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 improve organizational culture, taking performance to new heights. looking for practical and usable ways to 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 Disruptive Change and Win
As robots and smart machines do ever more of the work humans used to do – and do it faster, cheaper, and better — what is the future of work? How will humans add value? What job skills will be most in-demand? Geoff Colvin answers these questions and more in this talk based on research for his New York Times bestselling book, Humans are Underrated. Forward-thinking employers are finding that the critical skills they’ll need most to compete in the future are those that focus on social interaction: collaboration, storytelling, social sensitivity, brainstorming, creating and innovating with others, leading, and above all – empathy. Developing an organizational culture that fosters those traits takes effort. The need to transition to newly valuable skills is happening faster than organizations and most psyches can adapt. And for companies balancing a workforce of people and machines, there are political and PR consequences. Geoff reveals what top organizations are doing to prepare for the future of work. The good news is that we humans already have what it takes – now it’s up to us to make the most of it.
Lead Anchor, BBC World News America and Bestselling Author; Insights on American Politics, Global Affairs and Issues for Women
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, IMF Chief Christine Lagarde called the advancement of women the greatest economic opportunity of our time. She was recognizing what Katty Kay calls Womenomics, the extraordinary value of women in the workforce. Global studies show that companies who employ more senior women make more money. But too many women in their mid-thirties hit the brick wall of kids vs. career and decide to leave the workforce. We can’t afford to keep losing them. Katty marshals evidence from employers large and small to illustrate how shifts in organizational culture can help women meet the demands of family and career, keeping these valuable contributors in the workforce. What starts as talent retention initiative becomes a profit bonus any company would be happy to have. Katty’s talk inspires women and provides a practical guide to employers.
Co-author, Mavericks at Work; Co-founder, Management Lab; Founding Writer, Fast Company; Helping Leaders & Organizations Become More Resilient, Innovative & Inspiring
For every leader unsettled by rampant disruption, there is a powerful antidote already inside the organization: the untapped audacity, imagination, energy and passion of its people. Those fundamental human qualities are the engine of the creative economy—the source of all value. But too few organizations are designed to unleash, mobilize, and amplify that human edge. In this talk, Polly lays out a path for cultivating a culture of contribution, collaboration and innovation—one where everyone is switched-on and connected to each other and to customers. She inspires audiences with a set of strategies for re-designing systems, processes, and practices to create an organizational culture that’s fundamentally more innovation-friendly – embedding the mindsets and methods of experimentation into everything they do. Leaders at every level take away an increased capacity to inspire and unleash both creativity and accountability.
First Woman Thunderbird Pilot, Combat Veteran, Fighter Squadron Commander, White House Fellow & Adviser, and Indomitable Spirit
Every great accomplishment involves breaking barriers – both culturally and within. Nicole Malachowski is a trailblazer who succeeded in a traditionally male-dominated career field: the world of the fighter pilot. As uncomfortable and risky as stretching the limits of yourself and your surroundings might be, Nicole tells audiences there’s no reason to allow that to dictate your goals and aspirations. She became one of the first women to fly a modern-day fighter aircraft, the very first woman to fly with the Air Force Thunderbird aerial demonstration squadron, and she was inducted into the Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame. She is relatable to women and men with a fascinating narrative of exactly what it took to be a woman vanguard and break tradition. Nicole offers actionable tools and real-world lessons about pursuing her dream, making choices, all while building a family and achieving success in a career where few women had gone before. Her speech resonates with professionals pursuing individual development while also navigating organizational culture in their chosen field. Nicole inspires audiences with a message rooted in her personal mantra – “Nobody wants to lead a scripted life.”
Entrepreneur & Innovator; Co-founder, Fast Company; Bestselling Author:
Simply Brilliant, Practically Radical, and Mavericks at Work
Business today is about distinctive competitive strategies, game-changing technologies, and creative social media and marketing. But the most successful organizations, those built on fierce execution and nonstop innovation, work as distinctively as they compete. The first question great organizations can answer is: What separates us from our rivals in the marketplace? But the next question is: What holds us together as colleagues in the workplace? In an era of brash ideas and disruptive business models, organizations that create the most extraordinary value are the ones that generate the most widely shared sense of commitment, connection, and compassion among colleagues. Whether you’re in a fast-moving digital field or a more traditional, slow-to-change industry, your organization can’t be exceptional unless it embraces cutting-edge technologies and also puts a sense of humanity back into the business. Bill’s reveals how some of the world’s most high-performing and creative workplaces engage their people to unleash and sustain an organizational culture of fierce execution and nonstop innovation. The lessons and case studies are a cutting-edge agenda for recruiting, evaluating, organizing, and retaining talent.
Basketball Legend, Broadcaster, Humanitarian, and Survivor
What separates great teams from everyone else? The organizational culture OR the organization’s culture OR the culture of the organization. Basketball legend Bill Walton knows and speaks from experience. Bill played on two championship teams under revered UCLA coach John Wooden. Those teams contributed to the Bruins’ 88-game winning streak, still the record in men’s basketball more than 40 years later. Bill was also a two-time NBA champion; with the Portland Trail Blazers and Boston Celtics. Of course, it’s not possible to appreciate great teamwork unless you’ve seen the other side of that coin and Bill experienced that as well during his time with the San Diego/Los Angeles Clippers. After Bill’s playing days ended, broadcasting offered him the perfect perch from which to watch extraordinary teams perform. Throughout his business endeavors, Bill applied the teamwork lessons he learned from sports with astonishing success. In this keynote speech, Bill talks about the essentials of teams that rock – cooperation, friendship, loyalty, sacrifice, discipline, execution, and leadership – with humorous and revealing anecdotes. As one of the most colorful characters from the sports world, Bill Walton delivers an inspiring message for teams looking to take their performance to the next level.