Organisational Change Management Volume 1

Framework 44 Innovation as a Basis for Change

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(Sustaining v. Disruptive Innovations)


Most people like to work for organisations that are growing as they provide more benefits, such as opportunities for promotion, resources for investments in new technology, new opportunities, etc. On the other hand, only 1 in 10 organisations are able to sustain their growth

Furthermore, most product development efforts fail commercially, ie

"...Over 60 percent of all new product development efforts are scuttled before they ever reach the market. Of the 40 percent that do see the light of day, 40 percent fail to become profitable and are withdrawn from the market......three-quarters of the money spent in product development investment results in products that do not succeed commercially..."

Clayton Christensen et al, 2003

Some questions that need to be answered

- Why is it so hard to sustain success?

- Are there predictable reasons organisations stumble?

- How can you start an organisation that will topple the current industry leaders?

The most common rationale given for why organisations don't continue to grow are poor management, such as

- managers lack the capabilities to handle the task and/or

- become more risk adverse as the organisation grows and feel that creating new-growth businesses (innovation) is simply too unpredictable and risky

Furthermore, as Peter Drucker (1985) stated, the required mindset is one that is searching for unanticipated success, rather than seeking to correct variations from a plan

Predictability involves understanding what caused what and why, ie cause and effect; there are 3 stages to this

1. describing the phenomenon you wish to understand (need more than 1 or 2 success stories)

2. classifying the phenomena into categories, eg vertical and horizontal integration are examples of corporate diversification (this is a critical stage)

3. articulating a hypothesis that demonstrates what causes the phenomenon to occur. This illustrates how, in different situations or contexts, the same causal mechanism might result in different outcomes.

(NB Keep revisiting these 3 steps to refine predictability and what actions cause what results and under what circumstances)

It has been suggested that many outcomes are unpredictable, as we do not understand the process!!!!!!!!!

The first-time developers of new growth business need to assess what their target customers really are trying to do. The developers are searching for the disruptive foothold - the initial product or service that is the basis for the point of entry for new market disruption. For example, if there is a popular job-to-be-done, or outcomes that customers are seeking, not being correctly addressed, this can create a launching pad or platform for future growth. The challenge is how to identify these opportunities. The basis is to understand the jobs-to-be-done and this can be done by carefully observing what people are trying to achieve for themselves and what they are saying about it. For example, Sonny's founder, Akio Morita, was very successful at studying (by observing, questioning and obtaining feedback) customers, and then developing the solution, or achieve the outcome that customers are seeking. As a result of the approach

"...Between 1950 and 1982, Sony successfully built 12 different new product disruptive growth businesses. This included the original battery-powered pocket transistor radio, launched in 1955, and the first portable solid-state black-and-white television, in 1959......also included videocassette players; portable video recorders;......Walkman, introduced in 1979; and 3.5-inch floppy disk drives, launched in 1981..."

Clayton Christensen et al, 2003

Sony, under Morita's leadership, used a group of around 5 people who continually searched for disruptive footholds by studying what people were trying to get done, ie

"...they were looking for ways that miniaturized, solid-state electronic technology might help a larger population of less-skilled and less-affluent people to accomplish, more conveniently and at less expense, the jobs they would trying to get done through awkward, unsatisfactory means..."

Clayton Christensen et al, 2003

In the early 1980s Morita started to withdraw from active management; at the same time Sony's disruptive odyssey came to an end. It is now focusing on sustaining technology rather than disruptive innovations.

Initial conditions for successful growth include

- starting with a cost structure in which good profits can be earned at low price points and being able to carry performance up-market

- being in a disruptive position relative to competitors so that they are motivated to flee rather than fight

- starting with a new set of customers who have not purchased in the marketplace so that they will be pleased with modest products/services

- getting beyond correlative assertions, such as "big organisations are slow to innovate", 'successful CEOs are promoted from within'

- targeting a job that customers are trying to get done

- moving to where the money will be, not where it is now

- assigning executives who have the right experience and putting them to work within processes and organisational values that are attuned to what needs to be done

- identifying the performance-defining components or subsystems that are important to the customer and attract profits. For example, with personal computers it is the microprocessor, the operating system and its applications.

- maintaining flexibility to respond as viable strategies emerge

- getting on board suppliers of capital who are patient with growth but want profit first

- not blindly duplicating or copying the best practices of successful organisations without understanding the local circumstances and situations.

This stresses the to understand under what circumstances the preferred framework needs to modified based on changing conditions.

