Clayton M. Christensen
|Clayton M. Christensen|
Christensen at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in 2013
April 6, 1952 |
Salt Lake City, Utah
|Alma mater||Brigham Young University (B.A.)
Oxford University (M.Phil.)
Harvard University (MBA, DBA)
|Occupation||Teacher & consultant|
|Known for||The Innovator's Dilemma|
|Religion||The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon)|
Clayton M. Christensen (born April 6, 1952) is the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School (HBS), with a joint appointment in the Technology & Operations Management and General Management faculty groups. He is best known for his study of innovation in commercial enterprises. His first book, The Innovator's Dilemma, articulated his theory of disruptive innovation. Christensen is also a co-founder of Innosight, a management consulting and investment firm specializing in innovation.
Christensen was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, the second of eight children. He holds a B.A. with highest honors in economics at Brigham Young University (BYU) (1975), an M.Phil. in applied econometrics and the economics of less-developed countries at Oxford University (1977, Rhodes Scholar), an MBA with High Distinction at the Harvard Business School (1979, George F. Baker Scholar), and a DBA at the Harvard Business School (1992). While at Oxford, Christensen, who stands 6 feet 8 inches tall, was the starting center for the men's basketball team.
Before joining the faculty of Harvard Business School (HBS) in 1992, Christensen worked for the Boston Consulting Group and then served as chairman and president of Ceramics Process Systems Corporation (now CPS Holdings), a firm he co-founded with several MIT professors in 1984. In 2000, he founded Innosight LLC, a consulting and training firm which describes itself as "focusing on idea generation, strategy development, commercialization, and innovative process development." In 2005, together with his colleagues at Innosight, he launched Innosight Ventures, a venture firm focused on investing in India. In 2007, after incubating the processes for six years, Christensen co-founded Rose Park Advisors LLC (named after the neighborhood in Salt Lake City where he was raised), an investment company which applies his research as an investment strategy.
He serves on the board of directors of Tata Consultancy Services (NSE: TCS), Franklin Covey (NYSE: FC), and Vanu, Inc.
He worked as a consultant and project leader with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) (1979–1984) and was instrumental in founding the firm's manufacturing strategy consulting practice. He took a leave of absence from BCG to serve as a White House Fellow (1982–1983) as an assistant to U.S. Transportation Secretaries, Drew Lewis and Elizabeth Dole.
At the HBS, he currently teaches an elective course he designed called "Building and Sustaining a Successful Enterprise", which teaches managers how to build and manage an enduring, successful company or transform an existing organization. Christensen received an Extraordinary Teaching Award by the MBA class of 2010. He also teaches in many HBS executive education programs. Christensen was awarded a full professorship with tenure in 1998, and currently holds five honorary doctorates and an honorary chaired professorship at the National Tsinghua University in Taiwan. 
Christensen is the best-selling author of five books, including his seminal work The Innovator's Dilemma (1997), which received the Global Business Book Award for the best business book of the year, The Innovator's Solution (2003), and Seeing What's Next (2004). Recently, Christensen has focused the lens of disruptive innovation on social issues such as education and health care. Disrupting Class (2008) looks at the root causes of why schools struggle and offers solutions, while The Innovator's Prescription (2009) examines how to fix the American healthcare system. The latter two books have received numerous awards as the best books on education and health care in their respective years of publication. The Innovator's Prescription was also awarded the 2010 James A. Hamilton Award, by the College of Healthcare Executives.
Christensen lives in Belmont, Massachusetts with his wife, Christine. They have five children: Matthew, Ann, Michael, Spencer and Kate. Christensen is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). From 1971 to 1973 he served as a missionary in the Republic of Korea and speaks fluent Korean. He has served in several leadership positions in the LDS Church. He served as an area seventy beginning in April 2002. Prior to that he served as a counselor in presidency of the Massachusetts Boston Mission. He has also served as a bishop.
Despite Christensen’s health setbacks, he is once again actively teaching, speaking and writing. In 2011, Christensen published two books: The Innovative University and The Innovator’s DNA (Harvard Business Press).
