Rich Horwath

Rich Horwath - Business Strategy Leadership Sales  Speaker


About Rich Horwath - Chief Executive at The Strategic Thinking Institute:

Rich Horwath is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author on strategy. As the CEO of the Strategic Thinking Institute, Rich leads executive teams through the strategy process and has helped more than 50,000 managers around the world develop their strategic thinking skills. A former Chief Strategy Officer and professor of strategy at the graduate level, he brings both real-world experience and practical expertise to help companies build their strategic capabilities. Rich and his work have appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNBC, CNN, and FOX TV. He is recognized in the textbook Strategy in the 21st Century as one of the key contributors in the history of strategic management and has been introduced by Chief Executive Magazine as “The world’s foremost expert on strategic thinking.”

Rich is the author of six books, including, Elevate: The Three Disciplines of Advanced Strategic Thinking, which a leader at Intel proclaimed: “If you only read one book on strategy, this has to be that book!” His book, Deep Dive: The Proven Method for Building Strategy, has been described by the Director of Worldwide Operations for McDonalds as “...the most valuable book ever written on strategic thinking.” And Strategy for You: Building a Bridge to the Life You Want, helps people apply the principles of business strategy to their overall life.

Rich's innovative work in the field of strategic thinking has created dozens of proprietary offerings, including the Deep Dive Strategic Thinking System, to help managers become truly strategic leaders. These offerings include strategy facilitation, strategic planning, group workshops, assessments, books, mobile apps, workbooks, software, podcasts, videos and one-to-one strategic coaching for executives. His monthly e-publication entitled Strategic Thinker is read by thousands of business leaders and academicians around the world.

Rich served as a professor of strategy at the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, where he was consistently ranked a top professor by students. He earned an MBA with Distinction from the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business at DePaul University and has completed courses in strategy at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College. He resides in Barrington Hills, IL.

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What Rich Horwath Talks About:

Be Strategic or Be Gone: Developing Strategic Thinking Skills for Competitive Advantage
A study of more than 10,000 senior executives showed that the #1 most important leadership behavior critical to company success is strategic thinking. But, only 3 out of every 10 managers are strategic. And since bad strategy is the main cause of business failure 80% of the time, having managers that are effective strategists can be the difference between continued success and failure.

New York Times & Wall Street Journal bestselling author Rich Horwath provides managers with a framework to master the most important business skill of our time: strategic thinking. Rich designed the Deep Dive Strategic Thinking Framework to help managers think and act strategically on a daily basis, not just once a year during the strategic planning process. By developing this strategic mindset, managers will be able to continually discover new insights that enable them to create and deliver new value to their customers.

Key Learnings:

  • Use the Deep Dive Strategic Thinking framework to apply to daily work.
  • Understand how to break down competitive advantage in the market.
  • Create competitive strategies based on your position (leader, challenger).
  • Assess your current business situation to determine the best strategy.
  • Learn to see market patterns before others by diagnosing the business.

Competing on Excellence: Three Principles for Sustained Success
The biggest challenge for leading companies that have been successful is not becoming complacent and resting on past success. The key to sustained success is competing on excellence. Excellence is defined as deviation from the norm. Whether your company is a leader or challenger, you must break from the pack in order to continually create new value for customers.

New York Times & Wall Street Journal bestselling author Rich Horwath provides an exciting and effective method for managers to reach new levels of excellence in their business performance. Using real-life examples from some of the leading companies in the world, Rich gives managers from all functional areas practical tips and tools to make excellence an ingrained habit in their daily activities. By competing on excellence as a primary value, managers can unlock their full potential and create continuous competitive advantage.

Key Learnings:

  • Understand what it means to bring excellence to your work each day.
  • Utilize the three principles of excellence to move ahead of the competition.
  • Design business and individual strategies based on the excellence principles.
  • Develop an excellence mindset that creates a continual hunger to get better.
  • Create a positive, proactive sense of urgency to drive business success.

