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Jef Staes

travels from Belgium

Innovation expert, thought-leader & speaker

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About Jef

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An organisational architect and a true entrepreneur, keynote speaker Jef Staes is an expert on innovation and culture change. He confronts his audience with the challenges of the information age, offers a new vocabulary and so enables CEOs, managers, and employees alike, to start implementing solutions today.

Jef Staes is a thought leader on learning processes and innovative organizations. He has professional experience as a telecommunication expert, software developer, training manager, and corporate learning officer. Today, Jef Staes is an internationally renowned keynote speaker, guest lecturer, author, and three-time TEDx speaker. His stories and books are guaranteed eye-openers and his thoughts on the future of business and education have inspired many.

An innovation expert and architect, Jef Staes has developed a new mindset for CEOs, managers, and employees. With his ‘Engine of Innovation Mindset’, he offers organisations the answers to truly start innovating through radically changing their culture. He is the founder of the Red Monkey Company, an organization that challenges CEOs and managers to take a renewed perspective on the role of organizational culture in innovation and change. Jef Staes is also the author of several books, including the bestselling My Organisation is a Jungle (2008), which answers some of the difficult questions that managers and executives are faced with on a daily basis.

The world is changing faster and faster. The need for sustainable and disruptive innovation has never been higher. Schools, organizations, companies and regions all have to adapt to this new world and need to increase their power to learn and innovate dramatically. Today’s schools and companies, however, are not able to create the right learning and working environment that enables and energizes disruptive innovation by using passion for talents. Jef Staes’ presentations focus on the challenges and the solutions that enable organizations to make the switch to this new environment. He has the courage to discuss the fundamental challenges for organizations and education worldwide with a great sense of humor and drama. An exceptionally talented storyteller and speaker, he keeps his audiences spellbound from start to finish.

See keynotes with Jef Staes

    Keynote by Speaker Jef Staes

    Switch3D: Organizations in Search of a New Balance

    • Why do we need innovation? What has fundamentally changed in today’s world? Who will be the leaders of tomorrow? The 2D/3D-story is a classic in Jef Staes’ lectures and offers a framework to start debating innovation in your company.

    Keynote by Speaker Jef Staes

    The Red Monkey® Story

    • With his Red Monkey metaphor, Jef Staes gained national and international recognition. His popular story illustrates why so many resist change. It also presents a new innovation paradigm: A respectful conflict model.

    Keynote by Speaker Jef Staes

    3D-Managers are Heroes

    • Organizations have to adapt their management style if they want to survive as an organization. During these lectures Jef Staes focuses on the need for a new management generation and the dramatic impact on Human Resources Management.

    Keynote by Speaker Jef Staes

    No more sheeping! Time to wake up and stop following the herd

    • ‘No more sheeping’ is a confrontational manifesto against our current educational system and the way we treat talents. With daring statements and bold ideas, Jef Staes opens the floor for discussion.

Interview with Jef Staes

What is the main message that you hope audiences take away from your talks?

That times have dramatically changed. We have left a world where most of our learning had to happen at schools and was validated with diplomas. But today’s information and innovation age is challenging those paradigms. As we enter a world of information luxury, everybody with a passion for evolution and the right talents can become very valuable without the need for classic education. Today’s educational system and the organization of work are struggling with this switch.

During my talks, I speak about the direct effects this has on learning, innovation and management. But also politics, education and society will feel the impact of this new reality. Welcome to the world of disruptive innovation and social validation.

Do you have a favorite experience from your speaking career?

It took me more than 20 years to really understand what is happening. Organizational development is more complex than most people think. We have to reinvent learning and working to something completely different. For this reason, I developed a very confrontational mindset and some very powerful metaphors to explains what is coming and how we should change education and work.

The best experiences come from the audience. The moment you see in their eyes that they understand, gives so much energy that I can do this forever. I want to awake so many people that a switch to a more sustainable balance between education, work and living is no longer fiction but becomes reality.

How does humor play a part in the way you communicate with your audiences?

I couldn’t speak without humor. It is a part of me. I can be a little bit cynical too. But we need it to survive. Comedy and drama are always part of my lectures. It gives you a real connection with your audience. When they laugh or become quiet, you know you are in the groove with their brain. And when you are in the groove with your participants magic happens. Everybody learns, even me.

What do organizations stand to gain from disruptive innovation?

This answer can be very short. Survival. Everything is connected. When we reinvent education and work so people can become passionate about their talents, they will become the best version of themselves. When this happens people will have the eagerness to learn. Because of today’s information luxury, they will become far more competent then my generation.

Organization have to embrace disruptive innovation for two reasons. Firstly, they need to develop the right new services and products to survive. And secondly, without disruptive innovation we can’t create a more sustainable world. Without the use of people’s passion for their talents no disruptive innovation. Normally everybody should win.

What are your three best tips for achieving a good organizational culture?

If you want to transform your organization culture to a very disruptive innovative organization my tips are the following:

  • Your culture change process should be disruptive too. If your CEO doesn’t protect and support disruptive culture change, you don’t make a chance.
  • Never start a disruptive culture change process with every business unit. Only go with those executives who belief and understand.
  • Human Resources Management has to support the business units in their transformation with completely new HR processes. If your HR Director is not willing or able to, fire him.
See keynotes with Jef Staes
Non-binding request for Jef Staes

Send a simple request. You’ll get a quick reply with fees and availability

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Keynote topics with Jef Staes