Noel Tichy

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Professor Noel M. Tichy is a Professor of Management & Organizations at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, where he is the director of the Global Business Partnership, which for over a decade ran the Global Leadership Program, a 36-company consortium of Japanese, European and North American companies who partnered to develop senior executives and conduct action research on globalization in China, India, Russia and Brazil. In 2003, he launched the Global Corporate Citizenship Initiative in partnership with General Electric, Procter & Gamble and 3M, designed to create a national model for partnership opportunities between business and society emphasizing free enterprise and democratic principles. He recently partnered with a variety of medical systems as well as the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to build a world class capability for leadership development, and is currently partnered with two charter schools in Texas, Uplift Education and IDEA, to develop their leadership capacity. Professor Tichy also conducts the Leadership Judgment Program executive workshop at the University of Michigan.

In the mid 1980s, Professor Tichy was head of GE’s Leadership Center, the fabled Crotonville, where he led the transformation to action learning at GE. Between 1985 – 1987, Professor Tichy was Manager of Management Education for General Electric where he directed its worldwide development efforts at Crotonville. Prior to joining the Michigan faculty, he served for nine years on the Columbia University Business School faculty.

Professor Tichy is the author of numerous books and articles. His most recent book is SUCCESSION: Mastering the Make or Break Process of Leadership Transition (Portfolio 2014). He has also authored JUDGMENT ON THE FRONT LINE: How Smart Companies Win by Trusting Their People (Portfolio 2012, with Chris DeRose), JUDGMENT: How Winning Leaders Make Great Calls (Portfolio 2007, with Warren Bennis), THE ETHICAL CHALLENGE: How to Lead with Unyielding Integrity (Jossey-Bass 2003, with Andrew McGill),THE CYCLE OF LEADERSHIP: How Great Leaders Teach Their Companies to Win (Harper-Collins 2002, with Nancy Cardwell) and THE LEADERSHIP ENGINE: How Winning Companies Build Leaders at Every Level (with Eli Cohen), named one of the top 10 business books in 1997 by BusinessWeek. He is co-author of EVERY BUSINESS IS A GROWTH BUSINESS (with Ram Charan), published October 1998 (Random House). In addition, Tichy is also the co-author of CONTROL YOUR DESTINY OR SOMEONE ELSE WILL: How Jack Welch is Making General Electric the World’s Most Competitive Company (with Stratford Sherman). Tichy has long been regarded as a staple of management literacy as noted by his rating as one of the “Top 10 Management Gurus” by BUSINESSWEEK and BUSINESS 2.0. He has served on the editorial boards of the Academy of Management Review, Organizational Dynamics, Journal of Business Research, and Journal of Business Strategy and was the founding editor and chief of HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT.

Professor Tichy consults widely in both the private and public sectors. He is a senior partner in Action Learning Associates. His clients have included: Best Buy, GE, PepsiCo, Coca Cola, GM, Nokia, Nomura Securities, 3M, Daimler-Benz and Royal Dutch Shell.

Select bibliography[edit]



