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Business strategist, motivational speaker, and innovation expert Erica Dhawan helps businesses decrease friction and increase freedom. A pioneer researcher in the field of "connectional intelligence," she teaches leaders and companies innovative strategies to create more value for customers and clients, deliver sustainable results, and ensure future global competitiveness.

As a researcher at Harvard, Erica co-authored Get Big Things Done, the first book on connectional intelligence, the ability to “to drive innovation and breakthrough results by harnessing the power of relationships and networks." Get Big Things Done was rated #1 on "What Corporate America is Reading."

Erica has been featured on the Thinkers50 RADAR list for the emerging management thinkers around the world most likely to shape the future of business, management and strategy. She has also been named one of Levo 100’s Transformers.

Erica is the founder and CEO of Cotential (Connection + Potential) where she helps deliver collaboration across teams, business units and with customers by ingraining collaborative approaches and behaviors in the organizations she works with. Her clients range from Deloitte, Fidelity Investments, Credit Suisse, and Pepsico.

An in-demand speaker, Erica has spoken, worldwide, to organizations and enterprises that range from the World Economic Forum at Davos to U.S. and global Fortune 500 companies.

Full Profile

Erica Dhawan is on a mission to accelerate the collaboration and connectivity of your employees, teams, customers, clients, and other stakeholders. As a researcher at Harvard, she co-authored the first book on connectional intelligence, and now as CEO of Cotential, she helps deliver collaboration across teams, business units and with customers by ingraining collaborative approaches and behaviors in your organization.

The world economy is changing — and the workforce is changing with it. And if we’re going to thrive and prosper, we need to learn how to listen to each other and transform and unleash our capacity in connectional intelligence. So that’s what Erica is here to help you do.

Sound interesting?

It means that she can advise you to…

  • unleash cutting edge strategies including Connectional Intelligence in your company so your
    new norm becomes a culture rich with productive communication, an open flow of ideas and
    profitable collaboration.
  • create the urgency you need in your teams so they develop better and more innovative
    products, make the best use of their top talent and design processes that work
    across generations.
  • redesign your recruiting, onboarding and integration strategies so your retention rate of
    new and experienced hires increases 10 fold.
  • advise your company leaders to reframe their thinking around innovation, inclusion, and
    what it takes to execute never-heard-of before ideas.

What makes Erica different

  • She’s spoken at places like World Economic Forum at Davos, FedEx, Pepsico, Deloitte,
    Facebook, Social Media Week and Harvard.
  • Her clients include Fidelity Investments, ATKearney, Deloitte, McGraw Hill Financial,
    and PepsiCo.
  • She is a nationally recognized writer in Forbes, Fortune, and Fast Company on
    the future of work, the multi-generational workforce, innovation and leadership.
  • She was invited to The World Economic Forum at Davos to speak on next generation
    leadership on a panel in front of attendees like Arianna Huffington and Bill Gates.
  • She taught leadership at Harvard and MIT with leadership gurus Marshall Ganz and
    Otto Scharmer while earning her MBA at MIT Sloan and her MPA at Harvard Kennedy School.
  • She worked at Lehman Brothers through the boom and bankruptcy and has a deep
    understanding of challenges for emerging talent and corporate failures.


Erica Dhawan Speaker Videos Back to top

Erica Dhawan, Business Strategist: Keynote


Erica Dhawan reveals that we are seeing the rise of "The Connectional Enlightenment," a paradigm where our ability to build networks and collaborate with others will be the chief driver of success. She illustrates this with the story of a law firm who's youngest members simultaneously boosted productivity and reduced their hours by inventing a twitter like communication system that they used to exchange information regarding the cases they were working on.

Erica discusses how groups can prepare for the new age we're entering, noting that the change is not just about our smart phones. "This enlightenment is fueled not only by digital technology," she insists, "but by technology and power, logistics, material sciences, and transport and it's creating unimaginable transformations in the world."

Erica Dhawan, Business Strategist: TEDxBeaconStreet


Erica Dhawan, Business Strategist: Sizzle Reel


Erica Dhawan, Business Strategist: Google Talk



Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


Erica Dhawan's mission is to prepare your global workforce for the future. Her interactive keynote speeches show organizations and leaders how to accelerate the connectedness of your workforce, become masters of connectional intelligence, and “spar” in order to reach your goals more quickly.

