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Global strategist on intergenerational leadership


A specialist in disruptive strategy, a private company director and advocate for social and economic inclusion, Holly Ransom is recognized globally for her super-human ability to synthesize and simplify complex issues, and create engaging, thought-provoking conversation.

Current Work:

An in-demand keynote speaker, Holly breaks open obscure technical language and ambiguous challenges to ignite inclusive debate and drive pragmatic responses. Having presented over 500 sessions across six continents in the past three years to corporate, public and not-for-profit audiences, Holly brings high energy and a strong new voice to the topics of leadership, culture and innovation.

As founder and CEO of renowned consulting firm Emergent, Holly has partnered with clients such as P&G, Microsoft, Virgin, Cisco and across all levels of government to catalyse new strategic thinking, build innovative workplace cultures and to help leaders prepare for the employment, consumer and community challenges created by the rapid evolution of both technology and society. A 2019 Fulbright Scholar and Harvard Kennedy School Class of ‘21 fellow, Holly is currently undertaking a Master of Public Policy with a focus on how we drive better decision-making when it comes to technology’s impact on humanity.

Named one of Australia’s 100 Most Influential Women by the Australian Financial Review, Holly has delivered a Peace Charter to the Dalai Lama, interviewed Barack Obama on stage and was Sir Richard Branson’s nominee for Wired Magazine’s ‘Smart List’ of Future Game Changers to watch in 2017. In 2019 she was awarded the US Embassy’s Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Leadership Excellence.

Identified early as a dynamic leader by the Australian Prime Minister, Holly was asked to Co-Chair the G20 Youth Summit in 2014, the United Nations Coalition of Young Women Entrepreneurs in 2016, and is the youngest Director to have been appointed to an Australian Football Club. Holly attributes her bias for action and intense curiosity to a childhood in which answers always warranted further questions!

Talking Points

The New Trust Landscape

Trust is the social glue that holds our institutions, businesses, media and societies together but it’s under an unprecedented attack- with trust hitting an all-time low. But this isn't the age of distrust - far from it. A new world order is emerging; who and how we trust is shifting, dramatically and quickly, and we’re moving to an age of distributed trust where reputation has never mattered more. It’s critical for leaders to understand how to remain effective in this new landscape and to be aware of trusts role in human relationships, innovation and society.

This presentation will examine the change in the ‘trust landscape’ and the adaptions businesses need to make to position for a competitive advantage. This talk will unpack three core components of any trust equation: how has it broken; what can we do to build it; and what can we do to rebuild it when it’s dented? Examining companies and organizations who’ve successfully adapted to the new trust landscape, and examining the role of technology, robots and algorithms in our evolving trust conversation.

Influence for Impact

We live in a communication age, and we’ve got to be able to engage effectively in that environment t; record short attention spans, a saturated and noisy landscape and an increasingly sophisticated audience. However, According to an HBR study, 91% of employees say their leaders’ communication style limits the effectiveness of their leadership, and the Independent Directors Council research says miscommunication costs business $62 million annually.

This presentation is centred on building the communication toolkit of the leaders in the room through storytelling, psychology and engagement theory. We’ll unpack the techniques of some of the world’s leading communicators, get our heads around effective change theory and empower the leaders in the room to position messages in a way that builds cultural momentum around their ideas.

Change is Inevitable But Growth is Intentional: Turning Innovative Ideas into Action

Research has shown, persistently for two decades, that 90% of companies fail to execute their strategy due to poor execution, and McKinsey data tells us that 70 percent of organisational change efforts fall short of desired results. Against the backdrop of a world and business landscape that is changing at a greater velocity than ever before, we need to continually evolve the way that we work and lead so we can continue to achieve excellence.

This talk will explore best practice on leading change and executing ideas. Specifically, this presentation will focus on empowering leaders to be able to build their own change roadmap- from framing the messaging and building cultural momentum around ideas, to approaches to ensure ideas get executed.

