Clayton M. Christensen

Clayton M. Christensen is the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, 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.
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Clayton M. Christensen, the author of such business classics as The Innovator’s Dilemma and the New York Times bestseller How Will You Measure Your Life, and co-authors Efosa Ojomo and Karen Dillon reveal why so many investments in economic development fail to generate sustainable prosperity, and offers a groundbreaking solution for true and lasting change.

Global poverty is one of the world’s most vexing problems. For decades, we’ve assumed smart, well-intentioned people will eventually be able to change the economic trajectory of poor countries. From education to healthcare, infrastructure to eradicating corruption, too many solutions rely on trial and error. Essentially, the plan is often to identify areas that need help, flood them with resources, and hope to see change over time.

But hope is not an effective strategy.

Clayton M. Christensen and his co-authors reveal a paradox at the heart of our approach to solving poverty. While noble, our current solutions are not producing consistent results, and in some cases, have exacerbated the problem. At least twenty countries that have received billions of dollars’ worth of aid are poorer now.

Applying the rigorous and theory-driven analysis he is known for, Christensen suggests a better way. The right kind of innovation not only builds companies—but also builds countries. The Prosperity Paradox identifies the limits of common economic development models, which tend to be top-down efforts, and offers a new framework for economic growth based on entrepreneurship and market-creating innovation. Christensen, Ojomo, and Dillon use successful examples from America’s own economic development, including Ford, Eastman Kodak, and Singer Sewing Machines, and shows how similar models have worked in other regions such as Japan, South Korea, Nigeria, Rwanda, India, Argentina, and Mexico.

The ideas in this book will help companies desperate for real, long-term growth see actual, sustainable progress where they’ve failed before. But The Prosperity Paradox is more than a business book; it is a call to action for anyone who wants a fresh take for making the world a better and more prosperous place.

The foremost authority on innovation and growth presents a path-breaking book every company needs to transform innovation from a game of chance to one in which they develop products and services customers not only want to buy, but are willing to pay premium prices for.

How do companies know how to grow? How can they create products that they are sure customers want to buy? Can innovation be more than a game of hit and miss? Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen has the answer. A generation ago, Christensen revolutionized business with his groundbreaking theory of disruptive innovation. Now, he goes further, offering powerful new insights.

After years of research, Christensen has come to one critical conclusion: our long held maxim—that understanding the customer is the crux of innovation—is wrong. Customers don’t buy products or services; they "hire" them to do a job. Understanding customers does not drive innovation success, he argues. Understanding customer jobs does. The "Jobs to Be Done" approach can be seen in some of the world’s most respected companies and fast-growing startups, including Amazon, Intuit, Uber, Airbnb, and Chobani yogurt, to name just a few. But this book is not about celebrating these successes—it’s about predicting new ones.

Christensen contends that by understanding what causes customers to "hire" a product or service, any business can improve its innovation track record, creating products that customers not only want to hire, but that they’ll pay premium prices to bring into their lives. Jobs theory offers new hope for growth to companies frustrated by their hit and miss efforts.

This book carefully lays down Christensen’s provocative framework, providing a comprehensive explanation of the theory and why it is predictive, how to use it in the real world—and, most importantly, how not to squander the insights it provides.

Clayton Christensen’s definitive works on innovation—offered together for the first time

Will you fall victim to disruptive innovation—or become a disruptor yourself? Tip the odds in your favor with the bestselling books that have made Christensen one of the world’s foremost authorities on innovation. You’ll also get his award-winning HBR article, full of inspiration for finding meaning and happiness in your life using the principles of business.

The 4-volume collection includes:

The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail
In one of the most influential business books of our time, Christensen introduced the world to the concept of disruptive innovation, showing how even the most outstanding companies can do everything right—yet still lose market leadership. Don’t repeat their mistakes.

The Innovator’s Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth
Citing in-depth research and theories tested in hundreds of companies across many industries, Christensen and co-author Michael Raynor provide the tools organizations need to become disruptors themselves.

The Innovator's DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators
Christensen and coauthors Jeffrey Dyer and Hal Gregersen identify behaviors of the world’s best innovators—from leaders at Amazon and Apple to those at Google, Skype, and the Virgin Group—to show how you and your team can unlock the code to generating and executing more innovative ideas.

“How Will You Measure Your Life?” (HBR article)
At Harvard Business School, Clayton Christensen teaches aspiring MBAs how to apply management and innovation theories to build stronger companies. But he also believes that these models can help people lead better lives. In this award-winning Harvard Business Review article, he explains how, exploring questions everyone needs to ask: How can I be happy in my career? How can I be sure that my relationship with my family is an enduring source of happiness? And how can I live my life with integrity?
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