The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau

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

Turn Collaboration Into “Creative Chemistry”: Fmr. Nike Chief Marketing Officer Greg Hoffman

Two all-important questions are the key to breakthrough innovation and unlocking your company’s full potential, says Greg Hoffman: “What if? And why not?” During his three decades at Nike, Greg worked his way up from intern to Chief Marketing Officer, fostering a space that allowed for groundbreaking ideas to flourish. How? By encouraging imagination, treating creativity “as a team sport,” and recognizing that “innovation happens in the intersections.”

“Diversity is the oxygen that breathes life into the creative process, and curiosity is the rocket fuel,” says Greg. But to build diverse and curious dream teams, you need to create the right environment. You must embrace everyone’s creative capacity. Only when employees can freely share their ideas can you build a culture like Nike’sa culture that innovates.

In talks, Greg empowers you and your team to achieve your creative potential and dare to be remembered. “You need to connect what you sell with what the world needs,” Greg says. He offers real examples and practical lessons from his groundbreaking career, showing you how to develop your creative leadership and build teams that make a real impact.

Adam Bryant Shows You How to Master Critical Leadership Challenges in The CEO Test

The demands of the corner office are notoriously difficult: impossible decisions, sleepless nights, the expectation to perform consistently at a high-level. It’s no wonder that the average CEO today rarely lasts longer than five years. In his new book The CEO Test, leadership expert and New York Times bestselling author Adam Bryant covers the seven key challenges that befall leaders at every level—and shows you how to conquer them to come out on top.

Before he was the managing director of executive mentoring firm Merryck & Co., Adam Bryant interviewed CEOs for his landmark New York Times column The Corner Office—over 600 of them, in fact. He shares his abundance of knowledge on leadership in his new book The CEO Test: How to Master the Challenges That Make or Break All Leaders, co-written with Amgen CEO Kevin Sharer.


Engaging, well-written, and jam-packed with insight, this guidebook covers the essential challenges of leadership, whether it’s setting a strategy, shaping a culture, or handling a crisis (a challenge that we all felt in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic). The CEO Test was selected as one of the Financial Times books to read for March. They write, “The authors practise what they preach, simplifying complexity (a leadership “superpower”), steering clear of cookie-cutter truisms, and preferring readable common sense to ideological waffle or textbook dryness.”


The CEO Test is available everywhere you buy books, and Bryant will join The Lavin Agency for a live Q&A on March 24th, answering some of your most critical leadership questions. Register for FREE today!


To book leadership expert Adam Bryant for your next speaking event, contact The Lavin Agency, his exclusive speakers’ bureau. 

Former Honeywell CEO David Cote Reveals How He’s Approaching the Coronavirus Crisis in Fortune

Few CEOs navigated the Great Recession as skillfully as David Cote. In a new interview with Fortune, the inspiring corporate leader offers guidance for businesses managing the coronavirus crisis today. 

When David Cote inherited Honeywell in 2002, the company was teetering on the brink of failure thanks to a mishandled merger with GE. Yet Cote was unfazed. During his 15 years as CEO, he not only navigated the Great Recession, but managed to increase the company’s capitalization to the tune of $100 billion dollars. Now the executive chairman of Vertiv Holdings, and the author of the upcoming Winning Now, Winning Later, Cote reveals the strategies that set Honeywell apart from irs competitorsand helped them emerge from crisis unscathed.

His first piece of advice focuses on leadership. “It’s surprising how often a leader will panic,” Cote tells Fortune. “A CEO who panics will just sit there, not knowing what to do, and try to build consensus.”  But rather than striving for unanimity, Cote recommends hearing from your entire team and then making a decision yourself. “Independent thinking is a lot more rare than being smart.”


Cote also warns leaders against putting on their rose-colored glasses during times of crisis. Though they might not want to believe the worst-case scenarios, a lack of preparation will put them at risk of failure.  “My credo is to hope for the best but plan for the worst. Pick a plan and start executing it as if you expect the worst to happen,” Cote advises.

This doesn’t necessarily mean cutting all costs, either. Cote says, “It’s also critical in turbulent times to keep investing for the future. Among the first things to get cut in a recession is usually investment in new products. But it’s those products that create a growing and vibrant company, and they need to be protected. Honeywell roared out of the Great Recession because we kept investing.”
Read the full article here.


To book speaker David Cote for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency, and speak with a talented member of our sales team.

“Start the New Year with a Simplification Month”: Adam Bryant Explores How Leaders Gain Clarity

New Year’s resolutions like changing your diet, fitness, and lifestyle can often be fleeting. So why not take a page from leadership expert Adam Bryant’s book and tackle something at work that’s well within your control? In his latest article for Strategy+Business, Bryant makes a compelling argument for turning January into a “Simplification Month.” 

“A simplification month is a smart approach to focus everyone’s attention on one of the greatest challenges for companies of any size: complexity,” writes Adam Bryant. “In business, as in nature, complexity inevitably creeps into any ecosystem.” Initiatives that are introduced and quickly forgotten; departments—hungry for growth—lobbying for more resources; and strategy decks that “grow longer and busier, adding bullet points, tiered pyramids, and corkscrew arrows to describe where the company is going.” Complexity is not hard to accrue, and in fact, it has become the default.


But complexity will undoubtedly lead to entropy if left unchecked. To simplify your organization, Bryant proposes taking stock of everything you’re currently doing and culling whatever is unnecessary: “be ruthless,” he advises. In addition, Bryant suggests shifting your focus from priorities to outcomes by asking yourself what you really want to achieve over the next 12 months.


Read the full article here.


To book speaker Adam Bryant for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency and speak with a knowledgeable member of our sales team.

Think Like a CEO: Adam Bryant Explores the Number 1 Quality of Successful Leaders

Over the last decade, Adam Bryant has interviewed more than 500 CEOs for his landmark column in The New York Times. From brains to ambition to humility, Bryant discovered the list of qualities that make up a successful leader is long. But what is the elusive trait at the top? In a new article for Strategy + Business, Bryant reveals the most important leadership quality across the board.  

The most important characteristic of a leader, beyond high IQ or confidence, is a quality called “applied curiosity.” Different from our natural, hard-wired curiosity as human beings, applied curiosity is a more specific variety. “People who have it engage in relentless questioning to understand how things work. And then they start wondering how those things could be made to work better,” explains Adam Bryant. “They approach everything with an inquiring mind-set—whether it’s making sense of shifting consumer habits or the global macroeconomic trends that are shaping their industry.”


