Former Commander, USS Benfold and Author, It’s Your Ship
When Mike Abrashoff took command of the USS Benfold, morale was low, turnover was high and the ship’s performance ranked near the bottom of the Pacific Fleet. Just twelve months later Benfold was ranked #1 – using the very same crew. The lesson was clear – leadership matters and culture is everything. This inspiring talk is for every individual and organization looking for practical and usable ways to take organizational performance to new heights. In Mike’s case, he realized that before the ship’s performance could change, he had to change his leadership style. Mike worked to create a culture of trust and empower his crew to take charge and use ingenuity and initiative to improve every aspect of the way things were done. Top down leadership is dead, so when the crew would present a problem, Mike became famous for responding “What would YOU do? It’s YOUR ship!” Mike’s presentation leaves audiences with the tools and inspiration to accomplish big goals.
Senior Editor-at-Large, Fortune and Bestselling Author;
Arming Leaders to Confront Disruption Change and Win
Every day can bring harsh new surprises. Economic and policy change. The competitor or new business model you never saw coming. Game-changing technology. Competing in the friction-free economy has leaders worrying most about what they don’t know. In his talk, Geoff Colvin leverages nearly 40 years at Fortune to arm audiences with valuable perspective on the trends driving business disruption, revealing how top leaders are confronting them right now. Economic growth, consumer demand, interest rates, taxes, employment costs – these issues are transforming the business environment daily, and Geoff provides unparalleled insights in terms you won’t hear elsewhere. And while political winds may blow toward protectionism, the market trends powering the friction-free economy are technological and going strong, requiring swift and full attention. As a result, winning in business today demands extraordinary leadership acting on the best intelligence it can find. Geoff’s message is optimistic and energizing: opportunity is more widely available than ever and there will be winners – why shouldn’t it be you?
Co-author, Mavericks at Work; Co-founder, Management Lab; Founding Writer, Fast Company; Helping Leaders & Organizations Become More Resilient, Innovative & Inspiring
Catching the future depends less on planning for what will come next and more on continuously experimenting with what could come next. In order to innovate and adapt in this creative, disruptive economy, every organization must develop the capacity (and the appetite) for experimentation and even failure. Despite the life or death stakes, this is not natural behavior for most organizations. The challenge: most organizations are programmed to safeguard the status quo. So, how do you unleash your organization’s inner insurgent? How do you build a company with the native drive to disrupt the status quo and the capacity to change ahead of change? Polly delivers a set of actionable strategies drawn from her research and work inside some of the world’s most successful, creative, and innovative companies. She helps people embrace a completely new mindset for changing the way they do organizational change.
First Woman Thunderbird Pilot, Combat Veteran, Fighter Squadron; Commander, White House Fellow & Adviser, and Indomitable Spirit
In flying, headwinds slow you down. At their worst, they cause you to change your plans and impact the effectiveness of weapons in combat. Headwinds demand that pilots be resilient and resourceful, literally on the fly. “Headwinds are the perfect metaphor for the change impacting organizations and individuals today,” says 21-year Air Force veteran Nicole Malachowski. A former fighter squadron commander and mission-ready pilot in three operational fighter squadrons and the first woman to fly on the Air Force Thunderbirds, Nicole has the perfect message to inspire audiences to think differently about the headwinds of change they face – organizationally and personally. Drawing on her extraordinary Air Force career, Nicole offers lessons on leadership, followership, and overcoming adversity. She weaves storytelling with breathtaking video from the cockpit of her jet as the Thunderbirds execute precision turns, rolls, and loops – all just 36” from one another at 400 mph and just 300 feet off the ground. Nicole’s keynote helps audiences ignite their own indomitable spirit in order to succeed far beyond what they might dream. “Failure isn’t fatal,” she says, “it’s the price of entry if you want to achieve something great.”
DAVID MEERMAN SCOTT
Business Growth Strategist, Entrepreneur, VC Strategic Partner; WSJ Bestselling Author of Eleven Books, Latest is Fanocracy
Why do some brands, even in supposedly mundane categories like car insurance and enterprise software, attract not just customers, or even loyal customers, but passionate fans? These brands have learned to provide the human connection people are now longing for. David Meerman Scott calls it a Fanocracy. Creating fandom isn’t just for actors, athletes, musicians, and authors. Fandom can be rocket fuel for any company or organization that chooses to focus on inspiring and nurturing true fans. This presentation is based on David’s book Fanocracy and offers inspiring examples of offbeat and mainstream businesses and organizations that have harnessed passion to create fans – both external and internal – to win big. David shows how the act of making business personal may be the most powerful business strategy of all at a time when the technology pendulum has swung too far and everyone is doubling down and sending yet another tweet, yet another YouTube video, yet another LinkedIn connection, leaving us feeling like we’re in a world of digital chaos.
Entrepreneur & Innovator; Co-founder, Fast Company; Bestselling Author: Simply Brilliant, Practically Radical, and Mavericks at Work
In this era of hyper-competition and non-stop disruption, past success does not guarantee future prosperity. It’s a world where the smart take from the strong and the most urgent work for every organization and leader is the work of making meaningful, deep-seated change. When customers have higher expectations than ever, and digital technologies and new business models create more choices than ever, then familiar ways of working and competing become less effective than ever. That means even the most successful companies have to rethink and reimagine every aspect of how they do business and deliver results. One challenge is originality—not to be the best at what others already do, but to be the only one who does what you do. Another challenge is people and culture—in a world transformed by technology, infusing your organization with a deeper sense of humanity. A third challenge is rethinking the logic of risk—recognizing that in an environment of constant disruption, “playing it safe” may be the most dangerous course of all. Armed with challenging ideas and in-depth case studies, Bill Taylor shows how organizations and leaders can unleash long-lasting, positive change in turbulent, fast-moving times.