Nigel Barlow

  • Leading Authority on Innovation, Creativity and Leadership

Nigel Barlow is one of the world's dynamic business speakers. His focus is on Practical Innovation applied to Culture Change, Leadership, Strategy, Customers, and The Future. He has worked in over 30 countries in most sectors of industry, and for some of the world's greatest companies, including: AbbVie, Apple Education, Danone, Hewlett Packard Printing, Lilly, Microsoft, Nestle, and Vodafone. He was a founding director of the Tom Peters Consulting business in Europe, and runs his own international consultancy. Until recently, he was an Associate Fellow at Oxford University's Said Business School, focusing on innovative change.

 

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Rave Reviews About Nigel Barlow
I would really like to thank you for your excellent work on Saturday. So far, I've received many, many comments on how great the session was. You really exceeded our best expectations.

A Sample of the Groups That Have Hosted Nigel Barlow
  • Project Management Institute
  • Lexus GB
  • BMS Pharmaceuticals
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Nordea Finance
  • CIGNA Health International
  • ICA
  • Karlof Kommunikation for Vattenfall AB
  • Grey International Advertising Agency
  • Microsoft
Creating a customer legend | London Business Forum [1:13:04] - Get Sharable Link
Explore Nigel Barlow's Talks
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The Mind of a Disruptor

Why Disruption? Disruption is the outcome, Innovation the process. What it really means to disrupt: definitions and real-life examples. Can you avoid being disrupted? The trap of mindset. Technology as the Enabler. Not all disruptions are digital – apps, algorithms or AI – but these are likely to be ...

Why Disruption? Disruption is the outcome, Innovation the process. What it really means to disrupt: definitions and real-life examples. Can you avoid being disrupted? The trap of mindset.

Technology as the Enabler. Not all disruptions are digital – apps, algorithms or AI – but these are likely to be at the heart of your transformation. Technology as more than machine: art, craft, skill, and ingenuity.

Key Characterisitics of a Disruptor:

  • Contrarian. Going against the grain. Subverting the accepted and expected.
  • Curious. Open to what’s really going on. Learning from the frontiers of wisdom.
  • Creative. Making new connections, and bringing your ideas to fruition.
  • Courageous. Risk-taking and boldness. Going beyond the naysayers and yes-butters.
  • Collaborative. Making unusual and useful alliances. Finding complementary souls.
  • Customer Canny. Knowing when to listen and when to ignore the voice of the customer.
  • Compelling. Inspiring others to innovate. Living your vision. Drawing talent to you.

 

Build Your Garage. Creating the environment and focus for practical innovation. Creating ‘Garagistas’ who carry the torch for relentless innovation.

Healthy Paranoia. How this new value can be useful in provoking creativity and action to avoid being disrupted.

Storying Your Future. Describing your disruptive future in story form – an antidote to dull vision statements.

Style of Session. Inspiring, practical and tailored to your specific Disruption Challenges, whether these are technological, commercial, or organizational. Treat the ingredients above as a menu that can be shaped to fit your transformation agenda.

The Mindset of an Innovator: Building your company garage

Innovative and disruptive thinking is high on the wish list of most organisations. But what does it really take to break boundaries in thinking, create novel solutions, and transcend business as usual? That’s what this keynote answers. Key topics include:           A possibility mindset Beginner’s ...

Innovative and disruptive thinking is high on the wish list of most organisations. But what does it really take to break boundaries in thinking, create novel solutions, and transcend business as usual? That’s what this keynote answers.

Key topics include:          

  • A possibility mindset
  • Beginner’s mind in practice
  • Prototyping and risk-taking
  • Activating your curiosity gene
  • Silo-free thinking and agile teamwork
  • Creating a ‘garage space’ for innovation

This lively, interactive session explores how we all have a mindset – and what to do about it. Given that most people don’t have their best ideas in a traditional office block, we also take a look at organisations that have created their own spaces for innovation, equipping their talent with innovative tools to transform the organisation. Be prepared to disrupt yourself!

Inventing the Future with the power of creative storytelling

Effective storytelling is clearly a means to enhance the power and impact of communications and presentations. But beyond that it can also help teams and organisations visualise the transformation needed to shape a more successful future. Here’s a dynamic way to bring your vision and strategy to lif ...

Effective storytelling is clearly a means to enhance the power and impact of communications and presentations. But beyond that it can also help teams and organisations visualise the transformation needed to shape a more successful future. Here’s a dynamic way to bring your vision and strategy to life.

Key topics include:          

  • The power of stories in a data-driven world
  • The leader’s story: ways to build a culture
  • Inventing the future – how stories beat vision statements
  • Methods for sustaining attitudinal and behavioural change
  • Unleashing your team’s creativity
  • Tips for living your inspiring story
  • Alchemy and wizardry – stories and transformation

Realising that your enterprise is an unfolding story, in which you and your people are the heroes, makes a positive difference to performance. Invent the Future is an inspiring and practical way to realise that you can write your own script – rather than the one you’ve inherited from history.

A World Divided - Is digital to blame?

