Saturday, July 6, 2024

The New Innovator's Dilemma: Fostering Young Talent in the Age of AI - Julia Freeland Fisher, Harvard Advanced Leadership Review

Disruptive innovation theory is a theory of competition between firms. But when it comes to mentoring early talent within firms, the same dynamics shape managers’ tradeoffs. Mentoring is a high-cost endeavor with poor incentives. It’s hard to justify investing in early talent whose added value starts off low and yields unpredictable returns. “This problem is analogous to The Innovator’s Dilemma, in which [companies] fail in spite of seemingly doing everything right,” said Martin Permin, founder of the mentoring platform Pelion. “The return on mentorship typically follows an S-curve, which means gratification is delayed. This means mentoring is often deprioritized by well-meaning, busy people.”

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