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Speaking

Keynotes & Workshops

All my speeches and workshops are customized to connect with your people and address your challenges. But there is a common theme. Whether you want a 60-minute keynote that inspires thousands of employees to embrace change or a half-day strategy session for your top leadership team, you will get a blend of science-based insight, engaging stories, and practical tools. Check out samples of recent talks below…

Think Strategically & Act Decisively

88% of managers who are merely above average at strategic thinking and decisive action are among the top 10% of highest-performing change leaders overall.  Why? Because decisions are the most basic building blocks of change and innovation. The more strategically and decisively you stack those blocks, the faster and more effectively growth and innovation happens in your team and your organization.

Think Strategically & Act Decisively is my flagship program. It has been experienced as a keynote or an interactive workshop by tens of thousands of leaders and teams around the globe including everyone from Fortune 500 executives to local healthcare providers. In this experience, you’ll discover how to….

  1. Bridge the gap between innovative strategy & agile execution.
  2. Make good decisions faster all day with an elegantly simple Know-Think-Do framework.
  3. Use a Decision Pulse to instantly align your team for change.
  4. Leverage an “Anti-You” to quickly and easily improve snap judgments.
  5. Keep yourself in a confident, creative, and decisive mindset all day, every day.
  6. Use a Sprint and Waitlist to clarify direction and see results faster.
  7. Identify and kill “important” projects that distract from your most innovative solutions.
  8. How to use a Value-Variance Matrix to channel innovations that make your team truly unique to your organization and your customers.
  9. How to use “priori-time” to regain control of your schedule.

What People are Saying

“That was a 10 out of 10.” {MICROSOFT}
“Nick was awesome! His message really resonated with our staff, especially as we are undergoing a good amount of change.” {American Chemical Society}
“It’s hard to find truly great speakers. So when you find one like Nick, you use him as often as you can.” {ConferenceDirect}
“This session alone made the entire 3-day conference worthwhile. In 3 hours we accomplished what it normally takes us weeks of strategic planning to do.” {CEO, Hospice & Palliative Care organization}

Leading Change...One Decision at a Time

Nobody is better positioned to navigate disruptive changes than the team leaders and project managers who make the organization move day after day. Unfortunately, many talented managers and supervisors are held back by a belief that they lack the time, the budget, and the formal authority to drive the needed changes. This exciting keynote shatters that debilitating belief by revealing three simple decisions can unleash the bold change leader inside us all.

DECISION 01 : What is the Pulse of your change…and what are the opportunities you’ll have to sacrifice to serve that Pulse?

DECISION 02 : Which powerful people inside your organization do you need to inspire…and which do you need to politely ignore (for now)?

DECISION 03 : What bold, unexpected action will you take in the next 30 days to kickstart your change?

By blending riveting stories like the redemption of Starbucks to the trigger event in the Civil Rights Movement with cutting edge research, I’ll give you simple tools for making these 3 vital decisions. In the process, you’ll discover:

  1. What a Decision Pulse is and why it is the secret weapon of all successful change leaders.
  2. How the most successful and passionate change leaders do not allow their passion to undermine their strategy.
  3. How to use a Value-Variance Matrix to confidently ignore “best practices” that make you look just like your competitors.
  4. How to rally vital supporters by using 2 super-criteria.
  5. Why the idea that “change is hard” is a toxic myth that science has now debunked.
  6. How to use a Sprint and a Waitlist to keep you thinking–and behaving–like the Change Leader you were meant to be.

What People are Saying

“Outstanding...one of the most engaging and interactive keynotes I've seen.” {Terex Corporation}
“Nick's blend of wit and wisdom dramatically simplifies the challenge of leading change in a complex world.” {Cargill}
“The session was outstanding. Months later our team continues to see the impact on our business.” {Wells Fargo Home Mortgage}

Shift Happens: Embrace the Change, Lead the Way

We all feel in control of our destiny…right up until the department reorganizes, the economy stumbles, the doctor delivers a disturbing diagnosis, or the new technology disrupts our tried-and-true business model. One day you’re in the driver’s seat. The next day you’re strapped to the hood of a ’74 Pinto.

Shift happens, whether we like it or not. Research shows people who embrace changes not only live longer and more exciting lives, they also make more money, sell more products, experience less work stress, deliver better customer service, and report higher work and life satisfaction.

In this talk, I combine the fundamentals of psychological adaptation with a simple framework for agile leadership and daily decision-making.   

  1. How change events are “seed incidents” you can unlock hidden creative superpowers.
  2. The decision trick that not only clarifies your strategic direction, but also restores your confidence.
  3. How tiny tweaks to your posture and your words can expand thinking and uncover better solutions.
  4. Why “bouncing back” is the opposite of what resilient teams and leaders do.
  5. How adaptive employees use 2 simple questions to re-engage in their work when their co-workers have checked out.
  6. Why “faking it until you make it” is a defining feature of resilience.
  7. The right (and wrong) way to be a pessimist.
  8. How to stop fearing stress and start using it by shifting from a “fight or flight” perspective to an “excite and delight” perspective.

What People are Saying

“Whether it’s 45 minutes or three hours, Nick has a way of speaking that engages and excites even our most hard-nosed managers right from the start, and then sustains that level of energy until the very end.” {Royal Bank of Canada}
“This session helped us immensely. You gave us real ways to drive forward and avoid the swirl of indecision. On top of that, it was also fun!” {UnitedHealth Group}

Domino: The Simplest Way to Inspire Change

In this talk I build on the core ideas of the Think Strategically & Act Decisively frameworks and apply them specifically to organizational change so that everyone from shift supervisors to CEOs can align teams around new goals quicker than ever before.

  1. Leverage the new science of inspiration to break through change resistance and hit new, high-value goals in half the time.
  2. Discover how to build momentum & gain buy-in faster by leveraging 30-day Sprints and daily Priori-time.
  3. 10x the efficiency of your planning conversations by talking less about “what’s important” and more about “where to focus.”
  4. Grab people’s attention and earn buy-in by using Permission Ceremonies and Waitlists instead of endless conference calls and overwhelming project plans.
  5. Calm fears and supercharge focus by discovering what really happens inside your brain when change happens.
  6. Learn a simple way to turn a boilerplate strategic plan into a souped-up change vehicle.

What People are Saying

“Fun, interactive, and really made us think... engaging for the entire 90 minutes.” {Hospital Corporation of America}
“ Excellent. Our team routinely applies Nick’s insights to our daily routine.” {The Federal Reserve Bank}