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Dr. Kevin Freiberg

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Author and Leadership Expert

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For over 20 years, our keynote speaker Kevin Freiberg has been profiling revolutionary business leaders in some of the world’s most innovative companies. He has successfully turned those profiles into roadmaps that help clients create their own revolutionary strategies for growth.

Best Selling Author, Leadership Expert and Professional Speaker

Razor-sharp Insights – Concrete Examples – Entertaining Stories – Incredible Energy!

This is why clients in every part of the world invite Kevin Freiberg to be their featured expert. Dr. Freiberg is on a short list of global thought leaders Fortune 1000 CEOs turn to for the kind of disruptive thinking that drives growth and gets people excited about the future.

Over 2000 companies in 60 industries across the globe have given Kevin rave reviews. ENEMY OF THE ORDINARY. His insights have helped ambitious leaders accelerate innovation, STAND OUT in a sea of sameness and build companies that are hungry for change.

Author

With over 850,000 copies sold worldwide, Kevin is an international best-selling author. His award-winning books introduce you to revolutionary leaders who have disrupted their industries:

NUTS! Southwest Airlines Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success. This international best-seller is the Freibergs first book and shows how Southwest created the greatest success story in the history of commercial aviation. Although much has been written about the worlds most successful airline, NUTS remains the most detailed, comprehensive and entertaining case study on Southwest. And, with 42 consecutive years of profitability in an industry that has traditionally skated on very thin ice, the message is still relevant for those who want to learn about creating a culture of engagement, innovation and incredible customer loyalty.

Nanovation: How A Little Car Can Teach the World to Think Big and Act Bold. This is the inside story of one of the greatest innovations in the auto industry since the Model-T. It shows how, in the face of insurmountable odds, the people of Tata Motors created the Nano, a $2500 car that disrupted an entire industry. But more than that, Nanovation is a how to on making innovation a way of lifepart of your cultural DNA. The book unpacks eight transferable lessons for driving innovation. These  insights are a road map for sustained growth and long-term business success.

BOOM! 7 Choices for Blowing the Doors Off Business-As-Usual. BOOM is about creating a culture where people dont make excuses; they make things happen. Its about ACCOUNTABILITY and creating POCKETS OF EXCELLENCE in your part of the organizationregardless of the conditions that surround you. BOOM! is a full-frontal assault on the victim mentality that pervades so many organizations. It challenges readers to step up and OWN ITown the customers experience, own cost containment, own your own job satisfaction and your ability to make a difference.

GUTS! Companies the Blow the Doors Off Business-As-Usual. In many ways a sequel to NUTS, this book highlights many companies who understand the importance of being purposeful about leadership and culture. These are companies that are winning in a way that others say, You cant do that! They have figured out how to create cultures where EVERYONE believes that innovation is their job, people declare war on the status quo, and the entire organization reaches extraordinary levels of ingenuity and productivity.

Thought Leader

Named one of the “Top 30 Best Minds on Leadership” by Leadership Excellence Magazine, Dr. Freiberg has appeared on CNBC, CBS Sunday Morning and the CBS Morning News for his views on the critical links between leadership, corporate culture, change, and innovation. He has also appeared on the television series Lessons in Excellence for CNBC India. His articles and interviews have been published in the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Washington Post, Investor’s Business Daily, India’s Economic Times, India’s Business Standard, India’s Financial Times and Capital Business & Finance Magazine of Dubai.

Partial Client List:

Dr. Freiberg has worked with some of the most admired companies in the world including: Wells Fargo, Bank of America, ICICI Bank, Credit Union National Association, Humana, Blue Cross & Blue Shield, Sharp Healthcare, Scripps Health, Busch Entertainment, MGM Resorts, Carlson Hotels Worldwide, Choice Hotels International, Infosys, Ernst & Young, KPMG, Intel Corporation, ConocoPhillips, San Francisco Giants, Major League Baseball General Managers, Sony, Tata Group, Maruti Suzuki, LTD, USAA, Allstate Insurance, Southwest Airlines, Sherwin-Williams, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Department of Interior, Clear Channel, Cox Communications, Georgia Power, Duke Solutions, Southern California Edison, Century 21, Remax, Eli Lilly, Frito Lay, Arrow Electronice, Tandus Carpet, Sprint, AT&T, and Kuwait and Gulf Link Transportation Company.

See keynotes with Dr. Kevin Freiberg

    Keynote by Speaker Kevin Freiberg

    Leadership

    • Leaders shape culture, which in turn, shapes performance and determines the ultimate financial condition of your business.
    • Leadership is a choice, not a position. If we got rid of your title would people still follow you?
    • In this theme we unpack the character strengths of great leaders and show you how these strengths play out in some of the world’s most revolutionary companies.
    • Our objective here is to help you dramatically accelerate the development of leaders at every level within your company.
    • We want to help you grow leaders who can energize and inspire others, who refuse to be held hostage by history and who have the GUTS to move your organization in bold new directions.

