Due to his father’s career in the military, Chris Colbert grew up in different countries across the globe, This led to two things: his interest in the world around him, and innovation. His father, a four-star US Navy admiral, played an important role in developing his leadership abilities. Together, these qualities have resulted in his unique ability to help organisations realise their full potential while embracing the human truth, challenging legacy thinking, and creating the foundation for both functional and behavioral growth. As for his view of himself, Chris Colbert regards himself as a simplifier who integrates systems thinking with intuitive, non-linear activity. In doing so, he can solve complex issues.
The period before 2005 saw Chris Colbert run various companies that focused on innovation and technology. These include Database Marketing Corporation, BeNow, and Holland-Mark. The timeframe between 2006 and 2012 saw him as the Holland-Mark CEO. He also worked with various CEOs and their leadership terms, focusing on growth and turnaround strategies that enabled them to leverage innovation best practices while encouraging organisational alignment while motivating at both individual and collective levels.
Upon becoming Chairman Emeritus of Holland-Mark, Chris Colbert took on a position as SVP Strategy at the Scholastic Corporation in New York. His role was to guide its business into the digital strata. After successfully completing this initiative, he left. His next challenge was at the Harvard Innovation Lab. He served as their managing director until 2019. His time there saw him explore the world of higher education and its digital transformation process.
Since then, Chris Colbert has traveled the world, speaking to, and advising countries and organisations. He focuses on the importance of adopting new behaviours to fully realise the potential offered by new technologies while at the same time not suffering unintended consequences or costs.
With regards to his educational background, Chris Colbert received a BA from Connecticut College and an International MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. He has served on the Leadership Council of the MGH Cancer Centre, MassArt Corporate Advisory Council, Pillar Ventures, and various others.
As a keynote speaker, Chris Colbert focuses on a range of topics. These include global innovation, the human truth, and technology stewardship. He tailors each of his talks according to his audience’s needs. He lives in the USA and presents in English.
“He will poke, prod, and even provoke. For those who can handle the truth, his talks will be felt deeply, and last well beyond his final words. He will inspire to both think bigger, and act sooner.”
“Chris leads with the truth, and the truth is essential to any transformation. During an incredibly difficult time in our industry he was able to motivate my leadership team to embrace change, to redefine what successful digital transformation requires and give them the tools to make it happen.”
“Chris is a thoughtful, motivating and clarifying voice for organizational alignment. He has a knack for listening to diverse points of view, culling out what’s important and providing clear (and fearless) guidance. He advised me and my executive team over the past five years on the why and how of achieving higher performance that enabled us to increase our growth rate and cross a billion dollars in revenue. He was very instrumental in helping us synthesize and operationalize a cohesive strategy that led to Virtusa attaining a leadership position in our industry and a lucrative exit for our shareholders.”
“Chris was by my side for several years as my company Hello Health took on transforming how U.S. primary care practices practice. His ability to see the challenges through a different lens, and then help forge a plan to meet them was instrumental in our success.”
“Chris was the keynote speaker for our annual America’s offsite and left a lasting impression on the Banco Sabadell team. After conducting a thorough analysis of our current strategy and challenges for the short and long term, he was able to prepare a dynamic presentation to drive the team forward.His clarity of thoughts, pointed feedback, and teachings on desperation as a source of motivation have had a tremendous impact on the behavior of the team. His business lessons have helped the team get closer to our full potential, honing in on our people’s accountability and increasing our team agility in order to work as one towards achieving our strategic goals.”