In Conversation: Louis Carter, President of the Best Practice Institute

1. Tell our audience about the Best Practice Institute and its relevance to their organization.

Think of Best Practice Institute as your home to find the very best answers, experts, and thought leadership to drive your most critical talent, leadership, management and human resources decisions. Your one-stop solution center for your talent and HR challenges filled with scores of research, case studies, online learning, benchmarking, and collaborative experiences you could not find anyplace else. One of the greatest compliments that I have received about BPI was that they could not pay $1M for the kind of advice they received in just one BPI benchmarking session. It is our process, our methodology for benchmarking, sharing, and anthologizing that makes our customers want to come back year after year. We have customers who have been with us since our founding days in 2005, and have never left us since because of the enormous value in our offerings, and powerful connectivity in our network. The answers, benchmarking, and community you get at BPI is among the finest in the world. You will find the true best practices in the world – what our world’s greatest organizations and executives are doing best and next.

2. BPI has been named to Leadership Excellence magazine’s “Best in Leadership Development” ranking since 2011. To what do you attribute that to?

We could not have done any of this without the commitment of our Senior executive board members who are CHROs and CTOs such as Patrick Carmichael, Rick O’Leary, Brian Fishel, Christine Tricoli, Eren Rosenfeld, Hy Pomerance, John Nelson, David Deacon, Karen Kocher, Roger Cude, Scott Boston, Brent Mattson, Maria Van Brown, Vera Vitals, and more.

Patrick Carmichael was the former Talent Manager at Saudi Aramco, and has become an enormous supporter and leader of Best Practice Institute. He serves in a Co-Chairman role with me at BPI, and assists in our research, assessment, and analytics processes and practices. He has incredible experience and expertise, and I feel honored that he has worked with and partnered with us for over 15 years now. Without Patrick and many other critical senior executive board members mentioned above, BPI would not be what it is today.

It is these leaders who play a crucial role in setting the research agenda not only for BPI, but for the Fortune 500 organizations they lead. They are the true leaders of the organization of the future, creating best and next practices in the field of talent management. Each year, they bring 10 of their top Human Resources team members to BPI to take part in our Fast Action Benchmarking (FAB Sessions) that address all of the organization’s major concerns. We meet twice a year at an organization and solve our toughest talent challenges at organizations such as the Pentagon, United Nations, New York Stock Exchange, MasterCard, Baxalta Innovation Center, and more.

3. Give us some concrete examples of the positive affect that BPI has played in global organization.

I have compiled a list of some recent success cases for you here:

BPI Success Case #1 – Becoming the #1 Sales Organization in the Country for One of the World’s Largest Insurance Companies

One of the world’s largest insurance companies asked us to help one of their regions become the highest performing sales organizations in the U.S. BPI co-designed one-on-one interviews with key employees, developed and presented a report of findings, provided process consultation to the top three C-and SVP level in the organization, co-created a 2 1/2 day transformational session with a core internal design team, and followed up with after action reviews and measurement tools. One year after the program, the region made it to #2 spot in the nation. After two years of continuous follow-up and support, the region became the #1 sales organization in the United States.

BPI Success Case #2 – Research on CEO Behaviors and Experiences for One of the World’s Largest Financial Institutions

One of the world’s largest financial institutions asked BPI to help them form their succession planning criterion for the departure of its CEO. To assist them in their process, BPI performed extensive internal and external research on the activities, behaviors, and successes of a core group of current and retired CEOs from similar sized Fortune 500 organizations. BPI performed primary interviews, developing relationships and providing key contacts for this organization to assist in the succession planning and recruitment process. As a result of this work, the organization enabled a smooth and successful transition to a new CEO who has helped the organization achieve its yearly targets. This work led to additional writing and research in the Chief Talent Officer working with the CEO for publications such as Fast Company.

BPI Success Case #3 – Senior Executive to C-Level Leadership Design and Development for a Major Manufacturing Organization

A Major Manufacturing Organization was at the beginning stages of designing their C-level leadership development process. BPI helped design the program and provided internal and external benchmarking information on organizations that were implementing best-in-class leadership development programs to propel executives into SVP and C-level positions in a short time frame. As a result, the organization has a strong succession planning and C-level executive development program that is tied to the specific needs of the CEO and business strategy. Retention rates have dramatically increased and performance management results have improved for newly developed executives due to BPI’s findings and program design with the C-level executives.

