Lead and Disrupt

How to solve the innovator's dilemma

New Book from
Charles O'Reilly & Mike Tushman 
Now Available to Order!

Is it inevitable for established firms to fail when disruption strikes?

The simple answer is: no, not if you adopt an ambidextrous solution. The innovator's dilemma is that firms that lead in a market cannot afford to disrupt themselves. This pessimistic diagnosis claims established companies cannot prevail in the face of disruption. Charles A. O'Reilly III and Michael L. Tushman take an alternate view. They explain how 'ambidexterity' can solve the innovator's dilemma. 

An ambidextrous organization plays two games. It both Leads in Core markets and Disrupts Explore. Drawing on deep research, O’Reilly and Tushman describe how a succession of firms have put in place a systematic approach to moving into new market areas, without losing focus on the existing core business franchise. These firms Lead in the core business and Disrupt in the Explore.

"Only one thing in life is constant: change. Ignore it and perish. Embrace it and thrive. O'Reilly and Tushman eloquently make the case for how great organizations simultaneously respect their past while embracing the future. A must-read for all leaders!"


Bruce Harreld, former SVP, Strategy & Marketing, IBM

"One of the perennial puzzles in business is how established companies can maintain their core while simultaneously pursuing new growth.This book provides an insightful perspective on the important role leadership can play in solving that puzzle."

Clayton M. Christensen, Harvard Business School and author of The Innovator's Dilemma

"In this age of digital democratization, every organization is threatened by disruptions that are hard to see and can happen overnight. For leaders the world over, these challenges are new. Fortunately, Lead and Disrupt provides a road map, helping us to balance current opportunities, explore future ones, and attain the ultimate goal of becoming ambidextrous."

John Winsor, Founder and Chairman, Victors & Spoils

"Success tempts complacency and extinction eventually follows. Business longevity depends on the successful management of exploitation and exploration. With deep wisdom and insight, Lead and Disrupt provides a nuanced framework for leaders to deal with the tensions that are natural to ambidextrous organizations."

Vincent Roche, President and CEO, Analog Devices Inc.