Friday, November 15, 2013

Christensen Wins - Again!

Clayton Christensen has topped the list of best Business Thinkers, for the second time in a row.  His seminal book, The Innovator's Dilemma was published in 1997, but by 2001, he was only ranked 39th on the list.

Why did it take so long for him to be recognized? The Innovator's Dilemma proposes a number of counter-intuitive explanations of why 'great companies fail'. When I first met Clay in 1997 and heard these ideas, they hit me like an bolt of lightning "Ah that explains so much!" But I had had a somewhat unorthodox business background by then, and I was totally unschooled in and untainted by traditional business and MBA thinking. For most people it took years for these powerful ideas to percolate.

Today, Christensen's thinking has profoundly influenced management thinking, although the words 'disruptive innovation' are applied to just about any new idea or product, even when they are not in the least disruptive. In any case, it's great to see my hero recognized and I'm betting this honour will stimulate even more people to read his important books.

Note that Kim and Mauborgne, authors of Blue Ocean Strategy sit at #2. Blue Ocean Strategy is an elaboration of the theory of disruption, with the addition of a great visualization approach that enhances explainability of disruptive innovation.  Canada can be really proud to see Roger Martin and Don Tapscott in third and fourth spot.  Women hold 4 of the top 10 spots on the list, representing a significant breakthrough, and Chinese squeeze into 31st and 50th positions for the first appearance of Chinese thinkers on the list.

1 comment:

Rohan Jayasekera said...

I'm very pleased to see him at #1, and Roger Martin at #3, and also very happy to see the inclusion of Umair Haque, who is someone I've been following for a long time.