What is the next big thing? How can you disrupt your competition, how will they try to disrupt you? IBP has examined the work of three seminal thought leaders in disruptive innovation: Everett Rodgers, Richard Foster and Clayton Christensen. Each has taken a different perspective on disruption. Rodgers focuses on the unanticipated consequences of innovations that disrupt the social equilibrium. Foster has focused on technology S-curves and points to discontinuities between S-curves that lead to disruption. Christensen has taken a business perspective with his demand/performance and competing against non-consumption models. What is the common denominator? The common denominator is disruption occurs when an innovation violates the beliefs and competencies of the competition.
Disruption is a cultural phenomenon. A competitor’s culture is what makes them strong, but it is also their Achilles’ heel. A strong culture takes years to develop and is a decided advantage for the first mover in an industry. However, when a new entrant attacks with an innovation that challenges those beliefs and competencies it is hard for the incumbent to react. In fact, the incumbent's mental models result in a cognitive dissonance preventing the incumbent from seeing what is right in front of them giving a window of opportunity to the attacker.
IBP uses this generalized theory of disruptive innovation in a workshop to help organization’s identify how they might disrupt the competition and/or be disrupted themselves.