Ram Charan

  • Acclaimed Business Advisor
  • New York Times Bestselling Author of Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done

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 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.

Ram has authored over 25 books since 1998 that have sold over 2 million copies in more than a dozen languages. Three of his books were Wall Street Journal bestsellers, including Execution, which he coauthored with former Honeywell CEO Larry Bossidy in 2002, which 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.

 

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Rave Reviews About Ram Charan
Ram Charan [consults] for the largest and most powerful companies . . . even more than his dedication, it's his insights that have won him the ear of hundreds of top managers. . . . What Charan loves to do is to solve business problems. With his plainspoken Socratic approach, he helps demolish organizational silos or persuade entrenched executives to change their points of view. . . . Companies seek him out for his 'wise man' approach rather than choosing a consultant with a narrow specialty.

A Sample of the Groups That Have Hosted Ram Charan
  • The Economic Times
  • Citicorp
  • Ernst & Young
  • Denny's
  • Needham Partners
  • Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Bridgestone Americas, Inc.
  • Fortune
  • BusinessWeek
Explore Ram Charan's Talks
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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  thei ...

 

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. Ch ...

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  Wai-Mart, Dell, and  GE use  execution to outcompete
  • 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 ...

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 necessa ...

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 e ...

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

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 ...

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. The audience will  gain:

  • Ability to get deeper and richer knowledge of  your customer's need and process for making purchase decisions
  • Insight into how to help your 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
  • Understanding of how to de-emphasize price in the selling process

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, ...

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. Participants will learn:

  • Specific ways boards can add or destroy value
  • How to define roles and assess performance for committees and the full board
  • How to set the board agenda in a way  that moves the business forward
  • Principles of succession planning for the board
  • How to make the board a competitive advantage

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  fac;:ade of leaders ...

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  fac;:ade 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

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Biography

 

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.

Ram has authored over 25 books since 1998 that have sold over 2 million copies in more than a dozen languages. Three of his books were Wall Street Journal bestsellers, including Execution, which he coauthored with former Honeywell CEO Larry Bossidy in 2002, which 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 (Crown, February 2013), is a guide to leading your business through the radical shift in economic power currently underway.