Friday Faves is our weekly blog series highlighting a few select pieces from the REG team’s reading lists. You can catch up on past Friday Faves on the archive

Cartoon of the week

By Jeremy Nguyen, with Counterpoint: Everything you thought you knew about inbox zero is wrong.

Anne says: This year I’m exploring new ways of communicating, combining digital with traditional forms of cartoons or comics. The first cartoon resonated for me as we start the new year with aspirations to control our emails overload, conquer the information flow, and accomplish some form of balance between all our devices and applications! 

If you discover any cartoons that resonate with you – please send them through and we’ll share them here! 

Clayton Christensen, Guru of ‘Disruptive Innovation,’ Dies at 67

Clayton M. Christensen at Harvard Business School in 2006. He joined the faculty there in 1992 after many years as an executive.
Jodi Hilton for NYT

Anne says: It’s been a tumultuous start to 2020 across the world – but through all the environmental disasters and political shenanigans this headline cut through all other news. I didn’t know where to start to share the contributions and impact he’d had on my own work and management thinking – so I’ve collected a range of reviews that traverse the range of ideas and how they impacted so many different sectors – from corporate executives to individuals; from large, established companies to start-ups; from academics to students. It feels inadequate, but I’ll let you explore further if any of these concepts that trigger your interest.

Who was Clayton Christensen? He was a Professor in the Harvard Business School. He published a number of books, however the most profound was The Innovator’s Dilemma in 1997. A book that The Economist called one of the 6 most important business books ever written. In 2012, he published “How Will You Measure Your Life?”, this was a reflection (as a result of his cancer diagnosis) on his management theories and how they could be applied to your personal life. (Read the HBR article, below)

In 2014, he published an article with Derek van Bever, “The Capitalist’s Dilemma”, which examined the different types of innovation and their effects. The dilemma they revealed was intriguing – logical and not surprising from so many perspectives, yet repeated measurement and evaluation errors based on flawed assumptions were causing innovations to fail. Like many of Christensen’s approaches, he involved a diverse range of people to work with him on his research – his students were an endless source of inspiration for him. The Capitalist’s Dilemma included a crowd-sourced approach with 150 current students and alumni.

The Editors of Harvard Business Review have published a collection of Christensen’s articles – the fundamental ones they felt were the most representative of his writings. Of significance is the final article that was his presentation to his students in 2010, the basis for his book “How Will You Measure Your Life?” 

I’ll include a more recent article (January 2019) in Chief Executive Magazine: Innovation is the Answer – it’s an interesting read to explore how he applies his theories to real life examples and again, his approach to problem solving.

And another reflection from Christian Sandstrom at MIT where he reconsiders how Christensen’s theories were diluted and the adoption of “disruption” as a mainstream term. It was a challenge that Christensen embraced but never argued against – summed up perfectly by Sandstrom:

“Christensen’s work was one theory concerning industrial dynamics and technological change. It was never the theory. Elevate any idea to that sort of position and you are bound to generate disappointment.”

Micheal Horn, a friend and colleague at Harvard wrote a moving tribute to Christensen. You might want to start with this article – to understand a little more about the man behind the theories. Or read it last, to appreciate his approach to learning and writing. 

I’ll close this brief overview with a couple more quotes:

“Through his research and teaching,” the dean of Harvard Business School said, “he fundamentally shaped the practice of business and influenced generations of students and scholars.”

And from Christensen himself:

“Don’t worry about the level of individual prominence you have achieved,” he continued; “worry about the individuals you have helped become better people.”


How Katie Sowers became the first woman and openly gay coach in Super Bowl history


Jakkii says: Despite being terribly uncoordinated and unathletic, I’m a big fan of sports in general (even if professional sports are not without their issues), and I am a huge fan of American Football. Each year I aim to take the first Monday in February off to watch the Super Bowl (which is all the more fun now that it’s become such a big ‘thing’ in Australia with Super Bowl parties all around the place). This year, though my team is once again not in the Super Bowl (they weren’t even in the playoffs), I’m particularly excited to see the first woman and the first openly gay coach reach the Super Bowl.

It’s a huge achievement for a great many reasons, and as we all work to foster, increase and improve diversity and inclusion within our own workplaces, it’s great to see such a huge step in a sport like the NFL and reflect on the work it’s taken to get there. Granted, it’s 2020, and on the one hand, it’s astounding we’re still in the position that this is novel and extraordinary and not normal and commonplace, but on the other hand, I think we have to acknowledge and celebrate change – even if we might think it’s taken too long to get there.

This is a great read about Katie Sowers, covering some of the challenges she has faced in her football career, and the ongoing stigma around being openly LGBTQ+ in professional sports in the USA, particularly for men. I’m sharing this piece this week both because it’s a positive story and I think we could all use more positive stories in our lives, but also as a piece for us to read and reflect upon how we might do more to be better role models and better allies, and to support diversity and inclusion in our own workplaces in 2020.


This is cool: The highest resolution photos of the sun ever taken

One of the first images of the surface of the sun, taken by the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope

Jakkii says: Space is cool in and of itself, but how amazing and awesome is it when advances in technology allow us to do things like take images like this of a burning hot star like the sun?? There’s some great info in this short read about how building a telescope for solar observation isn’t like building a regular telescope, and that the project has been a long time in the making (and is not without controversy). Have a read, and just bask in the inspiration of the cool stuff humans can achieve when we want to.


Social Media

To kick off our first Friday Faves of 2020, a short list of 5 of interesting social media related articles this week:

Sydney Business Insights – The Future of Power: James Crabtree on India’s billionaire raj


With the rise of a billionaire superclass from the austere remnants of India’s state socialism, how will India handle rising inequality?

Associate Professor James Crabtree from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy joins Dr Sandra Peter to discuss leapfrogging, happiness and state capacity.

The Future of Power series is a collaboration between the Sydney Policy Lab and Sydney Business Insights.


James Crabtree’s biography

The Billionaire Raj: A Journey Through India’s New Gilded Age, James Crabtree’s new book, a vivid account of a divided society on the cusp of transformation

World Inequality Report 2018 by the World Inequality Lab

World Happiness Report: rankings of happiness prepared by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network

Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson

James Crabtree at Google Talks on the billionaire raj


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