Heather 'simplifies the complex' with stories and visuals delivered in an authentic and engaging manner that leave people feeling empowered to become adaptable, lifelong learners.
The Empathy Advantage: Leading the Empowered Workforce
by Heather McGowan
The Adaptation Advantage
by Heather McGowan
A guide for individuals and organizations navigating the complex and ambiguous Future of Work
Foreword by New York Times columnist and best-selling author Thomas L. Friedman
Technology is changing work as we know it. Cultural norms are undergoing tectonic shifts. A global pandemic proves that we are inextricably connected whether we choose to be or not. So much change, so quickly, is disorienting. It's undermining our sense of identity and challenging our ability to adapt. But where so many see these changes as threatening, Heather McGowan and Chris Shipley see the opportunity to open the flood gates of human potential--if we can change the way we think about work and leadership. They have dedicated the last 5 years to understanding how technical, business, and cultural shifts affecting the workplace have brought us to this crossroads, The result is a powerful and practical guide to the future of work for leaders and employees. The future can be better, but only if we let go of our attachment to our traditional (and disappearing) ideas about careers, and what a good job looks like.
Blending wisdom from interviews with hundreds of executives, The Adaptation Advantage explains the profound changes happening in the world of work and posits the solution: new ways to think about careers that detach our sense of pride and personal identity from our job title, and connect it to our sense of purpose. Activating purpose, the authors suggest, will inherently motivate learning, engagement, empowerment, and lead to new forms of pride and identity throughout the workforce. Only when we let go of our rigid career identities can we embrace and appreciate the joys of learning and adapting to new realities--and help our organizations do the same.
Of course, making this transition is hard. It requires leaders who can attract and motivate cognitively diverse teams fueled by a strong sense of purpose in an environment of psychological safety--despite fierce competition and external pressures. Adapting to the future of work has always called for strong leadership. Now, as a pandemic disrupts so many aspects of work, adapting is a leadership imperative. The Adaptation Advantage is an essential guide to help leaders meet that challenge.
Disrupt Together: How Teams Consistently Innovate
by Heather McGowan
Featured Keynote Programs
The Empathy Advantage
Leading The Empowered Workforce
The global pandemic didn’t only change where work takes place, it’s altering where work fits in our lives. The combination of a shift in leadership from Boomer and GenX to GenX and Millennial and the entrance of Generation Z into the workforce is altering the fundamental values around work.
Based upon her upcoming book, The Empathy Advantage, this talk examines labor shortages that are shifting the power from employers to employees, creating an empowered workforce. In this RUPT (Rapid, Unpredictable, Paradoxical, and Tangled) world, leaders must make four shifts (mindset, approach, culture, and behavior) to effectively navigate a world that has transformed overnight from linear to complex.
The factory default settings have all been removed, from who works (diversity as a norm), where work takes place (home, office, anywhere, hybrid), what we do for work (exploration over routine tasks), how we lead (inspiration over fear), and why we work in the first place (purpose, values, impact).
In this talk, buckle up for a fast-paced and inspirational overview of the post-pandemic world comprising an empowered and engaged workforce.
The Human Value Era
For much of the history of work, talent was defined by the things you could make. In this new era, talent will be defined by what you can make out of your people.
Research shows that human capital comprises 90% of all enterprise value in the S&P 500. As we hand off more and more mentally routine and predictable tasks to technology, human talent and ingenuity will be the true competitive advantage.
We have entered the human value era, where humans are seen as assets to develop rather than costs to contain. In this talk, discover how to navigate and master this challenging yet thrilling new world.
The Adaptation Advantage
Leading In A Post-Pandemic World
When Heather E McGowan and Chris Shipley wrote The Adaptation Advantage (April 2020, Wiley) even they didn’t realize just how quickly their predictions would come to pass. Then the coronavirus global pandemic required an immediate and dramatic shift in work, learning, and leading. The predictions they made for the next three to five years occurred over the following three to five weeks. Overnight, companies remapped supply chains, pivoted product lines, and transformed to distributed work-from-home organizations. Entire university and school systems adopted virtual delivery exclusively, something many said they would never do.
