By Michelle R. Weise
There’s an elegance to the term disruptive innovation—an elegance that also, unfortunately, leads to broad misuse of the phrase. It’s no wonder that former Intel CEO Andy Grove advised Clayton Christensen—who coined the term in his 1997 book The Innovator’s Dilemma—to instead name his theory “the Christensen Effect.”1
So, what exactly is disruptive innovation? A disruptive innovation explains why many companies have difficulty sustaining success. In business, companies tend to innovate faster than their customers’ needs evolve. Most of them thus end up producing sustaining innovationsin order to drive up prices by making better products or services for the best customers. The countervailing disruptive innovations, meanwhile, drive prices down. In aggregate, these two vectors—sustaining innovations and disruptive innovations—keep prices in line.
Higher education, however, has historically experienced only sustaining innovations. CONTINUE READING HERE