Honors and awards
- In 2011, Forbes called him "one of the most influential business theorists of the last 50 years" in a cover story
- Christensen, Clayton M.; Bower, Joseph L. (January–February 1995), "Disruptive technologies: catching the wave", Harvard Business Review. The seminal article.
- Christensen, Clayton M.; Overdorf, Michael (March–April 2000), "Meeting the challenge of disruptive change", Harvard Business Review.
- Christensen, Clayton M.; Bohmer, Richard; Kenagy, John (September–October 2000), "Will disruptive innovations cure health care?", Harvard Business Review.
- Christensen, Clayton M.; Cook, Scott; Hall, Taddy (December 2005), "Marketing malpractice: the cause and the cure", Harvard Business Review.
- Christensen, Clayton M.; Marx, Matthew; Stevenson, Howard H. (October 2006), "The tools of cooperation and change", Harvard Business Review.
- Christensen, Clayton M.; Baumann, Heiner; Ruggles, Rudy; Sadtler, Thomas M. (December 2006), "Disruptive innovation for social change", Harvard Business Review.
- Christensen, Clayton M. (July–August 2010), "How will you measure your life?", Harvard Business Review.
- Christensen, Clayton M. (1997), The innovator's dilemma: when new technologies cause great firms to fail, Boston, Massachusetts, USA: Harvard Business School Press, ISBN 978-0-87584-585-2. (edit)
- Christensen, Clayton M.; Raynor, Michael E. (2003), The innovator's solution: creating and sustaining successful growth, Boston, Massachusetts, USA: Harvard Business School Press, ISBN 978-1-57851-852-4.
- Christensen, Clayton M. (2003), Innovation and the general manager, Boston, Massachusetts, USA: Harvard Business Press, ISBN 978-0-07-365915-2. A casebook. Designed as a practical tool to help managers.
- Christensen, Clayton M.; Anthony, Scott D.; Roth, Erik A. (2004), Seeing what's next: using the theories of innovation to predict industry change, Boston, Massachusetts, USA: Harvard Business School Press, ISBN 978-1-59139-185-2.
- Christensen, Clayton M.; Horn, Michael (2008), Disrupting class: how disruptive innovation will change the way the world learns, New York, New York, USA: McGraw-Hill, ISBN 978-0-07-159206-2.
- Christensen, Clayton M.; Grossman, Jerome H.; Hwang, Jason (2008), The innovator's prescription: a disruptive solution for health care, New York, New York, USA: McGraw-Hill, ISBN 978-0-07-159208-6.
- Christensen, Clayton M.; Eyring, Henry J. (2011), The Innovative University: Changing the DNA of Higher Education, New York, New York, USA: John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 978-1-11-806348-4.
- Christensen, Clayton M.; Allworth, James; Dillon, Karen (2012), How Will You Measure Your Life?, New York, New York, USA: HarperBusiness, ISBN 9780062102416.
- Christensen, Clayton M. (2013), The Power of Everyday Missionaries, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA: Deseret Book, ISBN 1609073169. The What and How of Sharing the Gospel.
- Christensen 1997.
- Wieners, Bradford (3 May 2012). "Clay Christensen's Life Lessons". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- Whelan, David (2011). "Clayton Christensen: The Survivor". Forbes. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
- "Decisions for Which I've Been Grateful". BYU-Idaho. 2004. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
- "Clayton M. Christensen - Faculty - Harvard Business School". Drfd.hbs.edu. Retrieved 2013-05-06.
- "Why I Belong, Why I Believe".
- "Biography". claytonchristensen.com. Retrieved 2013-02-15.
- "New Area Authority Seventies", Church News, April 20, 2002, retrieved 2013-02-15
- "Comments on my health".
- Whelan, David (14 March 2011). "Clayton Christensen: The Survivor - Forbes.com". Forbes. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
- "Clayton Christensen - My Health". Retrieved 10 February 2012.
- "The Innovative University – Changing the DNA of Higher Education © 2011". (Jossey-Bass).
- Whelan, David (2011-02-23). "Clayton Christensen: The Survivor". Forbes.
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- Official Homepage
- Interview on NPR's On Point - "Clayton Christensen’s Prescription For Health Care" April 14, 2011 (Audio)