About: Sterling Hawkins | Business Innovation
Sterling Hawkins has become a master of innovation through massive changes and obstacles. Sterling Hawkins has overcome in his own life. From flat broke to selling the first company he founded in 2004, from a broken family business to a successful one, and from fear of public speaking to keynoting at conferences around the world, Sterling’s story is a perfect example of how anyone can take any situation and create anything from it.
As a business leader, entrepreneur investor and futurist, Sterling is an internationally renowned keynote speaker. As a 5th generation retailer and still very active in retail innovation, he has worked with the likes of Stanford, Cornell and the University of Texas to create the future of commerce, and today evaluates over 1,000 innovative technologies annually which are looking to dynamically transform retail and how people fulfill on their wants and needs. He has worked with countless startups, investment groups, retailers, brands and Fortune 500 companies including P&G, Mitsubishi, Zebra Technologies, Stater Bros. and more to ignite innovation and innovation thinking inside their organizations.
Sterling Hawkins has been seen in Inc. Magazine, The New York Times, ABC Money, AlleyWatch, Yahoo Finance, Forbes and other major media outlets. Living at the intersection of in-store, online and the 4th Industrial Revolution, Sterling is actively shaping the future of commerce by helping others create and respond to innovation in a way that betters businesses, communities and the human condition.
A list of speech topics with descriptions
The Innovation Puzzle: Examine the puzzle of innovation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most businesses don’t: people aren’t built for change.
Sterling’s family grocery store went from a local market on to become the benchmark of innovation in the industry as the culture transformed to not just embrace change, but to actually cause it.
Recognizing in a traditionally human-centric retail industry, where fear of change can be high and morale low, Sterling Hawkins created an atmosphere of freedom to innovate with concrete methodology which not only encouraged everyday people to embrace change by involving them in the process, he ignited their spirit to actually become agents of change and facilitators of the innovation process to ignite the spirit in others.
This moving talk is based on the lessons learned as Sterling Hawkins worked to create a culture free to innovate first at his family’s store and then with leading companies around the world.
Sterling Hawkins learned along the way that before you can embrace change, you have to give up the status quo and get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Creating the Future of Commerce: In a culture of consumerism and technology, how did we get here and the surprising place we’re headed in the future to fulfill on our wants and needs.
Retail used to be different when Sterling was growing up in his family’s supermarket — it was all about customers and all about community. Walmart, Amazon and others broke that traditional mold making it all about scale, mass and technology. With venture dollars and startups flooding the market, Sterling first worked in his family’s store and now across the global retail industry to shape how emerging technologies such as robots, drones, artificial intelligence and countless other technologies will transform how people fulfill on their wants and needs.
For those in retail or interested in retail, this is a hands on roadmap of what technologies will be part of the future, who is using them already, and how to inspire a culture that that embraces change. Sterling Hawkins and vision enabled retailers and their teams to step past the hype of traditional retail being dead to empower them to use technology to unify experiences and redefine what retail is.
Great Leaders Inspire Innovation (And Big Business Kills it): People aren’t built for change, they’re built for survival. In today’s fast-paced world, change is necessary and learning how to first accept it and get out ahead of it is the only competitive advantage.
The only constant is change. Sterling Hawkins learned that first hand as he worked with retailers and brands to embrace the technologies of the 4th industrial revolution including robots, IoT and Artificial Intelligence.
At the same time it required him and the companies he worked with to think differently to truly embrace technology coming together with humanity to unlock something new. And to do that, it was a special kind of skill to let go of everything we think we already know to discover what’s possible.
Sterling Hawkins shows how inside of a leadership style that embraces change, transformational performance is possible and proven. Sterling shows audiences, by example, how to develop innovation thinking to gain perspective, clarity and take profits to the next level inside the 4th Industrial Revolution where anything is possible.
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The world today is permanently transformed with pandemic fallout, tech disruption, talent shortages and global instability leaving massive and debilitating uncertainty in its wake. Change has always been inevitable for leaders to contend with, but the sheer scale and accelerating pace of change has become overwhelming for even the most diligent leaders. Unchecked, it can unconsciously leave people and companies fearful to take risk, resistant to growth and fatigued, fighting to keep up.
