Capturing the Upside (17 Mar 2004)
Every company needs to grow, and innovation is the ticket to sustainable and profitable growth. What decisions can managers take to increase their probability of successfully building innovation-driven growth businesses? Many are convinced that it is impossible to predict with confidence whether an innovation will succeed, so they feel they need to place a number of bets with the hope that some will be winners. Others believe that the best way to create new growth businesses is to meticulously search for detailed quantitative data to identify opportunities and develop a rigorous plan to attack those opportunities. But many times conclusive data is only available after the game has already been won. Professor Clayton M. Christensen of the Harvard Business School has another way. He suggests using theory. A theory is a statement of what causes what and why. Whether managers know it or not, they are voracious consumers of theory. Every action a manager takes, every plan a manager makes is based on some belief of cause and effect.
Managers have historically struggled to successfully manage innovation. They get a bewildering array of often conflicting and confusing advice. What has been lacking is a collection of well-grounded theories that explain the actions managers should take in particular circumstances. Through his recent research, Professor Christensen has developed a set of theories to help guide managers as they seek to answer seven critical questions when trying to build new growth businesses, again and again:
Article URL: http://www.itconversations.com/shows/detail135.html
(Clayton Christensen, Professor, Harvard Business School)
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