I believe that is it crucial to bridge the gap between scientific research and business practice (and I would like to thank Dan Pink for allowing me to borrow his phraseology).
Below are several leading experts who have done this successfully. More importantly, they are people with whom I have had the privilege to speak and interview about their cutting edge ideas and concepts. These individuals have been incredibly gracious with their time, and have allowed me to incorporate their views into several articles that I have published.
My goal is to bring the best of the best to the table and I would welcome any suggestions of additional individuals that should be added to this list in the future. Here they are in no particular order (in transparency, I actually drew their names out of a hat to add a scientific element to the selection process).
Author Dan Pink has numerous international best-sellers looking at the world of work. His most recent books A Whole New Mind, Drive, and his latest, To Sell Is Human, have challenged conventional ideas around how businesses operate. His TED talk on the puzzle of motivation is one of the most popular on the site. I have had the pleasure of interviewing and meeting Dan on several occasions. Here is my latest Think Salespeople Are Sleazy? You May Be Surprised To Learn You’re One Of Them. I would highly recommend you sign up for the Pink blog and check out his irregular, but powerful, Office Hours.
Dr. Adam Grant
The youngest tenured professor at Wharton, Harvard grad, and magician, Dr. Grant delivered his first New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller in early 2013. Entitled Give and Take, Adam challenged the idea that getting ahead in business means stepping on those in front of you. Although givers do appear on the bottom of the success pile, they are also found at the top. Using fascinating research coupled with real-life case studies, Adam shows how strategic givers experience the highest levels of success. Adam has been very giving to me of his time and expert advice. My latest interview with Adam Is Giving The Key To Our Success? provides some great advice for how leaders and organizations can build a giving culture.
W. Brett Wilson
Canada’s Dragon With A Heart, W. Brett Wilson is one of Canada’s most widely known and respected business people and philanthropists. His commitment to charity and entrepreneurship has inspired many Canadians to follow his lead. His personal and honest stories extracted from his own life and the struggles he encountered while ‘having it all,’ led him to redefine how he looked at success. He has taken these lessons and written a book about his life in which he raises some provocative questions concerning ‘How much is enough?’ My interview with Brett More Wealth Than I Need And Less Time Than I Want captures some of his thoughts. I have had the privilege of knowing Brett for a few years, as he called me to personally thank me for writing a column about him in the Ottawa Business Journal. I would suggest you check him out as well as his first book Redefining Success – Still Making Mistakes.
Based on her first book, and widely acclaimed international best-seller Quiet, Susan Cain also delivered one of the most widely viewed and inspiring TED talks of all time. Her thoughtful critique of the extroverted ideal, combined with a persuasive review of the social science, resulted in a compelling conclusion about the quiet power of the introvert, which shook the business world. She continues to be passionate about giving a voice to the quieter members of our societies and organizations. I interviewed Susan for my column Quiet No More – The Profound Influence of Introverted Leaders where she shares her powerful insights on how introverts bring tremendous advantage to our organizations. The complete transcript of another interview I conducted with Susan can be accessed in Leading The ‘Quiet’ Revolution.
Dr. Brian Little
Dr. Brian Little has been described as a cross between Robin Williams and Albert Einstein. Although a self-professed introvert, Professor Little is an incredibly engaging speaker and lecturer, bringing insightful ideas to his presentations on human nature in an entertaining and thoughtful way. He was the most popular professor at Harvard University during his time there. I was fortunate to have Brian as my doctoral supervisor and greatly benefited from his insights, his passion, and his unwavering commitment to science. His first popular press book, Personality and Well-Being: The Happiness of Pursuit, was published in October, 2014.
Adam Bryant is an award-winning journalist who pens the weekly Corner Office column for the New York Times. His motivation for writing these columns was to get away from the traditional ‘business reporting’ questions about strategy and market share and turn the conversation inward to determine what makes up these individuals at their core. These revealing discussions led Adam to release his first best-seller, The Corner Office. My interview with Adam Making Your Way To The Corner Office provides a synopsis of the key lessons he learned. His latest book Quick and Nimble – Lessons from Leading CEOs on How to Create a Culture of Innovation, was released January, 2014.
Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener
Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener is a leading researcher and practitioner in the field of positive psychology and is the Managing Director of Positive Acorn. Nicknamed the “Indiana Jones of Positive Psychology,” he has written extensively on numerous subjects, each bringing the latest research to the topic at hand. His writing and applied teaching in the principles of positive psychology coaching have elevated the profession and his desire to continue to push the boundaries is a core component of his research and practice. His latest book is entitled The Courage Quotient – How Science Can Make You Braver.
Dr. Helen Riess
One of my first columns for the Financial Post was entitled Forget about ethics – Focus on empathy. It generated a tremendous discussion online. Following this debate, I wanted to highlight the intriguing work of Dr. Riess, who has developed an empirically-supported training program, helping people develop their level of empathy through guided practice. She shares several powerful tips in the interview she did with me, which also appeared in the Post.
Don Peppers and Martha Rogers (Ph.D.)
Founders of the Peppers and Rogers Group, Don Peppers and Martha Rogers were inductees into the Direct Marketing Association’s Hall of Fame in 2013, for their “exemplary vision.” They have written numerous best-sellers, including their latest Extreme Trust – Honesty as a Competitive Advantage, which looks at how the world of customer service has changed with the advent of social media, and how trust is essential to the viability of any enterprise. Don and Martha were both very open to sharing their ideas with me. My column Go Beyond Trust – Aim For Trustability shares some of their insights about how leaders and organizations can build stronger relationships.