Nashville's Disruption Lab Helps Others Learn About Innovative Change

August 25, 2015

Posted by: Peter Marcum

Nashville's Disruption Lab Helps Others Learn About Innovative Change

Most major cities across the U.S. have what is often called a "Disruption Lab." A Disruption Lab usually represents a regular gathering among business people from different market segments to discuss the trends in disruption, new market entrances that are creating disruption, and corporate attempts to disrupt from within.

Every market segment is being disrupted by technology; from healthcare, automobiles, property rentals, taxi services, hotels, and 3D printing. Many of Nashville's largest corporations are trying to anticipate where things may go and get out in front of the changes. Our large entrepreneur community, with the help of the EC and Launch Tennessee, are trying to pursue ideas to disrupt the big companies. The issues lie in the question of how a company, large or small, discovers a breakthrough innovation, and once they find that idea, determining the fastest way to execute it.

And whether it is worth pursuing! These are tough questions that require guidance and knowledge from those who have either done it before, or by building a team that can do it from scratch.

I was invited to join Nashville's Disruption Lab about a year ago and decided to become a member. It meets twice monthly and we have developed into a fairly small, tight knit group of people. We have people from major corporations, people who used to be at larger companies and some independents such as myself.

The Lab was founded by Dr. Phil Gibbs as a division of Gibbs Solutions Group, LLC, and the activities are centered at E|SPACES Belle Meade. E|SPACES was also co-founded by Phil. The mission of The Disruption Lab is to provide a methodology for disruption or innovation—not just the ideas, but also the methods to make them a reality, or not.

Phil's academic training, experience with large corporations, work as a trainer and consultant, and career as an entrepreneur have equipped him with the ideal background for leading the Lab, and challenging all of us who participate. We all pay to be a part of this, so it has to be good, to keep us all involved. I highly recommend this organization to anyone that is interested in the topic.

As a principal in an early-stage investment firm, Phil consulted with and was a board member of Passport Health Communications, a highly successful industry-disruptive organization that uses technology to facilitate payment solutions for hospitals and healthcare companies. The consulting firm that Phil founded and led for over a decade, Executive Learning, Inc., was one of the country’s leading change agents focused on continual improvement in healthcare, and included work with the prestigious Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Boston.

Phil’s commitment to innovation is grounded in theory and began with his Ph.D. dissertation at The Ohio State University, which focused on how organizations achieve both high productivity and high innovation. So, we spend a fair amount of time on theory, but also we have many speakers who have been there and done that, and we can ask questions as a small group.

The next meeting at The Disruption Lab is Friday, August 28th at E|SPACES in Belle Meade. The event will include guest speaker Luke Marlin, General Manager for Uber of Nashville. Luke is a Purdue trained engineer, and he received his MBA from Harvard University, where he studied innovation under Clay Christensen. Prior to joining Uber, Luke worked in strategy and marketing at Emerson Electric.

If you are interested in joining Phil's Disruption Lab or attending this month’s event, please contact Phil at

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