While at Harvard for the Program for Leadership Development earlier this year, I had the privilege of a whole day of lectures by Prof. Clayton Christensen. The main subject was, of course, disruptive innovation – he is the influential author of “The Innovator’s Dilemma” and follow-up books. However, he also took the time to teach us a valuable and extremely humbling lesson. No matter where you are in the religious spectrum, there will be a lesson for every one of you either from his new book, from the links inside or, in my case, from his very example of excellence, character, perseverance, humility and so on. I am a skeptical person and I can point to bits of his theory that make me uncomfortable, but even with the usual “caveats” it’s easy to say that I will – as will anyone who sat in class that day – forever remember those sessions.
For the record, the man is far from a “purely academic” type: besides the Rhodes scholarship to college and the now-obvious brilliant academic career, he’s also been a top BCG consultant and executive, an entrepreneur and a venture capitalist with a pretty good track record.
Here’s a quick linkfest on Prof. Christensen. There’s obviously much more to read and watch, and I encourage you to seek it out.
Absolutely CLASSIC article by Prof. Christensen on HBR called “How will you measure your life?”. Must-read. Now.
Prof. Christensen himself tweeted this interview and slide deck as a great 1-hr explanation of his theories. Couldn’t embed it.
Good background story on him and his new book by BusinessWeek.
Very recent (this week’s issue) New Yorker magazine profile on Prof. Christensen.
Good article and video interviews about the book at Forbes.com
Another good Forbes article, this one from 2011.
A 1999 Forbes article on Clay Christensen’s then “novel” idea, disruptive innovation.