• Lauren Maxwell

A Coffee with...Kieran Flanagan

Kieran Flanagan is one of the smartest, wittiest, and well…most awesome women I’ve met! A wiz in the advertising world – in fact, she is one of the few women world-wide who is recognised at such a level, Kieran is a renowned social futurist, behavioural researcher, author, educator, speaker, and half of The Impossible Institute. Outside of work, her roles are just as busy and varied – Kieran’s a passionate Sydney-sider, mother, wife, friend, and night-owl.

Kieran is a passionate speaker about the future of work (hint, robots will be doing much of the task and technical oriented stuff we currently do), and highlights the importance of each of us bringing our humanness back to business. She makes the point that it’s vital not just desirable that we understand we are selling ‘us’ in everything that we do, and that the most effective teams recognise how diversity is a blessing not a curse. As half of The Impossible Institute, Kieran educates businesses on how to do business better, and harness the power of these concepts.

Along with her business partner, Dan Gregory, Kieran co-authored the highly insightful ‘Selfish Scared and Stupid’, a guide that cleverly illustrates the benefits of working with our intrinsic behaviours and motivators rather than against them. As the pair explains, it can be uncomfortable for humans to acknowledge and embrace our true motivators, after all, despite our desire to see ourselves as the smartest, bravest and selfless person, chances are…..we aren’t. And this is NOT a bad thing, in fact if we all were our idealised self, humans wouldn’t have been able to evolve as we have. My colleagues and I recommend this book all the time – go out and read it, I guarantee you’ll get a lot from it!

Also, yes. I did misquote Einstein when discussing problem solving. I had meant to throw in his very apt quote “creativity is intelligence having fun”. But hey, this is live conversation and not a rehearsed script, and I’m sure that he would have been as engaged as I was and let it slide...

And Kieran’s overall advice to us all?


#kieranflanagan #laurenmaxwell #acoffeewith #theimpossibleinstitute #selfishscaredandstupid #headstrongwomen


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Lauren is a professional member of Career Development Association, full member of Australian Society Of Rehabilitation Counsellors, and a regular contributor for Leaders In Heels. Her expert opinion and articles have been featured in loads of places!

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