Erica's speaking style is personal, fresh, humor-laden and energetic. She is a gifted presenter who is able to read a room, customize her approach and style accordingly, and draw audiences in with her storytelling and pragmatic solutions to your organization’s most pressing challenges.

Erica has presented to corporations, universities, technologists, entrepreneurs, government agencies, and many other groups. Private corporate speaking has included places like Pepsico, Deloitte, Fidelity, McGraw Hill Financial, United Nations, Facebook, Social Media Week, Harvard University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Get Big Things Done: Unleash your Connectional Intelligence:
We typically associate success and leadership with smarts, passion and luck. But in today’s hypercompetitive world, even those gifts aren’t enough. Strategist Erica Dhawan argues that the game changer is a thoroughly modern skill called Connectional Intelligence (CxQ). Virtually anyone can maximize his or her potential, and achieve breakthrough performance, by developing this crucial ability.

So, what is it? Connectional Intelligence is the ability to combine knowledge, ambition and human capital, forging connections on a global scale that create unprecedented value and meaning. As radical a concept as Emotional Intelligence was in the 90s, Connectional Intelligence is helping people enlist supporters, accelerate innovation, develop strategies, and sustain solutions to big problems.

This dynamic keynote will help employees understand the practice of using connectional intelligence as the key to professional success and leadership in the 21st century. Attendees will learn from real-life stories and leave with an action plan to become a power player in your organization.

Learning outcomes include:

  • How anyone can excel not just through skills and smarts, but through Connectional Intelligence
  • Keys to leveraging your networks and connections, and creating contagious positive results
  • Successful tactics used to address connectional overload and in changing turbulent times
  • How leaders create deep connections of fierce loyalty and respect from their team and customers
  • How connectionally intelligent leaders outperform the competition and create remarkable 
results

 Now it’s your turn to leverage the secrets of the people using connectional intelligence. It’s your turn to “Get Your Big Things Done.” You’ll be surprised at just how easy it is.

How to Build a Connectionally Intelligent Organization:
Connectional Intelligence (CxQ) helps organizations accelerate and sustain the capability to drive breakthrough innovation and results by harnessing the power of relationships and networks. In our new world of an embedded digital, global infrastructure that connects all of our lives, the power of connectional intelligence holds exponential and previously untapped potential for breakthroughs in ways we can barely begin to imagine in the workplace. To harness CxQ, we have to work with the future workforce differently – because they are ahead of the rest of us in harnessing connective capacity.

In this keynote, Erica Dhawan shares insights into how leaders can bring out the connectional intelligence of your employees and utilize the talents that different silos, cultures, and generations all bring to the table. This is a powerful, interactive presentation for leaders who seek to breakthrough generational friction, drive innovation, shift company culture and transform the untapped connectional intelligence of your entire workforce.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the resources each employee brings to the workplace
  • Decode the connectional capacity of each generation and culture and use that knowledge to significantly improve innovation
  • Transform workforce conflicts into growth points
  • Create processes designed to maximize the ability to connect people, ideas, and resources for breakthrough results

How to Maximize Value from Millennials:
Millennials are the rising generation in the workforce today. Millennials expert Erica Dhawan reveals the #1 key to determining their workplace performance: Connectional Intelligence. For millennials, engagement with different kinds of connection is not just about social media – it’s embedded in all aspects of their daily life and work. This engagement enables them to realize exponential results from Connectional Intelligence (CxQ) leading them to drive growth, streamline costs and improve the overall performance of your business. The way to acquire, engage and retain top millennial talent to generate fast results is to stop with the play and perks. Instead, put their fundamentally different, powerful, radical, and disruptive Connectional Intelligence to work.

This presentation and/or workshop will decode the millennials’ employment mindset, reveal how to maximize millennials recruitment, retention and performance, and offers specific actions to unleash your millennials’ Connectional Intelligence.

