Ade McCormack

Expertise: Leadership Disruption, Future of Work
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Ade McCormack

Ade McCormack is the founder of the Intelligent Leadership Hub and the author of six books on leadership and transformation. He has been described as an ‘inspiring slap in the face’ for his ability to convey the true extent of the challenges that we all face coupled with a way forward that will ultimately liberate us.

His presentations make the case for change in an increasingly disrupted world. His message is one of hope for both people and the planet. He weaves in disciplines, including evolutionary biology, neuroscience, anthropology and performance science. He introduces new lenses through which to view the future, including, super resilience, cognitive athletes, synthetic certainty and the cognitive gymnasium.

Ade is the person to engage if you want to make the case for radical change and you want to achieve that by getting the best rather than the most from your people.

He brings to his presentations a vast array of experiences as:

  • Former technologist who today advises leaders on transformational matters.
  • Former Financial Times columnist.
  • Lecturer at MIT Sloan on leadership matters.
  • Worked with Cambridge University on leadership development.
  • Has worked in over forty countries across the world.
  • Author of six books on leadership and transformation.
  • Founder of the Intelligent Leadership Hub thinktank.



On transformation

On the future of work

Short showreel

Sample keynotes

  • The future of talent management – How to get the best rather than the most from your people.
  • Intelligent leadership – Leading in times of increasing disruption
  • It is time for a leadership reset – Why we no longer need ‘masters of administration’
  • Disruption has come to save us – Why increasing disruption will force us to be more human.
  • From office to cognitive gymnasium –
  • Building a human-centric organisation.

The problem he addresses is that many organisations are in a tailspin because their business model was not designed for the growing uncertainty and volatility. Some leaders are in denial and some think that the digitalisation of their anachronistic model will somehow save them.

Ade will make them acutely aware of the scope of the problem they are facing and how holding their breath and hoping the world will return to normal shortly will not cut it. He will highlight the implications in relation to a variety of areas including leadership, risk, innovation, talent, business models and strategic planning (RIP). He will then introduce them to the concept of super-resilience and how to build what in effect is a people-centric situationally aware ‘living organism’.

In order to capture the attention of the audience, Ade draws upon a variety of disciplines, including strategy, IT, neuroscience, anthropology, biology and human performance. He uses very memorable soundbites and memes to maximise audience resonance and retention.

Ade storifies his keynotes and thus they play out like a compelling drama where your audience is the hero. There is even a love interest! And there is quite a twist at the end when the antagonist’s true role is revealed.

Your audience can expect to leave profoundly moved, enlightened and inspired. Ade’s keynote will reset the bar in respect of subsequent conversations within your organisation / throughout your event.

Ade has written a number of books covering digital matters. His latest being Biz 4.0: An anthropological blueprint for business in the digital age’.

The irony of the digital age is that it is not about technology, though IT has a role to play. It cannot be conceptualised as ‘the industrial era amped up on tech steroids’, as implied by the much-used term, Industry 4.0. It is fundamentally about people reclaiming their humanity, and requiring the organisations they support and patronise to reshape accordingly. It also represents a return to a less certain and more dangerous world, less new town business park, more prehistoric savannah. This book, based on the author’s Biz 4.0 digital age business model, is a strategic template for reshaping your organisation for the digital age.

The world of work is changing. The industrial era model of work is crumbling. Those trying to maintain an industrial era career in the digital age are starting to crumble too as they struggle to cope with the new realities. The future of work has arrived. Beyond 9 to 5 is written primarily for those who are about to enter the world of work. Understanding the drivers that are shaping tomorrow’s jobs will equip you to make better ‘career’ decisions. This is an empowering book. Understanding the shift from economic dependence to professional mastery will serve to give meaning to your work and in turn your life. The book is equally useful for those mid-career who are starting to realize that the skills that have taken them to this point in their career are not the same as those that will keep them economically relevant and fulfilled going forward. This comprehensive, ‘on the money’ and engaging guide provides both the context and the actions you need to take to design your career. What’s more it will show you how to capitalize on your true nature.


Ade was a session chair at the Drucker Forum 2021 (Digital Forum Day).. on Human Hardware, Human Software: Is There Any Potential for Upgrades? In his moderation he succeeded to navigate the diverse perspective of world leading experts ranging from happiness studies, ethics of digital transformation to genetic evolution engineering and get to interesting conclusions for management and managers. The cross-discipline composition of the panel required a good understanding – not only of technology but psychology, biology and organization behavior. This is what Ade brought to the fore and thus contributed to the success of the Global Peter Drucker Forum 2021.
Richard Straub, President, Global Peter Drucker Forum

Ade was a keynote speaker at a conference seeking to open senior leader’s minds to the potential of 4IR technologies. He was widely appreciated across the diverse audience, for a thoughtful long term perspective on this issue, emphasising the enduring role of humans to create, manage and lead the use of these new technologies. A great speaker, who actively contributes to the wider discussions at the events he attends – hugely valuable. Thank you Ade.
David Sales, Director, Emergenetics UK

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