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deepening the brilliance of leadership, at every level

Deepening the brilliance of leadership

History has proven that the greatest resource we have is human brilliance. It is the spontaneous wellspring for the best of human endeavors. It is a universal resource residing in our indomitable human spirit and when it flourishes our success is unparalleled. But today our capacity to access human brilliance is alarmingly low.

“We humans are capable of greatness … but we are making a mess of our planet and becoming a danger to ourselves.”
-Carl Sagan (1934-1996) American astrophysicist
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It's personal

Everything about great leadership is personal,
and if it's not, it's not great leadership.
In fact, it’s not leadership.

“We work with leaders to deepen their capacity to access the full potential of human brilliance in their organization.”
- Bruce W. Fritch

Anyone committed to deepening their capacity to access human brilliance must first understand and commit to four personal prerequisites:

  • a.   Aspire to a higher purpose.
  • b.  See the potential for human brilliance in the human spirit of every person.
  • c.   Learn to access human brilliance and reach its maximum capacity.
  • d.  Understand and accept the magnitude of this problem.

Commentaries

1.

The linchpin between work & performance

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2 min

2.

The very thing we need the most of, we have the least of

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10 min

3.

Mediocrity makes a folly of leadership, at every level

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8 min

4.

The numbers don't lie

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10 min

5.

The fulfillment of brilliance

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8 min
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“Collectively, brilliance practices are as close to a generative miracle in the workplace as anything I’ve ever discovered.”
-Bruce W. Fritch

Client List

  • FINANCIAL SERVICES, ACCOUNTING & CONSULTING
    Cost Containment Advisors
    Deloitte
    Grant Thornton
    HomeTrust Bancshares
    ICMA-RC
    KPMG
    Liberty Life
    Shanduka Group
    Standard & Poor’s
    Standard Bank of South Africa
    Wells Fargo
  • HEALTH CARE
    Carolinas HealthCare System
    Concept Rehab
    Hawthorne Cardiothoracic & Vascular Surgeons
    Kansas City Cardiology Associates
    LeBauer Health Care
    Mid Carolina Cardiology
    WellSpark
  • INDUSTRY AND TRADE ASSOCIATIONS
    Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
    American Forest & Paper Association
    American Iron and Steel Institute
    American Petroleum Institute
    American Plastics Council
    Global Automakers
    Insulation Institute
    National Steel Bridge Alliance
    North American Steel Sheet Piling Association
    Rubber Manufacturers Association
    Society of Petroleum Engineers
    Steel Recycling Institute
  • MANUFACTURING
    ArcelorMittal Dofasco
    Novelis
    Sims Metal Management
    Snyder's-Lance
    tesa SE
    Toyota Motor
    North America
    U.S. Steel
  • REAL ESTATE AND OTHER SERVICES
    Camden Property Trust
    CBRE
    Cushman & Wakefield
    Faison
    Greene Group
    Woodfield Investments
  • RETAIL
    Couche-Tard
    HomeTrust Bancshares
    SavingDinner.com
  • TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
    Crystal-Barkley Corporation
    Executive Coaching Network
    KPMG Quality Institute
  • SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP & NOT-FOR-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS
    Asia America Initiative
    Center City Consortium of Schools
    Chemical Dependency Center
    The Corps Network
    Lee Institute
    PRASAD
    Society of International Business Fellows
    SYDA Foundation
    Trident United Way
    VisionSpring

