Margaret Heffernan

CEO, Entrepreneur, Huffington Post Columnist and Author

  • Margaret Heffernan`s Keynote Speaker Fee This reflects Margaret Heffernan`s U.S. Speaking Fee

    $40,001 - $50,000

  • Languages Spoken

    English

  • Travels From

    United Kingdom (UK)

  • Margaret Heffernan`s Keynote Speaker Fee This reflects Margaret Heffernan`s U.S. Speaking Fee

    $40,001 - $50,000

  • Languages Spoken

    English

  • Travels From

    United Kingdom (UK)

Suggested Keynote Speaker Programs

Willful Blindness

The biggest mistakes we make in life and work aren’t caused by total unknowns but by information we could have and should have but somehow manage not to have. The law calls this willful blindness because we had an opportunity for knowledge which was shirked. Examples are all...

The biggest mistakes we make in life and work aren’t caused by total unknowns but by information we could have and should have but somehow manage not to have. The law calls this willful blindness because we had an opportunity for knowledge which was shirked. Examples are all around us: the banking crash, Deepwater Horizon, VW emissions, Wells Fargo, Boeing.

How does this happen? But there are also examples of willful blindness in which great opportunities for innovation were missed: how did Google miss social networking? Why didn’t hotels take Airbnb seriously? Examples abound. So what are the forces at work, in us and in corporate cultures, that allow willful blindness to flourish – and what can we do to minimize it.

Using a wide array of real life examples, Margaret Heffernan dissects the causes of this ubiquitous phenomenon and identifies how we can all see better.

Willful Blindness: How we ignore the obvious at our peril was shortlisted for the FT Best Business Book award and was described as “one of the most important books of the decade.” Dr Heffernan has talked about this work to organizations as diverse as
healthcare, financial services, schools, government bodies, pychologists, engineers and designers.

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Collaboration: A Bigger Prize

Around the world, organizations strive to develop a collaborative workforce. They know that diverse minds, working together, will see more opportunities and identify risk better. But collaboration is difficult. For the most part, we’ve been brought up to compete with each ...

Around the world, organizations strive to develop a collaborative workforce. They know that diverse minds, working together, will see more opportunities and identify risk better. But collaboration is difficult. For the most part, we’ve been brought up to compete with each other – at school, university, for jobs – and great collaboration requires a great deal more than open plan offices. So what are the organizations that do this well and what are the routines and cultures that develop and enhance people who can work together effectively for years on end.

A Bigger Prize won the Transmission Prize in 2015 for the great communication of important ideas. Dr Heffernan has talked about this work to broadcasters, sports teams, large and small corporations, universities and business schools.

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Uncharted: How to think About an Unpredictable Future

We are all brought up to plan: for families, careers, businesses. But planning requires that we can forecast the future – and today that is harder than ever. Experts in prediction argue that the very best they can do is forecast 400 days out. For those less gifted, the ...

We are all brought up to plan: for families, careers, businesses. But planning requires that we can forecast the future – and today that is harder than ever. Experts in prediction argue that the very best they can do is forecast 400 days out. For those less gifted, the horizon is 150 days. Most forecasts are propaganda or wishful thinking. Models fail because they leave out what later matters and history doesn’t repeat itself. So what do we do in the light of the fact that we don’t know what the future holds?

Companies that don’t want to be stuck in incrementalism do experiments, testing what the future could look like. In doing so, they find options and opportunities no amount of planning would surface. Imaginative scenarios of possible futures build a more robust culture and reveal possibilities. Institutions like CERN show how it is possible to run successful organizations even when mired in uncertainty and ambiguity. Artists build work that remains vital and meaningful across generations; we can learn from them. Survivors of existential crisis show the capabilities we must hold in reserve. In an age of uncertainty, preparedness is a more productive mindset than planning.

Uncharted is being published in February 2020 in the UK and September 2020 in the US. Be prepared….

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Human Work

The world is awash with forecasts and predictions about the future of work. They all contradict each other, revealing how much we don’t know about what the dynamic workforce of the future will need or look like. But there are fundamental mindsets and attitudes which will ...

The world is awash with forecasts and predictions about the future of work. They all contradict each other, revealing how much we don’t know about what the dynamic workforce of the future will need or look like. But there are fundamental mindsets and attitudes which will make organizations better able to be creative and responsive as the world changes. What does your company need to be trustworthy, relevant and capable of adapting to what cannot yet be seen.

This talk derives from all of Dr Heffernan’s major work around collaboration, creativity, curiosity and the need for organizations of all kind to stay connected to the societies they serve.

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About Keynote Speaker Margaret Heffernan

Margaret Heffernan’s Key Accomplishments Include . . .
Margaret Heffernan is an entrepreneur, Chief Executive and author. She was born in Texas, raised in Holland and educated at Cambridge University.

The former CEO of five businesses, she explores the all-too-human thought patterns – like conflict avoidance and selective blindness – that lead managers and organizations astray.

Margaret Heffernan began her career in television production, building a track record at the BBC before going on to run the film and television producer trade association, IPPA. In the United States, Heffernan became a serial entrepreneur and CEO in the wild early days of web business and was named one of the “Internet’s Top 100” by Silicon Alley Reporter in 1999.

Margaret’s book, Wilful Blindness, was shortlisted for the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs best business award in 2011; in 2015 the FT chose it as one of the best business books of the decade.  Additionally, Heffernan’s new book commission by TED, is called Beyond Measure and will be released May 2015.  In addition to writing books, Heffernan blogs for the Huffington Post and BNET and is a Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship at Simmons College in Boston and the Executive in Residence at Babson College.

More About Speaker, Margaret Heffernan . . .

Margaret Heffernan is a Trustee of the London Library and sits on the Council of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and in the UK as well as one the boards of several private companies.

She was featured on television in The Secret Millionaire and on BBC Radio 4 in Changing the Rules, which won the 2008 Prowess Media Award. She has had three plays broadcast by the BBC and in 2011 was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Bath.

She is married with two children.

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