Natalie Nixon

Change Management, Creativity, Innovation, Leadership

Travels from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Natalie Nixon's speaking fee falls within range:
$30,000 to $50,000

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Natalie Nixon Profile

  • Natalie is one of Real Leaders' "Top 50 Keynote Speakers in the World for 2022".

  • Author of the award-winning The Creativity Leap: Unleash Curiosity, Improvisation and Intuition at Work

  • Her firm Figure 8 Thinking, was named among the top 20 women-led innovation firms by Core 77 in 2021.
  • Natalie Nixon, PhD is “the creativity whisperer for the C-Suite”. She is a creativity strategist who advises leaders on achieving transformative business results by applying wonder & rigor. She is a highly sought after global keynote speaker, valued for her accessible expertise on creativity, the future of work and innovation.

    Natalie was selected for Real Leaders’ “Top 50 Keynote Speakers in the World for 2022″ list; and has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company and INC. She is the author of the award-winning The Creativity Leap – an honoree in the creativity category of Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards. Her firm, Figure 8 Thinking, was named among the top 20 women-led innovation firms in 2021 by Core 77. In 2022, LinkedIn launched Natalie’s course “Lead with Inquiry, Improvisation & Intuition”. Clients have included Microsoft, Salesforce, Comcast, Citrix, Morrison & Foerster, Living Cities, VaynerMedia and Bloomberg.

    A hybrid thinker, Natalie consistently applies her background in cultural anthropology, fashion, design thinking and dance. She is an early-stage investor at two social impact ventures, valued for her ability to work at the intersection of commercial value and stakeholder equity.

    Natalie is a trustee of the Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt Design Museum; Vassar College; and Leadership+Design. She has lived in Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Israel, and Sri Lanka and is proficient in Portuguese and Spanish.

    She is certified as a Foresight Practitioner by the Institute for the Future. She received her BA (honors) from Vassar College, and her PhD from the University of Westminster in London.

    When she’s not dancing up a storm in hip-hop class, Natalie is fine-tuning her salsa, foxtrot and tango on the ballroom floor. She lives in her hometown of Philadelphia with her husband, John Nixon, and is the proud stepmother of Sydney.

    Natalie Nixon Speaking Videos

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    Natalie Nixon's Speech Descriptions

    Adapt or Disrupt: Creativity's Business ROI

    Creativity is the engine for innovation. This talk builds the business case for creativity and that the best leaders are creative to their core - no matter the sector. The challenge is that creativity isn’t mentioned in the corporate boardroom because people don’t really understand what creativity is. At the end of this talk, audience members will be equipped with a simple and unique method to apply creativity as well as tips to regularly exercise creativity for strategic outcomes and business impact with their teams and clients.

    It's a Hybrid World After All: Making Innovation Stick in the Modern Office

    What exactly does "working in the office" mean in a pandemic reality world? There are lots of opportunities to reframe collaboration, teaming and leadership to yield the best innovation and meaningful work. The place to start is by applying Natalie Nixon's 3i Creativity™ framework: inquiry, improvisation and intuition. In this talk, Natalie shares examples and tactical methods to boost critical skills in our new working world of blurred boundaries.

    4 Creativity Leaps You MUST Make for The Future of Work

    We tend to talk about the future of work as a binary proposition- either”run for the hills, the robots are taking over” or “automation and ubiquitous cloud will make life easier and amazing for all!”. The 4th
    Industrial revolution is characterized by ubiquitous cloud tech, automation, and AI. This talk explores the opportunities for technology to amplify what is uniquely human vs humans getting overwhelmed by the technology. This talk takes the audience through 4 pivotal creativity leaps we must make to be prepared for the future of work.

    The WonderRigor™ Organization

    This talk explains how to set up your organization for more wonder AND more rigor. Companies are clamoring to innovate but they are not investing the time to design processes and systems for creativity. They spend too much time in the weeds and forget that creativity is the engine for innovation. It goes beyond only setting up an innovation lab or center. Creativity requires wonder and rigor and it's the catalyst for innovation.

    Soft Skills Are Hard Core

    Just as we have IQ and EQ, we also have a CQ- or a creativity quotient. This talk explores the links between creativity and leadership and how leaders with a high CQ behave, interact with stakeholders, and cocreate a strategic vision. Fundamental to the capability is developing the 3iCreativity™ framework: inquiry, improvisation, and intuition.

    The Future of Work is Jazz

    This talk explores how the most successful and flourishing companies will be ones that are adaptive and improvisational. Attendees will learn the connections between jazz improvisation and optimal organizational design. The talk will break down what improvisation is, and how to improvise more at work. It will also explain what foresight is and how any team can build this competency for more relevant strategic planning.

