Co-author, Mavericks at Work and co-founder, Management Lab, Founding writer, Fast Company
All change goes against the rules. Polly LaBarre arms leaders with a Maverick Manual to hack the status quo and ramp up originality, invention and game-changing disruption.
Polly LaBarre's videos
What Polly LaBarre's clients say
"She was spot on. Did exactly what we needed. I love that woman!"
"Polly hit it out of the park. She was warm and well received. Attendees loved how she kept the concepts simple and digestible. We loved having her."
"We could not have had a better presentation to close out our Wednesday session. Your insight on innovation in the workplace as well as how we can better incorporate innovation into our core company DNA was a hit!"
"Polly was FABULOUS!!! Articulate, provoking, exciting, strategic, practical, humble...a good representation for women!!! Everything I was hoping for. I would recommend her!"
"Thanks so much, Polly was a HUGE hit. We couldn't have asked for a better suited speaker. So much so that a lot of our attendees are asking for the video footage of the day so they can re-watch it."
"Her keynote was exceptional. Powerful messages, spot on delivery -great way to end this conference experience on a high note."
"She is truly gifted in making connections and keeping all engaged."
"I had high expectations, but you completely exceeded them! You were absolutely brilliant on all fronts: content, delivery, timing, storytelling, and more. Everyone I talked to cited your talk as the highlight of our conference."
"I would like to tell you that the Planetree audience loved your presentation! Great job! I heard comments that you were the best keynote we have ever had by far! Thank you again for the presentation and also meeting with our staff afterwards. It was sensational!"
"Thanks so much for coming to Santa Barbara for our NBC retreat. You were both energetic and inspiring - and, trust me, I would have been thrilled to have one or the other! You gave us a lot to think about and you set the perfect tone for a lot of the issues that are facing us right at this moment."
Polly LaBarre's 2022 biography
Polly LaBarre’s background
The true work of leadership, she says, is inspiring, unleashing, and amplifying human creativity, passion, and resourcefulness – creating a cultural DNA where the response to change happens almost as fast as change itself. Co-author of Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win and founding team member of Fast Company magazine, Polly is co-founder of Management Lab, the think-and-do tank where she consults with top global brands.
Polly is also a top speaker who leaves audiences with actionable lessons from organizations and leaders who are transforming their cultures and industries by breaking the rules and harnessing the human element. She inspires people to engage and reimagine the challenges they face, become fearless experimenters, and rethink the work of leadership.
Along with her partners at the Management Lab (MLab), Polly has developed a pioneering method and platform for changing how large organizations change. They run large-scale, real-world experiments in “hacking management” to build the deep organizational capabilities crucial for thriving in a creative, disruptive world: adaptability, innovation, and inspiration.
In addition to running global “management hackathons,” MLab has also built the Management Innovation eXchange (MIX), the world’s largest community of management innovators, created a clearinghouse of management hacks and innovation stories, and launched a series of events.
Polly has traveled the world to work with the courageous contrarians, management mavericks, and pioneering progressives who are inventing the future of organizations and business. While these are organizations of every stripe that hail from every realm of endeavor, they do share a common credo: that the most winning organizations are animated by an utterly distinctive and deeply-felt point of view –a set of ideas with the power to fundamentally reshape the sense of what’s possible; that work is personal, values rule, freedom is a bigger game than power, and nobody wins unless everybody wins.
Early in her career, as part of the founding team of Fast Company magazine, Polly played a central role in the remarkable success of a magazine that recast the conventional wisdom on power, competition, work, leadership, innovation, and change. The magazine introduced the world to a new universe of organizations and leaders whose management models were as distinctive as their business models were disruptive.
Polly is the co-author of the award-winning book Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win, which was a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and BusinessWeek bestseller. Published in over 20 territories, Mavericks was a “Business Book of the Year” for the Financial Times, the Miami Herald, and The Economist, which called the book “a pivotal work in the tradition of In Search of Excellence and Good to Great.” CNN, CNBC, and GMA all created series around the book.
