On Being Constructively Disruptive

Constructive is defined as "constructing or tending to construct; helping to improve; promoting further development or advancement" by dictionary.com . One definition of 'disruptive' as defined by dictionary.com: "relating to or noting a new product, service, or idea that radically changes an industry or business strategy, especially by creating a new market and disrupting an existing one".

Where are the constructively disruptive people in the "wellness" industry?

This was a question we started with nearly 4 years ago. Since then, we've established Wellness Underground as a place to assemble those seeking to be 'constructively disruptive' which means we wanted to take those two definitions above and smoosh them together. What does this mean exactly? Being constructively disruptive means actively and positively challenging inherited structures/practices/beliefs by exploring what might be possible [in the wellness industry]. Constructively disruptive is not about being an expert, having authority, an ego or even a PhD, but about searching for a better way, with the courage to step outside of the norm. Constructively disruptive humbly seeks to raise questions and explore solutions, not proclaim that there is one answer or solution. Constructively disruptive applies critical thinking without the need to be negative or whiny. Constructively disruptive often should be fun, especially when we do it together. People who are constructively disruptive recognize they can’t do it alone and seek out a tribe with colleagues whose work may be similar, but often very different.  Now that we have that covered...

Recently the worksite wellness industry seems to be full of those wanting us to believe in an "either/or" approach. That you have to say wellness works as is or doesn’t work as is or that incentives are bad or they are good.  Either your are for traditional worksite wellness or you are against it. So we ask the question:

Where are the constructively disruptive professionals who see worksite wellness as both working and not working? Where are the constructively disruptive practitioners who want to think about “What if…?”

There’s a plethora of great people and organizations that seem to have their head in the sand who are seemingly happy with the status quo of wellness that was established decades ago. Are they doing people a disservice by not seeking out anything new and different? Are they being effective? At the same time there seems to be a preponderance of people who are outspoken, but with little to offer other than a being loud and negative. These types seemingly kill conversations with negativity or fail to offer the proverbial “yes, and” to keeping a great discussion going. 

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.
— Stephen R. Covey | 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

We would come to the conclusion that seemingly, people are either not wanting to listen or are only listening to formulate a response rather than to understand. There are people with their eyes closed and their fingers in their ears loudly blurting “blah, blah, blah” so they don’t see or hear anything but themselves and thus failing to change. Then there are those who seem to be standing in front of that person telling them about how they need to change, and how they have faulty thinking and calling them out. Neither party is listening with the intent to understand and both parties assume their supremacy in thinking. So we ask yet another question:

Where are the constructively disruptive people who can be "Yes, and…? Where are the constructively disruptive people who are looking at some of those louder negative people and see it for what it is…a lot of noise, somewhat comical, and extremely disappointing?

We are searching for professionals with the ability to listen in order to understand. We want people who can be critical of ideas, but not critical of people. We invite people who can have collaborative conversations. We connect people so they can explore “what if….” We want people who can be additive to the industry not self-focused. 

It’s easy to be disruptive, turn things upside down, be loud and command attention.  It is also easy to stay with the status quo of yesteryear and feel like you are being constructive simply because you aren't rocking the boat.  But it’s a lot of work to stay focused on being Constructively Disruptive. Each of us has moments of being stuck in our comfort zones. We all have times when we can become incessantly cynical and negative. Step outside of that and when you find a tribe of people who can help you stay positive, ask the right questions, and explore what is possible and do it all in an atmosphere of wonder…then chances are you have found the Wellness Underground and possibly even arrived at a Wellness Underground Workshop.

Conversations may start online and great content can be found online. But you get to what really matters when you are together offline and interact with people face to face. This year's workshop is all about that...the people! The colleagues, coworkers, employees, bosses and everyday people you work with, serve and come in contact with. We still have some seats available at the workshop and would love to  have you join us if you are looking for a constructively disruptive tribe! Contact us today!