Keynote Speaker 2022

Herminia Ibarra
Charles Handy Professor of Organisational Behaviour, London Business School

Herminia Ibarra is the Charles Handy Professor of Organisational Behaviour at London Business School. She started her career in at the Harvard Business School, where she served on the faculty for 13 years before joining the INSEAD faculty in 2002.

An authority on leadership, Thinkers 50 ranks Ibarra among the top management thinkers in the world. She is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Expert Network, a judge for the Financial Times/McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award, one of Apolitica’s 100 most influential people in gender policy, a Fellow of the British Academy, and the 2018 recipient of the Academy of Management’s Scholar-Practitioner Award for her research’s contribution to management practice.

She is the author of two best-selling books, Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader and Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career. Her most recent article, The Leader as Coach, won the 2019 Warren Bennis Prize for the best leadership article in the Harvard Business Review. Ibarra writes regularly in leading academic journals and business publications including the Harvard Business Review, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, and New York Times and speaks internationally on leadership and organisational transformation.

Herminia is a governor of the London Business School. She chaired the Harvard Business School’s Visiting Committee, which reports to Harvard University’s Board of Overseers, and served on the INSEAD Board of Directors.

A native of Cuba, Ibarra received her M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University, where she was a National Science Fellow.

Live on the The ‘Luminance’ Crown Stage at 16:15, followed by an interview with Professor Stephen Mayson

In her keynote, Herminia Ibarra draws on diverse business case studies to show the leadership actions, not just at the top, but throughout the organization, that can make or break the success of our efforts to make our organizations more flexible, nimble, and innovative.

Today more than ever we need leaders who can help transform our firms – so they become more agile, more innovative, more digitally savvy, more customer-centric, more inclusive and more human. I have found that five leadership skills are vital for moving our organizations in this desired direction, increasing their people’s capacity to deal with today’s many “adaptive challenges:” situations in which problems are complex, there isn’t an obvious answer, and, the brainpower and enthusiasm of many, not just the top leaders, is needed to solve them. The five skills are:

  • Cross-cutting: Developing networks of relationships that extend & connect to a diversity of people & groups
  • Collaborating: Fostering psychological safety & collegiate candour to increase team performance
  • Coaching: Having critical conversations that develop others’ potential
  • Culture-shaping: Proactively shaping organizational culture & mindsets, including eliminating “iconic” practices that are no longer fit for purpose
  • Connecting: Growing in empathy & authentic leadership.

Developing these takes courage and curiosity because they require a significant shift from what has made many leaders successful to date.