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Albert Read speaker

Albert Read

Former Managing Director of Condé Nast Britain, Author of The Imagination Muscle

Albert Read is a remarkable individual who excels both as a business leader and a journalist. His unique ability to connect creative content with commercial success sets him apart. With an impressive track record of launching and leading businesses for Condé Nast across the UK, Europe, and Asia, he brings a wealth of experience in the world of publishing and media. Throughout his career, Albert has overseen prestigious titles such as Vogue, GQ, Wired, Condé Nast Traveller, and Vanity Fair. His exceptional leadership skills and expertise make him a highly respected figure in the industry.

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Albert Read's videos

Available for

Languages: 

  • English
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Albert Read's 2024 biography

About Albert Read

Albert Read took the helm of Condé Nast Britain (home of Vogue, GQ, Wired and Traveller among others) at an inflection point in its history. A company modelled on a legacy, print business needed to transform itself into a series of multi-channel media brands. To do so, required a mindset shift and a team with a new perspective and skillset. With the appointment of editors like Edward Enninful, the Editor of British Vogue, the company reimagined itself as a business defined, as much as anything else, by purpose and a new way of looking at things. Vogue was not only about fashion, but about inclusion: opening itself up to new voices, new faces, new points of view – as a result, drawing in a whole new audience and set of advertisers across its platforms.

This shift that set a new zeitgeist, with a new cultural positioning, has resulted in one of the most successful periods in the company’s history.

Albert has also launched the iconic Condé Nast brands in China, India and the Middle East – and, on the quest for continual growth, in a business challenged by structural change, he has taken the brands in unexpected new directions.

Albert is now an entrepreneur, a speaker and an author. His book, The Imagination Muscle (Little, Brown, 2023), highlights the supreme importance of creativity in business, science and the arts. It is described by The Economist as ‘a beautifully written meditation’ and by The Spectator as ‘brimming with big ideas’ and ‘an extraordinary book’.

Albert’s philosophy is to never stand still, to anticipate change, to create within your organisation an expectation of ideas and an atmosphere of psychological safety where these ideas can flow freely. If, as a leader, you can tap into your own imaginative potential and that of your teams, the possibilities are limitless.

Albert studied Classics at Oxford University and has an MBA from INSEAD.

Albert Read's 2024 talks & topics

The New Rules of Leadership.

What makes a leader today? Leaders must now not only possess the ability to make money for their shareholders, but also grasp a whole range of issues: the geo-political landscape, the emphasis on sustainability, the transformative role of technology, the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and what – exactly – the workplace means for a new generation of employees. Drawing on his own experiences at Condé Nast, running such titles as Vogue, GQ and Wired – Albert explains that the rewards for the new leader go to those with an open mindset, those who can put aside the ‘need to feel right’; those with the greatest networks, those trained in counter factual thinking, those who can engender a culture of psychological safety…and those who can imagine the future.

Transforming your Business – One Day at a Time.

The disruption caused by technology to business continues apace. The lifespans of companies are shrinking. The digital landscape opens up the field to new disruptors, more consumer choice, radically re-imagined supply chains and, more generally, new ways of doing things. Albert had to face these questions with hugely powerful consumer brands like Vogue and Wired that were operating still in a largely print dominated landscape. Along with his teams, he had to reimagine them anew. How does the incumbent business respond to existential threat? How do large companies rediscover their purpose and value? How do they shift from an internally focused culture to outwardly focused one? How does a company under pressure transform itself from the inside? What is the mindset shift that it needs to engender? And how does it do it?

How Big Companies Rediscover the Entrepreneurial Mindset.

As companies grow larger, they sometimes lose the ability to have new ideas. How do they regain it? How do we rediscover the entrepreneurial spirit that launched our business in the first place? By allowing for the open mindset, by allowing bad ideas to bubble up into good ones, by learning from history about idea generation, seeing across disciplines and creating the small habits that lead to large breakthroughs, companies can engender a culture of innovation. From his leadership at Condé Nast, a creative business running some of the world’s best-known media brands, and his research into the genesis of ideas in his book, The Imagination Muscle, Albert shares the thinking that is transforming the way we now think about innovation.

Flexing your Imagination Muscle.

A poll of over 1,500 CEOs in 2010 ranked it as the most important leadership quality for success in business. The World Economic Forum has called creativity “the one skill that will future-proof you for the jobs market’. But in the world of AI, do we still need human creativity? Albert argues that it is more important than ever. And so how do we find it within ourselves? The clues are there in the behaviour of great writers, artists and entrepreneurs. Why is it that the Nobel Prize-winning scientists also tend to be artists? What chain of thought processes led to the invention of the Post-It Note? Why was being fired from Apple one of the best things that ever happened to Steve Jobs? On a personal level, how do we build our courage to be more imaginative? How do we design cities and offices for ideas? Based on the research for his new book, The Imagination Muscle, and his leadership position at Condé Nast, Albert asserts that the human imagination is still paramount, that ideas are the source of all growth, fulfilment and success – and, above all, he says, ‘to imagine is to be alive.’

Albert Read's 2024 speaking fees

Albert travels from:
  • United Kingdom

Specific fees fall within the ranges shown. These are presented as a guide only and are subject to change without notice.

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Check Albert Read's availability for your event

Complete the form below to check Albert Read's availability. If you prefer, you can also send an email directly to our head office.

How would Albert Read deliver their presentation at your event?
Please provide details of your budget for Albert Read's speaking fee, including currency.