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Dr Jason

Making clever happen.


Are your people too busy for meaningful progress?

Dr Jason Fox is a bestselling author, leadership advisor & rogue wizard/philosopher. Specialising in Pioneering Leadership & Motivation Design. His clients include the senior leadership teams of Fortune 500 companies, and in 2016 he was named Keynote Speaker of the Year by Professional Speakers Australia.

Current work

In addition to serving as a leadership adviser, Dr Fox is also an in-demand keynote speaker who works particularly well with sceptical audiences who have ‘seen it all before’. In 2016 he was awarded Keynote Speaker of the Year.

Previous experience

Clients: His clients include Fortune 500 companies around the world including Microsoft, HP, Cisco, Oracle and Salesforce, to other multinationals such as Toyota, Beam Suntory, Vodafone, Honda, Sony, Tableau, Gartner, Johnson & Johnson, Xero, HP, Bupa, Red Cross, Bulgari, Pandora, Arup, Aon, PWC, KPMG, The World Tourism Forum and The International Institute of Research (not to mention: financial institutions, universities, telcos, government agencies, insurance companies, software developers, global associations, intergovernmental forums, and so on).

Author: Jason is the bestselling author of The Game Changer and How to Lead a Quest: a handbook for pioneering leaders. And, while intentionally inept at social media or marketing, his monthly ‘museletter’ is read by more than 11,000 people around the world.

Speaker: In addition to serving as a leadership adviser, Dr Fox is also an in-demand keynote speaker who works particularly well with sceptical audiences who have ‘seen it all before’. In 2016 he was awarded Keynote Speaker of the Year by Professional Speakers Australia.

Hobbies: Jason lives with an illustrator-veterinarian and a cat called Pi in an old chocolate factory in Melbourne, Australia. When not liberating the world from poorly designed work, Jason enjoys partaking in extreme sports such as reading, sun-avoidance and coffee snobbery.

Talking Points

A Quest Beckons

Beyond the Default

This keynote is designed to disrupt default thinking, getting people out of operational work-mode (and its fixation on the immediate), and into a mode that is far more open, curious and courageous-so that we might contemplate new possibilities beyond the default.

In particular, this keynote has your people reflecting on their own thought patterns and behaviours, so that we are neither too complacent nor too cocksure (as can be the case amidst senior leaders and high performing teams).

It makes for the perfect opening for your event-have your people asking the right questions, and focusing on the activities that lead closer to future relevance.

DISCOVER: How default thinking may be creating a ‘delusion of progress’ (and what to do about it); how to cultivate the curiosity, empathy and quality thinking needed to stay relevant; and how to use a ‘Quest-Augmented Strategy’ to ensure meaningful progress.

TIMING: Ideal as an opening keynote, or early in your programme.

PERFECT FOR: Leaders who want to evoke fresher, bolder, braver and wiser thinking, so as to pioneer new progress (beyond mediocre incrementalism).

NOTE: This can be paired with my ‘Making Clever Happen’ closing keynote, to exquisite effect.

Into the Storm

Pioneering in Paradox

Conventional leadership-folklore serves a complicated yet predictable world. But now the world is complex and hard to predict, and instantly accessible and shareable information is rewriting the future as quickly as it can be understood. We’re in the storm now.

The Industrial Age is long dead, and our Information Age is at dusk. As we stand at the cusp of a new Age, leaders must navigate new shifts in the dance: from hierarchies to networks, centralised control to distributed authority, robust planning to antifragile experimentation, bureaucracy to responsiveness, profit-obsessed to purpose-driven (and so on). Such change behooves a refreshed leadership philosophy and culture. One that’s fit for the storm, and a world less predictable.

One of the biggest opportunities an event provides is the (head)space to ponder such things. To explore the opportunities and threats on the horizon, and to genuinely consider the things we are pretending not to know. This keynote provides the provocations for such, and is designed to be both upbeat and unsettling.

DISCOVER: What pioneering leaders are doing to stay relevant today; how you can transition to a more agile and networked organisation; and How to enable more considered, responsive and timely decisions across your enterprise.

TIMING: This keynote evokes rich, new and somewhat dangerous questions and conversations-timing this before a break, drinks or dinner is ideal (though I wouldn’t recommend this as your closing keynote).

PERFECT FOR: Established and emerging leaders seeking to further gird themselves for the future of work.

Change the Game

Rethink Motivation & Work

Charismatic fluff and fist-pumping rah-rah can be quite stirring. Rousing, even. But the longevity and actual impact of zealous motivational presentations-once we return to work-is oft questionable.