(NB satisfying these conditions will lay the foundation for successful growth)

Three sets of questions that will determine whether an innovation has the potential to be disruptive

i. new-market disruptive

- Is there a large population of people who historically have not had the money, equipment or skill to do this job for themselves, and as result have gone without it altogether or have needed to pay someone with more expertise to do it for them?

- Will the product/service be more convenient, more effective, more reliable, simpler and lower-priced than the current available product/service?

- Will organisations providing the product/service be able to stay connected with a given job as improvements are made?

- Can a purpose brand be developed so that the customers know what to buy/hire?

ii. potential for low-end market disruption

- Are the customers at the low end of the market happy to purchase the product with adequate but lower performance than what competitors offer, ie trade-off some performance attributes (like slower speed, less reliable, more basic, etc), in exchange for a lower price?

- Can you create a business model that enables you to earn attractive profits at discount prices required to win the business of these currently over-service customers at the low end?

iii. degree of disruption

- Is there a similar impact of the innovative disruption on all the significant players in the industry?

Remember: if one or more significant player in the industry will not be disrupted by the innovation, then the entrant is unlikely to win.

Three approaches to creating new growth business


Sustaining innovations

Low end disruptions

New market disruptions

Targeted performance of the product or service

Performance improvement in attributes most valued by the industry's most demanding customers. These improvements may be incremental or breakthrough in character

Performance that is good enough along the traditional metrics of performance at the lower end of mainstream markets

Lower performance in traditional attributes, but improved performance in new attributes - without losing functionality, simplicity & convenience

Targeted customers or market application

The most attractive (profitable) customers in the mainstream markets who are willing to pay for improved performance

Over-served customers in the low end of the main-stream market

Targets non-consumption: customers who historically lacked the money or skill to buy and use the product/ service

Impact on the required business model (processes & cost structures)

Improves or maintains its profit margins by excluding the existing processes and cost structures and making better use of current competitive advantages

Utilizes a new operating or financial approach or both - a different combination of low gross profit margins and higher asset utilization to gain and attractive returns at the discount price required to win business at the low end of the market

Business model must make money at lower price per unit sold and at unit production volumes that initially will be small. Gross margin dollars per unit sold will be significantly lower.

(source: Clayton Christensen et al, 2003)

Some examples of sustaining and disruptive innovations include

- high speed photocopier business - in the 1970s and 80's IBM and Kodak attempted to defeat Xerox. These organisations were far bigger yet they failed to defeat Xerox in a sustaining technology competition. On the other hand, Xerox was beaten more recently with a disruptive innovation that included tabletop copiers

- computers - corporate giants, such as RCA, General Electric and AT&T, who threw massive resources into the battle, failed to stop IBM in the development of sustaining-technology of mainframe computers. In the end, it was the disruptive personal computer makers, not the major corporations, that successfully competed with IBM.

Some examples of disruptive innovations creating new customers/new markets for products/services that were more convenient and/or low priced, etc were

- personal computers that replaced the main frames

- Sony's first battery powered transistor public radio that replaced the immobile plug-in wireless

- Canon's desktop photocopiers that replaced the large photocopiers that needed a technician to operate

- Japanese auto makers (Toyota, Honda, etc) followed by the Koreans' (Hyundai, Kia, etc) entry into the North American market at the low-end of the market with their fuel economy and low purchase price

- the minimills in the US steel industry

- discount retailing (Wal-Mart and Kmart) competing against the department stores

- plastic makers (Dow, Dupont and General Electrics etc) continue to displace steel

- information (the Internet, especially Wikipedia, has destroyed Encyclopaedia: with the latter going from the authoritative source of information on most topics to no longer in business, ie a dinosaur)

Each of these disrupters created a new value chain and usually worked with new customers rather than the incumbents.

Some disruptions are hybrids that combined new markets and low-end approaches. Examples include

- Southwest Airlines - it initially targeted customers who were not flying (previously used cars or buses) and eventually pulled customers out of the lower end of the airline industry.

- Charles Schwab stockbroking - it stole customers from the full-service brokers with discounted trading fees and created a new market by enabling people who historically did not own shares to become share investors and traders.

- Cooking, ie molecular cuisine or molecular gastronomy, ie unlocking the secrets of our most basic foodstuffs. Impact on the way chefs cook by deconstructing cooking into chemical & physical principles, ie mousses into gels & foam; determining the precise temperatures that de-natures meat proteins; understanding the complexity of the perception of taste itself

"...10 years ago, it was discovered that some of the longer unsaturated fatty acids are perceived separately by the human body, to the extent that they modify its behaviour. For example, a drop of lipids on the palate triggers an increase in the quantity of digesting juices in the intestines..."

