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Gaia Grant is an Associate Adjunct Faculty, Work-Integrated Learning Hub in the Discipline of Strategy, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship | University of Sydney Business School
She is also the MD and co-founder of Tirian International and the co-author of The Innovation Race: How to change a culture to change the game, and Who Killed Creativity?... And How Can We Get it Back? along with a number of additional books and resources.
Gaia’s breakthrough research has led to the creation of the ‘Innovation Change Leader’ (iCLi) profile measure and ‘Polar Positioning’ (PoP) tools, which identify how to lead a sustainable culture for both incremental improvement and breakthrough innovation. Her research has included intensive year-long immersion case studies, interviews, and surveys with hundreds of global innovation leaders, and surveys with thousands of other leaders internationally. Gaia’s recent white paper on “What it means to be an ambidextrous innovation leader: Developing greater agility for sustainability in a rapidly changing world” has been well received by innovation leaders globally, and her iCLi tool has been used in a broad range of contexts including by the government of Dubai, by CEO organizations in the US, and by global finance institutions along with NFPs.
With a unique ability to apply her fascinating research insights in her work, Gaia has assisted a range of clients including Google (US), JP Morgan (Asia Pacific), Visa (US), Salesforce (Asia Pacific), Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts (Canada), Citibank (Asia Pacific), Baker & McKenzie (Asia Pacific), Colgate Palmolive (Innovation Lab Central America), Deutsche Bank (Asia Pacific) and many other MNCs who can all attest to her insightful and engaging approach.
Gaia has presented engaging and often interactive keynotes at a number of high-profile events including Salesforce International Roadshow, Gartner Symposiums, Optus / Singtel national event, Worktech International Conferences, Vivid, Integrity, and the Growth Faculty Conference. Selected industry keynote and workshop presentations have included Ci Creative Innovation Conference and the Creative Problem Solving Institute at the State University of New York. She has also presented her research findings in a number of universities and at major academic forums (including the Academy of Management and the European Group of Organisation Studies Symposia).
A particular area of interest is ‘purpose-driven innovation’, and as part of this focus, Gaia has worked on a number of corporate responsibility and sustainability programs with a range of clients, including for PriceWaterhouse Coopers, YPO (Young Presidents Organisation), and IFC World Bank. She has helped to design a program for Nestle headquarters in Switzerland on how to produce sustainable innovations for emerging countries, and she worked with Duke Executive Education to help design and run a program for Google headquarters in the US on how to improve social responsibility in the local area. Additionally, she has worked on a long-term program with a government-funded organization assisting with poverty alleviation through improving agricultural techniques in Asia.
Gaia contributes to a number of major magazines and newspapers, and she has also been featured in a number of international media including BBC and ABC TV along with commercial TV, Reuters, Huffington Post, Fast Company, and the Wall St Journal.
As a dynamic husband-and-wife team, Gaia can team up with her partner and co-author, Andrew Grant. (co-author / director of Tirian). Outside of their corporate work, Andrew and Gaia have also worked on breakthrough pro bono education projects across Asia, including designing educational material that has been targeted to reach over 25 million people in developing countries worldwide.
To book Gaia Grant call Executive Speakers Bureau at 901-754-9404.
HYBRID CORE TOPICS WITH ANDREW GRANT
CREATE: Creative Thinking Fundamentals
If you’ve seen our creative thinking sessions, watched the TEDx talk or read the book: “WHO KILLED CREATIVITY?, we have now developed an online ‘Who Killed Creativity?’ gameboard. Whilst we can facilitate this, it has now been redesigned to be independently run by a leader and their team. It can be fully automated to purchase and comes complete with instructions, so anyone can use it. Great for follow-up after a keynote. This suite of programs is packaged with a CSI kinesthetic memorable theme. https://www.whokilledcreativity.com/game-board/digital/
INNOVATE: Ambidextrous Future Ready Leadership
If you’ve seen our session &/or read the book “THE INNOVATION RACE” we now have focussed on the latest management theory, “Ambidextrous Future Ready Leadership”, as this is important for sustainable long term innovation. We believe this is one of the key challenges of this year. Our research shows that the tension that innovation, change, and Covid has bought over the last year, can either fuel or frustrate innovation and growth. Leaders, therefore, will need to manage this tension to ensure the organization/team can transition to sustainable new ways of working. To bring any keynote alive and ensure participation, we have also developed an online tool called the iCLi, to assess this tension within an organization & for leaders and their teams. https://the-innovation-race.com/
Are you an Innovation Ambidextrous Leader? What the latest research reveals about how to lead for innovation
“What it means to be an ambidextrous innovation leader: Developing greater agility for sustainability in a rapidly changing world” How is it possible to deal with the challenges of constant change in order to innovate and thrive? This session includes a fascinating validated assessment and interactive exercises to help explore individual unique Innovation Change Leadership (iCLi) profiles. Gaia Grant’s latest research reveals how understanding ‘Paradoxical Innovation Orientations’ (PIOs) and applying the ‘Polar Positioning Tool’ (PoP) at the individual, team and organisation levels can assist with fuelling innovation. In this session participants learn how to manage the dynamic tension between the principles of exploration, for breakthrough new innovation ideas, and preservation, for incremental continuous improvement. They learn how to lead teams so they are propelled forward by the creative dynamic between these positions rather than ripped apart by the tension, and through this process come to appreciate the importance of becoming ambidextrous innovation leaders. Drawing from her research with thousands of survey responses, multiple interviews with heads of innovation and a deep dive case study immersions – along with fascinating case studies from her consulting work with organisations over 30 years – this session reveals how leaders can fuel sustainable development. (Academic version with White Paper also available)
The Innovation Paradox: Why so many innovations fail… and what to do about it
For many years people have believed that innovation is about by being open and taking risks. Risk takers like Steve Jobs have been venerated for their innovation accomplishments, and cutting edge companies like Google appear to be leading in the ‘innovation race’ due to their ‘open’ strategies. Yet Gaia Grant’s research from interviews with more than 70 global innovation leaders and surveys with more than 1,000 – along with our international consulting work with leading innovative companies over 30 years – has revealed that most leaders and organisations today have only half the story right. Few are set up for long term survival. This session is based on Gaia’s recent book The Innovation Race: How to change a culture to change the game and identifies the unlikely paradoxical elements needed to be ‘fit for the future’. It can include an interactive game board exercise with a global challenge and connected case studies to identify the principles for sustainable innovation. Through the session Gaia reveals her unique research findings on how to fuel innovation through successfully and dives deeper into the 4 key innovation ‘Paradox Pairings’ and the ‘Innovation Change Leader (iCLi) Profiling tool.
Who Killed Creativity?... And how can we get it back?: Identifying the key psychological blocks to creative thinking and how to deal with them
We need to be creative to be innovative. But the relentless push to innovate faster may be undermining the whole creative process. In our rush for end results, we could ironically be killing the very thing that will lead us to innovation: creativity. Recent research has revealed that creative thinking will be the most important leadership attribute in the next 10 years. Yet it has been identified that even though IQ has been on the rise, creative thinking (CQ) has been rapidly declining since the 1990s. CQ has also been found to drop over an individual’s lifespan. We are now at a point where all the design thinking strategies and innovation labs in the world won’t help a team if there are significant psychological or environmental and cultural blocks to the creative probes. This session takes the participants on a journey from the classroom to the boardroom to understand the impact of the current creativity crisis. The session covers the implications for the workplace and reveals how it is possible to develop a creative and innovative culture.
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