International Speaker on How to Thrive With Disruption

Bestselling author Charlene Li speaks on disruptive growth strategies, leading in the digital age, and creating great customer experiences.
Whether it’s inspiring thousands in a hall or engaging in a boardroom, Charlene couples the ability to look beyond the horizon with pragmatic advice on what to do today. She is inspiring while being at the same time eminently approachable.

Charlene has spoken in front of hundreds of diverse audiences, from patient advocates, school superintendents, and realtors to the executive teams at Fortune 500 companies.  

She has keynoted the opening and closing of conferences, conducted fireside chats with notable executives like Sheryl Sandberg, and participated in many webinars and panels.

Charlene’s passion for disruptive leadership shone through in her talk on how to create a strategy for breakthrough growth at our inaugural user conference, Collaborate. Her thought-provoking content coupled with her enthusiastic speaking led to it being one of the most engaging and highly rated talks.
Andrew Filev

Founder and CEO, Wrike

Creates the A-Ha moment

With hundreds of appearances and five bestselling books under her belt, Charlene not only has the expertise to explain of the latest disruptive business and technology trends, but she also creates a personal moment of discovery for each person in the audience. By becoming active participants, the takeaways stay with people long after the keynote is done.

Connects with Empathy

The topics Charlene speaks about push audiences to the edge of their comfort zone so prior to each engagement, Charlene takes the time to understand where the audience stands in their journey, That way, she can customize the presentation to build a deeper connection and trust with the audience.

Builds Capabilities & Instills Confidence

It’s one thing to understand the problem – it’s another to know what to do about it. Charlene inspires the audience with the “why” for the disruptive change, then arms the audience with pragmatic advice on what to do. Most importantly, she gives them the confidence and the courage to go back and take that all-important first step.

Speaking Topics

The Disruption Mindset: Why Some Organizations Transform While Others Fail

“Disrupt or Die” has been the rallying cry for decades, but what does it actually mean to be disruptive, to make it the center of your strategy? Many established companies set a goal to develop “disruptive” innovations, believing innovation will disrupt their market and drive growth. But that’s not how it works: disruption doesn’t create growth. Growth creates disruption. Transformations are never easy, and the unrelenting pace of technological change makes it doubly difficult. But there’s hope and a way forward — starting with reframing your strategy, leadership and culture so that disruptive growth is at the top of your agenda.

Audience members will learn how to:

  • Define what disruption is — and isn’t — and how it can drive disruptive growth.
  • Identify and prioritize the right disruptive growth moves — and align the organization around them.
  • Understand how leaders must show up differently when pursuing a disruption strategy.
  • Instill disruption into a status-quo culture.

Leadership in the Digital Era

Digital technologies have revolutionized relationships — and leadership is no exception. To be truly engaged, effective leaders must harness the power of digital communications and branding, rather than remain on the sidelines, frozen by fear and the unknown. The key is understanding how your personal leadership style can be extended and scaled through digital techniques to achieve your most important goals.You’ll learn the art and science of how to listen, share, and engage with employees and customers in the digital era. We’ll also discuss common objections and concerns of leaders – and how to address them.  

Audience members will learn how to:

  • Master a new way of developing relationships, which begins by stepping out of traditional hierarchies.
  • Listen at scale, share to shape, and engage to transform
  • Shift to a digital mindset
  • Apply the right digital tools to meet strategic goals

Creating a Next Gen Customer Experience Strategy

We all know that creating customer experiences is important. But which experiences take priority? And how do we justify long term investments in things like data and personalization – and tie it to business outcomes? What’s needed is a customer experience strategy that goes beyond making sure that the customer journey is smooth. Brands must invest in next-generation experiences that build movements, transformation relationships, and result in exponential growth. We’ll go beyond the platitude of “customer obsession” and share what it takes to build a culture that keeps customers at the center every day.

Audience members will learn how to:

  • Prioritize which customer experience initiatives to invest in, so that they drive both business results and meet customers’ heightened expectations.
  • Define and create next-generation customer experiences.
  • Involve the right people and ensure that they have the skills, capabilities, and mindsets are required to succeed.
  • Make great customer experiences a priority for everyone in the organization.  

The Future of Work: Employee Engagement In The Digital Era

New technologies pop up every day that allow us to now connect and communicate with employees in real time. Yet organizations are wired for a bygone era when there was the luxury of time and proximity. Most organizations measure employee engagement in yearly surveys — hardly the way to truly engage employees in the digital era.

In this speech, Charlene makes the case to develop a new mindset, one that’s centered on creating a long-term relationship with employees that melds holistically with creating great experiences for customers. This integrated approach ties together the disparate parts of the organization dependent on a coherent employee engagement strategy — marketers are eager to tap employees advocates to scale scarce marketing dollars while HR wants to leverage them to spread the talent brand story. From collaboration platforms and Intranets to the use of social technologies and messaging, we’ll dig deep into how technology is changing the work and our relationship with employees.

Audience members will learn how to:

  • Understand how employee expectations in the workplace are being influenced by their personal use of technology and the implications for employee engagement
  • Identify the experiences that employees value the most.
  • Create rich collaboration experiences that support a different way of work.
We had the pleasure of having Charlene as Keynote Speaker for our invite-only CMO event. Charlene’s keynote was the absolute highlight of the event. She is an incredible speaker who offered a great perspective on the ever changing industry. She truly inspired the audience!
Cara Bernstein

Manager of Executive Education Partnerships at The Millennium Alliance

Tailoring Speeches for Verticals

  • How do you create a compelling patient experience in a fragmented healthcare landscape? How do you create a sense that you know and understand the patient while working within the confirms of regulations like HIPPA?
  • How are healthcare organizations embracing disruption to create better patient experiences and outcomes?
  • Organizations in healthcare and pharma have as their foundation a strong sense of purpose and mission. How can leaders use digital technologies to translate and transfer these values deep into the organization and ensure that actions and practices align?
  • How can financials service companies disrupt themselves and stay ahead of well-funded fintech startups as well as powerful new entrants like Amazon and Google?
  • Digital and social tools represent an untapped opportunity to engage both with clients and internally with employees. In the highly regulated financial services industry, how do you safely deploy and manage these seemingly risky technologies to drive business results and increase customer satisfaction?
  • How are consumers’ experiences with disruptive companies like Amazon and Uber setting the bar high for financial service companies? How can you best understand and then deliver on these heightened expectations when you operate in a highly regulated industry?
  • In an Amazon and Alibaba dominated world, what must retailers do to not just fend off these disruptive players, but thrive in the new digital landscape?
  • How are consumer products forging a new relationship with consumers with new technologies like IoT and disrupting traditional distribution and retail channels in the process?
  • What are the best ways to connect customer experience to employee experience in the retail environment? How are organizations designing the future retail experience to match the realities of how people will work in the future?

Publications & Recognition



Truth Drops

Get Disruptive

Leadership in disruptive times

Can You Handle Disruption

Disruption vs Innovation

Big Gulp Moment

Out of Your Comfort Zone


Follow Along

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Originally published on LinkedIn. Like many of you, the events of the past few weeks have thrown me flat on my butt. My heart goes out to the many people who are dealing with COVID-19 in their families or have lost their jobs. And my soul grieves for the pain that is...

Experience is what you get when
you don’t get what you want.

— Charlene Li —

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