Whitney Johnson (US)

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Disruptive Innovation Expert

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Synopsis

Former Wall Street banker turned analyst, Whitney combines her lessons from the business frontline with research into the effects of innovation and disruption. She looks at how to foster and manage innovation, what disruption means, and how leaders deal with the new landscape of disruption.

Biography

Whitney Johnson is widely acknowledged as a leading international business thinker and authority on how to not just deal with change, but exploit it, both as an individual and as an organisation. She is the bestselling author of Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work, where she shares key insights on disruptive innovation theory and reveals how it can apply to all businesses. She is also the co-founder of the Disruptive Innovation Fund and prior to that was a successful Wall Street investment bank analyst.

Whitney’s career began on Wall Street, starting out as a secretary and rising through the frequently unbridgeable career divide to become an investment banker. She went on to spend almost a decade as an equity research analyst at Merrill Lynch. She was recognised as the number one financial analyst for eight consecutive years by Institutional Investor magazine. After 15 years, Whitney left Wall Street to co-found the Disruptive Innovation Fund with Harvard Business School’s influential professor and innovation expert Clayton Christensen.

It was during the founding of the Disruptive Innovation Fund that Whitney created her framework for disruption. Complemented by her experience of how executives create and destroy value, she developed her research on disruptive innovation and personal disruption into her first book, the critically acclaimed, Disrupt Yourself. She has gone on to write other titles that cover the intersection of change and leadership in Build an “A” Team: Play To Their Strengths and Lead Them Up the Learning Curve and Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream.

In her talks Whitney shares her insights on disruption – from harnessing the innovative power of individual employees to scaling a business and managing the outcomes, she guides leaders through change and developing a high performance culture. Her mission is to help people and companies to ‘disrupt themselves’ - to transform business, society and individual careers.

In addition to her work as an investor and advisor, Whitney is a coach for Harvard Business School's Executive Education program, a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, and hosts the Disrupt Yourself podcast.

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