Clayton Christensen

World expert on the development & commercialisation of technological & business model innovation.


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About Clayton Christensen


Awards, accolades, achievements, honours

Among the accolades received by Christensen The Innovators 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 worlds most influential business thinker by the Thinkers50 and has twice featured (1998 and 2011) on the cover of Forbes Magazine.

Background / History

Clay Christensens 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.

Career

In 2011 Clay Christensen was named in a poll of thousands of business academics and executives as the worlds most influential business thinker. But he wasnt 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.

Current / Past Roles & Positions

  • Founded the influential theory of Disruptive Innovation
  • Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School - teaching managers how to build or transform companies for lasting success.
  • Entrepreneur & consultant
  • He believes spiritual values should inform all aspects of a successful life - his latest bestseller is called How Will You Measure Your Life

Speaking Topics


  • Building and Sustaining Innovation for Growth
  • Finding the right customers for your product
  • A Structural Framework for Managing Different Types of Innovation
  • Reinventing your business model: why, when and how
  • Assessing Your Organization's Innovation Capabilities
  • Why Companies Fail to Innovate

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Books By Clayton Christensen


  • The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth (2003)
  • Seeing What's Next: Using Theories of Innovation to Predict Industry Change (2004)
  • Innovator's Guide to Growth: Putting Disruptive Innovation to Work (2008)
  • Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns (2010)
  • The Innovator's Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book that Will Change the Way You Do Business (2011)

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