Leaders of industry incumbents know they face the danger of disruption, as they’ve seen companies such as Amazon, Google and Netflix transform retail, advertising and media.

Yet most innovation budgets are overwhelmingly allocated for adding features that improve existing products—which yields sustaining innovations that merely replace current revenue. By contrast, a disruptive innovation trades off performance along one dimension for performance along another, such as simplicity, convenience, customization, or price. This produces new growth because it can greatly expand the current conception of the market.

Our co-founder, Clayton Christensen, pioneered this powerful approach to innovation, through disruption theory. Building on that foundation, we work with companies around the world to develop and bring to market simple, convenient, low-cost disruptive strategies that change the game—and even change lives. Think, for example, of the trade-offs retail medical clinics represent versus traditional doctors’ offices.

The key is to know which tradeoffs the consumer is willing to make. That’s why we look beyond traditional definitions of an industry to understand the true “jobs” that customers are trying to get done – defining a market from the potential customer’s viewpoint, not the company’s.

A disruptive innovation allows a whole new population of consumers access to a product or service that was historically only accessible to consumers with a lot of money or skill. Once a truly disruptive product or service takes root in simple applications at the bottom of a market it can move relentlessly up market, eventually displacing established competitors.

Because companies tend to innovate faster than their customers’ lives change, most organizations eventually end up producing products or services that are too good, too expensive, and too inconvenient for many customers. By pursuing only “sustaining innovations” that perpetuate what has historically helped them succeed, companies unwittingly open the door to disruptive innovations – openings that Innosight can help you find and go through successfully.

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As the pioneers in making disruptive innovation a manageable, repeatable process, we help companies around the world:

  • Generate disruptive, new ideas that link unmet customer needs with innovative business models, products and services that drive new growth.
  • Bring disruptive innovations to market quickly, giving companies first-mover advantage while using our Emergent Strategies approach to refine innovations rapidly and cost-effectively based on real-world market acceptance and feedback.
  • Balance innovation portfolios, helping companies evaluate their business innovation pipeline to identify and develop ideas with strong disruptive potential.

Learn more about leveraging disruptive innovation in healthcare with our new healthcare series with the Christensen Institute.