The Innovator’s Battle Plan

[via Anish Sankhalia] HBS Working Knowledge has an excerpt from a new book co-authored by Clay Christensen:

When companies have the same capabilities and motivation, they care about the battle and have the necessary skills to fight it. Skills in execution make the difference hereand because other scholars have addressed these challenges quite capably, we do not focus on them in this book.

The more interesting scenarios occur when there are asymmetriesimportant differences of motivation or skills. Asymmetries of motivation occur when one firm wants to do something that another firm specifically does not want to do. Asymmetries of skills occur when one firm’s strength is another firm’s weakness.

The section discusses three topics:

1. How asymmetries power the process of disruption

2. How to identify the company with the shield of asymmetric motivation and the sword of asymmetric skills on its side

3. How to identify circumstances in which a high-potential disruptive development will prove disappointing, ending in either a brutal fight or incumbent co-option

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