I am not a big fan of motivational or self-help books. Even in my needy moments, I find them too preachy, simplistic, formulaic and a tad irritating. However, this one is different. Christensen has built a reputation at Harvard and beyond as a strategy professor with an eye for innovation and disruption techniques.
This book examines life via the lenses of theories that the author has written extensively in Innovator’s Dilemma and Innovator’s Solution, both favourites in business schools’ Strategy and Entrepreneurial classes. I had the latter as a text in graduate school back in the days, so the context appealed to me, and it is a fresh insight into the motivational genre.
My takeaways from this were the following:
Your strategy in life is not composed of big decisions but the addition of many small decisions. How you spend your time, money and energy determine your strategy not just what you say your strategy is.
A deliberate strategy is important, but an emergent strategy is more important.
The trap of marginal thinking is scary. Like we often say in pidgin English “Na from clap hand dem dey start dance” (an even better one is “Escort me, escort me, na so slave trade take start”). The marginal cost of doing something “just this once” always seems to be negligible, but the full cost will typically almost always higher. We often end up paying the full cost of decisions, not the marginal cost.
This book is not one of these Get-Rich quick or 10 steps to success books. This is one that uses tested business theories to X-ray and challenge daily living. Very good read and worth returning to in future.