Travels from Alabama, USA
Sheryl Connelly's speaking fee falls within range: $30,000 to $50,000
The creative mind fueling Ford motor’s global consumer trends department, Sheryl Connelly is one of the world’s most talented futurists. She gathers and synthesizes data from multiple academic resources, identifies patterns, and discerns social, technological, economic, environmental and political trends in order to shape Ford’s product and marketing choices.
In addition to being one of Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business” (two times) and TechWeek’s Top 100 Innovators, Connelly is a master at connecting with audiences about what she does, how she does it, and how they can apply her techniques to their own sectors. Her role as a presenter in two TED events; guest lectures at MIT, Wharton School of Business, and Kellogg School of Management; and current seat on the Global Advisory Council to the World Economic Forum are all a testimony to her talent, accomplishments, and skilled style of communicating to general audiences the complex research and analysis her day job entails.
Sheryl Connelly has been serving as the in-house Futurist for Ford Motor Company for almost a decade. In this role, she tracks global consumer trends to aide in the discussion of long-term planning and strategy across the entire company, including design, product development and corporate strategy. Prior to joining the trends team, Connelly spent eight years of her 18-year career with Ford in a variety of field positions in Marketing, Sales and Service roles. Before working for Ford, she practiced law.
In addition to a Juris Doctorate, she holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s in business administration. She teaches design research at the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan. Connelly has been a guest lecturer at Massachusetts Institute for Technology, University of Michigan and Wharton School of Business and a featured speaker at TED Global. Her strategic viewpoints have been published in the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Financial Times and BBC, and she has been profiled in Automotive News, Forbes and Edmunds. Fast Company magazine named her the 24th Most Creative Person in Business in 2013.
Ford’s resident futurist, Sheryl Connelly reveals some of the biggest mistakes business leaders make when they are mapping out strategies for tomorrow. Among them she notes that while companies can easily generate plans on how “to get from here to there” or in other words, roadmaps for achieving their goals, they fail to take into consideration external factors outside their control that may just derail their entire strategy.
When it comes to predicting such scenarios, Connelly debunks the idea that we can rely on past history as an indicator for future data, noting that our modern day contains far too many unprecedented influences such as mobile phone technology and the internet. “We live in dramatically disruptive times,” she points out. “There’s no reason to think that things that happened in the past are going to serve as good guideposts for what we can expect in the future.”
Sheryl Connelly dispels common assumptions about being a “futurist” and shares some of the secrets that have made her one of the world’s leading global consumer trends analysts. She explains that contrary to popular belief, her job does not involve a crystal ball or Tarot cards, but rather hours of research, analysis, and directing discussions with corporate leaders about key decisions and strategy.
She reveals that one of the biggest errors companies commit when strategizing is relying on their strengths, which in reality are subject to market conditions and therefore prone to change. “Instead what you need to do is find ways to ask yourself: What are the things that we can’t control?” Connelly advises. “What are the things we have no influence over? How can they come together and rearrange the world as we know it?”
Confessions of a Corporate Futurist: Coming Trends that will Revolutionize Your Business
No one knows what the future holds and despite our best efforts to prepare for the unknown, the future plays out in unexpected ways. All too often the success and failure of an organization comes down to its ability to manage uncertainty and effectively identify how external – and seemingly unrelated – trends could have significant impacts to one’s business.
In this compelling keynote, Sheryl Connelly reveals her secrets for how to think like a futurist, providing audiences with the expertise and strategies necessary for effectively anticipating change. From the 10 megatrends that could change the world as we know it before the year 2050 (which is a lot sooner than it seems) to perspective that will ever change one’s approach to long-term planning and strategy, Connelly delivers the insights necessary for organizations across industry sectors to thrive, innovate, and remain relevant.
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