Keynotes, Workshops & Webinars

Robert Nelson delivers engaging keynotes and interactive workshops on strategy development, building organizational strategic capacity and creating high performing boards. Robert has engaged and inspired audiences around the world delivering dynamic presentations filled with practical ideas that work in the real world. Although heavily based on his decades of experience as an association executive, Robert’s presentations are custom tailored for each audience.

Transitioning Your Board To A Strategic Thinking Entity: 25 Practical Tips

Harnessing Grand Challenges to Build Member Engagement and Community Value

The Anatomy of a Global Grand Challenge Strategy: Case Study

The Theory and Practice of Developing Global Grand Challenge / Issues Management Strategy

Transitioning Your Board To A Strategic Thinking Entity: 25 Practical Tips

Have you ever wondered why your board members seem to take off their strategic thinking caps before entering the boardroom? This keynote explores why boards aren’t strategic thinking entities and, more importantly, presents 25 tangible ideas to transition your board to a strategic thinking body.

Robert Nelson,CAE, discusses how everything from board selection to culture to board meeting management plays a role in creating a strategic thinking board. Although one can’t teach a board to be strategic, experiential learning works! Starting with creating a strategy for change and change management principles, this session includes 25 practical tips for creating strategic thinking experiences for your board.

This program is presented as a 60 minute webinar or a two-hour, highly interactive workshop.

Participants will learn:

  • How to increase the quality and frequency of strategic thinking / dialogue that takes place within the board setting.
  • How to introduce generative governance techniques and tool of inquiry to engage boards in strategic dialogue.
  • The 3 key components of good strategy and how to create a strategy development process that reframes the board’s thinking structure.
  • 25 tangible, easy to implement ideas will facilitate the transition to a strategic thinking board.

Harnessing Grand Challenges to Build Member Engagement and Community Value

Grand challenges present an opportunity for associations to give back to society, and generate member and organizational value. These complex social, political, economic and environmental issues threaten industries and communities, but also create opportunities for associations to enhance member value, increase member engagement, elevate organizational prominence and influence, build strategic capacity, and attract millennials.

Using case studies, facilitated dialogue and small group discussion participants will explore examples from a trade association and professional society, learn how to develop grand challenge strategy including the key steps to identify grand challenges aligned with your mission, engage novel stakeholders, and design collaborative strategies to tackle the challenges in a way that your association and members benefit. Specific barriers that participants are encountering as they contemplate or engage in grand challenge strategy work will also be addressed.

Participants will learn:

  • How to identify grand challenges that will impact society and resonate with their members, by effectively blending root cause analysis with qualitative and quantitative research.
  • The critical importance of and be able to better identify novel key collaborators by applying comprehensive diversity principles, expanded stakeholder analysis and creative thinking.
  • How to create more effective grand challenge strategy by being able to apply sound think tank design principles and a proven grand challenge problem-solving model.

The Anatomy of a Global Grand Challenge Strategy: Case Study

Learn the key elements of good strategy and how to design an effective strategy development think tank, through examining a case study about the private and public sectors collaborating in the development of a global, grand challenge strategy. The anatomy of a grand challenge strategy, which involved over 50 governments and scores of private sector participant in its development, will be dissected.

This 60 – 90 minute workshop will present a case study through which the participants will leave with knowledge of the key elements of good, global strategy formation; an understanding of the importance of intentional design in the creation of strategy development think tanks; and, an awareness of the importance being sensitive to culture differences and language barriers.

Participants will learn:

  • The 3 key elements of good, global grand challenge strategy and gain an understanding of how the elements can be incorporated into the design of a strategy development think tank.
  • How to design a strategy development think tank for the purpose of solving global, grand challenges.
  • How to apply a force field problem-solving model in the design and development of global, grand challenge strategy.

The Theory and Practice of Developing Global Grand Challenge / Issues Management Strategy

Through the presentation of case studies, this highly interactive workshop engages participants in learning how to develop sound strategy to address global issues and grand challenges. The session discusses good strategy development theory and includes the practical application of that theory by dissecting three distinct real life global strategies.

Participants will leave this 3 hour workshop with the knowledge of the key elements of good strategy, an understanding of the importance of intentional design in the creation of strategy development think tanks and an awareness of the importance of being sensitive to culture differences and language barriers.

Participants will learn:

  • The 3 key elements of good strategy and gain an understanding of how the elements can be incorporated into the design of strategy development think tanks.
  • 3 techniques for identifying root problems and why root problem identification is absolutely critical for successful strategy development and execution.
  • The importance of understanding cultural differences and how to factor in cultural differences and language barriers to the design of a strategy development think-tank.

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