I thought of several people I could identify as “ideal interviewees.” Mahatma Ghandi, George Washington, and Albert Einstein were among the first to come to mind. However, because the times in which they lived are so radically different from today, I decided upon a more relatable figure: Clayton Christensen.
I know of no greater expert on innovation than Clayton Christensen. I recently finished his book, The Innovator’s Dilemma, which is unexciting yet incredible insightful; I loved it. I feel like a much more intelligent being as a result of reading that book. I could sense his vast knowledge and experience in regard to innovation. So, the first reason I’d want to interview him: his unparalleled research and knowledge of innovation.
Granted, others in the world are incredible innovators and probably outshine him, and they may make for a more exciting interview. But I don’t feel that I identify well with the flashy innovators of the world. I think I’m more of the “late bloomer” type in that regard; my learning has always been incremental and the quality of my work continually improving. So, by interviewing Christensen, I’d hope to gain some insight as to how I can develop a culture of innovation in my own life. How can I learn to be innovative?
My purpose for this “ideal interview” is to make a change in my own life so I can make a change in others’ lives—or at least learn what I need to change. I’d best accomplish that by speaking with someone who I feel I could relate to. I know that Christensen shares my religious beliefs and values, and that the advice he gives would reflect that. I’m also extremely interested in his career path and the experiences that have led him to his success. Maybe his success could rub off on me.