ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition 2014

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Nashville, August 9–12, 2014

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General Sessions


We are proud to welcome the following General Session speakers to our stage at the 2013 Annual Meeting and Exposition:

Susan Cain

Susan Cain

Opening General Session

Sunday, August 4
8:30–9:45 a.m.

Quiet: Harness the Strengths of Introverts into How We Work, Lead, and Innovate

Did you know that introverted leaders often deliver better results than extroverts? That the most spectacularly creative people tend to be introverts? That the most innovative thinking happens alone, and not in teams? One of the central challenges of any business is to bring out the best in its employees. Yet when it comes to introverts — who make up a third to a half of the workforce — our leadership strategy mainly consists of asking them to act like extroverts. In an enlightening, and practical talk, Susan Cain shows that introverts think and work in ways that are crucial to the survival of today's organizations. How can you structure your organization so that the best ideas dominate, rather than those of the most vocal and assertive people? How do introverts' and extroverts' different personalities cause them to solve problems and evaluate risk differently? What do introverts know about creativity that the rest of us should learn? Drawing on her original research and the latest in neuroscience and psychology, Cain will radically change your view of the best way to develop leaders, manage teams, make smart hires, and stimulate innovation.

Susan Cain is the author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking. Her writings have appeared in the NY Times, the Oprah Magazine, and many other media outlets. And, her TED talk has been viewed more than three million times.

Dan Heath

Dan Heath

Closing General Session

Tuesday, August 6
12:15–2:00 p.m.

Being Decisive

Research in psychology has revealed that our decisions are disrupted by an array of biases and irrationalities: we're overconfident. We seek out information that supports us and downplay information that doesn't. We get distracted by short-term emotions. When it comes to making choices, it seems, our brains are flawed instruments. Unfortunately, merely being aware of these shortcomings doesn't fix the problem, any more than knowing that we are near sighted helps us to see. The real question is: how can we do better?

In this keynote, Dan Heath will introduce a four-step process designed to counteract these biases — a process based on an exhaustive study of the decision making literature. Along the way, Heath will share an array of fascinating stories, from a rock star's ingenious decision-making trick to a CEO's career-ending acquisition to a single question that can often resolve thorny personal decisions.

Heath will share the answers to critical questions like these: how can we stop the cycle of agonizing over our decisions? How can we make group decisions without destructive politics? And how can we ensure that we don't overlook precious opportunities to change our course? Walk away with fresh strategies and practical tools enabling you to make better choices. The right decision, at the right moment, can make all the difference.

Dan Heath, a Senior Fellow at Duke University's CASE Center, is the co-author of three New York Times bestsellers, Decisive (#1 Bestseller), Made to Stick and Switch (along with his brother Chip). As a speaker, Dan is known for blending practical information with an entertaining and motivational style.