Polly LaBarre is a bestselling author, speaker, and entrepreneur who has worked for nearly 20 years to embolden and equip leaders in every realm of endeavor to make their organizations more resilient, innovative, inspiring, and accountable. She is an inspiring and provocative voice on the big ideas and important questions that will shape the future of organizations, work, and success. In her speeches Polly showcases her brilliant storytelling ability and takes audiences on an inspiring journey – bringing to life the people, organizations and ideas on the fringe that are creating the future.
As a cofounder (with Gary Hamel) and editorial director of the MIX (Management Innovation eXchange), Polly is putting her passion for making the realm of human endeavor more productive, creative, and fulfilling to the test. The MIX is a pioneering open innovation project dedicated to reinventing management for the 21st century. The initiative, which aims to leverage the collaborative power of Web 2.0 to accelerate the development of Management 2.0, gathers celebrated thought leaders, in-the-trenches innovators, and maverick entrepreneurs from around the world to share breakthrough practices and advance important ideas about the future of organizations, work, and strategy. Supported by several leading institutions, including McKinsey & Co, Red Hat, and Gartner and partnered with Harvard Business Review and Fortune, the MIX hosts the world’s leading idea contest in the field of management (the Harvard Business Review/McKinsey M-Prize for Innovation) and an annual gathering of the vanguard of management innovators, the MIX Mashup (which Polly designs and hosts).
Polly is the coauthor of the bestselling book Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win (which The Economist named a “Book of the Year” and called “a pivotal work in the tradition of In Search of Excellence and Good to Great” and has since been published in 16 countries around the world). She was a member of the original team of Fast Company magazine, where she was senior editor for the better part of a decade. More recently, Polly has been a business and innovation correspondent for CNN where she produced regular segments on big ideas and best practices from the world of business and beyond.
A sought-after speaker, moderator, and interviewer, Polly has delivered hundreds of keynote addresses around the world and her writing has appeared in a variety of publications, including Fast Company, The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review online, Fortune.com, the McKinsey Quarterly, and The Huffington Post. Her widely syndicated blog, the Fresh MIX, convenes important thinkers, progressive practitioners and agenda-setting ideas about 21st-century organizations. Polly has presented her ideas in forums ranging from a regular commentary on PBS’s Nightly Business Report to CNBC’s “The Business of Innovation” series to frequent segments on ABC’s World News This Morning and Good Morning America.
Polly’s most recent research centers around social innovation and sustainable capitalism—what it means to win when good is the new measure of great. She serves on the board of advisors of TakingITGlobal, the leading online community for connecting and empowering young people to make a difference in the world. A graduate of Yale University, Polly lives in New Haven, CT.
Future of Capitalism