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Lisa Bodell is a globally recognized futurist and innovation expert. She sparks new and creative thinking at every turn. She is the CEO of futurethink, a firm that trains businesses in how to become world-class innovators. She is an award-winning author and has helped ignite innovation at the NYSE, Pfizer, Google and Lockheed Martin, to name a few.

Lisa Bodell is inspired and inspiring speaker and recently received the Top 5 Speaker Award from Speaking.com. She has made appearances on NPR and FOX News. She is an adviser to the Association of Professional Futurists as well as Novartis’ Diversity and Inclusion Board in Switzerland.

Full Profile

As a globally recognized futurist and expert on innovation, Lisa Bodell ignites new thinking at every event with high energy, humor, and audience engagement.

Lisa Bodell is an award-winning author and CEO of futurethink, an innovation-training firm that helps businesses embrace change and become world-class innovators. As a globally recognized futurist and expert on the topic of driving change, her mission is to provoke fresh thinking around what’s possible, and help people better solve problems with intentionally simple, easy-to-use tools. She has helped thousands of senior leaders ignite innovation at the New York Stock Exchange, Pfizer, Google, Lockheed Martin, and many others.

Lisa is an inspired speaker who has brought her message to over 30 countries and nearly 100,000 people each year, and she was recently awarded the Top 5 Speaker Award by Speaking.com. She is also the author of the best-selling book Kill the Company: End the Status Quo, Start an Innovation Revolution, which won the 2014 Axiom Best Business Book Award and was voted Best Business Book by USA Book News and Booz & Co. A respected thought-leader on innovation, Lisa has appeared on NPR, FOX News, and in publications such as Fast Company, The New York Times, and WIRED. She is a monthly columnist for strategy + business, and frequent contributor to Forbes and Harvard Business Review.

Lisa serves as a member of the Global Agenda Council for the World Economic Forum; an adviser on the boards of the Association of Professional Futurists; and Novartis’ Diversity and Inclusion Board in Basel, Switzerland. Among her many academic activities, Lisa has taught innovation and creativity at both American and Fordham Universities.

Lisa Bodell ON Speaking Back to top


I want to inspire people to create change; change that they truly desire.

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

BODELL: I want to inspire people to create change; change that they truly desire. Not just encourage change for shareholder value, but also really create change that simplifies their lives, simplifies their work, and simplifies things to give more value to a customer. My goal is to provide inspiration and give people simple things they can use.

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

BODELL: I love to speak. If I could be in front of Madison Square Garden every day, I would just be the happiest person on earth. But I customize all my talks. What I mean by that is I really want to understand the industry because when I go in, right off the bat, I play a game with people and I try and see how well they can determine the change in their industry.

I present some headlines from the future that may or may not be true. And by doing that, by getting people engaged in the content of statements like, "Wow, is that artificial intelligence thing in insurance really true?" or "Is that medical device in my home really true?" I can better uncover trends by doing it in the game aside way. I customize all my talks right up front and make them really interactive.

The other thing I do is I concentrate on who is in my audience, not from a demographic standpoint, but frankly, an emotional standpoint. I know, as a speaker, it's not what I tell them, it's how I make them feel. If they leave my speech not just learning something new and giving them something practical, that's fine. I'd rather have them say, they felt empowered.

Frankly, I try to make them feel a little uncomfortable, because I think that agitation creates change and that they were inspired by my words to do it. Those things make me very happy.

The organizations that benefit from my message are those that are the antithesis of fostering change. They are global multinational companies, they're complex, they're established, so, they have that status quo, and they are very regulated.

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

BODELL: The organizations that benefit from my message are those that are the antithesis of fostering change. They are global multinational companies, they're complex, they're established, so, they have that status quo, and they are very regulated.

The good news is, because change is hard and people like simple tools to really disrupt things, even small businesses like the message. But I think my message particularly resonates with the large, complex, big Fortune 500 companies, because they don't know how to do it. And my approach is kind of revolutionary to them.

My talks that help people discover the future through change. I love talking about 'killing the company,' because that's about how you actually get rid of things and create change.

SPEAKING.COM: Which keynote speaking topics are your favorite, and why?

BODELL: My talks that help people discover the future through change. I love talking about “killing the company,” because that's about how you actually get rid of things and create change. When I get to put my futurist hat on, because I'm a trained futurist, and I really get to structure their thinking about the future. This is not about what products you have, but whom you hire, and the future is not about who you are, but who you're becoming.

