Oliver Staehelin GT24

The Predictive Power of Culture Analytics

Evergreen® companies, who value their teams and put People First, believe deeply in the importance of a strong culture. However, the critical value of a strong culture is not simply a matter of faith. In this Tugboat Institute® talk, Oliver Staehelin shares concrete data around the specific, strategic advantages a strong culture can give a company. In a world where competition for great talent is not going to ease anytime soon, this is not an optional undertaking for the company that wants to retain a strong team over the long term.

Oliver was an early member of Tugboat Institute, while he was leading the culture assessment company he co-founded with Stanford Professor Charles O’Reilly, Pomello. His early career and all of his subsequent work confirmed for him that culture is not a ‘soft’ topic, nor are its benefits immeasurable.

Watch and be inspired to transform your company’s culture into one of its greatest strategic advantages.


Pasin FUNomenal Innovation

FUNomenal Innovation at Radio Flyer

It is rare and challenging for businesses to last beyond the first generation of ownership and leadership, and rarer still for them to last into the third generation and beyond. There are many reasons for this, but a common one is that a company, once it has created its breakout, successful product, will cease to innovate and change. When vigilance on this front diminishes, it is nearly impossible for a company to remain competitive and survive.

When Robert Pasin started work for the very successful company his grandfather had founded, Radio Flyer, he was surprised to discover that his family’s company had fallen prey to just this. Innovation was minimal and as a result, the company was in danger of a decline. He undertook to rebuild a culture of innovation and discipline, and was remarkably successful; Radio Flyer was recently named to the top ten Fast Company list of Most Innovative Companies for 2023.

Watch Robert’s Tugboat Institute® talk and learn what strategies he employed to turn their biggest weakness into their greatest strength.


Kelly Parker Storytelling

From Facts to Impact: The Strategic Art of Storytelling

Humans understand and remember best through stories. The power of a good story to make a message memorable, meaningful, and impactful cannot be overstated. In your business, therefore, telling the story of your company effectively and well is crucial. This is doubly true for the Evergreen® business, whose story communicates the Purpose that drives their existence and the values that define their team, operations, goals, and culture.

In this Tugboat Institute® talk, storytelling strategist Kelly D. Parker addresses the why and the how of great storytelling. She provides us with a deep understanding of the importance of telling your story right, as well as specific strategies to employ as you tackle this important project. Most importantly, especially for the values-driven Evergreen company, she explains that the job of telling your company’s story – clearly and authentically – is not simply the job of the marketing team or even the leadership team, but rather of every person in the organization.

Watch and be inspired to tell your company’s story even more effectively than you are today.


Sutton Friction Project GT24

The Friction Project

Within any business, although we typically aim for efficiency and ease, we often end up with systems, processes, and norms that create friction. Friction can slow us down and negatively impact both progress and morale. Dr. Robert I. Sutton, Stanford professor and co-author of the recent book, The Friction Project, has studied friction within enterprises and has accumulated significant wisdom around this concept.

In this Tugboat Institute® talk, Bob explores the different types of friction, the common causes of friction, and some effective remedies for removing bad friction from our work. While not all friction is negative, the majority of it is. Happily, Bob and his co-author Huggy Rao have identified some effective tools and strategies to help find and neutralize it. Contrary to what our instincts tell us, the best approach is not thinking about what we can create or add to combat friction, but rather what we can take away.

Watch and be inspired to look for and eliminate friction within your organization.


Peek past the end of the world

A Peek Past the End of the World

Has the age of globalization come to an end? Given current demographic, political, and economic realities, what will the coming decades look like? And importantly, as business leaders, how can we best position ourselves to not only survive, but to succeed in the coming era? Peter Zeihan tackles all of these questions and more in this thought-provoking Tugboat Institute® talk.

Peter Zeihan is a leading geopolitical strategist and the author of The Accidental Superpower, The Absent Superpower, and, most recently, The End of the World is Just the Beginning: Mapping the Collapse of Globalization. His sometimes uncomfortable predictions for the future are grounded in geopolitical analysis that relies heavily on demographic, political, and economic data. Whether or not you agree with his analysis, he reveals some realities that bear serious consideration as you, as a business leader, prepare for the coming decades.

Watch and consider the myriad factors that will shape the political, economic, and social landscape in the decades to come and how they might affect your business.


