Clay Christensen’s latest book considers why some high achievers are never content and concludes that happiness ultimately derives from the relationships we form with our family and friends. He himself has the fulfillment of five children, grandchildren, a wife Christine and a prominent role in the Church. He was born in Salt Lake City and took a BA in economics at Brigham Young University – he also has an M.Phil. in applied econometrics and the economics of less-developed countries from Oxford and an MBA and DBA from Harvard Business School. In 1982 he became a White House Fellow, and served as assistant to U.S. Transportation Secretaries Drew Lewis and Elizabeth Dole. He was born in 1952 and lives in Massachusetts.
In 2011 Clay Christensen was named in a poll of thousands of business academics and executives as the world’s most influential business thinker. But he wasn’t always a Harvard Professor. Before joining the faculty in 1992 he founded CPS Holdings in Boston with a group of MIT professors and before that he wanted to be the editor of the Wall Street Journal. His passion for journalism, entrepreneurship and scholarly study has made him the key figure he is today, trusted by scores of business people who seek his advice and the author of 9 books and more than a hundred articles.
In 1997 he wrote The Innovators Dilemma, a seminal text advancing the theory of Disruptive Innovation which states that innovators tend to disrupt existing products/technology or services by creating something new, cheaper and more widely available to consumers – for example cell phones after landlines – a process which often displaces the founding companies. He has since gone on to apply this theory widely to both business and service areas like education and healthcare.
Christensen’s innovation expertise has been spread worldwide with the founding of; consulting firm Innosight, which helps organisations deal with disruptive change, the Innosight Institute which is a not for profit think tank looking to apply his theories in the social sector and Rose Park Advisors, a small investment firm that uses his research to make investments decisions across a range of markets.
Among the accolades received by Christensen The Innovator’s Dilemma has been named by the Economist as one of the most important business books ever written – he has won the McKinsey Award for best article in the Harvard Business Review five times over. In 2011 he was named the world’s most influential business thinker by the Thinkers50 and has twice featured (1998 and 2011) on the cover of Forbes Magazine.