What separates the best of the best is how much they question, probe, and process everything they’re experiencing—and then look for insights and patterns. Such a questioning mindset has to be able to look forward just as much as it looks backwards. Bryant writes, “If one old definition of wisdom is that it’s a sense that ‘I’ve seen this movie before and I know how it plays out,’ then wisdom for leaders today increasingly means unlearning what they already know in order to explore what-if scenarios for an uncertain future.”


Read the full article here.


To book Adam Bryant for your next speaking engagement, contact a representative from The Lavin Agency today.

The Science of Praise: Forbes Covers New Management Research by Lauren Eskreis-Winkler

Some bosses manage their employees through negative reinforcement, while others prefer positive reinforcement. But which managerial style is more effective? New research by Lauren Eskreis- Winkler reveals that encouraging management yields far better results than those that focus on failure. 

Lauren Eskreis- Winkler and her team at the University of Chicago designed an experiment to test whether a positive or negative management style would produce better outcomes. The research—forthcoming in the journal of Psychological Science and profiled by Forbes—overwhelmingly points to positive reinforcement as the superior strategy. “Our society celebrates failure as a teachable moment,” state Eskreis-Winkler and her team. “Yet we find that failure does the opposite: it undermines learning. Failure feedback undermines learning motivation because it is ego-threatening. It causes participants to tune out and stop processing information.”


To arrive at this conclusion Eskreis-Winkler and her team provided success-oriented feedback to one set of participants, and failure-oriented feedback to another. They found that those in the former category were able to recall information and perform the activity with better accuracy. “Our key result is that people find failure feedback ego-threatening, which leads them to tune out, and miss the information it offers. Tuning out from a pursuit in the moment of failure could be the first step in a chain reaction that distances and discourages people from the goal they are pursuing.”


Read the full article here.


To book speaker Lauren Eskreis-Winkler for your next speaking event, contact The Lavin Agency and speak to a knowledgeable representative.

Athlete and Activist Waneek Horn-Miller Inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Having been an inspiring athlete and Indigenous activist for decades, Waneek Horn-Miller has been breaking barriers and records her entire life. Her latest achievement is being inducted into the elite Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame—making her the first water polo player to be honoured. 

The induction ceremony takes place in Toronto today, and Horn-Miller is one of only eight athletes in the class of 2019. Her incredible journey to both activism and athleticism began at a young age when, at 14, she protested during the Oka Crisis and, after nearly 80 days of stand-off with the RCMP and armed forces, she was stabbed in the chest by a Canadian soldier with a bayonet. The image of her wounded, holding her young sister, was shared across national media—and impacted Canadians to better understand, and care about Indigenous issues. 


After that traumatic event, Horn-Miller had to make a choice; succumb to the PTSD and pain, or push through it all to pursue incredible new goals—goals that would eventually lead her to the Hall of Fame.


After winning gold with her water polo team at the Pan Am Games, she became the first Mohawk woman from Canada to ever compete in the Olympic games, co-captaining Team Canada in Sydney 2000. That same year, she appeared on the cover of TIME magazine, striking an iconic image of strength, power and perseverance.


A long-time advocate for the health of Indigenous communities, Horn-Miller was the host of Working It Out Together—a 13-part documentary and healthy-eating initiative with the Aboriginal Peoples’ Television Network. “Sport in the Native world is more than just something to be physically active,” she said. “It’s a suicide preventer. It’s a self-esteem creator. It’s a leadership developer.”


Horn-Miller is also formerly the Director of Community Engagement for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, an incredibly important initiative: one that seeks justice, raises awareness of violence against Indigenous women, and furthers the dual tasks of healing and reconciliation.


To book speaker Waneek Horn-Miller, contact her exclusive speakers bureau, The Lavin Agency. 

Navigating Business Trade-Offs: The Financial Times Reviews Sarah Kaplan’s The 360° Corporation

Based on professor Sarah Kaplan’s Rotman business school course, The 360° Corporation offers us a new way of understanding modern business. Trade-offs can’t be avoided, especially in today’s socially conscious environment—so how do we deal with them? 

Different stakeholders want different things. Millennials want to work for companies that share their social values. Investors want to support environmentally conscious companies. And consumers want products that are both ethically made and inexpensive. So how do organizations deal with these pressures—especially when they conflict with financial performance?


“Addressing these paradoxes is at the heart of [Sarah] Kaplan’s book, a guide that aims to topple economist Milton Friedman’s dictum that ‘the social responsibility of business is to increase its profits,’” writes The Financial Times. “Instead, Kaplan urges us ‘to look at the stakeholders that surround companies from all directions, all 360 degrees,’ from the workers in a clothes factory to the community exposed to its waste products. Only then, Kaplan argues, will companies be able to consider innovative ways to respond to these seemingly intractable trade-offs.”


With a solid structure, thorough research, and rich case studies, Kaplan’s book is “full of nuggets that will fascinate leaders, both established and inspiring.”


Read the full review, here.


To book speaker Sarah Kaplan for your next speaking event, contact The Lavin Agency today.

Building a 360° Corporation: New Lavin Speaker Sarah Kaplan Navigates Stakeholder Trade-Offs

In today’s political climate, corporate social responsibility has transformed from a “nice-to-have” to a “must-have.” Sarah Kaplan, author of The 360° Corporation, shows us how the next generation of business will survive—and thrive—amidst conflicting stakeholder demands. 

“Today, increasingly, corporations are being asked, pressured, forced, encouraged, regulated, and coaxed to consider a broader set of stakeholders in their calculations,” writes Sarah Kaplan in her book The 360° Corporation. “There are many reasons for this. The 2008 financial crisis forced attention on how corporations can have broad-ranging effects on society. Climate change has attuned people to the potentially toxic effects of corporate policies. The global supply chain is more visible than ever before, and many consumers are conscientious of their buying habits than they were in the past.”


Whatever the case may be, it’s clear that stakeholder demands can no longer be ignored—even when they conflict with the bottom line. What can today’s businesses do to navigate these challenges? How can business leaders make the necessary trade-offs and feel confident in their decisions? Kaplan has spent nearly a decade thinking critically about the role of corporations in society, and how they can address these new stakeholder demands. In her talks, she shows us how to turn the conflict into a channel for innovation—and transformation.