We seem to be more divided than ever. Brexiteer or adamant remainer, for Trump or anti, #metoo or believe the guys are having a hard time of it, immigration as necessary or to be prevented, straight or gay, pro life or for freedom to choose? Our world has polarised into myriad pairs of opposites. Bi ...

We seem to be more divided than ever.

Brexiteer or adamant remainer, for Trump or anti, #metoo or believe the guys are having a hard time of it, immigration as necessary or to be prevented, straight or gay, pro life or for freedom to choose?

Our world has polarised into myriad pairs of opposites. Binary yes/no, fake/real and me/you thinking is prevalent everywhere.

Although we can’t say for sure that the tsunami of digitalisation is causing this dangerous splintering of viewpoints, there’s certainly a strong correlation: at the very least, digital communication amplifies and accelerates difference and opposition. As we carry on obliviously liking and disliking all we see, we may be reducing our minds to their most basic elements, an endless chain of O’s and 1’s. Binary brains, with all the divisiveness, separation and fixed mindsets that inevitably follow.

Now I am not suggesting a return to analogue. The digital cat is long out of the bag, and will only continue its advance, at least while we crave convenience, cost and immediacy above all other considerations. What is needed is a dose of straightforward, analogue thinking for insight on how to balance too much of the polarised, binary option. 

‘Wars begin in the minds of men’ are wise words from the United Nations Charter, but far too little has been done to work on the level of the mind and arrest the causes of unnecessary conflict. At the very least, we have to pursue a deepened knowledge of how to perceive otherness – unfamiliar ideas and faces – without rejection, premature judgement or stereotyping.

We need to move beyond ‘referendum thinking’. It’s a numbers game that’s a facsimile of real democracy, and only amplifies division and ranting across the debate room floor. No-one is happy with the result, not even the supposed winners.

Churchill was prescient when he remarked that ‘The empires of the future are empires of the mind’. How we think determines how we act, divided or united.' 

In this lecture we will dissect and explore myriad facets that have contributed to our state of division, and how we may change it.

Practical Innovation

Does your business feel like a powerhouse of innovation? The answer to this question depends greatly on your leaders’ mindset, energy levels, and quality of attention, and the kind of behaviour they inspire and reward. Nigel’s work focuses on what it takes to create a culture of innovati ...

Does your business feel like a powerhouse of innovation? The answer to this question depends greatly on your leaders’ mindset, energy levels, and quality of attention, and the kind of behaviour they inspire and reward. Nigel’s work focuses on what it takes to create a culture of innovation.

Fanatical About Talent

It's the inspiration and commitment of your people that gives your business competitive edge. So what can you do to attract, retain, and develop the best talent? This keynote or interactive event challenges the notion of cheque book recruitment. ...

It's the inspiration and commitment of your people that gives your business competitive edge. So what can you do to attract, retain, and develop the best talent? This keynote or interactive event challenges the notion of cheque book recruitment.

Creative Leadership

Nigel's work on Creative Leadership gives individuals 'Aha Moments' about the impact of their own style, then moves swiftly from insight to action: inspiring the behaviour in leaders that inspires creative change in their own organizations. ...

Nigel's work on Creative Leadership gives individuals 'Aha Moments' about the impact of their own style, then moves swiftly from insight to action: inspiring the behaviour in leaders that inspires creative change in their own organizations.

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Biography

Nigel Barlow is one of the world’s most dynamic business speakers. He focuses on creativity and innovation applied to leadership, business strategy, customers, and the future. Nigel has helped many of the world’s leading organizations on every continent to rethink their lives and businesses. He is adept at working with multi-national groups, and he has worked with an A - Z of the world’s greatest companies.

He was a founding director of the Tom Peters consulting business in Europe and now runs his own international consultancy. Until recently he was an Associate Fellow at the Saïd Business School focusing on Innovative Change. Keynote presentations, strategic offsites, and organizational transformation projects are the basis of his work.

Nigel is an author, an agent provocateur, and business rocker, favouring the after-lunch spot as a suitable challenge to wake people up. He also facilitates creative retreats with top teams, helping them to rethink whatever they are stuck on.

The power principle behind Nigel’s latest book, Business Rocks – Music to Spark Innovation, is that by playing with what's familiar we can innovate, make breakthroughs, and literally invent the future.

Rethink: How to Think Differently (Capstone) draws on Nigel’s experience, successes, and failures. Whether you’re wanting to rethink your life situation, relationships, personal creativity, or a new business idea, Rethink is designed to provoke your creative self into coming up with the answer you already have inside you. 

Nigel’s first book was Batteries Included!: Creating Legendary Customer Service (Random House). Successful service brands like Lexus have adopted his theme of becoming legendary for the experience they give their customers; Nigel helped them to win the coveted J D Power Gold Award in the UK. Tom Peters says of Batteries Included, “Nigel Barlow’s book is simple brilliant! Is there anything left to say about superior customer service? The answer is obviously a resounding ‘yes’. This book proves it!”

Nigel lives in Oxford, England, and Heathrow Departures Lounge – the majority of his business is international.