The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau

A speakers bureau that represents the best original thinkers,
writers, and doers for speaking engagements.

When Should You Trust Your Gut? Top Business Professor Laura Huang Explores in Harvard Business Review

Some people value their gut for guiding them through their biggest business decisions. Others are wary of relying on instinct, fearing it to be too reactionary and emotional. So, should leaders make decisions based on intuition, or shouldn’t they? When, if ever, is it OK to use your gut? Laura Huang discusses in Harvard Business Review.

“My recent research suggests that gut feel can in fact be useful, especially in highly uncertain circumstances where further data gathering and analysis won’t sway you one way or another,” writes Laura Huang in Harvard Business Review. Citing studies of high-risk situations—life-or-death moments in the operating room or early-stage investment decisions—Huang notes that the role of gut feel is often to inspire a leader to make a call. “In the face of information overload, mounting risks and uncertainty, and intense pressures to make the right decisions, there is often debilitating evidence that delays our decision making. We put the choice off, rather than deciding. Trusting your gut allows leaders the freedom to move forward.”


Read the full paper here.


To book speaker Laura Huang for your next speaking engagement, contact The Lavin Agency and speak with a knowledgeable sales agent.

Smart People Make Bad Choices. Bestselling Author and Poker Champ Maria Konnikova Explains Why.

“If we think of life as one big game,” says psychologist turned poker champ Maria Konnikova, “the question becomes, how do we play it optimally?” Just like in poker, leaders, managers and CEOs are dealt a set of important decisions every day. How can you ensure that you’re always making the right one?  

“You need to understand what all great leaders understand,” says Konnikova. And that is: “what worked before might not work now.” Before she joined the poker circuit, Konnikova was a psychologist, studying overconfidence in decision making. How do very smart people who normally make very good decisions act when you place them in uncertain, ambiguous, unpredictable environments? “They keep doing the same thing they’ve always done…even when the task is switched, when the decision parameters change,” and as a result, the smartest, most educated, most financially sophisticated people tend to fail in environments of uncertainty.


In the video below, Konnikova explains her research, offering useful insights on how to fight the urge to repeat mistakes, and how to adapt to change quickly and effectively.   


How Smart People Fail at Making Choices | Maria Konnikova


To book Maria Konnikova for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency

Top 10 Business Keynote Speakers

Great companies start with great leaders. Leaders who recognize incredible talent, even when it’s hard to see; leaders who can spot, manage, and prevent risk; leaders who build successful teams, adapt to change and create cultures of innovation. These business keynote speakers blend personal, compelling leadership stories with years of immersive research, interviews and anecdotes fundamental to business today and tomorrow.  

Francesca Gino has spent the last decade studying rebels and rule-breakers in organizations around the world, from high-end fashion boutiques in Italy to thriving fast food chains. Her business keynote talks, like her book Rebel Talent, contain groundbreaking analyses of those who defy the status quo and end up happier and more successful for it.  


Business Keynote Speaker Francesca Gino: How Rebel Talent Embraces Conflict


“It started with a simple idea: What if I sat down with chief executives, and never asked them about their companies?” From there, Corner Office columnist Adam Bryant distilled hundreds of interviews into practical, actionable steps for leaders, CEOs and business people. His business keynote talks are useful guides to success.


Quick and Nimble — Creating a Culture of Innovation



In today’s business world, where teams are spread across the planet and most of our communication takes place virtually, how do we work effectively in the face of cross-cultural complexity? Business keynote speaker and The Culture Map author Erin Meyer explains how to dramatically increase business success by understanding and making use of cultural drivers.


Business Speaker Erin Meyer: How Cultural Differences Affect Business



Joe Mimran is a true innovator—of retail, design, business, manufacturing—he disrupted the fashion industry before people even had a word for it. In his business keynote he details the methods he used to grow Joe Fresh, Club Monaco, and Alfred Sung—some of the fashion industry’s best-known brands, into global successes. 


