Alan Gregerman

Speech Topics

All of us have been taught to believe that friends are the real keys to our success. But what if friends are overrated and strangers are even more vital to learning, innovation, collaboration, and business and personal growth? In this upbeat and thought-provoking program, based on my new book The Necessity of Strangers, I’ll show you how to create remarkable breakthroughs in the things that matter most by tapping a world filled with remarkable strangers, ideas, and perspectives and rethinking the way you engage and work with all of the remarkable strangers inside your own organization.

If people are truly our most important assets, why do we fail so often to engage and inspire our employees? And why do so many talented people feel that they can never make a real difference in our companies and organizations. In this energizing, inspiring, and practical program I’ll help you to discover how to capture the hearts and minds of all of your people and how to build a workplace and culture that is capable of consistently achieving great results based on people.

It’s not enough to have great products, services, or solutions. The world’s best companies also build more valuable and more remarkable relationships with their current and future customers. In this thoughtful, engaging, and hands-on program I’ll share seven keys to creating the most compelling connections with customers and strangers and building bigger, stronger, and more inspiring personal and professional networks. And I’ll share the latest insights on how to make those you have the privilege to serve smarter, more successful, and more loyal.

In today’s challenging business environment, innovation is more important than ever. Yet most companies and organizations lack a clear understanding of how to nurture the right new ideas and how to unlock the real genius in all of their people and a world around them filled with limitless possibilities. In this fun-filled and fast-paced journey around the planet, I’ll challenge you to think in new ways about your own potential, the very nature of ideas, and what really matters and provide a set of tools for building a company or organization that consistently creates and delivers real value.

In today’s sales environment, it is harder than ever to win new business and keep existing customers. Armed with a wealth of information and a changing landscape of offerings and business models, buyers have way greater expectations about how salespeople and the companies they represent will meet their needs. And while the best traditional sales programs are useful in helping professionals to improve their ability to prospect, network, and build relationships, they miss the most important ingredient—bringing new ideas and possibilities to customers and prospects so they can create greater value. In this fast-paced, practical, and energizing program, join Alan Gregerman—world-renowned speaker, author, consultant, and authority on innovation—as he shows you how to unlock your own creative abilities in order to empower your customers and prospects to reimagine their own potential and success. In the process, you will learn to take a fresh look at what matters most to customers, how to ask questions that really matter, and how to co-create brilliant solutions that will enable you and your company to stand out from the pack.

Key Takeaways

As a result of this session, participants will have:

• A clearer understanding of the importance of innovation in driving sales success

• Insight on how innovation actually happens and how to unlock your own genius in order to co-create greater value for customers

• Practical guidance on how you can bring the right questions and new ideas to customers and prospects as a way to stand out from the crowd


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Dr. Alan S. Gregerman is President and Chief Innovation Officer of Venture Works Inc., a consulting firm based in the Washington, D.C. area that helps leading companies and organizations to develop winning strategies and create successful new products, services, ventures, customer experiences and ways of doing business.  His customers are a wide range of Fortune 500 corporations, growing firms, start-ups, and nonprofit organizations including Marriott International, Johnson & Johnson, Mercedes Benz, L-3, Verizon, Discovery Communications, Omnicom, CSC, CGI, Noblis, Raytheon, World Bank, The University of Maryland Medical System, Ritz-Carlton, Unisys, Children’s National Medical Center and the National Civil Rights Museum.

Alan is an internationally-respected expert on business strategy, innovation, customer service and unlocking the talent in people at all levels of organizations.  In the past 20 years he has helped over 300 teams and organizations to create important innovations —with a 90% success rate.  He is also an award-winning teacher, author and keynote speaker who has been called “one of the most original thinkers in business today” and “the Robin Williams of business consulting.”  His first book, Lessons from the Sandbox, provided a powerful formula for business success based on the magic of childhood.  His second book, Surrounded by Geniuses—winner of the Axiom Award as one of the best leadership books of 2008—showed companies and organizations how to unlock compelling value by finding powerful insight in their own people and the world around them.

His newest book, The Necessity of Strangers, is about the power of connecting with new and different people as the real key to innovation, collaboration, and greater business and personal success. Before starting Venture Works, Alan was Director of Entrepreneurial Services for a national consulting firm, Special Assistant for Program Operations at the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the first Visiting Scholar in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Library of Congress.  He has also worked as a mapmaker, subway mechanic, hotel housekeeper and is currently an Adjunct Professor of Innovation at Georgetown University.

Alan earned his B.A. in geography, summa cum laude, from Northwestern University, and his M.A. in economic geography and Ph.D. in urban and technological planning, with highest honors, from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  In his free time, he is founder and President of Passion for Learning, Inc., where he is involved in efforts to build innovative partnerships between the business community and low-income schools to close the achievement gap for at-risk children.  Alan is also an active member of Leadership Greater Washington, serves on the board of the A-Games and is a math and writing tutor in the public schools.  He and his wife Lisa have three children, Sara, Carly and Noah.

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