Carl H. Lindner College of BusinessCarl H. Lindner College of BusinessUniversity of Cincinnati

Carl H. Lindner College of Business

UC Marketing Professor Turns Road Trip Research into Series of Articles for Fortune

Monday, December 19, 2016 6:24 PM
A series of articles co-written by Chris Allen, a marketing professor in UC's Lindner College of Business, examines leadership at successful companies such as Motorola Solutions, Method and Discovery Communications.

They spent a year traversing the globe interviewing senior executives at 10 diverse companies to shed light on successful business practices. Now their insights on leaders who achieve topline growth will be published in a six-part online series for Fortune magazine. The series began March 21 and will run through April 25.

Chris Allen, Arthur Beerman Professor of Marketing at UC’s Carl H. Lindner College of Business, teamed up with Jim Stengel, former global marketing officer at Procter & Gamble, to examine leadership at companies experiencing exceptional growth.

From established giants such as Unilever and IBM to upstarts, technology and category leaders such as Innocent, Intuit and Louisville Slugger, Allen and Stengel traveled some 40,000 miles to assess robust business cultures that rely on ideals or purpose.  

“The series of articles is about ideals in action,” Allen says of the 750 pages of transcripts gathered from the interviews.  He hopes the work will serve as a road map for businesses and a learning tool for students. “It’s all about how brand ideals involve specific leadership principles and practices that can be adopted and implemented to improve financial performance at any organization.”

Allen and Stengel’s road trip learning will be posted in six installments each Friday from March 21 through April 25.

Their research project was launched as a follow-up to Jim Stengel’s book “Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World’s Greatest Companies” (Crown Business, December 2011).

In the book, Stengel examines numerous category leaders to show how, at the top performers, financial success is associated with leaders’ abilities to connect with the fundamental emotions and values of their various stakeholders. The new research by Allen and Stengel will give leaders a more granular appreciation of the rituals and behaviors that are needed to realize the potential of acting on a brand ideal.