Carol Sanford

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Prolific and Award-winning Writer and Thought Leader; Advisor on Systemic Business Change and Design to Global Fortune 500 Organizations; Founder and Leader of The Regenerative Business Development Community

Biography

Carol Sanford is a consistently recognized thought leader working side by side with Fortune 500 and new economy executives in designing and leading systemic business change and design. Through her university and in-house educational offerings, global speaking platforms, multi-award-winning books, and human development work, Carol works with executive leaders who see the possibility to change the nature of work through developing people and work systems that ignite motivation everywhere. For four decades, Carol has worked with great leaders of successful businesses such as Google, DuPont, Intel, P&G and Seventh Generation, educating them to develop their people and ensure a continuous stream of innovation that continually delivers extraordinary results.

Carol is a founder and leader of The Regenerative Business Development Community whose almost 500 lifetime members meet in locations around the world – and now online – with leaders from multiple companies, learning together at bi-quarterly events as well as an Annual Regenerative Business Summit. She is also a founder and leader of The Regenerative Change Agent Development community (CAD). Spanning three regions – Americas, EMEA, Deep Pacific – CAD members participate in over 50 online or in-person events a year during which regenerative change agents learn about and create change together.

Carol’s work is deeply rooted in the belief that people can grow and develop beyond what their leaders or anyone sees possible: to be increasingly entrepreneurial, innovative, and responsible in their business and personal actions. She approaches her work as an ecosystem with stakeholders to the business in order to create the market place positioning, the organizational conditions and human capability for people to innovate and contribute. Through a Socratic and contrarian approach, backed by research and extensive case stories and testimonials, Carol challenges and educates leaders to reimagine everything they currently know about strategic thinking, leadership, management and work design. In the end, she guides people to find their individual and organizational “promise beyond able-ness,” embedding enormous possibilities into an organization.

Carol is the author of “The Regenerative Business: Redesign Work, Cultivate Human Potential, Achieve Extraordinary Outcomes,” “The Responsible Entrepreneur: Four Game-Changing Archetypes for Founders, Leaders, and Impact Investors,” “The Responsible Business: Reimagining Sustainability and Success,” and “No More Feedback: Cultivate Consciousness at Work.” Her books have won over 15 awards so far and are required reading at leading business and management schools including Harvard, Stanford, Haas Berkeley and MIT. Carol also partners with producing Executive Education through Babson College, Kaospilot in Denmark, University of Washington, Bothell, WA and The Lewis Institute at Babson.

Among her many recognitions, Carol was recently named Executive in Residence and Senior Fellow in Social Innovation at Babson College and was honored as Top Conscious Business Leader by Conscious Company Magazine for Global Impact. She was recognized with a Thought Leader Lifetime Achievement Award from Trust Across America-Trust Around the World and has received the Athena Award for Excellence in Business, Mentorship and Community Service. Carol is often called a visionary offering revolutionary new ideas. But most importantly, Carol offers a pathway to extraordinary results for businesses and their stakeholders.

Carol Sanford is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

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A-Z Name

Sanford, Carol

Biography

Carol Sanford is a consistently recognized thought leader working side by side with Fortune 500 and new economy executives in designing and leading systemic business change and design. Through her university and in-house educational offerings, global speaking platforms, multi-award-winning books, and human development work, Carol works with executive leaders who see the possibility to change the nature of work through developing people and work systems that ignite motivation everywhere. For four decades, Carol has worked with great leaders of successful businesses such as Google, DuPont, Intel, P&G and Seventh Generation, educating them to develop their people and ensure a continuous stream of innovation that continually delivers extraordinary results.

Carol is a founder and leader of The Regenerative Business Development Community whose almost 500 lifetime members meet in locations around the world – and now online – with leaders from multiple companies, learning together at bi-quarterly events as well as an Annual Regenerative Business Summit. She is also a founder and leader of The Regenerative Change Agent Development community (CAD). Spanning three regions – Americas, EMEA, Deep Pacific – CAD members participate in over 50 online or in-person events a year during which regenerative change agents learn about and create change together.

Carol’s work is deeply rooted in the belief that people can grow and develop beyond what their leaders or anyone sees possible: to be increasingly entrepreneurial, innovative, and responsible in their business and personal actions. She approaches her work as an ecosystem with stakeholders to the business in order to create the market place positioning, the organizational conditions and human capability for people to innovate and contribute. Through a Socratic and contrarian approach, backed by research and extensive case stories and testimonials, Carol challenges and educates leaders to reimagine everything they currently know about strategic thinking, leadership, management and work design. In the end, she guides people to find their individual and organizational “promise beyond able-ness,” embedding enormous possibilities into an organization.

