René Carayol MBE

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Inspirational Business Expert

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René is an associate of Cass, a former Non-Executive Director of the Inland Revenue, chair of Leaders in London and author of Corporate Voodoo and Spike. He considers how leadership has changed from hierarchy to collaboration, authenticity and openness. Management is now second to leadership. Events now move too fast for one person to get it right all the time: leadership is not an individual pursuit, it’s about learning and leading together.


René Carayol is a leading business expert specialising in transformational change, culture and leadership. The author of numerous business books including Corporate Voodoo and Spike, he has also been a Visiting Professor at the Cass Business School, a broadcaster and a former non-Executive Director of The Inland Revenue.

Combining first-hand experience with the likes of Marks & Spencer and Pepsi with extensive research and coaching, René analyses how the best leaders inspire their people. As in Corporate Voodoo, he looks at the common rules and traits that leaders from Bill Clinton to Jack Welch, Allan Leighton to Richard Branson apply to be authentic, unique leaders. Whilst in Spike he extends these ideas by looking at the two or three ‘spikes’ – the key, individual areas that great leaders really excel at – and how to identify them and hone them in to the hallmarks of a leader’s style.

René’s presentations focus on transformation, culture and leadership – often addressing uncomfortable questions. How do you change risk-averse processes that are ill-suited to global markets? How do you replace fear and complacency with resolve? Why is it vital that management now take second place to leadership? How do companies inspire a collaborative culture? Looking at the dangers of holding on too tightly to the past, René shakes up and inspires audiences, showing them what lies within their grasp.

René has served as an advisor to the CBI, McKinsey and PA Consulting. He has worked with Barclays at board level and on the ground in Africa. He has chaired Sunday Times Business Week and Leaders in London, and spoken at conferences in the retail, financial, technology and energy sectors. He was the presenter of BBC2’s Pay Off Your Mortgage and remains a regular commentator on business and finance on the BBC and Sky.

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