Scott Sonenshein is the Henry Gardiner Symonds Professor of Management at Rice University. He holds a PhD from the University of Michigan, along with degrees from the University of Cambridge and University of Virginia. He has spoken in front of a wide variety of audiences of all sizes including executives, health care providers, teachers, students, engineers, and professionals. As a leading scholar, award winning researcher, and gifted speaker, he translates cutting edge research into actionable insights to help organizations and people meet their goals.
For a listing of upcoming and past events, visit the events page.
Potential Speaking Topics
Stretching: The Art of Doing More with What You and Your Company Already Have
Conventional wisdom says that the more resources we have—bigger budgets, larger teams, or more experience—the more we can do. In this keynote, Scott Sonenshein challenges this belief with over a decade of original research, spanning everything from Fortune 500 companies to budding entrepreneurial ventures. The key to building more successful organizations, he argues, doesn’t come from pursuing more. It comes from expanding the value of existing resources. Using studies and stories, Sonenshein shows that organizations that survive and thrive have one thing in common: they act resourcefully, taking however little, or even how much, they have, and creating even greater value with it. His message is uplifting, illuminating, and personal, and perfect for understanding organizations both large and small.
Realizing Your Own Ambitions through Resourcefulness
What does the condition of our lawns tell us about our most important endeavors in life—how to build businesses, launch careers, or even raise families? It turns out quite a lot. Drawing from his wealth of scientific studies in the past decade, Scott Sonenshein shows that our strong desire to keep up with others—our colleagues’ work titles and budgets, our friends’ accomplishments, and even our neighbors’ green grass—has put us on a destructive path that makes us ultimately less successful and satisfied. He explains how to redirect the energy spent chasing after what others have to realizing our own goals and dreams. Using research interwoven with stories, he explains why the most important skill to navigating life’s challenges is resourcefulness—getting the most out of what’s already in hand.
Unlocking Hidden Resources to Make Organizational Change Successful
Although organizations frequently need to change, they usually fall short of their goals. Too often change initiatives get sidetracked by resistance and other roadblocks that are easily preventable. Drawing from over a decade of researching and teaching organizational change, Scott Sonenshein shows how to transform resisters into resources and how to unpack hidden ideas, talents, and other resources to make any change effort successful. He explains the critical role of expectations, how to avoid the “dunce cap” and techniques for identifying outsiders within your organization to generate the best ideas for implementing change.
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