Identifying Shareholder Trade-Offs | Sarah Kaplan


To book speaker Sarah Kaplan for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency today, her exclusive speakers bureau.

Winning Now, Winning Later: Former Honeywell CEO David Cote Joins The Lavin Agency

As the former chairman and CEO of Honeywell, David Cote led one of the most historic turn-around’s the manufacturing industry had ever seen. In his upcoming book Winning Now, Winning Later, he distills those strategic leadership lessons for the next generation of business chieftains and managers. 

Should an organization focus on its current numbers, or its future health? It’s an increasingly common problem for business leaders today, many of whom have visions for their future, but feel held back by the expectations of their bosses and shareholders each quarter. At some point along the way, we’ve come conclusion that long-term investment has to come at the expense of short-term performance. But David Cote knows the two are not mutually exclusive. In his upcoming book, the celebrated leader opens up about his industry-defining shake-up at Honeywell, showing us how to go after our long- and-short-term goals at once. It is possible to win today and win tomorrow, says Cote, but only if we’re prepared to banish intellectual laziness in favor of rigorous discipline and honesty.


Finding Your Blindspot as a Leader | David Cote


To book speaker David Cote for your next speaking engagement, contact The Lavin Agency and speak with a representative.  

Leadership Expert Adam Bryant Reveals How One Word Can Undermine People’s Motivation

“Actually.” It’s a word so neutral, it must be harmless. Right? Wrong. As a news editor and leadership consultant, Adam Bryant has sat in thousands upon thousands of meetings throughout his career. Drawing upon this experience, Bryant shares why “actually” may be hurting team performance. 

“Tom sent me the proposal, and it’s actually pretty good.”


“Yeah, that suggestion actually came from Jane.”


“I actually like that idea.”


These three examples may sound benign at first, but, Adam Bryant explains that using the word “actually” to talk about our colleagues has a strong detrimental effect. “The obvious problem is the subtext,” Bryant says. “It signals that the person speaking was expecting less from the colleague, who somehow exceeded those low expectations by actually doing good work.”


In order to remedy these unintended, insidious effects of language, leaders must embody the change they’d like to see.  “If leaders consistently undermine their people, they will also undermine the expectation that their people will do the right thing, whatever the context. If that expectation goes away, so, too, does motivation.”


Read the full article here.


Interested in booking a leadership speaker like Adam Bryant for your next speaking event? Contact The Lavin Agency today.


Retail Maverick Bonnie Brooks Formally Named CEO of Chico’s

As the first female President and CEO of the Hudson’s Bay Company, Bonnie Brooks restored the aging institution back to its former glory. More recently, she has been acting as interim CEO of Chico’sthe international women’s fashion retailerfollowing the abrupt departure of Shelley Broader. Today, the Financial Post announced that Brooks will take on the role permanently.

Bonnie Brooks will remain a member of the Chico’s FAS board in addition to her now-official position as President and CEO, reports the Financial Post. She brings an impressive three decades-worth of global retail experience to the role, where she’s responsible for overseeing Chico’s 1,500 retail locations across North America. Prior to Chico’s, Brooks was widely known for her transformative leadership at the Hudson’s Bay Companybrokering a successful merger with Lord and Taylor in the USA, which led to the acquisition of Saks in Canada.


Today, Brooks speaks about what it takes to successfully lead an organization in one of the most competitive, constantly evolving markets in the world. She takes a holistic view of marketing, strategy, and leadership, and translates it into actionable insights for professionals and organizations in retail and beyond.


Bonnie Brooks: Is Your Business *Actually* Different—and Better?


To book Bonnie Brooks for your next speaking event, contact The Lavin Agency today.

What Did JFK’s Assassination Mean for the Moon Landing? Charles Fishman Investigates for Fast Company

The moon landing wouldn’t have happened without President John F. Kennedy, he who boldly promised the nation that we would reach the moon before the Soviets. But would we have gotten there by 1969as promisedif he hadn’t been assassinated? In his latest article for Fast Company, Charles Fishman reveals surprising evidence that suggests JFK was getting cold feetand explains why that would have derailed the mission.

Recordings of the President’s conversations suggest that privately, JFK wasn’t as enthusiastic about space as he was in public.“In private […] Kennedy viewed going to the Moon not as a natural expression of the American spirit, but in pragmatic political terms,” Charles Fishman writes in Fast Company’s 50 Days to the Moon series. “He had picked the Moon as the goal in order to beat the Soviets in space. For Kennedy, Apollo was a Cold War mission: to re-establish American pre-eminence in science, technology, and engineering.”


Once the President discovered that the moon landing most likely wouldn’t be achieved during his presidency, it would be easy to imagine him maneuvering away from the goal. According to Fishman, this would have been tragic for the mission’s progress: “Going to the Moon was so difficult, and required so much political determination, that if Kennedy himself wasn’t 100% behind it, Apollo might well have lost momentum.”


Leadership was one of the most important aspects in pioneering this impossible project. Without it, it’s hard to imagine NASA coordinating more than 400,000 people on a mission lasting several years. As the author of the NYT bestselling One Giant Leap, Fishman provides a deep understanding of the leadership, problem-solving, and creativity behind the world’s largest innovation project.


You can read the full article here


To book Charles Fishman for your next speaking event, contact one of our sales agents at The Lavin Agency.  

Lavin Speakers Nominated for Thinkers50: The World’s Most Prestigious Ranking of Management Thinkers

Thinkers50, the premier ranking of global business leaders, announced the nominees for their 2019 Distinguished Achievement Awards. Dubbed the “Oscars” of Management Thinking by the Financial Times, this year’s shortlist features no less than six Lavin Speakers, whose ideas are being recognized for their potential to change the world.  

Ajay AgrawalDigital Thinking Award
In their book Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence, Ajay Agrawal and his colleagues Avi Goldfarb and Joshua Gans, consider AI as a basic commodity. With clarity and insight, they reveal a simple economic framework for understanding the artificial intelligence revolution.


Safi BahcallInnovation Award
Former biotech entrepreneur Safi Bahcall applies his physics training to the study of innovation, offering a new and unique take on the subject. His book, Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries, draws on the science of phase transitions to explain the behavior of companiesand reveals how a change in structure can help nurture the radical break-throughs that change the world.  


Francesca GinoTalent Award
Rebels have a bad reputation, according to Harvard Business School professor Francesca Gino. The behavioral scientist has spent more than a decade studying “rebel talent” in organizations, and what we can learn from them. Her book, Rebel Talent, offers a practical, science-backed guide for when and how to break the rulesbringing joy, meaning, and fulfillment in our lives.


