Treasure 116 – Tribute to Clayton Christensen

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Which approaches help in complexity? Why explore the new? What does it take for a successful life? Treasure 116 is dedicated to Clayton Christensen, who died on January 23, 2020.

Nugget #1 – Which approaches help in complexity?

Do you know Clayton Christensen? If so, it’s probably because of the book “Innovator’s Dilemma”. But more about that in Nugget #2 and linked in Nugget #1. But at this point I would like to take up three approaches from the article, which might help you to master the complex challenges of the current time:

  • Use analogies from completely different areas to find innovative solutions. I like to take a look at sports or nature. Maybe some comparisons are misleading. But I am still convinced that we can learn from the forest when it comes to competition.
  • Ask questions instead of blindly applying best practices. I am a friend of workhacks and the exchange of best practices. However, copying can be quite ineffective. How many have copied the Spotify organizational model with its squads, tribes and guilds and wondered about its lack of success? Instead of a cargo cult, it’s better to investigate what causes certain patterns of behavior in the company and can thus effectively address the causes.
  • The first time you write things down, you understand them. This is exactly why I am writing this blog. It helps me to process articles more consciously and to continue research here and there. It does not necessarily have to be a text. Also a mind map or sketch note helps to sort thoughts and understand connections.

Which approaches of Clayton Christensen have you tried before and can you recommend them? (6 min, text, English)

Clayton Christensen, the Gentle Giant of Innovation

Nugget #2 – Why explore the new?

The blog of Marcus Raitner is a constant in my weekly schedule. I was pleased that he also dedicated a post to Clayton Christensen. Two days ago I once again got to enjoy the disruptive innovation in the music industry. At the third move within 17 months I didn’t have to lug a single CD or DVD around anymore. Thanks to streaming services. I think it is very likely that I will write similar lines about the automotive industry in a few years. The article by Marcus Raitner should therefore be mandatory reading for everyone in the German favorite industry. Because I still often enough hear similar sentences like the one from Transforming Nokia:

We are the German OEMs and Tier1s. We invented this industry. Let’s keep doing what we do so well. Nobody does it better.

If we don’t want to end up like the Finnish mobile phone primus, we should take the Manifesto for Human Leadership to heart. In times of approaching crisis, many companies insist on conformity and efficiency. I too see value in this. But we need much more of diversity, networks and courageous exploration of new things. Are you in? (6 min, text, German)

Nugget #3 – What does it take for a successful life?

Until now, I only knew Clayton Christensen as a thought leader on the subject of innovation. While creating this treasure, I stumbled across one of his articles from 2010, which deals with questions about his own life.

I also have limited resources and am constantly thinking about whether I am using them correctly. The use in my main job is just right. I am not someone who has to do 50+ hours per week to feel good. I also spend enough time for my two boys. At the moment I even dedicate Tuesday afternoons to them and take care of their physical well-being and training appointments for handball and American football. A small but nice piece of the cake of own resources gets the project CompanyPirate. The pieces of the cake for sports and the time with my wife could be a little bit bigger. What would be the solution? A part-time job?

How do you actually measure your life? What aspects of Christensen’s contribution are important to you? (18 min, text, english)

How Will You Measure Your Life?