Speaking Engagements

My speaking engagements offer a behavioural perspective on a range of topics.  Approaching familiar topics – such as innovation, marketing or leadership – from a behavioural angle typically yields surprising results.  A selection of topics appears below.

My clients, colleagues and friends describe me as being:

  • Fascinated in and passionate about the behaviour of organizations (and the individuals within them);
  • Thought-provoking, recounting surprising stories that illustrate important concepts; and
  • Highly engaging and interactive, using questions to turn presentations into conversations, helping the practical implications of the ideas under discussion to emerge.

They also tell me that these characteristics show through in my speaking style.

Here's a sample of speaking topics:

Leading change in the face of uncertainty
The unexpected has become a growing part of business as well as our everyday lives.  Why are some organizations better equipped than others to thrive in the face of unanticipated change?

Avoiding traps in decision-making
Poor decisions can often be traced back to the way they were made.  But how can we make good decisions when faced with ambiguity, uncertainty and incomplete information?  An awareness of the consequences of our own behavioural patterns can help us avoid the hidden traps in decision-making. 

Unleashing the power of teams
Since teams usually have more skills and experience than individuals, why do so many teams remain mired in mediocrity?  The somewhat surprising answer is that many approaches to teamwork often backfire because they place far too much emphasis on the team itself.

Captivating communication
You have an important message, but struggle to get through to your audience.  How do you get the attention of these busy people?  And how do you structure your messages so that they are heard or read? 

The psychology of marketing
What factors influence purchasing decisions? Can you use insights into buyer psychology to engage customers effectively?  An overview of how & why buyers think and behave the way they do.

Nurturing creativity & fostering innovation
Mature firms serving established markets face a daunting challenge: maintaining performance in the core business while concurrently nurturing the growth of new opportunities.  How do you cultivate innovation within the context of a stable operation? A look at why stability is hostile to innovation, and how some of the world’s innovation-leaders tackle this issue, offers interesting conclusions.

Inspirational leadership
Employees are often stressed, frustrated or disengaged.  How can leaders inspire and motivate them?  Leaders who understand that they need to be not only ‘managers of work’ but also ‘managers of meaning’ can engage with employees at a deeper level.  This presentation draws on the psychological mechanisms by which meaning is transferred to illustrate how we can inspire people with purpose.

Negotiation as 'detective work'
Many people view negotiation as a struggle between opposing parties.  This perspective focuses energy on selling one’s own position without an adequate understanding of the other side’s perspective.  However, if negotiators switch from being combative to investigative, they can unearth underlying assumptions that foster mutual problem-solving and prevent a descent into stubborn haggling.

The future of work
The nature of work is changing at an extraordinary rate.  Globalization, social media and mobile technology, to name but a few trends, are revolutionizing the way we work.  How can we prepare for the opportunities and challenges ahead, and make our organizations more adaptable?