A keynote speech at a convention, technical conference, or other gathering sets a theme and a tone and helps audience members take the proper perspective of that event.
A great keynote speech engages hearts and minds.
You see them at college graduations, political conventions, and major product introductions. A great keynote speaker helps generate enthusiasm for an idea, accomplishment, or upcoming event, and helps attendees gain a sense of unity. If you’ve ever seen a great keynote speech, you know how affecting (and effective) they can be!
There are occasions during a cultural transformation initiative in a company, government agency, nonprofit or other organization when the addition of a keynote speaker is appropriate. Choosing the right one can help take that cultural transformation initiative to a higher level.
Cultural Transformation Requires a Deliberate, Long-Term Plan
Cultural transformation doesn’t happen based on wishful thinking or good intentions, but as the result of planned, deliberate action and follow-through. It’s not easy for leaders to admit that cultural transformation is necessary, let alone to put in the hard work and gain the workforce buy-in necessary to achieve it.
Frontline employees have to know that organizational leadership is fully committed to cultural transformation, or they’re less likely to participate or believe in its power. One way that organizations can hammer home the importance of cultural change is by bringing in a keynote speaker at a critical juncture in the transformation journey.
When Might a Keynote Speaker Be Appropriate?
One possible event that can be elevated by the right keynote speaker is the kickoff to the cultural change initiative. Once everyone knows what the goals of transformation are, and what steps the company plans to take to facilitate transformation at every level, a kickoff meeting highlighted by a powerful keynote speech can be the perfect beginning to a long and beneficial process.
Another time a keynote speaker may be appropriate in a cultural change initiative may be when a particular phase of the initiative has been completed. Maybe work teams have been physically moved into a more productive environment, or maybe new training opportunities have become available. Celebrating milestones in cultural transformation is good because it’s hard work in pursuit of something better.
Cultural transformation is hard. You should celebrate the milestones along the way.
You may think of other occasions during the course of cultural transformation when a keynote speaker would benefit the process. Perhaps once the major goals have been met, an event celebrating a better, more productive culture and how far the group has come could feature a rousing, inspiring keynote speech.
Some Keynote Speakers Specialize in Cultural Transformation
You can find keynote speakers to fill just about any speaking need, including keynote speakers who specialize in cultural transformation. Of course, you can’t expect even the most accomplished speaker to come in and “fix” everything that’s wrong with corporate culture, but you can expect them to inspire, motivate, and help your team develop enthusiasm and celebrate victories.
Getting the most from your chosen keynote speaker requires that you book early and promote the event to help generate buzz from the rank and file employee base. Some speakers are willing to write brief articles for your company newsletter, or even do a promo YouTube video you can send out to employees in advance of the big day.
Cultures don’t calcify or stagnate in a day, and neither do they transform into something thriving and productive overnight. Successful cultural transformation requires planning, gaining buy-in, an actionable plan, execution, and long-term follow-up, but the results are more than worthwhile. Oftentimes, having someone from outside the organization, someone with relevant experience, to kick things off, motivate people to keep going, or celebrate success can make the entire cultural transformation journey that much better.
I would like to invite you to check out my speaking availability if you are interested. And I would also like to invite you to check out my books, especially Cultural Transformations: Lessons of Leadership and Corporate Reinvention, which takes a deeper dive into the power of cultural transformation.