CEOs and Psychologists Discuss Business Leadership
San Diego, CA: What is organizational culture? Can CEOs influence the culture? And if they do, will it impact business performance? Those are the questions posed by moderator Rebecca Turner, MGSM/Alliant Professor of Organizational Psychology, last month at the Churchill Club forum at Microsoft Corp. in Mountain View. Turner is Chair of the Industrial/Organizational Division of the California Psychological Association. The panelists couldn't have been better chosen to address these questions. They were Bill Campbell, current Chairman of the Board of Intuit and their former CEO, Gordon Davidson, Managing Partner of Fenwick & West - a firm that engages in the biggest deal making that happens in Silicon Valley, Prof. Daniel Denison, of IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland and a very well-known organizational psychologist, and Kavin Stewart, a UCB-trained engineer and new CEO who co-founded LOL apps, known as the hottest start-up in the Valley. The mix of business leaders and psychologist leaders provided the kind of stimulating discussion that often only happens when you include a group of individuals with very different areas of expertise and training. Bill Campbell has been hailed "the Coach of Silicon Valley" because of his brilliant counsel and mentorship to iconic leaders like Steve Jobs of Apple and Eric Schmidt of Google. He is known for his strong views on what it takes to manage tech companies. He and "Gordy" Davidson know each other well and have worked together on mergers and acquisitions so they weighed in on whether or not it takes a different kind of CEO to lead a company in Silicon Valley. Denison brought a wealth of experience from an international perspective as well as his oft-cited research on how leader and organizational practices influence financial performance. The event was one of the first of its kind and was sponsored by the California Psychological Association and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (Div. 14 of the APA).
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