<iframe src="https://5923915.fls.doubleclick.net/activityi;src=5923915;type=hbx_core;cat=hbx_b0;dc_lat=;dc_rdid=;tag_for_child_directed_treatment=;ord=1;num=1?" width="1" height="1" frameborder="0" style="display:none">
HBX Business Blog

Prediction Frameworks: Where is Your Industry Headed?

Posted by Jake Schroeder on May 24, 2016 at 1:08 PM


“Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.”

This quote by Wayne Gretzky has become a bit of a corporate cliché, but it doesn’t make the advice any less powerful. What makes your business successful and profitable today may not be where you should focus all of your energies; it is a continually moving target and you must think ahead in order to predict how things will change.

Part of this process involves hearing landmark examples of other companies who both successfully navigated disruption within their industries and those who fell behind and failed to compete in an evolved market. For example, the performance-defining component for Intel Microprocessors in the early 2000s was speed, or cycles per second (hertz). With the advent of Wifi and the laptop form-factor, the customer’s performance-defining component shifted to battery life. 

This shift caught Intel flat-footed, even though Intel was the one who developed Wifi in the first place, and they lost a substantial amount of market share to rival AMD. Intel was eventually able to weather the storm and shift its product line to this new performance-defining component, but not without a lot of organizational and financial pain.

Knowing that you should be looking to the future is all well and good, but how do you actually predict where your industry is headed? In Disruptive Strategy, Professor Clayton Christensen teaches his frameworks of innovation, helping business leaders understand where their industry is headed and how to stay ahead of the curve. 

A few of his learnings are summarized below:

  1. Understand your company inside and out, especially your strengths and what sets you apart from competition
  2. Be vigilant – stay informed and keep a close eye on competitors or new entrants within your industry
  3. Encourage strategic thinking and new ideas within your organization

To better understand the predictive power of innovation theory, check out Professor Christensen's book, Seeing What's Next: Using the Theories of Innovation to Predict Industry Change.

Want to learn more about disruption as a whole? Disruptive Strategy with Clay Christensen will equip you with the tools, frameworks, and intuition to make a difference.

Learn more about HBX Disruptive Strategy with Clay Christensen