There is a powerful cliché harming business, and it goes like this: a business leader has to be cold and ruthless in order to get results. The image of the cruel boss is so ingrained in our culture that many people work in an environment of fear, unable to bring their best selves—and their best ideas—to the office. But in this captivating talk, Doreen Lorenzo argues that empathy, as a leadership tool, can have tremendous results. Today’s most progressive (and acclaimed) leaders don’t behave like petty tyrants. They use so-called soft-skills, like empathy, humor, and patience, to create powerful bonds. They invest in human capital. They inspire lasting trust. They realize that teamwork and collaboration are far more powerful tools than going it alone. And they do this for both ethical and business-minded reasons. Drawing upon compelling research that shows how empathy has positive, measurable effects on employee health, focus, creativity, and loyalty, Lorenzo makes an insightful defense of warmth and compassion. For managers, officials, and leaders, it’s now critical to abandon the toxic workplace. In order to succeed, we need to embrace empathy.
While president of frog design, Doreen Lorenzo led the iconic design firm to record growth. In this talk, she shares her “kitten-herding” techniques for managing creative people and leading them to success. Creativity is a team sport, she says—you can’t do it in a vacuum. Drawing from her time at frog and Quirky, and sharing examples from around the world, Lorenzo reveals how to build a creative ecosystem at your company. And, she uncovers how building that dynamic—and harnessing the power of creativity—can drive extraordinary results.
Doreen Lorenzo is a writer, speaker and expert of innovation and creative leadership. She is the Director for the Center of Integrated Design at the University of Texas, College of Fine Arts, where she oversee a campus-wide initiative to integrate design thinking into the curriculum across the university.
Before that, Doreen served as President of Quirky, where she managed product development.
And prior to Quirky, Doreen worked at frog design for 16 years, seven as President where she drove company strategy and oversaw worldwide operations and delivery and record growth. As a thought leader on design and innovation, she is a frequent resource to various publications. Doreen has been featured on various media outlets, including ABC, Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Fortune, and The New York Times. She serves as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies, 2011-2012 and Emerging Multi Nationals, 2013-Present. Doreen strongly believes that everything in life can be connected back to a lyric in a Ramones song