The Innovator’s Solution (2003), as the name suggests, had the goal of arming the leaders with how “The Innovator’s Dilemma (1993)” can be solved. All the signals were there, reports on this shift from analysts like Gartner were publicly available, and anyone willing to put in the time and effort would easily see how our business would be impacted. On this post I would like to explain more about the Innovator’s Dilemma. In contrast to Xerox’s east cost executives, Steve Jobs instantly realized the potential of this technology. (The “innovator’s dilemma” is that “doing the right thing is the wrong thing.”) It first made use of Kodak’s OLED patents and then engineered a way around as many of them as it could, delaying the launch of OLED screens until many of the Kodak patents had expired. A case study often cited as a classic innovator’s dilemma is Kodak. It is a fascinating feature of the modern economy. Did a start-up selling a neat new device disrupt Nokia? “The Innovator’s Dilemma — When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail” by Clayton Christensen (no explanation needed, if you’ve read this article), “Chaos Monkeys — Obscene fortune and random failure in silicon valley” by Antonio García Martínez (I can highly recommend this book, also written with a lot of humor! The boardrooms of these companies start to freeze over as more and more vested interests make decision making next to impossible, forcing them to eschew rationality. I expanded on this in Apple and the Innovator’s Dilemma, an academic paper I wrote in 2010 that examined why the iPod wasn’t disrupted:5 Apple’s focus on user experience as a differentiator has significant strategic implications as well, particularly in the context of the Innovator’s Dilemma: namely, it is impossible for a user experience to be too good. Back in 2013, I was asked to present at my company’s annual knowledge sharing roadshow. The Toyota model was simply a rational innovation that a large company could not accommodate. The theory, described in Clayton M. Christensen's 1997 book of the same name, contends that when large and previously successful companies fail, it's not because managers began doing the wrong things, but that they continued to do the right things—those things that had led to the companies' success in the first place. Clay Christensen, a professor at Harvard University's business school, has since his 1997 book The Innovator's Dilemma been widely acclaimed in the business world for his theory of “disruptive innovation” to explain why upstarts derail established companies. The elite construction of what really matters - the messages that get to CEOs - leaves very little opportunity to do real knowledge development in business. For example, social media has been linked to self-esteem issues, cyberbullying, and car accidents. In his book, Clayton Christensen explains there are two key parts to this dilemma: Investments that offer minimal value to the customer (at least initially) do not typically fly well with stakeholders, in particular shareholders whose goal is to minimize the risks of their investment and to make maximum profit. The future was crystal clear. This is Cambridge, England, seat of perhaps the most prestigious university in the world. Most of the criticism centres around the fact that the triumphant entrant firms mentioned in the book no longer exist, which proves Prof Christensen’s thesis faulty. To be fair, successful innovations are difficult to grasp. It also received the Global Business Book Award as the best business book of the year (1997). My book, "The Elastic Enterprise", co-authored with Nick Vitalari and described as a must read for companies that want to succeed…, I used to edit Innovation Management. He also points out that many of the failing companies create "children" companies, or rather dissatisfied employees who have been unable to innovate go elsewhere to do it - often into their own start-up. Gary and I talked a lot about the subject of innovation and the impediments we encountered. ... it has been misinterpreted, and more recently subject to serious criticism and take-downs. The mere suggestion that the vehemence or savagery or even ineptness of that criticism is a "criminal act," to quote Christensen, says a lot about the place that serious public discourse has arrived. As the head of a Xerox research facility in Webster, New York, explained to him, “The computer will never be as important to society as the copier”. So thank you for that! If all the innovator’s dilemma means is that companies can be disrupted but then adapt successfully, then it is not news or a theory. have seen their markets been disrupted by startups that adopted cutting edge technologies, adapted it, and applied it to existing markets or even created completely new markets. Let’s say the similarities to the Alto were remarkable. That picture is a good description of They are attuned to putting resources behind ideas which have a high chance of success - sustaining technologies are easier to identify in this case. It is the latter point that matters - disruptions that go unrecognized until it's too late. I think that the Innovater’s Dilemma and this law of the handicap of a head start go hand in hand, especially with the larger companies who need the full payback of their developed solutions. They need to put programs in place that help to avoid these pitfalls, to stimulate innovation and critical thinking, in order to avoid becoming obsolete in this rapidly changing landscape. In reality, he loved it, it was a tremendous epiphany for him. The fact that they were reluctant to give away too many details infuriated Jobs. Time is better spent honing a TED presentation. There is no real theory of why firms fail or why they succeed. The Innovator’s Dilemma: Narrow Theory, Widely Applied Published on January 31, 2016 January 31, 2016 • 27 Likes • 6 Comments There is a big burden in being the guru in an age of democratized opinion. Where Is There Still Room For Growth When It Comes To Content Creation? They had in their hands the key to the future. Unfortunately, most large organizations manage to put in an infinite number of management layers, resulting in a bureaucracy where the real authority and decision-making is concentrated within a select few individuals. He made a huge scene (typical Jobs behavior), after which in their infinite wisdom Xerox HQ executives granted him full visibility to their brilliant innovations. But with every attempt he made, he ran into a brick wall. I’ve been a big fan of the whole Innovator’s Dilemma/Innovator’s Solution camp since I first discovered it in 2004, but I’ve also never bought into it whole hog. ), “Hit Refresh — The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone” by Satya Nadella (Great read, this is what leadership looks like.). Distracted driving is one of the primary causes of car accidents, and yet people continue to use their phones to … (Photo credit: Wikipedia). Not at all. How Can AI Support Small Businesses During The Pandemic? It invented much of it. The answer has nothing to do with disruptive innovation. The information technology landscape was changing rapidly. Join me on Facebook or Google, I used to edit Innovation Management. 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