Jim Harris

Author and Thinker on Change and Leadership

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Jim Harris is a one of North America's foremost management consultants, authors and thinkers on disruptive innovation, leadership, innovation, organizational change, future trends and mitigating risk. Association magazine ranked him as one of the nation's top ten speakers and consultants. He works internationally conducting strategic planning sessions with executive teams.

Mr. Harris' clients include Association of Research Libraries, Barclays Bank, Certified Management Accountants, Cleantech, Columbia Tristar Pictures, Deloitte, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), IABC, IDG, IBM, IEEE, International Council of Shopping Centers, Johnson & Johnson, MasterCard, Munich Re, NEC, Novartis, Soc. of Professional Engineers, the UK Cabinet Office, the World Future Society and Zurich Insurance. He has worked extensively with the health care sector, government, financial services, retailers and professional services firms.

His last book, Blindsided! is published in 80 countries worldwide and is a #1 international bestseller. Blindsided! has been named one of the best business books of the year by a number of organizations and Soundview Executive Summaries sent a summary to 80,000 executives worldwide.

Mr. Harris' second book, The Learning Paradox, was nominated for the National Business Book Award, and has appeared on numerous bestseller lists. Books for Business ranked it as one of the top 10 business books in North America. There are now over 40,000 copies in print. Mr. Harris co-authored the national bestseller The 100 Best Companies to Work for in Canada. As a management consultant, Mr. Harris works with leading businesses, Fortune 500 companies, and organizations aspiring to join these ranks. From 1992-1996 he represented the Covey Leadership Center in Canada teaching Dr. Stephen Covey's work, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

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Speakers Like Jim Harris

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Speaking Topics


Change is the key factor in today's economy. With consumers demanding value, and technology making it possible to serve needs faster and more economically, no wonder everything is in a state of flux! Every sector of our society is affected: governments at all levels, health care, business, not-for-profit organizations, social programs, arts and culture. There are no exemptions. The change is sweeping and dramatic.


Creating a Common Mission/Vision

Creating a shared mission/vision is a challenging, yet vitally necessary task for any organization. In this ever changing world of business, it is crucial that your company has a clear mission/vision statement that reflects the company as a whole and serves as a corporate blueprint. While the mission (Why are we in business?) will tend to remain constant, the vision or direction (Where are we going?) will be continually changing over time.



Leaders today are paradigm pioneers who must understand the versatility of business and change with it. In the world of shifting paradigms, leadership has become more complex and more necessary. One of the greatest challenges of leadership has become problem-seeing, not problem-solving. Leaders have to become more adept at anticipating problems and perceiving opportunities to stay ahead of the competition and exceed customer expectations.


Paradigms/Paradigm Shifts

Paradigms are the way we see the world. Perhaps at no other time as it been so crucial for a company to be able to shift its paradigms and examine the possibilities! With our lives changing so quickly, every organization must be able to look outside the present way of doing things and contemplate different options. Each technological change can dramatically alter our lives and each innovation brings a future vision into reality. Companies who are not challenging their paradigms will be left behind.


Strategic Planning

Strategic planning in the past assumed that the future would look essentially the same as now, with an estimated 10 per cent growth rate. However, the rate of change has become so rapid that strategic planning today must recognize that the future will look radically different than the present and the past. By demonstrating how strategic planning must be approached today, and by working with each client to flesh out individual challenges, Jim is able to lead his groups through the difficult and often daunting task of planning for the future.


The Learning Paradox

Jim bases both keynote addresses and seminars on his book The Learning Paradox, which has sold more than 30 000 copies! Jim customizes each presentation, tailoring the lessons of The Learning Paradox to each client. The only way to prepare for the future is to learn how to learn. Become self-corrective and self-reflective. Increase your creativity and work better as a team member. We have moved from a knowledge-based to a learning-based economy. Learning, changing and accepting uncertainty creates security.


Recent Publications by Jim Harris

Emotional Learning


Blindsided: How to spot the next breakthrough that will change your business forever


"In the fast-paced global business environment, the possibility of being blindsided by a competitor or new market entrant is very real, even for businesses that appear most secure. Jim Harris offers real-life examples that will cause the reader to stop, think and question whether he or she is doing everything in his or her power to avoid being blindsided. A must-read for all senior executives." - Clare Hart, President & CEO, Factiva, a Dow Jones & Reuters Company

"Jim's session was one of the most highly rated and I am certain that we will work with him in the future. What was particularly noteworthy was the accessibility and relevance of his material. Jim's friendly, open style is critical in encouraging participants to take the material on board and shift their thinking." - Geoff Merchant, Centre for Management & Policy Studies, UK Cabinet Office

"Having attended countless sessions over the years, I am very selective. I am especially proud that one of the best messages I've heard at MPI was delivered by a Canadian - Jim Harris." - Marjorie Hamilton, Past International President, Meeting Professionals International

"The Learning Paradox is a rich, in depth exploration of the major issues facing today's organizations. But it's more than that - it's filled with stories and examples that evoke curiosity, laughter, and true learning. Long after I put the book down, I found myself thinking about many of the lessons Jim Harris describes so well." - Meg Wheatley, Author Leadership & the New Science

"In The Learning Paradox, Harris offers a strikingly insightful and coherent organizational learning strategy for businesses in this rapidly changing world." - Hunter & Amory Lovins, Co-authors Natural Capitalism, Founders Rocky Mountain Institute

"The Learning Paradox deals with the challenges of incessant change and helps make sense of the confusion, emerging trends and technologies. With profound insight, the book presents practical, proven strategies, tools, tips and techniques to individuals and organizations to thrive in today's fast changing business environment. I highly recommend you read the book - it had the same impact on me that Alvin Toffler's Future Shock did in 1971." - Larry Wilson, Founder of Wilson Learning & Coauthor The One Minute Sales Person and Stop Selling Start Partnering

"If I were told that my people and I could read only one business book during the next year I would, in a heartbeat, choose Jim Harris' The Learning Paradox. I choose this book because it communicates so very clearly not only the key issues we face, but the solutions we need for survival. This book is priceless." - Lou Pritchett, retired Vice-President, Sales, Procter & Gamble

"You were rated the most effective presenter among a group of over 25 speakers.  Congratulations!  Your sessions were insightful informative and inspirational." Canadian Institute of Actuaries 

"The verdict is in...Jim Harris has been acclaimed as a resounding success by all of our respondents.  In summary, Jim delivered for us, with gusto!!" Internal Audits, Bell Canada     

"It is not often that we find a person that is knowledgeable in his subject area but is a dynamite speaker as well.  Jim excelled in both categories.  Municipal Finance Officers Assoc. of Ontario.