Clay Christensen

Speech Topics

The way we learn doesn’t 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 you’re a school administrator, government official, business leader, parent, teacher, or entrepreneur, you’ll 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

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

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 Innovator’s 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?


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“Instead of telling him what to think, I told him how to think.” It’s a simple quote that embodies the mission – and mantra – of Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen: encourage inquiry. It’s also at the root of his disruptive innovation theory, which has defined 21st century business and continues to profoundly impact organizations and their leaders across the globe.

A world renowned innovation strategy and growth expert, Professor Christensen was recently named 2013’s most influential living management thinker in the world by Thinkers50 for the second time running, an achievement matched only by management legends Peter Drucker and CK Prahalad. He revolutionized conventional management thinking with his seminal book, The Innovator’s Dilemma (Harvard Business School Press, 1997), which explored the radical paradox that great companies fail by making the “right decisions” in the “wrong” situations. The New York Times best-seller has been translated into 18 languages, sold in more than 25 countries and has deeply influenced some of the greatest business leaders of our time – among them, Apple’s Steve Jobs, business magnate Michael Bloomberg and Intel CEO Andy Grove.

Sixteen years later, Professor Christensen believes we are in the throes of the “Capitalist’s Dilemma” – a theory at the heart of his forthcoming book of the same name, which he hopes will “help us understand that policies that were once right are now wrong, and that counterintuitive measures might actually work to turn our economies around.” Professor Christensen also continues to focus the lens of disruptive innovation on the world’s most pressing social problems: healthcare and education. His best-selling books – The Innovator’s Prescription (McGraw-Hill, 2009), Disrupting Class (McGraw-Hill, 2008) and The Innovative University: Changing the DNA of Higher Education from the Inside Out (Jossey-Bass, 2011) – and non profit, non partisan think tank, The Clayton Christensen Institute, offer unique frameworks for better understanding and addressing these ever-evolving challenges.

But Professor Christensen believes one of his most enduring legacies will be an idea he first put forward in his 2003 book The Innovator’s Solution (Harvard Business Review Press): don’t sell products and services to customers, but rather try to help people address their jobs-to-be-done. This seemingly simple idea has terrific potential for reframing industries and is the basis for another forthcoming book.

A widely sought after speaker, advisor and board member, Professor Christensen’s research continues to be applied to national economies, start-up and Fortune 50 companies, as well as to early- and late-stage investing. He is also an experienced entrepreneur having started three successful companies: CPS Technologies, innovation consulting firm Innosight, and investment firm Rose Park Advisors. He currently serves as a board member at Tata Consulting Services (NSE: TCS), Franklin Covey (NYSE: FC) and Ensign Group, Inc.

And yet, for all Professor Christensen has accomplished in his professional life, he urges people not to reserve “your best business thinking for your career.” Too often, he says, “we measure success in life against the progress we make in our careers.” This personal and provocative advice is detailed in his McKinsey Award-winning turned best-selling book, How Will You Measure Your Life? (HarperCollins, 2012), in which he encourages all of us to think about what is truly important.

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