Industry leaders brainstorm disruptive innovation
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
What once seemed impossible is now transformative, Ann
Christensen, president of the Clay Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation,
told nearly 350 industry leaders at the NEW Executive Leaders Forum, July 28
outside Los Angeles.
The retail/consumer goods companies who get ahead of change
with disruptive innovations of their own will succeed, Christensen said during
"Start now: Achieve Greatness through Disruption Innovation.” Leaders
should ask themselves: What is changing now and what change should we be
The three litmus tests for disruptive innovations are:
1. Does the
innovation target customers who historically haven’t been able to do something
themselves due to lack of money or skill – or both?
2. Is the innovation
aimed at customers who will be delighted to have a "simple” product?
3. Will the
innovation help customers do more easily or effectively what they are already
trying to do?
During table discussions, industry leaders shared their own
experiences with disruptive innovation, including online education that gives
skills to part-time workers or working
mothers that allow them to advance their careers; using social media to
communicate with young part-time employees; and new strategies for retaining high-potential
"There is a cultural transformation happening, and
Millennials are a disrupter,” said NEW Forum Co-Chair Trudy Bourgeois,
president of The Center for Workforce Excellence. "For many of us who grew
up in the industry, when our companies said ‘Jump,’ we asked, ‘How high?’ The
next generation may answer, ‘I may have to jump ship.’”
One retail leader shared some insights from her company’s
Generations employee resource group: younger employees didn’t want to refer
people to the company, because they didn’t feel it was open to new ideas and
innovation. "We brought in a third party consultant with actors who
demonstrated what is actually happening in our company. Our leaders were asked
what they personally plan to start, stop and continue to change our culture.”
Ann Christensen of the Clay Christensen Institute for
Disruptive Innovation delivers
transformational knowledge at the 2015 NEW
Executive Leaders Forum.