Seizing the White Space

Business Model Innovation for Growth and Renewal

Mark W. Johnson

Harvard Business Review Press, February 2010

Business model innovation is the key to unlocking transformational growth—but few executives know how to apply it to their businesses. In Seizing the White Space, Mark W. Johnson gives them the playbook.

Leaving the rhetoric to others, Johnson lays out an eminently practical framework that identifies the four fundamental building blocks that make business models work. In a series of in-depth case studies, he goes on to vividly illustrate how companies are using innovative business models to seize their white space and achieve transformational growth by fulfilling unmet customer needs in their current markets; serving entirely new customers and creating new markets; and responding to tectonic shifts in market demand, government policy and technologies that affect entire industries.

He then lays out a structured process for designing a new model and developing it into a profitable and thriving enterprise, while investigating the vexing and sometimes paradoxical managerial challenges that have commonly thwarted so many companies in their unguided forays into the unknown.

Business model innovators have reshaped entire sectors—including retail, aviation and media—and redistributed billions of dollars of value. With road-tested frameworks, analytics and diagnostics, this book gives executives everything they need to reshape their businesses and achieve transformative growth.

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About the Author

Mark Johnson is a co-founder and Senior Partner of Innosight, a strategic innovation consulting and investing company with offices in Massachusetts, Singapore and Switzerland, which he co-founded with Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen. He has consulted to the Global 1000 and start-up companies in a wide range of industries—including health care, aerospace/defense, enterprise IT, energy, automotive and consumer packaged goods—and has advised Singapore’s government on innovation and entrepreneurship.

Johnson’s most recent work has focused on helping companies envision and create new growth, manage transformation and achieve renewal through business model innovation. This work is the subject of the McKinsey award-winning Harvard Business Review article, “Reinventing Your Business Model,” as well as his book entitled Seizing the White Space: Business Model Innovation for Growth and Renewal, published in 2010 by Harvard Business Review Press. He is the author of the Harvard Business Review article “New Business Models in Emerging Markets” with Matt Eyring and Hari Nair. Johnson has published articles in the Sloan Management Review, BusinessWeek, Advertising Age, and National Defense.

Prior to co-founding Innosight, Johnson was a consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, where he advised clients on managing innovation and implementing comprehensive change programs. Before that, he served as a nuclear power-trained surface warfare officer in the U.S. Navy.

Johnson received an 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 United States Naval Academy.

Johnson, his wife, Jane Clayson Johnson, and their children live in Belmont, Massachusetts.