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The Strategy Paradox

Michael Raynor, who co-authored The Innovator’s Solution with Clayton Christensen in 2003, recently published a new book called The Strategy Paradox that touches on key issues surrounding innovation and corporate strategy. The paradox referenced in the title is a painful one experienced by many, if not all, businesses: the more they plan ahead for success, the more they may actually increase their chances for failure. Due to the constantly-shifting strategic landscape, no business can be absolutely certain of what lies ahead, and therein lies the paradox. The problem, obviously, is greatest for slow-moving American business giants that can not flexibly adapt to new evolutionary pressures.

I haven’t had a chance to read the book yet, but it sounds like a fascinating strategic question to explore in greater detail. Plus, given the Darwinian theme of the Endless Innovation blog, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by Guy Kawasaki’s review of the new book: “If [Harvard evolutionary biologist] Stephen Jay Gould had written a business book, this would be it;

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Raynor provides the most logical, detailed, and enlightening

explanation for why some products succeeded and some products failed. .

. Read this book to learn how to deal with uncertainty before you

suffer the same fate as dinosaurs.”


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