I show my audiences why and how change evolves over time, and it's never what they think, that's where I really get passionate, because people don't know how to think about change and the future, and I think I'm really good about bringing it down to their level, but showing it in creative ways. So I really dig talking about futurist stuff.

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

BODELL: Well, you're not going to believe this, but it was the Marlboro cowboys, and this is how this happened: I'm not a smoker, but I used to be in advertising and I worked on the Philip Morris brand, and it was my first account. And I used to go on shoots with the cowboys for different ways to do print and TV, film, then we'd be there with the horse wranglers and we'd be on these ranches that were incredible, and we came back from one of the shoots and I had to present the TV ads with the cowboys to the executives at Philip Morris, and I had never given a presentation before. My boss, I could tell, was really nervous, but I got up there and it was that moment of, I knew when I was done that I was going to be a speaker somehow in my life because when I finished, and I think people were not expecting a 22-year-old to give that speech.

I was really passionate about it; about how things were done and how we brought all this creativity together, and the message it was sending and all this other stuff. I remember one of the cowboys came up to me after all and he said, "Y'all did really good." And so that was one of those moments where I realized, "I can really do this," and I never thought about it until that moment.


Lisa Bodell Speaker Videos Back to top

Lisa Bodell: Knowledge@Wharton


In this interview, Lisa Bodell talks about the focus of her book "Kill the Company," which encourages companies to have an "out-of-company" experience and view their companies from an outsider's perspective, find its strengths and weaknesses, and identify ways to stay ahead of the market. She discusses how corporate culture and leadership affect whether a company can effect change and embrace innovation effectively. She discusses the basic tenets for making change stick within an organization: change has to come from the middle out rather than from the down, change is not a process - it's a tool kit, and big mandates aren't effective - little changes open the door for big changes.

Full TEDx Speech


Speech Excerpt


Lisa Bodell: Making an Environment for Creative Thinking


Keynote Speech Excerpt



Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


Lisa Bodell’s presentations focus on innovation and creating positive change. She helps companies get out of the status quo and reignite curiosity and creative problem solving. The key messages are that each of us is an agent of change, that change is purposeful and involves a toolkit, and that little changes can have a big effect. In fact, one program focuses solely on the details involved in making little changes: Little BIGS®, where participants will leave with concrete and actionable steps to create positive ripple effects of change in their own organizations. Lisa Bodell also talks to current and future leaders about how to ensure success for their businesses.

Our Interactive Keynote Presentations are designed to spark the imagination and address the unique needs of your audience. Topics include:

Kill the Company: End the Status Quo, Start an Innovation Revolution
Winning innovators embrace change—do you? What holds you back from better innovating, every day?

In too many organizations, we’re stuck in the land of status quo. We’ve forgotten how to think differently, and lack the simple tools to solve problems creatively. The very structures put in place to help organizations grow are now holding us back. So, it’s time to Kill the Company! This keynote is an inspirational call to arms: to start a revolution in how we think and how we work.

The key lesson of this Keynote: if we want people to approach change differently, we have to change our approach. You will learn how simplification lets us achieve more and better innovate. This can reignite critical aptitudes such as curiosity, inquiry, creative problem solving, and more.

The Keynote will bring to life the concepts presented in Bodell’s latest book, Kill the Company:

    1. Everyone is a change agent.
    2. Change involves a toolkit, not a process.
    3. Little changes can create big impact.

Bodell will introduce tangible ways to ignite innovation through the dynamic yet simple exercises in the Kill the Company Toolkit, including Kill a Stupid Rule, Killer Queries, Impossible to Possible, and many more. You will leave this Keynote with ways to eliminate needless complexity with simple, inspiring ways to make innovation happen now!

Little BIGS®: How Small Changes Create BIG Impact
Dismiss the notion that innovation requires large corporate overhauls and change initiatives. Extensive and expensive initiatives rarely work and tend to exhaust—not inspire—employees. To get people to approach change differently, we must change our approach. Instead of top-down mandates, it’s the small things—the “Little BIGS”—that ignite powerful behavior change.

