News Release

Top Management trailblazer highlights Critical Issues - for nations and families

Clayton Christensen speaks twice at UK Houses of Parliament

Clayton M Christensen, Harvard Business School’s Kim B Clark Professor of Business Administration – and a global expert on innovation and growth – addressed audiences of church-goers, ecclesiastical leaders, Mormon missionaries and opinion-makers during a tour in the UK including two appearances at the British Parliament, sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons).

New York Times best-selling author Professor Christensen, voted ‘the most influential living management thinker in the world’, spoke at six events during his one week visit to the United Kingdom.  He was accompanied by his wife Christine whose presentations drew from a rich array of their life experiences.

Speaking at a Parliamentary Breakfast hosted by Lord Mohamed Sheikh (9 September), Professor Christensen combined what he described as “two streams of thought – the national dilemma and the need to feel needed,” as he highlighted that “something has gone wrong with our economy that causes us not to create jobs.”  “The problem is that we measure success in ‘ratios’…we have invested less and less of our capital in innovations that create jobs.”

“Involvement in innovation is what creates growth”, he continued.  Market-creating innovations [such as the development of the smartphone] are “the kinds of innovations that create growth.”
Focussing on “the need to feel needed”, Professor Christensen described the time he attended the Latter-day Saints Oxford church in the 1970s when he was a Rhodes Scholar.  “What changed my life was the Mormon [congregation] in Oxford”, then numbering only about 40 worshippers.  He was spurred on by the love and unity of the group and being invited to serve with them.

“There is an interdependence between growth and the need to be needed.”  Professor Christensen emphasised that this principle applies to individuals as well as to countries and companies.

Clayton M Christensen also spoke at a Parliamentary meeting (8 September) attended by 150 people including Members of Parliament and business leaders, hosted by David Rutley MP.  Attendees included Barry Sheerman MP, Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Management. UK-based ecclesiastical leader Elder Clifford T Herbertson, Area Seventy, conducted on behalf of the Church.  

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