Testimonials

Sample Projects

“If an organization is not creating an emotional and meaningful connection between its purpose and the purpose of at least two-thirds of its employees, it is operating in a quagmire of mediocrity, at every level, from customer value to shareholder value.” - Bruce W. Fritch
  • 1: EXECUTIVE & BOARD PLANNING
    ✓ Facilitated strategic planning for $8.6 billion publicly traded retailer. Presented for board approval and then worked with board and executive chairman to enhance planning and teamwork at board level. Included advice and coaching for new CFO’s transition to COO.
    ✓ Tasked with “salvaging” a brilliant but problematic CEO of global, vertically integrated technology manufacturer. Advised and coached the CEO, and advised the chair and deputy board chair, while conferring with the board.
    ✓ Facilitated five-day offsite “summit” for the board chair and operating committee of a global professional services firm, which faced a historic cultural turning point. The partners were fundamentally disaffected with executive leadership and the challenge was to “reality-base” the operating committee and leadership and develop a radically new approach to operating the business, evolving the culture and ensuring accountability in implementation.
  • 2: ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE CHANGE
    ✓ Partnered with world-renowned CEO of major industry association to transform the leadership team and organizational culture into a model of thought-leadership, collaborative teamwork and organizational effectiveness.
    ✓ Conducted comprehensive strategic and tactical planning for a major community services non-profit. The project was initiated by a special committee of the board, which had concerns about the abilities and responsiveness of the CEO. The extent of the cultural change had to be guided by, and aligned with, extensive value clarification and implementation accountability - changing the mission, vision and goals of the organization.
    ✓ Designed and taught practical leadership values workshops at the North American headquarters of an EU-based manufacturer. Identified principles and practices particularly important to the company’s strategic growth and provided ongoing advice to CEO and executive management.
  • 3: STRATEGIC PLANNING & LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
    ✓ Facilitated strategic planning with CEO and senior management team of a leading commercial real estate development and property management firm with a record of 25 consecutively profitable years. Acted as advisor and coach for executive leaders and designed and facilitated leadership development and team building process.
    ✓ Led a comprehensive strategic review and leadership audit for the board of directors and executive team at one of the most profitable steel producers in North America, headquartered in Canada. Culminated in two-day off-site meeting in which the executive management presented plans and perspective. Board critiqued the strategic plan with oversight and wisdom.
  • 4: ASSESSMENT, GROWTH PLANNING & IMPLEMENTATION
    ✓ Conducted organizational effectiveness research, including market studies, and facilitated strategic planning for the board chair, CEO, and executive committee of a global professional services firm. The goal was to align operating practices, across the organization, with a new strategic direction and Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award service standards.
    ✓ Conducted situation assessments and facilitated strategic planning with teams comprised of CEOs of competing member companies. Facilitated strategic and operational planning with committees charged with translating and implementing the strategic plans. Strategy consultant to CEO for the “reinvention” of the oldest major industry association in North America based in Washington, DC.
  • 5: BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, MARKETING & IMPLEMENTATION
    ✓ Targeted “preferred provider” relationships with specific Fortune 500 firms. Business development strategist to ten partner-led business development teams within a Big Four accounting and professional services firm,
    ✓ Created leadership, culture and market strategies to reposition and differentiate a Big Four firm in its goal to becoming the preeminent professional services business in the world. Worked in collaboration with executive-level partners. Developed recommendations for firm-wide strategic architecture and advised on key elements of implementation.
  • 6: EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP & TRANSITIONING
    ✓ Executive advisor to the president of global commercial real estate services firm. Assisted this exceptional individual in his transition from “rainmaker” to general manager to CEO. Also collaborated with building the performance capacity of the senior management, HR and marketing teams.
    ✓ Advisor and executive coach for the new CEO and senior partners of one of the world’s largest professional services firms. Frequent facilitator and strategist in the creation of the firm-wide plan for executive leadership.

About Bruce W. Fritch

A client once said, “Bruce transforms organizations by facilitating our brilliance.” He goes beyond consulting and gets into the hearts of the people and the guts of the organization and helps build a culture of trust and brilliance.

“Even rarer in a strategist of Bruce’s caliber is his grasp of operations, his political antennae, and his ability to turn his insights into specific strategies and tactics.”

–Josephine S. (Jo) Cooper, Public Affairs Consultation, Josephine Cooper LLC, Formerly: Group Vice President, Toyota Motor North America, Formerly: President & CEO, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
“Bruce enables executives to transform their hidden wisdom into insight that yields powerful results.”

