Scott Sonenshein – co-author of Joy at Work Book

Topical keynote Speakers & Experts -

Scott Sonenshein is the Henry Gardiner Symonds Professor of Management at Rice University and the bestselling author of Stretch: Unlock the Power of Less – And Achieve More Than You Ever Imagined (2017). His latest book, co-authored with Marie Kondo, is Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life (April 2020).

His award winning research, teaching, and speaking has helped Fortune 500 executives, entrepreneurs, and professionals in industries such as technology, energy, healthcare, retail, education, banking, manufacturing, and non-profits.

He holds a Doctorate in organizational behavior from the University of Michigan, a Masters of Philosophy in management studies from the University of Cambridge, and a Bachelor of the Arts degree from the University of Virginia.

His research appears in the very top academic journals and has contributed to several topics in management and psychology, including change, creativity, personal growth, social issues, decision making, and influence.

Scott sits on five distinguished editorial boards and is a former associate editor of his field’s top publication, the Academy of Management Journal.

Scott also worked as a strategy consultant for companies such as Microsoft and AT&T and lived the rise and fall of the dotcom boom while working for a Silicon Valley startup.

He serves on the External Advisory Board of McKinsey & Company’s implementation practice.

Scott has written for the New York Times, TIME Magazine, Fast Company and Harvard Business Review.

He has been interviewed on national and local television, NPR stations throughout the country, and has been featured in most major newspapers.


Emerging from the Long Shadow of the Pandemic: Navigating the Challenges and Opportunities of the Return to Work

60 minutes – on the topics Scott touches upon in the latest Brene Brown podcast.Listen here:

Drawing on Scott’s expertise in leadership and change:

Scott will participate in a moderated Q/A with the Host about current business issues, drawing from the latest science and Scott’s research and wisdom.

Scott will work with the host to curate a set of 12-15 questions based on the client’s current core challenges, needs and/or capabilities.

Scott will take questions from the audience about these topics either generated in advance or at the event.

Topics can cover the full-range of leadership in the same conversation, such as: employee engagement, culture, purpose, social responsibility, DEIB, innovation/creativity, teamwork. Ideally, clients would select 2-3 topics to drill down more deeply on.

Stretching: The Art of Doing More with What You and Your Company Already Have

Conventional wisdom says that the more resources we have—bigger budgets, larger teams, or more experience—the more we can do. In this keynote, Scott challenges this belief with over a decade of original research, spanning everything from Fortune 500 companies to budding entrepreneurial ventures. The key to building more successful organizations, he argues, doesn’t come from pursuing more. It comes from expanding the value of existing resources. Using studies and stories, Scott shows that organizations that survive and thrive have one thing in common: they act resourcefully, taking however little, or even how much, they have, and creating even greater value with it. His message is uplifting, illuminating, and personal, and perfect for understanding organizations both large and small.

Joy at Work: Break Free from Clutter to Feel Better and Achieve More at Work

Based on his research and writing with Marie Kondo, Scott Sonenshein teaches us how to find joy at work. With vivid storytelling, and insights grounded in psychology research, Scott helps us strip away the clutter that holds us back – on our desk, in our calendars, and throughout our workdays. Whether in meetings, as part of teams, or when making decisions and building relationships – Scott leads us to what’s most rewarding for ourselves and organizations. Audiences of all sizes leave empowered with tools to thrive at work and bring prosperity to their workplaces.

Unlocking Hidden Resources to Make Organizational Change Successful

Although organizations frequently need to change, they usually fall short of their goals.
Too often change initiatives get sidetracked by resistance and other roadblocks that are easily preventable.

Drawing from over a decade of researching and teaching organizational change, Scott shows how to transform resisters into resources and how to unpack hidden ideas, talents, and other resources to make any change effort successful.

He explains the critical role of expectations, how to avoid the “dunce cap” and techniques for identifying outsiders within your organization to generate the best ideas for implementing change.

Realizing Your Own Ambitions through Resourcefulness

What does the condition of our lawns tell us about our most important endeavors in life—how to build businesses, launch careers, or even raise families?

It turns out quite a lot.

Drawing from his wealth of scientific studies in the past decade, Scott shows that our strong desire to keep up with others—our colleagues’ work titles and budgets, our friends’ accomplishments, and even our neighbors’ green grass—has put us on a destructive path that makes us ultimately less successful and satisfied.

He explains how to redirect the energy spent chasing after what others have to realizing our own goals and dreams.

Using research interwoven with stories, he explains why the most important skill to navigating life’s challenges is resourcefulness—getting the most out of what’s already in hand.


Scott’s Joy at Work presentation and workshop garnered the highest attendance out of all of our January virtual appearance offerings. Working with New Leaf and Scott was a breeze and his flexible, customer-oriented approach to meeting our needs was very much appreciated. For organizations looking to identify how to create more Joy at Work and why that is essential in these times, Scott’s session is invaluable.

Target Corporation

Scott Sonenshein brings a perfect mix of book smarts, clarity, and charm to engage and inform his audience on the fascinating complexities of human behavior in the workplace. His talk and subsequent Q&A session at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center lasted one hour, felt like only 10 minutes, and left all of us wanting him to continue. We all learned something we could use that very afternoon!

MD Anderson Cancer Center

As an early digital disrupter of the blinds industry, we know about the necessity of stretching. So Scott’s presentation at our Leadership Development Day not only resonated, but did so in a powerful and fresh way that motivated us to do even more.


Marie Kondo and Scott Sonenshein are modern-day superheroes — the dynamic duo of office efficiency and satisfaction. Their timely book delivers the tools, questions, and mindsets you need to rid the clutter that’s piling on your desk, clogging your calendar, and infiltrating your personal networks. If you want joy in life, the place to begin is Joy at Work.

Daniel H. Pink, New York Times bestselling author of When, To Sell Is Human, and Drive

Finding joy at work isn’t magic — it takes work. But it might feel a bit more like play thanks to the practical insights from Marie Kondo and Scott Sonenshein.

Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take, and host of the TED podcast WorkLife

A tidy guide to finding joy at work. Full of psychological wisdom and practical tips — I loved it!

Angela Duckworth, New York Times bestselling author of Grit

Joy at Work is a charming antidote to the messiness of organizational life. It will help you be happier, waste less time, and lead others — and is mighty fun to read.

Bob Sutton, Stanford Professor, organizational psychologist, and author of bestsellers The No Asshole Rule and Good Boss, Bad Boss