Last month I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend TEDx Glasgow (TED stands for Technology, Education and Design, and independent TEDx events act as platforms for ‘ideas worth sharing’ all across the world). This year’s theme was ‘A Disruptive World’ and ironically the event started off with its own disruption in the form of a fire alarm (thankfully a false alarm).

There were so many fantastic talks ranging from the energetic James Watt, founder of Brewdog, on a disruptive approach to company culture to Laura Beveridge, Development Officer at Who Cares? Scotland, who spoke openly and bravely about her own experience of the care system and the need for change so that young people in care can experience a fulfilling childhood.

All of the talks were inspirational in their own way and I would encourage anyone to take a look at the YouTube channel. Here are two of my particular favourites:

Intrapreneurship – more than a spelling mistake?

With increased pressure for funding on the charity and public sectors, Steve McCreadie argues that more organisations need to embrace intrapreneurship as a way of encouraging creativity and fostering innovation from within.

Disrupt Yourself or Die Trying

‘The negative power of routine or convention is cancerous’ – in this highly amusing and insightful talk Ellis Watson, CEO of DC Thomson, encourages people to challenge social norms, take risks and try new things.

I came away from these talks feeling encouraged by the recognition that organisations should strive to get the best out of their most valuable asset – their staff, actively supporting them to see the value of their ideas and empowering them to find creative solutions to problems.

I was also left with a strong sense of the power of innovation, risk taking and accepting and learning from mistakes. There is so much that the third sector in particular can learn from taking a less fearful and risk adverse approach, and digital can be at the forefront of this.

At SCVO we try to make the most of new technology, from using Slack to communicate and thus reduce internal emails, to developing the GoodHQ platform from which to feedback on and interact with the voluntary sector in Scotland. We are using digital tools that challenge the status quo to drive ourselves forward and become a better organisation for our staff and service users.

Change can be difficult to implement but the opposite of change is sameness and stagnation. All organisations need a bit of disruption to keep things fresh, to maintain staff interest and to ensure that they are never falling behind on being the best they can be for the people they support.