     

    Keynote by Speaker Kevin Freiberg

    Engagement and Culture

    • What if your company had a reputation for being the BEST PLACE, where the BEST PEOPLE, can do their BEST WORK? We’re talking serious competitive advantage!
    • You can deliver on the brand promise you make to your employees; it means creating a place where impassioned people come to work fully awake, fully engaged and committed to driving growth.
    • We’ll unpack Southwest Airlines’ crazy, yet very purposeful recipe for creating one of the most productive workforces in the world with 37 consecutive years of profitability.
    • The greatest success story in the history of commercial aviation boasts a culture in which 35,000+ people are fully committed and inspired to achieve extremely high productivity, service, safety and financial objectives.
    • This is an exciting, behind-the-scenes look into an all-American, yet globally recognized brand that will help you create your own blueprint for success.

     

    Keynote by Speaker Kevin Freiberg

    Innovation

    • Want to move innovation from a tired cliché to a powerful competitive advantage? Want to make it everyone’s job to innovate?
    • We layout the preconditions leaders must create to make innovation a way of life—a deeply embedded part of your cultural DNA.
    • Find out how the most creative companies in the world innovate BEYOND customer expectations.
    • Learn what the best leaders do to inspire ingenuity and unleash imagination—to create a place that is perpetually loaded with fresh ideas.
    • We will also take you behind the scenes and show you how, in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, the people of Tata Motors achieved the impossible by creating the Tata Nano, a 1 Lakh ($2500) car that has taken the world by storm.

     

    Keynote by Speaker Kevin Freiberg

    Service

    • Service and loyalty are the result of leadership from the inside out—the consistent, diehard execution of a “people-first” service philosophy.
    • This theme addresses the critical links between leaders who adhere to a “people-first” philosophy, turned-on, passionate employees who give something of themselves in addition to just doing the job and fiercely devoted customers who evangelistically tell your story.
    • The research is very clear. Companies known for world-class service, quality and hospitality work hard to create cultures (even in tough times) where employees feel honored and served; people truly trust and connect with each other; seamless collaboration translates into flawless execution and work is fun.
    • This theme allows you to borrow from the best and create your own “people-first” service strategy.
    • We have written about many of the most admired companies and global service brands around and we’re passionate about revealing the chutzpah and details behind their success.

     

    Keynote by Speaker Kevin Freiberg

    Loyalty – Fiercely Devoted Customers

    • We’ll share the key factors that will take you from plain vanilla consumer satisfaction to extreme customer loyalty; from simply being a vendor of choice to being a trusted advisor and a strategic partner with your clients.
    • What if your team knew more about the pressures, pain points, preferences and particular nuances of your customers than anyone?
    • What if they positioned themselves as industry experts who are better than anyone at providing relevant solutions?
    • What if they mastered the discipline of follow-up and the art of making customers feel special long after the solution is delivered?
    • Using these strategies your team can become the “go-to” people that fiercely devoted customers can’t live without and competitors can’t dethrone.

     

    Keynote by Speaker Kevin Freiberg

    Accountability

    • You learn what it takes to establish a critical mass of players who OWN IT.
    • You know the type; the shakers and movers who take initiative vs. take orders. They don’t make excuses, they make things happen.
    • They might be victims of a crummy economy, an industry in turmoil or an organization undergoing significant change, yet they refuse to be victimized.
    • Instead, they bring energy, vitality, creativity and the best of themselves to work—they are people of excellence and they create POCKETS OF EXCELLENCE.
    • You’ll get timeless choices, stories to share and actions to use immediately to create your own pockets of excellence

     

    Keynote by Speaker Kevin Freiberg

    Change

    • New business models are disrupting the old.
    • The rules of your industry are being rewritten.
    • The future is unpredictable and the pace of change continues to accelerate.
    • If you want to bebuilt to last you must be built to change.
    • The only question is: Will the changes you make be opportunity led or crisis driven?
    • This theme is about getting in the right frame of mind—one that’s hungry for change.
    • It’s about building a YES-FAST culture where people move with a sense of urgency, declare war on complacency and say “yes” to new skills, new relationships, new business models, new products and new markets.
    • You have a choice. You can lean on yesterday’s headlines and hope that what you’ve been doing will carry you into the future, or you can change.

     

    Keynote by Speaker Kevin Freiberg

    New Keynote: Leading Innovation in an Era of Uncertainty

    • Create a culture where  teams are hungry for change and inspired to find innovative ways to overcome challenges—from reducing costs, to improving quality, to collaborating with new stakeholders.
    • You will get innovation strategies for collaborating, thinking creatively, turning liabilities into assets, and finding ideas beyond your industry.
    • We include 50 gift copies of NANOVATION for each event.
10.14.2014

Interview with Dr. Kevin Freiberg

Can you describe some of the leaders you find most inspirational?

