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John Di Frances Motivational Keynote Speaker

 

"As our opening keynote speaker, John did an outstanding job of connecting with our audience, and delivered a compelling and thought-provoking presentation.  He was able to combine his expertise with humor and deliver a spot-on keynote."

Kelly Foy, CEO, Elite Meetings International
Motivational Speaker John Di Frances

Keynote Speaker Sidebar

Innovation: The TRAP

 

By Innovation Speaker John Di Frances

 

THE TRAP Innovation: Defined as the art of employing imagination and creativity to overcome or circumvent conventional limits.

I remember well a late summer day in 1992. I stood in my client’s reception area, looking out at the cows, slowly grazing on the lush green alpine mountainside, their cow bells melodically clanking. While I waited for the principals to greet me, I reviewed in my mind the events that had brought me to this picture perfect Swiss setting once again, and this time under such unhappy circumstances. Five years earlier, the company had begun the development of a state-of-the-art machine to automatically analyze and extrapolate measurement data from paper chart recorders used on natural gas wells and transmission systems. The decision to proceed with this development project had been made not because the company’s management possessed any particular expertise in such technology, but rather, solely to protect their existing market niche represented by the recording devices. At its inception, the project had been expected to require six months and represent a small capital investment of $100,000. Now, five years and two million dollars later, I stood ready to deliver the death knell for the project.

What had gone wrong? Nearly everything, but most importantly, no one had bothered to ask the single most important question. What do the customers want? The company understood the chart recorder business from thirty years of experience and therefore, “assumed”, that it also understood its customers’ desires as to how the recorded charts, should be processed. A classic case of vertical integration by osmosis.

Added to this all too frequent dismissal of the customer’s opinion in regard to perceived needs and value, was my client’s reliance upon the NIH (“Not Invented Here”) syndrome. Embarking upon the development and manufacture of a product destined solely for the North American market, a typical NIH course of action had been followed, that of using exclusively European sources in the development. An unfortunate, albeit common mistake I have also observed in the United States and Far East; the propensity toward provincial thinking respects no borders.

My firm had been retained not to determine the market for the product or even what the customers desired, as this I had been told was known and understood. Rather, my initial commission was limited to advising how to introduce the product. Two years earlier, my first glimpse of the project had been a disheveled group of components resting on a test bench. Then I had been told by the Marketing Director that this “nearly completed first unit” (actually a prototype), would be completed in time for the industry’s largest trade show of the year in Houston, just a few weeks hence.

Fortunately for me, he then rushed out of the development lab to take a telephone call, leaving me alone with the Chief Engineer. I used his fortuitous absence to inquire of the Chief Engineer whether he honestly believed this prototype would be ready. With a bit of cajoling to get the unvarnished truth, in broken English I heard the response I had expected; “No way!” In fact, it required a considerable scramble to achieve the product introduction at the very same trade show a year later and then only with a successor prototype that could only feebly limp through a “canned” demonstration.

Since that hapless day, another two excruciating years had passed, with anything but stunning success. In fact, only one of the hundred thousand dollar plus units had been sold and it was scarcely being used by the customer. What was wrong? The charts to be analyzed had a preprinted grid pattern in a solid color on a white background. The pens used to record the data, up to three of them, were of varying colors and intensity, in some cases very close in color and intensity to the grid color. Thus, color recognition was the most nagging problem. Rather than use a color camera, which was at the time of the initial development regarded as an emerging technology in Europe, although readily available in the United States, the decision was made to utilize a black and white camera, thereby viewing all colors on the charts as values of gray. This approach would work if the proper color filters were found to provide sufficient distinction in the gray scale values of the various lines. Herein was the nemesis.

