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Culture Lessons from the World's Biggest Brands

Culture speakers Zappos, Maritz, Harley-Davidson, Pepsi

A study from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business found that 92% of North American CEOs think improving their organization’s corporate culture would increase the value of the company. But only 15% said it was where it needed to be.

Culture can be the key to everything from hiring and retaining top talent to ensuring confidence in investors. These speakers help your organization make leaps, instead of baby steps, towards an aligned culture:

Charlotte Blank, Chief Behavioral Officer at Maritz

In her role as Chief Behavioral Officer at Martiz, Charlotte leads the company’s practice of behavioral science and innovation. Focused on “unleashing the potential” of client’s employees, she talks about finding drivers of behaviors that may lie “under the surface”; why in the absence of company goal-setting, people default to habit; why regular feedback is so meaningful for performance; and how to test what “rewards systems” will work for your team. Blending social psychology and behavioral economics, she helps clients understand what makes their employees “tick” and how to better make sense of human behavior in an evolving marketplace.

Ken Schmidt, Legendary Former Director of Communications Strategy at Harley-Davidson

Ken’s widely known as one of the business world’s most outspoken and provocative thought leaders. He’s also viewed as a “turnaround king” for his work bringing struggling businesses back from the brink. He explains how to tap into the positive ways consumers respond to your brand and build a booming culture around that niche. In his talk on “Dominating the Marketplace,” Schmidt talks about the steps to developing a loyal corporate culture and fanatic customer base by using examples from his own life.

Dawn Hudson, Former Chief Marketing Officer of the NFL & Former President and CEO of Pepsi Cola North America

Throughout Dawn’s incredible career, her work has focused on tapping into a brand’s DNA—including value systems, unique gifts, brand personality, and human capital resources—to create incredible customer experiences. Dawn’s presentations are fast-paced and always have audiences taking notes as she runs through lessons learned through personal successes and failures. She also talks about fostering a culture that promotes inclusive leadership and celebrating new voices.

Robert Richman, Former Culture Strategist at & Author of the Book, Culture Blueprint

Robert is a culture strategist and was co-creator of Zappos Insights, an innovative program focused on educating companies on the secrets behind Zappos’ amazing employee culture. One of the world’s authorities on employee culture, he’s worked with companies like Google, Toyota, and Eli Lilly and wrote the book, The Culture Blueprint, a guide to building a workplace that helps employees grow, inspires amazing service, and drives revenue through culture.

Jon Steinberg, Jon is founder and CEO of Cheddar, and Former COO and President of Buzzfeed

Jon launched Cheddar, the revolutionary streaming-based video news platform that received a valuation of $85 million after less than one year, in 2017. Also the former COO and President of Buzzfeed, he talks about fueling growth by cultivating an innovative company culture and mindset. Believing that culture is key to disruption, by encouraging enthusiastic buy in at every level of an organization, Steinberg helps groups turn existing culture beliefs on their head.

Doug Rauch, former President of Trader Joe's

Rauch is known for growing Trader Joe’s from a small local chain to a national powerhouse, and for his belief that Culture is a Company’s DNA—or the only thing a company has that can’t be copied or stolen, and the most important factor in success. He talks about the practices like conscious capitalism and values-based leadership that he drew on to grow Trader Joe’s, and helps companies figure out what their cultural X factor is.

Jim DonaldCEO of Albertson’s, Former CEO of Starbucks, & Former CEO of Extended Stay Hotels, and Former CEO of Pathmark Supermarkets

 The former CEO of Starbucks and current CEO of Albertsons, Jim Donald has been called a “Turnaround King” for helping struggling companies regain their footing. He attributes the record growth he led at Starbucks to identifying and fostering an “X factor” that begins with company culture. At the many brands he has led, he did this not with lessons learned at business school but by talking to employees on the front lines. Elevating individual responsibility as well as cohesive company culture is key to success, according to Donald.

Sarah Robb O’HaganLegendary Business Leader and Former CEO of Flywheel Sports, Former Global President of Gatorade, and Former Director at Nike

A disruption powerhouse, Sarah is former global president of Gatorade, former GM and marketing director at Nike, and currently CEO of Flywheel Sports. She speaks passionately about disrupting your own business from the inside out, embracing a mindset of growth and change, and not being afraid to fail. Sarah is a major proponent of developing a team mentality that permeates work and personal relationships, bringing out the best people and performance from those you lead.

Susan O’Malley, former President of both the Washington Capitals and the Washington Wizards, and the first female president of a professional sports franchise

Easy to work with and funny, O'Malley's presentation is packed with examples of turning around flailing franchises by using interpersonal relationships and a collaborative approach to business. She talks about her early days at the Capitals, and how she had to set the culture example. She digs into the real reasons leaders need to actually get their hands dirty, how to work to build a culture of success from the ground up, and the importance of leading by example when it comes to fueling a mindset of growth.

If you want to learn more about one of these speakers, or book one to speak at an upcoming event, call us at 1-800-SPEAKER or live chat with a member of our team right now.

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