Clayton M. Christensen one of the leading management thinkers of all time passed away on Jan 23rd, 2020. I have read a few of his books. Of course, the most famous of his books is “The Innovators Dilemma.” He came with the term disruptive innovation. Usually it is the disruptors on the low end of the market who disrupt and push the market leaders out. For example, Toyota came in with a new model in the 1950’s and the other automakers did not pay attention. We all know the rest of the story. 

This whole model is based on the S Curve where there is a long time initially where nothing seems to happen and then at the inflection point growth is exponential before it again becomes stagnant. The best example is Facebook which from its inception took 4 years to reach 10 percent penetration but then it exploded. Even the iPod took more than 3 years to really take off so we must be patient in anything and everything we try.

The other book I liked is “How to Measure your Life.” It was based on three simple things which I expand on here.

Career – This is all about having a thriving career which is fulfilling. Find out your strengths and align the work to your strengths. The different theories of motivation are discussed here with one of them being the one proposed by Frederick Herzberg. It is the motivation-hygiene theory. The theory bases its premise on the fact that there are a few factors which cause satisfaction in the job. Some of the motivators are challenging work, responsibility, recognition, meaning and decision making. If we align our career with these factors we will be happier.

Relationships – It is the relationships that we have in our families and work that ultimately determines our life satisfaction. We need to invest time to spend with the key folks in our lives. I have identified a few factors that can help in building relationships. Some of them are being vulnerable, being enthusiastic, speaking with candor and always respecting others. Here is my article on building relationships.8 Ways to Build World-Class Relationships

Living a life of Integrity–This is a very complex topic and none of us are perfect. Clayton Christensen’s main theme on this one is to stay out of jail. His point was a lot of folks who studied with him were not doing well in their marriages and even some of them were in jail. He says one of the keys to this issue is marginal thinking. We sometimes say that we will make an exception this one time. He says the key is to make it zero exceptions and that is the way to live a life that you can measure successfully. 

Clayton M. Christensen has had an impact on the world for sure and he will be remembered as one of the most influential management thinkers of our times. 

The views expressed here are my own and do not represent my organization.