Steven Stanton






Steven Stanton is the author of Smart Work: Why Organizations Full of Intelligent People Do So Many Dumb Things and What You Can Do About It. He is a pioneer of process innovation. For thirty years his work has been focused on improving the capability of organizations to transform themselves. Through his consulting, writing, and teaching, Steve has participated in the development of many of the most innovative and valuable business ideas of the past ten years such as Business Reengineering, Process Management, and Smart Work, a revolutionary way of creating value.

Steve Stanton is the co-author, with Michael Hammer, of the bestselling Reengineering Revolution (HarperBusiness) and the Harvard Business Review article “How Process Organizations Really Work.” In addition, he has published many articles on business transformation and as a leading management thinker is frequently cited by national publications such as Fortune, BusinessWeek and CFO Magazine. Steve teaches many of FCB Partners’ public courses, in many internal training programs, and at Tecnologico Monterrey, in Mexico. He holds an MBA from Harvard and a BA from the Berklee School of Music.

Keynote Presentations

Smart Work: Why Organizations Full of Intelligent People Do So Many Dumb Things and What You Can Do About It

Why do organizations full of intelligent people do so many stupid things? Why do organizations continue to launch process improvement projects when their success rate is 25%? Why do they have so many ineffective measures? Why do process standards consistently fail and the local triumph over the enterprise. Why is success so hard to sustain? This exciting and stimulating keynote presentation will attempt to answer all of these questions with a revolutionary new organizational approach that emphasizes insight over motion, and reflection over reflex. In today’s turbulent marketplaces, traditional large industrial-era organizations face a critical choice: get smarter, fast, or face extinction.

Thriving Amidst Change

How does your organization handle change? In a calm, disciplined, and data–driven manner, or in a chaotic panic? In this dynamic keynote address, we’ll explore this and more. Is your organization often surprised by unexpected internal or external event? If so, that’s a problem because in today’s turbulent competitive environment, surprises are almost always bad. How do you handle change? Are you comfortable with new ideas, new technologies, and new ways of working or do you wish the world would just slow down? Much of organizational and personal success is based on answers to questions like these. In the past, one could be certain that tomorrow would look like today, but today the only certainty is that the future will be very different from the present. This means that success requires change mastery at both the organizational and personal levels. Winning means rapidly adjusting to new customer demands and exploiting new technologies. It means embracing rather than fearing change. Steve Stanton will explore the emotional and intellectual aspects of resistance to change and differentiate between how to motivate employees to accept change and how to improve their capabilities to excel in fast-evolving environments.

Winning at Change

In this keynote address Steve Stanton will ask: what’s your process project success rate? Most organizations don’t actually know, they’re too busy launching the next wave of projects. Those who do measure their improvement outcomes report a 25% success rate (at best). Success in these projects is defined as achieving the promise that was made at the project’s initiation. This means three out of four of your current projects are doomed to failure or an ongoing existence as a “project zombie”, an effort that’s dead but doesn’t know it, still meeting but never changing a thing. It doesn’t have to be this way. The causes of failure are predictable, and successful organizations know to launch their process improvement projects with as many of the success drivers as possible. This tactical and pragmatic session will focus on the tools and techniques that support the seven factors for success. Using real cases, this interactive presentation will enhance the odds for success for its attendees.

Do Less, Win More

Most organizations suffer from an acute case of Project-itis. This dysfunction is characterized by the launching of hundreds of disconnected change projects. Symptoms include staffing difficulties, project management shortfalls, sponsor apathy, and high failure rates. The only cure is to design and implement a Project Optimization Process to provide oversight over this chaos. In this dynamic keynote you will gain an understanding of the full symptoms of Project-it is, the approach to creating a project inventory and how to prioritize projects.

Digitize Your Processes, Or Else!

Today’s marketplace demands speed and precision. Most traditional processes provide neither. Far too many business processes were designed in an era of information poverty and cannot take advantage of today’s data bonanza. The only solution is to transform old ways of working using today’s amazing new technologies. In this keynote address, you’ll hear how this requires a fresh way of looking at processes including new redesign models, new improvement methodologies and dramatically new outcomes. Gain a deeper insight on the digitization imperative, an understanding of the basic digital redesign patterns, and a high-level roadmap on how to digitize a process.

How to Succeed at a Transformational Process Improvement Project

Sadly, most transformation projects fail. While most organizations have developed strong incremental change programs, few have the unique capabilities needed for these big projects. This presentation will show how transformational projects always change organizational boundaries and power structures and therefore face a much more difficult challenge. Success requires a disciplined approach to two parallel tracks of work – the hard- edged and analytical aspects of process redesign and the personal and political issues of change mastery. The common requirement across these phases is speed. This interactive session will use multiple cases examples to illuminate common pitfalls and the key requirements for success.

Smart Metrics: The Process Scorecard

Measurement is tough. Far too often organizations measure what’s easy, what’s easily measured, or measure what makes them look good. Or they have too few or too many process metrics. None of these really help improve value creation or customer satisfaction. Steve Stanton will explore how the difficulty of measurement is a symptom of a deeper problem. Organizations have difficulty with measurement because they often lack the insight on how their processes create value. Without this deep insight, measurement is just guesswork. To achieve measurement excellence the first step is to redefine the true purpose of measurement. Smart Metrics is much more than a vehicle for historical reporting, or plain CYA efforts. Effective measurement must: start by linking process measures directly to enterprise strategies and then down to performer goals, and identify opportunities for improvement, and communicate what’s important to process performers. The result should be a balanced process scorecard, containing a small number of measures that mixes leading and lagging indicators with metrics that serve all critical stakeholders. But it’s not enough to select the right measures; care must be taken to develop the right performance targets and crafting a disciplined measurement process. Learn how to select the right few metrics for their process, how to calibrate performance targets, and how to design an effective measurement process.

Steven Stanton Testimonials

“After reading Smart Work, we decided to invite Steve Stanton to speak to us in person. In summary, our main objective was to increase our step change mindset, along with boosting internal and external collaboration. Steve did a fantastic job, challenging us and sharing many examples that could be applied to us. As Steve says, we always need to reserve time to think, and get away from busy-ness, and he helped us in achieving this.”

Rodrigo Salgado, Director, Special Ops Initiatives, ALCOA

“Some great and easy thoughts to approaching metrics – very good!”

“Steve Stanton’s presentations at this conference were worth the entire cost of the whole conference! He gives excellent ideas for further analysis, and gives many real life examples of things that work and do not work.”

Attendees from Building Business Capability Conference

“I liked how he gave us things to think about in regards to why most company measures aren’t effective, and then gave us actionable items to help our companies improve. Important concepts of lagging vs. leading measures, as well as typically only measuring things we can control. I also liked how his subject linked to the keynote. Looking forward to reading his book!”

“Engaging speaker with just the right combination of relevant content. Steven is a lot more entertaining than his profile picture might lead you to believe, so I was pleasantly surprised.”

“Thank you so much for your presentation at our BPM Network Summit this week. You did an excellent job and the group really enjoyed your presentation! Many of our attendees have commented on the value add of the best practices and lessons learned they received. I know that Melissa Miller is extremely appreciative and will be sending a note of gratitude to you. I wanted to personally thank you on behalf our entire planning team as well!”

Melissa Hauenstein, Business Change Manager Sr., Business Improvement Group, WellPoint