Ram Charan

Ram Charan - Leadership Business Management Business Strategy  speaker

 About

About Ram Charan - Business Advisor and Author:

Ram Charan is a world-renowned business advisor, author and speaker who has spent the past 35 years working with many top companies, CEOs, and boards of our time. In his work with companies including GE, MeadWestvaco, Bank of America, DuPont, Novartis, EMC, 3M, Verizon, Aditya Birla Group, Tata Group, GMR, Max Group, Yildiz Holdings, and Grupo RBS, he is known for cutting through the complexity of running a business in today's fast changing environment to uncover the core business problem. His real-world solutions, shared with millions through his books and articles in top business publications, have been praised for being practical, relevant and highly actionable - the kind of advice you can use Monday morning.

Ram's introduction to business came early while working in the family shoe shop in a small town in northern India, where he was raised. He earned an engineering degree in India and soon after took a job in Australia. When his talent for business was discovered, Ram was encouraged to develop it. He earned MBA and doctorate degrees from Harvard Business School, where he graduated with high distinction and was a Baker Scholar, then served on the faculties of Harvard Business School and Northwestern University before pursuing consulting full time.

Ram's work takes him around the globe non-stop and gives him an unparalleled, up-to-date insider view of how economies and leading companies operate. Through keen observation and analysis, he forms powerful insights that help business leaders face their toughest challenges in the areas of growth, talent development, corporate governance, and profitability. His timely concrete advice is a powerful tool in navigating today's uncertain business climate. Former Chairman of GE Jack Welch says Ram has the rare ability to distill meaningful from meaningless and transfer it in a quiet, effective way without destroying confidences, while Ivan Seidenberg, the former CEO of Verizon, calls Ram his secret weapon.

Ram has coached more than a dozen leaders who went on to become CEOs. He reaches many more up-and-coming business leaders through in-house executive education programs. His energetic, interactive teaching style has won him several awards, including 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.

He has authored 15 books since 1998 that have sold over 2 million copies in more than a dozen languages. Execution, which he coauthored with former Honeywell CEO Larry Bossidy in 2002, was a #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller and spent more than 150 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. He also has written for publications including Harvard Business Review, Fortune, BusinessWeek, Time, Chief Executive and USA TODAY.

Ram was elected a Distinguished Fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources and has served on the Blue Ribbon Commission on Corporate Governance. He has served on the boards of Hindalco in India, Emaar, Austin Industries, Tyco Electronics, and Fischer and Porter. His newest book, Global Tilt: Leading Your Business Through the Great Economic Power Shift (Crown, February 2013), is a guide to leading your business through the radical shift in economic power currently underway.

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 Topics

What Ram Charan Talks About:

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
  • How to formulate a clear-headed strategic response to new kinds of global competition
  • What resources, skills and talent will be needed to respond to the global tilt
  • How to reorient the organization's psychology and decision making
  • Specific companies in the North and the South that are succeeding in today's challenging environment

Execution
The wide gulf between strategizing and getting things done is a growing problem in today's increasingly complex business world. For businesses to prosper and grow, particularly in a challenging business environment, the gap between promising results and delivering them must be closed. Charan argues execution takes place as a result of robust dialogue that links people, strategy and operations. What's more, he contends that leading the three core processes of an organization (people, strategy and operations) is the real job of running a business and espouses the need for deeply and passionately engaged leaders. The audience gains:

  • Recognition that execution cannot be delegated
  • Insight into how companies like Wal-Mart, Dell, and GE use execution to out-compete
  • The framework of flawless execution
  • Tools to develop the discipline of execution
  • Ability to use a robust, reality-based process for thinking about business in an integrated way

Growth
Growth is vital to economic recovery and is among the most pressing issues facing companies today, but growth doesn't happen because managers decide to broaden the product line, spend more money on technology, beef up the sales force or acquire another business. Instead, growth starts with a mindset and insatiable curiosity about the world's needs. This speech helps the audience:

  • Understand if the business isn't growing sustainably and profitably, it's dying
  • Learn how to fund growth, the corporate mindset required to grow, and the factors that must be considered to achieve balanced growth
  • Grasp a method of looking rationally at the risks involved in growth

Talent
The need for talented people in the right jobs can be summed up in a simple way: no talent, no numbers. Talent is a leading indicator of whether the business is headed up or down. Smart leaders put people before numbers, because it is talent, in the end, that delivers the numbers necessary to keep a business strong and healthy. The audience will gain:

  • Insight into how world-class companies find and nurture leadership talent
  • Understanding of why intimacy with your talent and a repetitive rhythm of reviews are the foundation for creating a steady, self-renewing stream of leaders for all levels of an organization
  • Recognition that while financial results, market share, brand and legacy products all have a half-life that seems to grow shorter by the year, talent is the only competency that endures
  • Ability to pinpoint and build an individual's leadership strengths
  • Specific guidelines for assessing and improving your company's talent mastery capabilities

Innovation
We live in a world of unprecedented change and massive volatility. What remains constant is the capital most companies hold in terms of innovation and creativity. Innovation, says Charan, is the world's best and perhaps only way to win in the face of fast commoditization. Using examples such as Procter & Gamble, Honeywell, Nokia, LEGO, GE, HP and DuPont, all of which harnessed the power of innovation, Charan offers both an instructive and inspiring look at transforming today's companies and remaining profitable in the face of economic uncertainty. The audience will gain:

  • How to put the customer at the center of innovation
  • The building blocks of innovation
  • How to view innovation as a social process
  • Insight into reducing the risk of innovation failure
  • The knowledge to become a leader in innovation

Leadership
Fortune magazine calls him the most influential consultant alive - a reputation earned through more than 30 years of wise counsel to top business leaders around the globe. Charan has a unique perspective on how great leaders differ from the rest. He breaks through the facade of leadership to explain the capabilities leaders must possess, how to build a leadership-driven company, how to lead in economic uncertainty, how to develop and grow your own leadership capability, and finally, how to plan for smooth succession. The audience will gain:

  • Insight into what those teaching leadership tend to miss
  • Knowledge of when and how personality matters
  • Insight into how to build a pipeline of leaders who deliver
  • Understanding of how a company can develop leadership at each level of the organization
  • Ability to implement the Apprenticeship Model to grow new leaders

Profitability/Selling
The twin components of making a company profitable are a keen understanding of the operational underpinnings of the organization and creating a world-class sales team. Charan imparts the basics of business, the universal of success that apply whether you are selling fruit from a stand or running a Fortune 500 company. From this foundation, he then explains in detail how to run a company that is customer-centric - an absolute must in a world where pricing has collapsed and the consumer's ability to comparison shop is unprecedented. Charan strips back the functions of running a company and making its sales team high functioning, no matter the size of the organization or the current business climate. The audience will gain:

  • Ability to get deeper and richer knowledge of your customers' need and process for making purchase decisions
  • Insight into how to help our customer improve margins and drive revenue growth
  • Knowledge of how to connect sales with other key functions, such as finance and manufacturing
  • Insight into how to design new, customized offerings/li>
  • Understanding of how to de-emphasize price in the selling process

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 Recent Publications

Ram Charan is a wise counselor and keen observer on the front lines of the American board revolution.

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