Smart people require more than just a motivational pep talk. If you want your people to be the champions of your culture-demonstrating the behaviours most aligned to your values and strategy-then they ought understand the science behind what drives motivation and performance.

In this keynote, we unpack the elements of Motivation Design-highlighting the most effective levers your leaders can use to influence individual and collective behaviour. Motivating and deeply practical.

DISCOVER: How to ignite (and sustain) motivation to do challenging and complex work; how to maintain motivation and performance amidst uncertainty and change; and how to establish work rituals that mitigate friction and serve to ensure meaningful progress.

TIMING: This keynote works well at any point during the event (though possibly not as the opening-its focus is a bit more pragmatic than it is contextual).

PERFECT FOR: Leaders, people managers and anyone seeking to shape motivation and shift behaviour.

Making Clever Happen

Unlock Meaningful Progress

Just as an event begins, so it must end. In many ways, the final session is just as important as the opening session. Actually: more so, thanks to peak-end rule.* The final, closing keynote is what marks the beginning of the transition-from what is essentially an artificial yet wondrously curated experience (the event)-back to the world of work and life. This final keynote, if done well, can create resonance for your whole event. Much like how a large gong, when struck, can create a deep and lingering effect.

For a closing keynote, my philosophy is: get people in conversation (with each other, during the keynote). This keynote has folk intuitively scanning through the event to identify the ideas and interactions that resonated most with them. Then we sharpen our focus on the steps required to translate these new ideas into meaningful progress.

Of all my keynotes this is the most interactive. It is perhaps the lightest in terms of content-but the most significant in terms of effect. If you want your people to think, feel and do things differently as a result of your event, this keynote will serve you thunderously well.

DISCOVER: What-out of all the ideas, inklings and insights generated at this event-is the most important and apt for you to action; how to translate this intent into specific behaviours and visible momentum (while avoiding the perils of self-sabotage); and how to find a path through the inevitable friction and conflict of values new change brings.

TIMING: Naturally, this is an ideal closing keynote for your event. The ‘locknote’, as some call it. Note: this can be paired with my Beyond the Default opening keynote, to compelling effect.

PERFECT FOR: All audiences-this keynote translates event inspiration into meaningful progress.

Useful Delusions

Meta-Motivation & Myth-Making

This eclectic and cross-paradigmatic keynote provides intelligent audiences the means to self-author their own narratives, so as to shape richer meaning and experience whilst bringing about better decisions and behaviour. By taking advantage of the natural flaws in our own thinking-narrative fallacy, cognitive dissonance and our near-inescapable willingness to make meaning (along with our many biases and distortions)-we can continue to grow and develop as human beings.

This is motivation and character development for the ‘quietly dissatisfied’ whose mostly meta-rational minds are much too sharp and clever for conventional approaches to work. In this keynote you’ll learn how to embrace useful delusions (malleable ‘mindsets’) to bring about greater productivity, performance, clarity, agility and focus in our otherwise complex and chaotic (always-already) post-truth world.

DISCOVER: How to cleverly play with the illusion of ‘self’ and ‘free will’ so as to craft more efficacious versions of your character; how to wield ‘fact as fiction’ and imbue ‘magical realism’ into the work you do; and how to navigate an increasingly complex and chaotic world with fluidity, antifragility, efficacy and aplomb.

TIMING: This keynote has a rather ‘wtf just happened?’ element to it, so it may require special consideration as to where it is placed in your programme.

PERFECT FOR: Curious, smart and sceptical audiences of postmodern (or metamodern) disposition.

Self-Proclaimed Motivational Thought Leadership Expert Authority

Ironically Sincere Satire

This insightful and comedic keynote performance is designed to give your audience a glimpse as to how influence, authority and power is (and can be) manifested in our now Internet/hearsay-enabled world.

Watch this hipster wizard dismantle the conventional meta-narratives of motivational thought leadership expert speakers and their kin (including himself) with but a few simple cantrips. Then, amidst the ashes and rubble, see how the fragments of ‘truth’ can be reforged into something new.

It’s a self-depreciating piss-take on the irony of expertise and the ‘motivational business thought leadership’ industry at large, yes. But amidst the ridiculousness and mirth this keynote offers profound insights as to how to think more rationally, how to trust in doubt, and how to synthesise your own antifragile approach to ‘truth’.

DISCOVER: Why the smartest people are usually full of doubt (and vice-versa); how to leverage the Imposter Syndrome; why there are no Secrets to Success; and how to wield narrative like an artist.

TIMING: Probably not a good idea to place this comedic keynote immediately before or after a motivational speaker, unless they have a great sense of humour.

PERFECT FOR: Folks who have seen their fair share of thought leaders and motivational speakers.
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