Corporate Unplugged


Whitney Johnson

Season 2, Ep. 18

The idea that the smallest innovation can cause the biggest disruption doesn’t just apply to products and things, it applies to people too, says Whitney Johnson, the world renowned expert on disruptive innovation and personal disruption. 

This is a person with 1.7 million LinkedIn followers, the one who was selected as a Top Voice in 2018, so she knows a thing or two about disruptive innovation. But Whitney hasn’t always been so influential. 

The best selling author and frequent lecturer for Harvard Business School’s Corporate Education began her career working on Wall Street as a secretary. Quickly realising she wasn’t going to make the money she needed, she began to take night courses and was able to transition from being a secretary to an investment banker. 

“For people who worked on Wall Street, like that just does not happen, that divide is so wide. And so for me, that was kind of a disruptive moment.”

Today, Whitney is recognised as being one of the world's most influential management thinkers and is best known for her work on driving corporate invention through personal disruption. She's the author of the books ‘Disrupt Yourself’ and ‘Build an A-Team’. 

She’s developed her own framework and diagnostics to dig deep into the important question of how executives can both create and destroy value. 

“When we're willing to become a silly little thing, we can maybe not take over the world, but we can certainly take over our world... We know from the theory of disruption that when you pursue a disruptive course, your odds of success are six times higher and your revenue opportunity is 20 times greater.”

In this podcast:

  • Where Whitney’s ideas about disruption first came from
  • Learn, leap, repeat
  • Why organisations need to encourage their individual employees to be disruptive
  • Learning outstrips money as a motivator
  • Learning makes the individual happy and benefits the organisation
  • Amateurs compete and professionals create
  • Why the world needs more love and prayers


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