Posts Tagged ‘Strategy’

“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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HOT: The 4 Stages Strategic Thinking

December 16, 2011

I’ve gotten a couple of requests from alums to post some of the material that I’m now pitching to current classes.

So today, I’m posting the first HOT – Homa Online Tutorial – something right out of the classroom to you via the HomaFiles.

Some stuff will be classic, some will be edgy; some will be original, some will be “borrowed” from other sources (with proper attribution of course).

Here’s the first HOT topic …

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Great Strategy

In my Advanced Marketing Strategy introduction, I tell students that the course goal is to get them to “internalize a mindset geared to creating great marketing strategies.”

That raises a logical question: what’s a “great” strategy … as opposed to a “good” strategy.

I try to put “great” in the context of the 4 stages strategic thinking.

click for the online tutorial “The 4 Stages of Strategic Thinking” (4:30 min)


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Synopsis: The 4 Stages of Strategic Thinking

Companies can be at one of 4 levels of strategic thinking.

Level 1 is “reactionary” … responding to market and forces as they happen … hoping to make it through this day and see the sun come up tomorrow … and rejoicing when it does (think, my dog Captain)

Level 2 is “remedial” … proactively stop doing dumb stuff … and try doing mostly the same things, just a bit better … often by benchmarking companies with best practices and trying to emulate them. Consultants make mucho $$$ on these folks … taking the #3 company in an industry and telling them to be like #1 … in hopes of overtaking #2.

Level 3 is “resourceful” … think typical MBA training … analyze SWOTs, assess competitive advantages, find “white spaces” or “blue oceans” … basically fit the existing world and play by the rules.

Level 4 is “revolutionary” … try to change the way the game is played … alter the rules of the business to your company’s unique advantage … think, FedEx, early Netflix or Apple iPad … don’t just report the weather, create it.

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