Keynote speaker topics: Corporate leadership, strategy, innovation, competitiveness, extreme stakeholder alignment, the future of consulting, creating collaborative workplaces, the future of education innovation, the future of how we work, rethinking business through disruptive management, organisational design, education.
Ricardo Semler -
Former CEO and President of Semco. Founder of Semcostyle and the Lumiar Institute. Organisational changemaker.
Best known for his radical form of industrial democracy and corporate re-engineering, Ricardo Semler is internationally recognised as a catalyst of change for employee-empowered leadership. When he became the CEO of his father's company, he re-organised it with the belief that less management and more flexibility meant a better workplace and bigger profits. Little did he know that his innovative business management policies would attract worldwide interest. Not only has Ricardo successfully transformed his organisation to adopt innovative management practices to advance leadership and organisational effectiveness; under his mentorship, companies from a spectrum of industries have reshaped their companies to be more dynamic, innovative and people-centric.
As the best-selling author of the classic Maverick and The Seven-Day Weekend, Semler advocates for leadership to rewrite their corporate narratives to be driven by values of trust, self-management and creativity. Semler has reached thousands of international and corporate audiences through his guest lectures at MIT and Harvard and fostered a digital community of fans with his popular TED Talk: How to Run a Company with (almost) no rules and commentary and video shorts on social media. Passionate about providing avenues of change for youth, Semler also spearheaded the Brazil-based Lumiar School which infuses radical corporate democracy into early education.
Semler admits that his own company’s management agreements are not for everyone (managers determine their salaries, staff choose their bosses), but it is a success. Semco is now a $400 million business with additional minority interests in companies that add up to $9 billion in market value. Over the span of the last five years, Semler has helped reinvent several industries through his corporate innovation including: ETH, BrasilAgro, Tarpon Investimentos, Juritas and NGO. Ricardo encourages audiences to question ideas, to take a realistic look at what works, what’s possible, and what makes sense in today’s world, given our technologies, the rapid pace of change and the increasing failure of current practice to adapt. Technology that was supposed to make life easier — laptops, cell phones, e-mail, pagers — have taken away much of our free time and destroyed the traditional 9 to 5 workday. Why, for instance, haven’t we learned to go golfing on Monday morning when we’ve learned to take our work home on Friday night? For bold innovators, Semler proposes a way to run a workplace that leads to greater productivity and greater flexibility for managers and employees alike. And for business leaders everywhere, he offers fresh alternatives to business as usual that inspire creative solutions to modern management problems.
Named "Latin American Businessman of the Year" by America Economia (The Wall Street Journal's Spanish language magazine)
Vice President, Federation of Industries of Brazil
Board member, SOS Atlantic Forest, Brazil’s foremost environmental defense organization
Semco was selected by CIO magazine as the only Latin American company among the most successfully reengineered companies in the world
Professor of Leadership at MITs Sloan School of Management
Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School
Harvard Business School alumnus
Thinkers 50 2005
The Seven Day Weekend
In the media:
The Big Company that has no Rules - Forbes
Business Leaders: Ricardo Semler - Startups
Forget Empowerment — Aim for Exhilaration - Management Exchange
Examining the Leadership of Ricardo Semler in Semco - UK Essays
Who's in charge here? No one- The Guardian
Why Every Employee Should Have Unlimited Vacation Days - The Huffington Post
Why 'Participation Age' Leaders Will Beat Old-School Managers, Every Time - INC. trends
Testimonial: 'After the workshop I spoke to some of the business relations that we had invited. They were positive without exception. Present were, among others, a partner of a large law firm, a company that offers HR services with the aid of self-developed software and a partner of an international recruitment and selection agency. They all asked questions about specific challenges in their companies and were amazed at Semler's knowledge of their specific business model and challenges. To be repeated!' Han Mesters, Sector Banker Business Services ABN AMRO Bank
'I was fortunate to spend an utterly invigorating hour listening to Ricardo Semler (author of books 'Maverick' and 'The Seven-Day Weekend') yesterday morning as he casually-confidently shared his views on everything from the end of inter-mediation to the state of the real estate. Being someone who really, really, really dislikes rules, I resonate completely with his philosophy that you can run successful companies without any. His views on Millenials in the workplace were quite interesting, if not a little off beat from what I typically encounter. He holds that Millenials are "not ready to take over". Whilst their fresh Gen Y approach has significant benefits for business, he says their particular "brand of commitment" isn't right just yet. They have "a very different sense of commitment" that doesn't see them stick around long enough to learn what it takes to see things through - to develop the wisdom of their predecessors. His views on embracing an ageing workforce were also refreshing to hear as this is something increasingly on my mind. As an organisation with close to 30% of our workforce in the so-called 'Baby Boomer' category, we have been concerned about the ramifications of losing our skilled veterans. I am beginning to wonder if we should be. Linda Roos, Group Head of HR at ooba | Gallup Certified CliftonStrengths Coach | Science of Happiness @ Work Licensed Practitioner (Ricardo was speaking at the Allan Gray investment Summit 2018 - Joburg and Capetown)