2016 banner

Session N - Pre-Conference Session
Thursday, June 9th, 9am-12pm

Change: It's not the Technology; It's the Neurology
Presented by Bob Browne

Format: Seminar
Primary Focus: Cultural Transformation
Secondary Focus: Understanding Systems


Description: It's a real life true story about: An entrepreneurial journey from the leverage buy out of a third generation family owned business to the sell out of the 5th largest Coca-Cola Bottler in North America to The Coca-Cola Company. It's an experiential journey of setting aside what I thought I knew, and discovering the "Sys-Tao" way. It's about my book, Sys-Tao-Western Logic and Eastern Flow." It's a synthesis of our western ways - what we think we know - and the emergence of a complementary interpretation of the truth. It's a success story with a happy ending.

Target Audience: Entrepreneurs, Scholars, Pioneers, Explorers, Liberal Arts Majors, and cross disciplinary thinkers - Not for people satisfied with the status quo, or wedded to a singular point of view. People who are not satisfied with the traditional explanations of how organizations "work." People interested in a more current paradigm for thinking about the "workings" of organizations. People who are curious about motivation - the process of learning intrinsically while getting stuff done extrinsically.

Organizational Issues: Changing your mind (your paradigm) is difficult. Changing habits is harder. Changing an organization's culture is what matters most most.

Objectives: The "objective" is to realize that life is more "subjective" than "objective" It's not about "Goals"; It's about "Aims."

Cost: None

Pre-work: Become familiar with Sys-Tao Visit Website Sys-Tao.org Suggested reading of the electronic version of the book, Sys-Tao: Western Logic ~ Eastern Flow.

Materials Needed: None

Handouts: Presentation material vailable for download after the Forum. Free print copies of book, Sys-Tao: Western Logic ~ Eastern Flow, and complimentary "Sys-Tao" collectors bottle (approximate retail value $65.)

Bob Browne

Biography: Bob Browne is a true American original. A Vietnam veteran and native Oklahoman with a top-notch upbringing in traditional western business, Browne orchestrated a leveraged buyout of Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling Company in 1980. For the ten years that followed, he successfully operated the company in the traditional western ways.

But something wasn't right, and he knew it. He began to feel that the style of management he'd been taught was not complete. He began to study broadly, and his openness to alternative management philosophies eventually drove his interest beyond the day-to-day of running the company. In 1990, he began a decade-long journey of re-evaluating those established principles of western business - motivation by incentive, management by objectives, and emphasis on shareholder wealth - that he'd been taught as fact in school. Slowly, under his leadership, Great Plains became less and less traditional - but more holistic, more successful, more innovative, more fun, and more curious. That is, it became more alive. In this time, Browne steered a cultural U-turn for Great Plains, all while driving the company to record profits and industry-leading customer and employee satisfaction.

For more than a decade, until his retirement in 2012, Great Plains was considered world-class by any measurement you choose. With characteristic humility, Browne attributes this transformation not to anything he did, but rather to what he didn't do. He simply allowed the people of Great Plains to take charge of their own work, in an environment free of fear. The voice of the process and the voice of the customer became their collective guide. And, gradually, Great Plains became a living example of the term, "emerging complexity"... a term Browne explains with his quote at the top of this page.

In 2012, Browne capped off his 32 years as CEO by selling Great Plains to The Coca-Cola Company. In his first book, Sys-Tao, Browne has condensed this long and meandering path of discovery into a set of principles, laid out anecdotally in his down-to-earth manner, that will be of great interest and aid to any open-minded student of American business's changing landscape.

Bob lives in Oklahoma City with his wife, Karen. He has taught at the University of Oklahoma's Price College of Business, and he continues to lecture on the subject of his book, Sys-Tao: Western Logic ~ Eastern Flow.

Contact: Bob can be reached by e-mail at robertfbrowne@me.com for additional information about this Weekend Conference session



Return to 2016 Forum Home Page