The Disruptive Voice explores the frameworks of Disruptive Innovation across a wide range of industries and circumstances. Guests include academics, researchers, and practitioners who have been taught and inspired by the late Clayton Christensen.
118. Leading Into The Age Of AI Through Fusion Strategy: A Panel Discussion
The promise of artificial intelligence is immense and companies that view AI as an enabler of corporate transformation can reap potentially enormous benefits in terms of both value creation and growth. In this panel discussion, Freddy Solis hosts his Innosight colleague and co-leader in the company’s global AI practice, Shari Parvarandeh, along with renowned thought leaders in management and information systems, and co-authors of the forthcoming book, Fusion Strategy, Vijay Govindarajan and Venkat Venkatraman, for a wide-reaching discussion on artificial intelligence and its implications for companies. Their conversation spans the genesis and current state of AI in business; its transformative impact across industries; blockers and enablers of adoption; different types of models and use cases; and when to build, buy, or partner, to cite but a few examples. Companies that stand to benefit from the vast opportunities that AI presents in virtually every industry will be those that act boldly and ahead of the curve. Listen to learn more!
Further information on Fusion Strategy can be found here: https://fusion.tuck.dartmouth.edu
Innosight’s e-book, Leading Into The Age Of AI, can be found here: https://www.innosight.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/Innosight_Leading-into-the-Age-of-AI.pdf
117. Creating Pathways To Opportunity at Western Governors University: A Conversation with Scott Pulsipher
Higher education has long been on an unsustainable trajectory, with rising costs - and subsequent debt passed on to students - hindering the ability of many to get ahead. In this episode of The Disruptive Voice, education author and researcher, Michael Horn, hosts fellow Harvard Business School alumnus Scott Pulsipher, President of Western Governors University (WGU). Among many topics, the two discuss how the accredited, non-profit university is disrupting traditional models of higher education through its online, competency-based model. A long-time friend of Clayton Christensen's, Scott shares how Clay’s frameworks have been instrumental to his thinking and also how Clay's work helped to inform WGU's unique model, even before Scott became President. With a strong focus on serving its students, the majority of whom haven’t been well served or served at all by traditional models of learning, along with an alumni base of over 340,000 graduates, Western Governors University is a prime example of Disruptive Innovation as a powerful force for democratizing access and opportunity.
116. Four Companies Creating a Market for Solar Energy in Nigeria: A Conversation with Efosa Ojomo and Sandy Sanchez
Last June, Efosa Ojomo and Sandy Sanchez were on the podcast to discuss the process of market creation - discovery, distribution, and democratization - and specifically, as it applied to the creation of a market for solar energy in Nigeria. In this new episode, they return to the recording studio to share with us specific examples of four companies that are getting it right. SunFi, co-founded by HBS alumnus Tomiwa Igun, highlights successful employment of an emergent rather than deliberate strategy; Steamaco illustrates benefits drawn from a clear understanding of customers' Jobs To Be Done; Husk Power Systems exemplifies the strength of pull (as opposed to push) strategies in emerging markets; and Auxano is a company now firmly in the midst of the important distribution phase of the market creation process. There are lessons to be learned from all four of these examples, businesses that to-date have been successful in addressing barriers to market creation in the energy sector in Nigeria. In this conversation, Efosa and Sandy reflect on these learnings. Of further note is that, for listeners wanting to learn more, the duo have also recently published a paper entitled, Accelerating The Adoption of Solar Energy in Nigeria: A Market-Creation Strategy. As Efosa says, “People don’t want solar. People want progress.” With this in mind, real advancements can be made towards reaching the last stage of the market creation process - democratization, and in this case democratizing access to electricity in Nigeria and beyond.
