Carol Sanford

Speech Topics

Creating a successful responsible business requires full engagement at all levels of the organization. Carol Sanford provides a framework, the Responsibility System, that integrates a Responsibility mindset into all decisions and actions, everyday, by everyone. The result is a higher return to investors (validated by research) and all stakeholders

We know that the current incentives, reward and recognition, feedback systems don’t work and hierarchies do the opposite of what they were created for. In a world that dictates a flattened organizational structure, Carol Sanford offers a way to fully engage the talents within your company to improve motivation, top and bottom line financials and make a positive impact on the world.


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Carol Sanford believes that business can and will play a major role in creating a better world. She has worked with businesses for four decades who have successfully done so BY building great businesses. Responsibility will not only be in the DNA with everyone contributing, but the current approaches of doing less harm, following best practices and working with fragments will have given way to working from a living systems view that makes all systems more vital, viable and able to regenerate themselves, without tradeoffs.

To that end, Carol has been leading major consulting change efforts in both Fortune 500 and new-economy businesses for more than 30 years. Her client list includes long-term relationships with Colgate Europe and Africa and DuPont Canada, US, Asia and Europe. She also works with new-economy companies like Intel, Agilent and leaders of corporate responsibility such as Seventh Generation.

Carol was shortlisted for Best Business Book of the Year(out of 11,000 Biz books) and she was named to Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior – 2012.

She combines her economic development experience with her extensive business education and background when working with Responsible Governance in Community, Provincial and Regional Policy and Education.

Carol has published dozens of works in 10 languages, including a series of articles in Executive Excellence, Stephen Covey’s newsletter and At Work, a Berrett-Koehler Journal. She is the author of The Responsible Business: Reimagining Sustainability and Success (March 2011),Jossey-Bass, Publisher.

Central to Carol’s philosophy and approach is a fresh look at what makes an organization truly responsible. “It’s important to find out what differentiates your business from the crowd,” she says, “and then thinking about how to do business so that communities, societies, and ecology as a whole are improved. These are not separate but interwoven pursuits. It’s completely doable, and a conversation worth having.”

She holds undergraduate degrees from UC Berkeley in Economics and Public Law and graduate degree from California State University, San Jose in Urban Planning. She currently lives in Seattle.

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