Blog

Red Rubber Ball - Jamie Mustard's new book

Becoming Iconic: “The Red Rubber Ball Guy”

by Jamie Mustard, excerpted from his new book THE ICONIST: The Art and Science of Standing Out.

Here is a beautiful example of someone rose from humble circumstances to become known for Block concepts that have become more recognizable than their names.

Kevin Carroll was abandoned by his parents at six years old as a result of poverty and addiction. Today in his fifties, having lived a remarkable life, a singular concept has come to define Kevin’s astonishing career: a red rubber ball, the kind of red rubber ball we all played with on elementary school playgrounds. Continue reading

Speaker Jamie Mustard on Blocks

Toy Blocks Are The Key To Standing Out

by Jamie Mustard (from The Iconist: The Art and Science of Standing Out)

Whether we had a good childhood or a bad childhood, most of us would agree that there was a kind of simplicity to our existence back then. As we get older, life seems to get more and more complicated. Taxes, jobs, girlfriends, boyfriends, wives, husbands, bosses, car payments, mortgages, deadlines, house repairs, car repairs, insurance, credit cards, checking accounts, work computers, home computers, social networks…..

In childhood, we don’t have to deal with so much, well, stuff. As children, we were easily transfixed by any unduly large object that crossed our paths. Through personal and professional experience, time and time again, I have observed that adults tend to respond the same way, even as our society throws more complicated things at us. Interestingly, we still—often subconsciously—gravitate toward simpler objects and situations. This is true for large objects, and it is true for any big, massive thing. Whether it is a massive thing like the Grand Canyon or a hulking piece of heavy construction equipment, people tend to be transfixed by anything that is exceedingly large in relation to the environment around it. Continue reading

Becoming a Great Speaker, by Vivek Wadhwa

How to Go From Being a Disaster to a Great Speaker

by Vivek Wadhwa

These days, I revel in the applause my son Tarun gets when he goes on stage. However, it was not always like this. When I saw him forget his lines and freeze up on the podium at the Economist Ideas Economy Information Summit eight years ago, my heart literally sank. I wanted to rush up and give him a big hug and say “it’s okay son, it wasn’t a big deal, don’t worry about it”. Tarun had worked day and night to be prepared for his first big talk. He memorized every word of a 12-minute long presentation. And then he forgot his lines.

I will never forget the anguish on his face.

Tarun did manage to muddle his way through the talk. The moderator also came to his rescue—knowing that any 23-year old would have difficulty speaking to an audience of 400 business executives and academics at one of the most prestigious conferences in the world. Continue reading

Change - Keynote Speaker Jeff Leitner

Why Most Change Initiatives Fail. And What to Do About It

“Write down a change you would like to make in an organization that you are currently with…or  change in the marketplace. Any kind. It can be a big change, it could be a small change – strategic, tactical, something you want people to start doing, something you want people to stop doing,” says Jeff Leitner as he looks around a room filled with CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, and other C-Suite executives at this year’s InterimExecs’ RED Team meeting. He continues “You’re change is absolutely, almost certainly going to fail. It’s not your fault. It has nothing to do with your particular genius – has nothing to do with your insights. Changes fail. They almost always fail.” Continue reading

Future of Food by Keynote Speaker Nancy Giordano

The (Optimistic) Future Of Food

by Nancy Giordano

“Well, that was an encouraging day!” Rosa, a brain augmentation engineer reflects. She takes a few intentional deep breaths, then steps away from her desk, grabs the bag Kush, her robotic assistant packed earlier, and jumps into her waiting autonomous-driving vehicle for the 40 min ride into Portland. She is so looking forward to dinner with her sister. While there are many ways to connect virtually with one another these days, nothing beats sitting around a table having a meal together, and this weekly ritual is one she tries hard not to miss. Her mother has told them both so many stories about the Good People dinners her friend Raman started twenty something years ago — how these gatherings nourished her inside and out, and ultimately fed many of the huge food innovations that fuel her daughters now. 
Continue reading

