When a competitive intelligence organization gauges the potential impact of a disruptive innovation, the culture and related factors at the companies responsible for the innovation are an important source of insight. The following series of questions can help illuminate the likelihood that a specific competitor will develop and launch a disruptive innovation:
1. Is the responsible organization small in size? Smaller companies (or small organizations such as incubators within large corporations) are typically more likely to value a potentially small win enough to pursue the path toward a disruptive innovation.
2. Does pursuing the innovation have limited negative impact on profits? Established companies are often unlikely to pursue innovations that may threaten from their key products or services. There are exceptions, of course, particularly if there is sufficient potential or they believe they must beat others to the goal.
3. Does the company’s culture support risk taking? Some companies reward employees for taking risks, while others simply punish failure. The corporate traditions and perceptions in this area are vital to encouraging the kind of risk taking that is often associated with developing truly disruptive innovations.
By Sean Campbell
By Scott Swigart