Sunday, June 19, 2005

Growth Engine

In The Innovator's Solution, authors Clayton Christensen and Michael Raynor propose a theory for creating an engine of growth in corporations. While unproven, the theory makes a lot of sense to me. What doesn't make a lot of sense is why we need unlimited, unending growth. I will say that the growth they propose is what they call "disruptive" growth. They describe a coporation's "core business" as having a lifecycle that naturally declines over time. To continually re-energize and "grow" the corporation, the corporation must create (or buy) these new, disruptive innovations. Eventually, the disruptive innovations become the core business. So I think that the growth they are discussing is, in a sense, more "organic" and sustainable than the kind of market-share-and-domination growth that has been the model in the past.

One worry: One of the premises of their theory sets the innovation up to compete against "non-consumption." In other words, businesses try to entice consumption of their product out of non-consumers, as opposed to consumers of their competitors' products.

Do we really want to encourage more consumption? That's good business, right? But is it good for people and the planet? I'm thinking the triple bottom line isn't being served very well here. But any tool can be used ethically or unethically, so it isn't the tool that is the problem. It's the way we use it and measure its results.

What do you think? Is constant growth through innovations a viable strategy for business and society as a whole?


Blogger ιονκ said...

have u seen the corporation ?

6:04 PM  

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