Joel Cohen delivering a hilarious keynote speech

Joel Cohen’s keynote provides insight (and tons of humor) into the success of The Simpsons

by Mike Humphrey

Over a wonderfully fresh shrimp, avocado and arugula salad at a trendy Philly restaurant, Joel Cohen describes the concept of the “puke draft”.  No, it had nothing to do with his lunch.  He shares how ideas are most often half-baked and incomplete at their genesis. So, members of his team at The Simpsons will often create a “puke draft”, which takes their rough idea and shares it for improvement and revision from the other talented writers on the show.  Through this process, many of these ideas develop into full episodes for the most successful prime time show in the history of television. Continue reading

Nancy Giordano talks about the Big Shift for Business Leaders

What Is The Role Of Business In A Shifting Society?

What Is The Role Of Business In A Shifting Society? 

by Nancy Giordano

Back in the 1790’s, the Industrial Revolution was underway. Artisans making one product gave way to mechanization with companies making multiple products. In the 1830’s, US railroad companies became the first truly modern management organizations. Those early superhighways lowered the cost of moving goods and information, and by the 1920’s, a new type of professionally managed corporation owned by retail investors and run by powerful executives, replaced the early founder-led firms. Management suddenly became a career. Focus on rapid expansion, mass production and meeting increasing mass demand created sprawling conglomerates with giant interdependencies and unprecedented levels of complexity. Along the way we didn’t stop to measure the cost of it all… Continue reading

Speaker Jamie Mustard on Attention

Why Standing Out is So Important

If we do not grab the attention of others immediately, we could lose them forever.

 By Jamie Mustard

There is no doubt that technology has made our lives easier, but it has also made our lives harder in invisible ways. Technology-induced change has created an explosion of content and choice—a deluge of products, services, and voices in constant competition for our attention. In our always-on, internet-connected world, wave after wave of information bombards our senses and dilutes our individual voices. Whether we are conscious of it or not, we’re drowning in a sea of white noise. Continue reading

tech leadering - Nancy Giordano leading business speaker

Tech future demands “Leadering”

One of the world’s leading futurists, Nancy Giordano, argues for a new kind of leadership, writes Arthur Goldstruck

It is somewhat reassuring to learn that Nancy Giordano has 43,000 unopened emails on her computer. As a global “brand futurist”, she is in demand to lead transformation strategies at major corporations, and present her framework for visionary leadership at conferences and events. She is also a mother of three and a part-time lecturer at Singularity University in Silicon Valley.

If someone operating at the cutting edge of technology has such a cluttered inbox, the rest of us can be forgiven for not keeping up. However, she reassures us, she is on top of the important correspondence. Speaking at VeeamOn, a conference hosted by data backup and management company Veeam in Miami, Florida, she makes the case for “audacious leadering” as the key to being on top of the rapid technological change that the coming years will bring. Continue reading

Artificial Intelligence Keynote Speakers

Artificial Intelligence: A Primer for Selecting Conference Keynote Speakers on the AI Topic

by Michael Humphrey

In 1995, the internet exploded with the promise of e-commerce and the digitalization of information.  The first keynote speakers talking about the internet were overwhelmingly IT scientists and technology futurists, sharing their insights as to WHAT the technology advancements were.

But after a few years, the business experts emerged, showing WHY it was important and HOW to use it for profit.

Artificial Intelligence SpeakerThe same is now happening with Artificial Intelligence, and related technologies such as autonomous systems, robotics, etc.  The fascination is currently on the WHAT, but we are already starting to see a shift toward the WHY and the HOW.  This means an eventual shift from computer scientists and futurists, to business strategy experts.

This is when the AI wave will become truly revolutionary for business.