The company, unsure of how to proceed during the early stages of development, teamed with the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. Using the best “scientific method” in a laboratory setting, they identified a set of optically ground filters that would be used for the primary colors. In theory, correct, but without any regard for the real world range of charts, pen colors, and hues, along with the accumulated mud and grease stains that would encumber a production chart processing environment. Little issues were overlooked within the sterile, controlled development environment, such as, what happens when a recorder pen begins to run out of ink, or freezes at -40 F? Or what happens if the fieldperson chooses to use a green recording pen on a green grid chart? Or if rain, snow, mud or grease get onto the chart face. None of this was taken into consideration in the laboratory. Not until the product began to be demonstrated in the real-world production chart processing environment, did the problem of pen colors blending with the color of the chart grid or worse yet, with each other, surface. A disaster was clearly imminent.

As a consultant whose responsibility had gravitated from how to introduce a new product to that of how to rescue a poorly conceived, designed, and engineered product, the solution to me was simple. Our first priority was to learn the customers’ true needs and desires, then secondly, to re-engineer the product to meet those requirements and utilize a color camera. When this later solution met with heated resistance due to the NIH factor, the next best alternative was to find a more universal set of color filters to retrofit to the black and white camera. However, this also encountered staunch resistance. After all, I was told, the University, a most prestigious institution, had determined the existing filters to be the ultimate match. Who was I, a business consultant, to question them? I only knew that the current filter set did not work in the real-world environment in which the product had to be sold. Thus, barring a color camera, the only alternative solution would be to identify a different set of color filters that would enable the existing black and white video camera to differentiate between the varying shades of gray.

After being rebuffed one too many times in response to this urgent need with, “it cannot be done, it is physically impossible, the University has said so,” I set out one afternoon to find a low cost, low technology solution to a high technology problem. It has been said that ignorance is bliss and I was ignorant enough of the “impossibility” of their dilemma, to believe that a simple solution had to exist, in spite of the experts who already “knew better”. A favorite tenet of mine is: “No problem is unsolveable, if enough creativity is brought to bare upon it.”

Thus, armed with only a pressing need, I proceeded first to a local camera store. With a few samples of problem charts bearing green pen lines on a green grid in hand, I explained my problem. Not surprisingly, they could not help, but sold me a set of standard Kodak filters for a few dollars and directed me to my next stop, a larger camera store, one frequented by professional photographers. This stop also led to a dead end, but for the recommendation that I go next to a commercial video company. By now, I had criss-crossed the city three times and this lead also failed to produce any solutions. However, the video production company suggested a theatrical supply company, once again across the city. With steadfast determination, I proceeded on to the theatrical supply store. Wandering into the theatrical supply house, a bit bewildered by the array of products and costumes around me, I explained my problem and showed them what I was trying to accomplish, using the little book of Kodak filters I had purchased at the first camera shop. To my surprise, my plight elicited genuine excitement on the part of the store’s staff. Within a minute or two of my arrival, one salesperson aided by another had in hand a little swatch booklet of filter samples. These colored cellophane sheets, called “gels” in the theater business, are used over the front of arc lights to color the illumination on theatrical sets. I quickly produced a sample chart depicting the worst combination of colors. A blue-green grid line with faint green, blue and red pen lines. A color combination that had proven impossible for the Swiss optical quality filters to differentiate. After a few near misses, the store’s staff produced a sheet of cellophane “gel” that when placed over the problem chart, made the grid lines invisible, while highlighting and differentiating the gray values of the three pen lines, including the green one.

Standing at the store counter, we tried several other hues of green and blue cellophane, in combinations with red. Within minutes, I was on my way back to the office with four sheets of cellophane “gel”, for a total purchase price of $12.

Back in the office, my staff and I experimented with combinations of the cellophane “gels”. After less that an hour of experimentation, we were ready to try our discovery. We disassembled the device and removed the optical glass filters. Using our high tech instruments, a scissors and scotch tape, we crafted three filter sets using combinations of the cellophane gel sheets. Then we reassembled the device and using our most difficult problem chart, attempted to analyze the data. The results left us all staring in wonder. It not only worked, the results were astonishing. Too late in the day to call our client in Switzerland, we sent a fax to tell of the breakthrough, then called it a day, very pleased that the investment of an afternoon and $12 had resulted in transforming a severe product deficiency into a strong selling benefit. No other automatic chart integration product on the market could successfully differentiate this problematic combination of colors, not even the color camera models.

