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Loran Nordgren

Overcome the forces that resist change, and watch your most innovative ideas take flight.

Professor at the Kellogg School of Management | Author of The Human Element

Contact Loran For Booking
Loran Nordgren | Professor at the Kellogg School of Management | Author of The Human Element
Lavin Exclusive Speaker

Most marketers, innovators, and executives assume that the best way to convince people to embrace change is to heighten the appeal or value of their idea—often leading them to add extra features, benefits, and marketing sizzle. This belief is what award-winning behavioral scientist Loran nordgren, a professor at the Kellogg School of Management, calls a “fuel-based mindset.” Fuel is what incites our desire to change, explains Nordgren. Yet focusing exclusively on fuel neglects the other half of the marketing equation—the psychological “frictions” that oppose change. In his Wall Street Journal bestseller The Human Element, as well as in his engaging talks, Nordgren reveals how to overcome these barriers and bring our best ideas to life.

“An engrossing read on what it takes to open other people's minds. A leading psychologist and a crackerjack entrepreneur team up to demystify the science and practice of convincing people to let go of the status quo.”

— Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Think Again and host of the TED podcast WorkLife

Whether you’re a business leader, a project manager, an educator, or an activist, at some point, you’ve probably wondered why some of your best ideas keep getting rejected. It turns out there are four psychological forces or “frictions” that keep us rooted to the status quo—inertia, effort, reactance, and emotion—and we rarely consider them when we’re presenting a new idea, instead focusing on what makes the idea itself compelling. Unfortunately, this common practice is like “building an airplane and caring only about engines and not aerodynamics,” says Loran Nordgren. In The Human Element, a WSJ and USA Today bestseller, Nordgren and his co-author David Schonthal steer us away from the conventional path of persuasion to teach us an even more critical skill: overcoming resistance. Described as “an engrossing read on what it takes to open other people’s minds” (Adam Grant), this book shows us how to transform our most basic evolutionary instincts into catalysts for change.
A Professor of Management and Organizations at the Kellogg School of Management, Nordgren’s research explores the forces that propel and prevent the adoption of new ideas and actions. He has helped companies across the globe work through a wide range of challenges through a process he calls Behavioral Design. Whether it’s reducing turnover rates, improving employee habits, increasing word-of-mouth referrals, or creating a culture of innovation, Nordgren draws on his wealth of insights—as both a lecturer and scientist—to guide us towards meaningful change.
Nordgren’s work has been published in leading journals such as Science and has been widely discussed in prominent forums such as The New York Times, The Economist, and the Harvard Business Review. He has received the Theoretical Innovation Award in experimental psychology, as well as numerous teaching awards for excellence in the classroom. A former Fulbright Scholar, Nordgren teaches MBA and executive level courses on the Science of Leadership and Leading Organizational Change, and was once named one of Poets&Quants’ 40 under 40 business school professors. Nordgren has shared his cutting-edge insights with some of the world’s leading organizations, such as Amazon, Google, The Chicago Cubs, and the Aspen Institute.

Speech Topics

The Human Element in Innovation How to Bring New Ideas, Products, and Initiatives to Life
How do you get people to embrace a new idea or initiative? Most people assume that the best (and perhaps only) way to convince people to embrace change is to heighten the appeal of the idea itself. We instinctively believe that if we add enough value, people will say “yes.” We refer to this habit of the mind as a “fuel-based mindset.” Fuel is what incites our desires to change. But by focusing only on fuel to enhance attraction, innovators neglect the other half of the equation—the psychological “frictions” that oppose change. Frictions create drag on innovation. And though they are rarely considered, overcoming these frictions is essential for creating change. The limitations of fuel ultimately call for a new approach to innovation, and behavioral scientist Loran Nordgren is here to deliver. 
In his book The Human Element, as well as his accompanying presentation, Nordgren reveals a revolutionary new way of thinking, and how to apply it to your latest product, service, or idea. Equipped with the second half of the marketing equation, audiences will walk away with the skills to overcoming the barriers to change and make a real impact.
Influence Without Authority Leveraging the Skills to Overcome the Status Quo
Leaders and managers often need to influence the decisions and actions of others but aren’t given the formal authority to compel everyone to get onboard. Instead, they must rely on their influence skills to get things done. To influence without authority, you must first understand the hidden forces that act against change and keep people rooted in the status quo, explains behavioral scientist Loran Nordgren. 
This session, presented by the foremost expert in the field, brings the hidden forces of influence to light and shows you how to harness them. Drawing on equal parts behavioral science and hands-on experience, Nordgren reveals why most good ideas are rejected (and why a few succeed). As fascinating as it is actionable, this talk helps audiences refine their influence skills by offering them a deeper understanding of the science of change. 
The Science of Decision-Making Optimizing Outcomes When the Stakes are High
Leadership, ultimately, is about making good decisions. Yet we rarely step back to analyze the thought process we use to make important decisions. Grounded in science, this interactive presentation by Loran Nordgren identifies the decision traps we all face and offers strategies for how to avoid and overcome them. Participants leave with practical strategies for improving the quality of their decisions. 
Leadership Presence Building Your Personal Brand
People begin to form impressions of your character from the moment you meet. In fact, within milliseconds of a first encounter, people have already formed snap judgements about whether you are leadership material. 
In this session, behavioral scientist Loran Nordgren offers audiences a window into how these largely unconscious judgements are made. Then, he teaches you how to use these insights to define and develop your leadership brand. 
Corporate Culture
The War For Talent How to Revitalize Motivation at Work
The biggest line item for most companies is employee compensation. For that reason alone, every leader and organization ought to care a great deal about motivation. Because it is your biggest expense, you need to attract and retain the best people and keep them performing at a high level. This session asks two essential questions: what do people need in their work in order to flourish? And when motivational problems arise, how do you assess and fix them? In this essential presentation, author and professor Loran Nordgren offers leaders the tools to diagnose the health of their motivational environment and give them an edge in the war for talent.