Speaking Topics 

Prof Rick Smith speaks on...

Aligning Human Capital Systems for Competitive Advantage: The Key to Strategy Execution

(Based on his book: Human Capital and Global Business Strategy)

Is it better to have a great strategy, or better to be able to execute a strategy? Prof Smith's workshop helps organizations consider their human capital system and how they might align their company structure, organization culture, talent management practices, and leadership approach to enable strategy execution.

The Future of Work: Five New Challenges for Managers

(Based on his research on employment trends and outcomes)

The pandemic triggered a number of shifts in employee expectations and HR practices. What are the new hurdles for managers who are facing new complexities in the workplace of the future? A review of the trends associated with flexibility, remote work, non-linear workforces, social engagement, and equality all place new demands on managers in organizations and the need to collectively address the future of work.

Building Effective Organizations: Lessons from Great Workplaces

(Based on research with the Great Place to Work Institute)

How are some organizations able to attract, retain, and engage their workforces while others seem to continuously struggle to keep and motivate their talent? By looking at the trends and analyses across hundreds of companies around the world, we can extract several key elements that separate the best from the rest when it comes to culture, teamwork, inclusion, belonging, wellbeing, and psychological safety. 

The Future of Management Education: Time for Disruption?

(Based on his book: Rethinking the Business Models of Business Schools)

How might organizations consider the development of their key leadership talent? What role do educators play in building a pipeline of future managers who will be an asset to society? Is it time to disrupt higher education? By taking a critical look at how we develop and educate people in the areas of business and management, we can begin to re-shape how we leverage business schools, company training programs, and other learning vehicles. 

Strategic Human Capital Development: Lessons from Asia

(Based on his book: Strategic Human Capital Development in Asia)

How is it that some regions, countries, and organizations seem to have the right mix of people with the right skills, capabilities, and interests to fuel the needs of business and the economy? By taking a close look at the ecosystems that drive human capital development, we see the direct impact and long-term affects of business success and economic growth.

Speaking Engagements (selected)

Invited Speaker, Society of Medical Administrators Annual Conference, Tampa

Facilitator, Board of Directors Retreat for a Large Banking Organization, New York

Invited Speaker, Corporate Learning and Development Conference, Miami

Workshop Speaker, Professional Services Firm Annual Partners Meeting, Chicago

Invited Keynote Speaker, Great Place to Work Asia Awards, Singapore 

Facilitator, Top Management Strategy Workshop for a Global Financial Services Firm, Geneva

Invited Keynote Speaker, AMBA Conference – Asia Pacific, Melbourne 

Workshop Facilitator, CEO Team Retreat for a Global Tech Firm, San Francisco

Invited Keynote Speaker, Great Place to Work Singapore Awards, Singapore

Workshop Speaker, Developing Market Leader Conference for a Large Consumer Products Firm, Nairobi

Invited Keynote Speaker, Human Capital Summit, ISB Hyderabad 

Facilitator, Top Management Team Retreat for a Global Manufacturing Firm, Tokyo

Keynote Speaker, Conference on National Talent,  Ho Chi Mhin City

Invited Speaker, APAC Leadership Conference for Global HR Services Firm, Shanghai

Interview on Channel News Asia, regarding human capital in Asia

Chairman and Host, Asia CEO Forum, invitation-only conference, Singapore

Invited Conference Speaker/Moderator, Singapore Human Capital Summit

Invited Keynote Speaker, India National HRD Conference, Mumbai

Interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” live broadcast on building leadership in Asia

Keynote Speaker, Leadership Summit for Large Professional Services Firm, Kuala Lumpur

Academic Conferences

Yoshikawa, T., Smith, R., & Uchida, D. (2023). Female CHRO Appointments: A Crack in the Glass Ceiling? Academy of Management 83rd Annual Meeting, Boston. (Selected as one of the Best Papers)

Uchida, D., Smith, R., & Yoshikawa, T. (2021). Gender Diversity in the Executive Suite: How Much is Enough? Strategic Management Society Annual Conference, Toronto.


Smith, R., Jules, C., & Tambe, H. (2020). Responsible Leadership in the AI Era: New Decisions, Dilemmas, and Dimensions. Academy of Management 80th Annual Meeting, August, Vancouver.


Kryscynski, D., Smith, R., Morris, S., Jules, C., & Van Schalkyck, M. (2017). Developing a human capital theory in response to real world problems. Strategic Management Society Annual Conference, Houston.


Smith, R., Kannan, S., & Thomas, H. (2017). Regional Management Structures for Global Firms: The Challenge of Human Capital Heterogeneity. Strategic Management Society Special Conference, Milan.


Smith, R. (2016). Who Makes a Great Place to Work? Creating the Human Capital Resource of the Firm. Strategic Management Society Annual Conference, Berlin.


Smith, R. and Inamdar, N. (2015). Design Thinking and Business Model Innovation: Preparing Management Students to Challenge Convention. Academy of Management Teaching and Learning Conference, Vancouver.


Smith, R. and Yoshikawa, T. (2015). The Escalation of Chief Human Resources Officers to Top Management Teams. Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Vancouver.


Yoshikawa, T. and Smith, R. (2014). Chief Human Resources Officers: The Elevation of Human Capital Management to Top Management Teams, Strategic Management Society Annual Conference, Madrid. 


Smith, R., Jules, C., and Kang, J. (2014). What Makes the Words Work when Aligning Human Capital to Business Strategy, Academy of Management Annual Conference, Philadelphia. 


Gandhok, T. and Smith, R. (2013). International Talent Management Practices in Emerging Market Firms: The Indian Human Capital Paradox, Strategic Management Society, Delhi. 


Smith, R. and Jules, C. (2013). Leadership with Purpose: Developing Global Leaders with High Intent, Academy of Management Annual Conference, Orlando. 


Tymon, W. Stumpf, S. and Smith, R. (2011). Manager Support Impact on Retention in India. 15th Annual Association of Work and Organizational Psychology conference, Maastricht.