Chris Clearfield & András TilscikStrategy Award
In their award-winning book  Meltdown: Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do About It, Chris Clearfield and Andras Tilscik explain how the increasing complexity of our systems set us up for failure. By better understanding the conditions of these failures, Clearfield and Tilscik help us design better systems and prevent “meltdowns” in business and in life.


Shoshana Zuboff Digital Thinking Award
Scholar Shoshana Zuboff explores the rise of digital technology as it relates to capitalism. In her landmark book The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power, Zuboff warns against the dangers of corporate powers that seek to control human behavior. The consequencesfor individuals, society, even the foundations of our democracyare far more sinister than they initially appear.


For more information, visit our dedicated Leadership Speakers page, or contact The Lavin Agency today.


Three Female Leaders Whose Talks Will Inspire the Next Generation

Women don’t run the world (yet). But these women in leadership speakers—Maureen Chiquet, Jessica Jackley and Margot Lee Shetterly—are some of the strongest in their field, offering dynamic insights into how they’ve leaned in and leveraged their unique skillsets to make it in predominantly male worlds.  

As Global CEO of Chanel and President of Banana Republic, Maureen Chiquet has steered massive brands through decades of disruption, not by “leaning in,” but by embracing and utilizing traditionally feminine qualities like empathy, communication, collaboration, and compassion.


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



You can do good and do well at the same time. Just ask Jessica Jackley, founder of KIVA, the world’s first microlending site. Praised by the likes of Oprah and Bill Clinton, Jackley champions diverse skill sets, seeking meaning in your work, and dreaming big.


Jessica Jackley: Poverty, money -- and love



Margot Lee Shetterly’s #1 New York Times bestseller Hidden Figures is the incredible true story of the black women mathematicians at NASA who helped fuel America’s greatest achievements in space. In talks she unpacks the issues of race, gender, science and innovation that affected these unsung heros, and expounds on the process of writing what became an Academy Award nominated film.


Hidden Figures: The Female Mathematicians of NACA and NASA


In this on-going series recognizing women in leadership, we’ll be showcasing our many female leadership speakers, including Kirstine Stewart and MJ Hegar. For more information, contact The Lavin Agency

For 10 Years, New York Times Columnist Adam Bryant Asked 500 Top CEOs How They Lead. Here’s What He Learned.

“It started with a simple idea: What if I sat down with chief executives, and never asked them about their companies?” From there, Adam Bryant distilled hundreds of interviews into six practical steps to leadership, which he shared in his landmark New York Times column, Corner Office.

Now, a decade after creating it, Bryant is leaving the Corner Office with a final column that offers a selection of the most compelling interviews from its run. What made Bryant’s work so special was that he didn’t just talk to CEOs as strategists. Instead, he talked to them as people—asking simple questions about “how they do what they do,” and highlighting universal leadership and managerial styles that we can all learn from. A few key takeaways include when and why e-mail doesn’t work, (as he explains in the original Lavin video below), and why employee engagement is a two-way street.  “I found myself wanting to ask about more expansive themes,” Bryant writes, “not about pivoting, scaling or moving to the cloud, but how they lead their employees, how they hire, and the life advice they give or wish they had received.” The archive Bryant  amassed will be a tremendous and singular resource for years to come. 


Read some of the standout interviews from Bryant’s ten illuminating years in the Sunday Times.


Adam Bryant: Why E-Mail Doesn't Work


To find out more or to book Adam Bryant for your speaking event, contact The Lavin Agency today. 

How Does a Liberal Arts Major (and Woman!) Lead 3,500 Engineers (Most of Whom Are Men)? Minette Norman on Radical Empathy

The VP of Engineering Practice at Autodesk—a world leader in software tech—is neither an engineer nor a man. She’s Minette Norman, a liberal arts major and new Lavin speaker whose unique perspectives on leadership initiated the company’s transformative culture change.  

She achieved this by creating an environment of meaningful connection and radical empathy: where vulnerability, compassion and emotion are seen as strengths; where real relationships and collaboration are rewarded. This is a stark difference from what’s normally seen in the tech world, but it worked. At the helm of Autodesk’s localization services team she doubled the number of releases, halved the cost of each release, and was subsequently asked to create this culture for all of the engineers at the company.  


“There’s so much complexity to leadership,” says Norman. “It goes two ways. It’s not just managers telling their staff what works, but staff telling their managers what works.” Norman brings this spirit of generosity to her keynotes, mining her own personal struggles and successes to empower leaders of today and tomorrow to forge their own paths and make things better.    


To book Minette Norman or another leadership speaker for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency today. 

“Brands that do well have a purpose”: Maureen Chiquet on Promoting Active and Conscious Leadership

“A lot of what women have been presented as a model is about perfection,” says Maureen Chiquet in a recent New York Times profile. Now, the author of Beyond the Label and former CEO of  fashion atelier Chanel speaks about finding purpose rather than perfection.

Shortly after leaving her position at Chanel, Maureen Chiquet packed her “uniform” of tweed Chanel blazer and ripped J-Brand jeans away in the basement of her home and went shopping, coming face-to-face with  garments she previously had thought couldn’t possibly define her. “It’s easy to confuse our identities with our positions, titles, or roles,” she writes in the introduction to her new book Beyond the Label: Women, Leadership, and Success on Our Own Terms. But, as she goes on to explain, from that confusion can come clarity around one’s purpose—something, that brands (as well as people) can learn from. 


Recognized among Fortune’s “International Power 50,” Forbes’ “100 Most Powerful Women,” The Wall Street Journal’s “50 Women to Watch” and Glamour Magazine’s “Women of the Year,” Chiquet began her career in marketing at L’Oreal Paris in 1985. She has worked at The Gap, and helped launch and build Old Navy to $5 billion in sales within five years. She served as president of Banana Republic before becoming COO and President of US Operations of Chanel in 2003.

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“I spent so long in my career operating in a masculine frame, pushing so hard to be as good as the guy next to me.”

— Maureen Chiquet, The New York Times


Leaving Chanel in 2016 invited Chiquet to shift perspectives, and in talks drawing on her long and varied career in fashion and business, she offers an insightful look into leading consciously, and finding success your own way. As she says in the Times, “I spent so long in my career operating in a masculine frame, pushing so hard to be as good as the guy next to me.” In her book and in keynotes, Chiquet expands on what alternative frames can look like, and how it comes from looking at yourself—not at the guy next to you.