Other Speaking Topics:

  • Preparing for the Global Workforce
  • Marketing to Millennials


Erica Dhawan Speaker Testimonials Back to top

“Erica’s presentation was absolutely perfect for our leaders. Our group was diverse and Erica was a hit with everyone! Her storytelling style of presenting along with a healthy dose of informative case studies kept everyone engaged and interested–and excited about using connectional intelligence to transform our business.”
-George Chavel, Chairman and CEO emeritus of Sodexo

"Erica was the keynote speaker at our 7th annual Women in Shared Services and Outsourcing event in NYC. She was excellent in all respects. Erica is a dynamic, thoughtful speaker. I would recommend her to any business with multi-generational work force."
-Barbara Melby, Partner, Morgan Lewis

"Erica Dhawan was an inspiring and provocative keynote speaker at our executive retreat. I highly recommend her and her work to senior executives seeking to build a thriving talent pool in the today’s world!"
-Allen Hockenbury, Director at Deloitte

"Erica Dhawan delivered a superior keynote at our annual Business of Social Media Women's Leadership Summit in New York, June 2013. I could not have been happier with her work. Our attendees raved: 'Erica presented a provocative and compelling view of the impacts from and implications for use of social connectivity." "great keynote speaker…vibrant and passionate about the topic with great insights and stories.' Several also added 'Wow' – which is what I want to say. Wow. I HIGHLY recommend Erica as a speaker."
– Janet Wigfield, Vice President, Executive Director, Conferences + Events, Working Mother Media

"Erica is one of those rare speakers who are analytical, creative, and inspiring. Erica used those talents to WOW our audience at the POWER Detroit Conference. She has the ability to translate her ideas into clear presentational formats that not only educate, but engage executives and show bottom line impact. I would recommend her to present at any forum geared toward guiding today's leading Fortune 500 executives."
- Deirdre Joy Smith, Founder & President, POWER: Opening Doors for Women™

"We received extremely positive feedback on Erica’s keynote presentation on Millennials. She delivered an informative, compelling session and captivated the audience with her energetic, dynamic delivery. Thank you for an outstanding presentation!"
- Tannis Redenkopp, Next Generation Leadership Summit, Rotman School of Management

"Erica was one of the best speakers we've had. Her message was of great value to our teams at FedEx who ranged from Gen Y to Traditionalists! We left with specific actions we could use right away to drive more innovation across our teams."
- Mary Haley, Senior Advisor, FedEx Corporation

"Erica is an extremely passionate & inspirational speaker. I would recommend her to any organization that is looking to take their young employees and leaders to the next level — and provide them with tools to be truly successful."
- Jo-Ann Tan, Marketing Manager, Acumen Fund

"We hired Erica to help move our Institute to the ‘next level’, and her support helped us define our core mission, clarify key opportunities for profitable growth, and develop a powerful strategic retreat. Thanks, Erica, for your great work!"
- Otto Scharmer, Founder, Presencing Institute.

"Erica is very gifted teacher, learner and leader. I recommend her enthusiastically to any organization that requires learning, teaching, and leadership."
- Marshall Ganz, Professor, Harvard University

"Erica's Innovation is an Art workshop was totally engaging and you could tell from the conversation, the comments, how long people stayed and their enthusiasm around the work that it was a huge success! Erica has a natural ability to make everyone feel at ease and dive into the work, and then learn from each other through a sharing of experience."
- Michelle Stanners, Founder of Cultural Agents Initiative, Harvard University

"Charisma, versatility, and charm make Erica’s Bollywood dance workshop a can-do for people of all ages and abilities! Before you know it, total strangers are engaged in a group dance like nothing you have experienced before."
- Rachel Keyser, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center

"Erica's Navigating your Career workshop was game-changing. Erica helped me see the structures that had been blocking me, which I had not even realized. The strength of her training was that she posed simple yet profound questions, focused on the individual. I ran to my desk after those sessions, energized to work through the questions that she had posed. Within a one-hour training and two-hour homework session, I had re-connected with my calling and my fears had receded in the face of the resolve I now felt to pursue my path."
- Voop de Vulpierres, Harvard University




* Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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“Erica’s presentation was absolutely perfect for our leaders. Our group was diverse and Erica was a hit with everyone! Her storytelling style of presenting along with a healthy dose of informative case studies kept everyone engaged and interested–and excited about using connectional intelligence to transform our business.”
-George Chavel, Chairman and CEO emeritus of Sodexo

"Erica was the keynote speaker at our 7th annual Women in Shared Services and Outsourcing event in NYC. She was excellent in all respects. Erica is a dynamic, thoughtful speaker. I would recommend her to any business with multi-generational work force."
-Barbara Melby, Partner, Morgan Lewis

