Innovation Inspiration: Disruptive Innovation for Disruptive Times

09 Oct 2009|Added Value

CEO Added Value FranceBack in the 30s, economist Joseph Schumpeter identified the forces of ‘economic destruction’ at times of economic crisis and the enormous opportunities produced. More recently, Harvard professor Clayton Christensen has talked about how breakthrough innovation is more likely to happen at times of greatest disruption, when we’re forced to fundamentally re-think the way we do business.

So, what should you be thinking about? Here are some different perspectives from some big thinkers.

In an interview with the McKinsey Quarterly, author and tech exec Judy Estrin talks about how to re-ignite the spark of creativity in the global economy. She says companies need to think in three innovation horizons: the first is incremental and customer-driven; the second is 2-5 years out and should be partly customer-driven, partly research-driven; the third is about future growth where the customer can’t help you – you need thinking outside of your mainstream business.

Watch the Interview: How to Fix the Innovation Gap

Stanford’s Hayagreeva Rao looks at things differently. Citing examples from the car and the PC to microbrewing, open source software and Nike, he describes the role of ‘market rebels’ in radical innovation. You need to think like insurgents, who identify a ‘hot cause’ and combine it with ‘cool mobilisation’ to promote or break products, services and corporations.

Read & Watch More: Market Rebels & Radical Innovation

What about the role of technology in all of this? In an interview with the McKinsey Quarterly, Google’s Chief Economist Hal Varian shares his vision on how technology empowers innovation and has the potential to change whole industries.

Read & Watch More: How the Web challenges Managers

Hage, Brown & Davison from Deloitte pick up on the tech theme in the Harvard Business Review. In a world of constant disruption, it’s tempting to take a purely reactive, protective stance: to get ahead, you’d be better advised to take advantage of technological change and execute a shaping strategy.

Read More: Shaping Strategy in a World of Constant Disruption

Also in the HBR, INSEAD’s Blue Ocean strategists Kim and Mauborgne ask which comes first: strategy or structure? Traditional corporate strategy development creates a distinctive position based on environmental and competitive analysis and aligning the value chain accordingly. But to disrupt markets where there’s excess supply, cut-throat competition and low margins, you need to think about strategies that re-shape industry structure, like Wii and the Model T.

Read More: How Strategy Shapes Structure

And finally, if you haven’t thought about what innovation learnings you can draw from Twitter, take a look at this…

Take a look: Twitter’s 10 Rules for Radical Innovators

By Jonathan Hall, CEO Added Value France

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