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Richard Sheridan

Richard Sheridan

    • CEO and Chief Storyteller at Menlo Innovations
    • Entreprenuer
Full Bio
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Rich Sheridan Keynote Speaker Reel

Rich Sheridan Keynote Speaker Reel

Rich Sheridan speaks on the idea that leadership can occur anywhere in an organization

Rich Sheridan speaks on the idea that leadership can occur anywhere in an organization

Richard Sheridan Speaker Biography

Rich Sheridan, CEO and Chief Storyteller at Menlo Innovations, is a successful entrepreneur and author of two best-selling books—Joy Inc.: How We Built a Workplace People Love and Chief Joy Officer: How Great Leaders Elevate Human Energy and Eliminate Fear. Rich’s passion for inspiring organizations to create their own joy-filled cultures has led him to address audiences across the world—through four continents and 18 countries (and counting) as well as throughout the United States.

What motivates Rich to speak to audiences around the world, speaking to tens of thousands of people in every setting imaginable, virtually or in-person? What does he share with his audiences that makes them jump to their feet with enthusiasm and return to their organizations on fire with inspiration? Simply this: joy. More specifically, that joy in your organization is not just possible but essential— essential to profitability, to productivity, to every measure of success.

Rich and his message of joyful leadership have been featured in press outlets ranging from Inc, Forbes and New York magazines to Bloomberg, U.S. News & World Report, NPR’s On Point podcast, NPR’s All Things Considered, and the Harvard Business Review. His videos for organizations such as Gemba Academy, VitalSmarts, and the Arbinger Institute continue to inspire audiences around the world. Rich doesn’t just talk about joy in the workplace. He lives it every day at Menlo, the custom software and consulting company he co-founded in 2001 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Since then, Menlo has received worldwide notice for its unique culture, including recognition by Denmark’s Chief Happiness Officer as one of the ten happiest places to work on the planet. Menlo has also been recognized by the Alfred P. Sloan award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility for 11 straight years and has received a lifetime achievement award for Freedom at Work from WorldBlu, as well as five revenue awards from Inc. magazine. Today people come to Menlo from all over the world, over 20,000 in the last decade, (and thousands visiting virtually since the pandemic began) — to learn about Menlo and how they can create a culture of joy in their own organizations.

Lead With Joy and Watch Your Team Fly!
Change is hard. But to create a joyful workplace, you can’t continue to lead the way you’ve always led. In this talk, Rich explores his own journey to joy, focusing on how he had to learn to lead in a completely different way and, by doing so, witnessed results that exceeded his wildest expectations. In his talk, Rich applies the analogy of flight to the teams we lead. His message is simple: when we finally understand the relevant principles (in flight or in teams), we can fly to heights and distances that were previously unimaginable. But to get there, you, as a leader, will need to create change. Serious change. And you will need to undergo your own personal evolution as well.

Drawing from his book Chief Joy Officer: How Great Leaders Elevate Human Energy and Eliminate Fear, Rich will share the personal and professional journey he has taken as a leader and invite you to join him at the vanguard of understanding what it takes to unleash the potential of the people who work for you and around you. He will explain how the longstanding and appalling disengagement statistics represent a fundamental failure of leadership and how you can reverse that trajectory in your own organization.

Finally, Rich will discuss the simple, actionable things you can do to get your teams off the ground and flying. You will come away energized and inspired to start you own journey toward leading with joy tomorrow! And you will be firmly convinced that it is within your power to do so, no matter how big your organization or how longstanding its culture.

Audience members will learn how to:
• Lead with joy
• Take concrete steps to elevate the human energy in your organization
• Change how you and your team see the role of a leader
• Turn your organization around to one that embraces action instead of meetings

Fight Fear, Embrace Change: Run the Experiment
In his timeless book, The Fifth Discipline, Peter Senge famously stated that “The only sustainable competitive advantage is an organization's ability to learn faster than the competition.”

Great quote, but how do we do that? And how do we find time to learn when we are already having trouble just keeping up? When on earth would we find time to learn?

In this talk, Rich will describe the forces at work in your organization that prevent learning. He will discuss how to eliminate a fear-based leadership model and get to one that embraces change at every turn. He will explore with you the approaches he has seen work over and over to build the sustainable systems where learning is actually built into the work itself.

