Tim Sanders


About Tim Sanders - Upwork’s Vice President of Client Strategy, Fellow @ D3 Institute at Harvard Business School and NY Times Best Selling Author:

Tim Sanders leads client strategy at Upwork where he helps businesses implement better ways of working through the adoption of on demand talent solutions. He has more than 25 years of experience working with companies on innovation and change management. In 2024, he was appointed Executive Fellow at the Digital Data Design Institute at Harvard Business School. In that role, his focus is on delivering insights on the “Return on AI” for business leaders.

Tim began his career as an early-stage member of Mark Cuban's broadcast.com and, once acquired, he became the Chief Solutions Officer at Yahoo!. He is also the author of five books, including the New York Times bestseller, Love is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends.

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What Tim Sanders Talks About:

Return on AI: How to Convert the Hype into Business Growth
Join us for an enlightening session with Tim Sanders, an authority on driving business growth through Artificial Intelligence. In a landscape inundated with technology enthusiasts, Tim stands out as a pragmatic expert, dedicated to translating AI’s potential into tangible returns on investment.

With a global reputation for guiding executives through the complexities of AI strategy, Tim’s insights are invaluable for any organization seeking to leverage exponential growth to create value. As an executive fellow at Harvard Business School’s Digital Data Design Institute, he spearheads insight development, aimed at democratizing AI for business leaders worldwide.

Tim’s approach is not just about adopting AI for the sake of innovation; it’s about strategically reframing business challenges as “prediction problems” to ensure maximum return on AI investments. Through engaging dialogue and real-world case studies, he will demystify AI for you and empower you to put it to work in your business.

Drawing from his extensive experience, Tim also sheds light on the often-overlooked pitfalls of AI implementation and shares actionable strategies to mitigate risks and optimize investments. By collaborating closely with meeting stakeholders, Tim tailors his remarks to address specific business challenges and event objectives, leaving attendees equipped with practical insights to drive transformative change within their organizations.

Key Learning Objectives:

  • Gain a strategic framework for ensuring Return on AI by reframing business challenges as prediction problems.
  • Explore the booming landscape of GenAI and identify high impact use cases for delivering ROI.
  • Navigate the hidden costs of AI implementation and learn how to avoid common pitfalls.
  • Discover proven strategies to de-risk AI programs, enabling more “swings at the plate.”
  • Reveal how managers and leaders can measure the value of AI investments.

The Grand Redesign
If you want to increase your company’s velocity and competitiveness, embark on The Grand Redesign. This new leadership approach leverages design thinking to improve how the work is delivered and plans are met.

Tim Sanders, New York Times bestselling author and Upwork executive, offers a stunning collection of insights, statistics and customer stories that illustrate how leaders can tackle today’s biggest challenges.

  • Deliver a key value proposition to talent: Flexibility. This is emerging as a key to driving productivity, innovation and employee retention. This is done by employing the right design questions that will help leaders craft the perfect hybrid solution for their teams.
  • Solve the top dependency for their most critical projects and programs: Someone with the skills to complete the work on time. This is done by designing the project canvas to ‘taskify’ and skill-source requirements early in the process, leveraging on-demand talent with an eye of building an elastic workforce.
  • Lead talent based on outcomes, not attendance or effort. This is the most critical leadership skill because it enables true scale in any working environment. This is done by developing the ability to assign, resource and coach talents to deliver measurable results, regardless of role.

The last three years have been filled with change from Covid to digital disruption to the economy. Historically, times of great change are the best times to redesign key components of your culture – starting with “how we work now.”

Innovating Faster – Why Collaboration Changes Everything

Leaders in every industry prioritize innovation but are frustrated with how long it takes to bring breakthroughs to market. According to bestselling author and consultant Tim Sanders, the best way to speed up the innovation process is to promote a culture of collaboration across your organization and externally with partners, customers and competimates.

Over his career, Tim has studied leaders that practice what he terms ‘disruptive collaboration,’ a problem-solving style that leverages surprising alliances along the fault-lines of a company or its market. He’ll reveal how the biggest leaps and turnarounds in history came from collisions of thought, not safe work in our silos of excellence. Tim’s eye-opening keynote will deliver actionable insights and tools that will accelerate the rate of innovation, drive agility and quickly produce breakthrough business outcomes.

Learning Objectives:

  • Why Companies That Practice Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration Outperform Rivals
  • How to Leverage the Power of Multiple Perspectives to Solve Problems 3X Faster
  • How to Bring Multiple Stakeholder Needs From “Me-to-We” in a Collaborative Project
  • Why Innovation Requires a Focus on Building a Collaborative Web of Relationships
  • How to Connect the Silos, One Collaboration Project at a Time

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 Recent Publications

Generational, technological and business model forces are set to disrupt the world of financial advisors. Tim’s Essential keynote helps advisors stay ahead of these forces by building deeper relationships with clients.

Director, Hartford Funds

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