The Innovators Dilemma – I stumbled across an article with the same name a long time ago, published at Harvard Business Review (https://hbr.org) and authored by Prof. Clayton Christensen. Prof. Clayton Christensen is known as one of the leading management thinkers of our time and gave us what we know call, “The Theory of Disruptive Innovation”. Clayton Magleby Christensen (April 6, 1952 – January 23, 2020) was an American academic and management consultant who developed the theory of “disruptive innovation”, which has been called the most influential business idea of the early 21st century. Christensen introduced “disruption” in his 1997 book The Innovator’s Dilemma, and it led The Economist to term him “the most influential management thinker of his time.” Prof. Clayton Christensen served as the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School (HBS), and was also a leader and writer in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Christensen was also a co-founder of Rose Park Advisors, a venture capital firm, and Innosight, a management consulting and investment firm specializing in innovation. ( Source – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clayton_Christensen ).
Life in a middle class family – I was brought up by middle class parents who worked very hard their entire lives, gave us a decent education (based on what they could afford at the time), ensured we had a roof over our heads, clothes to wear and enough of food on our plates. While we weren’t spoiled in any way, mostly had enough and had very little to complain about. We had basic comforts, life was simple but it was enough, that’s the beauty of being brought up in a middle class house where your parents are down to earth beings themselves. Their lessons to us came not through parables, not through stories, not through lectures but through the lives they lived and continue to live through this day. When i stumbled across Prof. Clayton Christensen’s work a long time ago i was reminded of the need to stay grounded, the need to continue to focus on the longer term, the need to focus on the important things in life and the cost of chasing the harmful things i.e. more money, bigger work titles, including the pitfalls of staying purely focused on a corporate career expecting to climb the so called, “ladder of success”.
How will you measure your life – In this video Prof. Clayton talks about the importance of focusing on the “important” things in life. What’s important to me is obviously (and not necessarily) going to be important to you as well. Prof. Clayton Christensen talks about the long term investments you have to make in your kids, relationship with your spouse/partner, colleagues at work, etc. helping them all of us become wonderful human beings. He talks about these investments as necessary and as required to help build a better shared future for everyone i.e. stewardship. Long term investments are tough to make, especially since you will in most cases not know when the fruits of those investments will (if ever) be seen. Which is also why as most humans we tend to take easy way out, can appreciate the importance of short term outcomes and immediate solutions. See how the food delivery businesses (Uber, etc.) have got most people wrapped around their tiny fingers, have them punching orders on their phones to get food delivered day in and day out. Taking the effort to design a healthy menu, shopping with your family and cooking together is a skill we treasure, a great way to bond with family but tough to achieve in this fast paced jet set age where we are all so time poor (and that includes myself).
How Will Your Measure Your Life – Prof Clayton Christensen
Read Prof. Clayton Christensen’s article on, “How Will You Measure Your Life” at HBR.org – https://hbr.org/2010/07/how-will-you-measure-your-life and check out all the books Prof. Clayton Christensen has written at – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1792.Clayton_M_Christensen.
Hopefully this gives you some food for thought. At this time of the year when we have time to slow down, reflect on what we’ve achieved (Family, work, etc.) over the year, work out our priorities for our own selves, for the families we live in and for the societies we are part of. We are all connected beings, we lived in a world where we have a shared future, so any investments we make to better the lives and environments around us only goes to better our own life and environment as well. I encourage you to take the time to ponder on the outcomes we ought to drive personally and the personal investments we ought to make in our own families, relationships, communities to leave behind a society that’s better off than when we got there.