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Clayton Christensen      

Foremost Authority on Innovation and Father of Disruptive Innovation Theory; Author of Revolutionary Book “The Innovator’s Dilemma”

Clayton Christensen is the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, where he teaches one of the most popular elective classes for second year students, Building and Sustaining a Successful Enterprise. He is regarded as one of the world’s top experts on innovation and growth and his ideas have been widely used in industries and organizations throughout the world. A 2011 cover story in Forbes magazine noted that ‘’Everyday business leaders call him or make the pilgrimage to his office in Boston, Mass. to get advice or thank him for his ideas.’’ In 2011 in a poll of thousands of executives, consultants and business school professors, Christensen was named as the most influential business thinker in the world.

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.

Professor Clayton received his B.A. in economics, summa cum laude, from Brigham Young University and an M.Phil. in applied econometrics from Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. He subsequently received an MBA with High Distinction from the Harvard Business School in 1979, graduating as a George F. Baker Scholar. In 1982 Professor Christensen was named a White House Fellow, and served as assistant to U.S. Transportation Secretaries Drew Lewis and Elizabeth Dole. He was awarded his DBA from the Harvard Business School in 1992, and became a faculty member there the same year, eventually receiving full professorship with tenure in 1998. He holds five honorary doctorates and an honorary chaired professorship at the Tsinghua University in Taiwan.

Prior to his academic career, Clayton worked as a management consultant with BCG in their Boston office and helped co-found Ceramics Process Systems, a Massachusetts-based advanced materials company. He has subsequently helped establish many other successful enterprises, including the innovation consulting firm Innosight, the public policy think tank Innosight Institute, and the investment firm Rose Park Advisors.

Clay is the best-selling author of nine books and more than a hundred articles. His first book, The Innovator’s Dilemma received the Global Business Book Award as the best business book of the year (1997); and in 2011 The Economist named it as one of the six most important books about business ever written. His other articles and books have received 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; and has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Tribeca Films Festival (2010).

Clay has served on the Boy Scouts of America for 25 years as a scoutmaster, cubmaster, den leader, troop and pack committee chairman. He and his wife Christine live in Belmont, Massachusetts. They are the parents of five children and grandparents to seven grandchildren.

Speech Topics

Disruptive Innovation: Changing the Way the World Learns

The way we learn doesnt always match up with the way we are taught. If we hope to stay competitive, academically, economically, and technologically, we need to rethink our understanding of intelligence, reevaluate our educational system, and reinvigorate our commitment to learning. In other words, we need disruptive innovation. Clayton Christensen analyzes the education debate and applies his now-famous theory of disruptive change to help audiences consider new possibilities. Whether youre a school administrator, government official, business leader, parent, teacher, or entrepreneur, youll discover surprising new ideas, outside-the-box strategies, and straight-A success stories. Audiences gain an understanding of:

How customized learning will help many more students succeed in school

Why student-centric classrooms will increase the demand for new technology

Why computers must be disruptively deployed to every student

How disruptive innovation can circumvent roadblocks that have prevented other attempts at school reform

Destructing the World Health Care Industry

Close to 50 million Americans live without health insurance while the global scenario is decidedly grim as millions die needlessly from treatable diseases. World leaders, including President Obama, consider health care to be a major diplomatic and domestic priority. What will it take; however, to cure the enormous health care challenges? The anecdote may lie in our collective ability to adopt disruption change. Best-selling author Professor Clayton Christensen has taken his essential principle of "Disruptive Innovation Theory", which states that companies innovate faster than people's lives change, and applied it to the health care industry. Based on his extensive research for his book The Innovator's Prescription: A Disruptive Solution for Health Care, Christensen's presentation will challenge how your organization thinks about health care and the future of the industry. His speeches are customized to each organization and cover topics including:

The likely prospects for today's leading companies

How entrenched companies can displace today's leaders

Why health care is expensive and inaccessible

How to create new growth through affordability and simplicity

How to circumvent the rules

Innovators Dilemma Expanded: Seven Questions and Answers to Success

Every company needs to grow, and innovation is the ticket to sustainable and profitable growth. What decisions can managers take to increase their probability of success? Managers have historically struggled to successfully manage innovation. The dilemma as described by Clayton Christensen, a giant in the world of innovators, is how to serve your core business while finding new markets and watching out for new entrants in your blind spot. Based on his seminal book, The Innovators Dilemma, considered by many to be the hallmark text on innovation by executive and entrepreneurs alike, Clayton Christensen has developed a set of theories to help guide managers when trying to build new growth businesses. In this relevant and timely presentation, Christensen coaches managers on how to sustain success by answer seven critical questions:

How can I beat powerful competitors?

How can I connect with customers?

How integrated should I be?

How should I set strategy?

From whom should I get funding?

Where should the innovation reside?

What is the role of the CEO?


Clayton Christensen Wants to Transform Capitalism | Wired ...

The world is awash in capital, Clayton Christensen says, but lacking in the innovation it needs for progress.Photo: Joe Pugliese/August Related O.

Clayton Christensen Talks Venture Capital, Crowd Funding, And ...

Editor's note: Derek Andersen is the founder of Startup Grind, a 40-city community bringing the global startup world together while educating,..

'Hybrid innovation': Clayton Christensen Institute introduces new ...

Clayton Christensen, the Harvard Business School professor credited with ... The paper was announced by the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive ...


No. 2. The Disruptive Guru: At No. 2 in the 2015 Thinkers50 ranking is Clayton Christensen, who topped the ranking in 2011 and 2013. Christensen is the author of several best-selling books including his classic The Innovator’s Dilemma. The book introduced the idea of disruptive innovation to a generation of managers and explained why the management practices that have allowed them to become industry leaders also make it hard for companies to develop the disruptive technologies that others may use to steal away their markets.

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