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Print One of the prime forces behind business technology convergence, technological entrepreneur Faisal Hoque began his first business at age 14 assembling stereos from scrap parts and selling them out of his father’s home in Dhaka, Bangladesh so that he could save up money to pursue a college education in the U.S. He’s come a long way since then, having been named one of the “Leaders to Watch in 2015” by the American Management Association as well as one of The Top 100 Most Influential People in Technology alongside entrepreneurial icons Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.

Faisal built his first software product while still an undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota, attracting the attention of Pitney Bowes who offered him a position in one of their R&D groups. From there he embarked on a career in which he innovated products and systems that took business efficiency and customer service to a new level. To date he has acted as CEO, Chairman of the Board, and advisor to various Fortune 500s, architecting multiple cross-industry ventures and partnerships between key global players such as GE, JP Morgan Chase, and MasterCard.

In addition to working with corporate giants, Faisal has vast experience raising funds and collaborating with investors to build up several start-ups that have spurred technological advances revolutionizing the way we do business.

As a renowned think tank and authority in mindful leadership, Faisal is frequently invited to speak at business conferences worldwide. His books, blog, and articles on innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity, and building resilience attract readers worldwide, including many high profile CEOs. His latest book is Survive to Thrive – 27 Practices of Resilient Entrepreneurs, Innovators, And Leaders (Motivational Press, 2015). He shares his guidance and ideas for young business leaders through Twitter and as a regular contributor to Fast Company, The Business Insider, and the Huffington Post.

Full Profile

Over the last two decades Faisal has played a variety of roles including CEO, Chairman of the Board, and an advisor to F500 boards and management. He has architected customer/partner/joint-venture/business transformational relationships with cross industry, private and public sector global brands such as GE, MasterCard, American Express, Northrop Grumman, PepsiCo, IBM, Home Depot, Netscape, Infosys, French Social Security Services, Gartner, Cambridge Technology Partners, JP Morgan Chase, CSC, and others.

At the age of only 14, he began what would be the first of many businesses: cobbling together stereo components to sell from his father’s home in Dhaka, Bangladesh in order to save the money he would need to support his plan to study in the United States.

He built his first commercial software product at the age of 19 while studying at the University of Minnesota, and went on to hold management positions in Pitney Bowes and then Dun and Bradstreet. In 1991, Pitney Bowes recruited him to join one of their R&D groups before he finished his undergraduate degree. At Pitney and Dun and Bradstreet, he worked on cutting-edge analytics and decision support methods and systems for customer intelligence, sales effectiveness, and revenue optimization before CRM/ERP, Sales Automation, and Business Intelligence were hardly concepts.

As a serial entrepreneur, he has raised venture capital from angels, strategic partners, and institutional investors to fund his innovative business-to-business startups. Over the decades, his companies innovated products and solutions that: provided middleware software for complex, secure transaction processing; created industry’s first set of re-usable software components for integrated B-to-B e-commerce; and pioneered comprehensive business value management frameworks and platforms.

In 1994, GE recruited him, then one of its youngest technology executives, to launch one of the industry’s first comprehensive B2B electronic commerce spin-offs, leveraging his innovation from one of his startups.

As a thought leader, he has written seven books on management, innovation, leadership, creativity, and entrepreneurship; established a research think tank in collaboration with leading academics from around the globe. He has become an authority on entrepreneurship, mindful leadership, innovation, creativity, transformation, and sustainable growth. His research leadership created several financial indices and methods such as the Convergence Index, Business Agility Index, Sustained Innovation Index, and Operational Excellence Index that measure the correlation between management maturity improvement and organizational financial performance. For his commitment to business-technology convergence, CIO Quarterly magazine designated him “Mr. Convergence”.

His previous book, The Power of Convergence (published by the American Management Association [AMA]), was released in April 2011 and almost immediately was named “One of the Best Business Books of 2011” by 800CEOREAD and CIO Insight. Two of his previous books, Sustained Innovation and Winning the 3-Legged Race, were also included in the “Top 5 Transformation Books” of the last few years, while Sustained Innovation also ranked in CIO Insight magazine’s “Editor’s Picks: The 10 Best Business Books of 2007”.

Faisal regularly chairs and speaks at CEO summits, B-Schools, and leadership forums globally. Notably, the CEO Summits at the NY Stock Exchange, Global China Summits, Forbes Business Leadership Forum, Sino-American CIO Summit in Beijing, European CIO Summit in Monte Carlo, MIT Sloan Fellows Program in Innovation and Global Leadership, Thunderbird Sustainable Innovation Summit, BOOTH School of Business – Entrepreneurial Ventures, CFO Magazine Technology Summit, Chief Executive Magazine CEO Roundtables, and Yale School of Management CEO Summits, among others.

