Curt Coffman
Search for a Speaker: 
Curt Coffman
Key Topics:
  • Management Speakers
  • Corporate Speakers
  • Business
  • Bio Info:

    A New York Times Bestselling Author, researcher, business scientist, consultant to Fortune 100 and 500 organizations and Executive Fellow at the Daniels School of Business (University of Denver), Curt Coffman has invested 30+ years in the science of high performance cultures.

    Mr. Coffman virtually created the engagement movement, and is currently changing the way organization’s think about their culture, their managers and their business results. His mission is to help organization, their leaders, managers and associates to create more engaging and productive workplaces to secure the loyalty and growth of their customers and business.

    As Senior Partner and Chief Science Officer of The Coffman Organization, Mr. Coffman has studied hundreds of organizations and millions of employees and customers. He was formerly the Global Practice Leader for employee and customer engagement at the Gallup Organization for 22 years.

    His work launched a new era in employee and management development with First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers do Differently - one of the best selling management books of all times. He followed that up with another bestselling book, Follow This Path: How the World’s Greatest Organizations Drive Growth by Unleashing Human Potential.

    His new book (co-authored with Dr. Kathie Sorensen) Culture Eats Strategy For Lunch: The Secret of Extraordinary Results – was released in October 2013.

    An international figure in the world of management and engagement, Mr. Coffman’s work has been translated in over 40 different languages. His research and writings have appeared in the Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, Business Week, Chief Executive Magazine, CIO Magazine, The Economist, Fast Company, Fortune and a host of other management journals. He is currently an op-ed contributor to the New York Times.

    An insightful and completely engaging speaker, Mr. Coffman has presented to thousands of groups on the topic of creating great cultures and its impact on individuals, families, organizational growth and creating engaged customers.

    Mr. Coffman has been married for over 30 years, to his talented wife, Tammy. The Coffman’s reside in Denver, CO and are the proud parents of daughters, Katie and Claire, a son, Clayton, son-in-law, Geoff and grandson Eli and granddaughter Lucy.

    Why Book Coffman?

    Research Based: All content is from the study of literally millions of employees, and thousands of managers/leaders and organizations. Research has been focused on studying excellence and what distinguishes the best.

    Proven Track Record: Sought after to address audiences of 100 to over 15,000, and to smaller board/executive retreats.

    “Thought provoking with practical applications that we can immediately use.”

    “Active, Fun and Participative...”

    “Never a Lecture, but always a Memorable Experience!”


    Keynote Topics:

    Topic areas include: great places to work, engagement (employees, customers and enterprise), outstanding managers and leaders, culture, and building strengths based organizations.

    I. FIRST BREAK ALL THE RULES, What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently By Curt Coffman & Marcus Buckingham

    Great managers break the rules of conventional management wisdom. They:

    -Select people based upon talent not experience, skills and knowledge

    -Focus people through clarity of desired outcomes not steps or process

    -Motivate people through the discovery of strengths versus fixing weaknesses

    -Creating growth by finding the right "fit" between the person's talents and demands of the role

    -Get really close to people and believe relationship is what creates performance

    -Play favorites and spend most of their time with the most productive people

    These are just a few of the discoveries made from the study of over 250,000 managers/leaders and what distinguishes the best from the rest.


    II. CULTURE EATS STRATEGY FOR LUNCH, creating culture as your competitive advantage By Curt Coffman & Dr. Kathie Sorensen

    There are three critical levels to great cultures:

    1. MacroCulture - leaders who are "more interested than interesting," always painting a compelling vision, set the right strategy with the right people and are the ambassadors of the future.

    2. MicroCulture - local team members who create the right outcomes and determine the success of key initiatives and strategy. Members feel a charge to "create positive and personal energy in one another," that is driven by quality relationships built on trust and pressure to achieve.

    3. BridgeCulture - the managers who are always "connecting people to purpose," and creating a "line-of-sight" to how every person/role creates value through attracting and keeping customers (the only way organizations can build growth).

    Top cultures from big to small (Google, Zappos, and Nordstrom to the local grocery store, restaurant or coffee shop) have some key characteristics in common.

    Some are:

    -Specific about the practices, rituals and even "weirdness’s" that distinguish their culture

    -Have sticky values like "paranoid collaboration," "bad news fast," "fearless," etc.

    -Examine and move from excellence, when you study average, you get average

    -Know precisely their "religion" and their "science"

    -Move decisions as close to the action as possible

    -Everyone sees how what they do both attracts and keeps customers



    From the study of over 1 million employees and what attracts, keeps and energizes them…

    Having a clear focus, great manager, right talent and quality relationships (good friends) are the keys to personal and professional success. 