Find out more about Beyond the Label here


To book Maureen Chiquet for your next event, contact the Lavin Agency today. 

Angelina Jolie in Talks to Star in Film Version of Maj. MJ Hegar’s Memoir

Major news! Angelina Jolie is in talks to star in the upcoming film Shoot Like a Girl: the big-screen adaptation of Lavin speaker Maj. MJ Hegar’s memoir of the same name.


“The actress and filmmaker is in talks to star in Shoot Like a Girl, an adaptation of Air Force Maj. Mary Jennings Hegar’s upcoming memoir … The TriStar film will chronicle Hegar’s accomplishments both on the battlefield, where she served three tours of duty in Afghanistan as an elite rescue pilot and earned a Purple Heart, and at home, where she helped end the Pentagon’s ban on women serving in direct combat jobs.”


While no date’s been set for the film, the inspiring memoir is on its way. Slated for publication in March 2017, Hegar’s book Shoot Like a Girl: One Woman’s Dramatic Fight in Afghanistan and on the Home Front covers her search-and-rescue missions in Afghanistan (winning her the Purple Heart Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor Device). It also documents her heroic efforts to “eliminate the military’s Ground Combat Exclusion Policy, which kept female armed service members from officially serving in combat roles despite their long-standing record of doing so with honor.”


A powerful speaker on leadership, thriving under pressure, resiliency, and having the courage to stand fast to your beliefs, MJ Hegar is a real-life hero who helps us be the people we want to be when all eyes are on us. Let’s hope Angelina Jolie does the role justice!


To book leadership speaker MJ Hegar for your next conference or event, get in touch with us today.

Bonnie Brooks, Vice Chairman of The Bay, Joins Lavin as a New Exclusive Speaker

We are so thrilled to announce that Bonnie Brooks, Vice Chairman of Hudson's Bay Company, has joined Lavin as a new exclusive speaker!

Bonnie Brooks has restored Canada’s great department store, Hudson's Bay Co., to its rightful place as a world-class retailer. As its first female CEO, Brooks led The Bay through sweeping, institutional changes—no small feat—that revitalized one of the planet's oldest brands. Stylish and thoughtful, she speaks on leadership, innovation, turnaround, and the meeting of creativity and commerce.

In February 2014, Brooks was appointed Vice Chairman of Hudson’s Bay Company, the world’s oldest continuously operating company, which owns and operates Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord and Taylor in the USA, and, of course, Hudson's Bay department stores in Canada. Prior to HBC, Brooks was based in Hong Kong, where she revitalized another iconic retailer, Asia's Lane Crawford, helming 500 stores across nine countries. Brooks was also Editor-in-Chief of Flare, and Executive VP of Holt Renfrew. She is one of Monocle's Top 25 Retailers worldwide, has received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal for philanthropy, and is a member of the American Marketing Association Marketing Hall of Legends. She is also a Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Royal Ontario Museum. In the fall of 2014, she will receive the prestigious Ivey Business Leader of the Year for Canada.

Speaking Topics

Turnaround at The Bay: How Bonnie Brooks Revitalized Canada's Iconic Retailer

Some said Hudson's Bay Company couldn’t be saved. By 2008, the world's oldest continuously running company was out of steam. With sales plummeting, and morale low, the brand had lost its lustre. Then, Bonnie Brooks took the helm. As the first female CEO and President of Hudson's Bay she brought sweeping and transformative changes. In the end, HBC's turnaround, achieved under enormous pressure, overshot all expectations. How did Brooks revitalize HBC? And what can your company learn from her success? Brooks talks, with charming ease and practical insights, about what it takes to grow and lead—and change—any organization.

Women and Leadership

Bonnie Brooks exemplifies what women can achieve, on their own terms, in the corporate world. Speaking directly to women executives, board members, and managers, and to the people aspiring to these roles, she imparts lessons on leadership, decision-making, and work-life balance. Brooks shares the wisdom she's accumulated as an inspirational female executive. “If you can dream it,” Brooks implores, “you can do it.” And her career, still going strong, bears this out, time and again.

Creativity Meets Commerce Meets Profit

Throughout her career, from fashion stylist, writer and merchandiser to Vice Chairman of the Hudson's Bay Company, Bonnie Brooks has mixed both the creative and commercial aspects of the business and transformed them into a new “skill set” for gaining competitive advantage. She shows how new innovations and advantages can arise from the fruitful collision of commerce, art, and design. Unfettered creativity, visual thinking, and other innovative measures gleaned from various artistic fields must work in tandem with corporate strategies. Brooks provides insights how to combine these two seemingly disparate elements into a harmonious and profitable whole.

To book Bonnie Brooks as a speaker for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency.

Olympian Jon Montgomery’s New Challenge: Host Of The Amazing Race Canada

Jon Montgomery is taking a break from catapulting to the finish line on a sled to take part in a different kind of race. The Olympic gold medalist will be the host of the new reality show The Amazing Race Canada, premiering tonight. (The show also features BodyBreak icons Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod). When contestants realized Montgomery was the host, CTV news reports they were “unanimously excited.” And what's not to be excited about? Montgomery has a gold medal in men's skeleton under his belt, a maple leaf and “Canada” tattooed on his chest, and, was recently labelled “Mr. Canada” by the show's executive producer John Brunton. Combine all of these elements together, and the athlete seems a rather fitting choice to host a show about racing across the country.

“I already had a profound sense I was a lucky man to be Canadian,” Montgomery says, “but doing this show, you get to meet other Canadians, you get to see how they interact with the racers and a sense of commonality amongst the people.” The Skeleton racer (and part-time auctioneer) is perhaps best known for chugging a pitcher of beer while walking down the streets of Whistler after winning a gold medal. “How he behaved after he won his gold medal was just like a unifying moment where all Canadians said: that dude is Canadian and he's a Canadian hero,” Brunton tells CTV, “The way he behaved, it was like he had a Canadian flag tattooed on his forehead.”

