Joseph Grenny

President & COO of VitalSmarts and Business Results Expert
Joseph Grenny
  • Taught and advised more than 100,000 leaders on every major continent over the past 20 years
  • Coauthor of three New York Times bestsellers
  • Offers a customized, highly-interactive presentation to help businesses drive change and growth

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Knowing the challenges facing your organization is a good first step, but what about the crucial, difficult, and not-always-obvious next steps of overcoming these challenges? Joseph Grenny knows how to determine these next steps, and he applies his extensive research and insights into the inner-workings of organizations to provide surprising and refreshing solutions. His customized, highly interactive presentations help audiences diagnose their own organizational ills, and he provides the skills and tools that can get team members communicating, proactively changing their behavior, and working to improve their lives at work and the lives of their organizations. A passionate, optimistic, and eye-opening speaker, Joseph Grenny not only shines a light on the pitfalls facing business, he shines a light on the motivations, structures, and institutional traditions that give an organization its peculiar character. And when the pitfalls are out in the open, the next steps become much easier.

The Power to Change Anything. Over the past twenty years, Grenny has taught and advised more than one hundred thousand leaders on every major continent from the boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies to the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. He has advised CEOs and senior executives on more than a dozen major change initiatives--receiving credit from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics' president as a key factor in helping the organization win the $200 billion Joint Strike Fighter program. An expert in topics ranging from influence and leadership to organizational change and effectiveness, Joseph has been cited in dozens of newspapers including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. He has also appeared on more than one hundred radio and television programs including ABC News, CNN, Bloomberg, CNBC, and the Today Show.

Tools for Succeeding When the Stakes are High. Along with his team at VitalSmarts, Grenny is coauthor of three New York Times bestsellers. His most recent work, Influencer: The Power to Change Anything, has been hailed as "powerful," "empowering," and "an instant classic" by CEOs, renowned business gurus, and even a Nobel Peace Prize Winner. Grenny and his team's previous book, Crucial Confrontations: Tools for Resolving Broken Promises, Violated Expectations, and Bad Behavior, encourage associates, leaders, and team members to have the complex and often-difficult conversations that will make a difference immediately in their organizations.

More About Joseph Grenny. Formerly, Grenny was cofounder and president of California Computer Corporation. And in 2007, he and his coauthors were named Ernst & Young Entrepreneurs of the Year for their work in founding and leading VitalSmarts, a leader in corporate training and organizational development. VitalSmarts has helped more than three hundred of the Fortune 500 realize significant results using a proven method for driving rapid, sustainable, and measurable change in behaviors. Named the 2008 Business of the Year by The Association of Learning Providers, VitalSmarts has also been ranked four times by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest growing companies in America and has taught two million people worldwide.

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Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking when Stakes are High. Crucial Conversations Drive the Results that Matter Most. Crucial conversations (conversations where stakes are high, opinions vary, and emotions run strong) happen every day and impact all of our results, yet few people invest in the skills for holding them well. Studies show that the inability to discuss a problem can be more destructive than the problem itself. Issues like poor productivity, declining quality, lack of teamwork, or strained relationships are often the effects of crucial conversations that aren't being held or aren't being held well. Learn to step up to high stakes conversations skillfully and respectfully and begin to resolve the problems by:

  • Surfacing the best ideas
  • Making important decisions
  • Act on decisions with unity and commitment

Crucial Confrontations: Tools for Resolving Broken Promises, Violated Expectations, and Bad Behavior. Results Depend on Accountability: Be Prepared. A crucial confrontation is a face-to-face interaction in which we hold another person accountable for a broken promise, a violated expectation, or bad behavior. Accountability issues such as lagging performance, quality, and low morale can keep you from getting the results you need. Crucial Confrontations presents a straightforward step-by-step process for identifying and resolving performance gaps, strengthening accountability, eliminating inconsistency, and reducing resentment.

Influencer: The Power to Change Anything. Learn to Create Change Strategies that Work. Creating sustainable change is a constant struggle for organizations and individuals. We often lack the skills to influence the behaviors behind issues like:

  • Failed initiatives
  • Short-lived change efforts
  • Unproductive corporate cultures
  • Entrenched bad habits

Influencer draws on the best practices of many of the world's leading change agents and on five decades of social-science research to create a powerful model for changing behavior. You'll follow the experiences of influence masters who have succeeded in solving some of the world's most profound problems. Examples ranging from major healthcare reform to reversals of destructive social behaviors to unprecedented corporate turnarounds will illustrate how a proven set of skills makes change not only achievable but sustainable.

