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The Prosperity Paradox: How Innovation Can Lift Nations Out of Poverty (HarperCollins, January 2019)


Global poverty is one of the world’s most vexing problems. For decades, we’ve assumed smart, well-intentioned people will eventually be able to change the economic trajectory of poor countries. From education to healthcare, infrastructure to eradicating corruption, too many solutions rely on trial and error. Essentially, the plan is often to identify areas that need help, flood them with resources, and hope to see change over time.

 
But hope is not an effective strategy.

Clayton M. Christensen and his co-authors reveal a paradox at the heart of our approach to solving poverty. While noble, our current solutions are not producing consistent results, and in some cases, have exacerbated the problem. At least twenty countries that have received billions of dollars’ worth of aid are poorer now.

Applying the rigorous and theory-driven analysis he is known for, Christensen suggests a better way. The right kind of innovation not only builds companies—but also builds countries. The Prosperity Paradox identifies the limits of common economic development models, which tend to be top-down efforts, and offers a new framework for economic growth based on entrepreneurship and market-creating innovation. Christensen, Ojomo, and Dillon use successful examples from America’s own economic development, including Ford, Eastman Kodak, and Singer Sewing Machines, and shows how similar models have worked in other regions such as Japan, South Korea, Nigeria, Rwanda, India, Argentina, and Mexico.

The ideas in this book will help companies desperate for real, long-term growth see actual, sustainable progress where they’ve failed before. But The Prosperity Paradox is more than a business book; it is a call to action for anyone who wants a fresh take for making the world a better and more prosperous place.

 

 


How do companies know how to grow? How can they create products that they are sure customers want to buy? Can innovation be more than a game of hit and miss?
After years of research, Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen and his co-authors have come to one critical conclusion: our long held maxim—that understanding the customer is the crux of innovation—is wrong. Customers don’t buy products or services; they “hire” them to do a job.




From the world’s leading thinker on innovation and New York Times bestselling author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, Clayton M. Christensen and former HBR editor Karen Dillon and James Allworth comes an unconventional book of inspiration and wisdom for achieving a fulfilling life. Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma, notably the only business book that Apple’s Steve Jobs said “deeply influenced” him, is widely recognized as one of the most significant business books ever published. Now, in the tradition of Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture and Anna Quindlen’s A Short Guide to a Happy Life, How Will You Measure Your Life is with a book of lucid observations and penetrating insights designed to help any reader—student or teacher, mid-career professional or retiree, parent or child—forge their own paths to fulfillment.




Don’t let destructive drama sideline your career.

Every organization has its share of political drama: Personalities clash. Agendas compete. Turf wars erupt. But you need to work productively with your colleagues—even difficult ones—for the good of your organization and your career. How can you do that without compromising your personal values? By acknowledging that power dynamics and unwritten rules exist—and navigating them constructively.

The HBR Guide to Office Politics will help you succeed at work without being a power grabber or a corporate climber. Instead you’ll cultivate a political strategy that’s authentic to you.