Ori Brafman

Leadership and Organizational Dynamics Expert; Multiple New York Times Best-Selling Author

Ori Brafman
  • New best-selling book: "Radical Inclusion"
  • Widely credited with developing decentralized network business theory
  • Leads the U.S. military's agile and adaptive leadership training
  • Teaches improvisational leadership, data science, and artificial intelligence at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business

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Ori Brafman is a multiple New York Times best-selling author. His seminal work, The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations, is cited by the U.S. military as the foundation for a successful campaign to counter Al Qaeda. Its concepts have been implemented by Fortune 500 companies and the U.S. government, and it is considered the basis for blockchain technologies. Ori’s recent best-selling book, Radical Inclusion: What the Post-9/11 World Should Have Taught Us About Leadership, examines today’s leadership landscape and argues that inclusion is no longer a “nice-to-have”, but a strategic imperative in the digital world.

Born in Israel and raised in Texas, Ori specializes in cultural transformation and unique approaches to problem solving. His ideas have been applied by Amazon, Google, Netflix, Microsoft, Cisco, Intel, the Chicago Bulls, the San Francisco 49ers, Facebook, Family Business Network, and PWC. He has advised all branches of the U.S. military, the Obama White House, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Since 2010 U.S. Army generals have been required to complete Ori’s leadership curriculum.

Ori is a Distinguished Teaching Fellow at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business where he lectures on improvisational leadership and artificial intelligence. He leads an intensive strategic broadening seminar between UC Berkeley and the U.S. Army and created a first-of-its-kind partnership between the Haas School of Business and the U.S. military’s National Defense University.

Ori’s media appearances include the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, CBS, MSNBC, Bloomberg TV, Fox News, ABC News, BBC, National Public Radio, CNBC, CNN, and C-SPAN. He has presented before audiences at Fortune 500 companies, the White House, Stanford University Graduate School of Business, Harvard Business School, the Association of Financial Professionals, the Organization of Nurse Executives, NATO, YPO, and others. His published books include Radical Inclusion: What the Post-9/11 World Should Have Taught Us About Leadership; The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations; Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior; Click: The Forces Behind How We Fully Engage with People, Work, and Everything We Do; and The Chaos Imperative: How Chance and Disruption Increase Innovation, Effectiveness, and Success.

Ori is founder and president of Starfish Leadership and co-founder of the Fully Charged Institute, which combines Ori’s work with that of Tom Rath. The Institute focuses on leadership and well-being and helps organizations improve performance and gain competitive advantage in an era of new business models. Ori holds partnerships with Second City Works and ExecOnline to create new leadership programs for corporate audiences.

Ori holds a BA in Peace and Conflict from UC Berkeley and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

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Speaker Video

"Radical Inclusion" Leadership

Ori Brafman: Agility

How Inclusive Networks Determine Agility, Adaptability, Power, and SuccessWhen Starfish networks decide to embrace inclusion as a strategic imperative, they hold the power to change the face of industry. Drawing on research from his best-selling books and examples from the U.S. military to blockchain technologies and Fortune 500 companies, Ori shows how organizations that embrace decentralization and inclusion function more effectively, with the agility and adaptability necessary in today’s rapidly changing world. He demonstrates how even the largest, most hierarchical organizations utilize Starfish principles to harness the power of distributed networks and argues that leaders should develop an instinct for inclusion in order to build and maintain trust and power. Ori leaves the audience with practical takeaways for leveraging inclusive networks toward organizational success.

Inclusive Leadership and TeamsInclusion is no longer a “nice-to-have”; it’s a strategic imperative. In this presentation, Ori shares stories from his new best-selling book and beyond that bring to life the insightful and often amusing evidence that he and his Radical Inclusion co-author, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen.(R) Martin Dempsey, have nearly nothing in common—except a deep and unwavering belief that the hard problems we face in our businesses, at the national level, and internationally can be solved with better leadership.

Drawing on examples from business, academia, government, and the military, Ori will show:

  • How the speed and accessibility of information create digital echoes that make facts vulnerable
  • How the fear of losing control is pushing us toward exclusion and why leaders should develop an instinct for inclusion
  • How to create networks of inclusion within the organization
  • How to leverage inclusion to improve communication and gain better knowledge from all edges of the organization
  • How to create ongoing processes to ensure inclusion continues to be leveraged toward organizational success

Ori provides audiences with engaging stories, practical takeaways, and the leadership tools necessary to address today’s real leadership challenges.

Decentralized Networks. When you cut off the head of a spider, it dies. But when you cut off the arm of a starfish, it grows one back. In this classic presentation, Ori leads the audience back in time to demonstrate how throughout history, organizations operating without a central head win out over centralized ones.

Drawing on examples from the U.S. military to the Tea Party to Fortune 500 companies, Ori will show:

  • How decentralized organizations act and make decisions with greater agility and adaptability
  • How today’s business world is utilizing decentralization to increase effectiveness
  • What proven, simple methods can be adopted to introduce decentralized networks within top-down structures
  • How to create ongoing processes to ensure decentralization efforts continue over time and throughout the organization

Ori provides audiences with an understanding of how even the most hierarchical organizations can introduce pockets of decentralization for better business results. Audiences leave with the practical tools and takeaways necessary for creating decentralized networks within their organizations.

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