All topics are available in various formats, virtual or (when it is feasible again) in person:
Keynotes (20 minutes to 45 minutes, with optional Q&A addition)
Interactive Workshop versions (90 minutes to full-day, depending on your needs)
Board Retreat (1 hour to half-day)
Executive Education (90 minutes to full-day)
YOUR RISK FINGERPRINT: A New Way to Think about Uncertainty and Change
Is sitting still or making a bold move the bigger risk in business and life? Do you see opportunity where a colleague sees danger or vice versa? Do you look before you leap or just take the plunge? When you see an obvious problem, do you face it head on or do your best to ignore it? These questions shape every choice you make and every risk you take and identify you as distinctively as a fingerprint. Recognizing why you answer them the way you do can help you to make better decisions in your career and life. Understanding how those around you see and respond to risk will help you to better connect with your clients and collaborate with colleagues.
In this talk, you will learn about some of the surprising reasons —like what you had for lunch or the mix of people in the room— that affect how people see and respond to the risks around us, and put that knowledge to work for you. Recognize how risk stereotypes can trip you up. Understand the feedback loop between your personality and habits, your workplace culture, and the risks you can and cannot control. Finally, learn how to build on your strengths and when to turn to others to optimize your risk relationship.
“This was one of our BEST sessions. Michele was amazing, personable and engaging. The topic was so apt especially with the ever-changing environment around us.” –Corporate Client
GRAY RHINO-PROOFING YOUR ORGANIZATION
(Customized to Your Industry or Firm)
Format: Format: 1.5 hour workshop with discussion. In-person version depends on distance and public health status. Workshops can be extended to a full day, or with follow-up break-out sessions and report with actionable takeaways.
This program is perfect for:
Strategic planning teams
Career and leadership training
Teams seeking to innovate amid challenges
Gray Rhino events are highly probable, give clear warnings and have high impact. All too often, leaders fail to plan for, recognize, or respond to obvious dangers, from the personal to the organizational to the political to the global level: financial crisis, industry disruptions, failing infrastructure, the aging of the workforce, climate change and more. But it’s far from inevitable that we must ignore them. The most successful organizations are the ones that identify and confront Gray Rhino threats instead of letting themselves be trampled. This provocative talk lays out a framework for recognizing Gray Rhinos and the pitfalls and opportunities at each of their five stages, from denial to action -not just to avoid highly obvious dangers, but to see opportunities where others do not.
The audience will leave with:
- Why you’re more likely than you think to be falling short in dealing with obvious, probable risks –and how to avoid that common trap
- An understanding of the five stages of a gray rhino event
- Insights into how to move key stakeholders from denial or muddling to action
- Actionable strategies to tap into the power of your gray rhinos and turn them from danger into opportunities
Past keynotes and workshops have helped trade groups, companies, teams, and emerging leaders to recognize and prioritize their top gray rhino risks or take a deep dive on an issue identified before the session. Gray rhino theory has helped clients to strategize responses and approaches to move key stakeholders from denial to action; identify and overcome career obstacles; and understand the broader industry, macroeconomic, and policy trends affecting their options.
“I received so many warm comments from your master class. Everything from “highly relevant” and “practical” to “greatly informative and instructional” to “expert,” “right on point” and “eye-opening.” – Anthony Vlahos, ExecuNet
“I was at dinner with one of the participants last night who was explaining enthusiastically to her boss, how the session had helped her clearly see her gray rhino and what she needed to do to move forward. So the concept clearly resonated.” –Corporate Client
NEW! RISK EMPATHY FOR TEAM BUILDING
- Senior management
- Teams with new leaders or otherwise managing change
- Teams managing back-to-the-office or hybrid workplace transitions from work-at-home
Risk empathy is the ability to understand how others experience risks and adapt your own behavior to meet those needs. Just as analyzing your own risk fingerprint -that is, the influences behind the risks you take- gives you valuable insights into your own risk choices, seeking insights into the risk fingerprints of your colleagues, clients, friends, and family can be a powerful tool in business and life.The audience will leave with:
- The ability to analyze your own risk fingerprint
- Powerful questions and strategies for understanding the risk fingerprints of those around you
- Tools for building risk empathy and team building
- A understanding of the dangers of risk stereotyping and how to avoid it
This program is based on insights developed in my book YOU ARE WHAT YOU RISK: The New Art and Science of Managing an Uncertain World. Enquire about bulk book sales as part of a speaking package.
RISK SKILLS IN THE FUTURE OF WORK
The age of automation and artificial intelligence is here, with profound implications that decision makers ignore at their peril. Businesses must adapt to disruption or perish; workers must prepare for dramatic change; policy makers must provide an ecosystem to ease a difficult transition; and workers must adapt.
For one thing, experts predict that as technology takes over more takes and re-shapes the workplace, the most successful careers will involve the kinds of skills that humans possess but machines do not: strategy, empathy, teamwork, and creativity. Every single one of these is tied closely to how we view risk. Creativity and innovation are closely tied to how well a person tolerates uncertainty and ambiguity. Risk-reward calculations are central to forming strategies and making good decisions. We need empathy to understand how employees and team members feel about risk, and thus to make sure that their different profiles strengthen the team instead of feeding conflicts.
As the number of people working for themselves increases, our definition of career risks is changing. Platforms like Upwork, fiverr, AirBNB, and Lyft and Uber have supported the new freelance based “gig economy” even as traditional companies have cut back on the benefits they offer workers and turned to machines and algorithms to do work that humans once did.
”Both of your sessions were very well received by our audience and were a great success! 🙂 Book signing as well, of course!” –Corporate Client
“Many thanks to you for a fantastic presentation. The feedback and comments were all extremely positive, and it was great for our members and guests to have you provide your thoughtful and detailed overview.” –Trade Group Client
GRAY RHINOS AND GREEN SWANS: THE NEW ESG IMPERATIVE
- Policy makers
- Risk managers and business continuity professionals
Environment and climate are global, obvious, challenges with huge impact on supply chains, agriculture, property values, and finance. Yet progress in dealing with them has been painfully slow. That is changing, with huge implications for capital flows and investment strategies. Amid increasingly extreme weather and recognition that global supply chains depend on addressing climate change, calls are rising for action. Companies are waking up on environment, social, and governance (ESG) issues – not for political reasons, but because it’s a business imperative. What does the ESG rallying cry mean for your business? How do the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) fit in? How do you sound the alarm loud enough to get your company and partners on board? What are the right change metrics to follow?
The audience will leave with:
- A dynamic systems understanding of climate risks
- Tools for analyzing key stakeholders and motivating them to move from denial or muddling to action
- An understanding of the rising debate over climate risk pricing
- Actionable ideas to help you apply ESG principles to employee and customer engagement
- Insights into the dangers of greenwashing
I’ve lost count of the number of questions from reporters about the climate change gray rhino: charging right at us, but only some people are responding. Through my industry connections, I have an inside track into some of the latest developments in ESG -both positive and pitfalls. I’ve spoken to governments, companies, trade groups, and other non-governmental organizations about climate change and ESG. The flood of investment into ESG in recent months means this is a trend you cannot afford to ignore.