René's focus is on inspirational leadership, culture and business transformation, bound together by a compelling philosophy founded on his own board level experience
Extraordinary times demand extraordinary leadership and make no mistake about it; we still find ourselves in unprecedented and turbulent waters.
In recent times a good product or service coupled with a good management team was sufficient to ensure success. But in today’s aggressive and unforgiving markets they are no longer enough on their own. Business growth has become pivotal in the battle to stay afloat and keep up with the pace.
Progressive, contemporary businesses are learning the hard way that it is leadership and culture that separate the winners from the losers. The race is no longer about being the best; everybody is trying to do that. The winners are those that strive to be unique, special and different.
René Carayol is one of the world’s leading business gurus specialising in leadership, culture and transformation, drawing from his own unique experiences on the boards of some of the biggest international organisations; from Marks & Spencer and Pepsi to IPC Media and the Inland Revenue.
Born the son of a diplomat in Gambia and educated in London, his corporate success has seen him travel the world and inspire businesses to make far reaching changes across the globe.
In short he is a business guru with unmatched credentials.
He is a regular broadsheet columnist and a critically acclaimed television and radio presenter with the BBC and Sky News.
He is the best-selling author of the leadership and culture bible, ‘Corporate Voodoo’ and has had the privilege of working closely with some of the world’s best leaders; from former US President Bill Clinton to the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan and from former US Secretary of State Colin Powell to Sir Richard Branson.
He has provided leadership support to the UK Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, The United Nations and The World Bank, and is now an accomplished visiting professor at Cass Business School. In 2004 he was awarded an MBE for outstanding service to the business community.
René‘s career has seen him achieve international recognition for his work with C-suites across the globe; transforming the career and profile of some of the world’s most exciting and emerging business talents, and taking a plethora of iconic corporations on a journey that has transformed their businesses. René’s unrivalled business acumen allows him to chair and address conferences and business summits across the world.
He asks awkward and uncomfortable questions; how do you change old-fashioned, risk-adverse processes that are ill suited to emerging global markets? How do you secure and nurture the talents of a new generation of leaders? How do you overcome cynicism and complacency, and replace them with resolve?
René has built his reputation on getting to know the culture of businesses better than they do themselves; providing answers and solutions no matter how big or small the problems. His messages are practical, presenting real life experiences with electrifying effect. He both shakes up and inspires his audiences showing them not only what lies within their grasp, but how to keep one step ahead of the chasing pack.
With a unique style that is dynamic, assertive, authoritative and interactive, René brings together the gravitas of blue chip business with the theatre of television and radio.
Combining insight and inspirational advice gained from spending time in boardrooms all over the world with a deft humour and charismatic presence learnt the hard way over the last decade in television studios and across the airwaves; René is a renowned business speaker everywhere from the UK and Europe to the US, Africa and Asia Pacific.
From leadership, cultural change and how to survive the recession through to preparing for the recovery and the need for exceptional times demanding exceptional leadership, his explosive and critical messages have seen him establish an unparalleled portfolio of clients from the biggest corporations across the globe.
René’s reputation for an in depth understanding of the unique pressures of the boardroom, and his ability to inspire action, loyalty and performance, has made him very much in demand at the top table of international blue chip organisations across all business sectors.
He is retained by a string of Chief Executive Officers as their confidante, sound counsel, supportive challenge and executive role model; giving him the most unique and contemporary insights into the real leadership challenge for CEOs in the business world today.
Best known for posing challenging questions, skilfully summarising situations and breaking down jargon, René has become an expert voice in the business world today.
He has established himself as THE facilitator for the key leadership and business event on the corporate calendar; from running Executive Development Days at Wharton School of Management in Pennsylvania or INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France, through to chairing sessions at the World Bank, Cambridge University or the prestigious Leaders in London conference.
René’s unrivalled ability to act as both ringmaster throughout the day and keynote speaker in opening and closing sessions, his electrifying energy, provocative standpoints and genuine business insight have seen him establish himself as a facilitator of undoubted influence and stature.
René has presented BBC2’s flagship business programme “Pay off Your Mortgage in 2 Years”, the critically acclaimed Channel 4 documentary on Lord Stevens and the Metropolitan police “The Man from the Met” and the prominent BBC series “Mind of a Millionaire”.
A frequent voice on Talk Sport, BBC Radio London and BBC Radio 5Live, and a regular fixture reviewing the press on Sky News, he has also appeared on a variety of programmes including Question Time, GMTV, The Today Show, News at Ten, The Money Programme, Bulls and Bears, Business 2025 and BBC News.
René is lucky enough to be frequently asked to walk into a conference first thing in the morning and then sit down with a troubled Chief Executive in front of their top 20 or top 400 people and conduct a straight talking, hard hitting, relevant interview that asks all the questions the audience have always wanted to ask but have never dared to.
It requires a careful balance to be struck between authority, sensitivity, an inherent understanding of the local terrain and an ability to make the interviewee look brilliant whilst being probing with real and authentic questions; ones that are never simulated or prepared in advance but instead get the “real” person across without ever embarrassing or undermining.
A message is always more powerful when told naturally than when hidden behind PowerPoint presentations or isolated in front of an expectant audience.
René has conducted interviews with the likes of Bill Clinton, Sir Richard Branson, Colin Powell, Sir Alan Sugar, David Cameron, Al Gore, Kim Winser, Sir Bob Geldof, Mikhail Gorbachev, John Varley, David Gold, Madeleine Albright and the late Dame Anita Roddick.
Your work is full of accurate business insight and really hits the mark.
Rene was instrumental in leading the organisation’s global HR team through a change process in which they not only saw a new vision for their work but really felt it at deep visceral level
René brought perspective, content and all the key messages together and ended on a high (at the same time cutting out all the time wasting and unnecessary deliveries that can appear on an agenda).
The conference went very well, even if I say it myself, people left with an upbeat mood, and very inspired.
René bought great impact and spirit to the event!
Relevant insights, powerfully presented.
René was a powerful and compelling speaker.