I’ve learned much from my focus on personal development. I started the hard way. I was heading to Oxford to study Mathematics, when I discovered I was pregnant with my first child. That, of course, changed everything. My priorities became focused on supporting my son and myself.
I decided to focus my energy on the fledgling area of Personal Development which, when I started, was still considered just to the right of being a hippy. I was young, innovative and very confident that I was on to something interesting. I focused on important issues, such as happiness in life and work. One of the fundamentals I soon realised – and worked on – was that what makes you happy and what get’s you an outcome in life is not what happens to you; it’s how you choose to respond to what happens to you.
I began to see success among the individual clients I was working with. Increasingly I saw businesses and business leaders struggling with their growth. I realised that, for businesses to be effective, they needed strong, capable, emotionally mature leaders. I also realised they had to be effective in delivering on their purpose. A great engineering firm can only be great if you work from the strengths of their leaders as engineers. I had a few early disasters where I had thought that just being good at personal development in its own right was enough. It wasn’t. It came across as arrogant and disconnected.
I have spent the past three decades building a highly pragmatic, practical and very business-oriented approach to the leadership of people development, culture and the management of culture change. I found effective ways of working with senior executives working to get the very best out of their teams in some of the world’s largest organisations.
All this has put me in a wonderfully privileged place; to be able to share some of the experiences and insights that have enabled some of the greatest business leaders and the most successful companies to achieve what they have through creating the culture that has enabled their whole organisation to deliver on its purpose. I assisted Sheryl Sandberg when she was monetising Google, David Thodey when he implemented customer-centricity at Telstra, Candido Bracher, now President of Itau Unibanco, over a 10 year period when he undertook a massive expansion in Latin America, Henri de Castries when he was uniting AXA’s multiple acquisitions, and Paul Hudson during his rapid growth of Novartis Pharma.
I would be delighted to share some of my experiences and insights with you too.
Carolyn Taylor is globally recognised as the most experienced consultant and speaker on how to change corporate culture. She has participated in many successful changes of culture and seen those which have not succeeded. She knows what is takes. She gives leaders tips on what to do and not do, as well as direct feedback on what she sees. Helping identify the symbols of a current culture which show up in every aspect of a meeting or a one-on-one.
The meetings she facilitates and presentations she gives are insightful, profound, fun and provocative. She is known for putting her finger on a core issue and raising it in a way that is incisive, but loving. People experience deep insights and changes after Carolyn’s interventions. Clients trust her. In the past 30 years, she has grown two highly successful consulting businesses, pioneering culture transformation consulting across the world.
Her book, Walking the Talk: Building a Culture for Success is the most practical guide on how to change a culture available on the market today; a poured over handbook for leaders and HR professionals.
She and her team have researched, invented and built what clients describe as the most practical, do-able approach to culture change. It’s been Carolyn’s ambition to share this with all, motivated by a vision that every organisation in the world has the potential to possess a thriving culture. Her company, Walking the Talk, offers a Culture Transformation System based on this methodology and employs teams focused on enabling clients to make culture change happen in markets right around the world.