Antibodies attacking neuron

Why Disruption is so hard, and how to get it right!

A discussion about innovation and the organizational immune system

  • This will never work here because…
  • You want to introduce this new XXX, but that competes with our VERY successful YYY; that’s just dumb.
  • You are changing my success metrics unilaterally.
  • We are good at YYY; why do XXX?
  • Over my dead body, will you do this in my unit/department/division (incidentally, that can be arranged.)

Disruptive Innovation.

Note that what some see as being disruptive are seen by others as being empowering. Their new position empowers the owners of the disruptive business. There is no difference between empowering and disrupting innovation except for the angle from which it is viewed.

Sustaining and Potential Innovation

Next up is Sustaining Innovation; in this context, we can include potential innovation here for now. Sustaining Innovation is when we first take the basic products and services we built as a start-up and make them better. We add more features to appeal to a more significant and more formal market segment and eventually start to replace old products with ‘new’ products or services.

Efficiency Innovation

What typically happens as organizations grow, mature, and, dare I say, get fat and lazy is that it becomes more difficult to remain as profitable as when we first started.

The challenge

But ‘what if’ innovation really challenges the status quo, both in the market and in the organization?

Johann Botha, a digital change provocateur & getITright® CEO. Transform & build organizational agility, & digital-age capabilities. Consultant, speaker & author