Despite being a novice in the TV production world, Montgomery says he relished the opportunity to travel across Canada and host the show. He adds that he garnered a deeper appreciation for Canada while shooting the show. And, as he tells The Calgary Herald, viewers are in for some surprises when they watch the footage, too. ”The audience will see parts of [the country] that will blow their minds.” he says, “they don’t think it exists here at home.” It may not be as perilous as propelling himself down the ice, but Montgomery says hosting The Amazing Race Canada was certainly a thrill. His fast-talking and charismatic demeanour make him a popular presence on the ice and in front of an audience. When he's not busy training for the 2014 Olympics, Montgomery shares his success story with the masses to provide lessons on achievement applicable to all audiences.

Innovative Design Comes From Embracing Multiple Perspectives: John Maeda

“Ultimately, good design will be born from consideration of multiple perspectives,” leadership speaker John Maeda writes in Wired. “It should be something we haven’t even dreamed of yet.” He adds: “What we need now is to move beyond the superficial conversation about styles and incremental adjustments to boldly invent the next frontier of interface design.” In his article, Maeda explains that good design moves beyond the reductionist way of thinking. It draws inspiration from a variety of sources, and it's steered by leaders with contrasting styles of mentoring and thought-processes.

Maeda recently spoke at the Creative Leadership Summit. Presented by Ogilvy & Mather and Fast Company, the Cannes-based event focused on the adoption of out-of-the-box leadership techniques. Maeda, a proponent of creative leadership, explained that there is still value in traditional authoritative leadership. Sometimes, a straight-forward, hierarchical approach is needed for the development of a certain product or project. On the other hand, creative leadership that doesn't rely on hierarchies is also important to the innovation process. You can't afford to run your team by relying solely on one leadership style or the other. “You have to bridge the qualitative and the quantitative,” Maeda says.

Maeda, the president of the Rhode Island School of Design, is well-respected both for his insight on design and technology as well as leadership. Whether he's speaking about the way art and design are becoming integral to the future of innovation or how we can incorporate creative leaders into industry, his keynotes are forward-thinking with a wealth of key takeaways. He inspires audiences to look at creativity differently—and to imagine the possibilities new ways of thinking can hold.

Leadership Under Pressure: Lewis MacKenzie On Effective Management

As leadership speaker and retired Major General Lewis MacKenzie says, anyone can lead a team when times are easy. Unfortunately, as he tells the crowd at the Compliance Week 2013 annual conference, the business leaders of today are generally faced with extremely difficult situations every day. The only way for an organization to succeed in volatile economic times is to have a unified and motivated workforce, he explains, and the key to achieving that is to empower leaders to take responsibility for themselves and their employees. It's crucial that strong leaders encourage open communication and cooperation between all ranks of the organization.

While decisions made by the high level staff in an organization should be respected, all ranks in the company should feel comfortable challenging those assumptions, MacKenzie says in his speech. “The leader has to establish the atmosphere where people will…disagree without being disagreeable…[and] without thinking their career is destroyed,” he said. Promoting a culture of communication within your organization allows for new solutions to be uncovered and prevents the expansion of ego in the upper ranks. Once a leader begins to think they are more important than their staff, they become disconnected and isolated with the people they lead. When that happens, your employees stop sharing their insight with you. And, as MacKenzie says, this is damaging because “it's no good listening if no one is talking to you.”

How do you promote a culture of open communication within your organization? “If you know only one thing about the people you work with, know what their passions are—from gardening to free-fall parachuting, you need know what it is,” MacKenzie advises. “That's the window you need to break through to find out what they really think about their organization.” Keeping a pulse on what's going internally in the organization is crucial. Finally, “you establish relationships your entire life and there is no reason to change how you do things when you are put in a position of authority,” he concludes. Just because you are above someone in a heirarchy, does not mean you are above them as a person. By treating your staff with the respect they deserve, you will in turn earn their respect.

In his talks, MacKenzie draws from years of military service to uncover the key attributes of an effective leader—whether its on the battlefield or in the boardroom. He distills nearly four decades of experience into ten practical and enduring lessons when on stage, and customizes his material to include personal anecdotes and off-the-cuff humor. Always practical and accessible, MacKenzie's masterful talks can help any individual become a better leader, and make your more efficient and productive.

Turn Traditional Leadership Upside Down: John Maeda On The Creative Economy

“How do creative people lead? How is that possible?” leadership speaker John Maeda asked the audience in his keynote at the Design Indaba Conference 2013. While he says that creative people are sometimes seen as “flaky,” their agile and adaptable nature makes them an asset to any organization. In a post-speech interview, Maeda says that many corporate institutions are looking to expand their leadership candidates to include people who are able to help them respond to the “volatile conditions of today.” Creative leaders, he says, operate in an open system where they embrace criticism and mistakes in the hopes of learning from them. Traditional leadership, on the other hand, tends to focus on avoiding those two things. In so doing, they miss out on the opportunity for innovation that rests in community collaboration and interaction—a space where more creative leaders thrive.

Most organizations operate using the hierarchical top-down leadership style, he explains. “But what happens,” he asks, “when you turn that pyramid upside down?” Instead of placing all your top talent at the high management level, he suggests putting it at the center. This allows them to funnel ideas and talent into the organization while also giving other employees the opportunity to be directly involved in the company's direction. Since creative people propell the companies of today forward, he says it makes sense for them to feel more empowered and be given more responsibility. Technology and design are crucial components to innovating, he also says. And the people who excel in these areas should also be the people who have a hand in leading organizations to success.

In a recent editorial he wrote for the Seattle Times, Maeda stresses that “artists and designers will be the innovators of this century.” Their unique way of thinking will be key to ensuring that we maintain a competitive economy. Maeda is currently the President of Rhode Island School of Design and played a vital role in launching the Congressional STEAM Caucus, a government body geared towards incorporating arts-based learning into the school system. His widely applicable keynotes delve into the potential of the creative economy, and gives concrete strategies on how to tackle the challenges of tomorrow through education and corporate leadership.

NPR’s TED Radio Hour: Can Beauty Change A Life? Bill Strickland Says Yes

While many people might not see the location surrounding the Manchester Bidwell Foundation as beautiful (it's located in a somewhat rough area in Pittsburgh), leadership speaker Bill Strickland says beauty was a core element in the center's design process. “The building is very hopeful and it's very bright—even on a gray day,” Strickland told NPR in a special TED Radio Hour series. “We believe that the philosophy of being positive and being hopeful, and—literally—being in the light, is part of the strategy to recover people who have had some challenges in life,” he says. On the radio program, NPR chronicled Strickland's journey from an under-served high school kid to the President and CEO of the Manchester Bidwell Corporation,  a member of the White House Council for Community Solutions, and the author of Make the Impossible Possible.

