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Disruption: That breaks with everything.  This is the definition of disruptive, a term that has been used as a synonym for innovation for over twenty years, and it is still a reference today.

Not following someone´s steps, jumping far ahead.

Breaking with previous canons and predetermined ideas.

Innovating, starting from zero.

Reinventing the rules.

These are some of the characteristics of disruption; and there can be more depending on the area or discipline in which they are applied.

It could be said that (apart from some particular exceptions such as disruptive behavior), disruption is considered as positive and powerful change because it is related to innovation and progress. Often times it implies breaking rules, being creative and original, rebellious and even revolutionary. Ultimately, disruption and innovation are a goal in within itself.  It is a must for any professional who wishes to be successful today, especially in the world of business and technology. 

Disruption through History: the quest for creativity, innovation and breaking the rules

Disruptive thinking is not new.  All through history we have many examples of innovation, seeking new and alternative ways of doing things.  This is not only in reference to Technology, Business and Engineering, but also Art was considered the perfect vehicle for the exploration of disruptive ideas.

Think about Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh, Frida Kahlo or Andy Warhol. Maybe we don´t consider some of these artists as groundbreaking thinkers today, but all of them had to break away from the rules and norms of their particular time to create something new and unique.

Spain is considered a reference in the world of art innovation and it has been cradle to some of the most influential and disruptive artist of all times.  Although this applies to many fields in our history including literature, architecture, painting or sculpture, we can take a look at some of the most important 20th Century Spanish artists that gave way to new understanding of art.  Let´s just mention Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali, two of the most internationally recognized artists whose disruptive character and style created a new school and artistic style.

Salvador Dali: Destroy in order to see

Salvador Dali cannot, simply, be considered to be a disruptive artist. Disruption is inherent to his personality. It is the personality of a creative, original, eccentric and irreverent genius that very barely followed the rules.

“Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision” he says when referring to his art. Dali defines Surrealism as an opportunity to break away from the past, but always looking for a more complete vision.  His artwork intends to expand the perception of objects, breaking those walls that, traditionally, had limited it.  The Persistence of Memory is, perhaps, the most famous piece of this Spanish postmodernist painter and also the best reflection of the disruptive and creative personality of this Spaniard, Salvador Dali.

Pablo Picasso: the disruptive creative genius

Considered one of the greatest painters of all times, Pablo Picasso was a versatile artist, brilliant in different disciplines but he became immortal because of his paintings.  It is in his pictorial works that he depicts a new way of understanding the world and society in which he lived.

Superstitious, complex, sensitive and eccentric, Picasso was an excellent example of the innate disruptive personality, so unique of the artistic talent. The Avignon Ladies and of course, Guernica, are two of the best examples of how Picasso was able to depict his disruptive personality in his artwork. Its innovative vision is a new understanding of the world, a visionary artist ahead of his time. It may be because of his vision and talent that he is regarded as one of the references of the Spanish disruptive artists.

Developing disruptive abilities

It is said that a disruptive personality is innate to a person. Therefore, you either have it or you don´t. Luckily nowadays we know it is possible to learn to challenge the norms and rules and to be critical and creative.  One can train their disruptive abilities and competences as part of a creative process; a process of innovation that is very beneficial for the world.

Dali and Picasso are some, but not the only two examples of Spanish artists of the Twentieth Century who explored the world of disruption.  Spain is a country of contrast and challenges, the perfect way to learn, explore and develop your own disruptive abilities and ultimately, to know how to apply them in different artistic and professional fields from Architecture and Engineering, to Technology and Communication.


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