Thursday, August 16, 2007

Richard Rumelt on making choices and Disruptive Innovation


Thanks go to the McKinsey Quarterly Journal for this great interview. You'll need to register (it's free) to read the original article.

Now the title of this post isn't exactly what Rumelt wrote but the theme runs strongly through the interview.

While responding to questions on the nature of corporate strategy Rumelt gives the example of the resurgence of Apple (and really Steven Jobs) through the iPod:

"Jobs didn't give me a doorknob-polishing answer. He didn't say, 'We're cutting costs and we're making alliances.' He was waiting until the right moment for that predatory leap, which for him was Pixar and then, in an even bigger way, the iPod. That very predatory approach of leaping through the window of opportunity and staying focused on those big wins - not on maintenance activities - is what distinguishes a real entrepreneurial strategy."


"Enter Jobs. He was perfectly positioned because he was a bit of an insider in the entertainment industry but didn't have any of those asset positions that were being threatened. He didn't need to make a fantastic leap of imagination into the far future. He found a set of ideas that needed to be quickly and decisively acted upon."

Two other good points in the interview are the power of writing down thoughts in sentences over bullet points and the concept of value denial.

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