Keynote Topics

The Illusion of the Impossible

Our action (or lack of action) determines our results. If we see something as impossible, we don’t do anything about it. This wouldn’t be a problem other than the fact that most of what we see as impossible is an illusion. It’s not actually impossible. It was impossible to fly before the Wright Brothers. It was impossible to go to the moon with the computer processing power of a desk calculator before JFK. The same limiting “impossibilities” occur within our businesses. In this talk, Sterling unveils the illusion of the impossible opening up new possibilities for everyone in attendance. He brings case studies such as IBM, Amazon and Apple together with pop culture references to give attendees the valuable takeaways they’re excited to do something about.

Key Take Aways:

  1. There are key tools to unmask the illusion of the impossible. Learn how to distinguish those limits to open up new thinking, ideas and possibilities within your business.

  2. Our companies only work because of the people. And every group of people develops a culture. Develop access to impacting organizational culture to minimize limited thinking to unleash the organizational potential.

  3. Seeing an action to take is easy. Seeing the most effective action to take is not. Lifting the veil of the impossible gives us access to seeing what actions, products, services or solutions will make the biggest difference.

The Innovation Gap

There’s a difference between what we plan on (or what we accept) and what’s actually possible: the Innovation Gap. In this talk, Sterling first explores Innovation Thinking to see that gap in our businesses and our lives, and then steps with the audience into the gap starting with a fact that social scientists know but most businesses don't: people aren’t built for change. But some organizations have figured it out — there’s a reason Amazon, Facebook, Apple and others have enjoyed exponential growth at times. Learn the keys to developing a culture of innovation to take advantage a the growth potential all around us.

Key Take Aways:

  1. Access to the Innovation Gap requires a special kind of skill to let go of everything we think we already know to discover what’s possible. Learn to develop a perspective that looks for what’s possible vs. what’s not.

  2. Leadership in the future needs to be leadership that embraces change, a world where transformational performance is possible and proven. Learn how leaders ignite their spirit to actually become agents of change and facilitators of the innovation process to ignite the spirit in others

  3. Sterling shows audiences, by example, how to develop innovation thinking to gain perspective, clarity and take profits to the next level inside the 4th Industrial Revolution where anything is possible. 

How Leaders Innovate

The only constant is change. Sterling’s background in working with hundreds of startups and fortune 500 companies has led to a discovery. Innovation isn’t about money, who you know, or even being in the right place at the right time. It’s about discomfort. And embracing that discomfort as our access to breakthrough growth. People aren’t built for that, they’re built for survival. In today’s fast-paced world, change is necessary and learning how to first accept it and get out ahead of it is the only competitive advantage. Sterling learned that first hand as he worked with retailers and brands to embrace the technologies of the 4th industrial revolution including robots, IoT and Artificial Intelligence. At the same time it required him and the companies he worked with to think differently to truly embrace technology coming together with humanity to unlock something new.

  1. Opening up innovation first requires

  2. Sterling learned along the way that before you can embrace change, you have to give up the status quo and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. In this talk, discover how.


Creating the Future of Commerce: 

In a culture of consumerism and technology, how did we get here and the surprising place we’re headed in the future to fulfill on our wants and needs. Retail used to be different when Sterling was growing up in his family’s supermarket — it was all about customers and all about community. Walmart, Amazon and others broke that traditional mold making it all about scale, mass and technology.  With venture dollars and startups flooding the market, Sterling first worked in his family’s store and now across the global retail industry to shape how emerging technologies such as robots, drones, artificial intelligence and countless other technologies will transform how people fulfill on their wants and needs. For those in retail or interested in retail, this is a hands on roadmap of what technologies will be part of the future, who is using them already, and how to inspire a culture that that embraces the change necessary keep up. His leadership and vision has enabled retailers and their teams to step past the hype of traditional retail being dead to empower them to use technology to unify experiences and redefine what retail is. 

Key Take Aways:

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Full “Creating the Future of Commerce” Keynote. Akolade Retail Fulfilment Summit. Melbourne, Australia. March, 2018.

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Over my many years running events around the world, few if any of my 2,000+ speakers delivered as remarkable a performance as Sterling did at Seamless Asia 2017.
— Oliver Arscott, Director, Terrapinn
Thank you Sterling for a breath taking speech on Innovation!! Your mindset and delivery is epic and amazing and I am ever so grateful for your presentation at City Summit! Riveting!!
— Ryan Long, Founder, City Summit & City Gala