"Erica Dhawan was an inspiring and provocative keynote speaker at our executive retreat. I highly recommend her and her work to senior executives seeking to build a thriving talent pool in the today’s world!"
-Allen Hockenbury, Director at Deloitte

"Erica Dhawan delivered a superior keynote at our annual Business of Social Media Women's Leadership Summit in New York, June 2013. I could not have been happier with her work. Our attendees raved: 'Erica presented a provocative and compelling view of the impacts from and implications for use of social connectivity." "great keynote speaker…vibrant and passionate about the topic with great insights and stories.' Several also added 'Wow' – which is what I want to say. Wow. I HIGHLY recommend Erica as a speaker."
– Janet Wigfield, Vice President, Executive Director, Conferences + Events, Working Mother Media

"Erica is one of those rare speakers who are analytical, creative, and inspiring. Erica used those talents to WOW our audience at the POWER Detroit Conference. She has the ability to translate her ideas into clear presentational formats that not only educate, but engage executives and show bottom line impact. I would recommend her to present at any forum geared toward guiding today's leading Fortune 500 executives."
- Deirdre Joy Smith, Founder & President, POWER: Opening Doors for Women™

"We received extremely positive feedback on Erica’s keynote presentation on Millennials. She delivered an informative, compelling session and captivated the audience with her energetic, dynamic delivery. Thank you for an outstanding presentation!"
- Tannis Redenkopp, Next Generation Leadership Summit, Rotman School of Management

"Erica was one of the best speakers we've had. Her message was of great value to our teams at FedEx who ranged from Gen Y to Traditionalists! We left with specific actions we could use right away to drive more innovation across our teams."
- Mary Haley, Senior Advisor, FedEx Corporation

"Erica is an extremely passionate & inspirational speaker. I would recommend her to any organization that is looking to take their young employees and leaders to the next level — and provide them with tools to be truly successful."
- Jo-Ann Tan, Marketing Manager, Acumen Fund

"We hired Erica to help move our Institute to the ‘next level’, and her support helped us define our core mission, clarify key opportunities for profitable growth, and develop a powerful strategic retreat. Thanks, Erica, for your great work!"
- Otto Scharmer, Founder, Presencing Institute.

"Erica is very gifted teacher, learner and leader. I recommend her enthusiastically to any organization that requires learning, teaching, and leadership."
- Marshall Ganz, Professor, Harvard University

"Erica's Innovation is an Art workshop was totally engaging and you could tell from the conversation, the comments, how long people stayed and their enthusiasm around the work that it was a huge success! Erica has a natural ability to make everyone feel at ease and dive into the work, and then learn from each other through a sharing of experience."
- Michelle Stanners, Founder of Cultural Agents Initiative, Harvard University

"Charisma, versatility, and charm make Erica’s Bollywood dance workshop a can-do for people of all ages and abilities! Before you know it, total strangers are engaged in a group dance like nothing you have experienced before."
- Rachel Keyser, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center

"Erica's Navigating your Career workshop was game-changing. Erica helped me see the structures that had been blocking me, which I had not even realized. The strength of her training was that she posed simple yet profound questions, focused on the individual. I ran to my desk after those sessions, energized to work through the questions that she had posed. Within a one-hour training and two-hour homework session, I had re-connected with my calling and my fears had receded in the face of the resolve I now felt to pursue my path."
- Voop de Vulpierres, Harvard University


Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence
We typically associate success and leadership with smarts, passion and luck. But in today’s hyper-competitive world, even those gifts aren’t enough. Get Big Things Done argues that the game changer is a thoroughly modern skill called Connectional Intelligence. Virtually anyone can maximize his or her potential, and achieve breakthrough performance, by developing this crucial ability.

So, what is it? Put simply, Connectional Intelligence is the ability to combine knowledge, ambition and human capital, forging connections on a global scale that create unprecedented value and meaning. As radical a concept as Emotional Intelligence was in the 90s, Connectional Intelligence is changing everything from business and sports to academics, health and politics by quickly, efficiently and creatively helping people enlist supporters, drive innovation, develop strategies and implement solutions to big problems. Get Big Things Done unlocks the secrets of how the world’s movers and shakers use Connectional Intelligence to achieve their personal and professional goals–no matter how ambitious.

