Beyond Disruption: A Book Review by Bob Morris

Beyond Disruption: Innovate and Achieve Growth without Displacing Industries, Companies, or Jobs
W. Chan Kim and Renée A. Mauborgne
Harvard Business Review Press (May 2023)

The Unique Power and Substantial Benefits of Nondisruptive Creation

In their latest book, W. Chan Kim and Renée A. Mauborgne examine disruptive creation and nondisruptive creation, two approaches that may be thought of as “opposite ends of the innovation spectrum of new market creation and growth. On one end is nondisruptive creation, which is about creating a new market [begin italics] outside or beyond existing industry boundaries, while the other end is disruptive creation, which is about creating a new market within the boundaries and expanding them.” All else being equal (such as social costs), “the difference between disruptive and nondisruptive creation is cost of displacement.”

There is a third option, “Blue Ocean” strategy, introduced by Kim and Mauborgne in 2005. In this seminal book, they lay out two distinct patterns: market-competing and market creating. “We called the former ‘red ocean strategy,’ becauzse competition in existing industries was increasingly cutthroat an dbloody. We called the latter ‘blue oean strategy,’ because markets yet to be created are wide and open like the blue ocean.”

I cannot recall a prior time when the business world was more volatile, more uncertain, more complex, and more ambiguous than it is today. Given that, Kim and Mauborgne wrote this book in order to compare and contrast all three approaches to market creation. “Our goal was to discover the common pattern across nonbdisruptiv creation and the shared process and factors leading to their realization. We also used existing cases of blue ocean and disruptive creation for our analyses to contrast with those of nondisruptive creation. We wanted to discern the key differences among these three forms of new-market creation.”

These are the key elements and issues of nondisruptive creation (aka NC) on which Kim and Mauborgne focus much of their attention:

o Overview of nondisruptive creation (Pages ix-xi and 3-31)
o NC’s benefits (Pages 6-7)
o Examples of NC (7-11)
o NC’s characteristics of (11-13)
o Disruptive Creation compared with NC (18-19 and 46-47)

o Nondisruptive growth (27-31, 102-104, and 107-111)
o Blue Ocean Strategy  (23-28)
o Economic growth and NC (27-28)
o Future of NC (28-31 and 194-196)
o Growth model for NC (29-30 and 107-111)

o Importance of NC (85-99)
o Paths to NC (101-116)
o Identifying opportunities for NC (135-153)
o Unlocking NC opportunities (155-171)
o Framework for realizing NC (173-174)

Some of the most valuable material that Kim and Mauborgne provide within their lively and eloquent narrative is is also provided within a series of reader-friendly Tables and Figures. For example:

o “Disruptive Creation versus blue ocean strategy versus nondisruptive creation” (28)
o “Cusxruptive versus nondisruptive creation” (47)
o “Ther path to nodisruptive creation” (111)
o “The path to blue ocean strategy” (115)
o “Moving tward the perspectives needed for generating nondisruptive creation” (133)
o “The assumption-implication analysis”: For overseas education loans (158)
o “The assumption-implication analysis”: For ticket in India (168)

Obviously, no brief commentary such as mine could possibly do full justice to the abundance of invaluable information, insights, and counsel that W. Chan Kim and Renée A. Mauborgne provide but I hope I have at least indicated why I think so highly of their work. Here are two concluding suggestions: Highlight key passages, and, keep a lined notebook near at hand while reading Beyond Disruption in which you record your comments, questions, and page references. These two simple tactics will facilitate, indeed expedite frequent review of key material later.

Posted in


  1. Cara Macksoud on April 1, 2024 at 5:42 am

    Bob Morris, your assessment of “Beyond Disruption: Innovate and Achieve Growth without Displacing Industries, Companies, or Jobs” by W. Chan Kim and Renée A. Mauborgne found a deep connection with me. As a regular reader, I admire your ability to capture the essence of this hard effort.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.