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.
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 and top sports motivational speaker 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. It was a John Wooden success lesson. 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:
Discover the dos and don'ts of booking speakers. Learn best practices for achieving success with speakers with this expert insight.
“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.
"DON’T LET WHAT YOU KNOW LIMIT WHAT YOU CAN IMAGINE" – FAST COMPANY CO-FOUNDER BILL TAYLOR Co-founder of Fast Company magazine Bill Taylor has had a front row seat at the very beginning of a revolution in management and competition driven by technology. While there he watched and profiled the mavericks and rule breakers who have achieved outsize success by taking a different path.
This blog has nothing to do with the speaking industry – but then again, it kind of does. The reaction was so positive for my blog about the stand-up desk a few months ago, I thought I'd share something else that's been really useful for me. The events business is pretty demanding. Event planners I know have long hours and uncertain schedules that sometimes make it hard to find the time/motivation to make dinner. I like to cook. I find the whole process – washing, chopping, sautéing, etc. – relaxing. And the smells can be fabulous and help ease the pressures of the day. But finding the time can be an issue.
THE FUTURE OF WORK AT IBM When I read the news about IBM's decision to have most teleworkers return to their offices I knew it was something Fortune magazine's GEOFF COLVIN would be following closely. His last book, Humans are Underrated, focused on where humans fit in and add value in a workplace culture that is increasingly dominated by robots and smart technology of every sort. What did IBM's move mean for the future of work? Will this organizational transformation really increase effective collaboration in the workplace as IBM hopes? Geoff's concise essay on IBM's decision is below. He will be following it closely and will weigh in down the road with the impact this change makes for the company and the ramifications more broadly in the workplace. What do YOU think? Feel free to comment at the end of this article.
In my previous life as a speakers’ agent for top keynote speakers, I worked with a well-known non-fiction author whose name you would know; someone really well respected. That author did a lot of speaking on the strength of impressive book sales; multiple #1 New York Times bestsellers. The author was a good speaker. I say “good” because rarely was the sponsoring organization disappointed with the speech – but the author never got an emphatic, “That was great!” reaction from the event planner. When I would go to see this author speak, I loved the content but would come away a bit disappointed because the speech was read…word for word…while looking up occasionally.
$2,450 was an awful lot of money in July of 1984. I had just started a new job after moving from Boston to Stamford, Connecticut. I had a bigger mortgage payment on a more expensive place than I had before and was adjusting to the daily commute to NYC for work. Money was flying out the door. The last thing I wanted to do was spend more.