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Ram Charan      

World-Renowned Business Advisor, Execution Expert and Best-selling Author

Ram Charan is a highly sought after business advisor and speaker famous among senior executives for his uncanny ability to solve their toughest business problems. For more than thirty-five years, Dr. Charan has worked behind the scenes with top executives at some of the world’s most successful companies, including GE, Verizon, Novartis, Dupont, Thomson Corporation, Honeywell, KLM, Bank of America, and MeadWestvaco. He has shared his insights with many others through teaching and writing.

Dr. Charan’s introduction to business came early while working in the family shoe shop in the small Indian town where he was raised. He earned an engineering degree in India and soon after took a job in Australia and then in Hawaii. When his talent for business was discovered, Dr. Charan was encouraged to pursue it. He earned MBA and doctorate degrees from Harvard Business School, where he graduated with high distinction and was a Baker Scholar. After receiving his doctorate degree, he served on the Harvard Business School faculty.

Dr. Charan is well known for providing advice that is down-to-earth and relevant and that takes into account the real world complexities of business. Among his recommendations for achieving profitable growth, for example, are to search for “singles and doubles,” as well as home runs, to develop a “growth budget.”

Many people have come to know Dr. Charan through in-house executive education programs. His energetic, interactive teaching style has won him several awards. He won the Bell Ringer award at GE’s famous Crotonville Institute and best teacher award at Northwestern. He was among BusinessWeek‘s top ten resources for in-house executive development programs.

Over the past decade, Dr. Charan has captured his business insights in numerous books and articles. In the past five years, Dr. Charan’s books have sold more than 2 million copies. These include the bestseller Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done and Confronting Reality, both co-authored with Larry Bossidy, What the CEO Wants You to Know, Boards at Work, Every Business Is a Growth Business, Profitable Growth, and Boards That Deliver. His two latest releases are Global Tilt and Boards that Lead. A frequent contributor to Fortune, Dr. Charan has written two cover stories, “Why CEOs Fail” and “Why Companies Fail.” His other articles have appeared in the Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, Director’s Monthly, and Strategy and Business.

Ram Charan earned MBA and doctorate degrees from Harvard, and served on the Harvard Business School faculty. He also contributes articles to Harvard Business Review, TIME, and USA Today. Charan is a director of the Six Sigma Academy, serves on the Blue Ribbon Commission on Corporate Governance, and was elected a Distinguished Fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources. Named by Fortune as the leading expert in corporate governance, he was recently included in Business Week’s top ten resources for in-house executive development.

An engaging presenter, Charan delivers high-energy keynotes that offer cutting edge insights into leadership, innovation, execution, and global strategy—insights that have made him, as Fast Company reports, “an indispensable right-hand man for hundreds of top managers.”

Speech Topics


Innovation and Growth: Cultivating The Game-Changers

Companies need innovation for revenue and profit growth. But many people think innovation is unpredictable or out of reach. Ram Charan demystifies innovation and explains how powerhouses Procter & Gamble, Nokia, LEGO and Honeywell do it. With his penchant for real-world practicality, he translates insights from the best companies into concrete steps that make innovation repeatable and measurable. This session, based on Charans 2008 book The Game-Changer: How You Can Drive Revenue and Profit Growth with Innovation, covers the following:

Putting the customer at the center of innovation.

The building blocks of innovation.

Innovation as a social process.

Reducing the risk of innovation failure.

How to be an innovation leader.

Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done

For many leaders, creating a strategy is the easy part. Making it happen is the bigger challenge. Why is flawless execution so hard to achieve? Because few leaders understand what it demands. Execution takes personal discipline, and more important, a systematic approach to synchronizing the moving parts of the organization. Based on the best-selling and highly praised book Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done, this session explains:

Why execution cannot be delegated.

How companies like Wal-Mart, Dell, and GE use execution to outperform competitors.

The framework of flawless execution.

Tools to develop your own discipline of execution.

Reinventing How You Sell: What the Customer Wants You to Know

Too often selling becomes a war over price. Ram Charan shows the way out with a new approach to selling that starts with helping customers reach their business goals. Does it require new skills and ways of working? Yes, with salespeople leading the charge. Here Charan discusses companies that have made the shift and escaped from commodity-pricing hell. This session, based on Charans 2008 book What the Customer Wants You to Know: How Everyone Needs to Think Differently About Sales, covers the following:

How to put the fun back into selling.

Learning to see your customers holistically.

Adopting a new role for salespeopleand everybody else.

Shaping offerings so that costumers will willingly pay more.

Leadership Know-How: Developing Leaders at All Levels

Charan brings realism and specificity to a subject that is often vague and amorphous: leadership. Why do so many leaders fail? Very simple, he says, they dont know how to run a business. Charan breaks through the faade of leadership to explain the capabilities leaders must possess. He gives aspiring leaders a blueprint to take charge of their own development and help other leaders grow. This session, based on Charans 2007 book Know-How: The 8 Skills that Separate People Who Perform From Those Who Dont and his 2008 book Leaders at All Levels: Deepening Your Talent Pool to Solve the Succession Crisis, covers the following:

What leadership training tends to omit.

The 8 capabilities leaders really need.

When and how personality matters.

Examples of leaders who have outstanding know-how in critical areas.

How to build and improve your know-how.

How to build a pipeline of leaders who deliver.

Managing in the Downturn -- Tools to Use

Preparing a company to survive a prolonged period of slow growth or even contraction is one of the most difficult tasks that will ever confront management. Leaders must recognize the new reality confronting their companies and take the necessary steps to shore up the company and weather the storm. Ram Charan will show you the tools leaders and managers need to implement to prepare for and steer through these tough economic times and also how to seize the opportunities that invariably arise out of difficult environments.

This session is based on Ram Charans 2009 book, Leadership in the Era of Economic Uncertainty: The New Rules of Getting Things Done in Difficult Times.

Leadership in the Era of Economic Uncertainty

Ram Charan helps you steer your business through the minefield of contracting markets, cash shortages, and ongoing uncertainty. No matter what your leadership role, Charans insight will help ensure that your business emerges leaner, stronger, and well in front of the competition.

The chaos of global economic meltdown has imposed an urgency you have never before experienced. Its a scary thing, but it can also be exciting if youre prepared. Hear how leaders at DuPont, Hanesbrands, Wipro, and other companies have used Charans techniques to get results.

Charan provides practical actions you can execute immediately to:

Protect cash flow vigilantly, even daily, and use cash more efficiently

Use ground intelligence to survive the storm and position your business to thrive in the aftermath

Develop a better understanding of your customers

Reevaluate your pricing strategy and capital expenditures

Use cost cutting strategically

Leading Your Business Through the Global Tilt

It is quite obvious the business world is in a state of flux. We have plummeted from the highs of the last economic boom into the most troubled economy of the past fifty years - an economy that is now globally interconnected and immensely complex. Businesses are frantically trying to find their way in the newly reworked landscape, where the rules of the game seem unclear and sometimes unfair. Drawing on his experience with businesses worldwide, Ram Charan offers perspective and insight for business leaders operating in this new competitive arena, where the balance of economic power has dramatically shifted . The audience will learn:

  • The profound shift in economic power that is underway and the opportunities it presents

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