  • "J.C. Penney and the terrible costs of hiring an outsider CEO" Fortune, November 2014
  • “The Art And Science Of Finding The Right CEO,” with A.G. Lafley. Harvard Business Review, October 2011.
  • “The Redo Loop: How Leaders Make Good Decisions.” Chief Learning Officer & Talent Management, June 2010.
  • “Wise Judgment” with Warren Bennis. Leadership Excellence, May 2010.
  • "Michael Walsh's Example." Washington, June 22, 2009.
  • "Lafley's Legacy.", June 10, 2009.
  • “The Leader-Teacher Journey.” Learning Executive, Issue 3 2008.
  • “Judgment Matters in this Crisis.” Business Times Singapore, October 14, 2008.
  • “Leadership Judgment: Without It Nothing Else Matters,” with Chris DeRose. Leader to Leader, Spring 2008.
  • “Wanted One President: Judgment Required.”, March 26, 2008.
  • “Judgment Trumps Experience,” with Warren Bennis. Wall Street Journal Op Ed, November 2007.
  • “How Winning Leaders Make Great Calls.” with Warren Bennis. BusinessWeek, November 2007.
  • “Making the Tough Call,” with Warren Bennis. Inc. Magazine, November 2007.
  • “Making Judgment Calls,” with Warren Bennis. Harvard Business Review, October 2007.
  • “Leadership Judgment at the Front Line,” with Chris DeRose. Leader to Leader, Summer 2006.
  • “Getting the Power Equation Right.” Leader to Leader, Summer 2003.
  • “We Need More Leaders Not More Rules.” Hartford Business Journal, November 2002.
  • “Launching Cycles of Leadership,” with Chris DeRose. Optimize, August 2002.
  • “No Ordinary Boot Camp.” Harvard Business Review, April 2001.
  • “Jack Welch’s GE Leadership Engine.” Harvard Business Review, Japanese Edition, January 2001.
  • “Rapid Cycle CEO Development: How New Leaders Learn to Take Charge,” with Carole Barnett. Organizational Dynamics, Summer 2001.
  • “How to Hand on a Legacy of Leadership.” Association for Quality and Participation, Spring 2000.
  • “The Growth Imperative.” Leader to Leader, Fall 1999.
  • “Do You Have A Teachable Point of View on Balanced Growth?” with Ram Charan. Financial Times: Mastering Strategy, October 11, 1999.
  • “Leadership and Knowledge Sharing: The Teaching Organization.” Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies, October 4, 1999.
  • “Operation Leadership,” with Eli Cohen. Fast Company, September 1999.
  • “The Teachable Point of View – A Pimer.” Harvard Business Review, March-April 1999.
  • “The Teaching Organization,” with Eli Cohen. Training & Development, July 1998.
  • “Teaching: The Heart of Leadership,” with Eli Cohen. HealthCare Forum Journal, March/April 1998.
  • “The Teachable Point of View,” Journal of Business Strategy, January/February 1998.
  • “Need a CEO? Here’s how to grow one,” with Ram Charan. USA Today, October 20, 1997.
  • “The Marker of a Winner.” Leader to Leader, Fall 1997.
  • “What it Takes to Be a Winning Company.” American Management Association, November 1997.
  • “Roger Enrico’s Master Class.” Fortune, November 27, 1995.
  • “Simultaneous Transformation and CEO Succession: The Key to Global Competitiveness.” Organizational Dynamics, Summer 1996.
  • “The Pepsi Challenge.” Training & Development, May 1996.
  • “The CEO as Coach: An Interview with AlliedSingal’s Lawrence A. Bossidy.” HBR, March-April 1995.
  • “Holding the CEO Accountable.” SMI Review, Third Quarter 1994.
  • “Revolutionize Your Company.” Fortune, December 1993.
  • “Introduction to annotated bibliography on transformational leadership.” Healthcare Forum Journal, July-August 1993.
  • “Walking the Talk,” with Stratford Sherman. Training & Development, June 1993.
  • Excerpt from Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will: How Jack Welch is Making General Electric the World’s Most Competitive Company appeared in Fortune, January 25, 1993.
  • “Citicorp Faces the World: An Interview with John Reed,” with Ram Charan. Harvard Business Review, November-December 1990.
  • “Creating the Competitive Organization of the 21st Century: The Boundaryless Corporation,” with Mary Ann Devanna. Human Resource Management, Winter 1990, Vol. 29, No. 4, pp. 455-471.
  • “GE’s Crotonville: A Staging Ground for Corporate Revolution.” Executive: Academy of Management, Vol. 3, No. 2, May 1989.
  • “Speed Simplicity, Self-Confidence: An Interview with Jack Welch, CEO at GE,” with Ram Charan. Harvard Business Review, September-October 1989.
  • “Revitalization: The Honeywell Information Systems Story,” with David L. Dotlich and Dale G. Lake. Journal of Business Strategy, Winter 1985.
  • “Profiles in Change: Revitalizing the Automotive Industry,” with Carole K. Barnett. Human Resource Management, Vol. 24, No. 4, Winter 1985.
  • “The Challenge of Revitalization,” with David O. Ulrich. New Management, Vol. 2, No. 3, Winter 1985.
  • “The Leadership Challenge: A Call for the Transformational Leader,” with David O. Ulrich. Sloan Management Review, Fall 1984.
  • “An Interview with Edson W. Spenser and Fostan A. Boyle.” Organizational Dynamics, Spring 1983.
  • “Managing Organizational Transformations.” Human Resource Management, Vol. 22, No. 1-1, Spring/Summer 1983.
  • “Strategic Human Resource Management,” with Charles J. Fombrun and Mary Anne Devanna. Sloan Management Review, Winter 1982.
  • “Human Resource Management: A Strategic Perspective,” with Charles J. Fombrun and Mary Anne Devanna. Organizational Dynamics, Winter 1981.
  • “Social Network Analysis for Organizations.” Academy of Management Review, October 1979.
  • “Network Analysis in Organizational Settings,” with Charles J. Fombrun. Human Relations, Fall 1979.
  • “Current and Future Trends for Change Agency,” with Kenneth Sole. Group and Organization Studies, Vol. 3(4), Fall 1978.
  • “Diagnosis for Complex Health Care Delivery Systems.” Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 14, 1978.
  • “Developing Organization Development for Multinational Corporations,” with Harvey Hornstein. Columbia Journal of World Business, Vol. XI, No. 2, 1976.
  • “When Does Work Restructuring Work? Organizational Innovation at Volvo and GM.” Organizational Dynamics, Vol. 5, No. 1, 1976.
  • “Change Agent Bias: What They View Determines What They Do,” with Jay Nisberg. Group and Organizational Studies, Vol. I, No. 3, 1976.
  • “Community Control of Health Care: The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Community Management System.” Health Education Monographs, Summer 1976.
  • “Participative Organization Diagnosis and Intervention Strategies: Developing Emergent Pragmatic Theories of Change,” with Harvey Hornstein and Jay Nisberg. Academy of Management Review, January 1976.
  • “Stand When Your Number is Called: An Empirical Attempt to Classify Types of Social Change Agents,” with Harvey Hornstein. Human Relations, 1976.

“*Team Development and Dental Care Delivery.” Health Team News, No. 6, 1975.

  • “How Different Types of Change Agents Diagnose Organizations.” Human Relations, Vol. 28, 1975.
  • “Organizational Innovations in Sweden.” Columbia Journal of World Business, No. 1, 1974.
  • “Current Trends in Organizational Change: The Professional Change Agents and Organization Development.” Columbia Journal of World Business, No. 1, 1974.
  • “Agents of Planned Social Change: Congruence of Values, Cognitions and Actions.” Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 19, 1974.
  • “An Interview with Max Pages.” Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Vol. 9, No. 6, January–March 1974.
  • “An Interview with Roger Harshon.” Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Vol. 9, No. 6, November-December 1973.
  • “An Analysis of Clique Formation and Structure in Organizations.” Administrative Science Quarterly, June 1973.
  • “Client Involvement in Architectural Planning,” with Kenneth Pollock and Lenore Schwartz. Social Change, Vol. 3, No. 2, 1973.
  • “Minerva: A Participatory Technology System,” with Amitai Etzioni and Harvey Hornstein. Bulletin of Atomic Sciences, XXVII, (9) 4-13, 1971.