Karen Dillon

Karen Dillon

Contributing Editor, Harvard Business Review

Karen Dillon

Karen Dillon is the co-author of The New York Times best-seller, "How Will You Measure Your Life?" (HarperCollins 2012), which she wrote with Harvard Business School Professor and best-selling author Clayton Christensen. Dillon was the editor of Harvard Business Review (HBR), arguably the most influential management magazine in the world, until 2011. She helped lead a major redesign of the publication during her tenure, and the magazine was twice honored as a finalist for the National Magazine Awards.

Prior to joining HBR, she was deputy editor of Inc., a monthly magazine for entrepreneurs. Previously, Dillon was editor and publisher of the critically acclaimed The American Lawyer, which was also honored repeatedly by the National Magazine Awards during her tenure. While there, she helped launch new publications in Paris and London, where she spent four years as the editor of Legal Business, a monthly magazine that was named Editorial Team of the Year by the U.K. Press Gazette. Dillon was also personally named Feature Writer of the Year runner-up by the U.K. Press Gazette.

Dillon is a graduate of Cornell University and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She was a long-time member of the media advisory committee the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), a national not-for-profit organization founded by Harvard Business School professor Michael E. Porter. ICIC’s mission is to build healthy economies in America’s inner cities.

She has worked closely with some of the world’s greatest thought leaders, including Christensen, Michael Porter, Vijay Govindarajan, Dan Isenberg and A.G. Lafley. She is currently a contributing editor to HBR and blogs for HBR.org on topics of leadership, managing people, managing yourself and entrepreneurship. In 2011 she was honored as part of Ashoka ChangemakeHER’s inaugural celebration of the world’s most influential and inspiring women.


  • Wednesday, September 17, 2014 4:00pm - 5:00pm

    The High Achiever’s Paradox: How Will You Measure Your Life?

    • Karen Dillon, Contributing Editor, Harvard Business Review

    Sunset Court

    Why do so many high achievers end up unhappy in their careers – and their lives? That's a question Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen set out to answer. One of the world’s most respected academics and thought leaders, he helps aspiring MBAs and CEOs alike apply management and innovation theories to build stronger companies (his “Innovator's Dilemma” was the only business book Steve Jobs kept on his bookshelf). But during the final lecture of every semester, Christensen focuses on a surprisingly non-business issue: how will his students ensure not only a successful career – but a happy life? That 'last class' had become so coveted among Christensen’s students that Karen Dillon, then-editor of Harvard Business Review, was inspired to turn it into a story for the magazine. Since then, “How Will You Measure Your Life?” has become so much more than a lecture, an article and a book, which Dillon co-wrote with Christensen.

    The experience was life-changing for Dillon, who walked away from the top job of one of the world's most influential magazines. What can a business school professor say that is powerful enough to trigger such response – in Dillon and the hundreds of thousands of people affected by Christensen’s thinking? Dillon shares her first-hand perspective and offers an answer to why high achievers are hardwired to make the very choices that can lead to personal and professional dissatisfaction. While there are no easy answers to life’s many demands, there is a way to find meaning and happiness in work and in life.