Carol is the author of “The Regenerative Business: Redesign Work, Cultivate Human Potential, Achieve Extraordinary Outcomes,” “The Responsible Entrepreneur: Four Game-Changing Archetypes for Founders, Leaders, and Impact Investors,” “The Responsible Business: Reimagining Sustainability and Success,” and “No More Feedback: Cultivate Consciousness at Work.” Her books have won over 15 awards so far and are required reading at leading business and management schools including Harvard, Stanford, Haas Berkeley and MIT. Carol also partners with producing Executive Education through Babson College, Kaospilot in Denmark, University of Washington, Bothell, WA and The Lewis Institute at Babson.

Among her many recognitions, Carol was recently named Executive in Residence and Senior Fellow in Social Innovation at Babson College and was honored as Top Conscious Business Leader by Conscious Company Magazine for Global Impact. She was recognized with a Thought Leader Lifetime Achievement Award from Trust Across America-Trust Around the World and has received the Athena Award for Excellence in Business, Mentorship and Community Service. Carol is often called a visionary offering revolutionary new ideas. But most importantly, Carol offers a pathway to extraordinary results for businesses and their stakeholders.

Carol Sanford is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Speech Topics

Design and Lead the Business of the Future: Education for Growth-Minded CEOs and Entrepreneurs

In this talk, Carol teaches participants how to build capacity for discernment and consciousness, discernment of the paradigm, and an awareness of the worldview and framework “at work” in one’s mind and actions, including language. She discusses the effects of such thinking patterns and helps build consciousness around our thoughts and actions and responsibility for what they create. In the process, she poses evocative questions and offers systemic frameworks for thinking in the service of these aims. But most importantly, her methods are about how we can grow people and institutions to be wiser, more able and more effective. Her approach results in game-changing innovation, market leadership and financial returns.

CUSTOM KEYNOTES

Carol tailors each address to the audience. Lenses she applies include:

  • Using your business to change the world. How visionary business owners change an industry, a social system, cultural beliefs or how a nation governs.
  • Linking, inextricably, every employee’s, contractor’s and supplier’s mind and action to your customer’s success, therefore your own success.
  • The three rarely posed or answered questions that position your business for enduring market and industry leadership.
  • The most popular “toxic” practices that undermine your businesses’ strategic, financial, responsibility and operations results—and what to do instead.
  • Your employees are not your greatest asset; rather make them your customer’s indispensable strategists, innovators and champions for results.
  • A value-adding (versus value-extractive or value-added) worldview of business that makes you the perpetual choice as preferred product source, best place to work and top pick for responsibility awards.
  • Others mutually discussed and agreed upon.

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Recommendations

“Carol Sanford’s book ‘No More Feedback’ is clearly on my top 5 management books of the century to date. It is brilliant, readable, incredibly well researched, contrarian, and ridiculously important. I would travel many a mile to hear her speak and pray that her audience would listen intently—and act decisively. The world would be the better for it.”

— Tom Peters, Management Guru and Co-author of “The Excellence Dividend”

“Carol is one of those unique individuals who captivates you from the moment you meet her. She is a very engaging, inspiring and talented speaker with incredible insights, thoughtful perspectives and a unique way to make you think. Carol’s work (the Responsible Business) continues be an amazing source of inspiration for Google’s Food program. Her recommended ‘responsible business’ approach is one of the foundational philosophies of Google Food.”

— Michiel Bakker, Global Director at Google

“This way of thinking about running a business, (offered in The Responsible Business), by Carol, is a critical source of possibilities for a re-imagined future. Rarely a day goes by that I do not call on this way of thinking and looking at the world. It is useful in most walks of life, and in taking on the big business decisions that so many of us face every day.”

— Chad Holiday, Chairman and CEO, E. I. Dupont Corporation

“Carol has spoken for us at events around the world, always to great audience satisfaction. She is among the deepest thinkers on the role of business in leading the way to a responsible future. Her presentations are meaty, practical AND thought-provoking — an unusual mix! She is bound to surprise and delight your audience, and give them something to take home and put to work.”

— KoAnn Vikoren Skrzyniarz, Founder & Chief Executive, Sustainable Life Media/Sustainable Brands

“Carol Sanford shares the insights gleaned from a lifetime of working with path-breaking businesses. She takes us behind the scenes at companies that have transformed how they think about themselves and the world – and in the process generated not only sustainable prosperity but levels of meaning and commitment that most firms only dream of. She has created the prototype for the future of business.”

— Rebecca Henderson, Senator John Heinz Professor of Environmental Management, Harvard Legacy Professor, Harvard Business School

“I have seen individuals and organizations exceed all expectations for performance as a result of Carol’s work. I have had the pleasure of seeing the confidence that comes from these successes infuse the rest of people’s lives and change them positively and permanently. This happens because Carol can explain why and how the changes work rather than simply initiating the specific ideas for change but leaves behind no capability to execute the improvements.”

