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Brian Gareau    

Business Speaker on High Performance & Employee Engagement

Leveraging 31 years of corporate leadership experience at a global Fortune 50 corporation, Brian Gareau specializes in strategic, tactical, and practical solutions to engage and accelerate high performance.

Brian is the co-inventor of Caterpillar’s patent-pending Cultural Assessment Process (CAP) and was actively involved in the redesign of their global Employee Opinion Survey (EOS) process and the launch of their Corporate Values. Brian also helped lead the design and execution of Caterpillar’s highly successful global Employee Engagement strategy.

Brian is serving as a Senior Fellow, Human Capital at The Conference Board. In this role, he supports The Conference Board’s Human Capital Practice which includes The Conference Board Human Capital Exchange™, research, conferences, webcasts and programs in a broad spectrum of human capital areas.

During his career he spent time in Manufacturing, Corporate Public Affairs, Parts & Service Sales, Logistics, and HR. He managed multiple operations and was directly involved in nine new plant start-ups. Brian has provided OE/OD consulting services to nearly 200 locations around the globe.

Brian is the co-author of two books: 180 Ways to Build Employee Engagement and A Slice of Life: The Benefits of Personal Engagement; and contributing author of The Engaged Workplace: Organizational Strategies. He has been a featured speaker at: The Conference Board, Corporate Leadership Council, Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), American Productivity & Quality Center (APQC), CUE, Dallas SHRM, CONEXPO, Con-Way Transportation, 3M, Texas A&M University, Snow & Ice Management Association (SIMA), SIGMA, McDonalds Corporation, DuPage SHRM, Kenexa, Crossroads United Methodist Church, and Bloomington-Normal HR Council.


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Speech Topics

Workplace Culture – Asset or Liability?

Competition is tough! Everyone is constantly looking for a “new” market, product or service, process, physical layout, design, delivery model, or technology that will differentiate them from everyone else. And, if they are fortunate enough to find “an edge” – how do they sustain it?

According to Harvard Business School, “business culture can have a significant impact on a firm’s long-term economic performance.” So why do so few companies “master” their business culture’s competitive edge? This session will explore:

  • Simple ways to measure business culture
  • How do leaders embed business culture
  • Creating sustainable business culture differentiation for employees and then to customers
  • Myths and magic of individual accountability

Let’s take the theory and make it a tactical and practical advantage for your organization. Remember – business culture eats strategy for lunch! Tap into strategic, tactical, and practical solutions that have come from more than 30 years of corporate experience and 200 consulting projects worldwide.

After attending this session, you will learn how to:

  • Understand and help others discover how to “See” and “Hear” business culture
  • Explain how culture impacts high performance and ways to maximize the impact of each element
  • Identify some of your culture differentiators for employees; and then, its impact on customers
  • Define and use the Think-Feel-Act model
  • Be able to dispel common myths about accountability

Customer Service - From The Inside Out

Research shows that “poor” Customer Service costs U.S. businesses over $80B annually. Are the behaviors and attitudes impacting these losses actually “reflections” of how leaders and employees are treating each other internally? External customers don’t care about an organization’s internal issues. But, internal issues can and do have a huge impact on delivering a competitive advantage of excellent external customer experience. Is your business culture safe or dangerous for customers inside and out?

In this session, participants will:

  • Rethink accountability for internal customer service and gain ideas to maximize mutual responsibility
  • Leverage the three critical “I’s” of employee engagement for improved customer service
  • Discover four ways to assess if there is “unconscious conditioning” in how employees are treated internally that impacts external customer service
  • Learn and apply ways to maximize “internal” Word of Mouth (WOM) to energize external customers
  • Gain checklists for auditing workplace internal customer service effectiveness

A Sustainable Fuel for High Performance

Many businesses today struggle with “people issues” including: the ability to attract and retain the best talent, employee resistance to change, absenteeism, and individual accountability. All these create frustration, waste and lost performance.

So, how do you unleash the engagement “sustainable fuel” (commitment, effort, loyalty) of your workforce? Engagement is more than an employee survey score – it must be an integrated element of your people and business strategy. It must be a critical competency that leaders master. And, it must be a priority to improve and sustain high performance.

Tap into strategic, tactical, and practical solutions that have come from more than 30 years of corporate experience and 200 consulting projects worldwide.


  • Maximize a new high performance culture model:
  • Explain and use key drivers of engagement and “4 Rights” model
  • Gain examples of key external business metric – engagement correlation findings for credibility back on the job
  • Develop a list of tactical and practical ways to implement and keep your organization’s sustainable fuel tank full

The Accidental Boss

Often individuals find themselves in leadership roles without a true understanding of how to succeed. Many are “good doers” misplaced, misinformed or misguided. And they find themselves struggling to balance the many demands of leadership. Now more than ever, these Accidental Bosses must effectively wear multiple hats (managerial, company advocate and employee advocate) to be successful and sustain organizational performance.

In this session, attendees will explore tactical and practical reminders on “blind spots,” “the signs all around us,” and “hazards” to effective leadership and sustainable high performance. As well, they will gain basic techniques that can significantly improve the commitment, effort, and loyalty of your workforce. Remember, people are the only asset an organization has that can appreciate over time … if we truly appreciate them.

Tap into strategic, tactical, and practical solutions that have come from more than 30 years of corporate experience and 200 consulting projects worldwide.


  • Gain a clear understanding of a leader’s role and its impact on your workforce
  • Discover techniques to mitigate the risk of four influencers of leader’s actions and decisions
  • Understand how to drive employee engagement and create a high performing team
  • Be brilliant in the 12 basics of a successful leader

I Wish Someone Would Communicate Around Here! Gain simple and easy techniques for improving communication in your organization.

Ineffective communication costs businesses big bucks – research estimates over $3B annually in the U.S. and U.K. alone. Communication is a simple, but definitely not easy, concept to consistently execute. Inconsistent, mixed messages create inefficiency. New technology increases speed and accessibility but not necessarily understanding. It’s very frustrating, as a leader, to continually hear comments from employees like:

  • “The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.”
  • “Nobody communicates around here.”
  • “That’s the first time I heard that.”
  • “Why doesn’t anybody listen?”
  • “We simply don’t walk our talk.”

The famous Irish playwright, George Bernard Shaw once said, “The single, biggest problem in communication is the illusion it has taken place.” *Let’s create better understanding through more effective communication – and help employees “get it!” *

After attending this session, you’ll be able to:

  • Minimize the impact of some major barriers that make effective communication difficult.
  • Expand your understanding of why effective communication requires three key steps and how to effectively use each.
  • Pull from research findings that can help you influence change in your organization’s communication activities and employee behaviors.
  • Improve your own communications immediately by applying powerful, practical communication techniques gained.


FORMAT: Keynote, 75-90 minute breakout or four-hour workshop


Brian has successfully consulted on over 200 projects in 16 different countries on 5 continents. Most projects involved significant elements of change and improved alignment of human capital to strategy, initiatives, and continuous improvement efforts. Clients have included Operations (union and non-union); Service organizations; start-ups; and mature businesses. His background in Operations, Logistics, Customer Service, PR, and HR give him a broad portfolio of practical and tactical lessons learned & best practices. He continually listens to practitioners, reads, and researches to stay abreast of new developments.


During his career, Brian spent time in Manufacturing, Logistics, Parts & Service Sales, Public Relations, and OD Consulting. He led 9 new plant start-ups and has managed both union and non-union workforces. He also managed a global OD staff located in the U.K., Europe, Asia, and U.S. He is effective in helping coach Executives, middle management, and first line supervisors.

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