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Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work Hardcover – December 19, 2016
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Playing it safe is not safe in today’s fast-paced marketplace. Disrupt Yourself is a must-read for anyone looking to stand out from the crowd and pursue innovation in our highly uncertain business climate.” Eric Ries, bestselling author of The Lean Startup
I have used the word disruption’ to understand how some companies blossom while other wither. Whitney has applied the word in a different context to understand why some individuals succeed in remarkable ways. Enjoyed this book!” Clayton M. Christensen, Harvard Business School, NYT best-selling author of The Innovator’s Dilemma
Too often we're told that to be successful in leadership or business, we must fit a certain mold. Whitney Johnson knows better. Applying the lessons of disruptive innovation to personal growth, she shows us how to pursue roles suited to our own strengths, to follow our own unique way of thinking and doingand to dramatically increase our productivity, creativity, and happiness.” Susan Cain, NYT best-selling author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
Wow! Disrupt Yourself wins the "plain English" award--which is to say I've seldom if ever read a better written business/career development book. The advice is compelling, clear-as-bell, research-based, and actionable. And it'll work as well for a forty-something as a twenty-something.” Tom Peters, bestselling author, In Search of Excellence
Disrupt Yourself reads like a handbook for innovation: it shows the incredible value of recognizing what you are good at and finding unexpected ways to apply those strengths to the marketplace. The dramatic jumps’ that Johnson encourages us to take truly form the basis of creativity and success.” Steve Wozniak, co-founder, Apple, Inc. and Chief Scientist, Primary Data
A motivating, compelling case for shifting gears right when we’ve reached our peaks. Whitney Johnson not only explains the why and how, but cheers us on along the way to greater meaning, learning, and innovation.” Adam Grant, Wharton professor and NYT best-selling author of Give and Take
If you have gone through your career thinking that it is smarter and safer to stick with what you know,” get ready to have Whitney Johnson change your mind. Often what we already know can get in the way of what we don’t know. Disrupt Yourself will inspire you to make the jump onto new learning curves, innovate, and stay at the top of your game.” Liz Wiseman, best-selling author of Multipliers and Rookie Smarts
You already know that to have the careerand lifeyou always wanted, you'll need to be innovative, take risks, and spot and seize opportunities. Luckily, Whitney Johnson knows exactly how disruptive innovation gets done, and her brilliant new book is the how-to guide you've been waiting for." Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson, Columbia Business School, best-selling author of Nine Things Successful People Do Differently and No One Understands You and What to Do About It
Whitney Johnson’s Disrupt Yourself provides clear guidance that will help you both boost your career and become a driving force in market evolution. Her innovative approach proves that staying true to your own strengths can be groundbreaking, and often take you further than following established paths. I highly recommend this book.” Michelle McKenna-Doyle, Senior VP, CIO, National Football League
Leaders at all levels are often reminded that continuous learning and personal growth are key to successful careers and meaningful lives. In Disrupt Yourself, Whitney Johnson shows how to pursue them, purposefully building a foundation to keep oneself and others learning, changing, and thriving in the long term.” Gianpiero Petriglieri, Associate Professor of Organizational Behaviour, INSEAD
About the Author
Whitney Johnson is the leading thinker on driving corporate innovation through personal disruption. She cofounded Rose Park Advisors, a boutique investment firm, with Clayton Christensen, and was an "Institutional Investor"-ranked analyst for eight consecutive years, including at Merrill Lynch. She is a frequent contributor to the "Harvard Business Review," and the author of "Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream" (Bibliomotion 2012). She was named a Future Thinker Finalist by Management Thinkers50 in 2013, and one of Fortune s 55 Most Influential Women on Twitter in 2014. Johnson is cofounder of the Forty Over 40 List, recognizing women who are reinventing, disrupting, and making an impact. She is represented by the New Leaf Speakers bureau, along with other key thought leaders in innovation and business.
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Whitney Johnson’s new book, Disrupt Yourself, couldn’t be better timed to address this urgent question. For so many of us, the pace of change can seem simultaneously exhilarating and overwhelming. In response, Whitney lends her wise, insightful voice to illustrate how disruptive innovation frameworks can be applied to our own particular lives and careers. Thriving during this time of change also means pushing ourselves out of comfort zones and accelerating lifelong learning.
Among the ideas and advice Whitney shares in the book, two in particular resonated with me the most:
Resist entitlement. As we grow in our careers and accumulate achievements, many of us develop a sense that we are entitled to success and associated rewards. After years of effort, the school we attended, the degree we earned, the certifications we achieved, the promotions gained, the titles and raises awarded can accumulate to give us the sense that we deserve something more from life. And, that actually works against our learning and development. Due to the scale and pace of change, those who succeed in the digital and social era will be those who make ongoing learning a priority, and resisting any sense of entitlement--staying humble and grateful--supports that quest.
Disrupt yourself before disrupting others. For those leading innovation and change efforts in established companies, starting new businesses, or consulting to help firms with digital transformation, Whitney reminds us that change begins with each of us, at a personal level. Similar to “the buck stops here,” we now must think in terms of “the change starts here.” We must first change ourselves in order to help others and our organizations change. Whitney writes:
“Most of us are brimming with the confidence, even competence, to change the world. It is vital that we are also equipped with the humility to understand that changing the world and keeping innovation alive require that we change ourselves.”
I had the opportunity to read Disrupt Yourself over a fall weekend at the beach, a perfect time and place for reading and reflection. As with so much of Whitney’s writing and good advice over the years, this book challenged my thinking and reminded me of what’s really important as I pursue my own journey of personal disruption. I will be recommending Disrupt Yourself to friends, colleagues and clients.
My assessment is: Bravo, Whitney Johnson! It's fun to imagine how successful business theories can be applied to individual careers and personal lives. It's quite another to successfully execute such a feat, and In "Disrupt Yourself," Johnson has managed it beautifully.
"Disrupt Yourself" is a lovely book -- not dry, not academic, not self-help-book fluffy. It is blessedly logical, and offers readers smart, actionable information. It's inspirational, but not mere inspiration. The inspiration this book provides sits atop a solid foundation. And really, how could you NOT trust a self-improvement book that includes a chapter on how and why to avoid feeling entitled?!
Johnson grounds "Disrupt Yourself" in the framework of the famous S curve often used to describe disruptive growth in business. After establishing how the S curve works in business, Johnson places the rest of the book carefully on that framework. She identifies seven variables that can affect the speed at which businesses and individuals move along their own S curves. She delves into situations in which one or more of these seven variables cause businesses and individuals to stall along the way -- or worse, reach the top, level part of the 'S', then fall right off.
Throughout, Johnson's thoughtful and intelligent tone tells readers she knows what she's talking about. She talks frankly of the hard work it takes to tackle one steep learning curve after another, as is necessary when following the path of self-disruption. She offers examples of her own self-disruptive journey, as well as examples from both businesses and individuals. She talks about the difficult, but rewarding work of climbing up steep learning curves.
"Disrupt Yourself" is a smart guidebook on why it's important to disrupt yourself, and a worthy guide on how to identify and scale the steep learning curves necessary to do so.