Do : Disrupt by Mark Shayler
Yorkshire Powerhouse Score 3/10
A challenging and unusual approach to the presentation of a business book – but, despite its slightly alternative design and layout, it’s difficult to see who would genuinely benefit from its content – at least it’s over quickly!
Who will gain the most from reading this book?
A worthwhile and thankfully quick read for a business studies student who wants to engage in a style that attempts to draw the reader into frivolous self-completion of the worksheet elements and to dream a little of running the next disruptive organisation. It’s hard to relate the book to any existing business model – perhaps for obvious reasons!
Core Content of Do : Disrupt by Mark Shayler
The book is presented in a quirky, almost ‘graffiti’ style, encouraging the reader to complete elements on their journey through the pages – starting with the suggestion that you should ‘write your name here’ and draw a picture of yourself here’ … if this isn’t enough to put you off actually engaging with the instructions then you’re made of stronger stuff than us!
If you can get past the fact that the book blatantly presents itself as a ‘workbook’, you can journey through the pages easily in an hour – most of the 120’odd pages only contain a few lines or a single statement. This then presents you with a dilemma … there is actually some acceptable thinking within the pages – but it gets lost with the way it’s being presented to an average adult with adult thinking – perhaps we’re not the target reader?
Sure, the main starting point (35 pages in!) is to focus on finding your passions and truly allowing them to drive your approach. Shayler then encourages you to funnel and channel your passions towards an idea that will start to form a disruption based business model? This is really where the author has made a stretch too far and provides little help for this process other than to suggest you allow your passions to become your disruption?
Assuming you’ve somehow channelled your passions into a potential business idea, at least good sense kicks in with Shayler suggesting you should be able to write down your plan and present it to you nan – and that your nan can understand it! Keeping things simple is definitely an acceptable bit of advice and the book continues edging around creating a strategic business plan from here on.
So, the determined of us continue on the weird and wacky read, seemingly reaching the important part – the market. Except Shayler’s approach is to focus on the existing competition, where they’re strong / weak / etc. Eventually he does also encourage you to think of your customer and create a customer profile – but with no apparent mention of creating a whole new client base where there’s no competition.
Finally, in the closing 25 pages, the word count increases and discusses various concepts including utilising innovation in your model, building a tribe, conducting a SWOT analysis, getting the numbers right, and writing up an action plan – all this is covered in almost no detail at all and forms the basis for frustration to the reader that so much time and space was spent on the personal passion worksheet elements and so little on actual details such as making something happen.
Could a Yorkshire perspective improve this book?
Yorkshire business owners tend to be more traditional in approach and, although many seek to find a disruptive business model, this book’s style and presentation isn’t likely to help.
Let your passions and personal abilities drive your business strategy, allow these passions to find new ways to present the business model as a disruptor and you’ve made it. Yorkshire Powerhouse, Book Reviews
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