Each of these presentations draws from the lessons of working with 25 percent of the Fortune 100 and hundreds of startup companies.

Keynote Speech: Free the Idea Monkey

…to focus on what matters most!

Do you want an innovative culture? The most innovative companies have discovered and mastered the balance between Idea Monkeys and Ringleaders to create this culture. This fun, interactive presentation has consistently rated a 9.5+ for Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). The speech is based on Mike’s book Free the Idea Monkey and shows you how to manage the healthy, essential tension between the divergent and convergent thinkers on your team. The presentation will help your people distinguish between the big idea people and the ones who make sure the most important ideas actually happen. It will celebrate the roles of each and then help your leaders understand their own strengths and weaknesses — giving each ideas on how to get the most out of themselves and the people they manage or the people who must manage them.

Key takeaways include:


  • What’s great about Idea Monkeys and Ringleaders
  • How to develop the innovator’s mindset
  • The innovation portfolio and where Idea Monkeys and Ringleaders do their best
  • Key innovation truisms that the best companies have discovered
  • Techniques to get the most out of the creatives and the operators


What do Oprah Winfrey, Elon Musk, Richard Branson and Walt Disney have in common? They are all Disruptors, which means they know how to blow sh** up for the good of the whole.

Do you?

Boxer Mike Tyson famously said, “Everyone has a plan until you get punched in the mouth.” Today, leaders are being “punched in the face” by the confluence of game-changing technology, aggressive entrepreneurs and impatient consumers. This leaves winning leaders with three choices: They can be the Disruptors themselves, partner with Disruptors, or learn how to manage Disruptors even better.

This presentation is based on Mike’s best-selling book Plan D. It is a highly entertaining talk that focuses on the unexpected, amusing and replicable superhero powers of business Disruptors. Mike will teach you how to dream, drive and deliver like the “crazy ones.”

You are working on Plan A. You are thinking about Plan B. Now it is time for Plan D.

Key takeaways:

  • The three keys to being the Disruptor—not the disrupted
  • Disruptor frameworks that you can easily “parallel engineer” (read: steal)
  • How Disruptors find a yin for their yang
  • Why Disruptors believe in ghosts (and you should too)

* This fun, interactive presentation was the second highest at the YPO Regional Couples Retreat in Telluride, Colorado. Mike finished second to a sex therapist at a couples retreat. He can live with this outcome. So can his wife.

Keynote Speech: Innovation Unstuck

Learn how and why innovation teams get stuck and proven ways to break them free. How can a sophisticated organization be so committed to a life-or-death mission — innovation — but still not achieve it? This was the innovation paradox we wrote about in our first book Brand New: Solving the Innovation Paradox.

Sadly, years later, research shows that the paradox is more pronounced today than ever. Companies are still getting stuck despite 84 percent of CEOs saying innovation is critical to their strategy (a 20 percent jump since we wrote the book). The good news is that the pattern of where and how innovation teams get stuck is predictable. Better yet, there are proven and reliable ways to get your team unstuck, accelerating innovation success in your company.

Learn how the best teams move from potential to permission to pipeline to profits.

Key Takeaways:

  • Maslow famously pointed to the hierarchy of needs that drives human behavior. Organizations have a similar hierarchy of needs specific to driving successful innovation. Learn about the 4 most critical needs and how the best leaders address each of them.
  • Learn how to manage and measure the distinctly different types of innovation.
  • Learn about the most dangerous person on your team and what to do about him or her.
  • Find out why the best Disruptors “embrace the hate to innovate”.


Today, leaders must understand how to manage constant and accelerating change. Since change is often very scary, it brings with it fear, and with fear comes drama.

Drama sucks. It sucks energy; it sucks fun; it sucks the creativity out of even the most resilient teams.

Mike’s work with teams focused on innovation led him to the breakthrough work of Steve Kerpin and David Emerald on the topic of drama. This presentation is designed to keep leadership teams, partners and couples focused on great outcomes. It gives them the awareness, frameworks and language to recognize and move quickly from complaining to creating. It will help you create a drama-free future.

You will learn:
• How to recognize drama
• Your role in drama and how to change it
• The three questions that move people from being a victim to being a creator
• How to be a better boss, parent, partner and friend

* This is a great topic for leadership retreats.

Innovation Boot Camp

Create the Leadership Culture You Need to Succeed

Is your executive team ready to lead the innovation charge? This full-day boot camp for your top executives and partners is designed to help businesses learn the proven, fundamental innovation methods that Fortune 100s use to get the most out of their people, their processes and their intellectual property. The Innovation Boot Camp is designed to jump-start your team and provide the common language, focus, tools and momentum to heighten the likelihood of success.

Key takeaways include:


  • How to use global experts to infuse outside perspectives
  • Training on the necessary, proven steps that ensure success
  • How to audit, prioritize and manage an innovation portfolio
  • Methods to consistently create bigger ideas
  • The top 10 reasons new products fail and what to do about each

Designing your business for the 21st Century

Disrupter. Creative. Empowering Speaker.

Mike can customize any speaking topic and tailor his research for your specific audience. Contact us to tell us more about your next event and how we can help.

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