The Key Shifts Include:

  • Business Strategy:   Robert Safian has been exploring what leading companies like Netflix, Amazon, Spotify, Nike, Goldman Sachs and others are already doing with AI to disrupt their industries
  • Future of Jobs:    Vivek Wadhwa is at Harvard University running the first ever global research study on how AI will change how we work and the future of professions.
  • Disruptive Innovation:    Michelle Lee shares the patent trends from the USPTO to learn where companies are making multi-billion-dollar bets on the future of AI.
  • Financial Future:    Nancy Giordano has been diving into the success of blockchain and crypto-currency technologies throughout the world.
  • Leadership Tools:    Rebecca Costa’s latest book looks at how AI and predictive analytics is providing leaders an accurate look into the future, changing how we make decisions and allocate strategic resources.
  • Medicine and Health:   Tarun Wadhwa has drilled down into the fascinating uses of AI that are changing every aspect of the medical and self-healthcare industries.

 

About the author:  Michael Humphrey is a 30-year veteran of the speaking industry and is currently the CEO of Nextup Speaker Management.

Nancy Giordano keynote speaker

There’s No Rulebook When It Comes To The Future

By Gina Narcisi

Technology is changing, culture is shifting, and the amount of information is growing. Solution providers need to evaluate their position and how they can contribute to the new landscape.

The current pace of change is demanding more visibility, transparency and innovation from companies old and new. Making it through the gap between systems and approaches breaking down and new ones being created is the goal, said Nancy Giordano, CEO of Play Big, a company that helps forward-looking organizations transform, at The Channel Company’s NexGen 2018 Conference and Expo Monday. Continue reading

Michelle Lee - Director of USPTO

8 Remarkable Things About Michelle Lee

Michelle Lee joined the league of female pioneers as the first female director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  But who is Michelle Lee? Here are eight things you may not know about the USPTO’s fearless former leader:

  1. Lee was also the Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property. Part of her responsibilities while serving with the Department of Commerce was to advise the president on domestic and international intellectual property matters.
  2. Lee greatly influenced the Silicon Valley USPTO. In 2012, Lee served as the first director of the Silicon Valley USPTO. Before that, she served on the USPTO’s Patent Public Advisory Committee, advising the USPTO on patent policies.
  3. Lee was an IP power house in the Silicon Valley. Lee was named the Best Bay Area IP Lawyer and one of the Top 100 most influential women in the Silicon Valley by the San Francisco Business Times and the San Jose Business Journal.
  4. Lee has also served as deputy general counsel for Google. Lee served as the company’s first Head of Patents and Patent Strategy. During her time at Google, Lee built Google’s patent portfolio from only a few patents to over 10,000!
  5. She has plenty of experience being a leader. Before Google, Lee was a partner at Fenwick & West, where she represented leading high-tech firms such as Cisco Systems, Logitech, Apple, and Sun Microsystems.
  6. Lee is well versed in electrical engineering and computer science with degrees from MIT. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Lee worked as a computer scientist at Hewlett-Packard Research Laboratories and the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
  7. Lee grew up in the heart of the Silicon Valley. Lee grew up in Saratoga, California, and after going away for college, she returned to the Bay Area to earn her law degree from Stanford University.
  8. She has a surprising skill. Fun fact: Lee trained for 16 years as a classical ballet dancer.

Michelle Lee is now one of the most exciting business speakers that we have seen in years. Learn more at www.nextupspeakers.com/michelle-lee.com.

Speaker Robert Safian - Artificial Intelligence

5 Lessons of the AI Imperative, from Netflix to Spotify

by Robert Safian for Fast Company

Last month, Netflix quietly deleted all the remaining user reviews on its service. And just like that, CEO Reed Hastings completed the latest shift in his company’s ever evolving strategy: away from the wisdom of crowds in its content recommendations, in favor of the wisdom of the machine. The algorithm is now firmly in charge at Netflix—as it increasingly is across the economy.

