Clayton Christensen , a professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, has been regarded as one of the world’s top experts on innovation and growth and one of the most influential busienss thinkers in the world. His ideas have been widely implemented in industries and organizations throughout the world. He is so well known that an article about him published by Forbes in 2011 stated: “Everyday business leaders call him or make the pilgrimage to his office in Boston, Mass. to get advice or thank him for his ideas.” Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Clay worked as a missionary for his church in the Republic of Korea from 1971 to 1973, where he learned to speak fluent Korean. He continues to serve in his church in as many ways as he can.
Clayton Christensen began by studying economics in Brigham Young University. He then finished a M.Phil. in applied econometrics from Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. He holds as well a MBA with High Distinction from the Harvard Business School, granted in 1979. He was awarded his DBA from the Harvard Business School in 1992, and became a faculty member there the same year, being awarded full professorship with tenure in 1998. Plus he holds five honorary doctorates and an honorary chaired professorship at the Tsinghua University in Taiwan.
Clay is a renowned writer, the author of nine books and more than a hundred articles. His first book, “The Innovator’s Dilemma” that was considered in 2011 by The Economist as one of the six most important books about business ever written.
The Innovator´s Dilemma , that can be read fully online, was first published in 1997, putting forward the idea that companies place too much emphasis on customers’ current needs, when they should rather adopt new technology or business models to meet customers’ not yet stated or future needs. Christensen calls this disruptive innovation.
His other articles and books have received praised and awarded many prizes such as the Abernathy, Newcomen, James Madison, and Circle Prizes. Clay is a five-time recipient of the McKinsey Award, given each year to the two best articles published in the Harvard Business Review.
Clay has served on the Boy Scouts of America for 25 years and is a father of five children and grandfather to five grandchildren.
Intelligenthq assembles here some of his quotes taken from his books and articles:
1. “Motivation is the catalyzing ingredient for every successful innovation. The same is true for learning.”Clayton Christensen, Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World LearnsQuote by Clayton Christensen. Intelligenthq
2. “Innovators need a heavy dose of faith. They need to trust their intuition that they are working on a big idea. That faith need not be blind.” Clayton ChristensenQuote by Clayton Christensen. Intelligenthq
3. “You can talk all you want about having a clear purpose and strategy for your life, but ultimately this means nothing if you are not investing the resources you have in a way that is consistent with your strategy. In the end, a strategy is nothing but good intentions unless it’s effectively implemented.” Clayton M. Christensen, How Will You Measure Your Life?Quote by Clayton Christensen. Intelligenthq
4. “Empowering” innovations transform complicated, costly products that previously had been available only to a few people, into simpler, cheaper products available to many. Empowering innovations create jobs for people who build, distribute, sell and service these products.” Clayton ChristensenQuote by Clayton Christensen. Intelligenthq
5. “Sustaining” innovations replace old products with new. They have a zero-sum effect on jobs and capital.” Clayton ChristensenQuote by Clayton Christensen. Intelligenthq
6. “Focus is scary—until you realize that it only means turning your back on markets you could never have anyway. Sharp focus on jobs that customers are trying to get done holds the promise of greatly improving the odds of success in new-product development.”
Clayton M. Christensen, The Innovator’s Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth
Maria Fonseca is the Editor and Infographic Artist for IntelligentHQ. She is also a thought leader writing about social innovation, sharing economy, social business, and the commons. Aside her work for IntelligentHQ, Maria Fonseca is a visual artist and filmmaker that has exhibited widely in international events such as Manifesta 5, Sao Paulo Biennial, Photo Espana, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Joshibi University and many others. She concluded her PhD on essayistic filmmaking , taken at University of Westminster in London and is preparing her post doc that will explore the links between creativity and the sharing economy.