The opening speaker last week at the World Innovation Forum was Clayton Christensen, a Harvard Business School professor in Strategy and Innovation. In his speech Clayton discussed the principles of his two books: The Innovator’s Dilemma and The Innovator’s Solution.
When you listen to Clayton speak about the dynamics of a strategic market such as steel, and how the mini-mills disrupted the big steel mills, it’s a lesson that is one part history and one part common sense. Of course the mini-mills entered and disrupted the low end of the market, and of course the big mills were happy to get out of the low end because it was not as profitable a business. From there the mini-mills march up market until they totally disrupt the big mills at the high end!
Well folks, you see the same thing happening in technology. The mini-mills this time are the offshore firms that are pushing onshore with strategy work. So I couldn’t help but ask Clayton how this is playing out. What you will hear makes perfect sense, but listen closely. There are lessons in there for all of us.
Clayton M. Christensen is the Robert and Jane Cizik Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, with a joint appointment in the Technology & Operations Management and General Management faculty groups. His research and teaching interests center on the management issues related to the development and commercialization of technological and business model innovation. Specific areas of focus include developing organizational capabilities and finding new markets for new technologies.