To initiate the hero’s journey, a disruption happens, which puts the system into disequilibrium.


In mythology, the hero’s routine gets interrupted as the hero receives a call to action. He is invited on some form of journey.


We similarly can apply this to corporations and to marketplaces.
In today’s marketplace we see a multitude of similar products, promoted through similar messages with similar marketing methods. This is the equilibrium.
To succeed we need to stand out one way or another. And standing out in these crowded marketplaces means being original. We need to have an original product, we need to have an original manufacturing process, we need to have an original marketing method, or we need to have an original way for selling.

Everything else is commodity. And consumers don’t need more commodities. We don’t need more boring Youtube videos, we don’t need more motivational books, we don’t really need the hundredth version of the same old combustion engine car.

We need originality. Originality comes from leaning the habit zone, it’s the opposite of habit.

How do we get the disequilibrium? How do we initiate the hero’s journey?

This disequilibrium, or disruption, can be generated external or internal.


An external disruption is any constraint in how they can reach their goals.

Such an external disruption can be changes along value chains, changes in customer needs, new competitors, new technologies, climate change, the credit crisis or the corona crisis.


Disruptions can also be triggered proactively internally.

Artificial constraints can do the job. Graphic designers promote setting themselves constraints to stimulate creativity. Design all in black and white for example.

Then you have new stimuli. When companies mix people with different skills, when they initiate new strategies, new technologies, or simply set constraints for the organisation, this happens. Difference can be in skills and competence, in resources they have access to, and in information they have.

On a further level, this can be exposing ourselves to new situations, getting new influences.

Or, in other words, we find ways to create more dots that we can connect:

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things.”
Steve Jobs

“A leader must see the external opportunities and the internal capabilities and culture – all of the connections among them – and respond to them before they become obvious parts of the conventional wisdom. It’s an art form, not a science.”
Satya Nadella

“RIGHT VIEW — involves looking at the game as a whole and working together as a team, like five fingers on a hand."

RIGHT THINKING — means seeing yourself as part of a system rather than as your own one-man band. It also implies going into each game with the intention of being intimately involved with what’s happening to the whole team because you’re integrally connected to everyone on it.”

Phil Jackson and George Mumford on preparing the Chicago Bulls for the game

...and handing it back to the neuroscientists:

“The ability to pull meaning out of our environment is dependent on how rich these association cortices are”

"The richness of these Association Cortices powers creative people. This is their engine, that enables them to make more connections. Again, we need more stimuli."

Dr. Nancy Andreasen.


What we could see here is that across creative fields the message is the same.