Posts Tagged ‘Christensen’

“Disruptive innovation” … an incomplete idea ?

May 8, 2012

In AMS, we’ve being reading about Clayton Christensen’s theories on disruptive innovation.

For background, see last weeks post disruptive innovation.

This week, Business Week has a feature article on Christensen — focusing on his life values — but also summarizing his research work, including some criticism.

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Criticism of Disruptive Innovation

If there has been one knock against Christensen’s theories, it’s that they are better as analysis than as a course of action.

It’s something Christensen and an impressive network of co-authors and collaborators have worked hard to dispel. 

“The theory is more descriptive than prescriptive,” says Larry Keeley, the co-founder of Doblin, a strategic consulting firm in Chicago, who considers Christensen a peer and a friend.

“There are very few robust intellectuals working on innovation, and I don’t mean to take anything away from Clay’s accomplishment when I say this, but …

[the disruption theory] strikes me as an incomplete idea.”

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Christensen on life values:

To understand a company’s strategy, look at what they actually do rather than what they say they do

The same logic applies to one’s life. For example, ambitious people will reliably tell you that family, or being a mother or father, is the most important thing in their lives.

Yet when pressed to choose between racing home to deal with a chaotic pre-bedtime scene and staying another hour at the office to solve a problem, they will usually keep working.

It’s these small, everyday decisions that reveal if you’re following a path to being the best possible spouse and parent.

“If your family matters most to you, when you think about all the choices you’ve made with your time in a week, does your family come out on top?”

Full article

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US Healthcare: Ripe for Disruption

December 9, 2011

Punch line: Clayton Christensen – the guru of disruptive innovation – says that the US healthcare system needs some seriously disruption … to improve quality and cut costs.

Here’s a summary of his prescription.

Excerpted from MIT Sloan Review: Good Days for Disruptors – An Interview with Clayton Christensen Spring 2009

Every disruption has three components to it: a technological enabler, a business model innovation and a new commercial ecosystem.

In health care, the enabling technology is the ability to diagnose diseases precisely.

Now, through molecular diagnostics, enabled by our understanding of the genome, and through imaging technology that allows people to look inside the body with remarkable clarity, we are acquiring the ability to precisely diagnose more diseases by their cause, not by their symptoms.

That ability then enables us to develop rules-based treatment and a predictably effective therapy.

Our hospitals are, like mainframe computer companies, hopelessly complicated and very expensive.

To ever expect today’s hospitals to become cheap is a pipe dream.

Instead, we need to bring technology, in the form of precise diagnostics and predictably effective therapy, to outpatient clinics so you can do more and more and more of the things there that in the past required a hospital.

And then we need to bring better diagnostic technology to doctors’ offices, so you can do more and more things there that previously required a clinic.

And to nurse practitioners, so they can take on more and more of the things that in the past required a doctor.

Yes, I’m a big fan of MinuteClinics — walk-in clinics that inexpensively treat common disorders such as strep throat and bladder infections.

The hospital is really not a viable business model because, in general, its costs are driven by overhead, which is driven by complexity.

In a large general hospital, much of the cost is overhead cost that’s not expended in the direct care of a patient.

While cost is driven by complexity, quality is driven by integration. It’s when we don’t integrate things correctly that problems fall through the cracks.

Specialized health care institutions, whether they are focused hospitals or focused diagnostics clinics, can integrate correctly, and because of their focus, they have much lower overhead costs.

You get better quality and lower cost.

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The unpredictability of innovation …

October 6, 2011

According to innovation guru Clayton Christensen:

Statistically, 93% of all innovations that have ultimately become successful started off in the wrong direction

The probability that you’ll get it right the first time out of the gate is very low.

Excerpted from MIT Sloan Review: Good Days for Disruptors – An Interview with Clayton Christensen Spring 2009

Bottom line: stay flexible, don’t get wedded to a concept …. constantly look for repurposing of the product or its technology.

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