Saturday, November 20, 2004

Ambidextrous Organization

This is a classic example of the contradiction in the corporate world.

Michael Tushman and Charles O'Reilly describe this strategy in their recent book, "Winning Through Innovation". They define technology life cycles and innovation in terms of "streams" and explain how a selected few large companies have managed to create two different organizations under one roof to manage these streams. One is dedicated to maximizing the value of the traditional technology, the other to commercializing radical innovation. There are difficulties with such dual strategies: "The contradictions inherent in the multiple types of innovation create conflict and dissent between the organizational units - between those historically profitable, large, efficient, older, cash-generating units and the young, entrepreneurial, risky, cash-absorbing units."

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