Needless to say, arriving at the office the next morning, I expected to find an enthusiastic fax from the client. To the contrary, there was no fax at all. Well, maybe no one was home in Switzerland, so I decided to find out with a telephone call. They were home all right, but certainly not impressed with the results of our experiment. Why? Because it was impossible! They were utterly convinced that we could not have succeeded with the experiment as reported. Why? Because they already knew the answer, it was impossible! Therefore, given their predisposed mindset, our results were summarily dismissed. I thought that possibly due to the language barrier coupled with our excitement, we had failed to communicate properly the parameters of our experiment. “No”, was the answer back on the telephone, it was simply impossible, the University had said so! End of discussion and by the way, why were we wasting time trying to do the impossible?

We had been undone by NIH once again. “Don’t bother me with the facts, my mind is already made up.” This reminds me of the little cartoon showing a medieval king and his knights outside their tent preparing to go into battle, with sword, spear and mace, while just beyond the tent is a machine gun salesman being shooed away, as the king does not have time to see salesmen now. Well, I was not prepared to accept this closed minded response. Thus, I found myself this day, standing in the reception area of the client’s offices in Switzerland, about to prove to them that indeed, a solution did exist to one of the most serious problems that had been plaguing sales of the product for the past year. Little did I realize that I was about to learn once again a very hard lesson, namely that a mind closed to innovative solutions will not accept a creative alternative, no matter how obvious.

After five or six hours of meetings, during which my client scrupulously avoided any mention of the color filter problem, my patience had come to an end. I vigorously voiced the issue. With an air of indifference boarding on irritation, my host once again reminded me that the problem was impossible. At that point my patience was at an end. I suggested that we all could use a break from our discussions, thus why don’t we adjourn to the engineering lab and simply try the filters I had brought over with me from the states, if for no other reason than to humor me, which at that point I sorely needed.

Adjourn we did and off we headed to the engineering lab. There I found the number two project engineer. I told him again of our experiment and findings and once again he patronizingly repeated the company line. I responded, “just try it”. He relented. I handed him my chart with the problem colors and in an exasperated tone he murmured, ah yes, but these color charts are “impossible”. We tried to analyze the chart with the existing filters and as expected, the pen lines and background blended hopelessly together. He shrugged and sighed. I then pulled out of a box the cellophane gel filters I had affixed to a spare filter carrier. He studied it for a minute and then explained in broken English that it could not possibly work, because first of all, the filters were obviously not made of optical quality glass.

I encouraged him not be concerned. “Try it, you’ll like it,” I said. Together we disassembled the device and substituted my filter carrier for theirs. Then we reconfigured the system for the new filters. While we were performing this vital step, he pointed out to me that from the graphic results we were viewing on the monitor during the reconfiguration process, it was clear to him that this filter set that we had installed could not possibly succeed. I simply encouraged him to continue. Then came the moment of truth. With the system properly configured for the new filters, he inserted the problem chart and began the twenty second processing cycle. Silence, shock and then finally a pronouncement that: “It works!”. He ran that same chart over and over, as he tried to comprehend why it worked. Meanwhile, with the engineer glued to the monitor in disbelief, I went searching for the principals of the company. I could only find the Director of Marketing and had to nearly drag him back to the lab to show him the results. Even then he would not believe what I was saying until the engineer, still fixated on the monitor before him, confirmed the result.

Back to the conference room. More disbelief from the other principals. Call in the engineer. “Okay, so it works better than our filter set. We will have to research why and determine if it can really be used in a commercial environment, as you know the materials you have used are not optically correct.”

Finally, an “in your face” approach had forced the client to acknowledge the obvious. The new filter set had made the unit operational for the first time.

Unhappily however, mental assent did not result in purposeful commitment. Did the new filters we had fashioned work? Yes. Were they better suited to the need than those the company and the University had developed? Yes. Were they the ultimate solution? Most certainly not. Would they work in a commercial environment? Yes, we converted all of the systems that were in the field for demonstration or sale purposes, as well as the unit that had been sold, to the new filter set and they performed far better.