Not only does learning and interacting with others in a beautiful environment affect people's moods, but it can change their vocabulary and their view on the world. Strickland has made a point of including real flowers in his center, so that when someone who may have never seen an orchid before is suddenly surrounded by them, they can learn about something new. They learn how to spell it, become knowledgeable about it, and it becomes a part of their vocabulary. Not only that, but people start to believe that the world is indeed made up of beautiful things—which improves their outlook on what they can achieve in life. When you are surrounded by beautiful, positive things, Strickland says that people believe that they too are entitled to having these things in their life. “Beauty,” he says, “is not just for the imagination. It's actually a way of altering human behavior for the better.”

In his inspiring keynotes, Strickland shows how anyone can make a positive social change in their own community. He shares the story of Manchester Bidwell and how it went from a near-bankrupt community center to one of the most talked about social organizations in the world. Strickland can speak to any audience, whether he is addressing leaders who are looking to improve their communities or companies, or the people those leaders are looking to inspire. When you give people the right tools, he says, it is possible for anyone to become happy and productive members of society.

Environment Drives Behavior: Bill Strickland At Chicago Ideas Week [VIDEO]

“Environment drives behavior,” leadership speaker Bill Strickland told the audience at Chicago Ideas Week. “Beautiful environments create beautiful kids, prisons create prisoners.” That's why the MacArthur Genius designed his arts and training centers with aesthetics in mind, and argues that everyone deserves to live, work, and learn in beautiful surroundings. In the keynote, Strickland chronicled the development of the innovative Manchester Bidwell Corporation, where he is the CEO and President. Despite being located in some of the roughest neighborhoods in the country, he says that none of his centers have experienced incidents of theft, damage to property, or violence.  A public school around the corner from his flagship center in Pittsburgh, however, requires metal detectors and security—a testament to the impact of environment on a person's behavior.

He also says that everyone is born into the world as “assets, not liabilities.” The way you treat people and the tools you provide them is with determines their success. “If you want to get people to perform like world class citizens—you've got to treat them that way,” he adds. At his various centers all over the country, Strickland provides impoverished youth and adults with the tools and guidance to live up to their potential. His breakthrough organization teaches its members applicable job skills, and provides them with the support they need to believe they are capable of achieving their dreams. In his compelling speeches, Strickland inspires his audiences to make a difference—in both their lives and the lives of them around them.

Leadership Speaker Bill Strickland: “Don’t Give Up On The Poor Kids”

“People are a function of the environment where you teach them,” says leadership speaker Bill Strickland. In a new interview, the president and CEO of the Manchester Bidwell Corporation explains that it's easy for people to fall through the cracks if no one recognizes their potential. However, taking a chance on someone and providing them with the opportunities they need to succeed can be all it takes to help them overcome their environmental obstacles. “Don't give up on the poor kids,” he advises, “they might end up being the commencement speaker.” Strickland is living proof of this advice. Growing up extremely poor, he was mentored by someone in his high school days who helped him to get into college. Someone took a chance on Strickland when he was a teenager—and then he went on to give a commencement speech about success at that very school years later.

Had that teacher in his Strickland's high school art class never believed in him, he might have become another one of those kids who “just gets lost” in the shuffle. Instead, he has become a highly successful business and community leader. In addition to his role at Bidwell, he sits on the White House Council for Community Solutions by President Obama, is a MacArthur Genius, and is the author of Make the Impossible Possible. His contributions both to the business sector and to his community also earned him special recognition from U.S. Senator Bob Casey. Drawing from his own experiences, Strickland gives uplifting talks about the importance of seeing the inherent potential that exists in all of us. He says that everyone has the potential to do well in life—sometimes it just takes someone believing in them to unlock it.

Leading By Design: A Creative Talk On Management From John Maeda

As leadership speaker John Maeda tells the audience at the World Economic forum, taking a creative approach to leadership can prove to be highly effective. Or, more accurately, he showed them. In his talk, he illustrated—quite literally—his points using sketches and diagrams. His presentation was reviewed in a recent Scientifc American article, and they praised his unique perspective and his non-traditional way of presenting it.

As the president of the Rhode Island School of Design, Maeda promotes the role that artists and designers play in the new, creative economy. He argues that there is a hidden pool of effective leaders in the creative industry and their talents can be of great use when trying to approach a problem from a new angle. He says that leadership operates in a cycle where the point person in an organization leads their team up to the top of a hill. When they reach a consensus on how to react to a situation, they then “go over the cliff” as they execute the decision. Whether the fall has a painful or soft landing is dependent on whether the decision is a success or a failure. Then, the process repeats all over again. He explained this cycle using diagrams and other visual aids to tell the story in a unique manner.

Tom Wujec, a Fellow at Autodesk, also embraces the effectiveness of using visuals to convey an idea. For companies to innovate and move forward, they need to be willing to try new ways of doing things. By taking a creative approach to a typically straightforward topic, Maeda was able to expose the audience to a world of new possibilities. In all of his talks, he advocates the importance of an arts-based approach to life. Creativity isn't only something that is confined to artistic professions—it is an important quality for all organizations to value.

The Globe & Mail: Leadership Speaker Lewis MacKenzie On The Mali Conflict

Leadership speaker Lewis MacKenzie, a retired General-Major and one of the world's most respected peacekeepers, believes that there are more effective measures that the country can take to ease the conflict in Mali than “boots on the ground” combat. As he writes in a piece in The Globe & Mail: “Significant additional logistic support to the African-led forces [is] our best and most valuable potential contribution.” He suggests that what the French (who are currently stationed in Mali, West Africa) really need to help their cause is the provision of more attack helicopters. Since Canada is not able to provide that resource, he suggests that we contribute other assets that will be much more valuable to the cause.

Currently, the United Nations has given the call to member nations to enter into the conflict to aid in the re-establishment of Malian sovereignty. To date, Canada has been hesitant to define the role it will take. As MacKenzie argues in the article, we should avoid taking a “boots on the ground” approach until more nations other than France request it. With his extensive experience leading peacekeeping missions (perhaps most famously for his role as the first commander of United Nations peacekeeping forces in Sarajevo), Mackenzie's advice comes highly regarded. He is often requested to speak in the media on foreign and domestic affairs—especially when they involve military combat.

