University of Michigan Ross School of Business

Truth Telling in Tumultuous Times

The last year has generated a multitude of issues challenging organizations. Employees have made significant pivots in their work navigating a myriad of new challenges to work/life balance all while navigating sensitive and personal topics like politics and social justice. Trust in many of our institutions has been greatly eroded and has only increased the pressure and expectation of business leaders to fill that vacuum. It is harder than ever to separate fact from fiction and enabling an environment of effective truth telling is an essential skill for leaders in today’s world. What can we do as leaders to make it safe for our people to be authentic, engage in real dialogue, and be the best version of themselves — and by doing so create better businesses?

This is a question that inspires Rich Berens, CEO at Root Inc, a leader in organizational change. Many things get in the way of truth telling, including a leader’s own blindness to how their status and power can be an obstacle to truth. Rich believes it is leaders that must take the initiative to demonstrate the kind of vulnerability and self-awareness that signals to their people that it is safe to say what they really think and feel. In this session, Rich will share insights and lessons learned from having worked with executive teams from around the globe for the past 20 years and from leading his own organization.

Speaker: Rich Berens

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Conference Schedule


See the 2021 conference schedule here.