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Whitney Johnson

Named to the Thinkers50, author of Disrupt Yourself, and Co-Founder, with Clayton Christensen, Rose Park Advisors’ Disruptive Innovation Fund

BIOGRAPHY

Whitney Johnson is recognized as one of the world’s most influential management thinkers and was selected as one of the Thinkers50 in 2015. She is best known for her work on driving corporate innovation through personal disruption. She is formerly an Institutional Investor-ranked analyst for eight consecutive years, including at Merrill Lynch, and is the former president and co-founder of a boutique investment firm with Harvard Business School’s Clayton Christensen. Johnson is the author of the critically-acclaimed Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work, one of Inc. Magazines Top 100 Business Books in 2015. Her next book is expected in early 2018.  She is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, a Linkedin influencer, co-founder of Forty Women over 40 to Watch, and was named one of Fortune’s 55 Women to Follow on Twitter in 2014. You can follow her at @johnsonwhitney

VIDEO

  • Speaker Reel 2016

  • Disrupt Yourself: TEDxEmbarcadero

  • Disrupt Yourself: Harvard Business Review

  • Dare, Dream, Do.

  • Good Life Project: How A Pianist Took Wall Street by Storm

  • Unleash 2012

TESTIMONIALS

“You’ve inspired me, and you had the audience totally engaged. Thanks so much for working with us!”

— Kellye Whitney, Associate Editorial, Human Capital Media ®

“Last week, we (Microsoft) just brought Whitney in to speak to a group of senior women engineers, on her current book, “Disrupt Yourself”. While we bring in speakers, we hadn’t done something quite like this before. An experiment. She was phenomenal. The audience (which was was oversubscribed) was totally engaged, across the spectrum. So, too, were the handful of men who joined in (including some very senior ones). Everyone wanted more.  This should not be surprising, since her content isn’t really gendered at all. But of course since our ‘in’ was this women’s group, the realization on the back end was: “Wow, this isn’t for women at all. It’s for ….PEOPLE!”

— Tereza Nemessanyi, Microsoft, Entrepreneur In Residence

Johnson surpassed all of our expectations because she was smart, entertaining and gave thoughtful points to consider.  “Whitney’s book not only gives you lessons for your business life, she also provided information about how this can be useful in your personal life.  It’s sort of an extra bonus.”

— Jane Kulow, Virginia Festival of Books

“My friend Whitney Johnson has just released a new book, Disrupt Yourself, that I recommend for anyone interested or engaged in the challenging process of change. We are living in an era of accelerating disruption; no one is immune. Managing the S-curve waves of learning and mastery is a requisite skill for the future.  . . I encourage you to buy her book today, if you are ready to let go of fear and jump off into the possibilities of change.”

— John Mattone, President and CEO of John Mattone-Global, Speaker & Author

 “EXCELLENT response to Whitney’s presentation and her joint appearance with Chris Skinner.  She rated a 4.33 out of 5, which is a huge success!  Whitney had great energy, always important at the end of a long day, and people found her relatable and approachable.  She really tied together all the elements of the program very well. Guests  also enjoyed talking with Whitney during the book signing and felt it was a good thing to have a female keynote.  The rest of the program faculty was heavily weighted on the male side, which is typical for the banking industry, so it was great to demonstrate some diversity by hosting Whitney.   Very pleased!”

— Goodwin Procter LLP

“Rethink the fundamentals of your life. Figure out what you were meant to do. Disrupt your status quo. That’s Whitney Johnson’s invitation (and challenge) to each of us in Dare, Dream, Do. I urge you to accept her invitation.”

— Clayton M. Christensen, professor, Harvard Business School and best-selling author, The Innovator’s Dilemma

“I read Dare, Dream, Do with a highlighter clenched between my teeth and a pad of sticky notes in my hand. Whitney Johnson has written a book that is hopeful, honest, and beautifully written….the amazing stories make dreaming accessible without diminishing its power or magic.”

— Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, author of The Gifts of Imperfection

“As an accomplished business leader, Whitney Johnson acutely understands how to translate ambitions into action. Dare, Dream, Do not only ignites the courage to pursue your aspirations, but also serves as a powerful guide to achieve what once may have seemed out of reach.”

— Moira Forbes, publisher ForbesWoman

“We all have dreams; dreams that seize us, consume us, and inspire us to reach for greatness. Yet the clamor of the world conspires to distance us from our dreams, draining them of their potency. In Dare, Dream, Do, Whitney Johnson shows us, through story and practice, how to reclaim our dreams and become as daring as we always imagined we could be. It is a book at once poignant and powerful.”

— Marcus Buckingham, best-selling author of StandOut, Now, Discover Your Strengths and First, Break All the Rules

“Dare, Dream, Do is filled with great advice and energizing true stories from real women who are bootstrapping their way toward a dream. Pick up this book and you just might find yourself living a life you’ve only imagined! This should be required reading for anyone with a forgotten wish, a pie-in-the-sky fantasy or a quiet dream hidden in their heart. In other words – everyone”

— Barbara Corcoran, NYC real estate mogul and investor on ABC’s reality show “Shark Tank”

TOPICS & FORMAT

FORMAT

Whitney’s presentation is 45 minutes in length, followed by 15 minutes of open Q&A with the audience.  She is open to other formats, so hosts should feel free to share their ideas with us.

TOPICS

Whitney’s core topic is Disrupt Yourself as described below.

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:

  1. drive innovation throughout their organization,
  2. move into the sweet spot of their personal S-curve,
  3. use the S-curve as a tool for understanding the psychology of disruption, and
  4. 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:
1. a high potential individual charting your career trajectory
2. a leader trying to jumpstart innovative thinking in your company
3. a self-starter ready to make a disruptive pivot in your business

These ideas are for your COMPANY if:
1. revenue growth is peaking and you need to reinvent
2. innovative thinking among your management team has stalled
3. 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.
Disrupt yourself.
Allow others to do the same.
And disruptive products, services, companies and countries will happen on their own.
Companies don’t disrupt, people do.

PHOTOS & OTHER RESOURCES

INTRODUCTION

Whitney Johnson was recognized as one of the world’s most influential management thinkers in 2015, and was a finalist for the Top thinkers on Talent at the biennial Thinkers50 ceremony in London. She is best known for her work on driving corporate innovation through personal disruption. She is formerly an Institutional Investor-ranked analyst for eight consecutive years, including at Merrill Lynch, and is the former president and co-founder of a boutique investment firm with Harvard Business School’s Clayton Christensen. Johnson is the author of the critically-acclaimed Disrupt Yourself™: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work, one of Inc. Magazines Top 100 Business Books in 2015. She is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, a LinkedInfluencer, co-founder of Forty Women over 40 to Watch, and was named one of Fortune’s 55 Women to Follow on Twitter in 2014. You can follow her at @johnsonwhitney.

WEBSITE

WhitneyJohnson.com

WRITING SAMPLES

Throw Your Life a Curve

How to Make Your Innovative Idea Less Terrifying

Why Innovators Love Constraints

Put Failure In Its Place

It's Time to Dream for a Living

Where There's a Why, There's a Way

SOCIAL MEDIA

BEHIND THE SCENES

IMG_0423 low res

The symbolism behind the elements in this collage:

  • See’s candy is a childhood favorite
  • Pom-poms represent throwing down your pom-poms and getting into the game
  • Whitney’s colleague and the co-Founder of their investment fund, Clayton Christensen, wrote the Innovator’s Dilemma
  • Map of Uruguay where Whitney served her mission
  • Dare, Dream, Do is Whitney’s first book
  • Disrupt Yourself is Whitney’s book planned for 2015
  • Whitney adores her family and has included a photo of her two kids
  • Map of Spain which is where Whitney was born
  • The Red Iguana restaurant has Whitney’s favorite Mexican food

Photo collage by Amy Gray.
Feel free to use, with attribution, after obtaining advance written permission from New Leaf Speakers.
Thanks!