Sorry, got waylaid again. It seems reality has a habit of interjecting itself in the middle of well-laid plans. In this case the last two weeks have been heavily involved with getting a new online course in Production and Operations Management off the ground. While having taught this in the past and being very comfortable with the material, switching to a new textbook involves starting everything from scratch – designing assignments, projects, and recording lectures all while keeping the other eye on the balance between too much time expected in student engagement and insufficient time actually realized (for the ongoing battle over whether an online course is or can be equivalent to a seated course). It was easier running a business.
However, when my brain was not entirely fried there was the necessary need for some R&R. In my case it took the form of Runs and Rushes (a number of New Year’s bowl games and NFL playoff games), Rest and Recovery (an even greater number of naps), and Reading and Reflecting (in between the above). It is the latter I have just managed to segue into.
I am a little late to the party. This does not happen often, but for various reasons (such as living overseas and then trying to come up to speed as a late-in-life professor) I finally discovered and was able to read The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen. I say late because this book first appeared on the New York Times best-seller list in 1997, which in itself is amazing for a doctoral thesis (which doesn’t read like one). It is the journey of discovery of why many well managed and market-leading companies fail in attempting to incorporate disruptive technologies (really new ways of doing things) into the market place. I made reference to the book in an earlier post (before I received it as a Christmas gift from a very wise son who checked my Amazon wish list). You need to read this book; it is all that is said about it. And More.
The More is where the course of my blogging and the book now appear unexpectedly to intersect. As I was reading not only could I say, ‘Yes, been there, lived through that” from a corporate experience, but I realized that much of the same experiences and patterns (and solutions) I had also experienced in my personal career path (as successful transitions, thankfully). And in reflecting upon our cross-cultural living I could say that many of the same observations were also applicable, which then turned my eyes towards the cultural changes we are experiencing now – generational shifts, demographic shifts, political shifts, etc. I began to ask, “How are disruptive lessons incorporated into our lives?” This is the convergence with the blog.
My feeling now is that somebody needs to help translate the fundamentals in The Innovator’s Dilemma into other important aspects of life.
Guess I’ll be busy for a while. (In the meantime, read or reread the book).