Courageous Conversations

These events connect colleagues and thought leaders for inspirational talks to develop and foster a more inclusive culture.

William Blair employees listening to a speaker

Courageous Conversations is a quarterly program of in-depth learning sessions, inspirational talks, and action-orientated workshops that aim to shift the way we think and behave as a firm. Above all, it has a clear purpose – to develop and foster the kind of mindset we need to become the premier global boutique.

It is a unique opportunity to hear from leading global specialists, participate in an initiative that truly connects our executive leaders with all of our global colleagues, and play an active part in making our culture more inclusive and diverse.

Recent Events

Courageous Conversations Spotlight Resiliency

Creating a resilient work culture means embracing curiosity, having a broad perspective, and valuing authenticity—initiatives often led by those who defy the status quo, Harvard Professor Francesca Gino said during William Blair’s recent Courageous Conversations event.

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Past Events

Engaging Employees in Today's Multigenerational Workplace | February 2020
Communications expert Scott Zimmer kicked off our 2020 Courageous Conversations with an insightful talk on how generational differences among employees can be turned into positive effects for businesses.

Takeaways in Focus at 2019 Wrap-up Event | October 2019
Colleagues shared key messages from William Blair’s inspirational talks launched 18 months ago at latest Courageous Conversation.

When Generations Connect: Communicating Across Generational Divides | July 2019
Communications expert Scott Zimmer entertained William Blair staff on the virtues of bridging generation gaps in the workplace at the firm's continuing Courageous Conversations learning series on July 31.

WHO we are…Not WHAT we are….A courageous conversation with the Champions of The GenderCool Project | June 2019
Five transgender teenagers captured the hearts and minds of an overflow audience at Chicago headquarters on June 28 in a panel discussion focused on building a culture of inclusivity.

Misconnected: Overcoming Psychological Biases to Create Meaningful Interaction | April 2019
University of Chicago Booth School of Business professor, Nicholas Epley, led an insightful talk on how shedding barriers to connect with others can help you live longer and be happier at work and at home.

Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People | October 2018
Dr. Mahzarin Banaji, the Richard Clarke Cabot Professor of Social Ethics in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, led an interactive discussion titled: "Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People." The session focused on the science behind how humans make decisions.

Curiosity –The Missing Link in Human Potential | September 2018
Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, a professor of business psychology at both University College London and Columbia University and the chief talent scientist at Manpower Group, discussed: "Curiosity –The Missing Link in Human Potential." He explained how curiosity boosts both employability and engagement.

What's Your Story? How to Embrace Individuality in Order to Drive Collective Success | May 2018
Dr. Michelle Buck, a clinical professor of leadership at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, led an interactive discussion on "What's Your Story? How to Embrace Individuality in Order to Drive Collective Success." She explained how each person's story can serve as an important tool in maximizing individual performance and unleashing the potential of others.

The Diversity Bonus | March 2018
University of Michigan professor Dr. Scott Page, a scholarly author and mathematician known for his research on the power of diversity to solve complex problems, led an inspirational talk on "The Diversity Bonus".

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