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Dr. Jennifer Aaker

Behavioral Psychologist Author General Atlantic Professor, Stanford Graduate School of Business
Stanford University

Dr. Jennifer Aaker

General Atlantic Professor of Marketing

Stanford Graduate School of Business

http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/faculty-research/faculty/jennifer-lynn-aaker

 jaaker@stanford.edu  | @aaker

 


Jennifer Aaker - General Atlantic Professor of Marketing
A social psychologist, Jennifer Aaker is the General Atlantic Professor of Marketing at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Her research focuses on the psychology of time, money and happiness — specifically how people choose to spend their time and money, and when and why those choices are associated with lasting value. She also empirically explores how small acts can create significant change, and how those effects can be fueled by digital and social media.  Noted for her early work on the dimensions of brand personality, Aaker’s current research is rooted in the psychology of choice and the shifting meaning of happiness. She is the recipient of the Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award from the Society for Consumer Psychology and the Stanford Distinguished Teaching Award.

 

Aaker teaches courses at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (“d.school”) such as “Building Innovative Brands” (with Chris Flink, IDEO), The Innovation Playbook, Designing Story in a Digital World, and Rethinking Purpose. She co-authored the award-winning book “The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective and Powerful Ways to Use Social Media to Drive Impact” with her husband (to whom she is surprisingly still happily married), and has served on the Advisory Board of early stage startups and companies, from ADAY to Google X. 

 

TALK DESCRIPTIONS:

 

Power of Story

Studies show that we are wired to remember stories much more than data, facts and figures. Stories galvanize They fuel stakeholder buy-in by painting a clear picture of what is and what could be for everyone - from employees, to investors, to customers.  Further, when the stakeholder becomes part of the story, they are more likely to act. Story is equally important for leaders, whose signature stories – both business and personal - impact recruiting, retention, and growth of the company.  Critically, your stories are written by your actions, not your words. In this talk, Dr. Aaker will (a) demonstrate how leaders use signature stories to build high performing teams and companies and (b) help you use time – in the day, month and year -  to make your stories become real. We will look at what actions you are taking, what stories they tell, and how you can change what you are doing to have the results you want.  .  

 

Power of Purpose

We assume happiness is stable, an endpoint to achieve or a goal to “chase.”  It’s not.  Recent research suggests that the meaning of happiness changes every 3-4 years, and raising the question - if happiness is not an optimal life goal, how might we rethink our approach to life and work.  Research suggests it is better to aim for meaning, anchored on purpose. In this talk, Aaker will raise the question: How do we live lives that are at once happy and purposeful? A seemingly simple question, but one made more challenging as one seeks to create a meaningful career and life.  In this talk, Dr. Aaker draws on new research to suggest ways to reframe happiness, and discusses insights from social psychological research to illuminate how we might design brands, organizations, careers and lives that cultivate meaning. Those who will most effectively lead in the future are the people and organizations that redefine success, moving it away from simple profit maximization. They do this by anchoring on an inspired mission, something that can create purpose in people’s lives, or simply creating a context where people with purpose can thrive. 

 

Using Humor in Business

We acknowledge that there is some darkness in the world, in our organizations, in our personal health and in the health of our families. Research shows that humor is a multiplier and can actually improve our resilience and our ability to tackle the dark times. Humor helps us stay fast, competitive, and smart. Humor hones intelligence in a way that other positive emotions don’t. Humor is at the cornerstone of intelligence and fun. It makes us action oriented (not sedate). It is a tool to be more powerful and influential, so that we may make the change we want to see and be seen. It raises the stakes, and if you can perform at that level (and be guided by purpose), you can make change AND bring people along the way.

 

Rethinking Time

Many people complain that they don’t have enough time. They have too many goals and not enough time to do them so goals start to compete with each other. Dr. Aaker asks if you can reframe time such that you can achieve multiple goals at the same time. She draws on new behavioral research to suggest ways to reframe time, align your goals and execute on them by creating "multipliers" (defined as one activity that fulfill multiple goals).  She also shares the science behind productivity and introduces four habits to boost productivity: (a) time-shifting, (b) carving out areas of incompetence, (c) procrastinating strategically, and (d) creating time for passion projects. Finally, she shares her insights around creating sticky memories and savoring moments in time so you can feel “time affluent” and happier.

Scaling Empathy
Successful global brands put humanistic purpose at the center of their goals, building products quickly around stories, and are guided by a sense of empathy.  Empathy can be a critical resource for companies, but is often not well understood.  Yet the companies that cultivate such empathy systematically, both for their employees and customers, have an advantage because they are able to nimbly build a larger story, one that is meaningful to stakeholders.  In this talk, Dr. Aaker, the author of the best-selling book, The Dragonfly Effect, will discuss the behavioral science underlying the power of empathy and illuminate how companies can build a big story by diving into four key principles: (1) Focus; (2) Grab attention; (3) Engage and (4) Enable action.    Finally, Dr. Aaker will share the latest empirical and case-based studies to discuss how companies can leverage empathy - at scale.

 

Creating a Culture of Innovation

Excellence in leading innovation has far less to do with innovative ideas; it has everything to do with how that leader creates a culture where innovation and creativity thrives.   In this talk, Dr. Aaker discusses how leading organizations leverage design thinking to become ever more experimental and nimble, creating an engine of innovation.  She discussed behavioral insights that focus on (a) creating a culture of optimism, (b) leading with purpose, (c) designing with empathy and (d) leveraging stories.   Using provocative real-world examples, Dr. Aaker engages audience in a participatory experiential design thinking exercise to conceive of and visualize their own creative proposals for how their designers can interact in innovative, brand-enhancing new ways. In the end of this session, teams will ultimately pitch their design concepts to each other for feedback, consideration and potential real-world implementation.

Tuesday, June 05

KEYNOTE ADDRESS

All Eyes on Hollywood: An Inside Look at Storytelling and Athlete-Driven Content In this session, Dr. Jennifer Aaker, behavioral psychologist, author, and the General Atlantic Professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business will share how to come up with a compelling story and design the story to be leveraged across digital media. She will share trends seen in the NBA, highlighting examples of how athletes have used story to create scripted programming and content to build their brands.

Dr. Jennifer Aaker, Behavioral Psychologist Author General Atlantic Professor, Stanford Graduate School of Business , Stanford University