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 16 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 latest book, The Attacker's Advantage: Turning Uncertainty into Breakthrough Opportunities, provides a stark and simple challenge: stay in a legacy world of incremental gains or defensiveness, or be an attacker by creating a new world, scaling it up quickly, ahead of the traditional players.
- Leading Your Business Through the Global Tilt - It is quite obvious that 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 50 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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 universals 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.
- Corporate Boards - In 30 years of helping directors deal with the practical challenges of governing well, Charan has become a leading authority on corporate boards. Directorship magazine named him "one of the most influential people in corporate governance and the board room." He facilitates board self-evaluations, peer reviews, strategy retreats, and CEO evaluations, and advises on recruitment of new directors and compensation. Charan has served on several boards and on the National Association of Corporate Directors Blue Ribbon Commission on Corporate Governance.
- 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.