NSB Logo Lee-Anne McAlear Lee-Anne McAlear

Lee-Anne McAlear


Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Fortune 500 Innovation Specialist

Lee-Anne McAlear is an award-winning facilitator, educator, and consultant. She is Program Director at the Centre of Excellence in Innovation Leadership at The Schulich School of Business (home of the top-rated MBA in Canada according to the Financial Times). She shows audiences that while technology and R&D may be essential inputs for innovative results, the beating heart of innovation success lies within an organization’s people – their thinking, their ability to collaborate and their drive.

Keynote Speeches

Retail | Disrupting the Disruptors

We’ve all heard about how technology is changing the face of retail commerce. From in-app orders picked up in-store, to inventory management and ordering, to product scanning and cashier-less checkout, it seems like there is a tidal wave of cloud-based, phone-enabled, and crowd-sourced innovations to retail technology and the way customers shop.

It’s no wonder that many small and medium sized businesses not equipped to make large infrastructure and technological investments feel left out and worried about being able to compete with larger and better-funded competitors.

In this entertaining and interactive talk, Lee-Anne McAlear will highlight how to take successful innovative strategies from other industries that are also margin-thin and customer-dependent and make them work for small and medium-sized retail store business owners.

Change management and innovation specialist Leanne McAlear will teach you how to:
• Improve your business (of any size) through strategic innovation
• Understand the secrets of successful innovation
• Apply the lessons learned from “the big guys” to your business, regardless of size
• Put a plan together to help you get started tomorrow on improving your business results

Innovate Faster, Cheaper and Smarter!

Practically every company innovates and, while we would love to believe that innovation is not a messy business, we know better. Most executives will freely admit that their innovation engine doesn’t hum the way they want it to.  In this dynamic and interactive talk, Lee-Anne will describe the ways successful organizations create a reliable, strategically focused innovation function.


Ideas Are Not the Problem

Walk the hall of any organization, stop almost any employee and ask them for three ideas that they believe would improve productivity or engagement or growth and stand back. Employees are idea-machines! Ideas are not the problem. The bigger question is how do we access that huge creative potential? Using cases, examples and in-room experiences, Lee-Anne will give you some hands-on ideas on how to best access employee creativity and deliver innovation.

The Positive Turbulence of Change Management

People can be managed; change cannot.  Change is supported, accelerated, resisted or led; but it is NEVER managed. It is by its very nature a non-linear, turbulent business. Change is a creative process. Leading change demands that a team leap into an ‘unpredictable’ future where nothing is certain. It requires a foundation of thoughtful planning, an understanding of the transitional process and, if it is to succeed, heightened creative awareness and action. 

Platform Plus Presentations

Unique formats and ways to connect with audiences.
Workshop | Improvisation is the Heartbeat of Innovation
In this witty and wise Keynote Deborah Kimmett and Lee-Anne McAlear are a dynamic duo who will teach your organization the tools and mindset you need to go from idea, to implementation to innovation. A 70-90 minute keynote, or 1/2 day workshop this will energize and inspire your team to think and act in a new way.

Audience reviews:

  • Lee-Anne McAlear was fantastic! She was there for most of our conference and she met many of our members. Her sessions were very well received. I heard many excellent comments about her presentations. Someone said her session was the best at the conference!

    - Director of Member Events and Communications, CPA Saskatchewan
  • Lee-Anne was absolutely excellent, she's a wonderful person. She bonded with people immediately and set a perfect tone for the event. Her presentation was excellent, it was a diverse crowd, from students to people in their 70's - and she had everybody in the room captivated the whole way - everyone could identify with it.

    - Niagara College Administration
  • I'm also pleased to tell you that in the post-conference evaluations, your presentation had one of the highest scores for content and presentation quality. It won the most votes by quite a large margin, for being the most valuable presentation of the conference. Thank you again for your outstanding contribution to the event.

    - Rogers Healthcare Group
  • A great presenter. Very approachable. Has a great sense of humour. A much-appreciated session.

    - CSAE National Attendee

Speaker Biography

Lee-Anne is also the founding partner of the Toronto-based innovation and leadership house, CURRENT, and a Director of the International Association of Innovation Professional – the only association offering globally recognized certifications in innovation.

Lee-Anne has worked extensively in the innovation space in over 32 countries (from the USA, Mexico and South America, through Europe, across Asia and down under in Australia) in both the public and private sectors.

She has piloted several global innovation initiatives that have, for example, delivered new approaches to brand revitalization, new methods for delivering patient care and new ways to address customer retention.

In her work at Schulich, she and her team are responsible for designing and delivering programs enhancing the innovation and leadership capabilities of executives and their people. Their programs are consistently among the top-rated at Schulich.

Lee-Anne speaks globally and has shared the stage with presenters as diverse as Alan Alda and Don Tapscott.

She is not only adventuresome in her approach to business, but she is also an adventurer in life having trekked the Himalayas, scuba-dived the Great Barrier Reef and white-water rafted in India.