Competing Against Luck - Clayton M. Christensen, et al.

Competing Against Luck - Clayton M. Christensen, et al.

Do you want to become more competent in innovation? Learn to think differently and make it more predictable and profitable!

Have you considered the conflicts we face daily to thrive in life? Well, the book "Competing Against Luck", by the authors Clayton M. Christensen, Taddy Hall, Karen Dillon and David S. Duncan, is about progress and not about product!

Entrepreneurs and managers are always investing in innovation to expand their business. However, most of the time, they are concerned with improving their current products without, however, understanding what their customers really want.

Here, you will learn to understand what drives consumers to make their choices. And from that, you will realize that innovation does not have to be a matter of luck or bad luck, that is, it can be much more predictable and profitable!

Based on these conclusions, the book presents the "Theory of Work to Be Done". Are you curious? Then continue reading this PocketBook and learn the meaning and applicability of this theory.

About the book "Competing Against Luck"

"Competing Against Luck" was published in 2017 by authors Clayton M. Christensen, Taddy Hall, Karen Dillon, and David S. Duncan.

The work has 264 pages, consisting of three sections subdivided into 10 chapters. The chapters cover "Theory of Works," its definition, efforts, challenges, and implications, and how it can be useful for innovation to be successful.

The book is on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list.

About the authors Clayton M. Christensen, Taddy Hall, Karen Dillon, David S. Duncan

Clayton M. Christensen is a Harvard Business School professor and five-time winner of the McKinsey Award for the best article of the year. He was named in 2011 and 2013 as the world's most influential corporate thinker by Thinkers50 ranking. Author of nine books and co-founder of four companies.

Taddy Hall is a director at Cambridge Group and helps senior executives improve the innovation process. In addition, he works in emerging markets as a consultant.

Karen Dillon, the former editor of Harvard Business School, was nominated in 2011 by Ashoka as one of the most influential and inspiring women in the world. She is the co-author of "How Will You Measure Your Life," a New York Times bestseller.

David S. Duncan is one of Innosight's foremost innovation and growth strategy thinkers and consultants.

To whom is this book indicated?

Entrepreneurs and managers who want to become more efficient in innovation and create products and services that effectively match what their customers want.

Main ideas of the book "Competing Against Luck"

  • How to create and predict successful innovations;
  • Job Theory: Customers purchase products and services to address jobs that arise in their lives;
  • Understanding the particular circumstances and understanding the functional, social and emotional dimensions of the client's work is indispensable;
  • When you look at customers through the work lens, you see that the real competition is much bigger than the traditional competition;
  • Our life is very expressive and therefore an incredible source for discovering work to be done;
  • Customers' actions tell a story that is often different from what they express they want;
  • The complete solution for a job includes not only the core product or service but also all buying and using experiences;
  • Purposeful branding is one that "customers will automatically associate with the successful resolution of their most important work";
  • Companies must develop and integrate processes that correspond to customer work;
  • Fallacies of innovation;
  • Recognizing the jobs your company does for customers aligns individuals in the organization with a purpose.

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[Book Summary] Competing against Luck - Clayton M. Christensen, Taddy Hall, Karen Dillon, et al.

Overview: Introduction to working theory to be done

The first section, subdivided into three chapters, defines the "Theory of Work to Be Done" as the "causal mechanism that fosters successful innovation."

According to the Christensen, Hall, Dillon and Duncan, while innovation gives the illusion of progress, it is still a matter of luck or bad luck for most companies. This is because managers rely on data that does not tell why customers make one choice over another.

Job Theory is presented as a way to create and predict successful innovations. You might be wondering what exactly this customer "job" would be, right? Work is nothing more than "the progress a person is trying to make under a given circumstance."

Thus, it is important for companies to analyze the functional, social and emotional dimensions of their products and services. Through these lenses, they will realize that true competition goes far beyond traditional competitors.

Finally, this section shows that organizations that cannot understand the jobs their customers are hiring for their products are bound to provide undifferentiated solutions that are of no interest to anyone.

Overview: The hard work - and the trade-offs - in applying Labor Theory

This second section of "Competing Against Luck", also subdivided into three chapters, presents the challenges of applying the theory in the real world. After all, where and how can we find these jobs?

According to the authors, an amazing way to discover work is by analyzing our own life. This means that our own experiences can be a source of successful innovations! Another way is by looking at non-consumers, people who have not found a satisfactory solution for a job.

One of the biggest challenges in understanding the work to be done is that consumers can't express what they really want. In addition, anxiety about new and inertia of old habits can be forces that hinder innovation.

Therefore, companies should look for solutions that include not only the core product/service, but also experiences designed to address any obstacles the customer might face. Thus, by precisely defining a job, it is possible to create a brand with purpose.

Overview: The organization of the work to be done

The last section of "Competing Against Luck", subdivided into four chapters, deals with the organizational and leadership implications brought by the theory. Through its use, it is concluded that companies need to integrate processes to have a competitive advantage and create ideal experiences.

These job-related processes have the ability to generate positive customer experiences by transferring problems and hassles from customer to supplier. For this, the processes must be flexible and adjustable to the new orientations required by the work overtime.

The authors report the existence of three fallacies of innovation: the fallacy of active versus passive data, superficial growth, and data compliance. In all three situations, managers use the data in the wrong way, diverting the focus of the work to be done by customers.

That way, having a work-based organization should always be a priority! This enables clear decision-making to be distributed on purpose, associates resources with what matters most, inspires employees and unifies company culture!

What do other authors say about it?

The Disney Institute revealed its secrets of care in the book "Be Our Guest". The work portrays that understanding the customer is about applying "guestology," and this involves understanding the customer's needs and wants, what they think their company is, and their emotions.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, in "Antifragile", catches the eye of those who are stagnant in the comfort zone. It is true that there will be challenges on the road to innovation, but they are essential for any and all improvements, including the development of personal skills.

Finally, "The Wisdom of Failure" is a work that talks to people in leadership positions. Authors Laurence Weinzimmer and Jim McConoughey claim that there are two ways to look at work: through effectiveness or efficiency. The first enables you to see your business as part of a larger whole, as the global marketplace. On the other hand, efficiency is more restricted and gives leaders a more internal perspective on their processes alone.

Okay, but how can I apply this to my life?

  • Begin to understand why customers make one choice over another;
  • Analyze not only the functional dimension of your product or service but also its social and emotional dimension;
  • Create products that solve a specific job in the customer's life.
  • Do not blindly rely on objective data, most of the time they will not reflect the true wishes of customers;
  • Use your daily challenges to advance your life as a source for successful innovation.
  • Inspire your employees by creating a purposeful brand.

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Book 'Competing Against Luck'

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