Making smart people… People smart!
Most futurists increase your sense of panic and anxiety with dystopian images of the not-too-distant future characterised by Artificial Intelligence (AI) taking your job, algorithms hacking your most private moments and Austrian-accented cyborgs raising your children, “Get to the minivan!!!” The real issue is, trends only tell half the story. Data isn’t the answer, it’s input.
Dan Gregory is an author, speaker, futurist and social commentator. A thought leader in the field of strategic insights, Dan helps leaders and teams explore critical trends in search of opportunities, to identify the meaning behind the data and turn information into actionable strategies. In short, Dan helps you READ and LEAD change.
Rated in “the top 25 C-Suite Speakers to watch” by Meetings & Conventions USA, Dan Gregory is a captivating speaker whose business acumen is matched by a rapier wit and rare human insight gained during three years on the road working on the US and UK stand-up comedy circuits – skills put to great use in front of millions of viewers as a regular on ABC TV’s “Gruen Planet” and Channel 7’s “Masters of Spin”.
The guiding questions behind all of Dan’s work are, “What does it all mean?” and critcally, “How is it useful?” Questions that have helped him create leadership strategies for global technology firms, design performance strategies for sales teams and C-Suite executives and drive engagement strategies for organisations as diverse as Coca-Cola, Newscorp., the Royal Australian Navy and the UN in Asia.
What you will learn
Insight – [in-sahyt]
An instance of apprehending the true nature of a thing, especially through intuitive understanding. penetrating mental vision or discernment; faculty of seeing into inner character or underlying truth.
Incite – [in-sahyt]
verb (used with object), in·cit·ed, in·cit·ing, in-cite-ment.
To stir, encourage, or urge on; stimulate or prompt to action.
Trends & Insights
Explore the trends and insights presenting your industry with opportunities, challenges and threats in the worlds of:
- Communications & Technology
- Society & Culture
- Institutions & Systems
- Marketplace & Consumer Behaviour
If we assume that trends and data are just input (and we should), that makes our capacity to translate intel into insights a critical leadership skill in a world experiencing unprecedented change.
The guiding question in all of Dan’s work is, “What does it all mean?” A question that has helped him create leadership strategies for global technology firms, design performance strategies for sales teams and C-Suite executives and drive engagement strategies for organisations as diverse as Coca-Cola, Newscorp., the Royal Australian Navy and the UN in Asia.
Dan helps leaders and teams expand their cognitive bandwidth, learn how to read trends and change and future-proof their organisations and businesses.
Do more than just lead your team… lead your entire industry!
Today we need to do better than managing change, we need to lead it. Tom Peters and Abraham Lincoln are both quoted as observing that, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” This requires a suite of leadership skills including innovation, inspiration and implementation. In other words, today, if you’re not leading change, you’re not really leading at all.
Dan Helps leaders and teams disrupt their default thinking, challenge the status quo and lead the change they wish to see in the world.
On stage “Hypotheticals”
Dan relishes the role of Devil’s advocate and facilitates panels and on stage “Hypotheticals” drawing inspiration from Geoffrey Robertson’s show of the same name and Bill Maher’s HBO series “Real Time”. Typically, he sets up the premise with a 20-30 minute monologue where insights are explored, possibilities are examined, conventional wisdom is challenged and laughs are shared.
Dan tries to create the energy of “The Pitch” segment on The Gruen Transfer (Two of which he’s authored and won including “Make people like Rupert Murdoch,” while the Creative Chair at New Republique, which can be seen here). This allows opposing or various tangential views to be tabled without judgement and gives the on stage experts some meaty fodder to chew over as he challenges their thinking with probing, and often cheeky, hypothetical questions. Examples have included:
- Can aged care be made sexy? (For ACSA conference) Which led to some rather saucy on stage banter about the sex lives of the elderly.
- A woman’s place is… (For Sustaining Women in Business conference) An admittedly high risk topic for a chap!
- Can accountants be creative? (For the CPA congress) Of course, in a legal sense, not in a “deduct a family trip to Europe” kind of way.
Dan is also regularly called on to captain great debates opposing the likes of Jean Kittson, Kieran Flanagan, Marty Wilson, James O’Loughlin and other speakers with backgrounds that straddle the worlds of business and stand-up comedy.
What he loves about great debates is that, like a hypothetical, they allow for a broader discussion of an issue, challenge or opportunity. The real difference is that great debates are a format that allows us to stretch an audience’s understanding and insight by exploring the absolute extremes (not necessarily personal points of view) of an issue in a non-threatening and entertaining way. This is particularly useful when the issue or conference theme might be considered contentious, political or even controversial.
The process starts with a conversation with the events and leadership team to explore what the real challenge is, where there might be blindspots or biases and the outcomes they’d like to achieve in terms of the conversations they’d like the debate to initiate. It also involves meeting with and coaching Dan’s team (and occasionally the opposition) so that the arguments are compelling, thought provoking and spirited.
Some examples of past great debates include:
- Should the government be able to access our data? (For the Australian Cyber Security Conference) - Dan argued for YES
- The world’s out of control - can we do anything about it? (For Macquarie Bank) - Dan argued for the NO team
- Is innovation actually a good idea? (For Meetings & Events Australia) - Dan argued for YES
Workshops & Facilitation
Insights into Performance
- For leaders needing greater self-awareness and team insights
- For teams seeking new perspectives on their strengths, weaknesses, biases and blindspots
- For managers who want to lift engagement & performance
Insights into Influence
- For sales people searching for a persuasive advantage through empathy mapping
- For marketers aiming to supercharge their engagement strategies
- For professionals wanting to better understand their customer’s and client’s behaviour and decision making
Insights into Branding
- For leaders who want to stand out in their industries
- For professionals looking to build their personal brands, professional fame and thought leadership
- For teams looking to create a positive brand experience at every touch point of the customer journey
Insights into Change
- For organisations overwhelmed by what’s changing around them
- For leaders wanting a better process for mapping trends, reading change and producing actionable insights
- For teams and industries who feel left behind by new innovations and at the mercy of disruption
Insights into Strategy
- For executive teams and boards needing to step change their strategy
- For senior leaders wanting to get beyond default solutions
- For management teams looking to learn sense-making tools, explore opportunities, identify blindspots and execute more effective strategies.
More information about each of Dan's workshops can be found on his website.