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Tony D'Amelio

By: Tony D'Amelio on May 2nd, 2017

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Top Organizational Change Speakers on Successful Change Management

Managing/Leading Change | Organizational Culture

Managing Change in a Disruptive Business Environment

The world’s most successful companies have one striking similarity: The ability to innovate, adapt, and successfully manage change in a highly disruptive business environment.

Leading change is the top job of every leader, no matter where they are on the organization chart. Top leaders are always looking to make sure they and their organizations keep focused on trying to change as fast as the world around them. In the best cases, they go from being reactive to disruption to becoming the disrupting force themselves.

Most companies looking to get serious about changing the way they change look for outside help – either speakers or consultants. Top organizational change speakers are in high demand. Here are four top experts who have spent years researching, implementing, or leading successful change management. They share what they’ve learned with audiences in their speeches and bestselling books.

Read on for a fresh look into the great ways top leaders and companies are successfully managing change and future-proofing their companies and themselves - creating a more productive, profitable, and innovative organization.

 

Bill Taylor – Co-Founder, Fast Company and Author, Simply Brilliant

Bill Taylor has encouraged a generation of executives and company-builders to think differently about change, leadership, and the new world of work. A spirited and hard-charging entrepreneur, Bill co-founded Fast Company, easily the most influential voice on business and innovation in the last two decades.

The most important point in Bill’s newest book, Simply Brilliant, is that you don’t have to be a trendy tech firm or a blank-sheet-of-paper startup to make huge innovation strides. In his book and speeches, Bill inspires people with stories of un-trendy companies – even those in old-line industries some might think are boring – that have totally reinvented themselves and their futures by adopting a new mindset about how to systematically attack change.    

Bill on Change Management:

“My point to audiences I speak to now is that the more things change, the more the objections to change remain the same. Leading change is not for the faint of heart.

“That’s why your first job as a leader or change agent, wherever you are in the organization, is to convince your colleagues, and maybe deep down to convince yourself, that in a world that’s being assaulted by radical change, playing it safe may be the riskiest course of all. Change begins to happen when people finally conclude that the risk of trying something new is less than the cost of clinging to what’s worked in the past. That is a big shift in mindset, but it’s the mindset that lets you go about the business of inventing the future.”

Bill Taylor: What Keeps Organizations From Trying?

 

Mike Abrashoff – Former Navy Captain and Author,
It’s Your Ship

Mike Abrashoff is at the center of one of the most remarkable modern day stories of organizational transformation. When Mike took command of the USS Benfold it ranked as the near-worst performing ship in the Navy. Twelve months later – it was the best ship in the fleet – using the very same crew.

Everyone thought the situation was hopeless. And when Mike took over the ship, he was certain it would be his last posting. He couldn’t see how he could succeed. But he found a way using an approach he developed and came to call Grassroots Leadership. He recognized that the only things he could control were his leadership style and the culture he created. That was where he began.  

 In his speeches, Mike reveals the principles that led the transformation of the USS Benfold. It began with him learning to see the ship through the eyes of his crew. In doing so he was able to harness the power of the ship’s most important asset – its people. By developing a new set of leadership skills, Mike set an example for how leaders can achieve dramatic results when they work to address their most pressing people challenges in their organization: collaboration, commitment, cohesion, accountability, engagement, rapid and continual innovation, safety, and diversity in the workforce. As Mike always said, he didn’t turn the ship around – he just created an environment where his crew could feel empowered to be their best. The crew turned the ship around.

Mike on Change Management:

“I don't have a crystal ball, and I can't predict what your industry is going to look like five years from now or ten years from now. What I can tell you, with great certainty, is that if you don't foster a culture that celebrates and cultivates change, your best days will have been behind you. Change management begins with your own attitude and how you show up at work. Embrace it and stay safe. Fear it and lose control of your own destiny. It's all up to you.

 “We as leaders need to understand the chilling impact the “my way or the highway” leadership style has on innovation, creativity and performance. In a disruptive and uncertain business environment, you need every edge possible, and smart leaders understand it starts with their crew.”

