Top Clayton Christensen Quotes

Here is a compilation of the top Clayton Christensen Quotes. Christensen is a professor at Harvard Business School, founder of many enterprises, and a renowned management thinker famous for his concepts and ideas about innovation. He is the author of several books and articles on the topics of innovations and related ideas.  Please check Christensen’s website for more information.  The top 20 quotes by Christensen span innovation, work, and personal life, leadership, and culture.

Top Clayton Christensen Quotes: Top 20 quotations that will inspire and motivate.

  1. “Management isn’t simply about P&L statements, meeting quarterly growth and profitability targets, and creating brand awareness. Those are byproducts of good management. Management is about waking up every day and helping people become better people so they can do better work and live better lives.”
  2. “In your life, there are going to be constant demands for your time and attention. How are you going to decide which of those demands gets resources? The trap many people fall into is to allocate their time to whoever screams loudest, and their talent to whatever offers them the fastest reward. That’s a dangerous way to build a strategy.”
  3. “Disruptive technologies typically enable new markets to emerge.”
  4. “People who are driven to excel have this unconscious propensity to underinvest in their families and overinvest in their careers — even though intimate and loving relationships with their families are the most powerful and enduring source of happiness.”
  5. “Data simply represents the phenomena. But substituting data for the phenomenon without truly understanding what is going on underneath that data can lead to devastating outcomes.”
  6. “The key is not to figure out what the best people are doing and try to emulate it – rather, figure out what causes people and companies to be successful.”
  7. “American capitalists, enthralled by the doctrines of finance, have put their income statements in service of the balance sheet.”
  8. “Eighty percent of the cases used in the typical MBA program are about successful companies. Students graduate with this notion that ‘If I do everything that the people in those cases did, then my organization will grow and be successful, too.”
  9. “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole.”
  10. “Decide what you stand for. And then stand for it all the time.”
  11. “If you defer investing your time and energy until you see that you need to, chances are it will already be too late.”
  12. “Management teams aren’t good at asking questions. In business school, we train them to be good at giving answers.”
  13. “Research suggests that in over 90 percent of all successful new businesses, historically, the strategy that the founders had deliberately decided to pursue was not the strategy that ultimately led to the business’s success.”
  14. “You may hate gravity, but gravity doesn’t care.”
  15. “As I look back on my own life, I recognize that some of the greatest gifts I received from my parents stemmed not from what they did for me—but rather from what they didn’t do for me.”
  16. “An organization’s capabilities reside in two places. The first is in its processes—the methods by which people have learned to transform inputs of labor, energy, materials, information, cash, and technology into outputs of higher value. The second is in the organization’s values, which are the criteria that managers and employees in the organization use when making prioritization decisions.”
  17. “We adhere to the saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” while not really questioning whether “it” is “broke.”
  18. “People often think that the best way to predict the future is by collecting as much data as possible before making a decision. But this…is like driving a car looking only at the rearview mirror-because data is only available about the past.”
  19. “Steve Jobs and Apple taught us that profit is not the ultimate goal, but rather a consequence of something greater.”
  20. “Don’t worry about the level of individual prominence you have achieved; worry about the individuals you have helped become better people.”

Let us know which of the top Clayton Christensen’s quotes do you like and why? Did we miss some other quote by Christensen that belongs in the top twenty?

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Please read more about Clayton Christensen.

Read a Wisdom Story about a Christensen quote about underinvesting in our family and personal relationship

Books by Clayton Christensen:


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