Innovation Disrupted: 6 Ideas To Inspire Business Transformation14 August, 2014 / Articles
The term “innovation” may just be the biggest buzzword of the last two decades. Strategy gurus have identified 15 different variants of innovation ranging from “red ocean” innovation to “blue ocean” innovation; from incremental innovation to frugal innovation; from disruptive innovation to sustainable innovation; etc. Innovation buzzword bingo, while sometimes parodied, is real and here to stay.
The “business” of innovation itself may be one of the best innovations in itself. And it is big business. Armies of expensive consultants, often from some of the world’s best business schools, dole out innovation advice to salivating corporations and their leaders every day. Productized perfectly and marketed impeccably, these beads of wisdom permeate to all segments: large incumbents, startups, individual entrepreneurs, and other consultants.
Like bees to honey, the industry is hooked and the dopamine-induced innovation cravings continue. Companies are betting on innovation across their entire business models — from servicing customers, improving their supply chains, or delivering breakthrough products and services. They are spending more money on Research & Development, and on acquiring patents, to corner the next big thing.
The media has played a role too, expounding the role innovation has to play in growth, and further fueling the flames. Explanations of innovation, conferences, books, and articles on the virtues and failures of innovation abound. The latest skirmish receiving global attention came from Jill Lepore in her essay titled The Disruption Machine, where she shook the very foundation of Disruptive Innovation — the big daddy of modern innovation strategy. She questioned everything – from the validity of the research, the case studies, and resulting theory and principles. The patriarch of the theory, Clayton Christensen, immediately responded with a swift and curt rebuttal.