BPI Success Case #4 – Helping Design a Physical Leadership Space for a Health Care Provider

The client was building a Physical loupic_HR_headshot11leadership/learning space to begin the process of developing leaders and salespeople on the newest challenges related to the Health Care Reform Act and competition in the marketplace. BPI provide benchmarking, floor plans, and innovative ideas to design the space. BPI interviewed top design school faculty members, thought leaders, and senior executives of Corporate Universities to develop a report of findings and floor plans. After BPI presented and assisted in the clarification of the implementation of these benchmark examples, the Board member organization created a formal architectural plan and built a state of the art learning facility. BPI continues to provide consultation, benchmarking, and design and development of workshops for their learning facility.

Business Case #5 – Development of an Online Learning and Executive Coaching Community for a Retail Organization

A retail organization was on-boarding over 600 employees within a short time frame. They did not have a curriculum or competency model for this new cadre of leaders. BPI interviewed a subset of existing leaders, and facilitated competency modeling focus groups to develop its new leadership development competency model for in-coming leaders. Based on this new competency model, BPI designed workshops specific to the competencies and trained facilitators to deliver the workshops and online learning to over 600 employees in various leadership cadres. BPI engaged its external executive coaches to perform continuous 360-degree feedback with the population of 600 leaders before and after the workshops. Positive measurable behavior change and results achieved were tracked and logged for the case.

Business Case #6 – Building an Integrated Learning Strategy for an Oil & Gas Company

An Oil & Gas organization was in need of integrating its learning and development functions due to recent expansion into global markets. BPI performed extensive internal and external research, benchmarking, and analysis to inform the design of a single strategy for learning integration. The new single strategy involved stakeholder interviews, tying the learning architecture to the business, and connection to the CEO and Board strategy. The design has impacted how employees work and collaborate across “siloed networks” leading to greater transparency, simplification, and retained collective knowledge and expertise. The ROI has been reduction in the amount of hours spent by employees, more direct and rapid cycle decisions being made, increase in cost savings, and improved productivity for global teams.

4. Your organization has mentioned Cabinet of Leaders. Give us some insight on that process and the role it plays in developing leaders.

The BPI Senior Executive Board (SEB) is the most exclusive membership offering at Best Practice Institute. Senior Executive Board members must be the top talent management and leadership development executives at their corporations. Prospective members must be recommended, vetted and approved by the existing group. BPI currently has accepted top talent leaders from MasterCard, Humana, Saudi Aramco, Pfizer, CIT, KeyBank, Baxalta, Cigna, Kimberly Clark Corporation, Thomson Reuters, Liberty Mutual, QBE Insurance, BlackRock, and many more. The SEB member must show a track record of experience and success in talent management, organizational learning, and/or leadership development; and a strong C-level leadership position in their existing organization.

The BPI SEB are responsible for setting the BPI research agenda for their own organization, as well as for the BPI association of HR leaders throughout the globe.

5. How is BPI Different from your competitors?

We are most known and loved for our benchmarking and peer networking processes both online and in-person. I am most proud when a member comes up to me after a benchmarking session and tells me that they just did their job for the month – or sometimes the entire year by participating in our process. They are also able to develop significant thought leadership that propels them beyond the boardroom. They feel completely validated through their peers, thought leaders, and quality of information they received. They are able to go back to their CEO and Boards of Directors with information that they would never have been able to gather on their own. The key is in our process of actionable benchmarking driven by principles of positive psychology, open dialogue, and appreciative inquiry. People love our methods and can’t get this anywhere else. The quality of information and peers is impeccable. Members are among the very best in the world in their field.

