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Randel Carlock

travels from Singapore

Family Business Expert

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About Randel

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Keynote speaker Randel Carlock is one of the world’s most experienced, successful and widely published experts on Family Businesses. The management professor, CEO and trained family therapist combines his talents to advise global business families, banks and corporations. Randel Carlock captures the audience's imagination and leaves them with applicable strategies.

Randel Carlock is a proven business leader with over 25 years of leadership experience. He served as an executive with a NYSE family business – Dayton-Hudson (now Target Corporation) – and as a CEO and Chairman of four companies he founded and grew including a NASDAQ listed corporation.

Since a couple of years, Randel has turned his attention towards teaching. He is a passionate and inspiring mentor to his students all over the world. He is the first Berghmans Lhoist Chaired Professor in Entrepreneurial Leadership and the founding Director of the Wendel International Centre for Family Enterprise at INSEAD. Previously he was the first Opus Professor of Family Enterprise and founder of the family business center at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis (USA). Aside from teaching, he currently consults clients on strategy, leadership development, family relationships and governance, specializing in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

He is author and co-author of several books, articles, videos and case studies that have been translated into Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and Arabic and are global best-sellers. Currently, Randel Carlock is working on a new book on family business communication for publishing in 2016.

Randel’s training as a family therapist allows him to clearly interpret the issues that so often create tensions in family businesses. He has the ability to quickly identify and demystify the challenges and to find and apply innovative and practical strategic solutions with his unbiased external advice and expertise. Additionally, his experience as a CEO and professor allow him to bring together intellectual thought leadership with the real world.

He is a gifted speaker who is entertaining, bringing energy, practicality and fun to the complex and often challenging arena of running large family businesses. Speaking with a clear midwestern broadcasting American accent, his presenting style is content-rich and and tailors his presentations to the audience for optimal impact but also invigorate and inspire his audiences with powerful messages that get to the heart of their leadership issues.

See keynotes with Randel Carlock

    Speaker Randel Carlock Keynote Topics

    • Developing the family business’ next generation
    • Family and Business governance
    • Leadership
    • Happiness
    • Communication
    • Raising teenagers

Interview with Randel Carlock

How does your training as a family therapist factor into your consulting style?

Our personal experiences shape us. I have 20+ years experience as a CEO and Chair, a PhD and 20 years as a professor in entrepreneurship and leadership and certification in family therapy. These three experiences interact to help me have a very different view of human behaviour and organisations. If I am working on a project I think about three questions:

  • As a professor : What is the plan?
  • As a CEO:  Can we execute/deliver it?
  • As a therapist: How do you feel? Being a therapist has changed my entire perspective on business and leadership.  Appreciating how powerful and flawed humans are makes your approach very different.

You especially focus on family businesses, what makes family businesses so interesting for you?

The twenty-first century is a new era of global opportunity – particularly for family businesses because family capitalism combines the best professional practices with an emotional commitment that can’t be matched by widely traded firms. We feel this family enterprise model provides a new approach for the entire business community. Over 80% of the global economy is controlled by family firms so the world’s future prosperity depends on the family firms performing well.

Family business is the most challenging topic in a business school. It is a derived discipline, meaning it takes theory and practices from management, psychology, economics, therapy law, and leadership.  It is also the most fundamental to us as humans: Freud said that the basis for a satisfying human life  is “work and love”.  Family business is about the overlap of these two powerful human experiences.

In one of your management classes, you meditated with students before starting the lecture. How do you believe that meditation can improve management?

I use meditation and unguided imagery in my more senior classes like the EMBA and Masters in Psychology because the students are older and face more life demands. Meditation calms the mind, provides a more balanced and objective view of the world,  improves attention to others, and improves self-awareness.

These are fundamental skills to leadership in the 21st century. Leaders need new tools to deal with the complex and demanding world they face. There is an old expression “High Tech/High Touch” meaning humans need balance. Meditation is a new practice of an old art. Almost every religion has a tradition of silent reflection. The religious have been meditating for centuries. See my class on meditation here!

How does humor factor into your keynote engagements?

I think learning should be fun and I am a “wise” guy by nature so I carefully use humour to make my points.  I often use film clips, cartoons or TV ads because then the humour is carefully structured to support the learning experience.

Do you have a favourite experience from your speaking career?

Two groups:

BUSINESS: There is an old joke about three kinds of people and success. First there are successful people, second, people who want to be successful and third,  there are teachers and consultants who help the second group become successful. I spend most of my time with successful business people who take our executive and leadership courses at INSEAD. I also spend most of my teaching with our MBAs and EMBAs helping them learn how to be successful.

The second group is the most challenging audience they are bright, motivated and critical thinkers.  They would be my favourite audience. At INSEAD our students and participants come from 98 countries; we are the most global business school in the world.  We are also the number one ranked school as of last Monday!

FAMILY  BUSINESS:  They are the most motivated and challenged audience in the world.  They are passionate about their family, business and careers but they face huge professional and emotional challenges to make it all work. Many times when I work with business families, there are tears around the room.

See keynotes with Randel Carlock
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Keynote topics with Randel Carlock