Often times when speaking with CEOs and other senior executives about disruption, I find the conversation always ends up back to the people and process side of business transformation. I believe now more than ever that it’s personal disruption that is the ultimate catalyst for change, especially at work, and I came to that conclusion after spending time with Whitney Johnson and her work many years ago.
Not only was Whitney recognized as one of the world’s most influential management thinkers in 2015 by Thinkers50, she has collaborated with Clayton Christensen, written a best-selling book ‘Disrupt Yourself’ and is known for her work on driving corporate innovation through personal disruption, one of my new favorite topics. On an episode of the What’s Next! podcast, I talk to Whitney Johnson.
A few themes have been bubbling to the surface on the past few podcasts I have done. How to respond to disruption. How to become a more innovative company. And how to change yourself and inspire others to want to change too. Whitney is huge proponent that innovation happens through a foundation of personal disruption, and if you want to make personal disruption a part of your life, Whitney offers two pieces of advice.
- Use your strengths. Using your strengths is often overlooked when it comes to personal disruption. Many times, we can’t identify our strengths, and if or when we can, we don’t tend to use them to our advantage. Why? Because strengths come naturally, and therefore, we don’t value them as much as something we’ve worked for. If you aren’t sure what your strengths are — ask those you work with, those close to you, so you can start to uncover what makes you a unique and a valuable asset to the company or your ‘team’.
- Create a practice of adapting. Change is all around us, from innovative ideas at work to the technology sitting in your pocket. To practice adapting, look for ways to disrupt yourself and focus on the small steps you are making toward adopting change. Could be as simple as driving a different way to work, or going to a different coffee shop
Personal disruption is the basis for innovation, change, and growth. The great thing about personal disruption is that it isn’t just for the CEOs; it’s for everyone. Personal disruption can transform how you see your career, the world, and how you implement thoughtful, creative ideas in your business.
Listen to my conversation with Whitney and subscribe to the What’s Next! podcast on Apple Podcasts.
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