The Innovator’s Legacy

Last spring, the editorial team at MIT SMR began kicking around ideas for a special issue with longtime Clayton Christensen collaborator Karen Dillon. The topic? The future of disruptive innovation. Christensen introduced his landmark theory in 1995 and further popularized it in his 1997 book The Innovator’s Dilemma and subsequent works. Our hope with the special issue was to investigate how the nature of disruption has changed over the past 25 years as technology itself has evolved so dramatically.

Over the course of development of the spring issue, which will be released in print and online next month, Dillon spent time with Christensen, discussing his influential body of work and his thoughts on the future of disruptive innovation. Both reflective and forward looking, the conversation is an important addition to the canon of disruption. Christensen died Jan. 23 of complications from cancer, and we at MIT SMR are in the company of many across the world who feel profoundly sorry for the loss of a great thinker and warmhearted person.

A driving characteristic of Christensen’s research and groundbreaking work was how meaningful and impactful they were for real people working in companies every day. With this interview, we are honored to publish a final contribution from an influential leader and longtime friend, and we hope it will have meaning for you too.

Read the interview: “Disruption 2020: An Interview With Clayton M. Christensen.”

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