Nick Seneca Jankel

Thought Leader & Author, Breakthrough Innovation & Leadership
  • 25 years spent developing a brain-based methodology for transformation to get orgs such as LEGO, Unilever, HSBC and Nike match fit for the future
  • Author of numerous books on leadership, the 4th Industrial Revolution and transformation, one of which is an international bestseller
  • Uses take-away tools and experiential exercises to drive agility, adaptability and digital transformation

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Nick is currently the co-founder and the CEO of leadershipconsultancy Switch On and co-founder and Chief TransformationOfficer of its sister sustainability agency FutureMakers. He is an advisor to CEOs and top teams at organizations like Unilever, LEGO, Grosvenor, and Microsoft and, with his colleagues, supports Fortune 500 and FTSE 250 organizations to unleash transformative leaders, change mindsets, and regenerative sustainability.

Nick draws upon their advanced leadership curriculum, disruptive innovation methodology, and unique transformative sustainability approach to meet keynote briefs — covering purpose, transformation mindsets, storytelling, regenerative business, and ESG. Sensitive to cultural diversity, he has delivered customized keynotes and workshops from San Francisco to Shanghai. His ideas are routinely called imaginative, rigorous, bold, important, and transformative.

Nick has been a geek about human development all his life, captivated from age 13 by the central challenge of leadership and innovation: to change ourselves and, in doing so, change the world. As well as lecturing at Yale, Oxford, SciencesPo, and LBS, Nick has been a psychological coach on two TV shows, coaching celebs (MTV) and addicts (BBC). He has written five books on leadership, wisdom, and transformation. Nick has been featured in the Financial Times, The Times, The Economist, and The Guardian and has advised major governments on innovation.

Originally a medic, Nick received a Triple First (summa cum laude) in Medicine and Philosophy of Science from Cambridge before studying clinical medicine at UCL. Nick pivoted into brand strategy and consumer psychology for PlayStation and Nike at TBWA/Chiat Day, a top 5 global ad agency specializing in disruption. Aged 24, Nick was blown away by the democratizing force of tech and left the safety of employment to become a lifetime purpose-led entrepreneur.

Founded in 1999, his first start-up was a creative management consultancy that initially supported dot coms to transform business plans into successful customer-focused businesses. As the boom went to doom, they transformed the company to become a world class disruptive and digital-first innovation consultancy. Evolving a sophisticated innovation method that fuses scientific rigor with creative rebellion, he has since led c.100 breakthrough innovation projects for orgs like Microsoft, Diageo, Disney, Novartis, Vodafone, Genentech, and the BBC (resulting in the most successful TV show in history).

After years of navigating resistant mindsets and cultures — and grokking the unsustainability of 99% of commercial innovations — he reinvented and retooled the method to deliver sustainable, yet still exponential, products and business models. He then spent many years unfolding a Self-to-System curriculum to ensure leaders can wield such powerful tools to unlock their full potential. Over 100,000+ leaders — from orgs like Intel, Syngenta, Unilever, Boots Walgreens, AstraZeneca, Zalando, and HSBC — have used elements of the curriculum, moving towards mastery of both the inner and outer games of leadership.

Since 2000, Nick also founded a purpose-led media production company in Los Angeles that developed network TV shows on transformation as well as the world’s first peer-to-peer transformational coaching platform for BBC Learning. He also co-founded a social enterprise that delivered accessible empowerment and leadership programs for unemployed youth and young adults from marginalized Black and Asian communities.

Nick has developed these early prototypes within Switch On’s Leadership Innovation Lab, which designs scalable and digital tools and toolkits to empower and elevate leaders at low cost. They are currently in stealth mode scoping an AI-led platform that will provide the leaders who want to change the world — but can’t access cutting-edge coaching and development — with personalized leadership journeys that support them.

The leadership and innovation programs and products that Nick has developed sit atop Bio Transformation®, an original theory co-developed by Nick for unlocking concrete change in individuals and organizations as fast as humanly possible. Bio-Transformation® uses the latest brain, behavioral, and complexity sciences — along with wisdom and practices from timeless philosophies — to work with, not against, human biologies and cultures.

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Speaker Video

Nick Jankel Showreel 2023

Nick Jankel - Transformational Leadership

Nick Jankel - The Future of HR & HRTech

Nick Jankel: International Keynote Speaker Showreel 2020

Keynote Topic: Wellbeing At Work: Beat Stress and Build Strength In Teams

Keynote Topic: Become A Transformational Leader

Keynote Topic: Forging The Future Of Work: ReHumanizing & Regenerating Culture

Keynote Topic: Become A Transformational Organization: Design For Agility Without Losing Stability

Breakthrough Change and Innovation Through Leadership

The Future of Leadership

Nick Jankel: Forging the Future

Future-Proof Your Org With Transformational Innovation

  • Covid and the climate crisis are accelerators of massive market disruption
  • We can leverage new technologies to solve emerging customer needs/pain with insight and creativity
  • Transformational Innovation can help you adapt to this crisis and ‘preadapt’ to the next
  • The 7 steps of our proven pathway to lead and land transformational innovations
  • Process is not enough—you also need to nurture a culture of innovation
  • Takeaway Tool Options: The Innovation Culture Engine, The Experimentation Engine, The Problem Definition Engine, etc.

