Gladwell Wants Attendees' Ideas for Conference Keynote Talk

By SHRM Online staff Apr 26, 2012

Malcolm Gladwell

Has HR reached the tipping point for management practices such as mobile work? How can HR harness the “blink” principles in evaluating job candidates and employees?

Those are some suggested topics Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) members have posted for New York Times best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell when he speaks at the June 25, 2012, general session at SHRM’s 64th Annual Conference & Exposition in Atlanta.

Conference attendees can submit topic ideas to the author of The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (Little, Brown, 2000), Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (Little, Brown, 2005),Outliers: The Story of Success (Little, Brown, 2008) and What the Dog Saw (Little, Brown, 2009).

Suggestions should be submitted at by May 11, 2012.

Gladwell will customize his talk specifically for our audience, “and putting the direction of that talk into the hands of our attendees is very exciting” and “a privilege,” said Letty Kluttz, SPHR, MBA, manager of conference programming for SHRM.

In the recent past, Gladwell has spoken about:

  • “The laws of cool.” Gladwell discussed why some ideas or behaviors take off and others don’t.
  • The new influencers. Gladwell showed how consumer choices increasingly are driven by people whose personality makes them socially influential in setting marketplace trends.
  • The levers of change. Gladwell talked about the “power of context” and other insights businesses can use to promote internal institutional change.
  • The “stickiness” factor. Gladwell looked at the success “Sesame Street” has enjoyed through its effective, memorable communication.
  • The intuitive manager. Gladwell drew lessons from professional athletes, musicians and others and focuses on how intuition can be developed for business decision-makers.

Gladwell has been a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine since 1996 and was a Washington Post reporter from 1987-1996. Time magazinein 2005named him one of its 100 Most Influential People in the business world, Newsweek listed him among its Top 10 New Thought Leaders of the Decade; Foreign Policy magazine in 2009 included him in its Top 100 Global Thinkers, and in 2007, 2009 and 2011,Forbes named him to its Top 50 Thinkers, itsbiennial ranking of management thinkers in business.


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