An avid blogger, Faisal has a large following on Twitter (@faisal_hoque) and maintains numerous ongoing lines of communication with students and young entrepreneurs to offer guidance and advice to the next generation of business leaders. A lifetime student of Eastern philosophies, he holds a strong belief that it is through knowledge sharing of our experiences that we may provide the greatest clarity on how to improve our collective future.

Faisal Hoque ON Speaking Back to top


All of my talks are delivered with real life stories and examples, immediate practical how-tos, and access to digital tools/apps for daily practice.

SPEAKING.COM: What do you want people to learn/take away from your presentations?

HOQUE: Since I speak at a variety of venues and audiences, typically my talks are tailor made for a speaking engagement. Here are some sample takeaways:

  • How to reinvent with an entrepreneurial mindset
  • How to lead and transform in the age of creativity and innovation
  • Why leadership is both poetry and plumbing

All of my talks are delivered with real life stories and examples, immediate practical how-tos, and access to digital tools/apps for daily practice.

SPEAKING.COM: What kind of special prep work do you do prior to an event? How do you prepare for your speaking engagements?

HOQUE: I study the goals and objective of the events, organizers, and attendees. I do prep calls – and depending on the situation go over the draft material with the organizers before finalizes them.

SPEAKING.COM: Have you had any particularly memorable speaking engagements / unusual situations arise while on the road?

HOQUE: No two engagements or situations are alike. I have been very fortunate to speak across the globe at events, corporations, govt. agencies, and universities. Often the journey/travel/people make things more memorable than anything else.

During my speaking engagements, I have traveled through a winter storm from NYC to Muskat; visited many historic spiritual sites in Japan, India, and Israel; bonded with US Marine personnel; and have been deeply inspired at MIT, Yale, and the NY Stock Exchange. I am grateful for each of these unique and memorable experiences, as they have continuously shaped my thinking, writing, speaking, and my own business practices.

SPEAKING.COM: What types of audiences would most benefit from your message?

HOQUE: Businesses, leaders, educators, university students, entrepreneurs, and government/non-profit agencies.

SPEAKING.COM: Which of your keynote speaking topics are your favorites and why?

HOQUE: I love talking about innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainability that combines systemic thinking (i.e. agility, culture, organization, process, technology) and emotional intelligence (i.e. mindset, resiliency, mindfulness, creativity).

I have been a hands-on product developer, entrepreneur, and business leader throughout my career. I never thought that I would become an author or a speaker...

SPEAKING.COM: What inspired you to start doing speaking engagements?

HOQUE: I have been a hands-on product developer, entrepreneur, and business leader throughout my career. I never thought that I would become an author or a speaker, yet 15 years ago I started writing books. One thing led to another: I started to do media appearances and people started to invite me for speaking. Today I remain a-hands-on business operator and investor, using my own work and life experiences as the basis of my publications and speaking programs.

SPEAKING.COM: What are some of the successes you've helped clients achieve?

HOQUE: I’ve helped numerous clients and companies foster cultures that created sustainable growth. I have done this with cross industry, private and public sector global brands such as GE, MasterCard, American Express, Northrop Grumman, PepsiCo, IBM, Home Depot, Netscape, Infosys, French Social Security Services, Gartner, Cambridge Technology Partners, JP Morgan Chase, CSC, and others.


Faisal Hoque Speaker Videos Back to top

Ideas for Leaders


“To be a leader, first you have to be human and you have to connect with yourself before you can lead other people.” Faisal Hoque rejects the popular concept of a “life work balance,” arguing that everything in the universe is connected; therefore, we cannot be leaders at work unless we understand our identity, desires, and path in our personal lives.

SAYWE : Faisal Hoque Keynote - “Do You Have Courage to Survive and Thrive as an Entrepreneur”


The Transformational Triangle: Innovation, Agility, and Operational Excellence


Keynote Speech



Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


Raised in Bangladesh, Faisal Hoque brings a unique perspective to leadership, innovation, and business based on eastern philosophical principles centered on connectivity, mindfulness, the collective good, and constant transformation.

A powerful integration of business, Asian philosophy, and history, his presentations will help you understand the ecosystems that make some product lines iconic and the human systems that must be in harmony if a company is going to succeed. Audiences will see their organization through new eyes, taking away techniques to foster healthy teams and businesses capable of long-term resilience.

