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Charlene Li        

Expert on Social Media & Marketing; Author of Bestselling Books "Groundswell" & "Open Leadership"

Charlene Li is founder of Altimeter Group and the author of The New York Times best seller, "Open Leadership." She is also the co-author of the critically acclaimed, best-selling book "Groundswell," which was named one of the best business books in 2008.

She is one of the foremost experts on social media and technologies and a consultant and independent thought leader on leadership, strategy, social technologies, interactive media and marketing. Formerly Li was vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research and a consultant with Monitor Group. She was named one of the 100 most creative people in business by Fast Company in 2010 and one of the most influential women in technology 2009.

Li is frequently quoted by leading media channels such as The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, Reuters and The Associated Press. She has appeared on "60 Minutes," "The McNeil NewsHour," ABC News, CNN and CNBC. She is a much-sought after public speaker and has keynoted top conferences such as the World Business Forum, World Economic Forum, American Society of Association Executives, SXSW and Web 2.0.

Li is a graduate of Harvard Business School and received a magna cum laude degree from Harvard College. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Harvard University Alumni Association and is on the Board of Advisors for the Poynter Institute.

Li is the mother of two kids and the wife of Come Lague, a venture capitalist with Nueva Ventures. She is also an avid fan of reality TV shows, science fiction and puzzles. She lives in the Bay Area with her family.

Speech Topics


Open Leadership: Transform the Way You Lead with Social Technologies

Talk with your customers. Listen to your employees. These are long-time, well tested truisms of business. But ask organizations to engage with people on Facebook or Twitter and a look of sheer terror crosses their faces. The long held concept of command-and-control leadership is being tested as organizations are experiencing the largest technological and sociological shift of our generation. In this presentation, Charlene helps audiences to feel in command in a world where theyre no longer in control. For example, how open, how transparent, how authentic and how real do you need to be? More importantly, how do you leverage and measure the impact of using social technologies in your organization? Charlene lays out a new approach that todays leaders must adopt for competitive advantage. In her presentation, you will learn:

  • Why being open and in control is possible

  • The characteristics, skills, and behaviors of todays open leaders

  • Best practices in creating a coherent and effective social media strategy

  • How to implement an open strategy

Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies

Right now, your customers are writing about your products on blogs and recutting your commercials on YouTube. Theyre defining you on Wikipedia and ganging up on you in social networking sites like Facebook. These are all elements of a social phenomenonthe groundswellthat has created a permanent, long-lasting shift in the way the world works. Most companies see it as a threat. In this presentation, Charlene Li discusses how to turn the force of customers connecting to your own advantage. Based on hard consumer data and experience with dozens of companies from Procter & Gamble to Ernst & Young to a tiny but wildly successful winery in South Africa, Charlene discusses how to take advantage of communities, blogs, wikis, Facebook and YouTube and turn this potential threat into opportunity.

Social Business Strategy

Business is all about relationships. Technology comes and goes, but what remains – what drives people’s decisions – are the relationships a company has with its consumers. Social media is here to stay, and in presentations, Li helps audiences learn how to align social media strategies with business objectives in order to deliver real results and ROI. She shares the six phases of social business maturity and the seven distinct traits that advanced social businesses share. Through her research, Li has learned that social media strategists face great challenges as they work to make their company truly social. The numbers are stacked against organizations – Only 34% of businesses feel that their social strategy is connected to business outcomes, and just 28% of companies feel that they have a holistic approach to social media. Li works with audience members to understand their goals and core strategy in order to create an effective strategy, and she outlines the seven steps to get her audience members there, sharing with them research-based case studies and pragmatic advice along the way.

Open Leadership

Regarding social media, Li is often asked, “How authentic do you need to be?” “Be Open, Be Transparent, Be Authentic” are the current leadership mantras – but companies often push back. Traditionally, business is based on the concept of control, and yet with social media, the new world order demands openness. In her presentation, Li shows leaders how to tap into the power of the social technology and use it to be “open” while maintaining the right balance of control. Openness requires more – not less – rigor and effort. Through illustrative case studies and examples from a wide-range of industries and countries, Li shows how to bring this new openness to both inside and outside an organization. She helps audiences determine an open strategy, weigh the benefits against the risks, and have a clear understanding of the implications of being open. She also discusses best practices for managing openness and ensuring that business objectives are first and foremost. With social media, companies can no longer be in complete control, but Li shows that by being open you can actually use social technologies to your best advantage.

Future Trends in Business

Li addresses the future trends that will affect business and technology in the years to come – notably the intersection of technology, customers, and companies. The drive towards being social and sharing is only becoming more ingrained in business practices, and it will soon be commonplace to benefit from personalized experiences at companies in exchange for personal data. The new world order will be divided between digital haves and digital haves nots. New business models will also be based on how power shifts toward the consumer due to the democratization of information. Li helps organizations navigate these shifts and create a strategy that prepares them for the social age.

News


Developing a Thought Leadership Strategy with Charlene Li|Women ...

Charlene Li, WIC's featured speaker for February, spoke on “Leadership in the Digital Age.” She presented on how relationships are formed in this digital era, ...

Thought Leadership Requires Time And Space To Actually Think

Charlene Li speaking at TED (Photo courtesy Charlene Li) Charlene Li is the Founder of Altimeter Group, a research strategy consulting firm focused on trends  ...

How to Be an Engaged Leader on Social, with Charlene Li of ...

How can leaders be engaged on social and digital platforms? Charlene Li of Altimeter Group has the answers.

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