Katie Hopkins Change management

From Squirrels to Burpees: Our Journey to Change at TCI

Change that is intentional and carefully managed over time is essential for the long term survival of a business. Katie Hopkins is the third generation President & CEO of her family’s business, Truck Centers, Inc. (TCI), and she has experienced this reality first hand. After many years of slow and steady growth, TCI entered into a partnership with their primary supplier, Daimler Trucks, and they have seen growth increase a great deal in the last decade. This rapid growth has required an increased focus on change as well.

In this Tugboat Institute® talk, Katie shares how TCI drove change, in their own business and across the Daimler group, by doubling down on their commitment to Change Management. The initial objective was to make the customer experience more standard across all Daimler locations, but the results reached far beyond this goal. In addition to serving as an example to the other dealerships in the group, above all else, Katie and her team have leaned into Change Management and Continuous Improvement as an effective and highly Evergreen® path to Paced Growth.

Watch and be inspired to be more intentional about driving and making change in your organization.


Allen Serfas 2_on stage_S23_Aging Parent Care

Approaching Your Aging Parents About Care

At some point, most of us will face the difficult challenge of talking to our parents about their care as they age. The conversation is almost always challenging because it entails the complete reversal of the dynamic of a life-long relationship, wherein the parent is the caregiver and the child is taken care of. But there are ways to make it easier.

In this Tugboat Institute® talk, Allen Serfas, Co-founder & President of Assistance Home Care, shares his deep personal and professional experience with this difficult conversation. He offers some helpful perspectives and advice for those of us preparing to approach it. It is possible, he believes, to get them the help and support they need, all while preserving and honoring their role as the parent in the relationship.

Watch and be empowered to help your parents get the care they need without conflict or strife.


Ben MacAskill_Flickr Foundation

Flickr Foundation: Planning for 100 Years

Ben and Don MacAskill are the founders and CEO & President of Awesome, the company that owns SmugMug and Flickr, among other brands. They specialize in online tools and platforms for photography and have changed the way photographers store, share, and sell their work. A few years ago, when they purchased Flickr from Yahoo, they discovered something unexpected.

In this Tugboat Institute® talk, Ben explains that he and Don were aware, of course, that Flickr owned and stored tens of billions of photos. But they soon also discovered that galleries, museums, and archives all over the world had also uploaded tens of millions of rare, unique, and historic photos. The power and impact of the collection struck them as important and absolutely unique, so they created a plan to ensure that these historic images never got lost to humanity. They created the Flickr Foundation. As they build the structure of this Foundation that is still only about a year old, they are focused on the goal of not just preserving the collection, but preserving it for the long term.

Watch and be inspired by this ambitious and generous initiative.


Peter Boumgarden time strategist

The Time Strategist

Dr. Peter Boumgarden is a professor at the WashU Olin Business School. His research focuses on the role of structure- both formally and informally- in shaping the innovation of groups, organizations, and broader network systems. In addition to or perhaps as a byproduct of this work, he has also accumulated a wealth of wisdom about how individuals can be more effective and drive greater impact. Through his research as well as his work consulting and running executive education programs with organizations across sectors, he has developed a research-based set of recommendations for individuals seeking to make better use of their time.

In this Tugboat Institute® talk, Peter begins by sharing that an average lifetime contains just 4000 weeks. If we want to maximize our impact – on our companies, our families, and our communities – we need to be strategic about how we spend our time. But the bottom line is that we are all different, and we need to find a strategy that works for us. Peter gives us tools to better understand our own productivity, and to think about how we can best tackle the challenge of being more strategic with our limited time.

Watch and think more clearly about how you organize your time.


Allan Mishra_Energize your life

How to ENERGIZE Your Life

Dr. Allan Mishra is a leading orthopedic surgeon, an expert in stem-cell research, and a highly respected member of the team at Stanford University Medical Center. He is also the Founder of VyVerse, LLC, through which his program, Vitality Explorers, reaches a growing number of people. Dr. Mishra is deeply interested in human vitality, and in unlocking the keys to living a more vital and energized life.

In this Tugboat Institute® talk, Dr. Mishra shares his expertise on vitality and helps us understand how and why we should seek to move from exhaustion to energy. Our modern world provides many reasons to feel depleted and tired, but by posing a few simple, pointed questions and sharing research on a few fundamental keys to an energetic boost, Dr. Mishra gives us some tools to improve our energy and, thereby, our lives.

Watch and take steps to become more vital and energize your life.