Disruptive innovation in an established organization is like a virus in a person’s bloodstream — the immune system’s first reaction is to fight and kill it. This means that if an established company really wants to innovate — after all, it would be dangerous not to — the work has to be done on the edges of the organization.
This idea is one of the key messages from Singularity University’s Founding Executive Director Salim Ismail who wrote the best-selling book Exponential Organizations.
Large, established companies’ struggle to create disruptive innovation is natural if not expected. Their mandate is not to disrupt, but to scale the existing business, maintain, and protect it so that the company can grow even bigger and stronger. Just like a mother protects her children to make sure they grow up strong and healthy.