Every company in every industry works under certain forces—laws of organizational nature—that act powerfully to define what that company can and cannot do. Managers faced with disruptive technologies fail their companies when these forces overpower them. Lets take a look at history of manned flight innovation. The ancients who attempted to fly by strapping feathered wings to their arms and flapping with all their might as they leapt from high places invariably failed. Despite their dreams and hard work, they were fighting against some very powerful forces of nature. No one could be strong enough to win this fight. Flight became possible only after people came to understand the relevant natural laws and principles that defined how the world worked: the law of gravity, Bernoulli’s principle, and the concepts of lift, drag, and resistance. When people then designed flying systems that recognized or harnessed the power of these laws and principles, rather
than fighting them, they were finally able to fly to heights and distances that were previously unimaginable.
As in the analogy with manned flight, these laws are so strong that managers who ignore or fight them are nearly powerless to pilot their companies through a disruptive technology storm. However, that if managers can understand and harness these forces, rather than fight them, they can in fact succeed spectacularly when confronted with disruptive technological change. I am very confident that the great managers are very much capable on their own of finding the answers that best fit their circumstances. But they must first understand what has caused those circumstances and what forces will affect the feasibility of their solutions.
Here are some of excerpts from the book Innovator’s Dillema
Managers may think they control the flow of resources in their firms, in the end it is really customers and investors who dictate how money will be spent because companies with investment patterns that don’t satisfy their customers and investors don’t survive.
The highest-performing companies, in fact, are those that are the best at this, that is, they have well-developed systems for killing ideas that their customers don’t want. As a result, these companies find it very difficult to invest adequate resources in disruptive technologies—lower-margin opportunities that their customers don’t want—until their customers want them. And
by then it is too late.
As I read the book, I will be publishing some more excerpts from the book. Please keep watching this space.