X

Douglas Conant

conant douglas

DOUGLAS CONANT

Former CEO, Campbell Soup Company; Chairman, Avon Products; Chairman, Kellogg Executive Leadership Institute; New York Times Best Selling Business Author

Topics:

TouchPoints: Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in the Smallest of Moment

Leadership: A CEO Perspective: Lessons Learned from a Lifetime of Transformation

Performance: A CEO Perspective: Creating a High Performance Organization

Engagement: A CEO Perspective: It’s All About the People


Douglas R. Conant, New York Times bestselling author and keynote speaker is dedicated to improving the quality of leadership in the 21st century. He serves as Chairman of Avon Products as well as Chairman of the Kellogg Executive Leadership Institute (KELI) at Northwestern University. The newly formed KELI initiative is designed to help leaders of today enhance their ability to lead in the “here and now.” This program combines the best insights of the Kellogg academic curriculum with the best practices of world class leaders across the landscape at the highest levels of the organization.

Doug Conant speaks widely to people and organizations on effective and enduring leadership practices for the modern age. He is the co-author with Mette Norgaard of the New York Timesbestseller Touchpoints: Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in the Smallest of Moments. He is also a featured blogger on leadership issues at Harvard Business Reviewonline.

From 2001 to 2011, Conant served as CEO and President of the Campbell Soup Company. He was the 11th leader of this iconic company’s 141-year history – faced with reversing a precipitous decline in market value. Conant succeeded by dramatically transforming the global leadership team, reconfiguring the portfolio, cutting costs and making strategic investments in Campbell’s products, marketing programs, innovation pipeline and infrastructure. As a result, the company was able to deliver cumulative shareholder returns in the top tier of the global food industry. The key enabler of this performance was Campbell’s march towards achieving world-class employee engagement levels.

During the decade of Conant’s leadership, employee engagement went from being among the worst in the Fortune 500 to being consistently among the best. Campbell has been widely recognized for its progress; its many honors range from being recognized by the Gallup organization with its “Great Workplace Award” for four years running to receiving the 2010 Catalyst Award for helping women advance their careers. During his tenure, the company was also recognized as a leader in social responsibility and ethical leadership.

Douglas Conant joined Campbell with 25 years of experience from three of the world’s leading food companies: General Mills, Kraft and Nabisco. He began his career in 1976 in marketing at General Mills. After 10 years, he moved to Kraft where he held top management positions in marketing and strategy. Immediately prior to coming to Campbell, Conant was President of the $3.5 billion Nabisco Foods Company where he led his team to improved marketplace performance and five consecutive years of double-digit earnings growth.
An advocate for ethical practices and corporate responsibility, Doug Conant is the current Chairman of CECP (formerly known as the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy). He is an active member of the boards of the National Organization on Disabilities (NOD), the Partnership for Public Service (PPS), Enactus, the Families and Work Institute (FWI), and the International Tennis Hall of Fame (ITHF). He is also a former chairman of both the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and The Conference Board (TCB), where he remains a Global Counselor, and he is a former board member of Catalyst.

Conant earned his BA degree from Northwestern University and his MBA from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern.

TouchPoints: Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in the Smallest of Moment

Today the information age has morphed into the “interruption” age. People are swamped with work and emails. And just when they hunker down to get something done, a colleague knocks on the door. Or the phone rings. People tend to push these interruptions aside to focus on the “real work.” But in this counter-intuitive keynote Doug shows us how these brief interactions are the “real work” today and they will be even more so tomorrow. Highlights include how to contribute to a TouchPoint in a meaningful way, the importance of Declaring Yourself, and Walking the Talk.

Leadership: A CEO Perspective: Lessons Learned from a Lifetime of Transformation

Just as Gandhi advised that we must be the change we want to see in the world, leaders who wish to profoundly transform organizations must lead by example. In this keynote, turnaround CEO Doug Conant shares his perspective based on a lifetime of effectively leading organizations towards renewal and growth. Highlights include his guiding principles for leading change and his personal “leadership lessons” from over 35 years of corporate experience and his personal leadership model which provides listeners with the tools needed for enduring transformation.

Performance: A CEO Perspective: Creating a High Performance Organization

In this inspiring keynote the cornerstone of effectively leading others to high performance is revealed. At the heart of an optimally performing organization is the abundant notion of leadership which teaches us to be tough-minded on standards and tender-hearted with people. Highlights include the genius of the “and” and the “Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing” model for excellence.

Engagement: A CEO Perspective: It’s All About the People

How do we engage employees in the most impactful way? In this keynote Doug addresses his “people-first” approach to making work meaningful and building powerful organizations. Learn the tools to effectively and genuinely acknowledge success and show people you “have their back” while also keeping a critical eye on performance. Hear anecdotes that illustrate the notion of visibly energizing and supporting stakeholders so they will vigorously fight for the good of the company. Highlights include Conant’s CEO tips for Attracting, Developing, Engaging, and Retaining the best employees and the profound effect of a personal thank you.