Whitney Johnson: Biography highlights
Ranked No. 8 Thinker in the 2021 Thinkers50 in management and business, Whitney Johnson is an expert on disruptive innovation and personal disruption. Her presentation, ‘Disrupt Yourself®: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work’ explores the simple yet powerful idea disruptive companies and ideas create impact and upend markets by doing something truly different.
Full biography of Whitney Johnson
Whitney Johnson’s background
Recognised as one of the 50 leading business thinkers in the world since 2015 (Thinkers50), Whitney Johnson is an expert on disruptive innovation and personal disruption, specifically, a framework which she outlines in the critically acclaimed book Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work.
She is also the author of Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream. Her latest title, Build An “A” Team: Become a Boss People Love, will be released in May 2018 by Harvard Business Publishing.
Whitney developed her proprietary framework and diagnostics after co-founding The Disruptive Innovation Fund with Harvard Business School’s Clayton Christensen. The framework is complemented by a deep understanding of how executives create and destroy value, having spent nearly a decade as an Institutional Investor ranked equity analyst on Wall Street.
In addition to her work as a speaker and advisor, Whitney is one of the original 25 people who was involved in Marshall Goldsmith’s #100 Coaches Project, she is also a coach for Harvard Business School’s Executive Education program, frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, is a Linkedin influencer, and hosts the twice-monthly Disrupt Yourself Podcast.
Watch Whitney in action
“I have used the word ‘disruption’ to understand how some companies blossom while others wither. Whitney has applied the word in a new context, to understand why some individuals succeed in remarkable ways.”
Whitney's speaking topics
Disrupt Yourself®: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work
The idea is simple, but powerful: disruptive companies and ideas upend markets by doing something truly different – they see a need, an empty space waiting to be filled, and they dare to create something for which a market may not yet exist. An expert in driving innovation via personal disruption, Whitney Johnson will demonstrate how you can put the power of disruptive innovation to work. To help your company in unexpected ways, dare to innovate. Dream big dreams. Do something astonishing. Disrupt yourself. In this session, Whitney Johnson will share stories of disruption and will teach you how powerful disruption can be in your organization’s evolving reinvention. Johnson builds on her investment background as co-founder of two early stage venture firms, and an award-winning equity analyst to provide a fresh perspective on innovation and change.
Audience members will leave with practical tips and concrete action steps for how to:
Drive innovation throughout their organization,
Move into the sweet spot of their personal S-curve,
Use the S-curve as a tool for understanding the psychology of disruption, and
Accelerate or decelerate innovation and change with a variety of variables.
Pursuing a disruptive course isn’t just a nice thing to do, there’s a compelling business case: the odds of success are 6x higher and the revenue opportunity is 20x greater.
These ideas are for YOU if you are:
a high potential individual charting your career trajectory
a leader trying to jumpstart innovative thinking in your company
a self-starter ready to make a disruptive pivot in your business
These ideas are for your COMPANY if:
revenue growth is peaking and you need to reinvent
innovative thinking among your management team has stalled
industry changes are making the future uncertain
The fundamental unit of disruption is the individual.
The best way to drive corporate innovation is through personal disruption.
Allow others to do the same.
And disruptive products, services, companies and countries will happen on their own.
Companies don’t disrupt, people do.
Dare to Disrupt: Put Innovation on Overdrive
Nearly everyone wants a culture of innovation: innovation opens new markets, creates jobs, drives revenue, and is an engine of economic growth and personal wealth. But have you pulled back the curtain on what is necessary to foster an innovative culture? In this thought-provoking keynote, Whitney Johnson, re-imagines the S-curve as a tool that we typically use to understand how quickly an innovation will be adopted, but for understanding how to promote and implement disruptive ideas, identifying variables that can accelerate/decelerate innovation such as: taking the right kinds of risk, battling entitlement (a surefire innovation killer), and getting the metrics right. Listen closely to Johnson’s intriguing approach, and you’ll not only accelerate into the sweet spot of your own S-curve curve, you’ll have the tools to put innovation on over-drive across your organization.
Build An “A” Team: Become a Boss People Love
(Book being released by Harvard Business Publishing, May 2018; Keynote available September 2018)
Disrupt Yourself: Innovation Begins on the Inside
Disruptive thinking improves the odds of success for products, companies and even countries, and harnessing this powerful mindset begins with the individual. In this compelling keynote address, Whitney Johnson builds on her Harvard Business Review article Disrupt Yourself, applying the road-tested theory of disruptive innovation to the individual, providing practical tips along with real-world examples of personal disruption, with a focus on how managers can drive individual and firm-wide innovation. If you are ready to move your organization to the next level, it’s time to disrupt the status quo and innovate from the inside.
Worried about irrelevance? Are you or your company about to be disrupted?
If you are looking for a surefire sign, look at where your workforce is on the S-curve. Based on Whitney Johnson’s proprietary research around disruption, every organization is a collection of individual S or learning curves. You build an A team by optimizing these individual curves. In this speech, you will learn how to manage people all along the S-curve and what to do when they reach the top of that curve. As employees are allowed, even required, to surf their individual S-curve waves, disrupting themselves, you will be less vulnerable to disruption and become a boss people love to work for.