Politicians, business magnates, hear this: we don’t need your “interference” anymore | Stefan Stern

TonHey, looks decent and restrained. But on Wednesday, when Rebecca Newsom and Armie McCarthy held up a Greenpeace banner that read “Who voted for this?” their Birmingham Chamber neighbors were not impressed. impression. Members of the Conservative Party may have applauded the Prime Minister’s remarks about destroying values. But it wasn’t the kind of disruption they wanted.

Why is the D-word so appealing to fans of the radiant future? The story begins 25 years ago, when Harvard Business School professor Clay Christensen published a book called The Innovator’s Dilemma.

Christensen argues that when companies stick to what seems reasonable incremental development (“continuous innovation”), they can go wrong, when in reality something cheaper, more radical, but more radical may find new ways to do something developed and untapped needs (“disruptive innovations”). Disruptive innovators will conquer new markets and outwit more stable but cautious competitors.

As ever, when something new and interesting emerges in the business world, followers take the idea, spread it and inevitably twist it. As a result, “disruption” has become an almost unquestionable target for many startups and the label that hangs in the face of venture capitalists. Uber upended the taxi business. So the goal now is to find “Uber” for a range of other activities. “Disturb or be disturbed” is the mantra.

Historian Jill Lepore, also a professor at Harvard, pointed out in a 2014 New Yorker article how the thirst for disruption has gotten out of hand.[Christensen’s] Followers and imitators, including quite a few hawkers, are calling for more or less disruption of everything else,” she wrote. The 2008 financial crisis was partly caused by reckless innovation. “The product of these disruptions fueled the theory of disruption. A booming panic. ”

On Wednesday, Liz Truss told her audience: “The scale of the challenge is enormous. For the first time in a generation, in Europe. A more uncertain world after Covid. And the global economic crisis. That’s why in the UK, we need Do things differently. We need to step up. As the past few weeks have shown, this will be difficult. Wherever there is change, there will be disruption. Not everyone will be in favor. But everyone will benefit from the results — — Economic growth and a better future.”

But who really wants more disruption in their lives? Not a homeowner, he now faces a two-year fixed mortgage rate of 6%, the highest rate in 14 years. Not taxpayers, now to pay back the cost of years of government unfunded tax cuts. These market moves, described by Kwasi Kwarteng as “slightly volatile”, will have large and lasting consequences.

Truss’s words are also an indirect homage to the concept of “creative destruction” popularized by Austrian-born economist Joseph Schumpeter. While he had a fair and well-founded view of the value of the concept, later creative destruction enthusiasts tended to emphasize the first word and underestimate and underestimate the meaning of the second.

Business language and ideas often spill over into politics, influencing the decision-making process and the vocabulary used to explain and justify it. “Choice” has long been seen as an uncontroversial good, as if public policy measures are similar to the way supermarkets adjust the display of fruits and vegetables. But who has real choice and the ability to choose? Not everyone.

We should know by now to watch out for leaders with a twinkle in their eyes, who tell us that if we are strong and brave enough, a glorious future awaits – as long as we persevere through the “inevitable” hard times. For very comfortable people, interruptions may be ok. For those with a secure future, it may not be scary. But when people tell you that you have to make tough decisions, remember who will be the recipient of those decisions. Probably not the one who made them.

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