Ann Christensen

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Leading Expert on Disruptive Innovation in Business, Health Care, Education, and Economic Development; President, Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation

Biography

Innovation has the power to solve the most pressing business and social problems of our time, from generating novel business models to reforming our overpriced, under-serving health care and education systems. Whether a business leader or a public policymaker, understanding the dynamics of how organizations harness disruption – be it technological, economic, or social – for their own advantage will be key to weathering and mastering future storms. Ann Christensen is a leading advocate of and practitioner in the movement calling for Disruptive Innovation – already an accepted and much-endured concept in the business world – to be applied in similarly transforming the social sector. As a facilitator of dialogue on this crucial issue, Ann energizes audiences with a firm sense of calling and purpose in using these proven business theories to help companies and people the world over develop new strategies for growth and sustainability.

In addition to applying the theory of Disruptive Innovation in the private sector, Ann’s application of the Jobs to be Done theory led her to explore ways in which these methods could be applied to solving public policy dilemmas. In applying this framework for achieving customers’ desired outcomes rather than merely improving existing products and services, her speaking presentations unpack these important issues to reveal how leaders can begin to take the steps toward disrupting the competition while making a lasting positive impact on humanity. As president of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation – a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank focused on shaping the conversation and solving institutional problems in business, education, health care and economic prosperity – Ann directs the overall strategic and operational development of the organization and oversees its rapidly growing research programs. She also works closely with the Board of Directors to enhance the Institute’s impact and strengthen its strategic partnerships and resources. Under Ann’s leadership, the Institute has established a visiting fellows program, expanded its education work to include higher education, and added a global prosperity division.

Prior to joining the Institute, Ann worked at Huntsman Gay Global Capital, a private equity firm focused on middle-market companies, assessing potential investment targets across a variety of industries, and providing strategic and operational advice to portfolio companies. She also worked at Deloitte Consulting, where she was instrumental in establishing the Growth & Innovation practice by drawing on the theories of disruptive innovation to help clients create new growth businesses. Ann led projects for clients in variety of industries, including pharmaceutical, biotech, telecommunications, travel, professional services and insurance. She has also spent time as a strategic analyst for Elan Pharmaceuticals, an Irish biotechnology company.

Ann holds a master’s degree in business administration from the Harvard Business School. She earned a bachelor’s degree at Duke University, where she designed her own course of study to examine the political economies of developing nations. Following her time at Duke, Ann lived in Mongolia, where she served a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her work in Mongolia included teaching at high schools and universities, helping grow the local church, facilitating job training, building homes, providing health care, and working with orphans.

Ann Christensen is available for paid speaking engagements, including keynote addresses, speeches, panels, and conference talks, and advisory/consulting services, through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

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Biography

Innovation has the power to solve the most pressing business and social problems of our time, from generating novel business models to reforming our overpriced, under-serving health care and education systems. Whether a business leader or a public policymaker, understanding the dynamics of how organizations harness disruption – be it technological, economic, or social – for their own advantage will be key to weathering and mastering future storms. Ann Christensen is a leading advocate of and practitioner in the movement calling for Disruptive Innovation – already an accepted and much-endured concept in the business world – to be applied in similarly transforming the social sector. As a facilitator of dialogue on this crucial issue, Ann energizes audiences with a firm sense of calling and purpose in using these proven business theories to help companies and people the world over develop new strategies for growth and sustainability.

In addition to applying the theory of Disruptive Innovation in the private sector, Ann’s application of the Jobs to be Done theory led her to explore ways in which these methods could be applied to solving public policy dilemmas. In applying this framework for achieving customers’ desired outcomes rather than merely improving existing products and services, her speaking presentations unpack these important issues to reveal how leaders can begin to take the steps toward disrupting the competition while making a lasting positive impact on humanity. As president of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation – a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank focused on shaping the conversation and solving institutional problems in business, education, health care and economic prosperity – Ann directs the overall strategic and operational development of the organization and oversees its rapidly growing research programs. She also works closely with the Board of Directors to enhance the Institute’s impact and strengthen its strategic partnerships and resources. Under Ann’s leadership, the Institute has established a visiting fellows program, expanded its education work to include higher education, and added a global prosperity division.

Prior to joining the Institute, Ann worked at Huntsman Gay Global Capital, a private equity firm focused on middle-market companies, assessing potential investment targets across a variety of industries, and providing strategic and operational advice to portfolio companies. She also worked at Deloitte Consulting, where she was instrumental in establishing the Growth & Innovation practice by drawing on the theories of disruptive innovation to help clients create new growth businesses. Ann led projects for clients in variety of industries, including pharmaceutical, biotech, telecommunications, travel, professional services and insurance. She has also spent time as a strategic analyst for Elan Pharmaceuticals, an Irish biotechnology company.

Ann holds a master’s degree in business administration from the Harvard Business School. She earned a bachelor’s degree at Duke University, where she designed her own course of study to examine the political economies of developing nations. Following her time at Duke, Ann lived in Mongolia, where she served a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her work in Mongolia included teaching at high schools and universities, helping grow the local church, facilitating job training, building homes, providing health care, and working with orphans.

Ann Christensen is available for paid speaking engagements, including keynote addresses, speeches, panels, and conference talks, and advisory/consulting services, through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Speech Topics

Disruptive Innovation in the Social Sector

In the corporate sector, disruptive innovation is a familiar concept that executives commonly embrace to shape their business models, guide research and development goals, and plan for the future. But it’s not just corporations that must prepare for disruption – disruptive innovation can also be a positive force for addressing many of society’s most pressing problems, such as increasing access to health care and education. For example, retail clinics – Walgreen’s TakeCare and CVS’s MinuteClinic – are granting access to more affordable, convenient health care and wellness services. As president of the Clayton Christensen Institute, Ann Christensen draws on years of the Institute’s research to explain how policy makers, community leaders and innovators can work together to solve big-picture challenges by distilling and promoting the transformational power of disruptive innovation.

Will You Be the Disruptor or the Disrupted? The Battlegrounds Over Health Care for the Next 10 Years

The 21st century is one of the most exciting eras for health care, with new technologies and policies creating opportunities for big industry players and new entrants alike. However, we have yet to solve one of the biggest problems in health care: how to get care to patients when they need it. One emerging model that holds promise is the idea of retail clinics – they’re fast, flexible, cheap and deliver high-quality care. While they still represent a relatively small share of health care spending, after brisk growth over the past decade retail clinics have the potential to genuinely threaten the primary care establishment. Translating lessons on innovation from other industries, Ann Christensen outlines opportunities for innovators to address patients’ and providers’ “jobs to be done,” the challenges of fitting new technologies into existing systems and regulations, and why those who don’t plan for the opportunities and challenges ahead will be left behind.

How Disruptive Innovation Can Make Health Care Accessible and Affordable

If we continue to debate how to reform the current health care system, we’ll never reach the end goal of providing affordable, accessible care. Instead of focusing on ways to afford expensive hospitals and medical specialists’ and technicians’ salaries, the conversation must shift to how to promote disruptive innovations that can change the health care system. Today, while tools and technologies that empower patients to take control of their own health and wellness are readily available, most care is still delivered by expensive practitioners in costly health care facilities. Ann Christensen goes beyond framing the problem to explain how enabling innovative technologies with profound disruptive potential can actually make health care more affordable and accessible. Applying the principles of disruptive innovation, she shares how to decrease costs while improving both the quality and convenience of care.

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