Sara Roberts


Sara Roberts

Future Proofing Your Organization

Sara Roberts is a leading authority and hands-on expert on innovation, purpose, and culture. In her insightful, provocative talks, she advises on how to actively leverage culture and purpose to build organizational agility, customer connection, employee engagement, and a capacity for innovation and growth critical for success in a volatile and rapidly changing world.

Sara is the author of the highly-acclaimed book, Nimble, Focused, Feisty: Organizational Cultures that Win in the New Era and How to Create Them. Her thought leadership is valued by Fortune 500 leaders who want to infuse their established companies with startup agility and innovation, and with startup founders who are looking to bring their innovative ventures to scale through robust and dynamic cultures.

As an advocate for transformation over incremental evolution, Sara guides leaders in shedding organizational reliance on internal processes and priorities to focus on innovations and directions that are meaningful to customers, aligned with purpose, and drive growth.

As the founder of Roberts Golden, a boutique consultancy, Sara led teams that worked with nearly a quarter of the Fortune 100 to help transform their cultures and approach to leadership.

Future Proofing Your Organization

Some companies reach the future faster than others. They see the way the world is changing – what customers and employees really want, how markets and societal dynamics are shifting, which innovations are critical – and they build the capabilities and approaches that will be needed. Then, when the future does arrive, they’re not rocked by change or forced to catch up but well-positioned and ready to succeed in a big way.

Most organizations live in the past. In our volatile business climate, that’s a recipe for stagnation and it’s why the average life expectancy of a company today is down to 15 years. In this talk on competing and winning in an era of disruption, Sara describes how companies like GE, Google, Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook separate themselves from average organizations through their focus on building dynamic, innovative cultures that are adaptive, resilient, and ready for the future.



Leveraging Your Difference Makers

Most organizations are built to bring efficiency and execution to scale – the downside is that often leads to dampening passion, killing innovation, impeding collaboration, and discouraging people from making decisions when and where those decisions matter. In a world of disruptive innovation and rapid change, that approach to doing business no longer works. The most dynamic and successful companies today are organized to bring out the best in people. They are purpose-driven, customer-focused, highly collaborative, and they push decision-making power to wherever it is needed.

In this talk on the new role of leaders and managers, Sara describes how the most successful organizations today attract, support, and leverage the talent, passion, and creativity of their Difference Makers – people who are motivated less by money and professional achievement than by meaning and contribution and who generate the innovation and performance levels needed to win.


Where Does Innovation Come From?

Every organization wants to be more innovative. Few understand how innovation actually works. Regardless of their size, truly innovative companies are like startups. They’re on their toes, not back on their heels. They think quick and react fast. They seem to have an innate sense of urgency and a passion for going farther and harder than competitors. They question everything and are willing to experiment. They view risk as the road to discovering opportunity, not something to avoid. They treat failure as a way to learn, not defeat.

In this talk on innovation, Sara shows how the success of fast-moving, disruptive, high-growth organizations is not driven by a winning strategy, product, or business model but by a dynamic, adaptive, and customer-focused culture. She defines the four characteristics of innovative cultures today that are shared by the best startups and most vibrant market leaders alike.