D'Amelio Network Blog
Get the latest insight on event management, leadership and the top issues affecting business leaders from D'Amelio Network's influential thought leaders.
Most leaders don’t need convincing that a focus on transforming organizational culture pays big dividends. What a company is to its customers is inextricably tied to the workplace culture it creates for its own people. Recognizing this direct link between corporate culture and competitiveness & profitability, the topic of culture is popular at business meetings and events. Below I've highlighted advice from four top keynote speakers and seminar leaders who are popular choices for such meetings because their insights help jump-start fresh thinking. Their ideas can help transform your culture to unleash the power of your organization.
MIKE ABRASHOFF'S "NO-LIMITS MANAGEMENT" CREATES A CULTURE OF INNOVATION What organization isn’t searching for a path to inspire breakthrough performance by engaging the employees differently? If you’re among them, this story will inspire some fresh thinking on the subject.
Discover the dos and don'ts of booking speakers. Learn best practices for achieving success with speakers with this expert insight.
TIPS FOR YOUR EVENT PLANNING CHECKLIST Taking your time to choose the right speaker is a great first step to a successful outcome. After that, a well-planned pre-event call, about 3-4 weeks in advance of your program, will make certain your speaker has the best chance to shine and meet your objectives.
Anyone who has booked a paid speaker for a conference or meeting can readily attest, the speaking industry can be one very confusing space to navigate to the outsider. Those of us on the inside are used to it, but if you only step into this world a few times a year, making sense of how things work can be a daunting prospect. As someone who’s been involved in bringing talent and audiences together for my entire career, I thought I’d offer up a few essential insights that would be useful to corporate event planners - both novice and veterans alike.
This is the last in my series on avoiding disaster when booking event speakers. The idea is for top speakers to talk about their onsite experiences in a way that provides some useful lessons and reminders. Ideally, their insights will find their way into your event planning checklist.
TAKE CONTROL OF THE CONTENT/MESSAGE How can you generate maximum impact from the outside speakers at your next meeting or conference? How can you make sure the speakers’ insights are relevant and focused on what matters most to your audience? In my years helping event planners wrestle with that challenge, I have found there is sometimes no substitute for adding an experienced interviewer, discussion leader, or panel moderator. The difference it can make to the quality of the content delivery can be sizable.
SUCCESS STARTS WITH THE FOUNDATION Basketball legend BILL WALTON will never forget his first practice under the legendary UCLA Bruins coach John Wooden. Walton and the other star recruits, plus famous seniors and members of national championship UCLA teams, were anxious to get started. But first, John Wooden says, “Men, this is how you put your shoes and socks on.” Some of the returning players had been through this before; no matter - they were going to learn it again. Walton, the country's top-recruited player that year, thought “WHAT!!!???!!! We're top players! We don't need this!" But learning to tie shoes properly was vital to Wooden. It meant star players would never get a blister which would keep them from playing. The team can’t be its best unless everyone’s able to play. John Wooden is arguably the greatest coach of all-time, regardless of sport yet he never talked about winning. Wooden taught his players to focus on doing their best; which meant practicing the fundamentals well. Like the proper way to lace up shoes. No matter what we do, the brilliant execution of the fundamentals is essential. Bill Walton credits the lessons he learned from Coach John Wooden for creating the foundation for his success on the court and in life. A top sports motivational speaker, Bill draws on the wisdom of John Wooden and brings that message to audiences, as he does in this video:
“The future doesn’t have to surprise you.” So says VIKRAM MANSHARAMANI, an expert on global business trends, Harvard Lecturer, author, and investor. How can we get better at anticipating the future? I asked him when we met. The flood of political, economic, technological, social, and market forces that bombard us every day is overwhelming and distracting. It prevents us from paying attention to what really matters, he said. He noted the usual response to this noise is to focus narrowly or turn to specialists for help. But is that the right path? Have we been blinded by focus? Has the mantra of expertise and specialization misled us? Vikram thinks the pendulum has swung too far. Vikram offers scores of compelling real-life examples that show how the narrow focus and specialization can lead us to miss the most important signals – the ones we’re least primed to see. The advice Vikram offers is counter-intuitive. He advocates opening up to get a broader view; to "zoom out" as he calls it, and then connect the dots. He calls the logic the generalist’s approach. Breadth, Vikram argues, is as important as depth. Generalists win by paying attention to more than their area of expertise. Vikram's generalist framework for looking at the world differently and meeting disruption head-on. I sat down with global business expert Vikram Mansharamani to discuss his approach to spotting global business trends, his teaching, and his speaking. Some interesting ideas here. I hope you enjoy his comments.
THE POPULARITY OF LEADERSHIP SPEAKERS As a group, leadership speakers are quite possibly the most popular category of speakers. In a world that’s moving too fast, leadership is the ingredient that helps to focus resources, manage risk, and spot new opportunities. And of all the roles, leadership helps focus the organization's most important asset – its people – on the hard work of doing big change. In short, leadership skills are treasured. With that in mind: this column.
The natural reaction to the Wells Fargo debacle, perhaps within that company and by leaders at other companies looking to prevent similar behavior, is to clamp down and exert more rules and regulations; tighten organizational control. But Management Lab partner POLLY LaBARRE cautions that approach runs the risk of stifling the very innovation and employee engagement that organizations covet. Polly has been a top innovation speaker since her early days at Fast Company magazine; someone whose approach to organizational control was centered around the idea of unleashing the full power and creativity of the people within it by demolishing bureaucracy. Polly's strategies look to make organizations as human as the people who comprise them. I asked Polly to write about the tug between controlling, regulating, and making rules vs. the ideal of setting workers free to find new ways to drive innovation. I hope you enjoy her thoughts here on a fresh approach to organizational control. --------------------------------------------------------- Control by Other Means - The Benefits of Bureaucracy Without All the Costs by Polly LaBarre It was one of the most breathtakingly egregious cases of institutional overreach in recent memory: the widespread fraud uncovered at Wells Fargo last fall. Under bruising pressure to meet wildly aggressive sales targets, thousands of bankers created as many as 2 million accounts for customers without their consent—and kept the racket alive for years with a web of shady practices and tacit executive support.