Once in the habit of learning, it is a difficult force to stop. A true learning organization takes on a life of its own, and it is exciting. Your organization needs to get into this mode or you risk obsolescence.

Rich’s two decades of leading joyful teams, and his penchant for creating systems that sustain that joy will give you practical and simple takeaways for creating your own version of a joyful learning organization.

Audience members will learn how to:
• Pump fear out of the room so innovation and learning can grow
• Move from endless discussion to taking action and “running the experiment”
• Create a culture that embraces change with excitement
• Inspire your team to become a learning machine

The Joy of Agility
“We need to encourage habits of flexibility, of continuous learning, and of acceptance of change as normal and as opportunity - for institutions as well as for individuals."
Peter F. Drucker, Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Practice and Principles, 1993

In this keynote, Rich will explore the intentional joyful culture at Menlo Innovations, a company that world famous author and speaker Linda Rising calls "the most agile organization in the world." Rich will connect the dots from Peter Drucker's famous quote to the practical reality of running an actual organization that has achieved these aims.

Rich will explore the joy that results from the agility Menlo has pursued and achieved. He will recount the history of why this is important, why Menlo Innovations made joy and agility central pillars of their culture, the practices that underpin them, and the tantalizing results Menlo has achieved in the 20 years they've been in business.

Specific points will include how their software design and development firm has only had two emergencies in 20 years, how they've done this without overtime, without hierarchy and with a flexibility that is both unbelievable AND achievable. Rich will deliver very practical ideas that any organization can experiment with the day after the talk. He will also share stories of how other companies have taken these same ideas and achieved joy and agility with their teams.

Audience members will learn how Menlo:
• Reorganizes our company every week without fanfare or complaint
• Balances the current workload to avoid overtime
• Meets the needs of all customers and internal stakeholders with current staff
• Onboards new talent with ease

You will come away believing joy and agility is not only possible but essential.

Leadership Impact Through Storytelling
"Tell me the facts and I'll learn. Tell me the truth and I'll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever." - Native American proverb

In this keynote talk, Menlo Innovations CEO Rich Sheridan will live up to one of the other titles on his business card: Chief Storyteller.

Business guru Peter Drucker once famously stated that "culture eats strategy for breakfast". Rich believes that storytelling sets the table for that meal. Storytelling connects us from heart to mind, from spirit to body, from concept to reality. As a leader, learning to capture and curate important stories will help you build and maintain an intentionally joyful culture in ways that PowerPoint slides, mind-numbing spreadsheets, charts, graphs, and numbers could never do. Storytelling plays an important role in creating an intentional culture. It is a leadership tradition as old as human civilization.

Audience members will learn:
First and foremost, Rich will tell powerful stories. He will then explore why these stories and others like them matter and why the very structure of the stories themselves connect so deeply to the audience. Rich will explore how to create a storytelling culture within your company, so you don't just end up with one Chief Storyteller, but a company of storytellers. He will teach you how to be alert to the stories as they are happening in order to capture the richness of the detail that make the story interesting. He will also offer some practical advice about developing your own storytelling voice.

The payoff? If you develop a rich storytelling tradition, you will find that even your customers tell your stories to others!

Build a Workplace People Love: Just Add Joy
Endless meetings. Disengagement and burnout. Poor results. Sound familiar? Here’s the good news: It doesn’t have to be that way.

Experience the classic talk Rich has delivered to audiences around the world about how Menlo Innovations builds joy into everything it does. Take away practical ideas to bring your organization to a better place. This talk incorporates essential lessons from Rich’s first book, Joy, Inc.: How We Built a Workplace People Love. With stories and examples from Menlo’s history, Rich will share how to replace the chaos and bureaucracy all too common in organizations with an approach that leads to joy—for your team and for those they serve.

Audience members will learn how to:
• Re-energize your teams through the incredible power of shared purpose
• Build a culture of action instead of meetings
• Create consensus and get everyone on the same page
• Turn “plan” from a noun into a verb
• Replace electronic communication with something far more effective
• Use observation to gain insights into those you serve and how to delight them

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