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Whitney Johnson    

Disruptive Innovation Thought Leader, Author & Business Advisor

Whitney Johnson is the CEO and co-founder of Disruption Advisors, a firm that has been an Inc 5000 fastest-growing company and formerly of human capital consultancy WLJ Advisors. Honored among the 50 leading business thinkers in the world as named by Thinkers50 and a top 200 female founder by Inc Magazine in 2023, Johnson and her team are experts at helping high-growth organizations develop high-growth individuals. She is an award-winning author, world-class keynote speaker, frequent lecturer for Harvard Business School's Corporate Learning, and an executive coach and advisor to CEOs. She is a popular contributor to the Harvard Business Review, has 1.8 million followers on LinkedIn, where she was selected as a Top Voice in 2020, and her course on Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship has been viewed more than 1 million times. In 2017, she was selected from more than 16,000 candidates as a “Top 15 Coach” by Dr. Marshall Goldsmith.

An innovation and disruption theorist, Johnson is a frequent contributor to Harvard Business Review and MIT Sloan Management Review, and author of the bestselling "Build an A-Team," a Financial Times and 800-CEO-READ Book of the Month, and "Disrupt Yourself," which Publisher’s Weekly called “Savvy . . . often counterintuitive . . . superb.” In her books, she codifies her Personal Disruption and S Curve of Learning frameworks for developing high-growth individuals and organizations. Her most recent book, "Smart Growth: Grow Your People to Grow Your Company," is featured on the Thinkers50 2022 Best New Management Booklist.

Johnson co-founded the Disruptive Innovation Fund with Harvard Business School’s Clayton Christensen, through which they invested in and led the $8 million seed round for South Korea’s Coupang, currently valued at more than $9 billion. She was involved in fund formation, capital raising, and the development of the fund’s strategy. Her proprietary framework and diagnostics were developed during this period, aimed at helping people harness, rather than merely cope with, change.

Coming from a background as a former award-winning Wall Street stock analyst, Johnson understands momentum and growth. She was an Institutional investor–ranked equity research analyst for eight consecutive years, rated by Starmine as a superior stock-picker. As an equity analyst, stocks under coverage included America Movil (NYSE: AMX), Televisa (NYSE: TV), and Telmex (NYSE: TMX), which accounted for roughly 40% of Mexico's market capitalization.

Speech Topics


Life has suddenly and unexpectedly been disrupted for everyone. We didn’t make a conscious choice to disrupt our lives; circumstances made it for us. Learn to leverage disruption and build momentum along your S Curve of Learning TM by leveraging the Seven-point Personal Disruption Framework TM. Learn how to move forward with increasing confidence rather than succumbing to the chaos of change. Whatever the challenges, it is the individual that is the fundamental unit of growth or change.

Key takeaways from this webinar: 1. Understand and learn to apply a framework that creates structure for individuals to embrace their constraints and gain their footing to face challenges with a renewed sense of strength and clarity. 2. Equip yourself with tools to help you wade through the unknown with relevant structure and weighted optimism. 3. Develop a fitness for disruption, build your ability to better face the unknown and have a common language to communicate during this time.


It’s one thing to make changes and grow your leadership, but how do you create a culture of innovation and growth for your team? Learn to guide your team through the Seven-Point Framework of Personal Disruption TM, a mechanism which gives leaders a language and framework for creating high-growth individuals.

Key takeaways 1. Understand the framework for leading people along their current learning curves. 2. Learn techniques for using S Curve of Learning TM to optimize individual growth and build high performing teams. 3. Build the skills to teach others and support their development while using the Seven-Point Framework of Personal Disruption TM for learning and growth


Being disrupted isn’t unique, but your situation is. The S Curve of Learning TM allows you to plot where you are on your personal learning curve in your current experience begin to develop a plan to get where you want to be. You’ll learn to build momentum along your S Curve of Learning TM by leveraging the Seven-Point Framework of Personal Disruption™. These are practical, actionable guardrails that help you reassert control in your present situation and prepare you to accelerate your growth into the future.

Key takeaways 1. Understand the S Curve of Learning TM and the Seven-Point Framework of Personal Disruption™. 2. Find your current position on the S Curve of Learning TM and ensure that you are on the right curve at this point in your life and career. 3. Learn how to leverage the Seven-Point Framework of Personal Disruption™ at each point of the curve to help you grow.

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.


Women are the great disruptors | VentureBeat | Entrepreneur | by ...
Whitney Johnson, Rose Park Advisors. 52. 24. The following post is an excerpt from the upcoming book Innovating Women: The Changing Face of Technology ...

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