The Chocolate-on-the-Pillow approach—“Little BIGS”—uses action-based tactics. When individuals and teams start leading by example, they create opportunities for people to witness and embrace positive behaviors and change firsthand. Using examples of small changes with huge ripple effects, this keynote walks participants through the bite-sized approach to revolution.

Bodell inspires audiences through real-life examples, such as the large financial services organization that created a new breed of employee and helped reset the corporate culture. Little BIGS will come to life through concepts like Kill a Stupid Rule; Outside In; Do the Unexpected; Empowerment Rules; and Get Out.

Participants will take away tangible and actionable steps to shake up their organization’s standard practices—from unproductive meetings to go-nowhere strategic planning—and result in a powerful boost to innovation. They will gain understanding of the Little BIGS that will reinvent their own organization; awaken their ability to think; and ultimately, to reinvent the future.



Lisa Bodell Speaker Testimonials Back to top

“Lisa has the winning combination you look for in a keynote speaker – she is insightful, engaging and energetic. She was the top rated speaker at two Google events and inspired our audience to start an innovation revolution.”
    Meredith Cherwony, Marketing Manager of Think Events at Google

“Lisa Bodell is one of the most outstanding presenters I have ever seen. She passionately delivers well articulated messages that engage the audience and encourage action on the part of the listener. Something tells me that many of her insights will become essential elements of our culture.”
    Duncan Niederauer, CEO, NYSE Euronext

“Lisa Bodell is one of the most dynamic and powerful keynote speakers our association has ever had. Her delivery, style, and expert content completely energized an audience of 500 and a breakout session of 50. Across the board, she was rated among the most superior keynote speakers we’ve ever had at our annual top executives’ conference. She is incredibly successful at sizing up an audience and totally tailors her speech to address the needs and concerns of an industry.”
    Libby Taylor, VP-Director of Event Planning, National Association of Confectionary Dealers

“Lisa Bodell’s presentation included excellent examples and energizing exercises that brought innovation to life. She got us to look at our business with new eyes.”
    Joan P. Lawrence-Ross, Chief Learning Officer, AXA Equitable

“Over the years, I’ve tried many innovation ‘gurus’ to educate my leadership team. Lisa is the real thing – she’s an expert that also knows how to use both presentation and learning principles to hold an audience’s attention.”
    David Owens, Director of Learning & Development, Bausch & Lomb

“Bodell made my leadership team think in new ways and helped us develop winning business ideas right in the room. My team now embraces innovation rather than fearing it.”
    Mary Fennoglio, Managing Director, Citigroup Corporate Investment Bank

“Lisa Bodell did an outstanding job in designing and facilitating an innovation workshop for our senior leaders, many of whom regarded this as the best innovation workshop they have ever been a part of. I would recommend her to any organization that is looking for clear and actionable pathways to innovation.”
    Wayne Pethrick, Director, Marketing and Consumer Insights, Pitney Bowes

“Ms. Bodell was the top presenter at our conference in terms of both content and presentation delivery. I’ve been organizing and attending events for many years and I have to say, this was the best presentation I’ve ever seen. People were inspired and couldn’t get enough of what she had to say.”
    Byron Myers, Vice President, eXL Pharma

“Ms. Bodell’s session received a 3.8 out of 4 at our Annual Meeting this year: the highest rating I’ve seen for annual meeting speakers in my 30+ year tenure with the association.”
    Jerry Van de Water, President, Paperboard Packaging Council

Selected Clients:

Bosch
Pitney Bowes
Novartis Pharmaceutical
Government of Dubai
Boehringer Ingelheim
Reed Elsevier
McGraw-Hill Companies
Citigroup
GE Commercial Finance
3M
MasterCard




Exclusive Interview with Lisa Bodell

Strategic imagination is about leaders who cannot just think how to drive forward your business today, but can actively think about who your company is becoming.
In this far-reaching interview, Lisa discusses:
  • Ways companies can reignite curiosity and creative problem solving.
  • The concept of the Chief Simplicity Officer and simplifying every aspect of an organization.
  • A simple toolkit for sparking positive change.
  • Defining a "stupid rule."
  • Skills to ensure leadership success.

