Margaret Heffernan

Entrepreneur, TED Speaker, Business Author & Former CEO

"Margaret delivered a colourful and engaging masterclass to a sold out session here in the IMI. She discussed how deceptively small measures can have a disproportionate impact on building a strong, sustainable organisational culture. Here at the IMI, we look at successful events on the number of fronts and audience participation is key. The Q&A session with Margaret was our best yet." - David Magee, IMI, Nov 2016

 

Margaret Heffernan Business Author & Former CEO

Margaret Heffernan, TED Speaker, was born in Texas, raised in Holland and educated at Cambridge University. She worked in BBC Radio for five years where she wrote, directed, produced and commissioned dozens of documentaries and dramas. As a television producer, she made documentary films for Timewatch, Arena, and Newsnight. She designed and executive produced a thirteen part series on The French Revolution for the BBC and A&E. She also produced music videos with the London Chamber Orchestra to raise money for Unicef's Lebanese fund.

Leaving the BBC, she ran the trade association IPPA, which represented the interests of independent film and television producers and was once described by the Financial Times as "the most formidable lobbying organization in England."

In 1994, she returned to the United States where she worked on public affair campaigns in Massachusetts and with software companies trying to break into multimedia. She developed interactive multimedia products with Peter Lynch, Tom Peters, Standard & Poors and The Learning Company. She then joined CMGI where she ran, bought and sold leading Internet businesses, serving as Chief Executive Officer for InfoMation Corporation, ZineZone Corporation and iCAST Corporation. She was named one of the Internet's Top 100 by Silicon Alley Reporter in 1999, one of the Top 25 by Streaming Media magazine and one of the Top 100 Media Executives by The Hollywood Reporter. Her 'Tear Down the Wall' campaign against AOL won the 2001 Silver SABRE award for public relations.

Margaret was featured on BBC Radio 4 in Changing the Rules, which won the 2008 Prowess Media Award. She devised and led a programme for female entrepreneurs at Simmons College, one of the few all-female business schools in the United States. She continues to advise global businesses on effective global strategies and to support women’s networks and industry associations involved in diversity and inclusion. She teaches at the School of Management at the University of Bath and has been invited to speak at business schools around the world, including Harvard Business School, the Rotman School, London Business School and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. She also lectures widely at organizations as diverse as the Federal Bank of the United States, Accenture, Roche, KLA-Tencor, State Street, Khosla Ventures, Standard Chartered Bank, J.P.Morgan Chase and Procter & Gamble.

What leadership really means

In her talks and workshops Margaret Heffernan helps leaders and managers to build strong team cultures that allow for open and honest communication, innovation, collaboration, optimal employee engagement and employee retention and not least happy employees.

For decades, we’ve assumed that being a leader requires being the smartest guy - or gal - in the room. But the speed and complexity of business today means that no individual can know enough, be up to date enough and smart enough to know as much as is needed for smart choices and good decisions. That’s one reason why we work in groups. But teams have entirely different dynamics: they require skills and talents that have little (if anything) to do with IQ. They develop over time in ways that are counter-intuitive but so simple they’re routinely overlooked or underestimated. So why are some teams so much more effective than others? What does this mean for effective leadership?

 

Wilful BlindnessThe Naked Truth

Beyond MeasureWomen on Top   A Bigger Prize

 

"Margaret delivered a colourful and engaging masterclass to a sold out session here in the IMI. She discussed how deceptively small measures can have a disproportionate impact on building a strong, sustainable organisational culture. Here at the IMI, we look at successful events on the number of fronts and audience participation is key. The Q&A session with Margaret was our best yet." - David Magee, IMI, Nov 2016

"Margaret delivered a colourful and engaging masterclass to a sold out session here in the IMI. She discussed how deceptively small measures can have a disproportionate impact on building a strong, sustainable organisational culture. Here at the IMI, we look at successful events on the number of fronts and audience participation is key. The Q&A session with Margaret was our best yet." - David Magee, IMI, Nov 2016"Margaret’s contribution at our annual strategic offsite was outstanding – we could not have wished for a more thought provoking and insightful presentation. We had expected that she would hit some of the topics that we have built our change initiatives around – but little did we expect that our approaches would be this close. Our colleagues who were there also agreed with the majority rating her session as the one of the most valuable of our offsite." - Allianz Global Investors, March 2016

"The feedback for Margaret was fantastic, delegates really got a lot out of what she said, and how she said it! Content was fantastic, I think that Margaret related to the brief really well but crucially brought the fantastic external perspective that we were looking for. When it came to the panel I think that Margaret was a brilliant asset and brought a huge amount to the table." Aisling Lewis, MPD Leader, Procter & Gamble, October 2013

"I was chatting to a couple of chief executives at the end of the conference, and both unprompted commented that yours was the most stimulating session, and the one that got them thinking the most." - Joe Simpson, Principal Strategic Advisor, Local Government Association

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