Clay Christensen’s Life Lessons.

Big thinking innovation guru Clay Christensen is pulling life lessons from the world of case studies. We’ll get his bottom line.

Author and professor Clayton Christensen (Evgenia Eliseeva)

Author and professor Clayton Christensen (Evgenia Eliseeva)

Clayton Christensen is one of the biggest names in American business theory. Guru of “disruptive innovation.” Guide to some of the biggest companies in the country. He’s also a very human thinker, seeker and observer.

When he went back to college reunions, he saw so many classmates who had lost their way. Lost their families, their ideals, the satisfaction in their work. One – Enron’s Jeff Skilling – ended up in jail. Why, he wondered, had things gone wrong? How could individuals get it right?

This hour, On Point: Innovation guru Clay Christensen, on how to live.

-Tom Ashbrook


Clayton Christensen, Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. He’s the author of How Will You Measure Your Life?

C-Segment: Neil Gaiman at University of the Arts

You can find a video of his full commencement speech here and read a transcript here.

 From Tom’s Reading List

Bloomberg “Ahead of the book launch, I had a long discussion with a reporter about Christensen. The reporter’s question was basically: Why him? He’s smart, but so are many other people. He’s a great storyteller, but there are lots of great storytellers in the world.”

The New York Times “Clayton M. Christensen, a business professor at Harvard and a friend from church, said the question that drove the Sunday school classes — how to apply Mormon gospel in the wider world — also drives Mr. Romney’s life. “He just needs to know what God wants him to do and how he can get it done,” Mr. Christensen said.”

Fast Company “Since graduating from Harvard Business School in 1979, Clayton M. Christensen has observed personal tragedies in the lives of his fellow MBAs, from a string of unhappy marriages, estranged children, and messy divorces, to enormous scandal–classmate Jeffrey Skilling was CEO of Enron. He knew that none had a deliberate strategy for broken homes or jail time–yet that was what they implemented. Christensen is interested in why.”


Use the navigation bar at the bottom of this frame to reformat the excerpt to best suit your reading experience.

From How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth, and Karen Dillon, Copyright  © 2012. Reprinted courtesy of Harper Business, an imprint of HarperCollins.

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