Polly’s writing has appeared in a variety of publications, including Fast Company, The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review online, Fortune.com, the McKinsey Quarterly, and she has served as business and innovation correspondent for CNN.
Polly LaBarre's 2022 talks & topics
A Maverick Agenda for Inventing the Future
How to Disrupt like an Insurgent
Catching the future depends less on planning for what will come next and more on continuously experimenting with what could come next. In order to innovate and adapt in this creative, disruptive economy, every organization must develop the capacity (and the appetite) for experimentation and even failure. Despite the life or death stakes, this is not natural behavior for most organizations. The challenge: most organizations are programmed to safeguard the status quo. So, how do you unleash your organization’s inner insurgent? How do you build a company with the native drive to disrupt the status quo and the capacity to change ahead of change? Polly delivers a set of actionable strategies drawn from her research and work inside some of the world’s most successful, creative, and innovative companies. She helps people embrace a completely new mindset for changing the way they do organizational change.
The Human Edge: Fully Engaged and Relentlessly Innovative
Turning Culture into a Competitive Advantage
For every leader unsettled by rampant disruption, there is a powerful antidote already inside the organization: the untapped audacity, imagination, energy, and passion of its people. Those fundamental human qualities are the engine of the creative economy—the source of all value. But too few organizations are designed to unleash, mobilize, and amplify that human edge. In this talk, Polly lays out a path for cultivating a culture of contribution, collaboration and innovation—one where everyone is switched on and connected to each other and to customers. She inspires audiences with a set of strategies for re-designing systems, processes, and practices to make their organization fundamentally more innovation-friendly –embedding the mindsets and methods of experimentation into everything they do. Leaders at every level take away an increased capacity to inspire and unleash both creativity and accountability.
Leading Successful Change
Become Animation Machine
New Leadership Mindset
A New Way of Leading Change
The era of the heroic, all-knowing, all-powerful leader is over. Leadership is no longer a function of your title or where you sit in the organization. It’s a consequence of your capacity to get things done with other people. But as disruptive forces have transformed the workplace, the practice of leadership has lagged behind; stranded in outmoded mindsets, processes, and organization structure. In this presentation, Polly shows audiences a path to transforming the organization by rethinking how leadership is done. She reveals what new leadership models look like in practice at bold and successful organizations that have reshaped their leadership mindset and reaped the rewards. Polly’s vivid storytelling highlights how top leaders pressed the reset button on their leadership style to lead change in completely new ways. Audiences walk away understanding the most important things that need to be done to “leader-proof” the organization.
The Mind of the Innovator
Make creativity a habit and become an innovator-for-life
If you want to create the future of your organization, your industry, or your profession – there’s no better place to start than supercharging your own creative capacity. The good news: we are all born with some kind of creative genius. The tough news: as we advance through our achievement-oriented, data-driven institutions – we tend to grow out of our creativity rather than into it. In this captivating presentation, Polly will introduce the core creative mindsets and habits that set the greatest artists, inventors, and creators apart. She’ll share a wealth of strategies and portable practices to help you see more, see differently, find answers in the most unexpected places, experiment fearlessly and tap into your powerful intuition. The goal: to help you turn creativity into a way of life.
Making Organizations More Human
The Resilient Organization
Turn your Company into a Lab
Creating a culture of everyday, everywhere experimentation
Catching the future depends less on planning for what will come next and more on continuously experimenting with what could come next. In order to innovate and adapt in this creative, disruptive economy, every organization must develop the capacity (and the appetite) for experimentation and even failure. Despite the life or death stakes, this is not natural behavior for most organizations. Polly shows how the best companies today manage this. Her rich stories and practical perspectives and practices show how you can spread the mindset and methods of experimentation. Audiences leave knowing the five strategies for turning their organization into a lab for perpetual innovation.
Culture Matters: Engage, Empower, and Unleash
How to Invent the Future
Be a Disruptor, Not the Disrupted
Polly LaBarre's 2022 speaking fees
- United States
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