HOW TO REINVENT WITH AN ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET

Somewhere along the way, people became convinced that stasis is safer than movement. Consistency feels comfortable; volatility is frightening. Consciously or not, we attempt to protect ourselves against life’s volatility by cultivating routine in our lives.

But, in this ever-changing world, we are constantly forced to reinvent ourselves. And this reinvention process by very nature requires an entrepreneurial mindset. Constant reinvention requires:

  • Driving long-term vision
  • Creating platforms for growth
  • Fostering synergistic ecosystems

1. A SENSE OF PURPOSE TAKES VISION

Vision is what we’re to do with the time that we have. If you look at the central business theses of a few leading companies, we can see that they prioritize not only revenue–though surely that’s essential–but also the purpose of the work that they do. And that purpose is critical to staying a long-term course.

2. FINDING THE PLATFORMS THAT ARE ALREADY THERE

If vision is an expression of the soul of a person, platform is its body. We often call these “core competencies,” which tend to grow organically. Whether an organization (or an individual) recognizes it in themselves, these competencies are platforms, or assets with business applications. Platform generation is taking assets that have already been created and finding new ways to use them.

3. FOSTERING SUSTAINABLE ECOSYSTEMS

Why are ecosystems–and understanding them–crucial to sustainable value creation?

They are the structure that surrounds and supports our businesses. They spread stakeholdership out from the business and into society.

Sometimes an ecosystem can sprout up around a product, like the range of cases, headphones and other paraphernalia that surround the mobile devices. As well, a company can sprout whole economic worlds, as was the case of the App Store–and in that case, the App Store itself was a new platform for Apple. In a very similar sense, ecosystem thinking has become a cornerstone of web publishing–the broad swathe of unpaid contributors creating content for the Huffington Post, BuzzFeed and other publishing platforms do so in exchange for growing their own individual readership and brand.

Taken together, constant reinvention process is a combination of inner and outer awareness.

Leading and Transforming in the Age of Creativity and Innovation

With the cascade of new technologies and social changes, we are constantly challenged to spark creativity, drive innovation, and ensure sustainability. What are the remedies? How do we work with ourselves and others? The newest problems of the world find solutions in the oldest timeless practices like mindfulness, authenticity, and devotion- because everything connects.

Connectivity is a sense of journey, to the sense of purpose–it is an individual, lonely pursuit and a collective, companionable one at the same time. Our individual, interpersonal, and organizational working lives all interconnect. By examining these connections, we learn new ways to create, innovate, adapt, and lead.

In this part philosophy, part business, and part history talk, Faisal will cover:

  • Connecting with Who We Are. Learn how understanding leads to authenticity, mindfulness cultivates authenticity, and how devotion is mindfulness, mindfulness is devotion.
  • Inspiring and Leading Inside and Outside of our Organizations. How to give people freedom and structure as well as how to curate talent.
  • Generating Ideas, Grounded Decisions, and Long-Lasting Value. How to promote ideas through curiosity, improve decisions by mapping them, and creating value over the long term.

This isn’t just a quick fix for your next financial quarter, or a business plan; this is how you succeed in the long run. It is a systemization of your art, science, business, and spirituality.

WHY LEADERSHIP IS ABOUT POETRY AND PLUMBING

HOW TO INSPIRE AND ENCOURAGE EVERYONE YOU WORK WITH

TRADITIONAL HIERARCHICAL MANAGEMENT STYLE IS DEAD. YOU HAVE AN ALL-STAR TEAM AND VISION FOR MILES — WHAT’S MISSING? BRING YOUR FOCUS BACK TO YOUR PEOPLE’S POTENTIAL WITH THESE TIPS.

Nobody succeeds in a silo. Whatever we venture–personal, professional, philanthropic, political, or private–we must remember the people involved in and essential to our success.

Everything Connects is about lessons in leadership, from how to be more present to how technology is changing our worlds. A standout theme contained in this talk is our treatment of each other as humans–not just as employees, supervisors or CEOs–and the success this awareness brings.

Here are five ideas for connecting with the people that make business run.

1. EMPOWER THE INNER VISIONARY

Commitment-oriented companies are proven to be successful because colleagues are treated like family, not cogs in a machine. If we want to cultivate the visionary in others, we need to attend to the whole system surrounding them.

2. LEVERAGE TALENTS

Just as you can’t force a flower to grow on a sidewalk, you can’t tell someone to be what they aren’t when they’re in the wrong place. Categorize your organization’s needs by what kinds of talent can fill them.

