‘Disruption’ is a widely used and frequently misunderstood term. Understanding it better can help you think about your organization or team’s strategy whether you’re trying to disrupt, avoid being disrupted, or simply scanning the horizon for new trends in your industry.

This course takes a unique view on disruption by combining disruption theory research, innovation strategy, and the ways that business practitioners and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have redefined disruption over the last decade. We’ll bring these perspectives together in a framework for gauging the disruptive potential of an innovation — that is, how likely the innovation is to fundamentally change the structure of an industry. You’ll learn the critical roles that customers, value chains, and technologies play in driving such changes.

The companies and cases we’ll use in this course to learn about disruption include Impossible Foods, Starbucks, Warby Parker, Peloton, HIV treatment pharmaceuticals, Microsoft, Walmart, Uber, Airbnb, Fundbox, Dow Corning, and Fastbrick Robotics, and Pokémon Go.

Key Topics

  • The Disruption Framework and the Three Pillars of Disruption
  • Disruption via new entrants
  • Incumbent self-disruption, and when incumbents miss the disruption

Learning Outcomes

  • Use a framework to identify where a disruption lies on the continuum from incremental innovation to true disruption
  • Understand the critical roles of customers, value chains, and technologies in driving disruption
  • Analyze examples of disruption in different industries, from the perspectives of new entrants and incumbents
  • Learn the qualities and capabilities a company or organization needs to preempt disruption

Learning Model

This course is offered in four modules and each module extends beyond theory and enables you to put your learnings directly into practice for real-time results. Videos, case studies, simulations, and personal feedback on select assignments will enhance your understanding of course concepts.

Once you pay, you will unlock course material for 60 days and can save select materials for future reference.

Course Flow


Rania Helaihel
Associate Director, On-Demand Courses Executive Education