— Chip Bell, CEO, Chip Bell Group

Bruce has been consulted by global business leaders since 1974 and is one of America’s most accomplished, experienced and trusted advisors to CEOs, boards and senior executives.

His knowledge, insight and experience are far reaching, from Fortune 100 companies and the largest professional services firms to entrepreneurial startups and not-for-profits. His study of human character and human capability has led him to discover how the brilliance of leadership at all levels can manifest itself in all we do.

Bruce has spent four-decades exploring the dimensions of leadership. He has focused on the merits of two competing and yet compatible theories, both articulated by Adam Smith in the 18th century. First, economic logic with its attendant leadership issues of authority, power, status and the “invisible hand of the market;” and second, moral logic with its attendant issues of humility, coherence, wisdom and the “greater interests of others.” A capitalist at heart, Bruce has demonstrated, many times over, that only a balance of these two principles can create long-term growth, profitability, prosperity and sustainability.

The core of his practice is centered on establishing the conditions that promote human brilliance at every level and consciously leading that transformation through a process he calls Getting to Insight™. He has discovered that organizational cultures that are free of doubtful predisposition, obsessive political worry and personal apprehension can rapidly evolve to a natural state of collective brilliance that allows a fundamental problem-solution system to create a real competitive advantage.

Bruce’s journey beyond the classroom and boardroom has taken him from San Francisco, Chicago, LA, Toronto, Washington, Palenque and Chaco Canyon, to London, Srebrenica, Prague, Ganeshpuri, Johannesburg, Lyon, and Auschwitz-Birkenau. He has witnessed and debated leadership through its historic impact on people and culture — studying the influential and the influenced, the victims and villains, the vanquished and defeated, the architects and artists, the leaders and followers. To the student of leadership, there are stark contrasts and common axioms that drive both noble and constructive acts and divisiveness and cruel ones — all understandable when one views the world, in its most authentic form, through the lens of authority, leadership, culture and organizational effectiveness.

“Leadership, by its nature, is always a work in progress,” says Bruce, “but if I were to extract an insight at this point, whether it’s about the contrasting examples of an American CEO, a compliant Birkenau engineer or Nelson Mandela, it is this: the brilliance of leadership is anchored in values not abilities, purpose not objectives, insatiable learning not egoic satisfaction, and internal fulfillment not external accumulation.” He adds: “A common denominator is that brilliant leaders have a personal strategy that’s fixed firmly in trust, humility, inner growth and ‘a greater interest in others.’ And we all benefit when they have the courage to do the right thing.”

Bruce says: “Millions of dollars – and opportunities – are wasted on leadership development programs in cultures of disengagement and disrespect. Leadership is learned through emulation, not training programs and books.” Where there are only nominal leaders, only nominal leadership evolves. Where there is self-absorption and greed only disengagement evolves. He says: “If leaders are to be successful I believe they must create organizational cultures and strategies that work together for a higher purpose. Only brilliant cultures deliver brilliant performance.”

Bruce detected his mission early. Nowhere is mission better understood and deployed than in the leadership culture of the US Navy and he was quick to discover his interest in the coherence of mission, strategy and accountability. His talent and dedication soon took him from Supply Officer on a destroyer to Admiral’s Aide at a major command. Over an intensive two years, while serving full-time as Admiral’s Aide, he completed his “Off-Campus MBA” from Southern Illinois University, finishing at the top of his class. Prior to the Navy, Bruce received a B.A. in Economics from DePauw University.

Bruce has been a trusted advisor to senior executives for more than four decades and today he is helping organizations reimagine how they can consciously define and transform their mission, strategy and culture from what it is to what it can be.

Education:

M.B.A., Southern Illinois University, while serving as an admiral’s aide in U.S. Navy
B.A., Economics, DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

–Viktor Frankl, neurologist and Holocaust survivor

Bruce W. Fritch
Managing Partner

BRUCE@FRITCHCONSULTING.COM

(704) 577-2321