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?”