Joe Mimran: Managers—What’s the Secret to Inspiring Teams?



As Global CEO of Chanel—and, earlier, as President of Banana Republic—Maureen Chiquet steered global brands through a decade of disruption, and she did so with traditionally ‘feminine’ skills, like empathy and communication. As a business keynote speaker she explains what we can all learn from injecting more compassion and collaboration into the workplace.


Leadership Speaker Maureen Chiquet: Showing Empathy and Humility Doesn't Mean Conceding Your Values



“Everyone optimizes for the bottom line. True innovation happens when you optimize for people.” Kickstarter co-founder and top business keynote speaker Yancey Strickler explains how, starting with little more than a dream, he built one of the world’s most exciting companies. For corporations, associations and business people, his story is more than inspiring. It’s life-changing.  


TNW NYC 2016 | Yancey Strickler – Co-founder & CEO, Kickstarter



Ajay Agrawal is business keynote speaker and the author of Prediction Machines—the game-changing book on the economics of AI. Founder of The Creative Destruction Lab, which is home to the greatest concentration of AI start-ups in the world, he illuminates the once-in-a lifetime business potential of machine learning and artificial intelligence.  


How Can Your Company Develop an AI Strategy? | Ajay Agrawal



Today’s systems are so complex that major crises are not only imminent, but more common than ever. And that goes for every industry, regardless of size or scope. Enter Chris Clearfield, risk management specialist and in-demand business keynote speaker whose hotly anticipated book Meltdown offers a groundbreaking investigation into how to prevent failure. 


How Leaders Encourage Better Ideas from Everyone? | Chris Clearfield



Due to their incredible complexity, our modern systems—healthcare, travel, finance, media—are primed for failure. And things are only getting worse. Andras Tilcsik is an in-demand business keynote speaker and a celebrated business professor whose acclaimed book Meltdown breaks down exactly how systems fail, and what companies can do about it.  


Risk Management Speaker András Tilcsik: Less Room for Error Means More Room for a Meltdown



“The purpose of marketing is to deliver business results,” says Arlene Dickinson, renowned CBC “dragon” and one of Canada’s most successful communications entrepreneurs. As a business keynote speaker, Dickinson shares actionable business advice, backstage stories from “The Den,” and her personal story: what she’s really learned over decades of success in business.


TEDxYouth@Toronto 2011 - Arlene Dickinson


To book a top business keynote speakers, contact The Lavin Agency.

Francesca Gino Makes the Business Case for Curiosity in the Latest Harvard Business Review

“Most of the breakthrough discoveries and remarkable inventions throughout history, from flints to fire to self-driving cars, have something in common: they are the result of curiosity,” says Francesca Gino, Harvard Business School professor, behavioral scientist, and author of the new book Rebel Talent. In her cover story for Harvard Business Review, Gino outlines the barriers to creativity at work—and in keynotes she explains how to break them down.  

Executives, managers and CEOs all know that they want curious, innovative employees, however what they don’t realize is they’re frequently standing in the way of it. “Leaders often think that curiosity will lead to a costly mess,” says Gino, which to some extent is true. “Exploration involves questioning the status quo and doesn’t always provide useful information. But it also means not settling for the first possible solution—so it often yields better remedies.”


What’s one way of overcoming this barrier to productive breakthrough? Emphasizing learning goals. In an interview with Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, Gino asked him how he was able to land a commercial aircraft safely in the Hudson River, to which he described his passion to augment his learning. “He successfully fought the tendency to grasp for the most obvious option … those who are passionate about continuous learning are able to contemplate a wide range of options and perspectives,” says Gino. Leaders can help employees adopt this mindset by rewarding people not only for their performance, but for the exploratory learning path they took to get there.  


Listen to Francesca Gino explain why parents should teach kids to question rules rather than take them for granted in this installment of The Atlantic’s “Home School” series.


It’s Good to Be a Rebel


To book Francesca Gino for your next speaking event, contact The Lavin Agency.  >