Keynote Speaking

Lisa’s Bio

Lisa Taylor is a sought-after expert, speaker, and columnist on today’s changing world of work. As President of Challenge Factory and the Centre for Career Innovation, Lisa offers invaluable leadership and insights about the Future of Work—with a focus on how talent equity, demographics, the freelance economy, and new market dynamics present opportunities to gain strategic workforce and career advantage.

After receiving her MBA in Strategic Management and Public Administration from the Schulich School of Business at York University, Lisa held progressive roles at Deloitte and Hewlett-Packard. In 2014, Lisa was recognized by the Urban Land Institute as one of Canada’s Top 100 Women for her work in leadership, employment, and city building. She was also recognized by the Career Professionals of Canada as their 2015 Outstanding Career Leader.

With a successful career in the corporate sector already under her belt, Lisa realized that she wanted to focus full-time on shaping the Future of Work and Canada’s approach to career development. She founded Challenge Factory and the Centre for Career Innovation to make her passion a reality, and quickly got to work helping her clients find creative solutions to today most pressing career and workforce challenges. A key part of Lisa’s success is her ability to blend together a variety of disciplines—including scientific inquiry, career and identity theory, and military crisis management—to craft powerful messages about self-determination and the best pathways through crisis, disruption, and uncertainty.

Lisa is the author of the Retain and Gain series of career management playbooks for small businesses and non-profits and charities. Her third book, The Talent Revolution: Longevity and the Future of Work, is published by the University of Toronto Press-Rotman Imprint. Her expertise is widely recognized in The Globe and Mail, The Wall Street Journal, CBC, TVO, and other major outlets.

Lisa sits on the Boards of Directors of the Canadian Special Operations Forces Regiment Association and CERIC. She is a member of the Canadian Council for Career Development’s Standards and Guidelines stakeholder committee, and a representative for Team Canada with the International Centre for Career Development and Public Policy.

Popular Keynotes:

Welcome to the Revolution: COVID-19, Careers, and the Future of Work

Even before COVID-19 hit it was clear that we were in the midst of a talent revolution. In the last 20 years how we work, when we work, where we work and who we work with had all been shifting. Some are working well into what used to be “retirement.” Some have never been an employee at all, crafting a patchwork of gigs and projects to navigate a freelance economy. Through it all, there had been a focus on defining the “skills of the future” which often prioritized technical skills, while downplaying the importance of career agency, ownership and navigation.

And then the world stopped. COVID-19 brought all of our hidden questions, fears and concerns about the shifting world of work to the forefront. In this keynote address, Lisa will connect what is happening right now to workforce and career patterns and trends that have been emerging over time. Using recent data, research and expert predictions she’ll challenge you to consider what role you have to play in how we move forward into a new world of work.

Stop Preparing for the Future of Work

Change is happening. The world is more closely connected than ever before, and population migration has created a diverse and blended workforce. We benefit from greater connectivity, and a deeper understanding of how our brains work. However, we’re also challenged by emerging talent trends and business models. Daily news reports purport a thriving gig economy and the impending replacement of jobs by a robot workforce. But what’s myth and what’s reality? In what ways do AI, robotics, and the platform economy impact how jobs are designed and what we need to do to adapt? Employees need to be prepared for the jobs that don’t yet exist but will soon be a core part of thriving in a new global economy. Or do they?

What if the single most important action we can take is to stop preparing for the future as if it’s inevitable and, instead, start shaping the Future of Work that we want for ourselves, our children, and future generations? This talk breaks down the drivers of change and identifies the technological and talent related implications.

The Future is a Mystery, Not a Puzzle

Traditional approaches to problem solving require a complete understanding of the issues, boundaries, and pieces at play in order to succeed. Even design thinking, with its creative and user-centric approach, seeks to solve for ‘what customers value most’. But what if we approach today’s career, talent, and workforce challenges less like business school puzzles and more like science experiments? This talk examines new techniques and skills from a variety of sectors to show that leadership teams have the tools they need to decode their own futures. They just need to focus on finding the first clue along the journey.

Your Organizations Have Broken Talent Escalators

Today’s talent structures no longer reflect the needs, skills, and demographics of today’s workforces. Organizations are spending a fortune to modify, augment, and improve outdated structures. This evidence-based talk argues that it’s time to return to first principles rather than evolve outdated workforce programs. First, we need to define what it means to have an active, vibrant, productive workforce that’s engaged throughout its entire working life. Then, using this foundation, we can reimagine today’s intergenerational organizations—without throwing the baby (boomer) out with the bathwater. 

Social Rituals, Longevity, and Legacy

The rituals we celebrate at work often come to feel empty over time. Think of the office birthday cake: fun for employees in their 20s, but awkward for employees in their 60s. Rituals exist to acknowledge rites of passage and accomplishments, as well as to connect people. Some of our most important rituals mark life’s beginnings and ends, but what about life’s middles or transition points? The middles are where real life and real legacies are created. This talk reveals the untapped opportunity to ritualize lifelong accomplishment and legacy building.

Employees Aren't Your Organization's Greatest Asset

It feels so good to declare that your employees are your greatest asset. Yet many of today’s struggles with engagement, loyalty, recruitment, and retention may well be traced to practices inside organizations that see people treated just like assets—acquired at a price, depreciated over time, and written off for nothing. Learn how new relationships inside and outside your organization can challenge traditional thinking. Lisa introduces new ways to think about the relationship between workforces and workplaces. She shares examples of how changing people management from asset-based accounting approaches to equity-based value creation can transform organizations into workplaces of the future.