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In today’s digital age, business executives collect reams of data as they try to develop the next must-have product for consumers, yet corporate innovation efforts remain painfully hit or miss.  A recent McKinsey poll found that 84 percent of global executives said innovation was extremely important for business growth, yet 94 percent were dissatisfied with their own innovation performance.  Why do so many innovation initiatives fall flat?  Clayton M. Christensen, widely regarded as one of the world’s top experts on innovation and growth and author of the theory of disruptive innovation, says executives often fail because they study the wrong product and customer data, which leads them to unwittingly design innovation processes that “churn out mediocrity.”  He writes about this problem in a new book, Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice,

Source: Harvard Business School – Working Knowledge

Date: October 11th, 2016



1) Have you heard of Clayton Christensen’s Innovator’s Dilemma?  This is a critical theory of how disruptive innovations can kill the incumbent technology in an industry (any industry, it seems, from steamships to disk drives).  If you have not, hear Clayton Christensen talk about it here:

2) “My third son Michael… called, and said, “I need to furnish my apartment tomorrow.” So Michael found himself needing to get this job done. When I give talks about this concept, I ask, “Is there a brand that pops into people’s mind when you realize that’s the job to do?” And over 95 percent of them say IKEA.  The owner of IKEA is one of the richest men in the world. How can he get rich by making furniture that is essentially throwaway furniture and sell it to the low end of humanity, college students who don’t have money? If I have to look around and shop to get the job done perfectly, that is very costly and time-consuming. If somebody comes and says, “I can get this job done perfectly for you,” I am delighted to pay a premium price for an average product.”  It all sounds so very simple when someone with the gift of teaching like Clayton Christensen puts it together with perfect examples.  What are things that have happened to you this week where you have had to “get this job done” but there has been no easy way to do it?  These are the next innovations, according to Clayton Christensen.

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