Margaret Heffernan

International Media Executive, Entrepreneur & Best-selling Author of Willful Blindness & Women on Top

Speaker Fee Range: $50,000 - $100,000 USD

Travels From: UK

Margaret Heffernan is available for virtual keynotes and webinars. Please complete the form or contact one of our agents to inquire about the fees for virtual engagements. Please note: the fee range listed above is for in-person engagements.

Business Speaker Margaret Heffernan
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    Margaret Heffernan

    International Media Executive, Entrepreneur & Best-selling Author of Willful Blindness & Women on Top

    Speaker Fee Range: $50,000 - $100,000 USD

    Travels From: UK

    Margaret Heffernan is available for virtual keynotes and webinars. Please complete the form or contact one of our agents to inquire about the fees for virtual engagements. Please note: the fee range listed above is for in-person engagements.

    Margaret Heffernan Speaker Biography

    Dr. Margaret Heffernan produced programmes for the BBC for 13 years. She then moved to the US where she spearheaded multimedia productions for Intuit, The Learning Company and Standard&Poors. She was Chief Executive of InfoMation Corporation, ZineZone Corporation and then iCast Corporation, was named one of the “Top 25” by Streaming Media magazine and one of the “Top 100 Media Executives” by The Hollywood Reporter.

    The author of six books, Margaret’s third book, Willful Blindness : Why We Ignore the Obvious at our Peril was named one of the most important business books of the decade by the Financial Times. In 2015, she was awarded the Transmission Prize for A Bigger Prize: Why Competition isn’t Everything and How We Do Better, described as “meticulously researched… engagingly written… universally relevant and hard to fault.” Her TED talks have been seen by over eleven million people and in 2015 TED published Beyond Measure: The Big Impact of Small Changes. Her most recent book, Uncharted: How to map the future was published in 2020.

    She is a Professor of Practice at the University of Bath, Lead Faculty for the Forward Institute’s Responsible Leadership Programme and, through Merryck & Co., mentors CEOs and senior executives of major global organizations. She holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Bath and continues to write for the Financial Times and the Huffington Post.

    Margaret Heffernan Keynote Topics

    The biggest mistakes we make in life and work aren’t caused by total unknowns but by information we could have and should have but somehow manage not to have. The law calls this willful blindness because we had an opportunity for knowledge which was shirked. Examples are all around us: the banking crash, Deepwater Horizon, VW emissions, Wells Fargo, Boeing.
    There are also examples of willful blindness in which great opportunities for innovation were missed: how did Google miss social networking? Why didn’t hotels take Airbnb seriously? So what are the forces at work, in us and in corporate cultures, that allow willful blindness to flourish – and what can we do to minimize it.

    Around the world, organizations strive to develop a collaborative workforce. They know that diverse minds, working together, will see more opportunities and identify risk better. But collaboration is difficult. For the most part, we’ve been brought up to compete with each other – at school, university, for jobs – and great collaboration requires a great deal more than open plan offices. So what are the organizations that do this well and what are the routines and cultures that develop and enhance people who can work together effectively for years on end.

    We are all brought up to plan: for families, careers, businesses. But planning requires that we can forecast the future – and today that is harder than ever. Experts in prediction argue that the very best they can do is forecast 400 days out. For those less gifted, the horizon is 150 days. Most forecasts are propaganda or wishful thinking. Models fail because they leave out what later matters and history doesn’t repeat itself. So what do we do in the light of the fact that we don’t know what the future holds?

    The world is awash with forecasts and predictions about the future of work. They all contradict each other, revealing how much we don’t know about what the dynamic workforce of the future will need or look like. But there are fundamental mindsets and attitudes which will make organizations better able to be creative and responsive as the world changes. What does your company need to be trustworthy, relevant and capable of adapting to what cannot yet be seen.

    Margaret Heffernan Speaking Videos

    Margaret Heffernan - The human skills we need in an unpredictable world
    Margaret Heffernan - Why it's time to forget the pecking order at work