— Will Lynn, President Kingsford, Hidden Valley Ranch, Deer Park Spring Water, Clorox Companies

“Carol is one of those very rare individuals whom you meet that has the ability and wisdom to radically alter the way you think about yourself and the world. Her keynote speeches are phenomenal. Whether she is speaking in front of 5000 people or having an intimate coffee with one, Carol has the unique gift of getting through to people and helping them realize the potential of not just themselves, but of our world. She is as big a thinker as there is in this world and has the experience and wisdom to deliver transformation at scale. I would recommend Carol to anyone seeking to make significant and purposeful change in the world or in their lives.”

— Jason Twill, Head of Development, Lend Lease

“Carol’s knowledge and positive, constructive approach to responsible business is of the utmost importance when trying to create systemic change. Whether it be in a division, a company or an entire industry sector, Carol’s energetic keynotes inspire enlightened action and offer concrete business solutions that motivate teams and transform companies.”

— Cara Smythe, Vice President and Executive Board Member, Glasgow Caledonian University

“Carol is one of the wisest and most compassionate teachers and thinkers on the planet! I was blessed to spend many years of exposure to the work that she shares with the world. She has the gift of teaching complex and profound concepts and higher order thinking that has contributed to the quality of my thinking…thus the quality of my life.”

— Debra Neill Baker, CEO, Principal, Producer Serious Business, Neill Corp.

“Carol is one of the very few educators and speakers I have met who has influenced deeply my professional life. We worked together in Greece to create a business turnaround, and also in all the African businesses for Colgate. A climate of trust was created with a multi-racial workforce and management during an historic period, (before and after the first free elections in the Republic of South Africa) when strikes and violence were epidemic in other companies. I am persuaded that Carol’s approach creates a long-lasting competitive advantage, whilst developing people and the business.”

— Stelios Tsezos, General Mgr. GM, Africa, GM Oral Care Europe, Colgate Palmolive

“My work with Carol has been invaluable to my personal growth and the results of my businesses. Through their extensive experience and knowledge, she has the insight to help me see what I need to work on next. She stretched me further in each interaction to see higher potential than I could have conceived while giving me the tools and understanding necessary so that I am confident I can implement and actualize the newly-found potential and continually achieve new levels of results.”

— Bill White, President, Dupont Canada

“I like to think of Carol Sanford as the grand dame of business innovation and responsible growth – she’s honed her thinking and approaches to helping companies over many decades now in a career that has crossed cultures, continents, industries and more. The interesting thing about Carol is that she always offers a different, more reflected view that you’ll not find anywhere else. She paints a vibrant picture with stories and research for why it is important to think in a new way. As a speaker Carol is flexible and incisive – she speaks with authority. If you want a speaker who’s seen it before, has worked with the best, is active and connected across the field – don’t hesitate. You won’t be disappointed!”

— Rick White, Head of Leadership and Innovation, Xynteo

“I still put things I learned from Carol years ago to use almost every day. Carol integrates emerging knowledge from a wide range of disciplines to help businesses think in new ways to create greater value for all stakeholders. Insightful and provocative in her approach, she aims to spur transformation that can enable businesses to achieve higher levels of financial success while also becoming a regenerative force for good.”

— Dave Rappoport, Vice President, Aveda

“Carol is provocative speaker, who engages her audiences both in terms of their minds and their hearts. She is able to get people thinking about issues in a new way, to question their assumptions and to discover new questions that lead to new learning during and after her speech. She does this all with clarity and humor, engaging people with her energy and her intellect. I highly recommend Carol as a speaker.”

— Deborah Ranier, VP of Human Resources, Hunt Wesson Foods

“Carol Sanford is a powerful voice for integrity. As a speaker, her passion and conviction come across in presentations that integrate her deep intellect, extensive experience, and compassionate heart. She is inspirational, funny, energetic, and engaging… and through a narrative that weaves personal and professional stories, she delivers transformational lessons that touch the minds and hearts of her audience. “

— Kathis Laszlo, Faculty, Program Director, Saybrook University

“The buzz is that Carol Sanford is building the businesses of tomorrow, working with the world’s most innovative companies to create meaningful change. And that’s why we were delighted that she agreed to keynote our annual Customer Conference. Carol was beyond fabulous. I’ve heard nothing but stellar reviews from our attendees about her presentation. I attribute success to Carol’s attention-grabbing and skillful presentation skills, being easy to work with, and her efforts pre-interviewing key participants enabling her insights to be more highly tailored and contextualized for the audience. We’re thankful for all she did to ensure an extraordinary kick-off to our event.”

— Ed Rusch, Global Marketing Director, Elemica

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