In my quest to highlight CEO's that are truly game changers, believers & practitioners of the thoughts and concepts written in this space, I came across Bill Sullivan of Agilent Technologies. What a gem! If you've never heard of Agilent Technologies, a few fast facts:
  • Agilent at its core is a measurement solutions company focusing on Electronic Measurement,  Chemical Analysis and Life Sciences
  • It was a spin-off of Hewlett-Packard (officially) in 2000
  • There are roughly 18,500 employees worldwide with headquarters in Santa  Clara, California
  • Revenues are appproximately $5.4b for FY2010
  • Bill Sullivan was appointed CEO in March of 2005
As the "world's premier measurement company", it's not hard to understand why Bill has ensured his transformation efforts at Agilent included measurement itself. But it starts with his people. sullivan2-200x300In Bill's eyes, the people of Agilent are its greatest asset. So much so, Agilent has stated that one of its strategic priorities involves all of its employees to:
"create a culture of people who thrive in a high performance, results-oriented company based on a foundation of uncompromising integrity, speed and innovation."
Wow. It gets better. Bill's passion for his people extends to the company dashboard. There are four quadrants that make up the relative success of the company: customer satisfaction, markets, financial ... and employees, leadership & culture. I know. Totally cool. In my mind, as a "Chief Engagement Officer", Bill has recommended and/or approved a whole host of options that help drive overall leadership and culture for the employees of Agilent. For example, Agilent surveys all employees twice a year and benchmarks against the top quartile of external data points to assess whether their leadership development and culture practices are hitting the mark. They built out a leadership framework that was developed to ensure clarity and consistency of behaviours and practice throughout the organization, but it was developed for all employees and at a level that everyone would understand. Want even cooler? Bill teaches in a hugely successful internal leadership development business simulation program for Agilent's 400+ senior leaders. That's right, Bill rolls up his sleeves, and puts his reputation on the line as 'CEO' to ensure leaders see him walking the talk, being engaging, and driving the high performing culture quest of Agilent. Furthermore, to ensure organizational capabilities and to build teams, Bill insists that collaboration be rampant throughout the org, and that open and transparent communication be applied at all times. The results?
  • 20% operating profit (highest in Agilent's history)
  • Highest employee leadership survey scores ever
  • #1 customer satisfaction and loyalty score
  • Total Shareholder Return is now greater than S&P 500 for healthcare, industrial and IT indices
Is an open, engaging and results driven model working for Agilent? Is Bill a Chief Engagement Officer? I dare you to say no.      


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