JOHN GERZEMA

• NY Times bestselling author

• TED speaker, social scientist & pioneer in the use of data

John Gerzema is CEO of Harris Insights & Analytics/The Harris Poll, a leading public opinion, market research, corporate, brand and reputation strategy firm. John is a pioneer in the use of data to identify social change and help leaders and organizations anticipate and adapt to new trends and demands. An author, strategist, speaker and consultant, his books are on the bestseller and critics ‘best of’ lists of The New York Times, WSJ, Washington Post, Bloomberg and Fast Co and his writing and interviews have appeared in NYT, FT, Economist, NPR, Forbes, Quartz, McKinsey, HBR, WIRED among others. An expert in leadership and social change, John was named among the “Top Management Articles of the Decade” by Strategy & Business and his TED talks are widely viewed.

As a Distinguished Fellow with The Athena Center for Leadership at Barnard, he is an advocate for Women and Girls and serves as board advisor to The U.N Foundation’s Girl Up Campaign, University of The People and The National Kidney Foundation. John is among “The Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business” and “Must-Follow Marketing Minds on Twitter” by Forbes. He presented gender inequality findings in the media and workplace at The World Economic Forum in Davos and designed an analytic model with The Wharton School for U.S. News & World Report “Best Countries” rankings.

In 2015, John was named to The Medill Hall of Achievement at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. His latest book with Pulitzer-Prize winner Michael D’Antonio explores the rise of feminine values in leadership, policy and innovation. Tom Peters says, “The Athena Doctrine is a powerful book. Extraordinary research. Great storytelling. A message both timely and of monumental importance.”

John previously served as Global Chief Insights Officer at Young & Rubicam and CEO of WPP’s BAV Consulting.

Speech topics

The Harris Poll Report: Trends Shaping our Future

Disruption can come from anywhere; in changing social attitudes, new consumer demands or rising influencers or ideas in culture. The Harris Poll surveys over 100 countries with overnight pulses of society to build analytical models of shifting public opinion, demographics and marketplace preference. This talk shares the latest Harris data combined with on-the-ground reporting to help companies and brands understand the ever-changing world around us.

What People Want: Exploring Consumer Perspective

We live in a world clamoring for leadership, connection and meaning. Rising cultural tensions, toxic politics and inequality of all kinds have eroded public faith in institutions, business and systems. At the same time, disruptive technology, generational and demographic shifts and new consumer values create opportunities for insurgents to scale faster with less resources. Today, business finds itself left to prove its corporate legitimacy and its cultural relevancy - continuously. Companies must solve social problems, foster meaningful cultures, source products from ethical supply chains while being faster, better, cheaper, more convenient, more personalized and more transparent. Being authentic means mastering multiple desires so understanding what people want is more important than ever before. This session will take leaders into the role of the social scientist; to uncover new tastes, desires and experiences formed by modern consumers, whose expectations border on the unreasonable. Using up-to-date data, you''' learn about six market forces formed by cultural trends and new consumer attitudes and values.

New Rules for Corporate Reputation

Once companies waded cautiously into social issues. But today a new vanguard see their calling (and their prosperity) as modern day public servants. They are filling a void of leadership by taking on issues in society that government can’t (or won’t). These companies are casting big meaty missions for human advancement in science, healthcare and education while leveraging their scale to exert their values on their supply chains and ecosystems. They understand reputation is now earned by what a company does, not what it says. This new moral authority––equal parts capitalist and activist–– are capturing the imagination of investors, talent and the buying public, while rewriting the rules of what a ‘public company’ truly means today.

As CEO of The Harris Poll, one of the most respected sources of public opinion, John Gerzema oversees the pulse of the American society to help businesses understand and adapt to constant change. Through his new proprietary study that measures hundreds of companies against 25,000 people, John will share the new rules for corporate reputation building. After immersion into the business and conference themes, each of John’s speeches are customized with original Harris Poll surveys specially designed and fielded to bring fresh insight and practical takeaways that audiences can apply to their businesses.

Z-Ruption: The Disruptive Force of Generation Z

While all the attention is on Millennials, there’s a new generational cohort which will dramatically reshape shape society and the marketplace. Generation Z, those twenty and under are just entering Corporate America as summer interns. But they’ve announced themselves by their values, social acumen and temerity. In our Harris Poll data, Gen Z trust peer content more than traditional media and they value companies who are transparent. And they are a generation that’s so over inaction and willing to challenge authority, from entering governor races to building squads to take on corrupt politicians and companies. Raised entirely on technology, Gen Z are not adaptors but professional organizers, coders and activists. With Generation Z, welcome to the age of radical transparency, one where businesses will interact to influence.