Herve This as quoted in Wendell Steavenson, 2014

- mobile money in sub-Saharan Africa is a threat to model of traditional banking system, ie bank accounts, credit cards, etc. How did a continent struggling to guarantee clean water and reliable electricity beat Silicon Valley to this ground-breaking mobile solution? The stereotype of the poor and passive continent is very different from the actual situation where cleverness makes ends meet and keeps the informal economy working, eg tyre treads become sturdy sandals, bottle caps are used as cheap checkers, etc. Remember: necessity is the mother of invention and institutional failures accelerated the process of experimentation and problem-solving (Dayo Olopade, 2014)

· Since mobile phones entered Kenya's mass-market in the late 1990s, customers began swapping prepaid calling minutes to buy goods and barter for favours. This practice was broadened and formalised when Safaricom (major Kenyan telecommunications firm) launched "M-Pesa" (Swahili for money). This is where money is stored on mobile phones and then for a small fee transferred to another phone number on the network to pay bills, send money to relatives, etc.

· Imagination differential = the more advanced economies had not dreamt of using airtime as a currency or Telecom as a bank

· In other African countries organisations have established mobile-payment systems like Paga, EcoCash, Splash Mobile Money, Tigo Cash, Airtel Money, Organge Money, etc. Recently Rwanda Revenue Authority has allowed citizens to declare and pay taxes via their mobile phones and new ventures are using mobile money as a platform to facilitate other services such as insurance, analytics, consumer credit, e-commerce, etc. Increasingly mobile payments are being used as a platform for more complex products, such as EcoCash to move interest earned on savings accounts (Safaricom is partnering with the commercial bank of Africa in similar service; in East Africa, farmers pay agricultural insurance premiums and receive reimbursements using mobile-money platforms; Orange Mali has joined with MFS Africa to launch an insurance program for pregnant women; an electronic financial footprint provides data that helps merchants understand the purchasing habits of Africa's rising consumer class (this could lead to a rudimentary credit-reporting system).

· This significant growth of mobile financial services has resulted in a reaction from the traditional banking industry, especially with respect to credit cards. For example

- Visa is launching a mobile point-of-sale device, ie a handheld swipe machine which reads credit cards

- MasterCard is working with Kenya's Equity Bank to issue millions of plastic payment cards and will partner with the Nigerian government in an attempt to issue a national ID that would double as a prepaid debit card.

- in July 2014, the ANZ bank in the Solomon Islands announced the next rollout of mobile banking and financial literacy programs (called ANZ goMoney over a 3-year period), with particular focus on women in rural communities, to a further 65,000 Solomon Islanders previously excluded from traditional banking. It is estimated that around 70% of people in the Solomon Islands don't have access to traditional banking services. Since its launch in September 2013, ANZ goMoney has attracted 17,000 new customers, including 10,000 who had a bank account. The ultimate aim is to get the 1 million unbanked Pacific Islanders into the financial system

· Mobile banking is seen as a threat to the traditional banking and financing mechanisms in USA. In 2011, the poorest 30% of Americans were unable to access available credit and financial services. For these people, cheque/cash outlets and short-term lending schemes are very expensive alternatives.

· There is a fear, especially by regulators, that mobile payments are used for money laundering and since telecoms are not traditional banks, they fall into a regulatory grey area. On the other hand, the use of ID cards, PINs and caps on transfers can help this mitigate this risk.

Each of these disrupters created a new value chain and usually worked with new customers rather than the incumbents.

In fact the fundamental driver of Japan's economic miracle of the 1960s to the 1990s was disruptive organisations like Sony, Toyota, Nippon Steel, Canon, Honda, etc, who successfully competed against America's most successful organisations like General Motors, etc. Now they are producing some of the world's highest quality products for their respective markets ie they have moved to the high end of the market where there is limited growth. This partly explains the stagnating economy in Japan.

