A ‘future-back’ approach to mergers & acquisitions: While M&A as a lever to drive growth, innovation, and transformation is more vital than ever, most companies struggle to use M&A effectively. Leaders often attribute this struggle to the difficulties of executing or integrating M&A, but we believe that the root cause is more fundamental: a failure to
When Innovators Fail: Frustration, Wishful Thinking, and the Building of an Innovation Engine: If an athletic department at a large university made a decision to develop a world class rowing program, but the university administrators banned all water sports as too risky, we could hardly expect much in terms of rowing greatness. However, all too often
Investors are increasingly seeking firms with long-term growth strategies, rather than ones focused on managing short-term earnings to boost the stock price. This, in turn, is triggering a shift in the perceived role of the CFO — from bean counters to planters of seed corn. No one has done more to spotlight the contrast than
I was recently in a meeting with an innovation manager at a large company who told me about all the projects he was overseeing. When I asked who was actually working on these efforts, he mentioned there were some part-time internal people and some external contractors. I told him politely that it was highly unlikely
Today’s corporate watchword word is transformation, and for good reason. One study suggests that 75% of the S&P 500 will turn over in the next 15 years. Another says that one in three companies will delist in the next five years. A third shows that the “topple rate” of industry leaders falling from their perch
The workshop at a large global consumer products company ended in an unfortunate place. After an engaged discussion and the review of the first three years of a product launch, the group concluded that an entire product line should be shut down. What mattered, though, wasn’t the outcome so much as its meaning. Someone mentioned…
In many organization, innovation has gone from fringe to buzzword to a must-have. There are a variety of legitimate reasons for companies to bolster their innovation capabilities, ranging from fighting against current and emerging competitors to raising morale and attracting younger employees.
Through the past 15 years my colleagues and I have wrestled with disruption in many contexts. That’s no surprise, since Clayton Christensen co-founded our company in 2000, five years after his Harvard Business Review article with Joseph L. Bower “Disruptive Technologies: Catching the Wave” introduced the idea of disruption to the mainstream market.
Leaders ascend to their positions by mastering today’s (or even yesterday’s) business. Almost by definition, they don’t have first-hand experience with a disruptive shift in their market when they encounter it. A lack of intuition around the new and different can at best slow progress and at worst lead to serious strategic missteps.
Last week I had the pleasure of attending Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies’ Summer University, “The Future Consumer and Marketplace.” CIFS is an international, apolitical, and not-for-profit organization that is one of Scandinavia’s largest Future Studies think tanks. Founded in 1970 by Thorkil Kristensen, a former OECD Secretary-General and Danish Finance Minister…