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“The Non Negotiable Value of Values....... Lessons From Enron”

 

Cindy Olson, author of the book “The Whole Truth So Help me God” and a member of Enron’s 20 person executive committee shares the Lessons that she learned from the demise of one of the most complex and successful businesses in recent American History. She describes how a company that was generating over $1 Billion in income could go from being one of the best and most admired companies in the world to bankrupt in a matter of months.  She emphasizes that the value of Integrity is “NON NEGOTIABLE” by describing how over $60 Billion of Market Cap held by Enron shareholders disintegrated in a matter of months and 25,000 employees and their families were impacted in addition to thousands of the companies customers, suppliers and non profits Enron supported across the country.

Olson’s riveting story begins with a startlingly different description of the “Enron” everyone knows from the media…..then reveals what was happening at the executive level during the rise and fall of the company by taking us through her career and direct working relationships with Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling.  She shares what really caused this great company to go from best to bankrupt and suggests that a similar fate can happen to other companies if they do not pay close attention to their culture and values. She outlines 4 things a corporation must do to truly have a Culture of Integrity and the signs that exist when a corporation is so successful that the leaders think no matter what they can't fail. 

 

 

“The Collapse of A Culture......Lessons From Enron”  

 

Enron was named by Fortune as the most innovative company in the world for 6 years in a row.  Apple is the only other company that has ever achieved that distinction.  In 2001 Cindy Olson, as the Executive Vice President of Enron's Global Human Resource organization,  traveled across the country coaching CEO’s who had contacted Ken Lay asking how Enron had created their Innovative Culture. A Culture where everyone in the organization felt empowered to create new products and services for its customers.  Olson shares that original presentation and the lessons that she has learned since Enron’s fall including the importance of having a culture of risk awareness in the organization.  The audience will walk away understanding how to truly build and sustain a culture of Innovation.

 

 

”The Risk not Addressed by your Enterprise Risk Management Strategy” 

 

Cindy Olson led the back office of “Enron Capital and Trade” as the Vice President of Operations for the fastest growing new business within Enron in the 90’s.  The growth of Enron Capital and Trade resulted in Enron becoming  the major player in the energy trading landscape and the primary reason Enron was named as the “Most Innovative” company by Fortune for 6 years running. Given her extensive experience in managing risk and building a corporate culture she shares the lessons learned from an Enterprise Risk Management strategy that did not include a Risk Aware Culture.  “The Processes and Technology in place in today’s corporations are only a piece of the Risk Management landscape”, she explains.  The people issues, if not addressed, are the things that cause the biggest RISK for a company.  Much like an iceberg that has much of its mass beneath the water level, so is the people side of risk management.  Olson uses her story of what happened to Enron and the lack of a Risk Aware Culture to share with audiences the three signs that can lead to disaster.

 

 

 

“The Biggest Dreams & Worst Nightmares of a Leader…..What the Enron Experience Taught Me.”

 

Cindy Olson was the former Enron Executive Vice President of Global Human Resources and Community Relations for Enron and a member of the Fortune 7's 20 person executive team.  From humble beginnings she rose to lead a number of large groups across Enron and was one of only 2 women to ever serve on the corporate executive team. In 2000 Enron was the 7th largetst company in the world and she was among the top 150 executives of those companies being only 1 of 18 women on those executive teams. Only the experience of leading through the rise and fall of such a great company could have taught me the lessons in leadership I learned.  Our young women must be equipped to be future leaders.  She will share with her audiences how being a woman through a very public disaster taught her the value of true leadership. Through her story she will share how living through culture shock helped determined the governing principles of her life.

 

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Here is what people are saying about Cindy.

 

"Cindy is a very energetic and charismatic speaker. Very entertaining!"

 

"Lots of compelling stories and information.  Excellent!"

 

"Keep telling her story. It is interesting and the message she adds is too important for any business to ignore."

 

She was one of the most interesting speakers I've heard in a long time! Great job!