The 4th Option Junto
#50—Salim Ismail: Why Exponential Organizations Outperform Others

#50—Salim Ismail: Why Exponential Organizations Outperform Others

Salim Ismail is the lead author of the bestselling business book, Exponential Organizations. A renowned technology strategist and serial entrepreneur with ties to Yahoo!, Google, and Singularity University, he consults with governments and the world’s top Fortune 500 companies on innovation and growth. His work has been featured in premier media outlets like the New York Times, Bloomberg Business Week, Fortune, Forbes, WIRED, Vogue, and the BBC.

Salim founded ExOWorks in 2016 to help transform global business by catapulting organizations into the world of exponential thinking. He travels extensively sharing a global perspective on the impact of breakthrough technologies and how organizations can leverage these disruptions to grow 10 times faster than their peers. He is co-founder and Chairman of OpenExO and an active Board Member of the XPRIZE Foundation.

In this podcast, he shares:

  • Why a new breed of organization is emerging and what that organization looks like

  • What exponential technologies are, which of those we should be tracking, and how they will impact your organizations’ future

  • Three practical steps you can take to fight corporate antibodies and get your leadership to take innovation seriously


"We've never seen this much innovation hit us at the same time globally, ever. That means, every piece that you thought about the world before is gone."

-Salim Ismail


  • Episode Timeline:

    00:00—Introducing Salim + The topic of today’s episode

    1:51—If you really know me you know that...

    2:10—What is your definition of strategy?

    2:58—Could you tell us about your journey with ExO, and what it is?

    5:54—Could you explain exponential technology to us?

    8:45—How can you function as an ExO organization (the ExO business model)

    10:45—Could you give us a breakdown of the tool set you use to transform a business into an exponential one?

    12:01—How can you overcome the existing business organization functions to get ideas from being just ideas to reality?

    14:26—How do you disrupt your organization's own immune system?

    16:55—How are companies branding themselves differently in light of this new wave of businesses?

    18:05—What is your opinion on all the newer technologies that have surfaced in the last few year (blockchain, crypto, etc.)?

    20:27—Where can people follow you and your work


Additional Resources:

Personal Page:


ExOworks Site:


The 4th Option Junto
The Outthinkers podcast is a growth strategy podcast hosted by Kaihan Krippendorff. Each week, Kaihan talks with forward-looking strategists and innovators that are challenging the status quo, leading the future of business, and shaping our world.