What is critically important is not that we had achieved the ultimate solution to the technical problem. We hadn’t. Nor was this the only technological or user interface deficiency of the system. There were others, but none of those difficulties were insurmountable either, “if”, and this is the giant “IF”, everyone involved was prepared to abandon their preconceived constraints and place their sole priority on obtaining a solution, regardless of whether it fit with past practice.

You see, the real problem was not the technology, but rather their reluctance to break the mold. To allow a little reckless abandon to enter their thinking process. To accept that maybe, just maybe, there could be a better way of doing things. Past practices, traditions, are not necessarily bad. Quite the contrary, they frequently became accepted and ingrained because they were an effective and efficient means of accomplishing an end. However, times change, as do personnel and circumstances, not to mention technologies. We must understand that yesterday’s effective solutions frequently become today’s stumbling blocks to progress. Business has always been dynamic. However, the pace of technology combined with the opportunity of global markets, has and will continue to accelerate the rate at which solutions must change. If you went to the doctor suffering from a head-cold, sore throat and fever and for therapy he recommended bleeding you with multiple leeches, would you concur? Now before you answer, think about time. If this were two hundred years ago, the answer is almost assuredly “yes”. It was a generally accepted medical practice. Now return to today. Answer, almost assuredly “no”. The head-cold, sore throat and fever hasn’t changed, but the solution certainly has. But what about the solutions you are employing in the workplace? Are you attempting to solve today’s problems using yesterday’s leeches? What will you do tomorrow?

What defeats most of us in business, individually and corporately, is that we approach both perceived opportunities and problems in the context of the presently accepted conventional wisdom. In other words, we evaluate our choices only in light of our historical and generally accepted range of possible alternatives. On the contrary, we need to consistently challenge the envelope, to constantly demand better alternatives.

The breakthroughs necessary to creatively seize opportunities and overcome the problems that constantly confront every business are not ultimately constrained by the available resources. Rather, the willingness to unabashedly pursue creative solutions, without regard to what sacred cows will necessarily be slaughtered along the way, is the most common limitation. We have become technological junkies. We have subconsciously accepted the falsity that every problem we face in business, should be overcome through application of the scientific method or technology. Not that we would readily admit it or even consciously accept the notion ourselves. In fact, most businessmen would emphatically deny it. However, all one must do is to look at our the centers of higher education, our “B-schools” to validate this reality. We have accepted the faulty premise that our educational establishment first, understands the nature and efficacy of business, and secondly, that this system can take our promising young people and instill into them through the factory of the modern classroom, a “sense” for business. In so doing, we have totally discarded the idea of mentorship, the process of teaming a novice with a master, to train, rather than teach, the art, rather than the so-called science, of business. Gone is the “feel”, the sixth sense for business of a generation ago. Growing up, I knew relatives and friends of my parents who seemingly possessed an instinctive business acumen. They were mostly immigrants, none of whom had studied business in college, few had ever attended college. Many, like my own father, had never attended high school. Yet they understood that business is ideas and people, rather than spreadsheets and theoretical models.

We will look at the B-school phenomena and its historical roots in the next chapter. Suffice it to say, 1990’s business in the United States and to an even greater degree in Europe, is dominated by this search for the holy grail of a “scientific” or “technological fix” mentality. Witness the lines of the “faithful”, waiting in some cases for hours on Wednesday, 23 August 1995, to buy, have, hold and install on their PC’s, the latest Golden Calf, “Windows 95. Now, there is certainly nothing wrong with a new and significantly improved computer operating system, especially if your name is Bill Gates. However, would a day’s, week’s or even month’s delay in upgrading from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95 truly make a substantial difference to the bottom line of their businesses? I think not!

