Ron Friedman

• Social psychologist who specializes in human motivation

• Author of 'The Best Place to Work'

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Ron Friedman, Ph.D., is an award-winning social psychologist who specializes in human motivation.

His book, The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace, has been described as “stunning,” “eye-opening,” and “a contemporary classic,” and praised by best-selling authors Daniel Pink, David Allen, Marshall Goldsmith, Susan Cain, and Adam Grant.

Dr. Friedman has served on the faculty of the University of Rochester, Nazareth College, and Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and has consulted for Fortune 500 companies, political leaders, and the world’s leading non-profits. Popular accounts of his research have appeared on NPR and in major newspapers, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, the Globe and Mail, The Guardian, as well as magazines such as Men’s Health, Shape, and Allure.

He is a frequent contributor to Harvard Business Review, CNN, Forbes, Fast Company, and Psychology Today.

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Speech topics

The Hidden Path the Greatness: How to Learn Like the best Performers in the World

This keynote offers a distillation of the most important lessons from Ron's book, Decoding Greatness. He'll reexamine the conventional wisdom behind common assumptions about where greatness comes from and offer a highly memorable, easily applicable set of practices and behaviors that anyone can use to achieve outstanding results in any field.

Along the way, Ron will share unforgettable anecdotes revealing the surprising, counterintuitive pathways to success taken by high performers from Bill Gates to Billie Jean King.

You’ll discover a new framework for learning that bears little resemblance to the traditional model of teachers, textbooks, and long practice sessions, and walk away with a fresh perspective on how to understand and optimize your own process for mastery.

What the World’s Best Workplaces Do Differently

In his highly-acclaimed new book, The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace, award-winning psychologist Ron Friedman surveyed the world’s most successful organizations, identifying key practices that position them to thrive.

In this engaging keynote, Dr. Friedman reveals the highlights, offering a surprising look at the emerging science of workplace excellence. You’ll discover why great workplaces reward failure, how turning colleagues into close friends can bolster your bottom line, and why smart managers aim to complicate rather than simplify their employees’ lives. You’ll learn why Dreamworks pays employees to decorate their desks, why the Boston Consulting Group flags analysts who don’t take paid time off (PTO), and why Radio Flyer provides mileage reimbursement for employees who ride their bikes.

By the end of this presentation, not only will you and your team think differently about your workplace, you’re bound to come away with a variety of actionable insights that you can immediately put to use.

Motivating Excellence: The Science of Fostering Passion, Loyalty, and Top Performance

How do you motivate others to produce their best work?

For generations, leaders have received conflicting advice. But now, thanks to groundbreaking new research, we have clear, data-driven insights into the factors that generate employee engagement and sustain performance over the long term.

In this compelling and persuasive presentation, you’ll learn the surprising truth about what motivates excellence (hint: it’s not money or titles), and discover concrete steps you can immediately apply to elevate your team’s performance.

º How to make any job feel more meaningful.

º The one workplace reward that feels better than a raise.

º Why many of the practices leaders have been taught to boost motivation—including glowing performance reviews, employee-of-the-month awards, and annual bonuses—can actually reduce employee engagement.

º What the best jobs have in common with a video game.

º How you can use evidence-based techniques for elevating your team’s motivation, helping you become a more effective leader.

The Science of Getting Things Done: Proven Strategies for Sharpening Your Focus, Eliminating Distractions, and Consistently Performing at Your Best

We all want to work smarter, not harder. But how do you do it? This talk offers practical, research-based strategies for maximizing your performance, based on Dr. Friedman’s popular series of articles for the Harvard Business Review.

For years, we’ve been taught that being productive is a matter of effort. We’ve been led to believe that if only we arrived at the office each morning motivated to produce great work, we’d eventually succeed.

But the research tells us something different. Studies now indicate that effort is only part of the equation. More important are the practices we use to manage our time and energy throughout the workday.

In this insightful talk, Dr. Friedman outlines proven techniques for being more effective at your job, no matter what you do. You’ll learn how to think strategically about your calendar, how to generate creative solutions when you’re feeling stuck, and how to get the most out of every single hour of your day.

How to Turn Your Team into a Creative Powerhouse

In the past, maintaining a successful business meant increasing productivity and eliminating waste. But today, the world is different. For any company to thrive it needs more than an efficient process—it needs a steady stream of creative ideas to drive innovation and stimulate growth.

What can leaders do to spark out-of-the-box solutions? As it turns out, quite a bit.

We’re led to believe that creativity is fixed—that people either have it or they don’t. But as you’ll discover in this talk, this assumption is false. There are practical, evidence-based steps that any company can use to foster workplace creativity.

Five things you will learn:

º What the behaviors of creative geniuses like Shakespeare, Mozart and Picasso have in common with the world’s most innovative companies.

º How your office layout can promote or stifle your creative thinking.

º How strategically building diversion into your day can lead you to more creative insights.

º Why successful teams often make more mistakes.

º How you and your team can implement a creativity diet.


The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace

For readers of Malcolm Gladwell, Daniel Pink, and Freakonomics, comes a captivating and surprising journey through the science of workplace excellence.

Decoding Greatness: How the Best in the World Reverse Engineer Success

For generations, we’ve been taught there are two ways to succeed—either from talent or practice. In Decoding Greatness, award-winning social psychologist Ron Friedman illuminates a powerful third path.

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