‘Understanding innovation’ is the first in a five-part series on digital transformation. It draws heavily from research coming out of the Harvard Business Review, particularly the seminal work of Clayton Christensen. Christensen is a Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and was dubbed by Forbes as ‘one of the most influential business theorists of the last 50 years’.1 It should be noted that innovation comes in many shapes and forms. This article, however, is specifically focused on digital technologies within the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry. ‘Innovation’, as used in the article, refers to a change in one of these technologies. It will be argued that most AEC innovations are sustaining in nature and not disruptive as often claimed.
If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.
Over recent years, the AEC industry has ridden a continual wave…