Today many businesses are still blindly pursuing the current “flavors of the day”. Running from Continuous Improvement to TQM to the Malcolm Baldridge Award to ISO 9000. Meanwhile, the Human Resources guru’s are constantly droning their mantra of homage at the twin altars of “team building” and “employee ownership” of processes. What is really needed if we are to build a more dynamic, effective and efficient approach to our future, is a concurrent demolishing of the NIH factor, coupled with a consistent strategy for encouraging, developing and rewarding that intuitive sense for business that is all too often relegated to being an inborn trait of a few prominent business leaders. In rare cases the feel for business may indeed be in-born, instinctive, and require little concentrated effort to develop, just as with the particular ability in a “natural athlete.” To be sure, without that naturally residing talent, the student may never achieve the pinnacle of success in their field. However, just as is the case with most “natural athletes”, great artists, and others who excel in their field, the raw capability must be there, but it also requires a long, disciplined period of development through constant practice, preferably at the side of an already accomplished master, before that raw talent is transformed into art in motion.

We will only succeed at building increased long-term profitability to the extent that we purpose to learn the secrets of turning the disadvantages and difficulties we face today and tomorrow into the strategic and tactical advantages of the future. This can be accomplished by no other means than the continuous application of a fresh stream of creative ideas; thereby continuously outpacing our competitors. More than ever before, success will go to the creative, decisive, and swift. To hesitate, may truly spell disaster. Those who cling wistfully to the “NIH” and “if only” mindsets, will find their markets quickly gobbled up by those who innovatively and decisively seek out and strike their business “targets of opportunity” first.

Some will fear such an aggressive approach. The temptation to resist change, especially dramatic change can be great. What if those under your charge are fearful, or worse yet, what if they are just plain stubborn and resist change at every turn? The camel is a great beast, ugly and ungainly, but able to carry heavy loads over barren, rocky ground. Moreover, the camel can withstand the scorching sun, withering wind, frigid desert nights and even the dreaded abrading of the howling sandstorm. However, when the camel has had enough, it splays its legs and stands immoveable. Pull as he may, there is nothing that the herder can do to move it, except to build a fire under his camel. Yes, I mean literally to build a fire under him. Real sticks, real flame. The heat of the fire under the camel’s belly gets it moving again quite briskly. It is time to begin building some fires under those who dig in their feet and refuse to change.

My purpose in this book is singular. If I can compel you to stop and clear your mind of all limiting preconceptions, before you approach your next opportunity or dilemma, then I will have helped you to succeed. In so doing, you will experience the freedom to enjoy and profit from the immense power that will be yours as you exploit all of the possibilities available to you. Lest you are about to close this book because you have already read too many motivationally based, “think and be” authors, this is a book about the battle inherent in developing and nurturing a creative business environment, rather than another motivational magic potion.

How do you begin to build a more creative environment? Start by tearing the words “it cannot be done” from your vocabulary. I have heard that phrase so often roll off of the lips of bright, articulate and otherwise resourceful people. Every time I hear it I shudder inside, because whenever it is said, it has a deadening effect on the eventual outcome. How? By severely constraining your available options. I have begun telling people, whenever I hear “it cannot be done”, that if someone were to place a gun to their head and ask them the question once again, I am certain that their perspective, as well as their response would change. The gun to their head would serve as a catalyst to cast off the blinders of myopic thinking. It is not a question of “if” it can be done, bur rather a question of the creativeness employed and resources required, weighed against the stakes of success vs. failure. Today, few business problems, even in a R&D environment, are so cutting-edge that problem solving opportunities are purely limited by technological constraints. Thus, if you can literally feel the gun pressing at the temple of your head with an anxious finger on the hair-trigger, you will leave no stone unturned to find a way to translate the necessary results into a reality. Nor is the gun analogy chosen merely for its graphic impact. Any CEO today worth their salt will clearly understand that the guns are very real and they are named “cut-throat competition”, “world markets” and the “accelerating pace of technological change”.

In this book, I will first briefly review from a historical perspective, what went wrong in developing the current philosophy of business leadership. Then in the balance of the book, I will show you how to begin transforming your organization from a defensive posture, laboring under the relentless quest for better methods, tools and the latest business fads, to one that can harness the explosive power of idea generation to move onto the offensive, thereby overcoming obstacles, and seizing opportunities to become the leader in your marketplace.

