Chief Reinvention Officer

Nadya Zhexembayeva

At a glance:

Called ‘The Reinvention Guru' (in Venture magazine) and ‘The Queen of Reinvention' (TEDx Navasink), Dr. Nadya Zhexembayeva is a business owner, educator, speaker and author — specializing in reinvention. In 2009, Nadya co-authored the term "embedded sustainability", and in 2015 introduced the concept of "Chief Reinvention Officer".

Called ‘The Reinvention Guru’ (In Ventures magazine) and ‘The Queen of Reinvention’ (TEDx Navasink), Dr. Nadya Zhexembayeva is a business owner, educator, speaker and author — specializing in reinvention.

As a business owner, Nadya oversees a group of companies active in real estate, investment, and consulting. As a consultant, Nadya has helped such organizations as The Coca-Cola Company, ENRC PLC, IBM, CISCO, Erste Bank, Henkel, Knauf Insulation, Vienna Insurance Group and many others to reinvent their products, processes, and leadership practices.

Nadya also appreciated an opportunity for corporate experience when a long-term client, a 75,000-employee mining and metals company, ENRC PLC, invited her to join the executive suite to curate business transformation efforts. From 2013 to 2016, Nadya oversaw all aspects of the transformation as the company went from public to private and from a financial to a hands-on operational holding under the new brand, ERG. She continues to support the Group in an advisory role.

As an educator, Nadya personally contributed to the development of nearly 5,000 executives from over 60 countries and 20 industries teaching and developing via small group executive education sessions, custom-made seminars, and long-term corporate reinvention projects.

She served as the Coca-Cola Chaired Professor of Sustainable Development at IEDC- Bled School of Management, an executive education center based in the Slovene Alps, where she continues to teach courses in leadership, strategy, change management, design thinking, and sustainability. In addition to IEDC, Nadya has taught in other business schools, including CEDEP-INSEAD (France), Case Western Reserve (USA), and IPADE Business School (Mexico).

As a speaker, Nadya has shared her insights with audiences worldwide through keynotes, panel presentations, and workshops. She has delivered three TEDx talks in Austria, Slovenia and the US. Over 100,000+ professionals saw Nadya speak publicly.

Nadya is a member of the Resourcefulness Advisory Board at OMV, an oil and gas company, a member of the Academic Council at CEDEP-INSEAD, as well as a member of the Advisory Board of Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit at Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University. She also serves on the Board of Challenge:Future, a global student think-DO-tank and innovation competition that unites 35,000 members from 242 countries and territories.

As an author, Nadya has written two books (“Embedded Sustainability: The Next Big Competitive Advantage” in 2011 and “Overfished Ocean Strategy: Powering Up Innovation for a Resource-Deprived World” in 2014) and contributed to five others. In an effort to reinvent corporate approaches to sustainability strategy, Nadya and her co-author Chris Laszlo coined the concept ‘embedded sustainability’, which was virtually non-existent when they started in 2009. Today, it produces 25+ million Google search results and has become a staple for corporate sustainability efforts.

Nadya received her BA in management and BA in psychology from Hartwick College and her PhD in Organizational Behavior from Case Western Reserve University.

A daughter of Kazakhstan, Nadya and her family split their life between the US and Eurasia.


    Ask any manager or entrepreneur on planet Earth, “What is your key challenge?”, and you are sure to hear something over and over again: “How do we stay afloat?”

    The fast-moving up-and-down economy we live in today makes staying afloat increasingly difficult. Just as we handle one crisis, another appears on the horizon. Artificial Intelligence, block chain, circular economy, digital, Industry 4.0, millennials, new competition, new regulations, political turmoil, sharing economy, substitute products, you name it – the waves of disruption come crushing faster and faster, fundamentally changing the way we work, compete, and profit.

    With such speed and scale of change, how do we survive— and even thrive?

    In this exciting, yet pragmatic research-based talk, Dr. Nadya Zhexembayeva shows you how business reality has changed – and how to take advantage of these changes.

    That includes ground-breaking insights into:

    •Why you need to reinvent yourself and your company every 3.5 years
    •What are the key trends driving the speed and scale of change and how to address them
    •What are the best practices across industries and geographies that help companies not only survive the speed of change, but use it to build new unmatched competitive advantage
    •How to combat resistance to change and develop a continuous reinvention mindset
    •How business systems should be redesigned – including budgeting, operations, R&D and much more – to address the speed of change and increase your company’s agility and preparedness

    Why companies sink and how to reinvent your way out of any disaster

    In addition to a focused keynote on reinvention, many companies ask to follow up with an in-depth workshop. Designed as a hands-on experience, this workshop can be delivered in few hours or few days – with a help of proprietary tools, high-end workbooks, and practical exercises. Using unknown elements of the famous story of the Titanic as a powerful business metaphor, this workshop creates a safe space for corporate leaders to explore difficult truths about their companies and themselves.

    The story of the Titanic is one of the most known and recognized worldwide, so it is hard to imagine that it can repeat itself. Yet, every year with remarkable consistency we see companies large and small calling SOS amidst serious business crisis. In fact, you might be surprised how many companies end up crushing, getting acquired, declaring bankruptcy, or worse – never recovering - in the process. One statistic best illustrates the low survival rate of “unsinkable titans of business”: of the 500 mighty companies originally included on the Fortune 500 list, only 60 survive today. That is a sinking rate of 88%.

    In this workshop we explore the Titanics of the 21st century – Kodak, Nokia, Blockbuster, Lehman Brothers, Toys “R” Us and many others – and contrast their disasters with companies that managed to prevent a crush.

    This includes:

    •A diagnostic “Is your company suffering from the Titanic Syndrome?”
    •Proprietary framework for 15 ways to reinvent your business
    •Hands-on exercises prototyping reinvention projects
    •Custom-made facilitated discussions around your reinvention risks and opportunities

    This is a talk for leaders.

    We all know the next big crisis is coming. We don’t know when, why, or what will take place, but history is clear: business is cyclical, and a new crisis is just around the corner. How do we prepare?

    Companies and their leaders talk about getting ready. But let’s face it: when the rubber hits the road, we get overwhelmed by the day-to-day tasks, KPIs, and the endless to-do lists. Thinking about a bright new tomorrow is exciting, but the bosses are waiting, the customers are calling, and the shareholders are demanding results today. How can we lead reinvention without losing our minds?

    After personally educating, coaching, and developing nearly 10,000 executives, Dr. Nadya Zhexembayeva is ready to share in-depth framework for how to lead in our new VUCA reality – the volatile, uncertain, complex ,and ambiguous world.

    During this talk, Nadya will teach leaders how to design their own leadership reinvention cycle. At the heart of surviving and thriving in the accelerating markets lies the art of defining what should be changed and what should be kept. Using the tested methodology, in this talk Nadya shows you pragmatic ways to make reinvention a habit, a system, a powerful life hack.

    This includes answers to such questions as:

    •How can executives embed reinvention and renewal into their everyday leadership
    •What leadership solutions – including specific approaches to strategy, organization, and change management – best fit today’s business reality
    •What does a healthy reinvention cycle look like and how can executives start building one today
    •How do you lead reinvention if suddenly it is you who needs to make it happen

Request More Information

    Gotham Artists