Carolyn Taylor is one of the world’s foremost experts in organisational culture change and the Executive Chair of Walking the talk. During her 30 years in the field, Carolyn has run workshops with 50,000 leaders, worked alongside 200 culture change journeys, consulted on 15 mergers & acquisitions, coached 60 CEOs and worked in 35 countries. She can certainly advise on what works and what doesn’t in terms of changing culture.
Her first book, Walking the Talk: Building a Culture for Success (Random House) has been described by Professor Lynda Gratton of the London Business School as “a must read for any manager embarking on the journey of cultural change”. Recently revised in English and translated into Portuguese, the book is considered a corporate classic, practical, business orientated, actionable.
Her most recent book, Accountability@work, is the first in the @work series which describes what it takes to build a reputation for always delivering on your promises – as an individual, a team and an organization.
Born in London, Carolyn spent some years in Australia where she pioneered work in leadership, values and culture through her company, Corporate Vision. The firm was in the BRW 100 fastest growing Australian companies five years in a row, and her achievements led her to being a finalist Telstra Businesswoman of the Year in 1998, and Australian Business Woman’s Hall of Fame in the same year. The company provided organisational development services to most of the major companies in Australia and the UK. Her clients included the CEOs of Telstra, NAB, Westpac, Wyeth and Rio Tinto.
In 2005, Carolyn joined a global consulting firm as an Academic Board member, where she introduced a culture practice, and worked with executives in some of the world’s leading companies to build the cultures they required and ensure that they themselves were walking their talk. She was Global Sales and Marketing Partner during a period of 300% growth and led several of the largest culture change projects in which the company was involved. Her clients included Henri de Castries, CEO of AXA, Roberto Setubal, President of Itau Unibanco bank in Brazil, Sheryl
Sandberg, the executive responsible for the monetisation of Google and COO of Facebook; Mark Begor, EGM GE Money.
In 2009, driven by a vision to promote her culture management methodologies to a much larger group of internal and external culture advocates, she co-founded Walking the Talk, to build an integrated culture management system – diagnostic, planning and training tools – to enable companies to capitalise on their culture and to build internal capability. With hubs in Europe, Australia and Latin America, Walking the Talk’s mission is to make culture do-able, so that more and more organisations can do extraordinary things because of the behaviours and mindsets of their people. Carolyn has worked deeply in recent years with Sanofi, Vale, Novatis, BT, Dubai Airports to help them achieve their culture goals.
2019 saw the launch of Carolyn's "Walking Your Talk" podcast. The podcast focusses on leadership, authenticity and courage, taking listeners through a journey of exploration of the common values and aspirations many organisations hold, but don’t necessarily practise. Through each podcast, listeners gain distinctions as to what it actually takes to be seen to be walking their talk when it comes to values such as accountability, simplicity, customer-centricity and more.
In 2021 Walking the Talk was acquired by the fast-growing US executive search firm ZRG Partners, who, together with Walking the Talk, have been able to build unique ways of using recruitment as a lever for accelerating culture change.
Carolyn is known for her ability to demonstrate links between strategy, culture and leadership behaviour, facilitating events with teams that are insightful, profound, fun and provocative. She is forever touched by the courage and openness her clients show as they strive to explore the relationship between their behaviour and how it leads to a culture which either supports or detracts from the performance of their organisation.