Strategy Unplugged: From Zero to Strategy in 60 Minutes
Ask ten people for their definition of strategy and you’re likely to get ten different answers. This inconsistent understanding of strategy leads to bad strategy. In fact, 67% of managers surveyed said their organizations were bad at developing strategy. Result: the #1 cause of business failure is bad strategy. If you and your team don’t understand strategy today, you may not have a business tomorrow.

New York Times & Wall Street Journal bestselling author Rich Horwath provides managers with everything they need to know to understand strategy in 60 minutes. Introduced by Chief Executive Magazine as “The world’s foremost expert on strategic thinking,” Rich provides clear and concise definitions for the key business planning terms and helps managers apply them to their business. The result is a common knowledge and understanding of strategy along with the most important tools to develop, communicate and execute strategy.

Key Learnings:

  • Understand once and for all a clear definition of strategy.
  • Avoid the five myths of strategy that can destroy your business.
  • Make strategic trade-offs to focus your resources and prioritize.
  • Communicate the difference between strategy, tactics, goals, objectives, mission, vision and values.
  • Design a StrategyPrint, or blueprint for your business, using the five phases of the strategy process.

Insight: The Key to Unleashing the Power of Innovation
Consider the most successful products, services and experiences of our time, from the iPhone to Uber to Cirque du Soleil. What do they all have in common? They all began with an insight. A study of more than 5,000 executives showed that the most important innovation trait for managers is the ability to come up with insights. But, the research also showed that only 35 percent of managers believe their strategies are built on insights. Products and services not built on insights become “me-too” commodities wrestling in the dirt for scraps of business.

New York Times & Wall Street Journal bestselling author Rich Horwath provides managers with a framework to fuse strategy and innovation into competitive advantage. Rich helps managers understand and acquire business acumen skills and practical tools to discover the strategic insights that lead to new revenue growth and breakthrough innovation.

Key Learnings:

  • Understand how insight fuels both strategy and innovation.
  • Discover practical tools to generate new strategic insights.
  • Design an insight network to harness your company’s best ideas.
  • Identify the types of innovation most likely to grow your business.
  • Use strategic innovation techniques to create competitive advantage.

The Sales Strategist: Becoming an Elite Strategic Sales Force
In today’s competitive environment, great sales leaders and experienced sales reps don’t need another basic selling skills seminar or motivational mumbo jumbo. What they need is the ability to quickly diagnose a business situation, develop a differentiated strategy and create new value for customers—that’s what drives business. In fact, research with thousands of sales executives showed that the two most important attributes contributing to sales manager excellence are strategy and innovation.

New York Times & Wall Street Journal bestselling author Rich Horwath provides your sales team with everything they need to know to become an elite strategic sales force. Rich shares a clear and concise strategy framework to help sales leaders and their reps think, act and sell strategically each and every day. The result is greater focus on the right customers, right activities and right metrics that drive increased sales and profits.

Key Learnings:

  • Understand the difference between goals, objectives, strategy, and tactics.
  •  Develop strategies that create competitive advantage at the territory, district, regional and national levels.
  • Create a not-to-do list that eliminates wasted time and budgets.
  • Lead strategy conversations with customers to become a true strategic partner.
  • Prioritize time, activities and customers using two key critiera.

Strategy for You: Building a Bridge to the Life You Want
Are you where you want to be in your career? Are you where you want to be in your life? You and you alone can set your strategic direction. You and you alone will decide if you’ve reached your full potential. You and you alone will look back on your life with great joy or great regret. The choice is yours. Strategy is the power to get from where you are today, to where you want to go—the power to live strategically.

New York Times & Wall Street Journal bestselling author Rich Horwath provides audiences with tips and tools on the most important thing in the world: the direction of their lives. Based on the #1 selling book on, Rich has designed a set of principles to help people think, act and live strategically each day, in order to reaching their full potential at work and at home.

Key Learnings:

  • Apply the concept of strategy to your work and your personal life.
  • Discover your true purpose and channels for using it.
  • Effectively use your time, talent and buget at work and home.
  • Use the five-step process to build strategies to achieve your goals.
  • Identify the intersection of your passions, skills and knowledge to create extraordinary value.

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 Recent Publications

From his content to his delivery, Rich's presentations on strategy are impeccable. I have never been more impressed with a keynote speaker.

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