The difference between General McClellan and General Grant in the Civil War was not one of experience, genius, or leadership capability, but rather the determination to creatively seize the offensive at every opportunity, by relentlessly taking the battle to the enemy. Both had the makings of great battlefield generals, but for Grant, there was no alternative to taking decisive action. In the past, some military commanders have engaged in the practice of literally burning the boats or bridges behind them. This had the dramatic affect of impressing upon the troops under their command, the value of victory and the absolute cost of defeat, as the latter meant death or a lifetime of slavery. Rarely will we achieve total success, as long as failure to succeed is an allowable option.

The United States’ military’s current war fighting strategy, “Air/Land Battle II”, is founded on the premise of taking the battle to the enemy on all fronts, simultaneously driving deep into the enemy’s territory at every opportunity, to deprive him of critical resources and thereby repeatedly forcing him to operate off balance, from a defensive stance. Businesses that will lead their industries in the future, will operate in the same manner. Fast, nimble, and creative. Certain of their goals, strategies, and tactics. Attacking their competitors on every front, never allowing their competitors a pause to regroup, rethink, and redeploy. This was precisely the strategy that General Grant employed in defeating the South and is also the strategy that General McClellan failed to grasp and execute.

 

John Di Frances - Innovation Speaker

Motivational Speaker Client Logos

 

 

Are you looking for a motivational business keynote speaker? Contact us to schedule a conference call with John to discuss your program needs. As each keynote he delivers is crafted uniquely for that specific audience, John can accomodate most requests by program organizers to incoporate unique content or address specific issues. Call us today to schedule a time to speak with John.

 

 

Professional Speaker

As a professional speaker, John addresses audiences worldwide on a variety of topics. Professional speakers bring vitality and greater excitement to corporate, association and government meetings and events.

Regardless of the type of event you are planning, professional speaker John Di Frances will enliven your event. John brings energy and excitement to your event and as a professional speaker, he also brings the solid content your attendees desire to hear.

Speaking professionally has been a major part of John's career since 1985. Few professional speakers have the experience of John. Working for decades with a broad range of clients across several continents, enables John to draw upon a large variety of examples as he speaks professionally.

Coming from outside of your organization, professional speakers can challenge your audiences to think in new ways. And among professional speakers, John is unique in his ability to craft each speech for that specific audience.

When your event calls for the services of a professional speaker, call upon John to bring his skill as a professional speaker to your event.

Public Speaker

When you set the agenda for your upcoming events, consider the benefits to your organization of hiring a keynote public speaker. Public speakers bring perspectives that are often new to attendees.

John Di Frances is a highly experienced public speaker. He has addressed audiences internationally on a wide range of topics. Among public speakers, John is considered by many to be a public keynote speaker who addresses a wide range of current business topics.

Most public speakers have limited business experience, whereas John's business experience spans decades. Whether working in the defense industry or civilian sector, his background provides a wealth of illustrations that he utilizes in his public speaking.

Consider including public speaker John Di Frances in your upcoming meetings. He sets a high standard for public speakers.

Business Speaker

Business speakers span a wide variety of expertise. John Di Frances is a business speaker who has more than 30 years of international business experience across many industries. When seeking a business speaker, consider John's ability to connect with audiences from diverse nationalities and ethnic groups.

Finding the right keynote business speaker among the hundreds of professional business speakers who speak on business topics is important to the outcome of your meeting. John combines the global business experience that is so important today with the ability to interact with your audience and meet them where they are at now.

Keynote business speakers can bring a new dynamic to your event. Coming from outside of your industry, they can offer a fresh perspective. As a keynote business speaker, John seeks to compliment the other speakers at events where he speaks.

Just as each event is unique, so is each audience and as a business speaker John crafts each business keynote to address the specific needs of each audience, never using canned or stock speeches, he is speaks to the issues that are foremost on the mind's of participants.

John is a business speaker that you can trust to deliver high impact content at your meeting.

Motivational Speaker

Motivational speaker John Di Frances is one of the most most respected motivational speakers speaking today. He designs each motivational speech to motivate that specific audience, based upon their background, needs and the type of event.

