John Austin, PhD

John Austin, PhD

Developing Leaders, Driving Change
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Program Descriptions

Strategic Thinking: Breaking Out of Industry and Organizational Conventional Mindsets
Strategic thinking is a core skill of adaptive leaders who enable your business to thrive amidst constant uncertainty. Dr. Austin identifies the key barriers to strategic thinking and how successful leaders overcome these challenges. Building from the work outlined in his book Unquestioned Brilliance, participants in this session will consider the key practical actions that they can consider to keep specific strategic initiatives moving and to also help make their organizations, and their own careers, more resilient in the face of strategic shifts. The session will include application of several techniques designed to embed strategic thinking into day-to-day work.

Inspiring Action: Leading Change and Changing the World
It is often easiest not to act when confronted with a daunting challenge.  Yet, action inspires. Dr. Austin challenges participants to navigate a change process in a way that builds momentum, reduces change resistance and minimizes unanticipated barriers. Build from an interactive case of a significant change initiative (the signing of Jackie Robinson by the Brooklyn Dodgers), participants work through five keys to leading successful changes. This session is inspiring, yet practical. Participants leave the session with a shortlist of questions and actions to drive a change forward.

Futurists, Overconfidence and Uncertainty
It is interesting to listen to experts tell us what they think will happen in the future. However, expert insight is far more useful when taken as input into our own mapping of possible industry futures. After examining the risks of overconfidence, confirmation bias, and conventional wisdom. Dr. Austin introduces a technique to prioritize and connect industry uncertainties. Participants work together to map key industry uncertainties. This topic is well suited for an opening session (to inform conversations at the conference) or as a closing session (to bring together provocative points made throughout the conference)

Innovation is Action: Creating an Adaptable Culture
Innovation requires insight, translation of insight to action, and successful replication of the action. Dr. Austin tells the stories of inspirational people and organizations that have managed to navigate the innovation process from insight to sustained action. Participants are introduced to practical techniques to jump-start this process and apply it to their work. Participants are challenged to look for sources of insight, push beyond inertia, and act.

Leading High Performing Teams
We rely on teams more than ever to meet increasingly challenging goals. The gap for many team leaders is not the one between ignorance and knowing, it is the gap between knowing and doing - we see the dysfunction but do not have time or energy to fix it. We will experiment with several practical techniques for creating and sustaining high-performing teams and removing barriers to collaboration and explore the four areas of common team leadership dysfunction: creating, motivating, coordinating, and deciding.


Biography Read more

John Austin works at the intersection of research and practice as the President of Three Translation Leadership. Prior to that, Dr. Austin was a Principal at Decision Strategies International and a management professor at Penn State University and The University of Washington. He continues to teach executives for The Wharton School and The University of North Carolina. John has worked with numerous Global Fortune 500 companies as an executive development resource and is a frequent speaker at association conferences.

Dr. Austin has a B.A. in economics from The Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. in management from Boston College. He is a thought leader in the areas of team leadership, organizational change implementation, and strategic decision-making. His research on knowledge-based decision making teams is widely cited in the academic literature, as is his work on the strategic actions of internal change agents. Dr. Austin’s work on knowledge transfer in managerial teams has been used to develop executive teams around the world.

Dr. Austin is an experienced facilitator and an award-winning teacher who has worked with practicing executives on six continents. John has developed leaders and led long-term projects in the areas of change management, scenario planning, team performance, strategic decision-making, and strategy execution. His experience with individuals at all levels of organizations enables him to translate broad strategies and concepts into actionable, engaging programs. Dr. Austin’s research has been published in leading management and applied psychology journals including Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Journal of Applied Psychology, and Organization Science as well as practice-oriented publications including HR Magazine and The OD Practitioner. John’s work has been recognized with three Best Paper awards from the Academy of Management and has been mentioned in a number of media outlets including CNN, The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s. He is the author of Leading Effective Change: A Primer for the HR Professional published as part of the SHRM Foundation’s Effective Practice Guidelines Series (2015). Dr. Austin’s new book, Unquestioned Brilliance: Navigating a Fundamental Leadership Trap, was published in fall 2015.

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