vision, and Disruption.” Through this method, companies should start by “challenging existing conventions, ways of thinking and doing, based on preconceived ideas and deep-rooted habits.” Next, the business should “try to come up with a vision, a new way for a brand company to define its future.” The last step, disruption, refers to “the idea that will accelerate our journey from challenging convention on the one hand to renewed vision on the other.”

Asset-based disruption is a methodology for the sustainable development of a business based on its strengths and potentials. A business has to examine its real expertise and its core asset, out of which the stream of products and services offered to customers flows. The Ways to New, 15 Paths to Disruptive Innovation discusses three assets: infrastructure, historical core capabilities, and reinvention. For Amazon, it is the power of technology and infrastructure. This platform takes in millions of orders from millions of customers, then sources these products and ships them. Within the first ten years as a company or retailer, Amazon spent around one billion dollars on infrastructure. The business continues to build upon what will forever be a core asset.

For companies such as Disney, DuPont, and Apple, their historical or core asset that sets them apart. After convincing Michael Eisner to join the board, Disney resurrected Walt’s original creed: that the company’s core asset is its studio. After refocusing on cartoon production, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and the Lion King became huge successes. Disney’s market share went from less than 5 percent to almost 20 percent.

Along with Disney, DuPont pulls from a core asset to increase sales: science. DuPont has a record of technology-based innovations including Nylon, Lycra, Kevlar, and Teflon. But organic growth was still declining. The company reinvented and emphasized a new direction: “The Miracles of Science.” Today, DuPont makes “one-third of its revenue from products launched within the last five years.”

Likewise, Apple is another business that highlights a core asset: “how-it-works” industrial design. Steve Jobs once said, “It’s not about what it looks like a feels like. Design is how it works.” Apple brings simplicity to complex problems.

While Amazon’s key asset is infrastructure, and Disney, DuPont, and Apple possess core capabilities, La Poste reinvented itself. La Poste is a French Post Office that has a historic core asset typical of former times. La Poste viewed this core asset in a new light: to become a powerful new source of services. These French postmen visit old or handicapped people on request, deliver medicine from drugstores, and soon take certified photographs for insurance purposes. La Poste is changing into a community-bonding device.

Amazon, Disney, DuPont, and La Poste have “been able to build on a specific strength, a core asset, with long life expectancy and the power to generate a powerful bond between employees. That asset is bound to offer a unique catalyst for innovation.”

Nonprofits and non-governmental organizations can also pull from core assets, in order to market and drive innovation. A nonprofit does not operate to build wealth or revenue for the benefit of the owner, directors, or shareholders. A nonprofit generates funds and volunteer assistance to help further its chosen cause or act as a publicity vehicle to bring more attention to an issue in the community.

When creating innovating and captivating ideas, nonprofits must utilize the specific three-step method: Convention, Vision, and Disruption, but more specifically asset disruption. What makes the nonprofit unique/stand out? What is the NPO/NGO doing that other NPOs/NGOs aren’t doing? What are the nonprofit’s strengths? These questions must be asked when creating a strategic disruption.

The Ozarks Food HarNeeded-itemsvest is “the only food bank in southwest Missouri, serving hunger relief organizations across 28 Ozarks counties.” This local nonprofit is strategically maximizing on 2 strengths: the fact that it is the only food bank in a specific area, and that it serves many organizations.

The March of Dimes “funds lifesaving research and programs and works to end premature birth, birth defects and infant mortality.” Through social media, this organization shares inspirational and life-changing stories within social media platforms to show the public how the organization makes a differencMarch-of-Dimese. Through sharing the stories of changed lives, this nonprofit pulls on the strength of being charitable and helping thousands of babies. This successful content marketing campaign also assists their mission: ensuring that every single baby gets a good and healthy start in life.

Whether it’s a nonprofit or for-profit, organizations can benefit from utilizing asset-based disruption. Strategically maximizing strengths and assets within writing, advertising, campaigns, etc. increases the chances for engagement and innovation.

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