Polly LaBarre

Polly LaBarre - Innovation & Creativity Leadership Business Management  speaker

 About

About Polly LaBarre - Speaks about Innovation, Leadership and Management:

For two decades Polly LaBarre has used her writing and speaking to help make organizations more resilient, innovative and inspiring - and to embolden and equip leaders at every level to make a meaningful impact. Polly’s work is driven by three core questions: How can organizations change the way they change in order to become endlessly adaptable and gain an advantage over time? How do you embed innovation as a DNA level capability inside an organization? How do we unleash and organize human potential in ever more powerful ways? With her partners (including Gary Hamel) at the Management Lab (MLab), Polly works with leading organizations to make real progress on those ideas and accelerate the development and adoption of a post-bureaucratic, 21st century management model.

Polly began this exploration as a founding member at Fast Company magazine where she helped shape the remarkable success of a magazine that changed the way leaders at all levels think about working and winning. She also co-authored the bestselling book Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win which has been published in 16 languages.

The MIX (Management Innovation eXchange) is a pioneering open innovation platform launched by the MLab (and supported by institutions including McKinsey & Co, Red Hat, Gartner and the Harvard Business Review). Dedicated to making progress on the big challenge of reinventing management for the 21st century, the MIX is: a discovery engine for the most progressive management practices and ideas; an active community of in-the-trenches management innovators and change agents from around the world; and an experimental laboratory for developing and testing bold new ideas and equipping management practitioners with new principles, methods, and models. The MIX hosts the world’s leading idea contest in the field of management (the M-Prize) and an annual gathering of the vanguard of management innovators, the MIX Mashup, which Polly designs and hosts.

A popular keynote speaker, moderator/interviewer, Polly has addressed hundreds of audiences around the world – from large corporate and association gatherings to intimate top-management retreats.

A brilliant storyteller, 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, disruptive strategy are done.

Polly’s writing has appeared in numerous publications, including Fast Company, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review online and the McKinsey Quarterly. Her widely syndicated blog, Fresh MIX, delivers agenda-setting ideas about 21st-century organizations. She has also been a frequent guest on radio and television programs far and wide.

Polly is currently at work on a book about the future of management and large-scale change with Gary Hamel. She is on the board of advisors of TakingITGlobal, the leading online community for connecting and empowering young people to make a difference in the world. She is a graduate of Yale University.

 Topics

What Polly LaBarre Talks About:

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 build an organization that is truly fit for the future: endlessly adaptable, relentlessly inventive, and genuinely inspiring.

Innovating Innovation: Making Innovation an Everyday, Everywhere Capability
What company today doesn't put innovation at the top of the agenda? Yet few have devoted the energy and resources it takes to build innovation into the values, processes, and practices that rule everyday activity and behavior. No wonder. That disconnect is a product of organizational DNA - productivity, predictability, and alignment are embedded in the marrow of our management systems. But it's experimentation, risk-taking, and variety that produce game-changing innovation. Polly demonstrates how to make every management process a catalyst, rather than a wet blanket, for innovation. She shares how the world's most innovative organizations and leaders are strengthening their innovation DNA, and shows audiences how to lay out the welcome mat for new (and even dissenting) ideas, upgrade the innovation skills of every person in the organization, build in the crucial space and slack needed for innovation, develop a robust set of innovation metrics and tools, leverage new social technologies in service of invention, and bust bureaucracy and promote experimentation.

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 protesters 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 by:

  • Redefining what it means to win
  • Articulating and guarding a distinct set of values
  • Breaking down bureaucratic barriers and making connections
  • Designing systems that maximize engagement and collaboration
  • Practicing humility
  • Cultivating curiosity
  • Banning orthodoxy and welcoming mavericks, misfits, and heretics

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 a 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 and shows how to:

  • Replace rules with values
  • Hack the status quo
  • Embrace and connect misfits and troublemakers
  • Frequent the fringe, invite the subversives in
  • Make a system-wide impact, even when you don't own the system
  • Practice humbition (humility combined with big ambition)

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.

 Recent Publications

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.

Regional Vice President Marketing, INFOR

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 More Ideas On

  • Innovation & Creativity
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