These are some of the leaders we’ve worked with. They’ve not only inspired me, but shaped my views along the way.

Ratan Tata, Chairman, India’s $70b Tata Group

We got to know Ratan during our research for Nanovation. We’ve met very few people who think as big as Ratan thinks. He is the visionary behind the $2500 Nano car. Ratan has taken a century-old, highly decentralized, highly diversified business conglomerate and turned it into an innovative global powerhouse. He is as interested as he is interesting.

Bruce Bochy, Manager, World Champion San Francisco Giants

A lifelong learner and one of the most other-oriented leaders you’ll ever meet, Bruce came to us 19 years ago as a first-year manager and said, “I’d like some help with communication strategy.” Since then we’ve worked with him on his media appearances and innovative ways to shake up his clubhouse talks. He’s always looking for new ways to draw the best out of his players. Along the way we’ve addressed his teams as well.

Herb Kelleher, Chairman Emeritus, Southwest Airlines

When we first walked into Herb’s office 25 years ago he treated us like old friends—now we are. Herb disrupted an entire industry with a radically different business model. Herb loves people, especially the people of southwest Airlines. Herb also knows that culture, defined at Southwest as: a warrior spirit, servant’s heart and a fun-loving spirit are the secrets to the company’s success. After two doctoral dissertations on Southwest and a number of consulting assignments, we locked arms to write NUTS!

Ravi Kant, vice-Chairman, Tata Motors

We met Ravi after doing a 3-day leadership retreat for Tata Motors’ executives. Ravi is the architect behind Tata’s Jaguar-Land Rover acquisition and one of the chief catalysts that drove the Nano project. He has created a culture of innovation where very young people are given the opportunity to change the world.

Jim Goodnight, Chairman, SAS Institute

Fortune Magazine named SAS a world leader in intelligence-software and the #1 best company to work for in America. Imagine working a 35-hour workweek, seeing a doctor, hitting the gym, picking up a child from daycare, getting a haircut and getting free advice on life/work balance without leaving campus.

Jim believes that when his people go home at the end of the day he must give them a compelling reason to come back the next day. He’s one of the few CEOs who has truly put his money where his mouth is on this issue.

We’ve done a number of presentations with Jim at the SAS User Conferences and contributed to SAS’s Better Management Live programs.

How do you work with clients to prepare for a presentation?

I’m not into “canned” presentations.  Here’s how I prepare:

Discovery

  • Industry. I take a deep dive into your industry, your business and the unique challenges you face. I want to know how your business/industry works. I want to know how your customers live and work and how they experience your products and services. I want to know how you take your products/services to market. And, I want to know where you are, relative to where you want to be.
  • Type of Event. Is this a customer/user event in which you want to offer a thought-provoking, stimulating message to those who do business with you? Is it an event where you are trying to get everyone in your organization on the same page, rowing in unison to deal with the changes coming your way? Or is it a recognition event for top performers to say, “thank you, we’re incredibly proud of you, but keep moving forward?”
  • Industry Research. Once I get a grip on who your audience is and what message(s) you want to convey, I will dig deeper into your industry.

In addition to the trade journals, newsletters, brochures, corporate documents, white papers, and executive speeches you provide me, I will tap into my own unique information sources to uncover the future trends and new business realities changing the face of your industry.

Deep Customization

I frequently hear clients say that they are “floored” by the level of customization I do in my presentations. Based on everything I learn in discovery, I frame the key issues and then craft a presentation with real-world examples, facts, stories, strategies and NEXT practices that are relevant to your organization and speak directly to your objectives.

As outside thought leader, I will draw connections and fresh insights from other companies in multiple industries and then help you apply these insights to discover new opportunities for disruptive innovation in your industry.

Results

By the time I walk on stage, start a seminar or open a retreat I’ve learned a lot about your business/industry, I know what is relevant to you now and I am armed with the strategies and solutions to help your audience thrive in the new realities of an ever-changing market.

I know that you have a lot of choices and ultimately take a risk when choosing an outside speaker. Will they tailor their remarks to our audience? Will they be fresh? Interesting? Relevant? Will their stories and examples “jell” with our audience? Will they challenge us in ways that we haven’t been challenged before? Will they inspire? Will they give us something we can do tomorrow?

I WILL! And I will because I want to create a presentation that works, that plays a key role in the success of your event and the long-term success of your audience.

What are some of the improvements you’ve helped make for clients?

