How Will You Measure Your Life By : Clayton M. Christensen

How Will You Measure Your Life
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In 2010, Clayton Christensen delivered a powerful speech to Harvard Business School‘s graduating class. This was not on his usual subject, innovation. Instead this speech dealt with personal happiness and fulfilment. That was a difficult period in Christensen’s life. He had suffered a heart attack and a stroke, and had been diagnosed with a form of cancer that had killed his father. It led him to examine his own life, and he shared his experiences and insights with the young graduates. The speech was published as an article in HBR. Later, along with James Allworth and Karen Dillon, he expanded the article into a book, explaining his guidelines for living a meaningful life. He interestingly draws lessons from the business field to highlight simple life lessons. For instance, to highlight the difference between marginal thinking and full thinking, he uses the example of Blockbuster and Netflix, both video rental companies. Blockbuster was huge, they were well established with a huge collection of DVDs and a broad customer base. They lent DVDs to customers, and charged late fees if the DVDs were not returned on time. Netflix was a new idea. The company decided to rent videos over the Internet. For a fixed monthly rental, the company would allow customers to rent a certain number of videos. The monthly fee would cover the cost of mailing the DVDs to the customer and back. This model worked in the opposite direction to that of Blockbuster. Netflix did not charge any late fee, because, if the customer kept the DVDs for longer, they did not have to send out the next set of movies that were covered by the monthly rental. When investors in Blockbuster began to get uneasy about this new competition, the executives at Blockbuster dismissed the idea saying the Netflix idea would not last long. Today, Netflix has nearly 25 million customers, while Blockbuster went bankrupt. The company looked at the marginal costs that would be involved in making alternative investments to take on Netflix at its own turf. In the process, they ignored the full picture, including their extensive inventory of movies that they already had. If they had taken that into account may be they would have had a different perspective on the investment they would have had to make. Christensen says this can be applied to personal lives too. Most often, people base their decision on marginal thinking without taking into account the full picture. Interestingly, he uses these and other business anecdotes to teach his principles for living a happy and meaningful life. He uses these incidents, and also experiences from his own life to highlight how often and how easily people can fall into traps that leads to unhappiness and discontent. Through this book, How Will You Measure Your Life?, Christensen explores various aspects of people’s lives like integrity, happiness, family relationship etc and shows the readers how they can deal with all these aspects to ensure a happy and meaningful life.

Book Details

Number of Pages: 100 Pages
Bar Code: 9780007490547
Publisher:
Book
What's in the Box? 1 x How Will You Measure Your Life

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