Cover image for The innovator's solution : creating and sustaining successful growth
The innovator's solution : creating and sustaining successful growth
Christensen, Clayton M.
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Publication Information:
Boston, Mass. : Harvard Business School Press, [2003]

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x, 304 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
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HD53 .C495 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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A seminal work by bestselling author Clayton M. Christensen.

In his international bestseller The Innovator's Dilemma , Clayton M. Christensen exposed this crushing paradox behind the failure of many industry leaders: by placing too much focus on pleasing their most profitable customers, these firms actually paved the way for their own demise by ignoring the disruptive technologies that aggressively evolved to displace them. In The Innovator's Solution , Christensen and coauthor Michael E. Raynor help all companies understand how to become disruptors themselves.

Clay Christensen (author of the award-winning Harvard Business Review article, "How Will You Measure Your Life?") and Raynor not only reveal that innovation is more predictable than most managers have come to believe, they also provide helpful advice on the business decisions crucial to truly disruptive growth. Citing in-depth research and theories tested in hundreds of companies across many industries, the authors identify the processes that create successful innovation--and they show managers how to tailor their strategies to the changing circumstances of a dynamic world.

The Innovator's Solution is an important addition to any innovation library.

Published by Harvard Business Review Press.

Author Notes

Clayton M. Christensen is the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and the author of seven books, including the bestselling The Innovator's Dilemma and The Innovator's Solution . He's also a five-time recipient of the annual McKinsey Award for Harvard Business Review's best article, including 2010's "How Will You Measure Your Life?" Christensen is the cofounder of four companies, including the innovation consulting firm Innosight. In 2011, he was named the world's most influential business thinker in the Thinkers50 ranking. Michael E. Raynor , D.B.A., is a director at Deloitte Research, the thought leadership arm of Deloitte & Touche and Deloitte Consulting.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Christensen (The Innovator's Dilemma) analyzes the strategies that allow corporations to successfully grow new businesses and outpace the other players in the marketplace. Christensen's earlier book examined how focusing on profits can destroy even well-run corporations, while this book focuses on companies expanding by being "disruptors" who are able to outpace their entrenched competition. The authors (Christensen is a professor at Harvard Business School and Raynor, a director at Deloitte Research) examine the nine business decisions integral to growth, including product development, organizational structure, financing and key customer base. They cite such companies as IBM, AT&T, Sony, Microsoft and others to illustrate their points. Generally, the writing is clear and specific. For example, in discussing whether a company has the resources necessary for growth, the authors say, "In order to be confident that managers have developed the skills required to succeed at a new assignment, one should examine the sorts of problems they have wrestled with in the past. It is not as important that managers have succeeded with the problem as it is for them to have wrestled with it and developed the skills and intuition for how to meet the challenge successfully the next time around"; they then provide a real-life example of a software company. Similar important strategies give readers insights that they can use in their own workplaces. People looking for quick fixes may find the charts, diagrams and extensive footnotes daunting, but readers familiar with more technical business management tomes will find this one both stimulating and beneficial. (Oct.) Forecast: Given the track record of Christensen's previous book along with extensive publicity and advertising, this one is likely to be a strong seller immediately. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

Many new products fail, not because their managers are lazy or risk averse, but because they confuse product markets with customer needs. Customers "hire" products to do certain jobs; these jobs can be met by products in multiple market segments. Christensen (Harvard Business School) and Raynor (director, Deloitte Services LP) report that successful new products categorize competitors differently, identifying weaknesses in meeting customers' needs. Similar to the classic Blue Ocean Strategy, by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne (2005), this book (a follow up to the authors' 2003 work of the same title) argues that firms seeking growth should "compete against non-consumption." This approach differs from that presented in Return on Strategy by Michael Moesgaard Andersen, Morten Froholdt, and Flemming Poulfelt (CH, Aug'10, 47-6953) by stressing innovations over market segments. The book builds on Christensen's prior work on disruptive technology, The Innovator's Dilemma (2000). Although some vignettes are dated, many still seem fresh, such as segmenting milkshakes by customer problems (i.e., milkshakes compete with breakfast foods and win because they lessen the boredom of long morning commutes). A great read for those unfamiliar with the 2003 book, but less so for those who have the earlier work. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduate and graduate students, researchers, professionals. J. J. Janney University of Dayton

Table of Contents

In Gratitudep. vii
1. The Growth Imperativep. 1
2. How Can We Beat Our Most Powerful Competitors?p. 31
3. What Products Will Customers Want to Buy?p. 73
4. Who Are the Best Customers for Our Products?p. 101
5. Getting the Scope of the Business Rightp. 125
6. How to Avoid Commoditizationp. 149
7. Is Your Organization Capable of Disruptive Growth?p. 177
8. Managing the Strategy Development Processp. 213
9. There Is Good Money and There Is Bad Moneyp. 235
10. The Role of Senior Executives in Leading New Growthp. 267
Epilogue: Passing the Batonp. 285
Indexp. 293
About the Authorsp. 303