Category: Thoughts & blogs


Video from the book launch

Posted on June 12th, by James in Thoughts & blogs. No Comments

The video from the book launch has just been posted. Innosight were kind enough to host a party for the book.

Head over to the Vimeo site for more details.


Excerpt on CNBC: “Building a Strategy for your Career”

Posted on May 24th, by James in Press & Reviews, Thoughts & blogs. No Comments

CNBC is hosting an excerpt from How Will You Measure Your Life. Pulling from the third chapter, on strategy, it’s focusing about shaping a strategy for your career:

I’m always struck by how many of my students and the other young people I’ve worked with think they’re supposed to have their careers planned out, step by step, for the next five years.

High-achievers, and aspiring high-achievers, too often put pressure on themselves to do exactly this. Starting as early as high school, they think that to be successful they need to have a concrete vision of exactly what it is they want to do with their lives.

Underlying this belief is the implicit assumption that they should risk deviating from their vision only if things go horribly wrong.

But having such a focused plan really only makes sense in certain circumstances.

Jump over to CNBC … Read More »


Fast Company on HWYMYL

Posted on May 18th, by James in Press & Reviews, Thoughts & blogs. No Comments

Fast Company is running an in-depth interview with Clay. From the article:

You draw strong parallels in the book between growing a career, a company, cultivating one’s personal or interior life, and building a family life. What is consistent across these four spheres?
The world is a nested space, and so we have our brain as a person, and people are members of teams, and teams are part of business units, and business units are parts of corporations, and corporations are part of industries, which are part of economies. And what we’ve been trying to figure out is, are there fundamental statements of causality that are the same across all of these units? And we really have concluded that there are. They each have their own vocabulary, but the fundamental causal mechanism is very much the same. I would say that one … Read More »


Huffington Post interview with Clay

Posted on May 18th, by James in Press & Reviews, Thoughts & blogs. No Comments

The Huffington Post is running a Q&A with Clay on HWYMYL:

Figuring out your purpose in life isn’t what many people go to business school for, but perhaps it should be, according to Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen. In fact, it’s something he believes in so strongly that he’s even created a guide in his latest book How Will You Measure Life? Regarded as one of the world’s top experts on innovation and growth, when Christensen was confronted with the same type of cancer that had killed his father, he reflected on what meant the most to him during his life. It wasn’t that he had helped companies make billions of dollars, in fact those things meant very little to him. He realized that it was the impact he had on individual people that mattered most.

Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma was … Read More »


Business Insider Q&A with Clay

Posted on May 17th, by James in Press & Reviews, Thoughts & blogs. No Comments

Business Insider has just run a Q&A with Clay:

On how to be successful
If you don’t have any idea of what kind of person you want to become, it’s all pointless. You really need to figure out, “What’s the purpose of my life? What kind of person does God want me to become? How do I need to invest my time and energy?” Without that you’re in a boat without a rudder.

And not go to jail like his former HBS classmate Jeffrey Skilling
Just hoping that you’ll become a certain kind of person isn’t enough. Hold to your standards all of the time. Every time you have an opportunity where you can depart — even “just this once under this circumstance”— well, your life is just an unending stream of “extenuating circumstances.” Everyone decides “just this once.”

To become the kind of person … Read More »


Empathy: the most valuable thing they teach at HBS

Posted on May 15th, by James in Thoughts & blogs. No Comments

The Harvard Business Review is running an article by HWYMYL co-author James Allworth, on empathy and its importance in business:

The place for me, however, where an appreciation of empathy is most undervalued, is in business. The potential upside for those in business who are able to be empathetic is huge, and is eloquently described in Professor Clay Christensen’s jobs-to-be-done theory. Understanding that people don’t buy things because of their demographics — nobody buys something because they’re a 25-30 year old white male with a college degree — but rather, because they go about living their life and some situation arises in which they need to solve a problem… and so they “hire” a product to do the job. This is a big “ah ha” to many folks when they first hear it; but when you really boil it down, the … Read More »


Instilling the Value of Integrity in Your Heart

Posted on May 15th, by James in Press & Reviews, Thoughts & blogs. No Comments

Knowledge@Wharton has just posted a wide-ranging interview with Clay on the topic of HWYMYL. They entitled it “Instilling the value of integrity in your heart”. From the article:

Knowledge@Wharton: Why is it important for managers and leaders to use the processes you describe?

Christensen: The core problem is that for whatever reason, when God created the world, he oriented us to always be looking into the future. He only made data available about the past. If we emerge into our careers as managers with a belief that we need to be data-driven and fact-based in our decision making, we’ll never be able to take action when it’s salient and always be reacting to things after the game is over. You need to be able to learn how to see into the future without data and evidence. The only way you can do … Read More »


Online interview with Clay, James and Karen

Posted on May 15th, by James in Press & Reviews, Thoughts & blogs. No Comments

Real Recognition Radio has just posted an in-depth, hour-long interview with Clay, James and Karen on HWYMYL?:

Can high-achievers have it all? On the next episode of Rideau’s Real Recognition Radio, Roy Saunderson and S. Max Brown speak with Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth and Karen Dillon, the authors of How Will You Measure Your Life? Clayton M. Christensen is the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and the author of seven critically-acclaimed books. A native of Australia, James Allworth writes for the Harvard Business Review, and has previously worked at Booz & Company, and Apple, Inc. Karen Dillon was Editor of the Harvard Business Review and previously served as deputy editor of Inc magazine, and was editor and publisher of the critically-acclaimed American Lawyer magazine. How do you stay grounded in purpose while being … Read More »


Charlie Rose interviews Clay

Posted on May 14th, by James in Press & Reviews, Thoughts & blogs. No Comments

Charlie Rose has just posted the interview he has completed with Clayton Christensen on How Will You Measure Your Life?

It’s up over at the Charlie Rose Show.


Stand by your personal line, always

Posted on May 14th, by James in Press & Reviews, Thoughts & blogs. No Comments

Forbes India, as part of a third anniversary special, is running an excerpt from HWYMYL.

The Hypothesis
Companies are biased to leverage what they have put in place to succeed in the past, instead of guiding them to create the capabilities they’ll need in the future. If we knew the future would be exactly the same as the past, that approach would be fine. But if the future’s different—and it almost always is—then it’s the wrong thing to do.

So What?
Every time an executive in an established company needs to make an investment decision, there are two alternatives on the menu. The first is the full cost of making something completely new. The second is to leverage what already exists. Almost always, the marginal-cost argument overwhelms the full-cost. When there is competition, established companies continue to use what they … Read More »