115. Build The Life You Want: A Conversation with Arthur Brooks and Karen Dillon
Arthur Brooks teaches a popular course at Harvard Business School called “Leadership and Happiness.” One important underpinning of the course is that science can help us to better understand what will actually make us happier – and Arthur has worked hard to incorporate these concepts into his own life. Recently, he teamed up with Oprah Winfrey to write "Build The Life You Want: The Art and Science of Getting Happier." In those pages, they consider a number of thought-provoking questions, including “How can we mobilize our lives toward greater happiness? How do we translate ideas about happiness into action? And how do we take control of our present and our future?” In this episode, Arthur joins host Karen Dillon – co-author with Clayton Christensen of “How Will You Measure Your Life?” – to dive into these questions. Throughout this wide-ranging conversation, he considers common misconceptions about happiness, the importance of emotional self-management, and how we can all change our habits to truly become happier. Relatedly, they discuss strategies that can be employed to become more metacognitive, the four pillars of happiness, and the neurochemical cascade of falling in love, to name but a few of the many conversation highlights. Arthur also reflects on the fact that so much of the knowledge that is shared in “Build The Life You Want” is practical and yet relatively unknown. Listen to learn more about both the art and science of becoming happier!
114. The Role of Senior Executives in Leading New Growth Initiatives: A Conversation with Robyn Bolton
The Business Model Framework draws an important distinction between a company's Priorities (that is, its Value Proposition and Profit Formula) and its Capabilities. Regarding the latter, which are more effective drivers of corporate innovation – Processes or Resources? The answer to this question, of course, depends on an organization's circumstances and strategic goals. Specifically, in circumstances where companies are pursuing growth via sustaining opportunities, a company's Processes are key. However, in circumstances where companies are pursuing potentially disruptive opportunities, their Resources - and particularly senior leadership - are crucial. In this episode, Robyn Bolton brings these concepts to life through the stories of two companies working to build disruptive growth engines, highlighting the actions of senior executives at each firm, one of which was ultimately successful while the other faltered and failed in these attempts. In conversation with host Katie Zandbergen, Robyn shares insights on several topics related to the role of senior leaders, including the necessity of standing astride the interfaces of mainstream and disruptive growth businesses; the ability to sense when circumstances are changing; the importance of adjusting metrics and incentives to create space for employees to spot disruptive opportunities; and the need (and challenge) to act when business is good rather than during difficult times. As Robyn points out, if you want different results, then you need to do things differently - and this often means tackling the difficult task of setting aside processes that drive sustaining innovation, at least in some parts of the business, and leaning more on a company's resources, including its senior leadership, to play a crucial role in the management of disruptive growth initiatives.
113. The Capitalist's Dilemma: A Conversation with Derek van Bever
"In our view, the crux of the problem is that investments in different types of innovation affect economies (and companies) in very different ways – but are evaluated using the same (flawed) metrics. Specifically, financial markets – and companies themselves – use assessment metrics that make innovations that eliminate jobs more attractive than those that create jobs.” This quote comes from the 2014 HBR article that Clayton Christensen and Derek van Bever co-authored, entitled The Capitalist’s Dilemma. As you’ll hear in this conversation, the article is as relevant today as it was when it was first published nearly a decade ago. In this episode – originally recorded as part of Aidan McCullen’s three month series on The Innovation Show dedicated to Clay’s life and work - Derek joins Aidan to discuss a number of topics related to the article's main theme, that being the assertion that “the tools we use to guide our investments are blind to the best opportunities for creating new jobs and new markets.” For instance, Derek considers how our behavior, in interacting with metrics, can often lead to unfortunate consequences; the pull of established markets; the different types of innovation (performance-improving, efficiency, and market-creating) and their respective impacts on growth; the scarcity of long-term investors; and the challenges faced by corporate innovators, to cite but a few examples. Also discussed are potential solutions to the capitalist's dilemma, along with the observation that if people understand the dilemma, they are then better equipped to respond to the challenges that it presents.
This podcast is a little gem. If you are a fan of Christensens' theories, there is lots to like, and if you are new to the ideas you can see them in action with real business operators. Demystifies Jobs To Be Done and Modularity with real world examples. Really well done and thoughtful.
Powerful theories and lessons for life!
Can’t recommend this podcast and these theories enough! They have been foundational to my personal and professional life. I was extremely fortunate to take BSSE with Professor Rory McDonald. The lessons he taught, that are shared in this podcast, continue to guide my career and relationships.
almost 19 years after having clay as a professor and I still use his frameworks every single day. Thank you, Prof Christensen and the BSSE team!