Tag Archives: clayton christensen

Why asking a innovation unit to be more disruptive is not a good idea

[Version française ici]

That innovation units created within large organizations have a difficult life is not new. Most of them disappear after three years on average, because after the euphoric start, they fail to become part of the life of the organization. But those that survive are not out of the woods yet, because they are caught between a top management that demands “more disruption” and an organization that, through its budgetary and control processes, removes any chance for a disruptive project to see the light of day. Getting out of this difficult situation requires being very clear about what “disruptive” means, and understanding the real nature of innovation.

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Disruptive Innovation: What We Owe to Clayton Christensen

layton Christensen, who initiated seminal work on the notion of disruption, died from cancer at the age of 67. As a prominent theorist in management, along with giants such as Peter Drucker or Michael Porter, his work is more relevant than ever as big corporations continue to find it hard to address multiple disruptions in their environment. The following is a synthesis of his work as an attempt to demonstrate how it is still very much useful.
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Why Transforming an Organization is Difficult: Resources, Processes, Values and the Migration of Skills

Why do organizations find it difficult to change when facing a disruption? The question is not new but it continues to puzzle researchers and managers alike. Part of the answer lies in the observation that over time, what an organization knows migrates: its capability initially lies in its resources (especially human), then it evolves to processes and finally to values. It is at this last stage that change is the most difficult.

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Disruptions: A Wrong Impression of Speed of Change

Everything is going faster! Change is accelerating! At least that’s what we hear all the time. What if this platitude reflected a misunderstanding of the nature of disruptions and how they develop? And what if, therefore, it led to the wrong answers by incumbents and startups? Let’s analyze the nature of disruptions and our relationship to time.

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Innovation: Agility is Not What Your Organization Needs

We live in a world of uncertainty and disruptions. To survive in this world, organizations should be agile. The word Agility is now everywhere. This would be the miracle solution to lack of innovation as it emerges every six months. But this is not the case. Agility is not what your organization needs. Let’s see why.

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Immunity to change: these rational commitments that prevent innovation

There is a paradox in the field of innovation: everyone is in favor of it, I never meet a manager who explains to me that he does not want to innovate, quite the contrary; They all want to innovate. And yet in most companies, innovation is blocked. An important cause of this paradox lies in a conflict of commitment between the present and the future. Let’s look at it in more detail.

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Disruption Is Not a Question of Technology, but of Business Model

We hear a lot about “disruptive technologies”, but what makes an innovation disruptive is not usually its technical dimension, and the distinction often made between radical innovation and incremental innovation is not so pertinent. Indeed, we can observe two examples to illustrate this point.

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Why Holding a Disruptive Technology to a Standard of Perfection is a Mistake

Recently, Erik Brynjolfsson remarked, about artificial intelligence (AI), that we tend to hold it to a standard of perfection, and therefore can be pessimistic about its prospects. It is a very common mistake in the case of a disruptive technology. In fact it is not so much that we hold disruptive technologies to a standard of perfection as we judge their performance based on the existing technology’s dominant criteria. Let’s explore this and see why it matters, and how it leads to disasters.

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Five mistakes to avoid when managing a disruptive project: 5- Choosing the wrong people

This article is the last part of a series of fives articles on mistakes to avoid when managing a disruptive project, extracted from my new book “A Manager’s Guide to Disruptive Innovation”.

One of the mistakes that companies wishing to develop innovative programs often make is to think only in terms of organization and processes: “how can we do it, how can we organize it”, etc. They forget that, as we have pointed out, innovation is a social process and that the human dimension of this process is paramount. Therefore, an important question arises: who should manage an innovation project?

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Five mistakes to avoid when managing a disruptive project: 4- Failing to properly measure the progression of the project

This article is the fourth part of a series of fives articles on mistakes to avoid when managing a disruptive project, extracted from my new book “A Manager’s Guide to Disruptive Innovation”.

A well-managed company measures its performance, and measuring the progress of disruptive innovation projects is extremely important. In this area, two mistakes can be made. The first is to manage the disruptive project like a sustaining innovation project, whereas a disruptive project is fundamentally different. Handling a disruptive project in the same way kills the momentum. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a specific system of measurements to manage its development. One approach might be to monitor the acquisition of new stakeholders and to evaluate them according to the nature of the project (in the case of the Airbnb site, the critical stakeholders were those who first listed their apartments).

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