FIT FOR THE FUTURE: CREATING ADAPTABLE, INNOVATIVE, AND INSPIRING ORGANIZATIONS
We live in a world where change is relentless, disruptive, even shocking. Success has never been more fleeting, and the ability to adapt more important. In this context, one of the most important questions leaders face is: Are you changing as fast as the world is changing? If your answer is “No, not really,” you’re not alone. The “modern organization” was designed over a century ago not to adapt but to preserve the status quo, not to invent the new but to clamp down on deviations from the norm, and not to unleash people but to control them. How to change the DNA of an entrenched organization? Polly LaBarre has been exploring that question for nearly two decades. A captivating storyteller, Polly offers fresh perspectives to cast the most fundamental challenges for leaders and organizations in new light. Audiences walk away with mind-flipping insights on how to evolve their management model—the most powerful source of competitive advantage today – and to build an organization that is truly fit for the future: endlessly adaptable, relentlessly inventive, and genuinely inspiring.
HUMAN ORGANIZATIONS FOR HUMAN BEINGS
For too long, the ruling ideology of too many organizations has been control—control people, control information, control deviations from the norm. That’s exactly the wrong design for generating the innovation and engagement required to thrive in the 21st century. Today, leaders must shift their focus from controlling their “resources” to mobilizing and unleashing the full imagination, passion, and initiative of every person inside the organization. Those fundamental human qualities are the engine of the creative economy. They cannot be commanded, only inspired. In this presentation, Polly LaBarre shares how to create an environment and systems for work that unleash more freedom, creativity, and contribution—how to create an organization that is as human as the people who work inside it. Polly takes audiences on a journey deep inside the “positive deviants”—the organizations and leaders riding the waves of change, mastering the competition, and surprising their customers and partners by busting bureaucracy, instituting radical autonomy, rethinking the work of leadership, promoting artistry and creativity, and cultivating trust and well-being.
BUILDING THE SOCIAL ORGANIZATION (FROM WEB 2.0 TO MANAGEMENT 2.0)
In the coming years, the Web will have as profound an effect on management models as it has had on business models. The social Web is a seedbed of new organizational forms where coordination happens without centralization, all ideas compete on equal footing, contribution counts for more than credentials, mediocrity gets exposed, communities form spontaneously around shared interests, power comes from sharing rather than hoarding, and intrinsic rewards matter most of all. Polly LaBarre shows why organizations today must radically rethink how they mobilize people and organize resources to productive ends. She looks at progressive companies that are already using the new social technologies and undergirding principles of the Web to reinvent how they do strategy, allocate resources, make decisions, lead, engage, develop, and reward people. Learn how to expand the scope of employee freedom – to connect, to contribute, to create, to choose, and to challenge – open up the organization, trade hierarchy for meritocracy, cultivate community, build collaboration, and court serendipity. Polly shows new ways to build a truly social organization that doesn’t sacrifice scale, efficiency, and discipline.
THE END OF LEADERSHIP AS WE KNOW IT
The era of the heroic, all-knowing, all-powerful leader is over. From the citizen activists of Arab Spring to the protestors of Occupy Wall Street to the emergence of Pirate Parties across Europe and the increasingly vocal disgruntled passengers of many an airline, the message is clear. The established way of leading, ruling, governing, and managing is not working anymore. But if the leader is not in charge, what is the work of leadership today? Polly LaBarre’s presentation builds on the key theme of the new era — leadership is no longer a function of your title or where you sit in the organization; it’s a function of your capacity to get things done with other people. You’re a leader today because you have followers—not the other way around. This means that, at some point or another, everybody in the organization has a chance to exercise his or her leadership capability. Polly gives audiences practical ways to embed 21st century leadership capability across the organization
A MAVERICK MANUAL FOR SUCCESS
The future belongs to the mavericks. If we want originality, invention, game-changing disruption—if we want our organizations to keep up with the times and stay ahead of the pack—we need to fill them with people who ignore the rules, flout convention, defy the gravity of the status quo, question constantly, and experiment fearlessly. In a world of non-stop competition and rampant commodification, mavericks are the people who invent the future and create the most value. In this talk, Polly LaBarre shows that you don’t have to be a born maverick—or a disruptive startup—to push your organization, your industry, or the world into the future. You just have to think (and act) differently. That’s easier said than done. Polly offers audiences a “maverick manual” for individual success and organizational revitalization.
Moderator, Interviewer, Emcee and Sense-Maker
Polly LaBarre brings a world of experience to the stage when she engages panels and guests to explore the important issues facing business. For nearly two decades, she has designed and hosted events, led panels, interviewed celebrated thinkers and doers on stage and on television, and earned accolades for her ability to connect the dots and draw out deep insights during the course of an event. At Fast Company, Polly co-created and hosted Real Time, the magazine’s 600+-person signature events; developed and hosted the Women’s Leadership Summit; and created and moderated the televised Fast Talk series. She has moderated and hosted a number of high profile events, including: IBM’s Centennial event (keynoter, interviewer, and panel leader); HSM’s World Innovation Forum and World Business Forum (emcee and panel leader); SXSW panel leader; NYU Social Innovation panel leader; Wavelength events (interviewed and moderated panels with progressive CEOs and leaders from the social innovation world); PopTech (series of interviews with thought leaders and sense-making for live stream); CNN interviewer/moderator. Whether hosting, interviewing one-on-one or moderating a panel discussion, Polly LaBarre has a talent to create a lively, informative and memorable occasion.