Thursday, July 3, 2014

Fighting Their Way Back

Inside Higher Education
July 3rd, 2014


Several summers ago, Clay Christensen, the Harvard University business theorist behind The Innovator’s Dilemma, was giving an early morning talk at his church. Christensen’s son was in the audience and knew something was wrong when his father, a respected and practiced lecturer, began speaking what Christensen describes as “gibberish.”
Because Christensen is a diabetic, his son thought he might be going into insulin shock. He fed gave his father candy and checked his blood sugar, but it wasn’t low. At the hospital, Christensen was diagnosed with his third major health crisis in about as many years: a stroke.
Although it came on the heels of a massive heart attack and cancer, the stroke was in many ways the most devastating to Christensen. All three health events could have killed him, but the stroke took away something central to the professor’s work and identity: his ability to speak for extended periods of time with authority and confidence. For him, it wasn't just the class sessions for his business students, but the lectures he gives far and wide.

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