first intro’d to term here:
Another Harvard professor, Clayton Christensen, is also pushing back against the business-as-usual mindset of “measure what you manage and manage what you measure,” which has also infiltrated the CSR and ESG vernacular. Christensen has said “[T]he way they designed the world, data is only about the past. And when we teach people that they should be data-driven and fact-based and analytical as they look into the future, in many ways we condemn them to take action when the game is over.”
And when Michael Porter replaces his Five Forces framework with Creating Shared Value — maybe that, too, is disruptive sustainability.In the final analysis, management is prediction. Data can inform, but it alone cannot predict. As Christensen once observed, ”The only way you can look into the future — there’s no data — so you have to have a good theory. We don’t think about it but every time we take an action it is predicated upon a theory. And so by teaching managers to look through the lens of the theory into the future, you can actually see the future very clearly. I think that’s what the theory of disruption has done.”My advice to CSR or ESG professionals: Don’t look to a 30-year-old framework from Harvard Business School to show relevance; formulate a good theory — a compelling, credible, disruptive theory — and make your case based on that.