Loading content ...

Polly LaBarre

Changemaker & Management Maverick
Country: USA

Author, business consultant and speaker Polly LaBarre has worked with leaders to make their businesses innovative, resilient and inspiring for over 2 decades! Polly’s field-tested insights help organizations change the way they change! Effectively hacking the status quo to ramp up originality, invention, and game-changing disruption.

Request a Quote

Want to know more about the speaker? Our consultants are ready to provide you expert advice and information about the speaker.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Book now at: +44 (0)20 3744 5675 (UK)
Book now at: +1 347 223 5128 (US)

Build innovation into your organization’s very DNA!

Speaker Polly LaBarre shows clients how to unleash the imagination, passion, and initiative. Only when every person in your organization is inspired and passionate, is there truly innovation in your organization’s DNA.


Management Lab Co-Founder

Polly is co-founder of the Management Lab (MLab), a “think-and-do” tank dedicated to rebooting management for the 21st century.

There Polly has developed platform for changing how large organizations change. MLab runs large-scale, real-world experiments in “hacking management”. To build the deep organizational capabilities crucial for thriving in a creative, disruptive world: adaptability, innovation, and inspiration.

In addition to running global “management hackathons,” MLab has also built the Management Innovation eXchange (MIX). Which is the world’s largest community of management innovators.

Polly has traveled the world to study and work with the courageous contrarians, management mavericks, and pioneering progressives who are inventing the future of organizations and business. What she has observed about these game-changing organizations is:

  • The future belongs to the mavericks, the misfits, and the heretics daring enough to stand up to the status quo.
  • The most important work of all is inspiring, unleashing, and amplifying human creativity, passion, and resourcefulness.
  • The most winning organizations are animated by an utterly distinctive and deeply-felt point of view – a set of ideas with the power to fundamentally reshape the sense of what’s possible.
  • Work is personal. Values rule. Freedom is a bigger game than power. Nobody wins unless everybody wins.


Co-author, Mavericks at Work

Polly is the co-author of the award-winning book Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win, which was a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and BusinessWeek bestseller. Published in over 20 territories, Mavericks was a “Business Book of the Year” for the Financial Times, the Miami Herald, and The Economist. Calling the book “a pivotal work in the tradition of In Search of Excellence and Good to Great“. In addition CNN, CNBC, and GMA all created series around the book.

Polly’s writing has appeared in a variety of publications, including Fast Company, The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review online, Fortune.com, the McKinsey Quarterly, and she has served as business and innovation correspondent for CNN.  


Founding Writer, Fast Company

Early in her career, Polly was part of the founding team of Fast Company magazine. As such she played a central role in the remarkable success of the magazine. Remarkably it recast the conventional wisdom on power, competition, work, leadership, innovation, and change. As a result, the magazine introduced the world to a new universe of organizations and leaders whose management models were as distinctive as their business models were disruptive.

    Speaker Polly LaBarre Keynote Topics


    Keynote by Speaker Polly LaBarre


    How to disrupt like an insurgent   

    When the world stands still, size, strength, and stability offer an advantage. But in a world of relentless change, it’s the most creative and disruptive organizations that win. The challenge: most organizations are programmed to safeguard the status quo. So, how do you unleash your organization’s inner insurgent? How do you build a company with the drive to disrupt the status quo and the capacity to change ahead of change? Polly unpacks a set of actionable strategies drawn from her research and work inside some of the world’s most successful and innovative organizations.  Audiences learn a completely new mindset for changing the way they change.

    Keynote by Speaker Polly LaBarre


    The end of leadership as we know it

    The era of the heroic, all-knowing, all-powerful leader is over. Leadership is no longer a function of your title or where you sit in the organization. It’s a function of your capacity to get things done with other people. In this presentation, Polly shows what this actually looks like in practice at bold and successful organizations that have transformed their leadership mindset and reaped the rewards. She offers fresh and practical approaches using vivid storytelling.  You’ll walk away understanding the most important things you need to do to “leader-proof” your organization.

    Keynote by Speaker Polly LaBarre


    Creating a culture of everyday, everywhere experimentation

    Catching the future depends less on planning for what will come next and more on continuously experimenting with what could come next. In order to innovate and adapt in this creative, disruptive economy, every organization must develop the capacity (and the appetite) for experimentation and even failure. Despite the life or death stakes, this is not natural behavior for most organizations. Polly shows how the best companies today manage this. Her rich stories and practical perspectives and practices show how you can spread the mindset and methods of experimentation. Audiences leave knowing the five strategies for turning their organization into a lab for perpetual innovation.

    Keynote by Speaker Polly LaBarre

    THE HUMAN EDGE                       

    Unleashing the most powerful force in business

    For every leader unsettled by rampant disruption, unbounded competition, relentless commodification, there is a powerful antidote already inside the organization: the untapped audacity, imagination, energy, resourcefulness, curiosity, intuition, and artistry of its people. Those fundamental human qualities are the engine of the creative economy – the source of all value. And yet, too few organizations are designed to unleash, mobilize, and amplify that human edge. In this presentation, Polly takes audiences on a journey to the far front edge of organizational life and offers a look deep inside the “positive deviants” gaining advantage from their human edge. The lessons Polly draws from their success will inspire organizations looking to transform their cultures and position themselves for the future.

    Keynote by Speaker Polly LaBarre


    Make creativity a habit and become an innovator-for-life

    If you want to create the future of your organization, your industry, or your profession – there’s no better place to start than supercharging your own creative capacity. The good news: we are all born with some kind of creative genius. The tough news: as we advance through our achievement-oriented, data-driven institutions – we tend to grow out of our creativity rather than into it. In this captivating presentation, Polly will introduce the core creative mindsets and habits that set the greatest artists, inventors, and creators apart. She’ll share a wealth of strategies and portable practices to help you see more, see differently, find answers in the most unexpected places, experiment fearlessly and tap into your powerful intuition. The goal: to help you turn creativity into a way of life.

Related speakers

Polly LaBarre’s Keynote Speaking Topics