Health Insurance. Humana asked my to participate in 10 presentations to 30,000 employees. The company is moving from a traditional health insurer to a full-blown wellness company focused on helping people not get sick. My role was to give Humana’s leaders strategies for raising the level of customer advocacy through innovation. Today, Humana’s culture looks very different than it did just three years ago. It’s engagement scores are up, it’s net promoter scores are up and people at all levels are truly committed to the company’s dream of Lifelong wellbeing for everyone.

Automotive. The top executives at Tata Motors participated in a 3-day retreat I led in India. The focus was to strengthen their leadership skills in order to create a culture where everyone sees innovation as a key part of their job. Several initiatives came out of this retreat. In their commercial truck division the company initiated a new service strategy that radically changed the service/maintenance experience for truck drivers. In the passenger vehicles area, Tata executives would say that their participation in the innovation retreat strengthened their resolve to do what no one in the auto industry had ever done—build a $2500 (USD) car.

Pharmaceutical. Elanco Animal Health, a division of Eli Lilly asked me to participate in a series of presentation designed to raise the level of accountability within the organization. Today, Elanco has become the leader in innovation among pharma companies because it transformed a culture from order-taking and people seeking permission to do creative things to one where people operate with an entrepreneurial spirit to develop new drugs.

Hospitality. I have been working with MGM Resorts International to help make innovation an integral part of the company’s DNA. MGM has 11 properties in Las Vegas, one in Macau and several being developed in the eastern part of the U.S. My presentation on innovation have led to several innovation initiatives designed to improve the guest experience and drive costs out of the business. Equally, important, MGM is now making innovation one of its top strategic initiatives.

Retail. Sony invited my wife, Jackie, and me to participate in a live simulcast to all of their stores across the United States and Canada. The purpose of the presentation was to help store managers create a culture where impassioned people owned the customer experience. In the months following this event, customer satisfaction scores improved and Sony’s retail sales went up.

What are your most popular keynote topics?

Innovate or Perish!

What if someone in your space came up with a product or service that radically outperformed yours and cost half as much? Someone is going to start a revolution that amazes your customers and disrupts your industry. And, they will define the rules by which everyone else must play the game.

Why can’t it be you?

Find out what happens in a culture where people aren’t afraid to question the unquestionable, leaders encourage risk by rewarding intelligent failure, unlikely partnerships lead to ingenuity you couldn’t achieve on your own, and designers look beyond customer imagination for what’s next.

Through real-life examples and powerful case studies, Kevin Freiberg will show your audience how the most innovative companies in the world continually load their pipelines with great ideas. He will demonstrate how limitations can be springboards to creativity and more elegant solutions.

What if you could create a culture of “constructive discontent” where everyone believes that innovation is his or her job and no one is satisfied with the status quo?

This presentation has received accolades from business leaders in companies all over the world—primarily because Dr. Freiberg demystifies innovation, clearly illustrates what innovators do that others don’t do and offers a roadmap for growth in an uncertain world.

Hungry for Change

In the future there will be two types of organizations: the quick and the dead—those that are unforgettable and those that reside in a sea of sameness, those struggling with commoditization and those that transcend price wars by competing on relationship, innovation and radical differentiation.

Think Different…

Radically different. Unforgettably distinct. Truly Original. Easily distinguished. Do these words describe your business? Products? Services? Relationship with your customers?

In a world of mimicry and “me-tooism,” you can’t be a leader by playing follow the leader. This presentation is about growing your business by finding the courage to break away in a world where there’s so much pressure to conform.

Drawing from research on companies that dare to step out of the comfort zone and do what no one else does, Dr. Freiberg will challenge your audience to: Forget about normal and think abnormal. Forget about fitting in. Think about standing out. Forget about middle of the road. Think: On the edge. Forget about ordinary. Think special.

What’s so special about being special?

Special means you are unforgettable. Special means your customers can’t live without you. Special means that if we eliminated your business tomorrow you would be missed. Special means you stop competing on price and start competing on relationship, innovation and radical differentiation. Special makes the comparison with your competitors totally irrelevant because you give your customers something they can’t get anywhere else.

Find out how gutsy, go-for-it leaders in some of the most creative companies in the world “de-commoditize” their businesses and grow. Then, build your own strategy for blowing the doors off business-as-usual!

Why would you recommend that clients use you as a speaker for their next event?

Insight • Inspiration • Impact

I will give your audience a deeper appreciation for the threats and opportunities that will shape their future. And then, show them how to accelerate innovation.

I’m an international best-selling author who has sold over one million books around the world. I’ve given over 1500 presentations in 30 countries to audiences as large as 10,000 and as small as 6-10 board of directors.

I deliver highly customized keynotes and seminars for clients who want to create awe-inspiring alternatives to the status quo.

My presentations are a forceful blend of high energy, memorable storytelling, entertaining humor, and provocative questions grounded in current research and practical insight.

See keynotes with Dr. Kevin Freiberg
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Keynote topics with Dr. Kevin Freiberg