Wednesday, November 08, 2006

TRIZ and the theories of Clayton Christensen

Will a hot new start-up succeed or fail? Which emerging technologies are consumers most likely to embrace? Does an entrant pose a legitimate threat to a leading incumbent? Which firms will come out on top? There are the questions that Clayton Christensen explores in his theories of disruptive innovation. His work seeks to explain why successful companies are often unseated by new entrants, how incumbents can protect themselves and even fight back against upstarts.

Every CEO has heard of Christensen, but you won’t find many board level managers speaking about TRIZ. TRIZ is best known as an engineering problem-solving tool. Yet the TRIZ methodology is ideally suited to the study and amplification of Christensen’s market strategy work. This is because it, like Christensen’s theories, deals in causes and effects, and the patterns generated that lead to solutions.

You can download a PDF to find out how to apply TRIZ in the boardroom.