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Mark Johnson

The future is eminently knowable—through visionary thinking.

Co-Founder of Innosight | Author of Lead from the Future and Reinvent Your Business Model

Contact Mark For Booking
Mark Johnson | Co-Founder of Innosight | Author of Lead from the Future and Reinvent Your Business Model
Lavin Exclusive Speaker

How can you transform your business in the face of disruption—and come out stronger, more resilient, and more profitable than before? That’s a question Mark Johnson is well-equipped to answer. An award-winning business author himself, Johnson co-founded the innovation consultancy Innosight alongside Clayton M. Christensen, author of The Innovator’s Dilemma. Together, they have helped countless leaders and organizations develop the visionary ideas that lead to breakthrough change, and execute them with startling efficiency. As practical as it is creative, Johnson’s work not only stimulates new growth, but manages company-wide cultures of transformation.

“An admirably lucid thinker and a great explainer…Mark Johnson has equipped a new generation of innovators with the insights and the tools that they need.”

— Clayton M. Christensen

Mark Johnson co-founded Innosight alongside Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen, the man who originated the business theory known as disruptive innovation. Both analytically rigorous and creative, Innosight is a consultancy that operates “entirely in the future business.” It encourages leaders to change the way they think about the future, all while helping them build the capabilities they need to do things that were once impossible. Johnson believes that extraordinary leaders are not the result of innate qualities. What truly sets them apart, he says, is their ability to turn visions into action—a critical, yet underdeveloped skill in business. In his upcoming book Lead from the Future: How to Turn Visionary Thinking into Breakthrough Growth (March 2020), Johnson helps leaders prepare for the future—without being clouded by today’s challenges or the baggage of the past. A manifesto for long-term leadership, and a roadmap for instilling visionary thinking, Lead from the Future shows us that the successes of Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos can be replicated, and sustained, with the right tools.

 

Johnson’s previous book Reinvent Your Business Model: How to Seize the White Space for Transformative Growth was named a Top Ten Business Strategy Book by Inc. magazine. In it, he offers a framework for understanding how the business model actually works, as well as a process for either reinventing an existing one or creating a new one from scratch. He also wrote a McKinsey Award-winning article of the same name for the Harvard Business Review. In his earlier book Dual Transformation: How to Reposition Today’s Business While Creating the Future, Johnson builds on lessons from diverse companies such as Adobe and Netflix to show how leaders can create the next iteration of themselves—thereby owning the future, rather than being disrupted by it.

 

Prior to Innosight, Mark was a nuclear power-trained surface-warfare officer in the U.S. Navy. He received his MBA from Harvard Business School, a master’s degree in civil engineering and engineering mechanics from Columbia University, and a bachelor’s degree with distinction in aerospace engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy.

 

Speech Topics

Leadership
Lead from the Future How to Turn Visionary Thinking into Breakthrough Growth Business
Business visionaries, whether it be Thomas Edison or Jeff Bezos, have always seized the transformative power of new technologies and leveraged them to build vast enterprises. Where do their visions come from? And by what alchemy, besides sheer force of intellect, personality, and determination, do they bring them to life? As Mark Johnson sees it, they are simply people who have figured out how to develop actionable views of their organizations’ best possible futures. In his upcoming book Lead From the Future, Johnson breaks visionary leadership down into a process called “future back” that any leader can learn to actualize a better future. Unlike present-forward thinking, which moves an organization ahead in small increments, future-back thinking empowers leaders to make a clean break from the past and present so they can truly own the future.
Innovation
Dual Transformation How to Reposition Today’s Business While Creating the Future
Disruptive change will cause half of the S&P 500’s current roster to fall off the list over the next decade. But disruptive change needn’t be a threat; it can also become your next great growth opportunity. Based on insights from his recent book Dual Transformation, Mark Johnson explores the power of dualtrack change efforts to A) fortify the core business of today, while B) creating a growth engine of tomorrow. Connecting these two efforts are the distinctive and hard-to-replicate capabilities that make a company great. Johnson also reveals the characteristics that transformative leaders must embrace: courage, clarity, curiosity, and conviction. Building on lessons learned in his experience with a diverse array of companies, from Johnson & Johnson to Ford Motor Co., Johnson helps guide executives through the journey of creating the next version of themselves, enabling them to own the future rather than be disrupted by it. 
Strategy
Reinvent Your Business Model Unlocking Transformational Growth
Once upon a time, new business models were considered the domain of startups. No longer. Digital disruption and shrinking business model lifespans mean that incumbents can—and must—refresh and recreate their business models as well. In this presentation, Mark Johnson draws on his book Reinvent Your Business Model to show business leaders how they can leverage new technologies, address unmet market needs, and apply different ways of harvesting value to achieve transformational growth. 
Innovation
The Imperative of Long-Term Innovation Strategies to Change the Market
 Long-term innovations—think Nestle’s Nespresso or Apple’s iTunes and “digital hub” devices—can take 10 years or longer to achieve lift off. But when they do, their ability to create and transform markets and propel companies to greatness is powerful. So why is long-term innovation so hard to do? Mark Johnson breaks down the impediments—from unconscious human biases to management systems that favor the status quo—and describes how a system built on “long-view leadership” and an agile, test and learn approach to launching new initiatives can enable the kind of  innovation that changes markets and lives.