Podcast Of The Week: Exponent Remembers Clayton Christensen

If unfamiliar with Clayton Christensen and just how important he was to the worlds of technology and management, there may be no better people to explain his contributions and eulogize him than his co-author James Allworth, and the respectfully critical blogger Ben Thompson.


Allworth was a student and research associate of Christensen‘s at Harvard Business School. He helped convince Christensen to turn his semester-ending lecture into the book, How Will You Measure Your Life, which he also co-authored.


Thompson wrote one of his most popular posts about him, “What Clayton Christensen Got Wrong.” In hindsight, the title was a bit strongly worded, but it was testament to the influence and rigor by which Christensen approached problems. Thompson goes great lengths to explain the blind spot in disruption theory where Christensen seemed to be misinterpreting Apple.


On their podcast, Exponent “Episode 180 – It’s Been A Week,” they talk about the theories and the man that was Clayton Christensen. They explain how his skill was to drive people beyond correlation and all the way to causality. He understood that in the end a company or person always needed to take action, and he used explanations, stories, and metaphors to get them there.

Allworth shares personal stories about how Christensen embraced this process throughout all aspects of his life. People of this level of character are rare. He shares a story about coming out to Christensen, also a devout Mormon, that is absolutely beautiful.


I’ll personally be re-reading some of Christensen’s (and Allworth‘s and Thompson’s) work in the days and weeks ahead. The influence of this man on all of our lives no matter how close or far removed from him we were can’t be understated. It’s not too late to learn from Christensen, his work is as relevant as ever. Dive in.

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