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 Times bestseller Touchpoints: Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in the Smallest of Moments. He is also a featured blogger on leadership issues at Harvard Business Review online.
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.
Doug is passionate about helping leaders of all walks deliver superior performance with high-impact leadership practices. To this end, he brings his unique expertise and deep perspective to his public speaking, delivering wide-ranging keynotes on effective leadership practices for the new millennium. His purpose on the platform is to help build world-class organizations that defy the critics and thrive in the face of adversity.
- The Action Is in the Interaction
Unlocking Your Full Leadership Potential in an On-Demand Age. In this counter-intuitive keynote, Doug illustrates how the many moments in a day that seem like “interruptions” aren’t preventing leaders from doing their work; these moments are the real work of leadership today. Building on his New York Times best-selling book, Touchpoints, Doug provides immediately applicable strategies for creating powerful leadership connections in the smallest of moments.
• Learn the “Listen, Frame, Advance” model for interactions.
• Get Doug’s actionable blueprint for making every moment more productive.
- Championing Engagement to Win in the Marketplace
The "Soft Stuff" Is the "Hard Stuff." It's All about the People. In this impactful keynote on employee engagement, Doug challenges 21st century leaders to champion a People-First approach to building powerful organizations that win in the workplace and in the marketplace.
• Learn CEO tips for Attracting, Developing, Engaging, and Retaining the best employees.
• Master strategies for building sustainable high-performance relationships.
- Embracing the Genius of the "And" for Superior Outcomes
Making Tough Decisions in a Fiercely Complex World. In this spirited keynote, Doug uses personal anecdotes from his successful tenure as a Fortune 500 CEO to show why embracing an abundant approach to leadership is essential to making tough decisions and creating high-performance organizations.
• Learn why leaders must reject a scarcity mindset; discover how to embody an Abundant Approach.
• Empower your team to achieve superior and sustainable outcomes by being Tough-Minded on Standards and Tender-Hearted with People.
- Leadership that Works
Mastering Effective Practices for Top-Tier Performance in the New Millennium. The 21st century is unfolding at an unprecedented pace with exponential complexity. Mastering the craft of leadership today demands an understanding of both enduring leadership principles and high-impact leadership practices for delivery of consistently superior outcomes. In this energetic keynote, Doug shares powerful lessons gleaned from his success in leading organizations to top-of-class performance. Learn why leadership that works is:
• Devoted to the spirited pursuit of high performance
• Committed to creating value for all stakeholders
• Focused on continuous improvement