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David Ulrich - The RBL Group. Provo, UT, US

David Ulrich

Partner | The RBL Group


Professor, researcher, consultant, human resources guru, and bestselling author who advises organizations and leaders on delivering value








Dave Ulrich is a Professor at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan and a partner at the RBL Group a consulting firm focused on helping organizations and leaders deliver value. He studies how organizations build capabilities of leadership, speed, learning, accountability, and talent through leveraging human resources. He has helped generate award winning data bases that assess alignment between strategies, organization capabilities, HR practices, HR competencies, and customer and investor results.

Ulrich's work covers the spectrum organization topics such as leadership, talent, human resources, culture, coaching, and change. He has helped many leaders build their personal and organization leadership brand, HR departments and professionals deliver value, and organizations align their culture with customer expectations (e.g., he and a team of colleagues helped GE and the then-CEO Jack Welch to design the bureaucracy cutting Workout program).

With a prodigious output of HR, leadership, and organization related publications to his name, David Ulrich is the co-author of 23 books and he has published over 175 articles. Ulrich emphasizes defining organizations through the capabilities they possess. His work has helped define and shape key capabilities such as change, learning, collaboration, accountability, talent, service, innovation, and efficiency. The outcomes of leadership and HR are the capabilities that an organization possesses that deliver value to customers, investors, and communities.

Although he has been involved in large-scale research projects, most of his writing is characterized by synthesizing complex ideas into frameworks and tools that executives can use. He is a well-traveled speaker, working with groups of all sizes where he is known for engaging the participants, helping to translate the ideas into actions that work for them. His motto is that good teaching is not what he knows, but how his knowledge helps participants do what they do better.

In his latest book The Why of Work: How Great Leaders Build Abundant Organizations That Win (2011), Ulrich, with his psychologist wife Wendy, examines people's motivation for working and what they get out of work.

He edited Human Resource Management 1990-1999 and served on editorial board of four Journals. He sits on the Board of Directors for Herman Miller, and Board of Trustees at Southern Virginia University, and is a Fellow in the National Academy of Human Resources.

Industry Expertise (9)

IT Services/Consulting

Management Consulting


Corporate Training

Corporate Leadership

Market Research


Talent Management

Human Resources

Areas of Expertise (10)

Results Based Leadership

Organizational Capability

Human Resources Management

The Future of Human Resource Management

Leadership and Management

Organizational Development

Talent Management

Transformational Leadership

Strategic Human Resources

Organizational Capability as A Competitive Advantage

Accomplishments (5)

2011 Recipient - The Thinkers 50 Award (professional)

The definitive global ranking of management thinkers is published every two years. The ranking is based on voting at the Thinkers50 website and input from a team of advisers. The Thinkers50 has ten established criteria by which thinkers are evaluated -- originality of ideas; practicality of ideas; presentation style; written communication; loyalty of followers; business sense; international outlook; rigor of research; impact of ideas and the elusive guru factor.

Recipient - #1 Most Influential International Thought Leader In HR (professional)

In 2010, HR Magazine ranked David Ulrich as the most influential international thought leader in HR.

Recipient - Life Fellowship in Australia Human Resources Institute (professional)

Life fellowship of Australia Human Resources Institute is awarded to senior members who have made a highly distinguished contribution to AHRI and the profession over a substantial number of years. Life fellowship is nominated by a state council and approved by the AHRI Ltd Board.

Recipient - Nobels Colloquia Prize for Leadership on Business and Economic Thinking (professional)

Recipient - Kirk Englehardt Exemplary Business Ethics Award (professional)

The Kirk Englehardt Exemplary Business Ethics Award is an award given by the Utah Valley University Center for the Study of Ethics and its advisory boards. The Excellence in Business Ethics award is annually presented by the UVU President and Board of the Center for the Study of Ethics to an individual who displays exemplary ethics in their life, both professionally and personally. The award is named for local businessman Kirk R. Englehardt who died of cancer in 2003.

Education (2)

Brigham Young University: B.A., University Studies

University of California, Los Angeles: Ph.D., Business

Event Appearances (3)


3rd Annual International HR Conference  Republic of Mauritius



Australian Human Resources Institute National Convention  Sydney, Australia



Translating HR into Sustainable Competitive Advantage  ZfU International Business School


Sample Talks (1)

The why of work: What’s next in talent

David Ulrich will help participants understand how to move to the next step in talent management, and will reveal how HR professionals can help leaders in becoming meaning makers who help their employees find meaning at work.


  • Keynote
  • Moderator
  • Panelist
  • Workshop Leader
  • Host/MC


*Will consider certain engagements for no fee