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 that is if, as we did with [Intel CEO] Andrew Grove, you have a way to think, a set of theories that allow you predict in advance that if you take a certain action, this will be the result; or if you take this action, this is why it won’t work for these reasons. You can either guess at that, or if you have good theories of cause and effect, you can see the future outcomes of your present actions a bit more clearly.

Knowledge@Wharton: Steve Jobs referenced the Innovator’s Dilemma as being greatly influential to him and how he ran Apple. What did you like about Jobs’ approach?

Christensen: What I love about the way he did his work is very similar to what Akio Morita did, who was the founder of Sony. During the time running Morita was running Sony, from 1955 to 1980, it was unbelievably successful in launching disruptive consumer electronics products time after time. The way Morita did it was that he had a policy never to do market research but rather he’d just walk around the world watching what people are trying to do. He’d try and understand the job they’re trying to get done. Once he really got a sense, he’d go back to work and say this is the kind of product we need to make and develop things like the Walkman and so on that people just never thought about before.

I think Jobs essentially did the same thing. He didn’t get his ideas from market research or surveying people, he essentially just watched what people were trying to do and questioned himself to figure out what he was really trying to do. If you have that kind of instinct to be observant and keep asking why people do what they do, I think that is by far the best way to do marketing. If you develop a product that gets what the customer is trying to get done, you don’t have to advertise; people will just pull it into their lives. I think the evidence is very strong for Sony during that era and for Apple under Jobs — they didn’t have to advertise until [the product] was already a success. They could advertise it so more people could realize that this does the job, but they didn’t have to create the demand which so much of marketing is focused on.

There’s a lot more on the topic over at the Knowledge@Wharton site. Click on through to read the full interview.

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