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Sydney Finkelstein

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Management Expert and Consultant

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About Sydney

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Keynote speaker Sydney Finkelstein is among some of the most respected management speakers. He has written the bestseller ‘Why Smart Executives Fail’ and is a popular consultant and speaker. He has worked with many large organizations and has helped explain how decision-making, leadership and management can go wrong but also how to reduce the frequency of bad decisions and poor management.

Sydney Finkelstein is the Steven Roth Professor of Management, and Associate Dean for Executive Education, at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. He teaches courses on Leadership and Strategy.  He has experience working with executives at Northwestern, Wharton, Duke, Bocconi, London Business School, Melbourne Business School, Australian Graduate School of Management, Hanoi School of Business, the Chalmers School (Sweden) and the Helsinki School of Economics.  He obtained degrees from Concordia University and the London School of Economics, and earned a Ph.D. from Columbia University in strategic management.

Professor Finkelstein is the author of 17 books and 75 articles, with several of them being bestsellers, including the #1 bestseller in the U.S. and Japan, Why Smart Executives Fail. Built upon a six-year study of 51 companies and 200 interviews of business leaders, the book identifies the fundamental reasons why major mistakes happen, points out the early warning signals that are critical for investors and managers alike, and offers ideas on how organizations can develop a capability of learning from corporate mistakes.  The Wall Street Journal called it “a marvel – a jargon-free business book based on serious research that offers genuine insights with clarity and sometimes even wit … It should be required reading not just for executives but for investors as well.”  It has also been featured in such media as the Financial TimesBusiness Week, the London Times, the Toronto Globe and MailFast CompanyAcross the Board, and Entrepreneurship, among others, and has been translated into 11 different languages. In the 2009 follow-up book, Think Again: Why Good Leaders Make Bad Decisions and How to Keep it From Happening to You, he turned his attention to such major strategic decisions as the war in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, and numerous business cases to explain why decision-makers sometimes think they’re right when they are really wrong.  The book takes up recent research and findings from the fields of neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and management to not only document why things go wrong, but also to offer a series of solutions that reduce our vulnerability to falling into the traps that lead to bad decisions.

Professor Finkelstein serves as a Fellow of the Academy of Management, and has had three books nominated for the Academy of Management’s Terry Book Award, the most prestigious such honor in the field.  His other awards include Finalist for the Academy of Management Executive Best Paper Award (2004), the McKinsey & Company Strategic Management Society Best Conference Paper Prize Honorable Mention (2002), the Best Paper Award from the Academy of Management Executive for his article “Leveraging Intellect” (1997),and many more.

Sydney Finkelstein is a recognized thought leader on leadership and strategy, and is listed in the “World’s Top 25 Leadership Gurus.” He is well known for his keynote speeches, television and other media appearances, and as a consultant and speaker for major companies around the world. He has done work with impressive organizations such as Aetna, American Express, Bank of Montreal, Barclays, Boeing, Cerberus, Chevron, Comcast, General Dynamics, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, Freddie Mac, GE, Glaxo, ING, ITT, J&J, JP Morgan Chase, Mayo Clinic, Korn-Ferry, McGraw-Hill, McKinsey, Monsanto, Morgan Stanley, Novartis, PwC, Raytheon, Roche, Rollins, Russell Reynolds, UBS, and United Technologies.

See keynotes with Sydney Finkelstein

    Keynote by Speaker Sydney Finkelstein

    SUPERBOSSES: How Exceptional Leaders Master the Flow of Talent

    • Larry Ellison. Lorne Michaels. Ralph Lauren. Robert Noyce. George Lucas. Miles Davis. And a dozen others. Business leaders and creative icons with tremendous track records who all have something else in common: they helped develop the best talent in their industries, who in turn helped them become the legendary successes they are today. Based on ten years of research and hundreds of interviews, Superbosses describes what these exceptional leaders did, and how they did it. In his keynote, Sydney will describe the “superboss playbook”, the key management practices that separate the best bosses from the merely good ones, and the pathway to becoming a better leader yourself. LinkedIn Chairman Reid Hoffman calls it “a leadership guide for the Networked Age,” while Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO of GE, says “Superbosses gives leaders a playbook to bring out the best in their people.”

    Other Topics by Speaker Sydney Finkelstein

    • Why Talent Retention Can Kill You
    • Not Built to Last, But Built to Change
    • HR Like You Never Saw It Before
    • A New Model of Leadership: Masters and Apprentices
    • The Secret to Unleashing Innovation
    • Why Smart Executives Fail
    • Why Good Leaders Make Bad Decisions
Non-binding request for Sydney Finkelstein

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Keynote topics with Sydney Finkelstein