Future of work Speaker Heather McGowan

Heather McGowan

Future of Work Strategist & Fourth Industrial Revolution Expert

In the past, people studied to learn a profession and often spent their entire careers in the same job. Today, many of us will work in numerous jobs in various industries throughout our lives. The future of work will require continuous learning. Heather McGowan is one of the leading voices on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and an expert on the Future of Work. She helps companies and organizations adapt to the Human Capital Era by empowering and engaging their workforce.

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    Heather McGowan biography

    HR speaker Heather McGowan is a thought leader and author who focuses on the future of work. She is well-known for her insights on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and is considered a leading voice in the field. In her work, she emphasizes the importance of continuous learning. And also, the need to develop the right mindset in order to thrive in a rapidly changing world. Above all, she has a unique ability to see patterns and connections that others miss.

    McGowan has held academic positions at the Rhode Island School of Design and Jefferson University. Additionally, she has extensive experience in product design, business strategy, and boutique investment banking. She has brought many products to market, ranging from consumer goods to medical and baby products.

    Before the pandemic, McGowan published a book called The Adaptation Advantage, which explores how organizations can prepare for unexpected challenges. The book is a practical and powerful guide to the future of work for leaders and employees. It explains the profound changes happening in the world of work and offers a solution: new ways of thinking about careers that detach our sense of pride and identity from our job title and connect it to our sense of purpose. By activating this sense of purpose, Heather suggests, we can motivate learning, engagement, and empowerment, leading to new forms of pride and identity throughout the workforce.

    Making this transition is not easy, and leadership speaker Heather McGowan helps audiences navigate it. She has a unique engaging speaking style that inspires and motivates audiences to think differently about their approach to work and leadership. In a world where technology is increasingly taking over routine tasks, McGowan argues that the most important leadership qualities are empathy, collaboration, and a fundamental humanness. She believes that these qualities will be essential for organizations to succeed in a rapidly changing world.

    Heather McGowan Speaking Videos

    Future of Work: Heather McGowan
    Heather McGowan - Future of Work

    Heather McGowan Keynote Topics

    The global pandemic has not only changed where work takes place, it is also altering the role work plays in our lives. The shift in leadership from Baby Boomers and Gen X to Gen X and Millennials, combined with the entry of Generation Z into the workforce, is changing the fundamental values associated with work. Labor shortages show no signs of abating, and are shifting the power balance from employers to employees. In this volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world, leaders can no longer be unquestioned experts who drive productivity through fear. The ideal leadership profile has shifted to that of a humble and curious learner who can inspire potential, help talent connect with their own internal drive, and motivate with culture, love, and belonging.

    The "factory default settings" for who works (diversity as the norm), where work takes place (home, office, anywhere, hybrid), what we do for work (exploration over routine tasks), how we lead (inspiration over fear), and why we work in the first place have all been removed. In this talk, get ready for a fast-paced and inspiring overview of the post-pandemic world, comprising an empowered and engaged workforce.

    Throughout most of history, talent was defined by the things that people could make. In the new era, talent will be defined by what people can make out of others. Research shows that human capital makes up 90% of the enterprise value of companies in the S&P 500. As we increasingly rely on technology to handle routine and predictable tasks, human talent and ingenuity will become the true competitive advantage. We have entered the era of human capital, in which humans are seen as assets to be developed rather than costs to be contained. In this talk, learn how to navigate and master this challenging but exciting new world.

    When Heather E. McGowan and Chris Shipley wrote The Adaptation Advantage in April 2020, they could not have anticipated how quickly their predictions would come to pass. The global coronavirus pandemic led to a sudden and drastic shift in work, learning, and leadership, and the predictions they made for the next three to five years were realized within the following three to five weeks.

    Companies quickly remapped their supply chains, pivoted their product lines, and transformed into distributed work-from-home organizations. Entire university and school systems adopted virtual delivery exclusively, something many had said they would never do. This new normal requires a focus on culture, purpose, trust, and psychological safety as we embark on the largest social experiment in human history. The virus has accelerated the future of work, expedited our human transformation to digital creation, and placed an even greater burden on leaders to inspire and motivate human potential. Even as the pandemic subsides, our new ways of working will remain. With Heather's strategies in place, these transformations can be for the better.

    We live in times of accelerated change driven by exponentially growing technologies paired with a hyperconnected global market economy. As a result, work tasks as we knew them in the past have become fragmented, automated, and augmented by technology. This reshaping of tasks requires that we rethink our systems of education and workforce development, our organization of work and workers, our process of talent attraction and retention (including learning and development), and even ourselves.

    In the past, we learned to work. Tomorrow, we’ll work to learn. Discover how with Heather in this stunning and actionable keynote message.

    We ask children and young people “What do you want to be when you grow up?”; we ask university students “What is your major or area of study?”; and we ask each other “What do you do for a living?”

    These questions refer to our work or aspirations at a moment in time. But that moment is becoming shorter than ever. According to research, as change rates accelerate— driven by technology and globalization— many of us will work numerous jobs from many different industries in our lifetime.

    So why do we keep limiting our definition of career to one “occupational self?”

    In order to create a society and workforce that can learn and adapt to leverage rising technological capabilities, we must free ourselves from a definition derived from one occupational self and instead define ourselves through purpose and a desire to learn and create through play.

    In this keynote, discover how to make purpose, passion, and curiosity the drivers for lifelong learning and adaptation that will make us all more prepared for the future of work— and the world.

    The only thing evolving more quickly than technology is societal and cultural change. Demographics and social and cultural norms are rapidly shifting, while social unrest has moved long-overdue efforts on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to the forefront.

    Leadership through this accelerated evolution requires acknowledging and empathizing with individuals navigating these shifts in order to help them build the resilient and adaptive skills necessary to learn and thrive.

    Brands, products, & services. Time and productivity. These are the benchmarks of the past.

    But in this hyperconnected and constantly evolving world, we can no longer focus on the outputs. It’s time for us to focus on the inputs: culture and capacity. Culture is the internal operating systems of how the organization creates value. Brand is the external expression of the culture. Brand is how your customers experience your culture. Capacity is the organization’s ability to respond to challenges.

    Discover why the companies that endure and thrive will be those that can clearly articulate and nurture their culture, while continuously expanding their capacity and being mindful of the wellbeing of their people.

    FAQs on Booking Heather McGowan

    How to book Heather McGowan as a keynote speaker?
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    How much is Heather McGowan speaking fee?
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    Can I book Heather McGowan for a virtual keynote?
    Yes, Heather McGowan is available for virtual keynotes and webinars. To book Heather McGowan for a virtual event, please complete the contact form or send us an email to inquire about the special fees for virtual engagements.