Marissa Orr

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Former Executive at Google and Facebook; Author of "Lean Out"; Speaks on Female Leadership, Diversity, the Gender Gap, Innovation, and Creativity

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1 Video(s) By This Presenter

Marissa Orr Highlights

4 Programs By This Presenter

Former Google and Facebook executive, Marissa Orr, offers a compelling answer to the question few dare to ask: What have we’ve gotten wrong about women at work?

Based on in-depth research and personal experiences, Marissa shares her journey as a single mom of three trying to find success in her 15-year career at the world’s top tech giants. She gives an insider’s look at the systemic dysfunction inside today’s most progressive organizations, providing a revolutionary new perspective on why there are so few female leaders in corporate America. She doesn’t simply present a counterargument to modern feminist rhetoric but offers a revolutionary path forward to change the trajectory of the lives of women and men in the corporate world and beyond.

Innovation happens by applying the scientific method to business stuff. Hypothesis, Experiment, Retry. But if it’s really that simple, why is it so hard?

Former Google & Facebook executive and bestselling author, Marissa Orr, offers a behind-the-scenes look at what’s really driving the innovative successes and failures across today’s top tech giants. Combining in-depth research with 15 years of experience at Google and Facebook, Orr offers a totally fresh, groundbreaking perspective on why most organizations fail to innovate. By focusing on the process of innovation, the most critical element is overlooked: mindset. The former is easy, the latter is extraordinarily difficult.

Weaving the latest, cutting edge research with humorous and engaging stories from her time in Silicon Valley, Orr overturns the conventional wisdom on innovation, explains why common but empty platitudes like ‘fail harder’ actually fail to help companies be more innovative, and explores what most people get wrong about the best way to inspire collaboration, creativity, and higher performance.

The most profound changes will not be in technology, but in power.

In the Industrial age, the economy was driven by manufacturing and the production of tangible things like cars. In a knowledge economy however, the most successful companies no longer make widgets, their supply is no longer made up of physical parts, stored in a warehouse, and owned by the company. Today, supply is largely made up of employee brainpower. For example, Google hires the best and brightest to code, solve business problems, sell ads, etc. With the shift from production to knowledge comes a more profound shift of power; companies no longer own the majority of their supply, employees do. To succeed in the next technological revolution, companies must rethink how they structure, engage, reward, and retain their most valuable asset: people.

With incisive wit and relatable stories, Marissa Orr offers a simple framework to help companies prepare, adapt, and succeed in tomorrow’s economy.

What culture really means and how truth is a competitive advantage

In 1986, to investigate the cause of the Challenger explosion, President Reagan formed the Rogers Commission. In their final report, they concluded that the stage for disaster was set, not by technical failure, but by the failure of NASA’S culture. Seventeen years later, when the spaceship Columbia disintegrated upon its return to Earth, killing all 7 astronauts on board, another committee was set up to investigate, and their central findings largely pinned the blame on NASA’s organizational culture. NASA is an organization of our best and brightest scientists and engineers. How is it possible they were foiled by something like organizational culture? Twice?

“Organizational culture” typically conjures up images of free-beer-Fridays and ping pong tables. It’s often seen as secondary. A ‘nice to have’ vs a ‘must have.’

But what the findings really meant when they blamed organizational culture for two national tragedies and fourteen deaths, wasn’t how ‘sociable’ and ‘innovative’ people were. They were referring to the organization’s attitude towards truth.

How an organization, at any scale, in any industry, deals with the truth is how their culture is defined. In this talk, Marissa Orr offers a revolutionary new perspective on what culture truly means, and how any company from start-up to international conglomerate can apply the principles of a truth culture to not only avoid business disaster, but gain a competitive edge in today’s rapidly evolving economic landscape.


“Everyone at Twitter is still talking about your women’s leadership presentation. It was one of the most engaging we’ve ever had.”

— SVP Global Sales Operations & Marketing, Twitter

“You crushed it and your energy was contagious. A great ending to our conference!”

— Business Lead, Women@Google New York

“With humor and grace, she challenged us to look at things from a wholly new and useful perspective; one which we’d not heard before, and one we’ve been talking about ever since.”

— MD, FACEP, Chief Innovation Officer, Sheridan Health

“She was amazing. This was by far the best session at the conference.”

— ttendee, Gartner Catalyst Conference

“Our attendees LOVED your session — the ratings were fabulous! I cannot thank you enough.”

— Managing Vice President, Gartner Group


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