    What People are Saying about Seeing Natalie Speak

    Rating Entries

    “Natalie spoke to a select group of our most valued business partners and employees at our annual meeting, and she hit an absolute home run. Centered on change and what is required in a fast paced, high growth environment to adapt and thrive, Natalie was on point and impactful. As a speaker, Natalie is warm, engaging, thoughtful and funny all while having absolute command of the audience based on her background and experience in both academia and the corporate world. Virtually every attendee declared Natalie “the best hour of the entire conference!”
    – Mike Fouts, VP, Citrix

    “Natalie’s presentation on creativity was engaging, inspiring, and practical! Her framework and practical suggestions for creativity were incredibly valuable.”
    – Andrea Leszek, EVP & COO of Technology, Salesforce

    “Working with Dr. Natalie Nixon has been a true pleasure! The virtual keynote was insightful, engaging and inspirational, and the topic – “What to do when there is no playbook” – so well aligned with this moment in time. We particularly appreciated Dr. Nixon’s collaborative approach and interest in understanding our company and aligning with our global audience.”
    – Roxana Tanase, Global Early Career Program Manager, Microsoft

    “Natalie Nixon brought experience and insights to help our team focus on the incredible possibility that wonder and rigor can bring to our organization. Our entire team was energized by the session and continue to infuse her teachings in our day to day culture.”
    – Tracey Santilli, Chief Growth Officer, Tierney

    “Natalie’s talk with our team expanded the aperture of how creativity can be amplified and what we can do to enhance the creativity we foster with our professional staff. She provided tangible action steps Ansira can take to ensure we are bringing the best and most creative ideas to serve our clients.”
    – Jay Dettling, CEO, Ansira

    “As Natalie describes in her important new book, creativity requires holding both wonder and rigor in productive tension. She shared this and other actionable wisdom recently with our team at SYPartners. Natalie dismantles the idea that creativity is the domain of the few, and shows how everyone can take the creativity leap.”
    – Jessica Orkin, CEO, Sypartners

    “Natalie is a dynamic speaker and design strategist. She provided great examples and insights on bolstering creativity to my colleagues at Fjord/Accenture, during our Diverse Voices in Design virtual talk. The event received great feedback. Additionally, many of my colleagues left inspired and were excited to apply The Creativity Leap principles to their toolkit.”
    – Brandon Ball, Business Designer at Fjord

    “Natalie’s keynote on Adaptation and Disruption could not be more timely for Best Buy as we continue to evolve and iterate in the ever changing macro business environment. Her presentation was very well attended – including our CEO Corie Barry. …Most importantly the feedback we have received post keynote has been tremendous on leveraging your message of adaption and creativity. I have no doubt we will see individuals think about their work with a much more customer obsessed mindset. What an awesome start to TechCon 2020!”
    – Scott Vuong, Director of Spend Efficiency, Bestbuy

    “At KES, our mission is to inspire leaders and organizations to imagine the future, instead of reacting to it. Natalie did a superb job at that, as she provoked our client, Twitter, but also brought tangible ways in which they can exercise their creativity and improvisational skills. Looking forward to working with her again!”
    – Daphne Diamond, COO and Head of Curatorship, KES Brazil

    “Recently, Steelcase and Corporate Interiors had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Nixon on a webinar where she discussed the key themes from the research she conducted for her upcoming book, The Creativity Leap. Not only was Dr. Nixon able to engage over 40 people for an hour but she was able to relate to the audience with great storytelling and images that made us all feel as if we too had the ability to be super-creatives. She’s obviously passionate about her research and what drives human behavior and inspired us all to deeply understand ourselves and how we can all thrive in times of uncertainty and change.”
    – Keith Mcmillon, Regional Education Leader, Steelcase

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    Books by Natalie Nixon:

    The Creativity Leap: Unleash Curiosity, Improvisation, and Intuition at Work

    Too many people associate creativity solely with the arts, even though to be an incredible scientist, engineer, or entrepreneur requires immense creativity. And it’s the key to developing breakthrough products and services. Natalie Nixon, a creativity strategist with a background in cultural anthropology, fashion, and service design, says that in the fourth industrial revolution a creativity leap is needed to bridge the gap that exists between the churn of work and the highly sought-after prize called innovation.

    Nixon says that since humans are hardwired to be creative, it is a competency anyone can develop. She shows that it balances wonder (awe, audacity, and curiosity) with rigor (discipline, skill-building, and attention to detail), and that inquiry, improvisation, and intuition are the key practices that increase those capacities. Drawing on interviews with fifty-six people from diverse backgrounds–farming, law, plumbing, architecture, perfumery, medicine, education, technology, and more–she offers illuminating examples of how creativity manifests in every kind of work.

    Combining creativity tools and techniques with real-world stories of innovative people and businesses, this book is a provocation, an inspiration, and an invitation to unleash the innate creativity that lies within each of us. It offers a more dynamic and integrative way to adapt and innovate, one that allows us the freedom to access our full human selves.


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