If there’s a term that divides people it’s “disruptive innovation”. The very mention of it sets people screaming with enthusiasm or terror. Thankfully, we can all take a deep breath, relax, and read a great new article from the Harvard Business Review that revisits exactly what this term means.
As the authors (Clayton M. Christensen, Michael E. Raynor and Rory McDonald) state:
“If we get sloppy with our labels or fail to integrate insights from subsequent research and experience into the original theory, then managers may end up using the wrong tools for their context, reducing their chances of success. Over time, the theory’s usefulness will be undermined.
“This article is part of an effort to capture the state of the art. We begin by exploring the basic tenets of disruptive innovation and examining whether they apply to Uber. Then we point out some common pitfalls in the theory’s application, how these arise, and why correctly using the theory matters.
‘We go on to trace major turning points in the evolution of our thinking and make the case that what we have learned allows us to more accurately predict which businesses will grow.”
So read on, and re-engage with how disruptive innovation might be just what we all need.
Link to the article in Harvard Business Review December 2015 edition online (Open link in a new window/tab)