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Todd Henry teaches leaders and organizations how to establish practices that lead to everyday brilliance. He is the founder of Accidental Creative, a company that helps creative people and teams be more productive and generate brilliant ideas.
Todd is the author of four books – The Accidental Creative, Die Empty, Louder Than Words, and Herding Tigers – which have been translated into more than a dozen languages. In 2013, Die Empty was named by Amazon.com as one of the best business books of the year. Todd’s latest book, Herding Tigers, is a practical guide for any manager tasked with leading their team to creative brilliance and has been described by Fast Company co-founder William C. Taylor as “a manifesto for a new era of leadership.”
Self-described as the “arms dealer for the creative revolution,” Todd speaks and consults across dozens of industries on creativity, leadership, and passion for work. In speeches, he combines his past experience as a creative director with the in-depth research from his four books to deliver frameworks for being a creative pro and an impactful leader of creative teams. Focusing on concrete practices that lead to sharper focus, improved productivity, and better collaboration, Todd leaves audience members not only with the importance of uncovering productive passion in their work, but also specific takeaways they can immediately implement to become more effective.
With millions of downloads, Todd’s podcast The Accidental Creative has been delivering weekly tips and ideas for staying prolific, brilliant, and healthy since 2005. He also hosts two additional podcasts – The Daily Creative, which offers a daily dose of creative inspiration with tips, ideas, and resources to help listeners do their best work, and Herding Tigers, discussing how to be the leader that creative people need. His work has been featured by many major media outlets including Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, CNN, Forbes, and Bloomberg Businessweek.
HERDING TIGERS. Leading motivated people who are doing highly creative work is a difficult challenge. In this talk, you’ll learn what talented, creative people need from every leader, the common places where leaders unknowingly stand in the way of their own team, and the handful of conversations, practices, and rituals that can set you and your team up to do its best work every day.
(This talk is based on Todd’s book Herding Tigers: Be The Leader That Creative People Need.)
Why every creative person needs both stability and challenge.
How to diagnose which your team needs more of.
The three ways that leaders forfeit trust, without knowing it.
How to establish a leadership philosophy that builds clarity and trust.
How to shape and prune your culture.
How to create an environment that talented people love to work in.
How to build a better brainstorm for clearer ideas and brilliant results.
UNLEASH YOUR BEST WORK EVERY DAY. No matter how talented and driven your team is, there is always a danger of getting stuck in ruts. You have to be mindful of some of the common areas where even the most focused and successful teams eventually trip up, and build practices to help you avoid them. In this talk, you will learn a practical process for recognizing those “watch points” organizationally, identifying personal and organizational passion areas, and ensuring that the people in your organization are bringing their best focus and energy every day.
(This talk is based on Todd’s book Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day.)
The seven “deadly sins” that lead to organizational stasis.
The three kinds of work (Mapping, Making, Meshing) you must do.
How to avoid aimlessness, especially in busy times.
Why “ghost rules” can limit your organization’s productivity.
How to identify core personal and team passion areas.
Tools for defining your team’s “battle lines”.
Tactical questions that help you avoid “busy boredom”.
HOW TO BE BRILLIANT AT A MOMENT'S NOTICE. Can you improve your odds of having great ideas when you need them most? Yes! While creative ideas can be elusive, with a few purposeful practices you can set yourself up to have great ideas, even under pressure. Learn the basics of life and work rhythm, and how to build an infrastructure that supports your personal and team creative process.
(This talk is based on Todd’s book The Accidental Creative.)
How to spot the three assassins that rob people and teams of creative firepower.
The five areas where you must build practices in order to be effective (focus, relationships, energy, stimuli, hours).
How to use challenges and “the big 3” to gain focus for yourself and your team.
The five kinds of conversations you need to have for healthy collaboration.
How to prune and manage your energy for the right priorities.
How to build a deep well of stimulus that will keep you inspired.
How to avoid the “efficiency trap” that keeps teams in stasis.
THE POWER OF AN AUTHENTIC VOICE. Your work tells tales. It speaks about you, your values, your hopes, your ambitions, and ultimately what you deem worthy of your energy and attention. The key to making your work speak loudly and resonate with others is to uncover, develop, and then bravely use a voice rooted in authenticity. In this talk you’ll discover how to develop the core drivers of an authentic, resonant voice (authenticity, uniqueness, precision, consonance, empathy, timing), and why some voices connect deeply while others simply miss the mark. You’ll also learn why your most resonant work results when you are mindful of three key factors: what you care about, what your audience cares about, and ideas already gaining momentum. Those people and teams who are brave enough to cultivate an authentic voice are impervious to cultural noise. They are the ones who change the game and resonate deeply with their intended audience.
(This talk is based on Todd’s book Louder Than Words: Harness The Power Of Your Authentic Voice.)
Why authenticity is more important now than ever for leaders and creative pros.
The three drivers of the Voice Engine (Identity, Vision, Mastery).
The six markers of resonant voices (authenticity, uniqueness, precision, consonance, empathy, timing).
How to build “dailies” that build skills and improve your ability to connect with others.
The questions that help you refine your personal passion areas.
How to define your Intended Audience, and refine your vision for serving them
The specific steps involved in cultivating empathy in your work.
THE ESSENTIALS OF COLLABORATION. Lack of effective collaboration kills teams, but it’s easier to default to old habits and familiar systems when the pressure is on. If you want to do brilliant work, you must understand why collaboration breaks down, and what to do about it. In this talk, you’ll learn how to effectively engage in conversation about process, gain a better understanding of your coworkers’ motivations and goals, and how to set yourself up for long-term success in the marketplace of ideas.
The three unhealthy dynamics that cause teams to go off the rails.
How to spot unhealthy habits and “relational residue”.
How to lead a team through a project, and establish accountability and clear expectations.
The five conversations that lead to brilliant collaboration.
How to refine the team’s focus by establishing clear challenges.
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