New Leaf Speakers New Leaf Speakers

Saj-nicole Joni

Ph.D.,CEO, Cambridge International Group, Business Strategist and Confidential CEO Advisor


Saj-nicole is a leading global business strategist and confidential CEO advisor, speaker, and author who works with top leaders and boards to solve their most high stakes challenges. Her insights and provocative questions help them re-calibrate their personal leadership and business strategies, clearly understand marketplace influences, recognize opportunities of far-reaching impact, and improve the likelihood they will make winning strategic decisions.  She is the CEO of Cambridge International Group, Ltd, where she brings over 25 years of executive and board of director experience combining her expertise as strategist, professor and teacher, Ph.D. in Mathematics, and performing artist.  Saj-nicole served as a senior executive at CSC Index and Microsoft, where she distinguished herself in global strategy, finance, and organizational leadership. This broad experience, combined with her intellect, candor and deep insight, make her an unparalleled thinking partner for today’s elite leaders.

Saj-nicole challenges executives to extend their thinking beyond their comfort zones and to stretch their understanding of what is possible.  She is a frequent media commentator and co-author of Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence (Palgrave, Feb. 2015). She is also the co-author of The Right Fight (Harper Business, Feb. 2010) and author of The Third Opinion (Portfolio Hardcover, Mar. 2004).

Dr. Joni has served on the faculties of MIT, Carnegie-Mellon, and Wellesley College, and as Fellow at Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership. Saj-nicole holds a PhD in Mathematics from U.C. San Diego, is an accomplished pianist, avid gardener, and (retired) black belt in Aikido.


  • Sample Speaking Reel

  • Platform Summit 2013

  • Interview with Saj-nicole Joni and Damon Beyer,
    co-authors of The Right Fight


“I met Saj-nicole via a colleague who recommended her as a speaker.  I want to “pay forward” the favor.  Saj-nicole is a rare blend of inspiring visionary, practical thought leader and motivating force.  Her talk on Leadership to our top officers was perfect for my company’s initiative on Transformation.  Attendees of the session were eager to speak to Saj-nicole after the program and she was extremely generous with her time, signing her book (which was in great demand) and in answering their specific questions regarding the implementation of her ideas.  In fact, we invited her back a second time to continue the conversation further via workshops and break out sessions.  Saj-nicole has become a regular resource to us for breakthrough ideas to help us with our growth initiatives.  She can modify her presentation to any audience from the boardroom through to customer-service representatives. I highly, HIGHLY recommend Saj-nicole.”

President & Chief Operating Officer
NPD Group, Inc.

“Saj-nicole is a foremost global thought leader who combines vision and strategy with a sensible practice of leadership. Her speaking passionately challenges and inspires leaders to explore how to lead, learn, and labor to both create results and leave a lasting legacy.”

President and Managing Partner, Linkage Asia

“Saj-nicole has the rare gift to both inspire audiences to see beyond today to what is possible, and equip them with a roadmap so they can make it happen.”

Senior Vice President, SAP

Saj-nicole is a frequent and popular speaker and has delivered presentations for:

  • BlackRock
  • Campbell’s
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • CIO Executive Summit
  • Coca-Cola
  • Computer Sciences Corporation
  • Deloitte
  • Duke University
  • Export Development Canada
  • Fidelity Investments
  • Forbes
  • Fortune Brands
  • GE
  • General Mills
  • Genzyme
  • Harvard University
  • HRWest
  • Human Capital Institute
  • IBM
  • International Center for Leaders in Finance
  • Johnson and Johnson
  • Luxury Marketing Council
  • Maybank
  • Merrill Lynch
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Microsoft
  • NEC
  • NPD Group
  • Oracle
  • Pfizer
  • Platform Summit
  • PWC
  • Rich Foods Products
  • Royal Dutch Shell
  • Royal Nedlloyd Group
  • SAP
  • Sodexo
  • Target
  • Time Warner
  • Wells Fargo
  • Women’s Food Service Forum


Saj-nicole is a highly polished and flexible presenter – capable of delivering a powerful keynote, taking part in a dynamic on-stage ‘chat’, or adding her insight to a panel of experts.  In short, hosts should consider their needs and let us know where Saj-nicole’s expertise will be most impactful.

Her core presentation is drawn from her most recent book, Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence (2015):

The Leadership Game Changer: Mastering Connectional Intelligence (CxQ) to Get Big Things Done
Connectional intelligence (CxQ) is THE corporate game changer and is created by those who leverage the unstoppable power of knowledge, technology, networks, mobility, social media and human capital.  It is the irrepressible human ability to produce innovation and new sources of value — by combining people, ideas, knowledge and passion.  Cultivating this crucial intelligence has never been more important and it allows savvy leaders to win EVERY time against those who squander or squash it.

In this session, globally acclaimed confidential CEO advisor and CxQ pioneer, Dr. Saj-nicole Joni, shares what you must think, ask and do to develop your CxQ mastery and reap its tremendous advantages.

This talk will show you how to:

  • cultivate CxQ as a deep competitive advantage
  • strengthen your leadership and understand its fundamental importance in this time of great change
  • activate your networks to see sooner, learn faster and swiftly pivot
  • drive massive value by leveraging the innovations, strategies and disruptions that come with interconnectivity both inside AND outside your company
  • stop the leakage of talent and time
  • maximize the contributions of every person and the larger corporate ecosystem

You will walk away from this session understanding how to:

  • drive innovation and productive disruption via connectional intelligence
  • maximize the power of using CxQ to rethink business models and talent
  • drive the performance results you need and want
  • rise to the challenge and thrive amidst all the hype and noise

Drawing from her intensive global work with CEOs, executive boards and high potential teams over the past 25 years, Dr. Joni will inspire you to unleash this massive wave of corporate and individual capability and get big things done.

Dr. Joni also speaks on the topics of her other two books:
(Session descriptions available upon request)
The Right Fight: How Great Leaders Use Productive Conflict to Drive Performance, Innovation, and Value
Co-authored with Damon Beyer (2010)

The Third Opinion: How Successful Leaders Use Outside Insight to Create Superior Results


The collection of items shown in this photo represent many facets of Saj-nicole’s personality, achievements and life:

– Her three books, with the most recent one on top: Get Big Things Done
– Dr. Joni’s preferred head shot
– All items are inside a suitcase, since she is constantly traveling to advise executives around the globe
– A compass: To symbolize that that she helps clients navigate their toughest challenges
– Lion door knocker: To symbolize the courage that is needed to face those challenges
– Peony: One of her favorite flowers and representing her love of gardening
– Ribbons of purple, orange and red: These royal colors are some of her favorites
– Whisk: To symbolize her love of cooking and being a gourmand
– MIT logo: Dr. Joni was the first female faculty member in the applied mathematics department
– City seal of Cambridge: Her home base is in Cambridge, Massachusetts
– Image of Dr. Joni at the piano: She is an accomplished pianist and loves music
– Image of Saj-nicole sticking out her tongue: She’s kept her sense of fun throughout her life
– Images of Saj-nicole as a ballerina: She was an accomplished ballet dancer
– Image of Saj-nicole singing, as a young girl: She’s been making her voice heard since she was very young
– Image of Saj-nicole doing martial arts: She has a black belt in Aikido (retired)

Photo collage by Amy Gray.
Feel free to use, with attribution, after obtaining advance written permission from New Leaf Speakers.