It has been found that the best way for separate organisations to remain leaders in industries when confronted by disruptive technologies is to establish a completely independent business unit that has no restrictions on building a completely new business and business model to handle the challenge. Examples include

- IBM when minicomputers disrupted mainframes and again when personal computers emerged

- Hewlett-Packard retained its leadership in the printers of personal computers when it created a separate division to handle inkjet printers that was completely independent of its traditional printer division

- Schwab became the leading online broker

- Teradyne, the makeup of semiconductor test equipment, became the leader in PC-based testers

Many successful organisations have been disruptive at least once. These include IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Johnson & Johnson, Cisco, Southwest Airlines, etc. Some like Sony have done it many times. In the case of Southwest Airlines, as a market disrupter it attracted new customers who would not normally fly. Furthermore, the airline targeted non-major airports, thus staying away from head-on competition against the major airlines. On the other hand, other "low-fare" airlines, which fly to the major airports, have since created the chronic unprofitability situation in the industry.

Comparison of Innovations (Sustaining/Breakthrough or Disruptive)*i

Sustaining Innovation

Disruptive Innovation*ii

Definition - incremental or breakthrough in products/services

- in the same core business and/or industry

- using the same business model

- selling to the same customers through the same distribution channel

- general large, well-established organisations

(NB A trend towards commoditisation & profit focus)

Definition - change of business model to circumstance-based approach that is focussed on customers' desired outcomes or jobs-to-be-done via

- new products/services &/or

- new &/or cheaper process(es) to make products/services &/or

- developing & satisfying new customers &/or markets whose alternative is no product/ service&/or customer is new to the market-place (non-customers)*iii

- generally small, new organisations

(NB An initial trend towards growth & capturing market share)

Main Characteristics

Main Characteristics


- anything different is seen as a threat, not an opportunity (threat rigidity)

- keep current business activities robust

- support status quo (supply chain, markets, resource allocation, core competencies, etc)


- anything different is seen as an opportunity, not a threat (asymmetry of perceptions)

- seek successful new growth business activities, ie disruptive foothold

- challenge status quo (supply chain, markets, resource allocation, core competencies, etc)

Mostly incumbent leaders emerge victorious by refining the processes, products/services, etc (these become disabilities in handling disruptive innovations)

Mostly new players emerge victorious as they focus on resources (mainly people, money, technology, etc) and then create new processes, etc to fit the new circumstances

Competitors will fight rather than flee

Competitors are more likely to flee than fight

Favour introduction of new technology into existing, large & known markets

Aware that the growth markets for tomorrow are very small today

Consider correlation between attributes & results, but not causality

Understand causality (what causes what, and why) plus understanding boundaries where circumstances have changed. Go beyond correlative assertions, such as "big organisations are slow to innovate"

Deliberate planning with focus on consensus decision-making based on numbers & rules, such as attribute-based categories or customer-based demographics or organisational boundaries *iv

Discovery-driven planning with decisions based on pattern recognition (not numbers & rules) & circumstance-based analysis (situation & context); eg identify performance-defining components or sub-systems that are important to customer & attract profit *iv

Focus tends to be more on cost savings than revenue generating

Focus tends to be more on revenue generating than cost savings

Non-integration of input activities preferred by using outsourcing/partnerships/alliance of non-core competencies, etc to save costs; modularity dominates

Integration of input activities preferred, thus dominating the market by controlling with proprietary & interdependence elements; minimum outsourcing/ partnerships/alliance, etc as non-core now maybe core in future

Predictable - more or less able to predictable outcomes. Maintain some flexibility

Unpredictable - hard to predict in advance what will happen. Thus need to maintain maximum flexibility with a 'trail & error' approach

Improving current process/products/services that appeal to current customers

Making new processes/products/services that appeal to new customers usually at the low-end of the market. Once established, then the low-cost model is extended upwards to more profitable customers using job-to-be-done based segmentation

Customerisation & market segmentation, pays attention only to attributes of product/services, people, etc not those of the job-to-be-done

Moves beyond customerisation by understanding the underlying outcomes-driven logic of customer purchasing decisions, ie mirrors the jobs that customers are trying to get done. Uses psychological research to determine whether products/services are optimal for what customers want to achieve: includes considerations of greater effectiveness, timeliness, reliability, convenience, cost-effectiveness, efficiency, etc

Advertising targets existing customers & not circumstances, with branding based on attribute-based categories of products/services, people, etc

Advertising (including branding) based on circumstance & job-to-be-done.

Targets the demanding, high-end current customers with improved performance

Initially targets products/services that are not currently available to new, less-demanding customer group. These products/services have the potential to move upmarket later on

Doesn't necessarily need to use an independent business unit but best to do so

Essential to set up an independent or autonomous business unit (may be an ambidextrous organisation, ie separate business units in one organisation)*v.

