Keynotes on Leadership, Organization Change, and Running Projects Successfully
Keynotes inspire and educate. They set a theme or tone for your event. We work hard with event organizers to tailor our keynotes to engage and enliven your audience. Keynotes can be matched with track sessions or workshops to fill out an event or drive a corporate agenda. Since it is impossible to describe all the combinations and customizations for a presentation, please do not hesitate to reach out and we can help you get the perfect combination for your event.
Leadership is a journey. Events in our personal and professional lives shape us as leaders. In a heartbeat, how we lead and its impact can change our lives, those of our loved ones, and the people around us. The most trying of these events come in our personal lives. Personal events, such as serious illness or death of a loved one, are high-stress, emotional situations where we must be leaders with little or no authority. A skill that is also indispensable in the office, for instance, when working for a difficult boss, being fired, or any number of other circumstances where we have little or no control. These “leadership passages” shape us as leaders. Understanding how these situations affect our leadership strategies, traits, and actions that make up our leadership style, helps us overcome seemly insurmountable challenges.
Estimates for the annual cost of project failure are as high as two trillion dollars a year. The rates for projects being at risk are in the 60-70% range, and a quarter of all project's problems are so bad they are simply canceled prior completion. Preferably, all projects will run according to plan. However, moving from a 60% failure rate to 0% is unrealistic. To improve success rates, organizations must first understand what it is that makes their projects fail. Reasons range from methodology to human failure to lack of executive commitment. Taking a systems approach to analyzing projects uncovers all the factors that are contributing to the failure.
Executives define vision, strategy, and goals to advance the business. Projects enable companies to meet those goals. Between strategy and projects, there is a lot of work to be done—work that lays the foundation for project and operational success. Through experience and research, six common gaps exist in organizations that inhibit project success—an absence of common understanding, disengaged executive sponsors, misalignment with goals, poor change management, ineffective governance, and lackluster leadership.
Leaders define the vision. A business turns vision into value. It still takes a team of executives, managers, project managers, and individual contributors to drive the projects that build the capabilities to transform businesses. Ergo, projects are the enablers for turning vision into value.
The Vision to Value keynote is geared toward helping executives, finance leaders, technology leaders, and project managers understand what is required to enable the organization to share and stay focused on the company's goals, hence, reducing waste, increasing productivity, and decreasing waste.
Executives build PMOs to ensure people follow a process. Companies require project management certification. Project managers have religious battles over agile and waterfall. Mistakes occur and managers implement more processes to prevent their reoccurrence. Yet there is another philosophy that says this is the wrong direction completely. This ideology feels that people need more independence and less bureaucracy. The people who follow this think that people need more leadership training. People or Process, as the name implies, looks directly at these arguments and the role of people versus process in a project's or an organization’s success or failure.
The ability to quickly deliver initiatives that make breakthroughs in the business is the differentiator of truly successful organizations. It takes a blame-free culture, highly accountable, talented, and innovative people, and money. Nothing is free. However, even with this powerful combination, project success rates are dismal. Failure rate estimates range from 40-75% of projects are over budget, late, or fail to deliver the required functionality. There are many actions leaders can take to minimize this, but at times it is just part of being in a world where customers want constant innovation.
The subpoena shows up at the front desk and you get the call to come and pick it up. You get that nauseating feeling that it is going to be a long day… no… a very long year. The subpoena asks for every contract, statement of work, change order, log, email, document, physical mail, specification, test document, picture, drawing, scratch note, etc. that ever existed on your project. You reflect back on the project and wonder how many corners you cut for the sake of getting the project done and meeting the customer's incessant requests for more or different features and functions.
You wonder if along with bringing in the lawyers you should also bring in an expert to help you build your defense. This keynote helps you understand what experts witnesses look for and how they prepare their case.
We all know that ethics plays a large role in business. We see the challenge almost daily making headline news. It does not just pertain to the people at the top of a company but to everyone inside the organization. Ethics and accountability are at the core of what it takes to be a leader. This keynote presents real situations that occurred asking for audience input (via Mentimeter) on how to handle the situation. They are also told the outcome of the actual situation. These are not sanitized, simple issues.
Project failure is rampant. In the US alone, the cost estimates for failure run as high as a trillion dollars annually. Regardless of the industry, executives seem powerless to alter this direction. The challenge for them is understanding where to focus their time and energy. All too often, they take the seemingly obvious move of zeroing in on the project manager, their teams, and technology. Other executives, reflect on their contributions to the failure. That self-reflection is time well spent as executives are essential in setting direction, aligning projects to corporate goals, implementing effective governance, and providing the needed resources. In other words, being effective leaders. This keynote explores the actions executives need to take to have the greatest impact on project success.
People often fail to realize how many actions in work and our personal lives rely on negotiation. It could be negotiating a raise, setting up conditions about using a resource, determining a task's scope, or adjusting a delivery date. We do some form of negotiation daily. Even though we learn to negotiate at just about the same time that we learn to communicate, we rarely understand the science and art behind it. By establishing a process around negotiation, we maximize our chances for success. A process ensures that we understand the wants and needs of the person on the other side of the table.