Rob Goffee & Gareth Jones Speaker & Booking Information

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Rob Goffee is Professor of Organizational Behaviour at London Business School. His initial academic background was in sociology, and he earned his Ph.D. at the University of Kent at Canterbury, England.

Gareth Jones is a visiting professor at Madrid's IE Business School. He also has a background in social sciences, an interest that began at the University of East Anglia in the U.K. He then joined the Organizational Behaviour Group at London Business School, becoming eventually the director of the school's Accelerated Development Programme. He left the academic world to be a manager at Polygram, returning to teaching at Henley Management College. Ultimately, he joined the British Broadcasting Company as director of human resources and internal communications.

Goffee and Jones are the founding partners of Creative Management Associates, a consultancy focused on organizations in which creativity is a source of competitive strength.

Both men have produced much material in their own right, but it is for their collaborative work and co-authorship that they are best known. One of these, The Character of a Corporation, continues the work done on corporate culture by Charles Handy. It contains insights derived from their work as consultants. They stress that corporate culture is not just some intangible feeling or set of emotions, but a factor of organizational health that, if not handled properly, can seriously damage profitability and effectiveness. As Handy does, they identify four different types of organizational cultures but use their own classifications:
    * Networked
    * Mercenary
    * Fragmented
    * Communal
No one culture is good or bad, worse or better, than the others. They all have their positive and negative aspects. Take the networked culture: The good side of this is that there are good communications between people in the organization. Ideas and information flow freely and easily from where they are generated to where they are wanted and needed. However, this exemplifies a “good” network culture. “Bad” network cultures host members who gossip incessantly, spreading bogus news that may be true but which is usually detrimental to some other associate. As a result of such behavior in a bad network culture, employees soon become defensive, cliques form, and work devolves into a civil war. In time, the workplace atmosphere becomes toxic. Goffee and Jones not only analyze each of the four cultures in this way, they also give advice so readers can identify their own corporate cultures and change them for the better.

Their next collaboration was an article for the Harvard Business Review entitled “Why Should Anyone Be Led by You?” which became a book published in 2006. Goffee and Jones are blunt in criticizing much current corporate leadership: too many leaders, they say, are instead bureaucrats. Happily, these two authors do not issue a clarion call for leaders to attempt to become superheroes. The good leader must try to be human, they assert; he or she should also be transparent, unafraid to show blind sides or weak spots. This is the best way to inspire others. Moreover, the inspiration transaction has to take place on the individual, one-to-one level. Organizations cannot do anything without dedicated, high-performing individuals. Good leaders recognize that everyone they lead is, at heart, an individual human being. It is thus perilous to view an array of individuals as an anonymous collective.

Good leaders have the confidence to act on intuition. This action must also be informed by solid experience. Leaders must also borrow a very important asset from the acting profession's repertory of skills, good timing. An experienced actor knows the appropriateness of every action, no matter how small. Similarly, good leaders know how to manage people and events; they know how and when to be tough, but they know that toughness on its own is never a solution. They know when to temper toughness with empathy. This range of judgments and actions lie within the abilities of most people. Thus, good leaders don't have to be a Superman-Clark Kent kind of person. They just have to be uniquely and genuinely themselves.
Most recently. Goffee and Jones are the authors of Clever (2009) which looks at the role of a small number of smart creative people in generating growth and success.

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