Monday, July 30, 2012

MBR: Innovators Dilemma by Clay Christensen

I decided I was going to read a book a week for a year, here's a quick review of this week's book.  You can see the ongoing list here.

Basic Info

The Innovator's Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business by Clay Christensen

Why I read it

This book is often referred to as the "go to" book on disruptive innovation, it's been on my radar for a bit, it was time to get it done.

How it connects to the Public Sector

While the Innovators Dilemma draws its research from private sector examples the lessons it points to - especially those about the blind spots created by good management and serving current customer needs - are equally applicable in the public sector.

What I got out of reading it

Anyone looking to lead a big change in their organization may want to consider it as creating a new line of business and spinning out an entirely new organization to do so. The book highlights the fact that new and emerging markets (needs) are almost impossible to serve if those trying to deliver are beholden to processes that evolved to meet other needs. It argues that there is a difference between sustaining innovation (innovation that helps you better serve your current market) and disruptive innovation (innovation that allows you to serve a new or emerging market). While I haven't given it a lot of thought yet, the book has made me wonder if movement towards open government and open data will be best achieved by pursuing sustaining or disruptive innovation strategies.

Either way, I got a lot out of The Innovator's Dilemma you will too.

Originally published by Nick Charney at
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