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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Speaking Topics

Thriving in the Era of Disruptive Innovation

Technology is changing faster than ever before. How can leaders keep up and keep their organizations relevant? In this thought-provoking talk Jim discusses disruptive innovation and why being on the forefront of technology is only the beginning of it. Netflix changed the way people watch TV. Uber changed the way people get around. Amazon changed the way people buy things. Jim looks at the forces that are disrupting companies and industries and presents strategies for preventing it.

Key Takeaways:

  • The three key strategies for mitigating risk in our era of disruptive innovation.
  • How disruptive innovations impact other trends to amplify the effect on organizations & industries.

Collaboration & Engagement

Who is in charge of Wikipedia? No one. And yet more than 100 million of hours of labour have been invested by volunteers in creating the content. Most people believe that companies use less than 50% of the skills and motivation of employees. This is the challenge for organizations: unleashing the full potential of people. With millions of baby boomers retiring from the workforce over the next decade, new ways of engaging employees in collaborating will be essential for companies. How can organizations unleash more talent, creativity and innovation in their organization?

Key Takeaways:

  • New strategies leaders can use to better engage all people within their enterprise.


Most organizations need to innovate – but no one wants to change! It’s the paradox of our time. A staggering 88% of CEOs say that innovation is essential to growth and profitability, but only 33% are happy with the results that they’re getting. But innovation doesn’t just happen on its own. Jim has worked with Fortune 500 companies worldwide, India’s top 200 CIOs and the UK Cabinet Office’s top management program teaching innovation, creativity change, and why innovation is essential to for 21st-century organizations.


How Disruptive Innovation is Changing the Not-For-Profit World

World and technology is changing faster than ever before. How can not for profit leaders keep up and keep their organizations relevant? For instance, the smartphone is eating the world. If your organization is not optimized for the mobile web – you are losing donors, volunteers and opportunities. An example is the ALS bucket challenge – putting time into to figuring out an interesting, novel way to engage people on social media went viral and raised millions of dollars. Not for profit leaders need to reach millennials as the next donor generation and they don’t do email, they don’t answer the phone. You need to use social media or text them to engage them. Join Jim Harris, world renowned author, consultant and speaker and learn to leverage innovation for your not-for-profit and stay ahead of industry disruptors to keep your organization thriving.


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.