10X Your Influence. Create Sustainable Change with Six Sources of Influence. If you want to change persistent problem behavior, you need to combine multiple sources of influence into a coordinated strategy. Influencers succeed where others fail because they don't focus on just a single root cause. They address all the root causes of a problem by combining a number of strategies. In a recent study, VitalSmarts researchers found that those who understand how to combine four to six sources of influence are far more successful at producing substantial and sustainable change. These results held true across areas of:

  • C-Level concerns - including bureaucratic infighting, silo thinking, and lack of accountability.
  • Corporate change initiatives - such as internal restructurings, quality and productivity improvements, and new product launches.
  • Personal challenges - like overeating, smoking, overspending, or binge drinking.

Learn how you can use the power of six discrete sources of influence to address your greatest and most persistent challenges.

The Four Crucial Conversations for Financial Agility. Respond Smarter, Faster, Stronger to Economic Downturns. Financially agile companies adapt to changing economic circumstances far more rapidly and effectively than the rest of the pack. A study of 1,400 executives and managers attributed their financial agility to the capacity to handle four crucial conversations around fiscal challenges. Firms that handled the following conversations well adapted over ten times faster and weathered downturns far more intelligently than their peers:

  • Debate, Dithering, and Denial - managers drag their feet rather than respond assertively to financial challenges.
  • Undiscussables - enormous efficiencies and reductions are possible but seem politically risky to discuss.
  • Silent Collusion - when leaders fail to follow through on committed reductions, others fail to hold them accountable.
  • Irrational Slashing - executives impose across-the-board reductions or other policies that middle managers realize will create serious downsides the executives may be unaware of.


Silence Fails: The Five Crucial Conversations for Flawless Execution. Hold These Conversations to Ensure Your Project's Success. An organization's success is determined by how well people execute on its high-stakes projects and initiatives. However, current execution trends are anything but promising. According to recent research:

  • Fewer than one in three critical initiatives will achieve intended goals, and almost half are deemed outright failures.
  • 83 percent of employees say they are working on projects, programs, and initiatives they believe will fail.
  • Companies' collective inability to execute on major projects costs hundreds of billions of dollars each year.

The good news is that these failures are predictable - and therefore, preventable. In the groundbreaking study, Silence Fails: The Five Crucial Conversations for Flawless Execution, VitalSmarts and The Concours Group found that project failures are almost always preceded by conversation failures. Learn to step up to these five crucial conversations and improve results through better decision making, higher quality project execution, and more engaged leadership.

Silence Kills: The Seven Crucial Conversations for Healthcare. Speak up to Prevent Medical Mistakes and Save Lives. Every year, 195,000 people die in U.S. hospitals because of medical mistakes. Often, well-intentioned professionals in healthcare organizations choose not to speak up when they're concerned with the behavior, decisions, or actions of a colleague. The study, Silence Kills: The Seven Crucial Conversations for Healthcare, conducted by VitalSmarts in conjunction with the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, links people's ability to discuss emotionally and politically risky topics in a healthcare setting with key results such as:

  • Patient safety
  • Quality of care
  • Nursing turnover

The study suggests that creating a culture where healthcare workers speak up before problems occur is a vital part of saving lives. Learn to step up to these seven crucial conversations and drastically transform your healthcare organization.

Crucial Conversations for Workplace Safety. Prevent "Accidents Waiting to Happen". A recent study conducted by VitalSmarts examined workplace safety failures. Interviews around specific failures turned up the same quote time and time again: "It was an accident waiting to happen." Unsafe conditions had been recognized well in advance, but not resolved - and individuals and organizations suffered. In 2006 alone, over 4 million people were injured in workplace accidents and another 5,703 died. The dollar cost of these injuries totaled $48.6 billion. The human costs are incalculable. Our study reveals key moments where existing safety policies that can save time, money, and even lives, break down due to communication failures. Good safety practices require accountability across an organization to keep these policies intact and working. Learn to recognize the most common barriers to upholding policies, as well as how to address these barriers and improve safety practices for good.

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