Stanford Executive Briefings Library

These world-class speakers and thought leaders share their expertise and best practices for jump-starting your success and bringing your organization up to the next level.

Building a Winning Team

Jon Gordon's strategies for successfully uniting teams build on the premise that communication is key.

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Capabilities-Driven Strategy

Drawing on research, including in-depth case studies on companies such as Apple and IKEA, Paul Leinwand explains how companies can correct a flawed strategy and still create value in the market.

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Creative Confidence

David Kelley, founder and chair of IDEO, discusses human-centered “design thinking,” which requires building empathy for the end-users of whatever product, service or environment you are creating. But empathy alone is not enough. If you want to innovate routinely, you must have a process.

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Creativity: The Pixar Process

With fascinating insights about the creative process at Pixar and Disney, Ed Catmull reminds us that whatever conclusions we have drawn, we need to hold them lightly. Though they may have been right at one time, that doesn’t mean they are right today.

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Don't Just Set Prices: Manage Them Strategically

When customers reject your price, it is often thought that the price is too high. But according to Tom Nagle, this may not be true. Price levels are only the visible "tip of the iceberg" of pricing strategy. Nagle explains that in order to get customers to pay for value, you have to do more than just set a value-based price.

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Gen Y Decoded

Today’s young workers are a new breed. Socio-cultural factors, such as the self-esteem movement and ubiquitous technology, shaped a generation that thinks differently than its predecessors. Leaders that adjust their communication styles and expectations will succeed in connecting with and motivating this group. Dr. Yarrow’s tips for effectively managing Gen Y include providing context, relevance, and purpose for their work.

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Going Viral

Brand development is shifting from an advocacy marketing model (why one should buy a brand) to an ambassador model (how you can participate in the brand). Social media offers a platform that can rapidly transmit brand messaging to an audience while letting the audience participate in the message.

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Happiness Matters

Tony Hsieh discusses the different ingredients used by Zappos.com to build a long-lasting enduring brand, including the importance of customer service and company culture.

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How Great Companies Achieve Extraordinary Results with Ordinary People

Dr. Charles O'Reilly argues that the source of sustained competitive advantage already exists within every organization. O'Reilly's prescription for an overheated labor market: abandon the obsession with hiring high-priced stars, instead motivating ordinary people to build a great company and achieve extraordinary results.

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How to Think Like a Start-Up Leader

Steve Blank explains why the innovation process is so difficult in larger organizations and shares tools and processes that successful start-ups use to drive innovation.

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Infinite Reality

Virtual reality is here — what does that mean for your business? Early adopters such as Merrill Lynch, Toyota, LinkedIn and Konica Minolta are already seeing dramatic results in learning simulations, training, and marketing effectiveness. Professor Bailenson draws on his years of psychology experiments in Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab to demonstrate, in dramatic video footage, the power of virtual reality.

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Judging Talent

Hiring decisions and performance evaluations are affected by common biases, such as favoring tall or attractive candidates. Professor Flynn provides techniques for conducting objective employee evaluations.

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Leadership for Innovation

Professor Hill explains that leaders at many high-profile and innovative companies have built communities of people who are both “willing and able to innovate.” They develop willing teams by pulling people together with a shared purpose, values, and rules of engagement.

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Leadership Lessons from the Gridiron

Giving us glimpses of his experience on the field—from ignominious interceptions to come-from-behind wins—with self-deprecating humor and passion for the game, Steve Young shares his lifelong takeaways.

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Managing the Millennials

New generations entering the job market have always caused disruption for coworkers and created challenges for managers from previous generations. The Millennials now entering the job market are no different. Alec Levenson’s research of over 40,000 employees, comparing Millennials to Generation X, shows significant differences in their needs for flexibility, team cohesion, and supervisor support and appreciation.

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Negotiation: Myths, Misperceptions and Damned Lies

Professor Neale debunks common negotiation myths as she shares the results of empirical research on negotiating strategies and the process of “mutual influence” that drives negotiation.

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The Power of Persuasion

Increase your power and influence with simple, guaranteed methods you'll start using right away. In this dynamic presentation, Robert Cialdini provides fascinating insights on how to be successful in your attempts to persuade all manner of other people. This program is a "must" for managers, marketers, and manipulators of all kinds.

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Red Queen Competition: A Dynamic View of Strategy

Your job as a manager is not to come up with solutions—it is to be the architect of an organization that comes up with solutions. William Barnett explains how to see competition as an engine that generates capability. He offers ways to help you develop the strength to persevere and prosper, while others lose themselves in the struggle of just trying to keep up.

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Strategy and the Purpose-Driven Leader

In the past 25 years, thousands of articles have been written about strategy, but virtually none about the leadership vital for doing it well. Strategy has been transformed from an art to a science—but science alone is not enough. Cynthia Montgomery makes the case for bringing people back into the equation.

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Strategy for Transformational Change

When Brad Smith took over as CEO, Intuit founder Scott Cook advised him to “Question everything.” In this highly informative presentation, Smith shares secrets that have led to revolutionary new products, sky-high productivity, and a ranking on Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For.

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The Values-Based Leader

Practical advice on how to lead while staying true to your moral compass. Values-based leadership is possible for anyone to achieve, at any point in a career, by adhering to four guiding principles of behavior.

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Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers

Tackling the serious topic of stress in his famously entertaining manner, Robert Sapolsky sets the stage on a Kenyan savannah, with a hungry lion in hot pursuit of a terrified zebra. As he explains, the zebra’s fight-or-flight response channels essential energy to its survival effort by shutting down and even damaging nonessential biological functions—in a temporary, short-term response.

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