Leadership is an Inside Job

We spend around $14 billion annually on leadership development programs and yet, as a Boston Consulting Group report highlighted, because these programs aren’t building competencies that are linked to core, relevant business outcomes, a lot of that investment is wasted. Additionally, while we might have ditched roadmaps for Google maps, but when it comes to work and leadership, we’re still teaching, and relying on, a 20th-century handbook- that’s proving ineffectual in the face of present-day challenges.

This talk is all about evolving leadership thinking and development for the present-day reality. Over the course of this presentation, we’ll examine the core development fundamentals necessary to be a leader of impact, unpacking the three core areas of mindset, method and mastery. Topics explored include ‘dilemma flipping’, ‘extreme listening’, ‘habit hacking’, ‘readiness discipline’ and ‘getting comfortable being uncomfortable’, and the audience will be exposed to case studies from how these techniques and approaches are being employed by leading-edge individuals and organisations.

The Pillars of Peak Performance (and how to drive them in your organisation

At the present rate of change 75% of the SAP 500 incumbents will disappear by 2027- with the rate of change and volume of new market entrants, it’s never been harder to remain at the top for an extended period. We have extensive data points (from workforce engagement falling, to skill relevancy declining and trust bottoming out) but we’ll still be relying on leadership approaches that ‘are the way we’ve always done it’. We need a new approach to mindset, method and mastery that’s geared for the reality of the 21st-century organisations and all their challenges.

A great talk to be paired with ‘Leadership is an Inside Job’, this presentation builds on those individual leadership traits to focus on the building blocks of high performance and the role of leaders seeking to inspire, interact and execute in a way that delivers high-performing and sustainable outcomes. This presentation will cover off topics such as ‘leading for effectiveness, not efficiency’, ‘constructive depolarisation’, ‘rapid prototyping’, ‘smart mob organising and ‘informing for influence’, and we’ll delve into the way leading organisations are applying these techniques to achieve extraordinary outcomes.

E-Sports, Gaming & Social Media: How they’re changing connection, commerce and our neurology

Esports is one of the fastest growing entertainment markets, expected to rise to $1.5 billion market by 2020 with 303 million annual viewers; Gamers devote a collective 156 billion hours a week gaming and spend $23.5 billion for the privilege of doing so; and 2.85 billion people are using social media, with $31 billion currently being spent every year to try and grab their attention on the social platforms.

These three phenomena are profoundly shaping psychology, communication and commerce, and leaders who want to understand the future of consumer expectations, fan experience, commercial partnerships and customer interaction need to open their minds to the next frontier that leaders across these three industries are pushing for. Additionally, for community leaders, teachers and employers this talk will examine the inextricable link between these three phenomena and mental health, connection and community.

The Intergenerational Shift

Millennials comprise 37% of the Australian workforce but will occupy near 75% of it by 2025, yet currently 6 out of 10 are disengaged, costing about $20 billion annually. From a consumer standpoint, millennials have a current spending power of US $10 trillion and will control 28% of the world’s financial assets by 2030 as more than $59 trillion worth of wealth transfers between generations.

This talk will examine the driving forces behind this emerging generation: what motivates and engages them, and what leads them to make a purchase, become a brand advocate and develop brand or employer loyalty. Importantly, this talk will deal with key intergenerational differences and tensions: feedback, expectations, communication and key decision-making factors; allowing leaders to understand the subtle but significant changes they can make to drive greater employee and customer outcomes.

Master of Ceremonies - Content Weaver

The master of ceremonies should also be a master of content, helping you to weave together key messages, big ideas and divergent opinions to create palpable emotive responses from, and meaningful learning moments for, your audience. Across panels, fireside chats, debates, interactive polling and more... I act as a human curiosity barometer. It’s only when people have the tools to ask new questions, that new solutions will present themselves. My favourite request is to research and compile your conference content. Then to be tasked to synthesize complex information in real-time, weaving together different voices and views to enable inclusive debate.
A huge thank you to Holly for her collaboration for our event. We have received a fantastic response from Holly's contribution that morning and what she had to say. Private Media
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