Deborah Rowland brings a unique combination of experience, insight and research to the leadership of change. She has personally led change in major global organisations including Shell, Gucci Group, BBC Worldwide and PepsiCo holding both Group HR and VP of Organizational & Management Development roles. She also founded and grew a consulting firm that pioneered research in the field.
She has a double first in archaeology and anthropology from Cambridge University – which continues to inform her work – and is the co-author of Sustaining Change: Leadership That Works (Wiley, 2008) and author of Still Moving: How to Lead Mindful Change (Wiley Blackwell 2017), based on groundbreaking research into the realities of leading change.
Deborah’s personal experience is persuasive and powerful for audiences. Her insights are drawn from her academic research and writing; her consulting to boards and top teams around the world, and the trials and tribulations of having personally led change in executive roles in multinational organizations. Rigour plus relevance spiced with practical war stories from 30 years in the field.
As a speaker, Deborah Rowland, therefore, brings her whole self. The combination of her sharp mind, her deep interest in your context, and her cornucopia of personal stories about how to lead change well is hugely appealing to a wide range of audiences where leading change is a crucial issue. She creates collective audience engagement with the subject, recognising that big change only happens in groups, not through a collection of individuals.
Deborah’s approach to speaking is highly interactive and customized for each and every audience. She spends time getting to know the situation and needs of all her speaking clients – before and during the event. She truly engages with audiences. Don’t expect a long lecture full of slides.
Deborah Rowland’s take on leading change challenges conventional wisdom. Her research reveals the problematic nature of ‘managing’ change in a directive top-down programmatic way, and the greater ease and success that can be brought with a more ‘emergent’ approach to change. The reality is that in a deeply interconnected world, simple and partial solutions just don’t work. Paradoxically, systems have to change, while change starts with the self. Mindfulness has key role in being a great change leader.
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