Summary of Leadership Lessons from the Trenches of Disruption

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Leadership Lessons from the Trenches of Disruption summary

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Can start-ups really save the world? Many people believe so, but Innosight senior partner Scott D. Anthony isn’t one of them. He makes the case that large, established organizations are better positioned to drive innovation. Anthony provides an expert’s take on how large companies like Aetna and Johnson & Johnson harnessed their size to disrupt their industries⁠ and offers inspirational gems that you can infuse into your own organization.

About the Speaker

Scott D. Anthony is a senior partner at Innosight, an innovation consulting firm. He co-authored Dual Transformation: How to Reposition Today’s Business While Creating the Future.


While starting a new business seems attractive and influential, innovating with a well-established organization can be more transformational.

In a survey of some 2,000 people worldwide, 40% named entrepreneurship as the career with the most potential to influence the world. However, in an age when almost anyone can start a business with low up-front costs, imitators can easily copy ideas, and ideas can be hard to scale. For maximum impact, entrepreneurs should join powerful established companies instead.

Consider Medtronic, a multinational corporation that creates pacemakers and medical devices. It combined its distinctive “assets of scale” – industry connections, funding and patents – with its “entrepreneurial energy” to devise an inimitable business model for India that made pacemakers affordable for the masses via microfinancing. 

“Dual transformation” can help large companies overcome inertia and truly innovate.

Changes at big organizations can happen slowly or not at all, and enterprises can’t resort to shortcuts to inspire disruption. Every level needs...

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