Blaire Palmer

Authority on the Future of Leadership, Organisational Change and Work
Blaire Palmer
  • Spent over 20 years working with Boards and senior teams as a coach and “agent provocateur”
  • Author of 3 successful books on leadership
  • Gives audiences unique insights into what the most innovative companies are doing, as well as trends she spots in her work

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Since 2000, Blaire Palmer has been helping organizations drive real change in their businesses and create places where people can come and do their best work.

As a Producer on the BBC’s flagship “Today Programme” in the 90s, she spent a decade breaking stories and shaping the UK news agenda before her fascination with leadership and change led her to train as one of the UK’s first corporate coaches. Two decades on, she gives audiences unparalleled insight into what’s happening in the most innovative Boardrooms in the UK and Europe, trends she’s spotting in her work and what works (and doesn’t) when it comes to change and leadership in real businesses right now. 

She realised early on that there is something about the workplace that stops people doing their best work and that the standard models about motivation, change, culture and leadership were just academic theories. They didn’t work on the ground. And that is even more true today when we need to recalibrate how to lead our businesses in an unfamiliar and volatile post-pandemic world.

Audiences want to know what leaders in other companies are doing in these uncertain times, how to engage and motivate people, how to improve retention and attract the right talent in a competitive market and how to confidently lead through change. Blaire draws on her real experiences working with businesses across industry sectors and present a new kind of leadership based on authentic human connection, trust, empowerment and continual innovation. She shares practical tips that mean audiences can start collaborating with each other more enthusiastically, support their teams to solve gritty problems, create safe spaces where people can speak up and speak out, and feel inspired and energised about the future. 

Blaire is the author of 3 successful books on leadership and is regularly quoted in the media. She writes a monthly column for the UK's leading HR publication HR Zone, has a regular column with AccountingWeb and is host of The Human Revolutionaries Show. She is Chief Executive of That People Thing, a leadership consultancy, and lives in Berkshire with her teenaged daughter, dogs, rabbits and chickens.

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Speaker Video

Blaire Palmer: Improving Leadership and Efficiency

Busting the Myths of Leadership. How on earth do we lead in this ‘post-Covid’ world of work? Well, it starts by rejecting conventional wisdom about leadership, the rules of work that evolved in the 19th and 20th Century, and focusing instead on the power of authentic human connection, trust and the wisdom of the people you hired. To do that, leaders need to change the way they see themselves and the role they play in the business and empower their people to be great. Blaire draws on more than 20 years working as a coach and confidante to senior leaders and their teams and presents her practical yet powerful guide to becoming the leader your people need you to be. Lively, funny and thought-provoking, Blaire leaves audiences feeling confident to try something new. 

Busting the Myths of Change. The rules of change are changing. It’s not about selling people on ‘The Why’ anymore. Now they need to feel THEY are leading the change. In this keynote, Blaire draws on more than two decades running leadership and culture change programmes to explain how to create passionate enthusiastic for change throughout your organisation.

This is an entertaining, provocative, energising keynote for leaders and their teams. Audiences leave with practical actions they can immediately take away and feeling reinvigorated about change themselves. 

Agile Working. Flexible working, self-management, Teal organisations, human-friendly policies. The pace of change, the pace of innovation, the requirement that companies are responsive to their customers, the expectations of a new breed of self-actualised employee all mean that companies who don’t consciously choose how they work and how they liberate the creativity, imagination and human potential of their people will quickly become redundant. Big business is in big trouble if it doesn’t adapt.

Blaire Palmer guarantees that the biggest risk to successful implementation of Agile working practices is people, and specifically Leaders. In her keynote presentation she asks - What does the organisation of the future look like? As the hierarchical organisation slowly dies, what will take its place? Are we on the verge of a revolution as significant for how we work as the industrial revolution?

Digital Disruption. The digital revolution is not only a technological revolution. It’s a revolution in the role that human beings play in business. Advances in AI and Bot technology mean that, increasingly, anything that involves data analysis, processes and systems or scientific decision making will be done by computers. How can leaders drive a change and guide their people through a revolution that may result in their own redundancy? And what opportunities does digital create for our human employees? And Blaire raises an even bigger question – what responsibility does business have for the fallout of digital transformation? What is its responsibility towards those who are no longer needed or those who cannot keep up with the pace of change?

Diversity. The I-Generation, kids born since 1997, only notice diversity when it’s not there. Joining our workplaces over the next 2-10 years will be employees who are largely colour, gender and sexuality blind. How ready are we for that? In order to create more diverse, fair, reflective organisations a few family friendly policies and a bit of positive discrimination won’t work. It’s the hardwiring at the heart of the business ethos that needs to be re-thought. Traditional values around career paths, working hours, recognition and reward, emotion in the workplace, what leaders look like, what leaders do, personality profiling, ego-driven politics, competition and measures of success all underpin how people and their contribution are understood. And it is time that Leaders asked big questions about whether they are still relevant, or even counter-productive, in today’s world.

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