Lead and Disrupt

In the past few years, a number of well-known firms have failed. We can come up with Blockbuster, Kodak, or RadioShack. When we read about their demise, it often seems inevitable. This is because there was a natural part of “creative destruction.” However, closer examination reveals a disturbing truth. Companies large and small are shuttering more quickly than ever.

The authors try to answer the question, “What does it take to buck this trend?” They think the simple answer is: ambidexterity. Firms must remain competitive in their core markets, while also winning in new domains.

The authors explain how shrewd organizations have used an ambidextrous approach to solve their own innovator’s dilemma. They contrast these luminaries with companies which — often trapped by their own successes — have been unable to adapt and grow.

Drawing on a vast research program and over a decade of helping companies to innovate, the authors present a set of practices to guide firms as they adopt ambidexterity. Top-down and bottom-up leaders are key to this process — a fact too often overlooked in the heated debate about innovation. But not in this case. How to improve their existing businesses through efficiency, control, and incremental change, while also seizing new markets where flexibility, autonomy, and experimentation rule the day.

Subscribe to get access

Read more of this content when you subscribe today.