The past year has seen a crescendo of fascination with—and fear of—artificial intelligence. This theme is a central feature of the tech backlash buffeting formerly bulletproof companies like Facebook and Google, fueling U.S. congressional hearings and editorial-page outrage. Yet it’s also the most potent new engine for business efficiency, an essential driver of competitive advantage from Amazon to Accenture. Continue reading

Top Leadership Speakers

Leadership Speakers That Matter

Leadership has entered into a new era.  Science, technology, workforce changes and new business models have advanced leadership tools and skills, and our understanding of how to use them.  If we don’t keep up, someone else will, and nobody wants to be left in someone else’s wake.  Meet a few of these pioneers in leadership:

Robert Safian Keynote SpeakerROBERT SAFIAN – During his twelve years of running Fast Company, Safian started researching the exciting emergence of Flux Leadership.  This is as much about new mindsets as it is about skills, and it is driving the wave of disruptive innovations and new strategies.  Safian has interviewed and researched the great disruptors of our time, and helps us understand how to create flux leadership cultures in your organization.

 

 

Rebecca Costa with black polo sweaterREBECCA COSTA – Costa has already won numerous awards for her advancement in the sciences regarding leadership adaptation and predictive technologies.  She has revealed the rapid change in the tools, methods and skills that are crucial for modern leaders.

 

 

 

Dr Lance Secretan with winter scene behindLANCE SECRETAN – This legend in executive leadership coaching has introduced his best work yet, showcased in his new book The Bellwether Effect.  He explores the corrosive effects of chasing cookie-cutter business trends, and provides truly inspiring leadership alternatives that are proven to significantly boost growth, increase retention, and create cultures that adapt to change rapidly.

 

 

Nancy Giordano profile image with blue dressNANCY GIORDANO – She has quickly built a reputation as the top strategic futurist, melding the trends in advancing technologies with leadership strategies.  She helps organizations capture opportunities and get out in front of future competition.

 

 

 

Deborah Perry Piscione profile imageDEBORAH PERRY PISCIONE – Her ground-breaking work on bridging the gap between great ideas and implementing those ideas has made her one of the top leadership and innovation experts in the world. She has developed the largest pool of research on building innovative leadership cultures, which she highlighted in her three acclaimed leadership books.

Keynote Speaker for your next event

The Science of Choosing the Perfect Keynote Speaker

by Mike Humphrey

Okay, I’ll admit, it may not be a “science”, but there is a proven system to choosing keynote speakers that can greatly increase your chance of making the perfect choice. For 30 years I have worked with a huge spectrum of speakers, from little-known rising stars to the biggest names on the planet, and I have seen both home-runs and strikeouts when it comes to choices for keynote presenters.

So here is my system, developed from the experience of thousands of event planners, speaker agents, and speakers. Continue reading

How Millennials See Meetings Differently

Millennials are the largest, most diverse, most educated and most connected generation of our time.  At 80 million in the United States alone, they are a critical demographic to attract to your meetings and conventions.  While older professionals seek the traditional meeting model, millennials are looking for something more interactive.  Instead of a speaker giving a presentation for an hour, they would rather have the majority of that hour be Q&A.  This is a generation that wants to be heard and have conversations instead of listening to a presentation straight through.  The PCMA Education Foundation found that “old-school” meeting formats are the number one repellant for millennial attendees. It’s time to change the traditional speaker and panel formats to incorporate technology and audience participation.

Continue reading

How to increase speaker bureau business

5 Reasons Speaker Bureaus (and agents) Lose Business

by Mike Humphrey, CEO of Nextup Speaker Management

I have been around the speaking world since the mid-80s and have seen a radical transformation in the industry; Catalogs gave way to websites…VHS cassettes gave way to YouTube videos…faxes and mail gave way to email and Dropbox.  The digital era continues to change the rules, yet many bureaus and agents are missing how important some of these rules have become. These “blindspots” are costing them lost sales and marketshare. And all of these can be fixed.

Continue reading

The Customization Myth: Why Most Speakers Can’t Make Changes To Their Speeches

By Mike Humphrey (originally published on LinkedIn)

There is a familiar frustration with organizations regarding speakers. You pay them good money to deliver a speech that really means something to your audience, and in turn, your organization. You conduct pre-event phone calls and send packets of info with the speaker. Yet they walk on stage with relatively the same speech they always deliver. It is a good speech, but might have been so much better…it could have spoken directly to the audience and made the impact that you had hoped for.

Why do so many speakers struggle with customizing their speeches? Continue reading