Destroying the 'Disruption' Myth

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The idea of "disruption" can tempt companies to throw out all of their previous success just to embrace the new. But that isn't always a winning strategy.
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Disruption is the new value proposition in Silicon Valley, and the hype about cultivating "disruptors" has taken hold in both major corporations and in start ups. 

Clayton Christensen, a professor at Harvard Business School, first introduced business people to the forces of disruption in his 1997 book "The Innovator's Dilemma." He points out that even well managed companies can fail in the face of technological change and moving markets.

But Joshua Gans, a professor at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, argues that the fear of disruption can encourage companies to change too much too soon. He is the author of "The Disruption Dilemma," which comes out on March 25. 

Instead of trying to stay ahead of changing technology, Gans says, firms like Apple and Cannon focus on their core business and integrate advances holistically. These companies often do better in the long run than their competitors who are more responsive to consumer demand.