Christie Hefner
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Christie Hefner

Groundbreaking Creative Executive and Brand Innovation Expert

Christie Hefner has led major global brands from the brink to the cutting edge through creative vision and transformative leadership, and provides key insights on the power and process of self-disruption in today’s business world.

Christie Hefner In the News

   
Disruptive Innovation: Leadership in a Changing World

From the paywall to Periscope, Venmo to viral philanthropy, the one constant in the world, and in the workforce today, is disruptive innovation. For every innovation that radically alters the way we do business, however, there are hundreds that stall and ultimately backfire. How do you spot the difference? Christie Hefner, a creative executive who has worked with numerous powerhouse global brands, is uniquely qualified to address this issue as a media savvy CEO who has successfully navigated the turbulent content distribution space. Today’s director must be able to distinguish noise from permanent change, and to that end, the “invisible decisions,” those things not done, often prove to be the most important. In this talk, Hefner offers audiences a rare glimpse into the best decisions she never made as a top executive and their immediate and enduring impacts. Repeatedly, she has anticipated market trends and met the demand with existing resources, while allowing the unprofitable parade to pass by. Hefner provides training on the tools and analytic skills necessary for decision makers to replicate her success in valuation as they assess and act in their own sectors.

Branding for a Better Business

Christie Hefner, an accomplished creative executive who has worked with iconic lifestyle brands like Playboy and Canyon Ranch, and now advises HATCHBEAUTY, is the first to admit that the term “brand” is not only overused, but also incorrectly used. United is an airline, but Virgin is a brand. Why? Hefner, who worked to develop the valuable intersection of credible health and wellness and spa pampering, or lifestyle, under the Canyon Ranch umbrella, is a bona fide brand guru. Whether a brand is top of mind in the market, or simply packs a powerful emotional punch, Hefner offers strategies to extend and leverage a brand so that it both adds to the brand bank and supports the appeal of the core brand. She charts the relationship of social media and brand management and explains the integral role branding plays in issues of corporate responsibility and trust. Calling on her varied experiences with intellectual property, reputation, risk and social responsibility, Hefner delivers a comprehensive guide to brand management that is as exciting for audiences to follow (Netflix vs. Amazon vs. Apple) as its strategies are easy to implement.

More Women at the Table

Christie Hefner is the longest-serving female chairman and CEO of a publicly traded U.S. company. An early and vocal advocate for women advancing women, Hefner encourages good corporate governance, particularly the advancement of women in management and on boards, in her work with the Committee of 200, The Chicago Network, WomenCorporateDirectors and Springboard Enterprises. She was also an advisor to The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything. As organizations move from diversity as “the right thing” to diversity as “the smart thing,” Hefner delivers an authoritative and personal take on structural issues, issues of perception and the latest research. Tightly threaded with engaging anecdotes of her time as the only woman at the table, Hefner offers audiences invaluable advice—challenging the conventional assumptions about mentorship and work-life balance, for example—which can be put into practice immediately to make equal representation in the workplace a profitable reality for both individuals and businesses.

Building a Culture of Creativity and Innovation

Even as more and more organizations recognize the value of innovative thinking, our assumptions and ways of doing business remain grounded in old patterns, those that discourage risk-taking and reward the protection of the status quo. Nowhere is this contradiction more apparent than in those industries working to incorporate employees and ideas from Silicon Valley. How does the management of a financial firm or retail outfit encourage profitable failure? Christie Hefner, a well-respected creative executive who has worked with a number of high-end, innovative lifestyle brands, advocates for a radical reevaluation of everything from the brainstorm session to compensation, from leadership structure to reporting, in order to foster a culture of high-function creativity and innovation. Hefner’s explication of today’s cases (the Google Alphabet restructure, etc.) reveals that agility, both personal intellectual agility and corporate agility, is the means to a successful end in today’s business world. Participants will learn how to nurture their most agile mind in order to build their most agile business.

Meet Christie Hefner


Christie Hefner has led major global brands from the brink to the cutting edge through creative vision and transformative leadership, and provides key insights on the power and process of self-disruption in today’s business world.

Before Lean In caught the attention of the public, Christie Hefner stood out as a trailblazer. The longest-serving female CEO of any publicly traded company, a founder of the Committee of 200 and WomenCorporateDirectors, and the first woman in the Chicago Young Presidents’ Organization, Hefner has long been an advocate of women advancing women. Hefner’s leadership through innovation, evident in her savvy stewardship of Playboy, one of the world’s most popular brands, and her ability to anticipate trends, has landed her a spot on Forbes magazine’s “100 Most Powerful Women” for three years running. As executive chairman of Canyon Ranch, Hefner again led efforts to develop a content and brand extension strategy, this time for a storied wellness resort company. Now, as chairman of HATCHBEAUTY, a turnkey product innovation company, Hefner works with the founders to build their portfolio of brands leveraging consumer insights and retailer strategy. A frequent guest on MSNBC, CNN and CNBC, she is available to comment on a wide range of issues, from leading in tough times to leveraging local partnerships in global business. With warmth, wit and candor, Hefner shares the triumphs and challenges that have made her one of America’s most admired women business leaders.

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