Close this search box.

Quiet Disruptors: Creating Change Without Shouting by Sue Heatherington


Sue Heatherington is a writer, a catalyst, and a thinking partner for innovators and change-makers. 

Sue first used the phrase Quiet Disruptor as a quick way to explain her unusual broad backstory, which included a decade as a pioneering public service chief executive of the NHS, the National Health Service in the UK.

So when she described herself as a Quiet Disruptor, Instead of being bombarded with questions about the meaning of this phrase, people suddenly feel seen and understood with these 2 words that give them the permission to be more true to themselves.

So Sue wrote a book about Quiet Disruptors.I also had a real “aha” moment when I first encountered Quiet Disruptors and I also immediately thought that these 2 words fit me very, very well. Something magical happened.

Yes, I think I might be one of those Quiet Disruptors.

So, of course, I read the book, which is a beautifully written manifesto about the new change-makers: those with the courage to speak softly about things that matter and take action to become the change they want to see in the world.

Does it ring a bell?

Are you a Quiet Disruptor?

Let’s find out with Sue Heatherington



The Manifesto for Quiet Disruptors

Have you noticed? We’re shifting from one era to the next.

From the modern, industrial age where there were linear and predictable answers, to a complex, interconnected and volatile world. Where what we do affects who others become and impacts our whole environment, without us fully realising it.

We need different voices. People with fresh things to say who don’t need to shout.

Not just super-heroes with confident gestures. Nor the loud, always-on culture, with quick answers that offer attractive sticking plasters, yet fail to see what comes next or why we are doing it anyway.

But the thoughtful and creative change-makers who look from the edge and craft their responses, who want to make a difference, differently. Not just for today.

Because more of the same won’t do.

So now is our time to shift the conversation by becoming the change we want to see. Owning our voice, finding the others and having the courage to speak softly about things that matter.

Because only people make change. And change emerges with those who have the courage to be different:

  • who think before they speak;
  • who ask questions we’d sometimes rather not face;
  • who create solutions we hadn’t expected;
  • who see more from the edge, than the centre, and make connections that surprise us;
  • who are driven to make a difference, but want to do it differently, with grace;
  • who get their energy from calm reflection, beautiful ideas, and taking the long view;
  • who exercise kindness, generosity and stubborn courage in pursuing a different way of looking, being and doing that can turn our world upside down – for the better.

It’s time for the new change-makers. The quiet disruptors with the courage to speak softly about things that matter.

Sue HeatheringtonThe WatersideNovember 2020


CONNECT WITH Sue Heatherington / Quiet Disruptors


Daily poetry:

twitter @SueWaterside



University of East Anglia

Susan Cain

Simon Sinek


Josie Mackenzie / AMMA Sri Lanka

🎤 🎧 episode with Josie Mackenzie