6. You have a stellar list of global brands that use your services. How are you helping these organization?

Through benchmarking, research, analysis, and one-on-one coaching, we help these global organizations achieve their talent strategy for the year. Or goal is to meet their yearly talent/HR strategic goals. We have helped organizations create/architect on-site learning centers, technical talent reviews, new transformation initiatives, implement new HRIS systems, integrate new talent management processes, develop new succession planning practices, improve their talent acquisition processes, institute new social collaboration and learning procedures and practices and much more…

David Deacon, Chief Talent Officer of MasterCard is one of these great brands, organizations and executives. He recently said, “Best Practice Institute is probably the best possible name for an independent research-based think tank, consultancy and professional association dedicated to best practices in leadership and management. BPI is genuinely dedicated to finding and promoting best practices and next practices in a positive, inspirational, and aspirational way. Global leaders turn to BPI, its Senior Executive Board, and professional consultancy to collaboratively investigate current trends and co-create next practices together. Organizational top teams clarify annual talent goals and as a group discover and create new ideas and approaches to what they do and provoke great thinking. BPI creates real, actionable plans and programs with clients based on the best tools, models, instruments and developmental content in the industry today.”

7. Can our audience become a part of this network of Learning?

I would like to personally welcome you and your audience to become a part of our global learning network. We would be honored if you joined. The Middle East is a wonderful part of the world, full of outstanding innovations, and a most impressive focus on bringing the very best of what the world has to offer. This is right in line with our values of bringing the very best to our world’s organizations. Welcome. Please join us. Lead, learn, share and grow with other outstanding talent and HR executives and leaders from organizations around the world, just like yourself.

https://www.bestpracticeinstitute.org/select-subscription-plan.html?view=register

8. You have a stellar list of authors that contribute to your website: Marshall Goldsmith [Keynote at the HR Summit 2014] as well as yourself. How did you develop your style of leadership and keep grounded in this ever changing organizational dynamic.

I consider Marshall Goldsmith to be one of the greatest thinkers in leadership and management in my lifetime. I am also proud to call him my greatest mentor. I co-founded the Best Practice Institute Thought Leadership Board with Marshall Goldsmith. Marshall and I recruited Warren Bennis, Nathaniel Branden, Bev Kaye, Richard Beckhard and many others who share our common values of appreciation, respect, and positive psychology. We all believe that through consistent coaching, care, appreciation, and forward-thinking dialogue, we can all lead, share, grow, and get better together.

9. Being that you are in Dubai to keynote a conference, what role do you see of the Best Practice Institute in this region especially the UAE

It is with great pride and appreciation, that I come to Dubai in humble service to the wonderful leaders at the Dubai Government Human Resources Department (DGHR) to present BPI’s findings on the best and most innovative practices in technical and leadership competency modeling for their most impressive HR LightHouse Initiative and Conference.

The outstanding leaders at DGHR are committed to the very best of best practices, and it is a great honor and privilege to have been invited to speak and present for them.

DGHR is a Non-Profit Government Entity that was established under Decree no. 31 of 2009 issued by H.H Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and is tasked with directing the efforts for enhancing the human resources of Dubai Government and ensuring coherence between human resources programs and initiatives and the Emirate’s strategic objectives and priorities. Its objective is to manage and support the Government human resources strategically by developing human resources initiatives and practices ensuring national capabilities empowerment.

HR Lighthouse is one of DGHR’s latest initiatives, which is part of the continuing and strategic focus of the development of human resources capabilities in Dubai. The HR Lighthouse initiative aims to progressively and continually establish a platform to discuss, share and enhance HR best practices between HR practitioners in Dubai with regional and international experts in the field.


Louis Carter is CEO and co-founder of Best Practice Institute, Chairman of the BPI Senior Executive Board and author of over 12 books on best practices and organizational leadership that have been translated into Korean, Mandarin, Spanish and distributed throughout bookstores, universities, and organizations throughout every major continent. He works with organizations such as the Pentagon, United Nations, USAWC, among others creating sustainable and purposeful partnerships that help promote positive working environments for people around the world and the Fortune 500 organizations on BPI’s Senior Executive Board such as Pfizer, KeyBank, MasterCard, QBE, Kimberly Clark Corporation, CIT, Aramco, Baxalta, among many others. He has won the Leadership Excellence award, and was awarded the Top HR Product of the Year Award by the HR Tech Conference for his creation of skillrater.com. His most recent book, the Change Champion’s Fieldguide has been listed as one of the top 100 books in Organization Change on amazon.com. His other books, Best Practices in Talent Management and Best Practices in Leadership Development and Organization Change have been on the top 10 list for books on leadership development on amazon.

You may find out more at: http://www.bestpracticeinstitute.org or on his website: http://www.louiscarter.com