He isn't your average, run-of-the-mill military and leadership speaker, however. Drawing on years of experience, he customizes his talks to cater to diverse audiences. Never content to simply recycle the same material, his presentations feature core messages on effective leadership peppered with off-the-cuff personal anecdotes and lighthearted humour. He makes connections with his audience to ensure that his speeches always resonate long after the presentation is over. Known to receive standing ovations for his talks, his material is always fresh, always relevant—and never boring.

Breaking The Mold: Conference Speaker John Maeda On Creative Leadership

As John Maeda argues in Forbes, business leaders can stand to learn a great deal from artists and designers. That explains why architect Zaha Hadid was recently given the Aenne Burda award for creative leadership. Maeda, a conference speaker at this week's Digital-Life-Design event, asked attendees whether they considered themselves to be creatives, leaders, or a combination of both. The reason he asks is because most people don't associate creative types with strong leadership skills—and Maeda believes that this misconception needs to change.

Not only do outsiders often dismiss creative people as a good fit to fill leadership roles, but he says that many creative types don't see themselves as leaders, either. However, when faced with a transition period that demands drastic changes, creative people are often the first to take on new challenges that are disruptive and shake things up. Maeda also expands on this idea in his book, Redesigning Leadership (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life). The best leaders are those who are able to approach complex problems from a fresh perspective—something that artists and designers do every day.

Maeda is currently the President of Rhode Island School of Design. He is also a world-renowned artist, graphic designer, computer scientist, and educator. In his keynotes, his lectures, and his books, he advocates for a more arts-focused future. While it is important to learn and practice core skills, an arts-enhanced education can teach us to be creative, think outside the box, and effectively collaborate with others. Leadership comes in all forms, but as Maeda says, those who are willing to learn from different disciplines and take different approaches are the most likely to succeed.

Forbes Profiles John Maeda’s Creative Approach To Leadership

In a new article in Forbes, John Maeda says that the future of innovation lies in the hands of the creatives—and that the most successful leaders will be those who embrace creative forms of team management. Business leaders can stand to learn a great deal from artists and designers, he explains, especially in terms of the way they collaborate. Artists often spend hours in their studios collaborating and sharing their progress with other artists. As Maeda notes, this is an important skill for managers to learn as it fosters better connections between team members. It also allows for more cohesive problem solving.

Ongoing critique is also a valuable exercise. Dmployees should feel comfortable working together collaboratively, and be able to ask how for honest feedback as their work unfolds. As the team becomes closer, Maeda says that constructive criticism should be encouraged to ensure that employees are on the right track. Finally, he says leaders should avoid making firm distinctions between “thinking” and “doing”. Both are equally important, and often intertwine in the creative process. Artistic projects tend to emerge and evolve concurrently, he explains, and trying to separate the process into rigid segments doesn't allow for innovative results.

Many of these points can be found in Maeda's book, Redesigning Leadership (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life). He is the President of Rhode Island School of Design and an influential voice on the arts and technology. He is an advocate for the incorporation of arts-based learning and his keynotes explore the potential that a more creative-driven world holds.

Bill Strickland: “People Are Assets, Not Liabilities” [VIDEO]

“People matter,” says leadership speaker Bill Strickland in a recent keynote. “People are assets, not liabilities…[and] it is all in the way that you treat people that drives performance and drives behavior.” In the speech, Strickland explained that improving productivity begins with improving working environments. “Environment drives behavior,” he says, “beautiful environments create beautiful people, beautiful environments create productivity [and] by creating nurturing environments—you get innovation.” Working in a positive and inviting space makes a big difference in how inspired and driven employees are. Strickland, president and CEO of the Manchester Bidwell Corporation, explains that the simple act of putting flowers in a space, or ensuring there is a lot of natural light available, can brighten up the environment and improve employee's moods. This then makes them happier and more motivated, which in turn, creates a better, more productive work ethic.

Creating this nurturing environment, he says, is all about curing “spiritual cancer.” You can do this by providing people with not only the tools they need to succeed—but with the things that will make them happy and inspired to work. At Bidwell, Strickland and his staff help disadvantaged kids and adults to gain the opportunities needed to secure a more promising future for themselves. He is gracious and optimistic in his speeches, and provides audiences with beneficial takeaways to lead more productive teams.

Leadership in a Connected Culture: Conference Speaker John Maeda [VIDEO]

As part of the GigaOM RoadMap: Design in the Age of Connectedness event, conference speaker John Maeda gave a keynote about the “important vectors of design, leadership and connected culture.” Maeda is the President of the Rhode Island School of Design and works to humanize technology. Currently, Maeda is focusing on the intersection of design and technology and how the two disciplines can be used in conjunction with social media to better organize leadership in an organization. At the conference, he explained how digital connectedness has changed leadership styles, and how we can capitalize on these changes by using new technologies and design ideas. He explains how companies pinpoint the way that leadership is being reimagined so they can adapt to to the changes going on around them.

In his speeches, Maeda is funny yet insightful. His talks are wildly entertaining, and help audiences discover the myriad of ways that technology and design are reshaping our society. If you weren't able to attend, check out his recent TED talk (where he discusses similar themes) here, or, in the video above!

John Maeda Redesigns Leadership: Learn from Artists, Change the World

One of the world’s most respected innovation educators, John Maeda has learned many valuable lessons on leadership from his first few eventful years as president of The Rhode Island School of Design, one of the country’s most prestigious colleges of art and design. Those lessons—part of his process of designing “how to talk about/with/for the RISD community”—form the basis of his eagerly-anticipated new book, Redesigning Leadership.

In a recent preview, Leadership Now highlights Maeda's discovery that two words—“free pizza”—are a critical catalyst for convening and collaboration. People simply work better when a meal is worked in. The post goes on to reveal the top five lessons mined from Maeda’s latest tome. Maeda’s advice is powerful, but not overly complicated (after all, his last book was called Laws of Simplicity). He suggests leaders shift from finding ways to see the world to finding ways to change it. Artists—a group Maeda knows well—have a natural desire to rely on intuition, ignore constraints, and neutralize fear of failure, and Maeda advice is to emulate these traits. Next, he says you should find the shortest path of communication—a return to straight talk. Also, the focus on “self”, which has become so prevalent lately, needs to be shed and replaced with a team mindset. Finally, Maeda notes, every good manager should understand that positive and negative opinions will mix and cancel each other out like electrical charges—so don't force unquestioning like-mindedness.

Read more about creative economy expert, John Maeda