About Polly LaBarre - Co-author, Mavericks at Work; Co-founder, Management Lab; Founding Writer, Fast Company:
Polly LaBarre is a bestselling author, speaker, and thinker who has worked for over 20 years to make every kind of organization fundamentally more resilient, innovative and inspiring—and to embolden and equip leaders at every level to make a meaningful impact. She is an inspiring and provocative voice on the big ideas and important questions that will shape the future of organizations, work, and collective progress.
Polly’s work is driven by three core questions: 1) How do we unleash and organize human potential in ever more powerful ways? 2) How do we cultivate the audacity of imagination required to tackle our most intractable problems? 3) And, how do organizations and individuals change how they change to become endlessly adaptable?
To make genuine progress on those questions, Polly works with leading organizations, creates curriculum, develops methodology, and platforms for unleashing creativity, expanding collaboration, and accelerating change.
As cofounder of the Management Lab (with Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini), Polly helped to develop a methodology, platform and practical tools for building organizational capability and accelerating change. Polly and her colleagues have deployed that pioneering approach to collaborative innovation in a range of large-scale experiments in “hacking management” inside leading companies and across a global community of some 35,000 management innovators.
Polly is the coauthor of the bestselling book Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win (which The Economist named a “Book of the Year” and called “a pivotal work in the tradition of In Search of Excellence and Good to Great”). She was a member of the original team of Fast Company magazine, where she played a central role in the remarkable success of a magazine that recast the conventional wisdom on working, leading, and winning.
A sought-after speaker, moderator, and interviewer, Polly has delivered hundreds of keynote addresses around the world and developed and hosted numerous events. Her writing has appeared in a variety of publications, including Fast Company, The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Fortune.com, the McKinsey Quarterly, and The Huffington Post. In addition to frequent television appearances on CNBC, PBS’s Nightly Business Report, Good Morning America, and the Today Show, Polly has also been a business and innovation correspondent for CNN where she produced regular segments on big ideas and best practices from the world of business and beyond.
A graduate of Yale University, Polly lives with her family in New Haven, CT.
What Polly LaBarre Talks About:
The Human Edge – Fully Engaged & Relentlessly Innovative: Turning Culture into a Competitive Advantage
For every leader unsettled by rampant disruption, there is a powerful antidote already inside the organization: the untapped audacity, imagination, energy and passion of its people. Those fundamental human qualities are the engine of the creative economy – the source of all value. But too few organizations are designed to unleash, mobilize, and amplify that human edge.
In this talk, Polly lays out a path for cultivating a culture of contribution, collaboration and innovation—one where everyone is switched-on and connected to each other and to customers. She inspires audiences with a set of strategies for re-designing systems, processes, and practices to make their organization fundamentally more innovation-friendly – embedding the mindsets and methods of experimentation into everything they do. Leaders at every level take away an increased capacity to inspire and unleash both creativity and accountability.
A Maverick Agenda For Inventing The Future: How to Disrupt Like an Insurgent
Catching the future depends less on planning for what will come next and more on continuously experimenting with what could come next. In order to innovate and adapt in this creative, disruptive economy, every organization must develop the capacity (and the appetite) for experimentation and even failure. Despite the life or death stakes, this is not natural behavior for most organizations. The challenge: most organizations are programmed to safeguard the status quo. So, how do you unleash your organization’s inner insurgent? How do you build a company with the native drive to disrupt the status quo and the capacity to change ahead of change?
Polly delivers a set of actionable strategies drawn from her research and work inside some of the world’s most successful, creative, and innovative companies. She helps people embrace a completely new mindset for changing the way they do organizational change.
Liberation Leadership: A New Way of Leading Change
The era of the heroic, all-knowing, all-powerful leader is over. Leadership is no longer a function of your title or where you sit in the organization. It’s a consequence of your capacity to get things done with other people. But as disruptive forces have transformed the workplace, the practice of leadership has lagged behind; stranded in outmoded mindsets, processes, and organization structure.
In this presentation, Polly shows audiences a path to transforming the organization by rethinking how leadership is done. She reveals what new leadership models look like in practice at bold and successful organizations that have reshaped their leadership mindset and reaped the rewards. Polly’s vivid storytelling highlights how top leaders pressed the reset button on their leadership style to lead change in completely new ways. Audiences walk away understanding the most important things that need to be done to “leader-proof” the organization.
Many thanks for the session you ran for us. As you could tell – it was energizing, fun and I really think it helped to move the ball forward for us. Not only did it surface some great ideas we can adopt immediately, but we learned how to hack problems & opportunities which I hope will become part of our DNA!