Purpose

The Forum for Growth and Innovation is a research initiative funded by Harvard Business School and 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 and practitioners of management theory and to make a difference in the lives of managers worldwide by bringing useful new approaches to bear on their most critical growth and innovation challenges.

The purpose of the Forum’s research activities is to develop actionable, prescriptive theory that can guide general managers in their most critical growth and innovation decisions. The Forum aims to re-invigorate general management research by following a proven process for building sound theory, refining it through collaboration with practitioners, and then distributing it to a broad audience.

To that end, we seek to partner with you, the BSSE alumni community, to help us understand and if possible resolve what Clay has termed “the Capitalist’s Dilemma” – the troubling tendency of companies large and small to invest in growth initiatives that liberate capital and destroy jobs. Many of you collaborated on our first inquiry into this challenge in 2013-14, which we documented in the June 2014 issue of Harvard Business Review.

Similar to that earlier endeavor, we invite you to participate here as we try to better understand the causes of this phenomenon as well as refine potential solutions to it. This will be our first experience with this new online platform, and we hope to use it to engage discussion of these issues, as well as to share articles and other resources that might prove of interest to you. In this as in all we do, we are dedicated to helping you to gain maximum value from the investment you have made in mastering the theories we teach in the BSSE course.

Clay’s Take

“We launched the Forum for Growth and Innovation with the goal of pushing innovation and growth research in new directions, all while keeping an eye on the practical implications for people running actual companies. Our goal is not so much to teach our community what to think, but rather to continually better understand how to think.”