8pm (6:30-7:30pm Reception)
in conversation with Krisztina Holly
Imagine It Forward:
Courage, Creativity, and the Power of Change
Ann and Jerry Moss Theatre
New Roads School
Herb Alpert Educational Village
3131 Olympic Blvd.,
Santa Monica, CA 90404
$50 Reserved Section Seat + Book
$45 General Admission Seat + Book
$30 Reserved Section Seat (available Aug 31, 10am)
$20 General Admission Seat (available Aug 31, 10am)
$95 Reception (6:30-7:30pm), Reserved Section Seat & Book
From one of today’s foremost innovation leaders, an inspiring and practical guide to mastering change in the face of uncertainty.
Beth Comstock is the former Vice Chair of GE, where for twenty-five years she led GE’s efforts to accelerate new growth. She built GE’s Business Innovations and GE Ventures, which develops new businesses, and oversaw the reinvention of GE Lighting. She was named GE’s Chief Marketing Officer in 2003. She served as President of Integrated Media at NBC Universal, from 2006-08, overseeing the company’s digital efforts, including the early formation of Hulu. She is a corporate director of Nike. Written about and profiled extensively in the media, from the New York Times to Forbes, Fortune
and Fast Company, she has been named to the Fortune and Forbes lists of the World’s Most Powerful women.
“If there is one skill that more individuals and companies need to hone it’s imagination. And if there is one person who can teach us how to do it, it’s Beth Comstock. Woven together through own journey, Comstock offers us simple and practical steps on things we can all do to prepare ourselves for the future…or even invent it.”—Simon Sinek, Optimist and New York Times Bestselling Author of Start With Why and Leaders Eat Last
“This book is full of wisdom about how to thrive in a bureaucracy—and then transform it into an innovation machine. Beth Comstock is one of the most effective and admired executives of our time, and she tells the engrossing inside story of how she rose to the upper echelons of GE and spearheaded a sea of change.”—Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals, Give and Take, and Option B with Sheryl Sandberg
“Beth Comstock is just as creative and bold in her approach to writing a business book as she is in running a business. Unafraid to get candid and personal, unusually generous in sharing her insights, this is a book for anyone who wants to see around corners — and to vanquish the fear that holds them back from acting on what they see.”—Susan Cain, author, Quiet
“This book is a rare gift… an honest, behind-the-scenes look at power, success and influence, combined with vulnerability and practical advice. A book you won’t soon forget.”—Seth Godin,author,Linchpin
The world will never be slower than it is right now, says Beth Comstock, the former Vice Chair and head of marketing and innovation at GE. But confronting relentless change is hard. Companies get disrupted as challengers steal away customers; employees have to move ahead without knowing the answers. To thrive in today’s world, every one of us has to make change part of our job.
In Imagine It Forward, Comstock, in a candid and deeply personal narrative, shares lessons from a thirty year career as the change-maker in chief, navigating the space between the established and the unproven. As the woman who initiated GE’s digital and clean-energy transformations, and its FastWorks methodology, she challenged a global organization to not wait for perfection but to spot trends, take smart risks and test new ideas more often. She shows how each one of us can—in fact, must — become a “change maker.”
“Ideas are rarely the problem,” writes Comstock. “What holds all of us back, really—is fear. It’s the attachment to the old, to ‘What We Know.’”
Change is messy and fraught with tension, uncertainty and failure. Being “change ready” calls for the courage to defy convention, the resilience to overcome doubts, and the savvy to know when to go around corporate gatekeepers to reinvent what is possible.
Among the practical takeaways Comstock offers: The power of discovery—bringing the outside into your organization, about turning the world into a classroom; finding a spark—provocateurs who challenge established ways of thinking can be a powerful catalyst for change; giving yourself permission—every change maker must learn to give herself permission to push outside expectations and boundaries.
Confronting today’s accelerating change requires an extraordinary degree of problem-solving, collaboration, and forward-thinking leadership to unlock every person’s potential. Imagine It Forward masterfully points the way.
MIT-trained engineer, tech entrepreneur and adventurer, Krisztina “Z” Holly is the host of The Art of Manufacturing podcast and Founder & Chief Instigator of MAKE IT IN LA, a non-profit launched out of LA Mayor Garcetti’s office. She is known for curating and hosting the first ever TEDx (TEDxUSC) in 2009 and founding two innovation centers at MIT and USC. She has an instinct for finding and amplifying undiscovered talent and ideas, whether it’s helping dozens of faculty spin out new venture-backed startups, or curating nearly a hundred different speakers whose talks have garnered 14 million views online; ten have appeared on TED.com.
Early on, she played key roles at tech startups, such as Stylus innovation (acquired by Artisoft), Direct Hit Technologies (acquired by Ask Jeeves), and Jeeves Solutions (acquired by Kanisa). She started her career as an undergraduate researcher at the MIT Media Lab and a member of the Space Shuttle Main Engine advanced manufacturing team. She served as Vice Provost for Innovation at USC and has been advisor to nearly two dozen companies and organizations, including the River LA, World Economic Forum, and the Obama Administration. She has two engineering degrees from MIT.