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Charlene Li

San Francisco, California, United States


I help leaders and organizations thrive with disruption as an expert on digital transformation and leadership expert. I've been writing since 1999 and have seen business, society, and the world undergo seismic changes. My work includes writing books, speaking, consulting, and serving on boards.

I help leaders and their organizations in four ways:

1) Research and Writing: I share my research and thinking through books, going on six! Books provide an opportunity to go more deeply into specific topics. I also periodically publish research through Altimeter. My latest research focuses on creating disruptive transformation strategies, leadership in the digital era, changing the culture to work at the speed of digital customers.

2) Speaking and Workshops: From opening conference keynotes to intimate executive gatherings, my speeches and workshops educate and identify specific actions people can take to thrive in the digital era. Peppered with relevant examples, these speeches and workshops are tailored for each engagement.

3) Consulting Projects. I'm lucky to have 400+ globally-based colleagues at Prophet with whom I partner with to deliver in-depth strategy development. These range from creating a robust digital or social strategy to developing an employee engagement plan and community. For more information about Prophet, visit

4) Board and advisory roles: I serve on several boards of companies seeking to create disruptive, exponential growth, advising on issues from strategy and fundraising to organization and culture.

Charlene LiPoints

Points based upon Thinkers360 patent-pending algorithm.

Thought Leader Profile

Portfolio Mix

Company Information

Areas of Expertise

Digital Transformation 37.20
Leadership 33.80
HR 30.07
Innovation 30.08
Digital Disruption 34.74
Social 50

Industry Experience

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3 Article/Blogs
Employee Adoption of Collaboration Tools in 2018
August 27, 2019
Last week I had the honor of speaking at the Evanta Global CIO Executive Summit and toward the end of the speech casually mentioned that I'd be releasing this report on Monday. Afterwards, many of the CIOs expressed deep interest in the data, sharing that this is one of their top priorities through the end of 2018 and into 2019. So I'm excited to share the report!

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Leadership, HR

5 Ways to Train Your Executives on Digital Transformation
August 01, 2018
If you are leading a digital transformation effort, you know how important it is get executive buy-in. Yet many leaders have only a tangential grasp of what it means to be “digital” and shy away from getting their hands dirty. Altimeter found that low digital literacy or expertise among employees and leadership was the top challenge facing digital transformation initiatives. What’s frustrating is that while there is a plethora of training and development options, most executives still hang by their fingertips.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Innovation

Reflecting on 10 Years of Groundswell -- and What Comes Next
April 24, 2018
10 years ago, my co-author Josh Bernoff and I released our first book, “Groundswell: Living in a World Transformed by Social Technologies”. On this anniversary, I wanted to reflect on what our expectations were when we published that work, what has changed, and what has not. Josh has shared his thoughts as well.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Leadership

4 Books
The Disruption Mindset: Why Some Organizations Transform While Others Fail
September 24, 2019
Many companies make disruption their goal. They believe that if they develop the right innovation, they will disrupt their markets forever and drive the kind of growth worthy of a magazine cover story. But as bestselling author Charlene Li explains, that’s not how disruption works. Disruption doesn’t create growth; instead, growth creates disruption.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Digital Disruption

Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies
March 25, 2019
Corporate executives are struggling with a new trend: people using online social technologies (blogs, social networking sites, YouTube, podcasts) to discuss products and companies, write their own news, and find their own deals. This groundswell is global, it s unstoppable, it affects every industry and it s utterly foreign to the powerful companies running things now.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Social

The Engaged Leader: A Strategy for Your Digital Transformation
March 17, 2015
NYT and WSJ bestselling author Charlene Li guides business leaders deeper than ever before into the uncomfortable and ever-changing terrain of the digital era

Technology has revolutionized the very idea and nature of relationships between leaders and their followers. Yet, many leaders remain stuck at arms-length from those they lead and serve, relying on specialized teams to interact with customers, their direct reports to keep tabs on how employees are doing, and on the digital natives in their organization to stay abreast of new technologies.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Leadership

Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead
May 24, 2010
Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead

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Tags: Social, Leadership



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