This new normal requires a laser focus on culture, purpose, trust, and psychological safety as we embark on the largest social experiment in human history. The virus has accelerated our future of work, expedited our human transformation to digital creation, and placed an even greater burden on leaders to inspire and motivate human potential.
Even as the pandemic subsides, our new ways of working will remain. With Heather’s strategies in place, those transformations can be for the better.
The Real Future of Work
We live in times of accelerated change driven by exponentially growing technologies paired with a hyperconnected global market economy. As a result, work tasks as we knew them in the past have become atomized (fragmented), automated, and augmented by technology. This reshaping of tasks requires that we rethink our systems of education and workforce development, our organization of work and workers, our process of talent attraction and retention (including learning and development), and even ourselves. In the past, we learned to work. Tomorrow, we’ll work to learn. Discover how with Heather in this stunning and actionable keynote message.
Heather has the unique ability to synthesize and intellectualize large amounts of often-disparate data into a cohesive, clear, and actionable strategy. I have never met a person with greater ability to craft clear actionable vision and strategy from ambiguity and complexity and to lead diverse teams towards a common vision.
Heather has an uncanny ability to help an audience visualize the complete interdependencies influencing the way we learn, work and live so we can better prepare for the coming technology-driven shifts. As a summit curator, I found her to be a real pleasure to work with and highly regarded among her peers and those involved in shaping the future of work.
Heather is an exceptional thought leader. Her ability to anticipate emerging trends, and synthesize information about the future of business, is truly remarkable. I've had the great pleasure of working with Heather over many years, and her insights have helped our business and our clients prepare for the future.
Heather has a mind who can hold so much complexity combined with the rare gift of making these complex and highly emotive ideas so clear and accessible through her visualizations, models and straight talk -no academic or corporate jargon ... just relatable facts, insights, and powerful stories and metaphors.
"In the war for talent, organizations must be able to offer employees a path that goes beyond typical career progression. Heather presents a compelling and thought provoking vision that focuses on lifelong learning and adaptability for employees, which the pace of technological change essentially requires. Her analysis is comprehensive, yet easily understood
Heather is my go-to person because are a lot of mirages out there when it comes to the Future of Work and she is the oasis. She is the real deal. Her ability to convey information in both words and visuals together are really powerful.
In a world where speakers claim to be experts, Heather is a genuine expert who can speak.
Heather is in a category of her own--a singularly gifted strategist who sees the future and communicates it with clarity
Heather provided the spark, the insights, and the energy to move our HR team forward. Her talk had something for everyone on our team, from our centers of excellence to our HR partners, from our leaders to our operations team, from our learning team to our compensation group. In particular, her discussion of the future of work and the importance of learning at the heart of organizational life really hit home for all of us.
I was fortunate to hear Heather speak at the Innovation in the "Age of Accelerations" Forum. She is an amazing communicator and a driving force, inspiring new relevant perspectives. Her presentation is a "must see" by leaders across government, academia, and industry who should be preparing our society for the future of work and the future of learning...the future of work is learning!
In the war for talent, organizations must be able to offer employees a path that goes beyond typical career progression. Heather presents a compelling and thought-provoking vision that focuses on lifelong learning and adaptability for employees, which the pace of technological change essentially requires. Her analysis is comprehensive, yet easily understood
Engaging content. Articulate and personable. Well researched. Interactive and fun! Heather brought all of this and more. We needed a speaker who could address the future of work, and Heather's message about adaptation touched on a number of topics relevant to our workforce, such as learning, distributed work, collaboration and leadership. In this "new normal" of work from home and virtual meetings, Heather adapted her content to our needs in an interactive and meaningful way.
Not only was working with Heather an absolute pleasure, but her virtual keynote address was beyond compare. Her speech secured our largest audience to date and attendees unanimously praised her inspiring and engaging message. We cannot recommend her highly enough!