3. ENCOURAGE AMBITION

So you’ve curated your dream-team of visionaries–but what if they’re dreaming of their individual success, instead of the greater good? The idea is that those ambitions are what create connections: when people are working together on projects they want to do, they’ll form relationships.

4. POWER INNOVATION

Companies and individuals alike are pushed to reinvent or fizzle out faster than ever. Innovation isn’t an option anymore; it’s a requirement. Sustained innovation is powered by people who come together to share ideas, compare observations, and brainstorm solutions to complex problems.

5. PRACTICE MINDFULNESS

Rushing from task to task detaches us from our creative potential, the authors say–and isolates us from the people that make our endeavors possible. When we stop being curious, we stop being innovative, create complexity, and ultimately fail.
 





Exclusive Interview with Faisal Hoque

When a leader, entrepreneur, or professional practice mindfulness they are better able to connect the dots between past, present, and future.
In this interview, Faisal Hoque discusses:
  • How practicing mindfulness leads to more sustainable solutions.
  • Transforming an underperforming organization.
  • Key ways to train your resilience.

  • * 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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    Everything Connects: How to Transform and Lead in the Age of Creativity, Innovation, and Sustainability

    The constant cascade of new technologies and social changes is creating a more empowered population. Workforces are increasingly dispersed, demanding of self-expression, and quite possibly disengaged. Within this topsy-turvy context, leaders must spark creativity, drive innovation, and ensure sustainability.

    What are the remedies? The newest problems of the world find solutions in the oldest and time-less practices such as mindfulness, authenticity, and perseverance—because Everything Connects.

    Everything Connects is a kaleidoscopic view of the way humans—by being able to think out of the box—have been able to achieve greatness for themselves, their organizations, and the world at large. It is your step-by-step guide for working with yourself and others—for meaningful success.

    Using real-life practical experiences, serial entrepreneur and thought leader Faisal Hoque teams up with journalist Drake Baer to provide a personal and professional playbook that shows how to:
    Holistically connect the “when” and “what” with who you are
    Inspire and lead inside and outside of your organization
    Generate ideas, grounded decisions, and long-term value
    Part philosophy, part business, and part history, Everything Connects offers the wisdom of 2,500-year-old Eastern philosophies and the interconnected insights of Leonardo da Vinci. Couple that with Fortune 100 corporate cross pollination for creativity and startup thinking for how to adapt with ease, and you’ll quickly discover that Everything Connects.

    This isn’t just a quick fix for your next financial quarter; this is how you succeed in the long run. It is a systemization of the best practices of spirituality and entrepreneurship—loaded with knowledge, humor, and humanity.

    HOW TO REINVENT WITH AN ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET

    Somewhere along the way, people became convinced that stasis is safer than movement. Consistency feels comfortable; volatility is frightening. Consciously or not, we attempt to protect ourselves against life’s volatility by cultivating routine in our lives.

    But, in this ever-changing world, we are constantly forced to reinvent ourselves. And this reinvention process by very nature requires an entrepreneurial mindset. Constant reinvention requires:

    • Driving long-term vision
    • Creating platforms for growth
    • Fostering synergistic ecosystems

    1. A SENSE OF PURPOSE TAKES VISION

    Vision is what we’re to do with the time that we have. If you look at the central business theses of a few leading companies, we can see that they prioritize not only revenue–though surely that’s essential–but also the purpose of the work that they do. And that purpose is critical to staying a long-term course.

    2. FINDING THE PLATFORMS THAT ARE ALREADY THERE

    If vision is an expression of the soul of a person, platform is its body. We often call these “core competencies,” which tend to grow organically. Whether an organization (or an individual) recognizes it in themselves, these competencies are platforms, or assets with business applications. Platform generation is taking assets that have already been created and finding new ways to use them.

    3. FOSTERING SUSTAINABLE ECOSYSTEMS

    Why are ecosystems–and understanding them–crucial to sustainable value creation?

    They are the structure that surrounds and supports our businesses. They spread stakeholdership out from the business and into society.

    Sometimes an ecosystem can sprout up around a product, like the range of cases, headphones and other paraphernalia that surround the mobile devices. As well, a company can sprout whole economic worlds, as was the case of the App Store–and in that case, the App Store itself was a new platform for Apple. In a very similar sense, ecosystem thinking has become a cornerstone of web publishing–the broad swathe of unpaid contributors creating content for the Huffington Post, BuzzFeed and other publishing platforms do so in exchange for growing their own individual readership and brand.