Navigating the Future with Generative AI. Is Generative AI something to be wowed by and welcomed — or profoundly worried about? How might GenAIs disrupt business models and entire industries? How could GenAI be used to scale and spread business purpose? How could GenAI impact jobs and societies, for good or bad? In this talk, Nick Seneca Jankel discusses the capabilities and challenges of generative AI in business and society, and outlines the possibilities for how organizations and individuals can harness its benefits to innovate and create value.  

Transformational Leadership to Lead In VUCA Chaos, Crisis & Challenge

  • Today’s complex problems can only be solved with a combination of a smart mind and an empathic heart
  • Why being the smartest room is no longer enough — or even desirable
  • The Transformational Leader is a master at both wisdom and intellect so they can drive business transformation and social regeneration
  • The 5 Stages of becoming a Transformational Leader
  • Takeaway Tool Options: The Transformational Leadership Diagnostic, The Personal Leadership Plan

Sustainable Innovation: From Compliance To Creativity & Exponential Value-Creation

  • Solve customer pain points driven by social and ecological breakdown to unlock exponential value
  • Move from footprint minimization driven by regulation to opening up exciting possibility spaces and business opportunities
  • Turn zero-carbon/decarbonization into a ‘prism' to drive exponential value-creation in products and services.
  • Covers business purpose, breakthrough thinking, and my pioneering transformational innovation process and toolset that allows any organization, no matter the size

Sustainable Leadership: How To Lead The Change

  • Turn despair into hope by understanding the power that business and institutional leaders have to lead the change so many want to see
  • Skip the out-dated power politics that is causing so much delay to craft brands and business models that are net-positive/ “regenerative”
  • Inspire leaders with nature and “rewild” leadership purpose
  • Use your one short life to leave a sustainable legacy
  • Use your organization’s power to leave the world better

Sustainability Storytelling: Engaging Stakeholders With Compelling Narratives That Transform

  • Even if we want to lead the shift to a sustainable world, many stakeholders don’t get it, don't want to get it, or don't know how to get it
  • Many may say they want to be sustainable but resist, deny, ignore, or are cynical about the urgency and magnitude of the climate crisis (and other issues like inequality, precarity, and pollution)
  • Neuroscience shows that it's no use yelling at people, criticizing them, or showing them yet more data—this usually tiggers the Backfire Effect
  • Instead, harness my transformational storytelling insights and toolkit to engage to different kinds of stakeholders in empathic and imaginative ways—and turn resistors into supporters and supporters into champions

Business Purpose For Sustainable Growth

  • The different kinds of purpose: business, project/team, individual
  • The potential roles for business in a crisis-hit world
  • What purpose is not (a mission, goal, KPI) and what it is (a compelling contribution to society)
  • The purpose dividend (value in terms of investor interest, profit, traction, consumer loyalty, employee retention etc) vs. the purpose premium (cost in terms of doing things differently)
  • Using purpose as a tool for leadership alignment, culture change, and team engagement
  • Takeaway Tool Options: The Leadership Purpose Engine, The Business Purpose Engine, The Team Purpose Engine

Regenerative Business & Brands

  • The 4 major crises of the Anthropocene Age that Covid-19 accelerates
  • The unique qualities of Regenerative Brands
  • The business model and value chain ingredients that can build future-forward and purpose-driven Regenerative Businesses
  • Takeaway Tool Options: The Regenerative Brand Engine, The Regenerative Business Engine

Regenerative Tech: Making Digital Work For All

  • The spectrum of digital technologies in the 4th Industrial Revolution
  • What major technologies—from AI to Blockchain—can do to create value for your users
  • How to avoid using digital technologies just because they are new and because they can manipulate, alienate, and exploit
  • Ensuring tech develops new business models not shoring up rapidly out-dating models
  • With purpose and an understanding of living systems, we can put technology to work scale impact as well as profit and “leave the world better”
  • Takeaway Tool Options: The Regenerative Tech Engine

Forging The Future Of Work

  • Social distancing and home working can further corrode the ‘working alliance’ (as are technologies and management techniques that alienate and disconnect)
  • How to forge a renewed working alliance by balancing accountability and efficiency technologies… with connection and care techniques
  • How to borrow from the design principles of nature to nurture life-affirming dynamics in company cultures, ensuring humans will never made obsolete by machines and AI
  • Takeaway Tool Options: The Regenerative Business Engine, he Transformational Organization Engine

Become A Transformational Organization: Design For Agility Without Losing Stability

  • There is a survival necessity to allow those on the frontlines to adapt and innovate in real time with users/customers… without losing strategy, predictable returns, and efficiency
  • There is also a generational demand for flatter hierarchies and more distributed power
  • Empowerment alone does not work to unlock agility after years of learned helplessness
  • But there is way of designing organizations for transformation that blends stability & agility; productivity & purpose; and control & creativity
  • Takeaway Tool Options: The Transformational Organization Engine

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