John represents a new style of motivational speaker. Traditionally, motivational speakers have touched their audiences emotions, but frequently provided little else to produce a lasting impact. John understands that to effectively motivate his audiences, he must touch their minds as well as their hearts. His motivational keynotes speeches provide valuable content, empowering participants to make the necessary changes in their lives and circumstances for them to become more productive.

His motivational speaking is grounded in decades of solid business experience in both executive level positions and international consulting. This real world experience enables John to deliver both motivation and high value content to audiences.

As a motivational speaker, John utilizes stories and humor to motivate each audience. Creating that perfect mix of motivation and information, he leaves a lasting impact upon his hearers.

Regardless of the venue or type of event you are planning, if you desire a motivational speaker who will truly inspire and motivate your group, with a motivational message that they will long remember, then John is the keynote motivational speaker your need.

When selecting among the available motivational speakers for your next event, remember that Convention South Magazine named John as "One of the Most Desired Speakers".

Contact us whenever a need arises for motivational speakers.

Keynote Speaker

It is common for organizations to utilize the services of keynote speakers for a wide variety of events. John Di Frances is a widely recognized keynote speaker. He is also a frequent keynote speaker for corporations, associations and nonprofits.

Among keynote speakers, John brings the highest standard of keynote speaking to audiences internationally. His unique blend of high value content, humor and high impact graphics captures participants' attention and ensures that this is a keynote speaker they will not forget soon. Lively keynotes with a high level of visual stimulation make for memorable keynote speeches.

Keynote speaker John Di Frances, is easy to work with for meeting planners. He recognizes that his keynote speech is just one part of your event and that frequently agendas and circumstances change, sometimes at the last moment. John strives to accommodate those unplanned 'hiccups' that all too frequently occur, even when they negatively impact the time allotted to him as a keynote speaker.

Whether your keynote need is for an opening keynote, closing keynote or a keynote speech that occurs sometime in between, John is a highly experienced keynote speaker that is certain to please your participants.

There are few keynote speakers that are as comfortable delivering a keynote speech to an audience of senior executives, as to new hires or the volunteer supporters of a not-for-profit organization. John is! His years of global business experience along with work on boards of directors and at all organizational levels, enables him to connect with all types of audiences as a keynote speaker.

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Contact us to arrange a time for a conference call with John Di Frances to discuss the possibility of having him as the speaker for your next conference, meeting or event.

 

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Ideation Speaker

Ideation is today's key to business success. We live in a time of rapidly changing competitive business environments. Old ideas and ways of achieving success in business no longer work. New competitors arise regularly while old ones continue to seek new ways of gaining a competitive advantage.

Through active ideation, it is possible to gain a strategic advantage over competitors. John Di Frances speaks and consults with organizations — corporate, association and government — to raise the awareness of the power of ideation. He then takes them a step further, by teaching how to imbed the practice of open ideation into their cultures.

Ideation, together with innovation, form the backbone of a winning competitive strategy for today's organizations. If you want to give your organization an ideation 'lift', then contact us about having John either speak or consult on the topic of ideation.

As both an ideation speaker and ideation consultant, he will open new vista's to your organization. We also offer support for ideation at our Red Door Innovation Center.

Innovation Speaker

Innovation is today's hot buzzword. You hear it everywhere from business leaders, government officials and the press. Unfortunately, all of this talk of innovation has resulted is a great deal of 'innovation smoke', but far less 'innovation fire', which is what's really needed.

Our competitive advantage is being trimmed by global competitors in nearly every industry and what should be our overwhelming advantage, INNOVATION, is far too often lacking. While we cannot compete on price with developing nations, we can on innovation, but to do so we must focus our resources on enabling open innovation.

This begins with developing a culture of ideation and open innovation. Only where people are free and encouraged to actively innovate, does true ideation and open innovation occur. It is leaders' responsibility to create an atmosphere where ideation and innovation can flourish. When they do so, open innovation and the organization thrive.

John Di Frances' open innovation work spans several decades and he has a proven track record of breakthrough ideation and innovation. If you are sensing the need to encourage and empower a new wave of open innovation within your organization, then contact us to arrange for John to be the innovation speaker for your next event or ask us about his availability for open innovation consulting. We also offer support for open innovation at our Red Door Innovation Center.