    Taken together, constant reinvention process is a combination of inner and outer awareness.

    Leading and Transforming in the Age of Creativity and Innovation

    With the cascade of new technologies and social changes, we are constantly challenged to spark creativity, drive innovation, and ensure sustainability. What are the remedies? How do we work with ourselves and others? The newest problems of the world find solutions in the oldest timeless practices like mindfulness, authenticity, and devotion- because everything connects.

    Connectivity is a sense of journey, to the sense of purpose–it is an individual, lonely pursuit and a collective, companionable one at the same time. Our individual, interpersonal, and organizational working lives all interconnect. By examining these connections, we learn new ways to create, innovate, adapt, and lead.

    In this part philosophy, part business, and part history talk, Faisal will cover:

    • Connecting with Who We Are. Learn how understanding leads to authenticity, mindfulness cultivates authenticity, and how devotion is mindfulness, mindfulness is devotion.
    • Inspiring and Leading Inside and Outside of our Organizations. How to give people freedom and structure as well as how to curate talent.
    • Generating Ideas, Grounded Decisions, and Long-Lasting Value. How to promote ideas through curiosity, improve decisions by mapping them, and creating value over the long term.

    This isn’t just a quick fix for your next financial quarter, or a business plan; this is how you succeed in the long run. It is a systemization of your art, science, business, and spirituality.

    WHY LEADERSHIP IS ABOUT POETRY AND PLUMBING

    HOW TO INSPIRE AND ENCOURAGE EVERYONE YOU WORK WITH

    TRADITIONAL HIERARCHICAL MANAGEMENT STYLE IS DEAD. YOU HAVE AN ALL-STAR TEAM AND VISION FOR MILES — WHAT’S MISSING? BRING YOUR FOCUS BACK TO YOUR PEOPLE’S POTENTIAL WITH THESE TIPS.

    Nobody succeeds in a silo. Whatever we venture–personal, professional, philanthropic, political, or private–we must remember the people involved in and essential to our success.

    Everything Connects is about lessons in leadership, from how to be more present to how technology is changing our worlds. A standout theme contained in this talk is our treatment of each other as humans–not just as employees, supervisors or CEOs–and the success this awareness brings.

    Here are five ideas for connecting with the people that make business run.

    1. EMPOWER THE INNER VISIONARY

    Commitment-oriented companies are proven to be successful because colleagues are treated like family, not cogs in a machine. If we want to cultivate the visionary in others, we need to attend to the whole system surrounding them.

    2. LEVERAGE TALENTS

    Just as you can’t force a flower to grow on a sidewalk, you can’t tell someone to be what they aren’t when they’re in the wrong place. Categorize your organization’s needs by what kinds of talent can fill them.

    3. ENCOURAGE AMBITION

    So you’ve curated your dream-team of visionaries–but what if they’re dreaming of their individual success, instead of the greater good? The idea is that those ambitions are what create connections: when people are working together on projects they want to do, they’ll form relationships.

    4. POWER INNOVATION

    Companies and individuals alike are pushed to reinvent or fizzle out faster than ever. Innovation isn’t an option anymore; it’s a requirement. Sustained innovation is powered by people who come together to share ideas, compare observations, and brainstorm solutions to complex problems.

    5. PRACTICE MINDFULNESS

    Rushing from task to task detaches us from our creative potential, the authors say–and isolates us from the people that make our endeavors possible. When we stop being curious, we stop being innovative, create complexity, and ultimately fail.
     



    Ideas for Leaders


    “To be a leader, first you have to be human and you have to connect with yourself before you can lead other people.” Faisal Hoque rejects the popular concept of a “life work balance,” arguing that everything in the universe is connected; therefore, we cannot be leaders at work unless we understand our identity, desires, and path in our personal lives.

    SAYWE : Faisal Hoque Keynote - “Do You Have Courage to Survive and Thrive as an Entrepreneur”


    The Transformational Triangle: Innovation, Agility, and Operational Excellence


    Keynote Speech



    Leading with Mindfulness, with Faisal Hoque

    By Faisal Hoque

    As a renowned thinker and authority in mindful leadership, Faisal Hoque is frequently invited to speak at business conferences worldwide. His books, blog, and articles on innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity, and building resilience attract readers worldwide, including many high profile CEOs. His latest book is Survive to Thrive – 27 Practices of Resilient Entrepreneurs, Innovators, And ... more

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