For two decades Polly LaBarre has used her writing and speaking to help make organizations more resilient, innovative and inspiring – and to embolden and equip leaders at every level to make a meaningful impact. Polly’s work is driven by three core questions: How can organizations change the way they change in order to become endlessly adaptable and gain an advantage over time? How do you embed innovation as a DNA level capability inside an organization? How do we unleash and organize human potential in ever more powerful ways? With her partners (including Gary Hamel) at the Management Lab (MLab), Polly works with leading organizations to make real progress on those ideas and accelerate the development and adoption of a post-bureaucratic, 21st century management model.
Polly began this exploration as a founding member at Fast Company magazine where she helped shape the remarkable success of a magazine that changed the way leaders at all levels think about working and winning. She also co-authored the bestselling book Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win which has been published in 16 languages.
The MIX (Management Innovation eXchange) is a pioneering open innovation platform launched by the MLab (and supported by institutions including McKinsey & Co, Red Hat, Gartner and the Harvard Business Review). Dedicated to making progress on the big challenge of reinventing management for the 21st century, the MIX is: a discovery engine for the most progressive management practices and ideas; an active community of in-the-trenches management innovators and change agents from around the world; and an experimental laboratory for developing and testing bold new ideas and equipping management practitioners with new principles, methods, and models. The MIX hosts the world’s leading idea contest in the field of management (the M-Prize) and an annual gathering of the vanguard of management innovators, the MIX Mashup, which Polly designs and hosts.
A popular keynote speaker, moderator/interviewer, Polly has addressed hundreds of audiences around the world – from large corporate and association gatherings to intimate top-management retreats.
A brilliant storyteller, Polly takes audiences on an inspiring journey – bringing to life the people, organizations and ideas on the fringe that are creating the future. She reveals the most practical and high-impact ways to innovate, adapt and succeed — redefining how leadership, change, innovation, collaboration, employee engagement, organizational culture, accountability, disruptive strategy are done.
Polly’s writing has appeared in numerous publications, including Fast Company, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review online and the McKinsey Quarterly. Her widely syndicated blog, Fresh MIX, delivers agenda-setting ideas about 21st-century organizations. She has also been a frequent guest on radio and television programs far and wide.
Polly is currently at work on a book about the future of management and large-scale change with Gary Hamel. She is on the board of advisors of TakingITGlobal, the leading online community for connecting and empowering young people to make a difference in the world. She is a graduate of Yale University.