Leadership Speaker

Leadership is a perennially sought after business topic and leadership speakers are always in high demand. When seeking a leadership speaker, you need look no further than John Di Frances. He has spoken, written and consulted extensively both here and internationally on the topic of Ethical Leadership.

Watching the evening news it would appear that we live in a leadership vacuum. But in reality, there are many excellent leaders, we just rarely hear about them. John uses the stories of great leaders in his leadership keynotes. As a leadership speaker, he knows that it is his stories, as well as the 'how to' content of his keynote leadership speeches, that motivates and empowers his audiences.

If your organization is concerned about developing real leaders, then hiring John as a leadership speaker for your next event will prove to be a wise decision. Whether your meeting is large or a small senior executive leadership retreat, his flexibility in effectively relating personally to attendees at any organizational level enables him to immediately connect with participants.

John is highly regarded as a leadership speaker. It is for this reason that when corporations, government agencies, associations and other not-for-profit organizations seek leadership speakers, they frequently turn to John.

Ethics Speaker - Governance Speaker

Looking for an ethics speaker? You need look no further. John Di Frances is an ethics speaker and author and he has the real world business experience to be able to speak from experience when the topic is leadership ethics.

There are many ethics speakers, but few can match his years and breadth of business experience. Ethics and governance span all industries, government bodies and nonprofits. Few ethics speakers have experience in working with all of these types of organizations.

The applications of ethics may differ between types of organizations, but the principles of ethical behavior remain constant. John's experience as an ethics speaker has resulted in changed minds and behaviors among his hearers.

For boards level retreats, management meetings or company wide events, he is the ethics speaker you can rely upon to bring clarity to a sometimes gray environment. If you are looking for an ethics speaker, then contact us to learn more about his keynote ethics speeches and ethics/governance consulting.

Sales Speaker

Do you have an upcoming sales meeting? If so, John Di Frances is the perfect keynote sales speaker for you. Why? In two words, Knowledge & Presentation!

There are a large number of sales speakers from which to choose, but few have John's sales knowledge — Sales knowledge gained from selling commercial hard goods to military weapon systems and industrial technology to professional services.

As a sales speaker, platform presentation skills are equally important. John quickly connects to his audiences and forms a powerful bond that allows him to communicate the importance of a correct sales mindset as well as sales techniques. His highly effective use of engaging stories also sets him apart among sales speakers.

For a highly informative and entertaining sales speaker, you need look no further. He is equally comfortable speaking to sales executives and front line sales people.

John is presently completing his newest book 'Relationship Selling: Selling Value, Not Price' which will be released in summer 2011. When planning your next sales meeting, consider the difference John can bring to your organization as a sales speaker.

Your choice of a sales speaker will have a significant impact upon your next sales meeting. With John, you can rest assured that you have made the right choice in sales speakers.

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Negotiation Speaker

Negotiation speaker John Di Frances knows that the outcome of a major negotiation has a critical impact upon your organization. He has successfully negotiated major contracts, dispute resolutions, lawsuit settlements as well as mergers and accusations for decades. When you want a negotiation speaker, let John share his depth of experience with your group.

Negotiation speakers are numerous, but not many have the breadth of experience of John when it comes to real life high stakes negotiations. As a negotiation speaker, he draws from many years of negotiating high value corporate and defense contracts, as well as settlements to protracted legal disputes.

Rather than teaching complex negotiation techniques as do most negotiation speakers, he focuses on a few basic strategies that participants can easily remember and implement, even in the stress of battle over high stakes negotiations. Believing in the benefits of simplicity rather than complexity, he leads audiences through not only the phases of successful negotiations, but equally importantly, the emotions that impact negotiating decisions.

Negotiation speakers can educate your audience to be better negotiators and as a negotiation speaker, John also teaches them how to avoid the common negotiation traps. Contact us to arrange a call with John to learn how he can impart his experience as a negotiation speaker to your audience.