    Individuals want to be part of a team that has high standards and expectations to achieve success they never even thought possible. They are constantly raising the bar for themselves and others through tracking personal bests and encouraging pressure to perform from team members. Having best friends at work is a driver of accountability and work-life balance.

    People leave managers not companies. Great managers are the foundation of great organizations. How we select, focus and recognize managers can be the best predictor of results. Great managers of people have strange practices like playing favorites of high performers, getting very close to the people that report to them, firing people faster than bad managers out of genuine respect for the person and customizing plans to fit the needs of each person.

    Client Testimonials:

    "Curt Coffman has served as the thought architect for Ritz-Carlton's new 'Service Values,' which has been cited as one of our organization's most important change initiatives by executives, general managers and Ladies and Gentlemen alike. Curt's presentations have received rave reviews and he has been the highest rated speaker at our international general manager’s conference."

    John Timmerman, Vice President - Quality

    The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company


    "Customers are willing to pay a premium for strong brands. Strong brands are the result of employees and the cultures they create. Curt Coffman brings the clear direction necessary to understand and capitalize on these realities."

    Matthew F. Gonzales, Corporate Manager- Organizational Development

    Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.


    "I have had the privilege to work with Curt for several years. He is truly an expert in the area of creating highly productive cultures. He has helped us with specific ideas on increasing employee engagement, which has led to higher customer engagement and better numbers from sales to profits. For us, numbers are everything and Curt understands that unless we can define and manage something, it’s not worth doing. Curt’s experience on driving employee and customer engagement is revolutionary and I am proud that our organization has continued to benefit from his work."

    Mark Lipscomb, Vice President, Human Resources, TESLA and formerly Stryker

    As a world-renowned researcher and best-selling author, Curt has a unique ability to engage his audience through meaningful data, real life experiences, and thought provoking questions. When Curt first spoke at our Strategic Initiatives Meeting, he “wowed” our managers and our relationship has continued to evolve.

    Curt has been instrumental in helping us to develop a platform for engagement that has propelled our Company to earn distinctions around the engagement of our Coworkers and Customers—as a “Best Staffing Firm to Work for” and “Best of Staffing Client”

    Specifically, Curt has worked with our leadership team to better equip our managers and leaders to engage their teams and Customers through tools such as our hiring/selection process, performance management program, onboarding and integration strategy, and, most importantly, our engagement methodology. Ultimately, Curt has helped us to create to align the vision and values of our Company with the structure, metrics, knowledge, and tools that will continue to allow us to achieve business success and engagement excellence in 2016 and beyond.

    Adam Roth, CEO

    Roth Staffing Companies


    “Curt's contribution to our event was both memorable and impactful. Attendees were unanimous in ranking Curt as the best session of the day. We look forward to having him back.”

    Ronald Balmer, Principal and Global Practice Leader, Client Experience

    Greenwich Associates


    "Curt Coffman delivered a compelling workshop to corporate members of The Leadership Investment. Not only were we challenged to look at our cultures and ourselves differently, but also his extensive knowledge and research coupled with practical examples offers solutions for leaders to address and tackle cultural issues. This is not your typical academic culture presentation; it is a provocative and engaging approach to turn culture into a competitive advantage. We look forward to working with Curt again soon!"

    Robin Heller, President & CEO, The Leadership Investment


    “Ever since I read, First, Break All the Rules (1999), I have followed the work and theories posed by Curt Coffman. I was honored to attend one of his presentations at the corporate headquarters of Qdoba Restaurants and was reinforced in my belief about the importance of his work on organizational strengths and performance relative to employee engagement. Curt’s presentation was insightful and inspirational and led to an increased amount of effort being placed on the direct connection between the care & handling of employees leading to improved customer loyalty and thereby improved corporate performance.”

    Lyn Jeffress, President & CEO, Imagined Future Inc.

    Formerly senior HR exec with Jack in the Box


    “Curt spent the day on 11.3.15 at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center meeting with a senior manager, delivering a keynote to 200+ attendees, and then leading a small group conversation in the afternoon. It was clear that Curt has a depth of expertise on culture change. What stood out the most was his facility with story telling and how well he integrated that approach with hard facts and statistics. Research indicates that people best remember information conveyed to them in the form of a story. Curt's input is helpful to organizations seeking to make the case for the "softer" skills. Also notable, was Curt's warmth and approachability. Attendees commented on the fact that Curt is a great listener and made it easy for people to ask questions and engage with him, both in the keynote and small conversation format.”

    Gail S. Williams, Emeritus, Leadership Colloquia Series, NASA

    Fee Info (subject to change)
    Travels From:
  • First Break all the Rules
  • Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch
  • Creating a Place Where People Just Can’t Wait to Come to Work Everyday
    search login