 Increasing Sales - Mike Abrashoff: A Change In Leadership Style Doubles Business


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Geoff Colvin – Senior Editor-at-Large, Fortune and Author, Humans are Underrated

Geoff Colvin is an award-winning thinker, author, broadcaster, and speaker on the most significant trends and issues impacting business and the economy. As Fortune magazine’s senior editor-at-large, Geoff has an insider’s perspective fueled by long-standing relationships with the world’s top leaders in business and government. He knows what they’re seeing, thinking, and planning and reveals how they’re leading, making choices, and responding to today’s challenges in ways that others can learn from.

In his speeches and writing, Geoff talks about what he sees the best performing companies doing right now:

-They’re creating new business models, often light on traditional capital and heavy on innovative ideas.

-They’re integrating all the parts of the business to create great total customer experiences.

-They’re building human capital, which has become the most valuable asset in every kind of business.

- As technology advances and takes over more of the work previously done by people, top companies are developing the new high-value skills of deep personal interaction.

Geoff on Change Management:

“We can’t be paralyzed and think that we can wait for things to settle down...it’s not going to happen! We have to be active, pay offense, and move forward. The way the best leaders are doing it? They innovate their business model, they manage for value, they build their human capital, and they get radically customer-centric.”

 Top Business Speakers - Geoff Colvin: Leading, Managing and Competing Overview 

SUPPLEMENTAL READING: BILL TAYLOR: 50 REASONS WHY WE CAN'T CHANGE
HOW MIKE ABRASHOFF MADE THE USS BENFOLD THE BEST DAMN SHIP IN THE NAVY,  
GEOFF COLVIN: WHY TALENT IS OVERRATED AND 
POLLY LABARRE: 5 STRATEGIES FOR CREATING A CULTURE OF EVERYDAY, EVERYWHERE EXPERIMENTATION

Polly LaBarre – Co-author, Mavericks at Work and Partner, Management Lab

For two decades, Polly LaBarre has been researching and speaking to audiences about how to make organizations more resilient, innovative and inspiring – and to embolden and equip leaders at every level to make a meaningful impact. A captivating storyteller, Polly offers fresh perspectives to cast the most fundamental challenges for leaders and organizations in new light.

In her speeches and writing, Polly takes audiences on an inspiring journey – bringing to life the people, organizations, and ideas on the fringe that are creating the future. She reveals the most practical and high-impact ways to innovate, adapt, and succeed — redefining how leadership, change, innovation, collaboration, employee engagement, organizational culture, accountability, and disruptive strategy are done.

Polly on Change Management:

“In a world that is ruled by relentless, multifaceted, occasionally shocking change are you constitutionally adaptable?  By that I mean do you capture more than your fair share of the best opportunities out there?  Do you regularly surprise your clients and competitors I mean knock their socks off?  Do you attract more than your fair share of the best in the world and do you have a high ratio of innovation and value created per person inside your organization?  Are you able to regularly reinvent yourself as a firm without walking through the valley of the shadow of death?

 “Change comes at us so quickly, innovation happens at hyper speed and the onus is on all of us to figure out how to build organizations capable of changing as fast as the world is changing.  And what that means is how do you build innovation, that capacity to change, that ability to bounce forward not bounce back into every single person’s job every day.”

 

Polly LaBarre: Skip The Change Initiative 

 

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About Tony D'Amelio

Tony has spent his career putting talented people and audiences together, first in the music business and later representing the world's leading speakers. After concluding 27 years as Executive Vice President of the Washington Speakers Bureau, Tony launched D'Amelio Network, a boutique firm that manages the speaking activities of a select group of experts on business, management, politics and current events. Clients include: Mike Abrashoff, Geoff Colvin, Katty Kay, Polly LaBarre, Vikram Mansharamani, David Meerman Scott, Bill Taylor, Bill Walton, and Bob Woodward.

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