As CEO of The Harris Poll, one of the most respected sources of public opinion, John Gerzema oversees the pulse of the American society to help businesses understand and adapt to constant change. This talk leverages Harris’ proprietary Gen Z study and panelist community to help any company speak the language of a new generation that is growing in esteem, influence and soon marketplace power. After immersion into the business and conference themes, each of John’s speeches are customized with original Harris Poll surveys specially designed and fielded to bring fresh insight and practical takeaways that audiences can apply to their businesses.

The Twenty-First Century Leader

As technology and information dramatically change our world, companies must adapt and change in unprecedented ways. And today, no one can win alone. Companies co-create with customers and vendors; they enlist their entire supply chains—sometimes even competitors—in risk management. And they assume employees, consumers and government agencies will call them out on their practices. Today, leaders must continuously engage their customers, employees and communities. They must demonstrate their personal involvement and commitment. And they must mentor a new generation of workers with very different expectations, personal and organizational goals, and engagement levels. All must learn new skills and leadership qualities from empathy and selflessness, to collaboration and transparency. These ‘soft power’ traits (and more) will drive success of the twenty-first century leader.

As CEO of The Harris Poll and New York Times Best-selling Leadership author, John Gerzema commissions an ongoing global survey of what people want in modern leaders. And with vivid case studies from first hand interviews from all over the world, John reveals the talents, strategies and tactics of today’s leader. Tom Peters says of John’s book, “The Athena Doctrine is a powerful book. Extraordinary research. Great storytelling. A message both timely and of monumental importance.”

Keeping Pace with Consumers

We live in the age of insurgency. The lifespan of an S&P 500 company was 60 years in 1960; it is 12 years today. Trust in brands has declined by 50% since the financial crisis. Yet consumerism drives an expanding economy putting them in the driver seat as never before. New research from The Harris Poll reveals an increasingly values-driven marketplace that seeks out brands and companies that build communities, create experiences and have a point of view on making the world a better place.

This market is driven by diversity and Millennial and Gen Z values. In our data, 72% of consumers buy brands from companies that share their values. The key to modern affinity is authenticity and our data shows it creates stronger brands and disproportionate financial return. This talk would frame how modern brands behave and engage customers, including innovative uses of technology, social media, retail environments community building and more. And this talk can be customized to various industries including healthcare, industry-specific gatherings and banking and finance

As CEO of The Harris Poll, one of the most respected sources of public opinion, John Gerzema oversees the pulse of the American society to help businesses understand and adapt to constant change. After immersion into the business and conference themes, each of John’s speeches are customized with original Harris Poll surveys specially designed and fielded to bring fresh insight and practical takeaways that audiences can apply to their businesses.

Disruption, Data and Desire

Companies awash in information still struggle to anticipate and adapt to new consumer tastes, expectations and demands. Yet what separates say, Goop from Kraft Heinz lies in astute study of the social sciences and weaving together disparate data to find edges in society that might be tomorrow’s mass market. Fortunately, the data exhaust is everywhere; in go-fund me pledges or goat milk consumption (it’s a thing apparently). Taken and modeled they offer all kinds of clues into what people want; what they do versus say and where they might be going. Disruptions from CBD to celebrity cosmetics begin by scouring the data in society (and modeling it with your own) to find a new market opening. This is the stuff of modern insurgency.

This trend talk will share practical ways in applying creative analytics to your business—a.k.a. the metamorphosis of a spreadsheet into a story.

Big data is over. But creative data has just begun.

Books

Best Countries: Defining Success and Leadership in the Twenty-First Century

Best Countries is a rankings, news and analysis project created to capture how countries are perceived on a global scale.

The Brand Bubble: The Looming Crisis in Brand Value and How to Avoid It

While most managers still see metrics like trust and awareness as the backbone of how brands are built, Gerzema asserts they’re dead wrong–these metrics do not add to increased asset value.

Spend Shift: How the Post-Crisis Values Revolution Is Changing the Way We Buy, Sell, and Live

In today's fast-paced networked economy, professionals must work harder than ever to maintain and improve their business skills and knowledge.

The Athena Doctrine: How Women (and the Men Who Think Like Them) Will Rule the Future

How feminine values can solve our toughest problems and build a more prosperous future.

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