Why Disruption Is Actually Your Funeral Biz’s Secret Ingredient for Success

When the going gets tough, the tough embrace the chaos. 

Because the chaos is actually the good stuff.

At this year’s ICCFA conference, Chris Keller of Sunset Memorial Park says that disruption is often the thing that spur us to move forward. 

Kind of like a not-so-gentle kick in the behind to get us moving along where we might otherwise have sat resting on our laurels. 


Why we need disruption in the funeral industry

Yes, you read that right. We need disruption. Especially in the funeral profession. And you need it more than you think. Here are 4 reasons why:

 1. Disruption creates an opportunity for real, hands-on learning. To participate in building and creating. To gain confidence and experience that you never would have gotten if things were smooth and easy all the time. 

2. Disruption also forces us to stay relevant. It keeps us on our toes, so we don’t forget how to think quickly and adapt to things as they come. 

3. Disruption keeps your crew flexible and resilient. They’ll know how to pivot quickly and shake things up without getting stuck on old ways of doing things. 

4. When the new generation helps participate in the rebuilding process, they will have gained institutional knowledge that cannot be obtained through simply reading about something. This is as true of newer staff members as it is of the youth.


Harnessing the power of disruption

There is an ongoing cycle of disruption, and if you are alive and doing business, you’re somewhere on its continuum.This has always been true. The difference is that variables change more quickly now. 

Companies that once forecasted strategies out 10-15 years are only casting projections for the next 1-2 years. As we’ve seen over the past two years or so, there’s just so much that could change in such a short time.

By anticipating and forcing disruptions, you can take a proactive approach to navigating this new reality. But what actually counts as a true disruption?

Here’s what doesn’t count as disruption:

  • Changing your logo
  • Redecorating
  • Adding a service to your menu
  • Jazzing up your website


These things are awesome to do, and will probably help your business. The reason those things are not actually disruptions, though, is that there’s no risk involved. A bona-fide disruption requires you to put your “you-know-what” out on the line a bit. 

One way to figure out how to give yourself a healthy dose of disruption that will actually be beneficial to your business, ask yourself this: 

What is the future customer going to want? 

Not always possible to predict, of course. But asking forward-thinking questions like this is what’s going to help you stay on the cutting edge of change. 


Deciding if you’ll be a disruptor or disrupted

Disruption is inevitable. The question is: will you take control or be at the mercy of chaos?Here are some fundamental differences between disruptors and those who are disrupted.

  • A disruptor faces added risk, but stands to enjoy greater rewards
  • Disruptors have more control over their destiny.
  • Disrupted people must react to initiative taken by others.
  • Disrupted people get tangled up in react-mode, and never get the chance to be proactive
  • Disrupted people go into “protect mode” and are often occupied by putting out fires instead of coming up with new innovations.


When disruption comes, whether it’s planned by your team or it’s thrown at you by the universe, will you be able to ride the wave and use the craziness to your advantage? What are some ways you have disrupted your business on purpose? Did it pay off? Tell us in the comments below!

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments.