Radically changing the culture within established organizations presented huge challenges, and can even make one personally uncomfortable — especially as changes threaten the organization’s “theological” underpinnings. Sometimes, the best way to begin systemic change is to attack an idea from an adjacent angle — and bring other people with you. Carmen Medina shares her experience being an “organizational heretic” at the CIA, and other lessons for successful leadership in organizational transformation. Carmen is an organizational heretic and all-purpose troublemaker whose only real expertise is asking stupid questions and noticing odd, new things that might amount to something…or maybe not. People on LinkedIn endorse her for strategy, analysis, and leadership. Those who don’t know her very well also endorse her for program management skills… not!

Carmen spent 32 years at CIA but when you meet her you will hardly notice. She is recognized as a national and international expert on intelligence analysis, strategic thinking, diversity of thought, and innovation and intrapreneurs in the public sector. She is the co-author of the book: Rebels at Work: A Handbook for Leading Change from Within and of the landmark Deloitte University Press paper on Diversity’s New Fronter: Diversity of Thought and the Future of the Workplace. Her story as a heretic and change agent at CIA is featured in Wharton School professor Adam Grant’s bestseller Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World.