  • * 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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    Lisa Bodell has been currently voted into the Top25 speakers on Speaking.com, congratulations! To help keep Lisa Bodell in the Top25, vote below:


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    “Lisa has the winning combination you look for in a keynote speaker – she is insightful, engaging and energetic. She was the top rated speaker at two Google events and inspired our audience to start an innovation revolution.”
        Meredith Cherwony, Marketing Manager of Think Events at Google

    “Lisa Bodell is one of the most outstanding presenters I have ever seen. She passionately delivers well articulated messages that engage the audience and encourage action on the part of the listener. Something tells me that many of her insights will become essential elements of our culture.”
        Duncan Niederauer, CEO, NYSE Euronext

    “Lisa Bodell is one of the most dynamic and powerful keynote speakers our association has ever had. Her delivery, style, and expert content completely energized an audience of 500 and a breakout session of 50. Across the board, she was rated among the most superior keynote speakers we’ve ever had at our annual top executives’ conference. She is incredibly successful at sizing up an audience and totally tailors her speech to address the needs and concerns of an industry.”
        Libby Taylor, VP-Director of Event Planning, National Association of Confectionary Dealers

    “Lisa Bodell’s presentation included excellent examples and energizing exercises that brought innovation to life. She got us to look at our business with new eyes.”
        Joan P. Lawrence-Ross, Chief Learning Officer, AXA Equitable

    “Over the years, I’ve tried many innovation ‘gurus’ to educate my leadership team. Lisa is the real thing – she’s an expert that also knows how to use both presentation and learning principles to hold an audience’s attention.”
        David Owens, Director of Learning & Development, Bausch & Lomb

    “Bodell made my leadership team think in new ways and helped us develop winning business ideas right in the room. My team now embraces innovation rather than fearing it.”
        Mary Fennoglio, Managing Director, Citigroup Corporate Investment Bank

    “Lisa Bodell did an outstanding job in designing and facilitating an innovation workshop for our senior leaders, many of whom regarded this as the best innovation workshop they have ever been a part of. I would recommend her to any organization that is looking for clear and actionable pathways to innovation.”
        Wayne Pethrick, Director, Marketing and Consumer Insights, Pitney Bowes

    “Ms. Bodell was the top presenter at our conference in terms of both content and presentation delivery. I’ve been organizing and attending events for many years and I have to say, this was the best presentation I’ve ever seen. People were inspired and couldn’t get enough of what she had to say.”
        Byron Myers, Vice President, eXL Pharma

    “Ms. Bodell’s session received a 3.8 out of 4 at our Annual Meeting this year: the highest rating I’ve seen for annual meeting speakers in my 30+ year tenure with the association.”
        Jerry Van de Water, President, Paperboard Packaging Council

    Selected Clients:

    Bosch
    Pitney Bowes
    Novartis Pharmaceutical
    Government of Dubai
    Boehringer Ingelheim
    Reed Elsevier
    McGraw-Hill Companies
    Citigroup
    GE Commercial Finance
    3M
    MasterCard


    Kill the Company: End the Status Quo, Start an Innovation Revolution
    In the ever-changing world of business, we′ve arrived at a point where process has trumped culture, where the race toward efficiency has made us complacent and unable to reach our potential. Stuck in the land of status quo, we′ve forgotten how to think. And the very structures put in place to help businesses grow are now holding them back. It′s time to Kill the Company.

    This book is a call to arms: to start a revolution in how we think and work. But instead of more one-size-fits-all change initiatives forced upon employees, we need to embrace smaller, positive behavioral changes that create ripple effects throughout the organization. Thinking can no longer be exclusive to the creative team or lead strategists. Rather, a culture of curiosity must be fostered among the ranks to shake up our standard practices, from unproductive meetings to go-nowhere strategic planning. This revolution can and will awaken our ability to think, and ultimately, to innovate and grow.

    In Kill the Company, innovation specialist Lisa Bodell urges companies to shift the mindset from business as usual to the company of the future, to move from what she calls "Zombies, Inc." to "Think, Inc." This involves both risk and trust: to allow all employees the opportunity and environment to be curious and inquisitive—even challenging and provocative when the situation calls for it. Too often, this type of behavior is seen as threatening, says Bodell, who has actually been told by CEOs that they discourage employees from thinking. In step with the call to Kill the Company, is a plea to kill fear, complacency, and the all-too-familiar answer from our leaders: "I can′t be bothered with your (perhaps brilliant) idea."

