Disruptive Innovation Expert, Author, and Business Advisor
Whitney Johnson is an investor, speaker, author, and leading thinker on driving innovation through personal disruption. Johnson is a Founder and Managing Director of Springboard Fund, and co-founder of Rose Park Advisors along with Clayton Christensen where they led the seed round for Korea’s Coupang, currently valued at $2.2 billion. Having served as president from 2007-2012, Johnson was involved in fund formation, capital raising, and the development of the fund’s strategy. During her tenure, the CAGR of the Fund was 11.98% v. 1.22% for the S&P 500.
Previously, Johnson was an Institutional Investor-ranked analyst for eight consecutive years, and was rated by Starmine as a superior stock-picker. As an equity analyst, Ms. Johnson’s stocks under coverage included America Movil (NYSE: AMX), Televisa (NYSE: TV) and Telmex (NYSE: TMX), which accounted for roughly 40% of Mexico’s stock exchange.
Whitney Johnson’s book, Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream, emerged from a writing foundation cemented after her blog was launched in 2006. Through this vehicle, she exhibits a warm, thoughtful voice with powerful distinctions, while daring people to be their best self, to act out the courage of their convictions. The intrinsic energy of her original writing has spurred frequent invitations to speak at corporations, universities, and to participate as guest mentor/panelist at renowned conferences and forums. Her latest book is Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work.
Harvard Business Review Blog
Her reputation and brand, as well as that of Clay Christensen’s Rose Park Advisors, have been elevated through her prolific blogging for Harvard Business Review and her meaningful Twitter presence. Frequently among the most-read and most-commented on, Whitney’s HBR posts also elicit citations. “Disrupt Yourself” appeared in Harvard Business Review Magazine in 2012, and in 2011, one of her posts was cited as an HBR Editor’s Pick and appeared in “Top 10 Business and Management Blogs” list by Marcus Buckingham.
Ms Johnson was named one of Inc. Magazine’s “12 People to Follow on Twitter in 2012,” Business Insider’s “54 Smart Thinkers to Follow” and Huffington Post’s “100 Business, Leadership and Technology People to Follow on Twitter.” She has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, CNN, Fast Company, Forbes and many more high-profile media outlets.
The weight of Ms. Johnson’s business impact—having run a successful franchise at Merrill Lynch and launched an investment firm—has been leveraged by CEOs of early-stage start-ups, as well. She has been tapped for Advisory Boards to provide strategic and tactical advice for Shabby Apple, Just Family, Everest and 8020 World; she also serves as a Senior Advisor to the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards in association with the Tribeca Film Festival.
As an award-winning stock analyst, she honed her influence skills. Similarly, when speaking to corporate, university or organizational audiences, Whitney’s thought-provoking reality checks and persuasive calls-to-action reverberate. With an engaging voice, she intuitively and scholarly cobbles together disparate ideas and facilitates conversations around ‘possibility’ by building a case for dreaming and disrupting. She facilitates small and large groups; she holds the attention of large audiences through her mission to help people—and companies– ‘disrupt themselves’ and build a remarkable and surprising future.
Whitney Johnson’s strength is in picking winners; catalyzing others through her innovation and drive—whether stocks, start-ups or people—she sees and perpetuates the magnificence in others. Her leadership strength is only overshadowed by her quiet humility in that role. She speaks her truth clearly and gently, and lets things fall where they may.
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.
Whitney Johnson delivered a timely keynote and working session, helping each individual chart a disruptive path, while creating a unique networking platform for the entire group. The feedback has been fantastic; a week later her ideas continue to be top-of-mind. It’s no wonder several CEOs plan to book her for their own events.
- CEO | Exclusive Destinations, LLC
Whitney Johnson is an inspiring speaker, one who connected with our entire audience, no matter what the age. We loved having her as an Annenberg Lecturer in Leadership at Harvey Mudd.
- President | Harvey Mudd College
Intellectually, inspirationally, and in down-to-earth terms, Whitney Johnson’s words and the delivery of her ideas answered that “so what?!” question for leaders who need, for practical reasons, to make “Dare, Dream, Do!” operational, both in their individual lives and their team cultures. She challenged an audience whose collective belief is that they’ve heard it all, and know it all. And, best of all, she stimulated in each of them ideas about how to start doing the work of transformation in doable, digestible action items.
- Chair | Housing Leadership Summit
Whitney Johnson did an outstanding job sharing her insights & expertise during the ASUG Leadership 2.0 panel session led by Olympic gold medalist Lisa Leslie. Her concept of personal disruption sparked a great dialog among attendees eager to disrupt themselves & their careers.
- Director | SAP Americas’ Users’ Group