The world of predictability is dead. This defining moment is requiring leaders to get uncomfortable and radically reorientation their relationship to change. Hunting discomfort is the critical new competency required to effectively navigate post-pandemic disruption and thrive in this forever changed world. There are 5 mission-critical practices that have been used to create everything from billion dollar business wins to Olympic gold medalists, that anyone can grab onto and use to build the necessary courage to take intelligent risks, declare big visions and unlock their potential, regardless of the circumstances.
From multi-billion dollar startup collapse and coming back to launch, invest in and grow over 50 companies, Sterling has very personal experience confronting the unknown himself. Combined with research, psychology, the latest brain science discoveries and transformation work with leadership teams around the world, this unique perspective will forever change how you approach both business and life. You’ll discover through heart-wrenching stories, hilarious anecdotes and compelling data an undeniable truth: that during even the most difficult times, we can all realize the most audacious growth, #NoMatterWhat.
Discomfort is inevitable as we all contend with a world disrupted by technology, changed by the pandemic, and fraught with risk, talent shortages and incredible uncertainty. Growth has always been outside our comfort zone, but today it’s forced upon companies and teams in a way that’s unparalleled throughout history. It can quickly become debilitating and exhausting, negatively impacting productivity, morale and ultimately, results.
If discomfort of the unknown is inevitable and growing – leadership necessitates a critical new competency for competitive advantage, hunting discomfort and building their capacity to effectively handle it. Reorienting leaders to the fact that what many may see as the risky move, is less risky than not pursuing it in the long run. Opening executives, teams and cultures to the discomfort of the unknown will ironically leave peace, presence and breakthrough results in its wake – regardless of what’s happening in the world. But it takes the courage of acceptance, the willingness to make mistakes and the vulnerability to let go.
Sterling has been through massive discomfort himself having come back from the brink to sell companies, finish ultra-marathons and get results no matter what it took. Using that experience to work with leaders to hunt their own discomfort and bolstered by cutting edge research, you’ll be equipped with 5 practices to build your discomfort muscle, your capacity to deal with discomfort in any flavor it comes in, to make your team ready for anything and poised to create breakthrough growth.
Sterling was raised in his family’s supermarket, where his Dad created one of the first digital loyalty programs in the US, and together they created the first personalized marketing system for retailers.
Retail today is changing faster than ever before. Venture dollars have accelerated startups flooding the market and COVID-19 has forever changed the face of modern retailing. Taking what he learned in his family’s organization about the creation of value and the importance of people and connection, then combining it with unique, completely new abilities of countless technologies, Sterling explores how we arrived at this point, the surprising future instore for us and how we can create a future which fulfills on our business essentials and delivers on our customers' wants, desires, and needs.
Sterling’s leadership and vision has enabled retailers and their teams to step past the hype that traditional retail is dead. He has empowered organizations to use technology to unify experiences and redefine retail as a flourishing force to be reckoned with, now and in the future.
How Leaders Innovate
We live in a world today of exponential growth and accelerating change. Changing ourselves and our businesses is more necessary than ever. But how? Delivered to global rave reviews in his TEDx talk, Sterling’s background in working with hundreds of startups and Fortune 500 companies has led to the discovery that leading innovation is about embracing our human experience. He’ll illuminate how personal discomfort gives access to breakthrough growth of any type and how to find the courage to not just accept it but to get out ahead of it to be able to lead change as the only competitive advantage.
In this provocative talk, you can step back and see your leadership potential and how it's directly tied to putting yourself on the line for the benefit of those you lead. The talk is a motivational and eye-opening experience where Sterling shares how leaders of companies of any size can embrace the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution such as robots, IoT and AI and create something completely new without losing who they are in the process.
The critical role our own discomfort plays in our business success (or lack thereof).
How using discomfort can lead to innovative thinking and breakthrough ideas.
Experience what the human experience is with a moving and powerful example.
Learn the methodology behind using constraints, hardships or problems as circumstances to be embraced as our access to innovation.
Develop an ecology of people who create big goals allows for and even forces actions that were previously unthinkable
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