How to Pick Managers for Disruptive Growth
By Clayton M. Christensen, Michael E. Raynor
We suspect that the mistakes happen when firms choose managers at any level—from CEO to business unit head to project manager—based on what we call "right stuff" thinking, borrowing the term from Tom Wolfe's famous book and the 1983 movie of the same name. Many search committees and hiring executives classify candidates by right-stuff attributes. They assume that successful managers can be identified using phrases such as "good communicator," "results oriented," "decisive," and "good people skills." They often look for an uninterrupted string of past successes to predict that more successes are in store. The theory in use is that if you find someone with a track record and with the right-stuff attributes, then he or she can successfully manage the new business venture. But in the parlance of this book, right-stuff thinking gets the categories wrong.