Co-author, Mavericks at Work, Co-founder, Management Lab & Founding Writer, Fast Company
All change goes against the rules. Polly LaBarre arms leaders with a Maverick Manual to hack the status quo and ramp up originality, invention and game-changing disruption. The true work of leadership, she says, is inspiring, unleashing, and amplifying human creativity, passion, and resourcefulness - creating a cultural DNA where the response to change happens almost as fast as change itself. Co-author of Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win and founding team member of Fast Company magazine, Polly is co-founder of Management Lab, the think-and-do tank where she consults with top global brands. Polly is also a top speaker who leaves audiences with actionable lessons from organizations and leaders who are transforming their cultures and industries by breaking the rules and harnessing the human element. She inspires people to engage and reimagine the challenges they face, become fearless experimenters, and rethink the work of leadership. Read More >
Fit for the Future: Tapping into the Genius of Everyone
Making Innovation A Team Effort
Design an Architecture of Contribution
WL Gore Upends Traditional Organization Structure
Questions Help You Find the Future
Inspiring Performance At Work
End of Leadership: You're Not a Leader Because You Have a Title
Mavericks at Work: Accountability and Autonomy
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 make their organization 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.
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.
The era of the heroic, all-knowing, all-powerful leader is over. Leadership is no longer a function of your title or where you sit in the organization. It’s a consequence of your capacity to get things done with other people. But as disruptive forces have transformed the workplace, the practice of leadership has lagged behind; stranded in outmoded mindsets, processes, and organization structure. In this presentation, Polly shows audiences a path to transforming the organization by rethinking how leadership is done. She reveals what new leadership models look like in practice at bold and successful organizations that have reshaped their leadership mindset and reaped the rewards. Polly’s vivid storytelling highlights how top leaders pressed the reset button on their leadership style to lead change in completely new ways. Audiences walk away understanding the most important things that need to be done to “leader-proof” the organization.
"Polly hit it out of the park. She was warm and well received. Attendees loved how she kept the concepts simple and digestible. We loved having her."
"She is truly gifted in making connections and keeping all engaged."
"We could not have had a better presentation to close out our Wednesday session. Your insight on innovation in the workplace as well as how we can better incorporate innovation into our core company DNA was a hit!"
"She was spot on. Did exactly what we needed. I love that woman!"
"I had high expectations, but you completely exceeded them! You were absolutely brilliant on all fronts: content, delivery, timing, storytelling, and more. Everyone I talked to cited your talk as the highlight of our conference."
"Polly was FABULOUS!!! Articulate, provoking, exciting, strategic, practical, humble…a good representation for women!!! Everything I was hoping for. I would recommend her!"
"Polly was the perfect addition to our conference. Her keynote was the ideal complement to those that both preceded and followed her. She was very approachable, engaging and a true pleasure to work with—both for the accompanying speakers and the technical and production teams. The rave reviews continue to roll in."
"I would like to tell you that the Planetree audience loved your presentation! Great job! I heard comments that you were the best keynote we have ever had by far! Thank you again for the presentation and also meeting with our staff afterwards. It was sensational!"
"Thanks so much, Polly was a HUGE hit. We couldn’t have asked for a better suited speaker. So much so that a lot of our attendees are asking for the video footage of the day so they can re-watch it."
"Thanks so much for coming to Santa Barbara for our NBC retreat. You were both energetic and inspiring – and, trust me, I would have been thrilled to have one or the other! You gave us a lot to think about and you set the perfect tone for a lot of the issues that are facing us right at this moment."
"Thanks again for speaking at our Women’s Leadership Forum. Your remarks made quite an impact with our younger leaders, in particular. I spoke with several of them later and they were so energized by your talk, they are off implementing change!"
"Many thanks for the session you ran for us on Friday. As you could tell, it was energizing and fun and I really think it helped to move the ball forward for us. Not only did it surface some great ideas we can adopt immediately, but we learned how to hack problems and opportunities which I hope will become part of our DNA!"
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