Need to move to where the money is on the current value-adding chain; thus move away from least profitable products in an attempt to keep good margins; try to differentiate from competitors whose cost are comparable. Generally build on core competencies

Need to move to where the money is on the new value-adding chain; eg where customers have yet-to-be satisfied requirements of current products/services and/or markets which are not attractive to competitors. Develop competencies for these new opportunities

Focus on building existing core competencies and integrate these into current organisation

Focus on building new core competencies & most likely do not integrate these into current organisation

"One-size-fits all" approach - products& services are commoditised & undifferentiated from competitors' plus compete on price. Keep attaching features, functions, etc to compete against rivals

Importance of circumstances, ie "job-to-be-done" (looking for new customers and/or where customers are dissatisfied; understanding what is required to be competitive, eg integration, partnering, outsourcing, etc)

Motivated to go up-market to higher margins, especially in response to disruptive innovation

Tend to target new or "low-end" markets which has minimal initial impact on the mainstream market; later on it will have a major impact on mainstream market

Linked with resource allocation is

- "fear of focus", ie prefer generalist approach rather than a focus on a specific job or desired outcome

- demand for crisp quantifications on the size of the opportunity via products, customers & organisational units; can result in incorrect choice of data for analysis

- use of unsuitable processes

- supply chain is product or attribute-focused

Absolute focus by all players in the supply chain on the job the customer wants done by understanding customers and their circumstances. Sometimes players in the supply chain need to be changed to handle the new situation

Select management and staff based on performance under current processes, etc

Find management & staff who are experienced in new fields & graduates of the "university of hard knocks", ie learn from mistakes, look at things from new perspectives, willing to learn new skills, etc; able to handle the unpredictable

Impatient for growth but patient for profit

Impatient for profit but patient for growth

Duplicating or copying best practice is OK

Do not duplicate or copy best practice without understanding local circumstances

Focus on ROA & ROI, ie use of current assets, etc (ROA-maximising death spiral trap)

(NB Current financial results are the results of past investment decisions and are not necessarily a good indicator for the future)

"Fail fast" - start early, start small & demand immediate feedback on viability, eg profits

Decisions can be restricted by acceptable

- gross margins &/or

- threshold size of new opportunity

Decisions not can be restricted by acceptable

- gross margins &/or

- threshold size of new opportunity

Use established management process; with middle management playing a pivotal role in filtering ideas upwards for decision-making.Thus personal bias based on past success and quick management turn-over favour projects that deliver short-term results

Critical conditions (3) for promoting a disruptive growth process

i) senior executive(s) on-side & actively involved

ii) a culture that encourages disruptive innovations, such as a group of "movers & shapers")

iii) a system of training & retraining

Senior executives able to delegate decision-making, such as allocation of resources, etc as suitable processes are in place, etc

Senior executive's role (3)

i) allocation of resources between current & new activities

ii) encourage disruptive growth activities

iii) identify & respond to the signals of continually changing circumstances.

Drive decision-making to lowest level possible as adequate processes in place to handle this

Decision-making stays with top executive as no established processes to handle


i) The process is evolving, ie a disruptive innovation successfully competes against a sustaining innovation, especially at the low-end of the market (de-commoditisation); then the disruptive innovation becomes sustaining as it moves up-market (commoditisation); thus making it susceptible to a new disruptive innovation (de-commoditisation)

ii) Disruptive is a relative term as what may be disruptive in one business/industry may be sustaining in another. For example, Dell used the Internet as a sustaining technology as it was another technique to sell directly to the customer; in contrast, Compaq's business model involved in-store retail distribution, thus the Internet was a disruptive innovation.

iii) The disruptiveness of an innovation is best described relative to various business models, to customers and other technologies; disruptiveness cannot be expressed in relation to organisations., ie

"...The reason an organisation cannot disrupt itself is that successful organisations can only naturally prioritize innovations that promise to improve profit margins related to the current cost structure..."

Clayton Christensen et al, 2003

iv) A discovery-driven the method for managing the emergent strategy process

Sustaining innovations: deliberate planning *a

Disruptive innovations: discovery-driven planning

(note: decisions to initiate these projects can be based on numbers and rules)

(note: decisions to initiate these projects should be based on pattern recognition)

1. Make assumptions about the future (usually based on past performance, eg financials) and revisit assumptions, if required

1. Make the targeted financial projections, ie income statement and return on investment

2. Find a strategy based on those assumptions, and build financial projections based on that strategy and assumptions

2. What assumptions must prove true in order for these projections to materialize? Rank assumptions *b

3. Make decisions to invest based on those financial projections

3. Implement a plan to learn - to test whether the critical assumptions are reasonable

4. Implement the strategy in order to achieve the projected financial results

4. Invest to implement the strategy


a) For disruptive innovations, this process is of limited use as assumptions used are based on past experience

b) Assumptions relate to

o possibility of low-end or new market disruptions

o target customers will utilize new product/service for the outcome they are trying to achieve

o new venture will lead the organisation to the point in the value chain where the money will be in the future, etc

v) Autonomy refers to processes and values - not necessarily physical separation or change in ownership. It means freedom to develop new processes and values.