    Bodell also looks at how we got to Zombies, Inc., exploring how our educational system contributes to the lack of inquiry and problem-solving skills, showing how conformity is rewarded early on. She also draws from the work of such education luminaries as Sir Ken Robinson and the groundbreaking Blue School (founded by members of the Blue Man Group).

    In the end, readers of Kill the Company will have a full sense of how much riskier it is to stay here in the status quo than to break out and think.


    Our Interactive Keynote Presentations are designed to spark the imagination and address the unique needs of your audience. Topics include:

    Kill the Company: End the Status Quo, Start an Innovation Revolution
    Winning innovators embrace change—do you? What holds you back from better innovating, every day?

    In too many organizations, we’re stuck in the land of status quo. We’ve forgotten how to think differently, and lack the simple tools to solve problems creatively. The very structures put in place to help organizations grow are now holding us back. So, it’s time to Kill the Company! This keynote is an inspirational call to arms: to start a revolution in how we think and how we work.

    The key lesson of this Keynote: if we want people to approach change differently, we have to change our approach. You will learn how simplification lets us achieve more and better innovate. This can reignite critical aptitudes such as curiosity, inquiry, creative problem solving, and more.

    The Keynote will bring to life the concepts presented in Bodell’s latest book, Kill the Company:

      1. Everyone is a change agent.
      2. Change involves a toolkit, not a process.
      3. Little changes can create big impact.

    Bodell will introduce tangible ways to ignite innovation through the dynamic yet simple exercises in the Kill the Company Toolkit, including Kill a Stupid Rule, Killer Queries, Impossible to Possible, and many more. You will leave this Keynote with ways to eliminate needless complexity with simple, inspiring ways to make innovation happen now!

    Little BIGS®: How Small Changes Create BIG Impact
    Dismiss the notion that innovation requires large corporate overhauls and change initiatives. Extensive and expensive initiatives rarely work and tend to exhaust—not inspire—employees. To get people to approach change differently, we must change our approach. Instead of top-down mandates, it’s the small things—the “Little BIGS”—that ignite powerful behavior change.

    The Chocolate-on-the-Pillow approach—“Little BIGS”—uses action-based tactics. When individuals and teams start leading by example, they create opportunities for people to witness and embrace positive behaviors and change firsthand. Using examples of small changes with huge ripple effects, this keynote walks participants through the bite-sized approach to revolution.

    Bodell inspires audiences through real-life examples, such as the large financial services organization that created a new breed of employee and helped reset the corporate culture. Little BIGS will come to life through concepts like Kill a Stupid Rule; Outside In; Do the Unexpected; Empowerment Rules; and Get Out.

    Participants will take away tangible and actionable steps to shake up their organization’s standard practices—from unproductive meetings to go-nowhere strategic planning—and result in a powerful boost to innovation. They will gain understanding of the Little BIGS that will reinvent their own organization; awaken their ability to think; and ultimately, to reinvent the future.



    Lisa Bodell: Knowledge@Wharton


    In this interview, Lisa Bodell talks about the focus of her book "Kill the Company," which encourages companies to have an "out-of-company" experience and view their companies from an outsider's perspective, find its strengths and weaknesses, and identify ways to stay ahead of the market. She discusses how corporate culture and leadership affect whether a company can effect change and embrace innovation effectively. She discusses the basic tenets for making change stick within an organization: change has to come from the middle out rather than from the down, change is not a process - it's a tool kit, and big mandates aren't effective - little changes open the door for big changes.

    Full TEDx Speech


    Speech Excerpt


    Lisa Bodell: Making an Environment for Creative Thinking


    Keynote Speech Excerpt



    Why Simple Wins, with Lisa Bodell

    By Lisa Bodell

    Lisa Bodell is a globally recognized futurist and innovation expert. She sparks new and creative thinking at every turn. She is the CEO of futurethink, a firm that trains businesses in how to become world-class innovators. She is an award-winning author and has helped ignite innovation at the NYSE, Pfizer, Google and Lockheed Martin, to ... more

    Share on Google+
    Read More


    Innovative Leadership with Lisa Bodell

    By Lisa Bodell

    Lisa Bodell is a globally recognized futurist and innovation expert. She sparks new and creative thinking at every turn. She is the CEO of futurethink, a firm that trains businesses in how to become world-class innovators. She is an award-winning author and has helped ignite innovation at the NYSE, Pfizer, Google and Lockheed Martin, to ... more

    Share on Google+
    Read More