FGI Initiative


Publication: 2013-09-18



Name:Owen Ambur


Name:Forum for Growth & Innovation


The Forum for Growth and Innovation is a research project guided by Professor Clayton Christensen, the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration and one of the world's top experts on growth and innovation. The goal of the Forum is to discover, develop, and disseminate robust, accessible theory in the areas of innovation and general management. We judge our success by our ability to shape debate among students of management theory and to make a difference i​n the lives of general managers worldwide by bringing useful new approaches to bear on their most critical growth and innovation challenges. Each year, the Forum invites a few highly qualified MBA graduates to engage in a yearlong residency program. Associates collaborate with Professor Christensen on theory development intended for publication in Harvard Business Review and other leading business journals.


  • Clayton ChristensenKim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration -- Clayton M. Christensen is the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School; and is regarded as one of the world's top experts on innovation and growth. Professor Christensen holds a B.A. with highest honors in economics from Brigham Young University (1975), and an M.Phil. in applied econometrics from Oxford University (1977), where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. He received an MBA with High Distinction from the Harvard Business School in 1979, graduating as a George F. Baker Scholar. In 1982 Professor Christensen was named a White House Fellow, and served through 1983 as assistant to U.S. Transportation Secretaries Drew Lewis and Elizabeth Dole. He was awarded his DBA from the Harvard Business School in 1992. Professor Christensen became a faculty member there in 1992, and was awarded a full professorship with tenure in 1998. He holds five honorary doctorates and an honorary chaired professorship at the Tsinghua University in Taiwan. Christensen has served as a director of many companies, and has advised the executives of scores of the world's major corporations. These companies generate tens of billions of dollars in revenues every year from product and service innovations that were inspired by his research. Christensen, an experienced entrepreneur, has started four successful companies. Prior to joining the HBS faculty, in 1984 he and three MIT professors founded CPS Technologies, which has become a leading developer and manufacturer of products from high-technology materials. In 2000, Christensen founded Innosight, a consulting firm that uses his theories of innovation to help companies create new growth businesses. In 2007, he founded Rose Park Advisors, a firm that identifies and invests in disruptive companies. He is also the founder of Innosight Institute, a non-profit think tank whose mission is to apply his theories to vexing societal problems such as healthcare and education. Professor Christensen is the best-selling author of eight books and more than a hundred articles. The Innovator's Dilemma received the Global Business Book Award as the best business book of the year (1997); and in 2011 The Economist named it as one of the six most important books about business ever written. His other articles and books have received the Abernathy, Newcomen, James Madison, and Circle Prizes. Five times he has received the McKinsey Award, given to the two best articles published in the Harvard Business Review each year; and has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Tribeca Films Festival (2010). He has been featured twice (1998 and 2011) as the cover story in Forbes Magazine. In 2011 in a poll of thousands of executives, consultants and business school professors, Christensen was named as the most influential business thinker in the world. Professor Christensen was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. He worked as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Republic of Korea from 1971 to 1973; speaks fluent Korean; and continues to serve in his church in as many ways as he can. He served the Boy Scouts of America for 25 years as a scoutmaster, cubmaster, den leader, troop and pack committee chairman. He and his wife Christine live in Belmont, MA. They are the parents of five children and grandparents to five grandchildren.

  • Derek C. M. van BeverSenior Lecturer of Business Administration, Director, Forum for Innovation and Growth -- Derek van Bever is a Senior Lecturer in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit. He will be teaching Building and Sustaining a Successful Enterprise in the Fall term of the 2012/13 academic year. He is also the Director of the Forum for Growth and Innovation, a research project sponsored by Professor Clay Christensen that is focused on discovering, developing and disseminating predictive theory on management and innovation. Derek is a co-founder of The Advisory Board Company (NASDAQ: ABCO), a global research, consulting, and technology firm serving hospital and university executives, and was a member of the founding executive team of The Corporate Executive Board (NYSE: CEB), a global thought leadership and advisory network, which spun out of the Advisory Board Company in a highly successful 1999 Initial Public Offering. The Corporate Executive Board is now the world's largest executive advisory network, with annual revenue over $800 million and a membership spanning over 50 countries and including executives from 85% of the Fortune 500 and 50% of the Dow Jones Asian Titans. In his role as Chief Research Officer for the Corporate Executive Board, Derek directed teams studying best practices in strategy, innovation, talent management, finance and governance in the large-corporate sector worldwide. He oversaw the development and launch of the firm's new practice areas following the IPO, and he led the development of the firm's internal corporate academy. He co-authored the book Stall Points, an analysis of the growth experience of the Fortune 100 across the past half-century, which was published by Yale University Press in 2008. An article based on the book, entitled "When Growth Stalls," appeared in the May 2008 Harvard Business Review and won the McKinsey Award for that year. His survey of the CEOs of newly-public companies, "The Perfect Storm: How the IPO Experience Threatens Good Work for Leaders of the Young Public Company," was published as part of the Harvard Graduate School of Education's GoodWork series, edited by Howard Gardner. Derek is a 1988 graduate of HBS and a 2011 graduate of Harvard Divinity School. His divinity school thesis, "A Mission Beyond Commerce," examines the challenges to personal and corporate mission posed by pivot points such as a change of ownership or leadership transition and suggests practices and disciplines for retaining a sense of perspective in the "high hurry" of business life. His current interests include both environmental and personal sustainability, and he has taught on the connection between sustainability and faith in Boston University School of Management's MBA program. Derek lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his wife and three children. He was a founding board member of the Firefly Children's Network and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and is an elder in the Presbyterian Church.

  • Dina WangDina Wang is an associate at the Forum for Growth and Innovation at Harvard Business School. Her research focus is on disruption in the professional services sector and on innovation in health care. Dina was previously an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company in New York, serving clients in the health care sector. She has also worked at DaVita and Chateau Margaux. Dina graduated from Harvard Business School with Distinction in 2012. She received a BA in Chemistry from Harvard University, where she graduated magna cum laude. She is originally from Toronto, Canada and is an avid fan of all things artistic.

  • FGI MembersThe Forum's membership is made up of both academics and practitioners. Forum practitioners are typically general managers with an interest in developing and employing prescriptive theory in their organizations. Practitioners participate through a series of events, both in person and online. The Forum hosts regular conferences and webinars to present and discuss its latest research. An annual conference allows faculty, practitioners, and HBS students to discuss and shape the leading edge of general management theory. The Forum also maintains a vibrant online community to discuss ideas and develop new theory. Practitioners are expected to remain active through attendance at events and contributions to research.

  • Harvard Business School