Some Questions to Help Apply the Framework

What are the growth imperative?

Is it possible to grow and keep going faster and faster?

Can the innovations satisfy demand from the growth?

How can you beat your most powerful competitor?

How can we beat the competition?

Why has disruptive innovation proved to be such a consistently effective strategy for causing strong incumbent competitors to flee from the attackers, rather than fight?

How can we shape our business ideas into one of these disruptive strategies?

How can we pick winners in the race for innovative growth?

How can we win?

What if we know in advance which gross strategies will succeed and which will not?

What products/services will customers want to buying?

What improvements of the previous products/services will our customers enthusiastically reward with premium prices, and which will they greet with indifference?

What product should we develop as we execute our disruptive strategy?

Which market segments could we focus upon?

How can we know for sure, in advance, what product/service features and functions that customers in the segments will and will not value?

How should we communicate the benefits of our products/services to our customers, and with what brand-building strategy can we best create enduring value?

Who are the best customers for our products/services?

Which customers should we target?

Which customer base will be the most valuable foundation for future growth?

Is that growth potential greatest if we pursue the largest market?

How can we predict which competitor will target which sets of customers?

What sales and distribution channels will most capably embrace our product/service and devote the resources required to grow the market as quickly as possible?

How do we get the scope of business right?

Which activities are required to internally design, produce, sell, and distribute a new growth venture in order to be successful as possible as quickly as possible, and which should we outsource to a supplier or a partner?

Will success be best built around a proprietary product architecture, or should the venture embrace modular, open industry standards?

What causes the evolution from closed, proprietary product architectures to an open one?

Might our organisation need to adopt proprietary solutions again, once open standards have emerged?

How can we avoid commoditisation?

How can we be sure that we maintain strong competitive advantages that will yield attractive profits?

What causes commoditisation and how can we tell when it is going to occur?

Is commoditisation the inevitable end-state of all organisations in competitive markets?

Can organisations take action at any point in the development that can arrest commoditisation onset?

Once the tide of commoditisation has swept through an industry, can the flow reverse back toward proprietary, differentiated, products/services?

How can we respond to this?

Is our organisation capable of disruptive growth?

Who should we choose to run new-growth businesses?

Which organisational units in the organisation will do the best job of building a successful growth business around this particular idea, and which units will not be successful?

What is the best way to structure the team that develops and launches this product/service?

When is creating an autonomous organisation important for success, and when is it folly?

How can we predict precisely what an organisation's unit is capable and incapable of accomplishing?

How do we create new capabilities?

How do we managing the strategy development process?

How do we get the details of the right strategy that is crucial for success

How do we come up with a strategy that works?

What process for formulating strategy is most likely to generate a strategy that will lead to success?

Is it better to be the pioneer in an emerging market, or to follow-up once the market's topography is clearer?

When should we let innovations bubble up from within the organisation?

When and why should we drive things from the top?

Which aspects of strategy formulation do senior executives need to manage closely?

When is flexibility important, and when will flexibility cause us to fail?

When is money good and bad?

Whose investment capital will help us succeed, and whose capital might be the kiss of death?

What sources of money will help us most at different stages of development?

How might the expectations of the supplier of our capital constrain the decisions we want to be able to make?

Is there something about venture capital that does a better job than alternative capital sources of nurturing disruptive business and corporate capital?

What can corporate executives do to ensure that the expectations that accompany their funding will cause managers to correctly make the decisions that will lead to success?

What is the role of senior executives in leading new growth

How should senior management help to sustain business growth, ie how should senior executives allocate their time and energy across all of the businesses and initiatives that demand their attention?

How should their oversight of sustaining innovations differ from their mode of management in disruptive situations?

Is the creation of new growth businesses inherently an idiosyncratic, ad hoc undertaking, or might it be possible to create a repeatable process that successfully generates wave after wave of disruptive growth?

(source: Clayton Christensen et al, 2003)


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