19 Dec 2018

The word “disruption” has become synonymous with technology companies and other start-ups hoping to be the next success story. As well as its positive connotations in this space, it can also feel aggressive and unsettling.

Whilst a disregard for the accepted ‘rules’ is essential for innovation, when those rules are governing the relationship between a company and its people, this will undoubtedly be less celebrated. Is it now possible to be an ethical disruptor?

Fast-growth companies are often grouped under one umbrella, assumed to have a similar attitude to business and common objectives. Looking closer, there is a dichotomy emerging, of those founders looking to scale up and sell out at the earliest opportunity, and those with a long-term vision who prioritise a core purpose.

Such a dichotomy can translate to the way in which a company’s workers are treated; as a disposable business resource, or as key stakeholders in the company. In business-peak, this divergence has given birth to two characterisations in particular:  “unicorns” being the super-fast growth private companies that have raced towards a $1 billion valuation, and “zebras” tending to be businesses following a more sustainable, collaborative and purpose-led approach.

Read the full article on The Zebra Project website.