Last month at our Women in Business Opening Social, we were pleased to hear from a strong and powerful BYU Alumna: Whitney Johnson. Whitney Johnson graduated from BYU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music and a minor in English. She is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review as well as a Linked Influencer. She was awarded the Fortune’s 55 Most Influential Women in Twitter, 50 Most Influential Management Thinkers, and the Schwab Financial Literacy Award. Through speaking, writing, coaching, and consulting, she synthesizes the key levers of change and how to use them effectively. She is the author of the critically acclaimed Disrupt Yourself(TM): Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work (2015), speaks on innovation initiatives, and has delivered keynote speeches to audiences of 50,000+ on discussing disruption, innovation, teamwork and organizational change.
While speaking to the members of Women in Business, she discussed how disruptive innovation follows a framework, and how this specific framework can apply to you and your company. She mentioned that this framework helps those listed below.
These ideas are for YOU if you are:
1. a high potential individual charting your career trajectory
2. a leader trying to jump start innovative thinking in your company
3. a self-starter ready to make a disruptive pivot in your business
These ideas are for your COMPANY if:
1. revenue growth is peaking and you need to reinvent
2. innovative thinking among your management team has stalled
3. industry changes are making the future uncertain
But it’s also essential to know that during this process we need to recognize the disruption itself. Our personal disruption starts from the bottom, rises to the top, and starts from the bottom again of a new ladder. Whitney gave one example of a famous influencer in music and fashion, Lady Gaga. During her reign of fame from wearing an outrageous meat outfit at the MTV Music Awards, to performing for the Super Bowl, to singing a Sound of Music tribute at the Oscars, she is an example of the success, and conversation that continual self-disruption can produce.
Whitney Johnson’s speech was both moving and motivational. She is a strong and powerful woman who knows how to help us strategize our lives. We need to remember that the fundamental unit of disruption is the individual, and the best way to drive corporate innovation is through personal disruption. Once we let this happen, it will allow others to do the same, and disruptive products, services, companies and countries will happen on their own. Companies don’t disrupt, people do.
The last key takeaways:
- “The odds of success are 6x higher and the revenue opportunity is 20x greater”
- Smile – “If you have a nice smile, you should smile more”
- Call people by their name
- Make friends fast
- Figure it out and how to do it – reach the peak of your abilities
- You have to believe God gave you a brain
- Don’t let a man sweep you off your feet