Lead and Disrupt
How to Solve the Innovator's Dilemma
Charles A. O’Reilly III and Michael L. Tushman


Contents and Abstracts
1 Today's Innovation Puzzle
chapter abstract

In the past few years we've seen a number of well-known firms fail or go bankrupt (e.g., Blockbuster, Kodak) and more failures are on the horizon (e.g., Sears). This book describes what it takes for leaders to succeed in the face of accelerating change. It describes how some leaders and their organizations have been able to compete successfully in mature technologies and markets and transform their organizations by exploring in new domains (e.g., Amazon, IBM) while others have been trapped by their own success. Although this perspective is based on a substantial body of empirical research, the material described here is highly applied and moves well beyond the typical exhortations offered in most books on leadership and change.

2 Explore and Exploit
chapter abstract

This chapter offers two simple frameworks (the congruence model and the success syndrome) that illustrate the power of organizational alignment in driving organizational performance. It also describes how the alignment needed for success in a mature business can make it difficult to succeed in the face of change and why successful organizations, faced with disruptive change, sometimes fail. We illustrate this dynamic with a story of organizational success (Amazon) and organizational failure (SAP).

3 Achieving Balance with Innovation Streams
chapter abstract

Why do successful organizations fail? This chapter uses rich descriptions of two old companies (Sears and the Ball Corporation) to show how some leaders are able to help their organizations evolve and adapt to disruptive innovation. We elaborate on the innovation streams framework introduced in chapter 1 to show how different types of change can require leaders to manage different types of alignments

4 Six Innovation Stories
chapter abstract

Using the frameworks developed in the first three chapters, here we provide a set of detailed examples for how ambidexterity can operate. We describe how the leaders of six different organizations (e.g., a newspaper, a manufacturing company, a high tech firm, etc.) were able to meet the challenge of disruptive change. Based on these insights we identify three essential elements necessary for leaders to design ambidextrous organizations,

5 Getting It Right Versus Almost Right
chapter abstract

Here we expand on the insights from Chapter 4 and describe in detail a process that IBM uses to generate organic growth—the Emerging Business Opportunity (EBO) process—which enabled them to increase revenues by more than $15 billion during the period of 2000-2006. We also show how Cisco attempted and failed at a similar effort.

6 What It Takes to Become Ambidextrous
chapter abstract

In this chapter we identify four major elements associated with more versus less successful efforts at ambidexterity. These are practical guidelines that can be used to help managers think about how to apply these lessons in their own contexts. We focus here on the question of what needs to be done to design an ambidextrous organization. What are the elements that leaders need to consider when implementing ambidexterity? What are the cardinal sins to be avoided?

7 Leaders (and Their Teams) as Linchpins
chapter abstract

Whereas the previous chapter focused on what needs to be done to implement an ambidextrous design, this chapter focuses on how leaders can do this. We provide examples of two leadership failures and three successes and, drawing on previous examples, conclude by suggesting five leadership principles that undergird the successful implementation of ambidexterity.

8 Leading Change and Strategic Renewal
chapter abstract

In this chapter we first provide some guidelines for managers to consider in determining whether ambidexterity is needed for organizational renewal. We then describe how the leaders of two organizations (IBM and Haier) successfully led organizational change and renewal that transformed their companies. Based on these, we conclude with six suggestions for leaders to consider when leading organizational renewal