Get Big Things Done: Unleash your Connectional Intelligence:
We typically associate success and leadership with smarts, passion and luck. But in today’s hypercompetitive world, even those gifts aren’t enough. Strategist Erica Dhawan argues that the game changer is a thoroughly modern skill called Connectional Intelligence (CxQ). Virtually anyone can maximize his or her potential, and achieve breakthrough performance, by developing this crucial ability.

So, what is it? Connectional Intelligence is the ability to combine knowledge, ambition and human capital, forging connections on a global scale that create unprecedented value and meaning. As radical a concept as Emotional Intelligence was in the 90s, Connectional Intelligence is helping people enlist supporters, accelerate innovation, develop strategies, and sustain solutions to big problems.

This dynamic keynote will help employees understand the practice of using connectional intelligence as the key to professional success and leadership in the 21st century. Attendees will learn from real-life stories and leave with an action plan to become a power player in your organization.

Learning outcomes include:

  • How anyone can excel not just through skills and smarts, but through Connectional Intelligence
  • Keys to leveraging your networks and connections, and creating contagious positive results
  • Successful tactics used to address connectional overload and in changing turbulent times
  • How leaders create deep connections of fierce loyalty and respect from their team and customers
  • How connectionally intelligent leaders outperform the competition and create remarkable 
results

 Now it’s your turn to leverage the secrets of the people using connectional intelligence. It’s your turn to “Get Your Big Things Done.” You’ll be surprised at just how easy it is.

How to Build a Connectionally Intelligent Organization:
Connectional Intelligence (CxQ) helps organizations accelerate and sustain the capability to drive breakthrough innovation and results by harnessing the power of relationships and networks. In our new world of an embedded digital, global infrastructure that connects all of our lives, the power of connectional intelligence holds exponential and previously untapped potential for breakthroughs in ways we can barely begin to imagine in the workplace. To harness CxQ, we have to work with the future workforce differently – because they are ahead of the rest of us in harnessing connective capacity.

In this keynote, Erica Dhawan shares insights into how leaders can bring out the connectional intelligence of your employees and utilize the talents that different silos, cultures, and generations all bring to the table. This is a powerful, interactive presentation for leaders who seek to breakthrough generational friction, drive innovation, shift company culture and transform the untapped connectional intelligence of your entire workforce.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the resources each employee brings to the workplace
  • Decode the connectional capacity of each generation and culture and use that knowledge to significantly improve innovation
  • Transform workforce conflicts into growth points
  • Create processes designed to maximize the ability to connect people, ideas, and resources for breakthrough results

How to Maximize Value from Millennials:
Millennials are the rising generation in the workforce today. Millennials expert Erica Dhawan reveals the #1 key to determining their workplace performance: Connectional Intelligence. For millennials, engagement with different kinds of connection is not just about social media – it’s embedded in all aspects of their daily life and work. This engagement enables them to realize exponential results from Connectional Intelligence (CxQ) leading them to drive growth, streamline costs and improve the overall performance of your business. The way to acquire, engage and retain top millennial talent to generate fast results is to stop with the play and perks. Instead, put their fundamentally different, powerful, radical, and disruptive Connectional Intelligence to work.

This presentation and/or workshop will decode the millennials’ employment mindset, reveal how to maximize millennials recruitment, retention and performance, and offers specific actions to unleash your millennials’ Connectional Intelligence.

Other Speaking Topics:

  • Preparing for the Global Workforce
  • Marketing to Millennials


Erica Dhawan, Business Strategist: Keynote


Erica Dhawan reveals that we are seeing the rise of "The Connectional Enlightenment," a paradigm where our ability to build networks and collaborate with others will be the chief driver of success. She illustrates this with the story of a law firm who's youngest members simultaneously boosted productivity and reduced their hours by inventing a twitter like communication system that they used to exchange information regarding the cases they were working on.

Erica discusses how groups can prepare for the new age we're entering, noting that the change is not just about our smart phones. "This enlightenment is fueled not only by digital technology," she insists, "but by technology and power, logistics, material sciences, and transport and it's creating unimaginable transformations in the world."

Erica Dhawan, Business Strategist: TEDxBeaconStreet


Erica Dhawan, Business Strategist: Sizzle Reel


Erica Dhawan, Business Strategist: Google Talk