Coursera: Strategic Innovation: Innovation at the Frontier: An Exploration of Cutting-Edge Topics

In his influential book, The Innovator’s Dilemma, Professor Clayton Christensen, introduced the term disruption to the popular lexicon. Disruption refers to the failure of well-managed firms to succeed when faced with technological change associated with disruptive technologies, i.e. technologies that are inferior in the beginning but get better soon enough to precipitate the failure of entrenched firms. The very practices that made incumbent firms successful in managing sustaining technologies may actually prove to be debilitating while managing disruptive technologies. Drawing from many of collective research in disruptions, this course will offer a set of frameworks, tools, and concepts in order to manage the unique challenges and develop innovative strategies while managing disruptive innovations so as to achieve leadership positions.

With the frenetic pace of technological change, understanding the trends and contemporary innovation approaches is critically important for companies interested in maximizing the odds of innovation success. Drawing from many years of research, this course will offer a set of frameworks, tools, and concepts in order to understand and develop cutting-edge innovative strategies in a coherent way so as to achieve leadership positions.


Course Orientation
You will become familiar with the course, your classmates, and our learning environment. The orientation will also help you obtain the technical skills required for the course.

Module 1: Demand-Side Disruption
With the first module, we will move into the disruptive innovation domain on the demand-side. We will define disruptive innovation and understand the differences between sustaining and disruptive innovations. We will examine different real world disruptions and highlight key lessons for developing and solidifying a disruptive business model. Then we will learn about a holistic conceptual framework to analyze disruption problems in order to identify disruptive opportunities. Finally, we will study IBM as an exemplar of disruptive innovation management and analyze the key learnings in order to become better managers.

Module 2: Supply-Side Disruption
With the second module, we will move into the disruptive innovation domain on the supply-side. We will define supply-side disruptions; we will examine how architectural changes sometimes blindside incumbents. Then, we will examine the concept of mental models and illustrate how managers need to understand mental models in order to stay ahead. Next, we will learn three different approaches to identify disruptions. Finally, we will learn the seven steps in order to develop a disruptor’s mindset. In the application corner, we will study the impact of iPhone as an example of supply-side disruption that completely upended entrenched incumbents in the smartphone industry.

Module 3: From Pipeline to Platform
With the third module,we will move into examining platform businesses. We will distinguish between pipeline and platform businesses and we will examine the critical role of various players in a platform ecosystem. Then, we will examine the concept of network effects, and examine its applicability to both two-sided and multi-sided platforms. Next, we will identify the steps needed to create platform-based businesses. Finally, in the application corner, we will study and learn from the case of OpenTable as they successfully created a pioneering platform model in the restaurant services business.

Module 4: Contemporary Topics in Global Innovation
With the fourth module, we will move into examining contemporary topics in the world of innovation. First, we will examine the increasingly important role played by user innovations. We will delineate between classical entrepreneurship and user entrepreneurship models. Next, we will examine the critical role of reverse innovations for established companies. Then, we will examine the concept of open innovations and distinguish this concept from closed innovations. We will also highlight the successes of the “connect and develop” model, an open innovation model popularized by P&G. Finally, we will highlight the steps in becoming an innovative leader to successfully lead and manage companies in this increasingly interconnected world.

0 Student
Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
Pace Upcoming
Subject Marketing
Provider Coursera
Language English
Certificates Paid Certificate Available
Calendar 4 weeks long
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