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Dave Ulrich

University Professor, Author, Speaker, Management Coach, and Management Consultant.



University Professor, Author, Speaker, Management Coach, and Management Consultant. 

Ranked as the #1 management guru by Business Week, profiled by Fast Company as one of the world’s top 10 creative people in business, a top 5 coach in Forbes, and recognized on Thinkers50 (Hall of Fame) as one of the world’s leading business thinkers, Dave Ulrich has a passion for ideas with impact. In his writing, teaching, and consulting, he continually seeks new ideas that tackle some of the world’s thorniest and longest standing challenges.  

His bestselling books and popular speeches inspire the corporate and academic agenda. Dave has co authored over 30 books and 200 articles that have shaped three fields:

Organization.  With co-authors, he has influenced thinking about organizations by empirically showing how organization delivers 4 times business results over talent (Victory Through Organization), defined organizations as bundles of capabilities (Organization Capability) and worked to delineate capabilities of talent management (Why of Work; Talent Accelerator), culture change (GE Workout), learning (Learning Organization Capability), and collaboration (Boundaryless Organization). Leadership.  With colleagues, he has also articulated the basics of effective leadership (Leadership Code and Results Based Leadership), connected leadership with customers (Leadership Brand), shown how leadership delivers market value (Why the Bottom Line Isn’t), shaped investor expectations and ability to measure leadership (Leadership Capital Index), and synthesized ways to ensure that leadership aspirations turn into actions (Leadership Sustainability). Human Resources.  He and his colleagues have shaped the HR profession and he has been called the “father of modern HR” and “HR thought leader of the decade” by focusing on HR outcomes, governance, competencies, and practices (HR Champions; HR Value Added; HR Transformation; HR Competencies; HR Outside In).  He spearheaded a “gift” book on the future of HR (The Rise of HR) distributed to over 1,500,000 HR professionals), in which 70 thought leaders freely share their insights.

He has spoken to large audiences in 88 countries; performed workshops for over half of the Fortune 200; and coached successful business leaders. He is co-founder of the RBL Group (www.rbl.net) a consulting firm that increases business results through leadership, organization, and human resources.  He gives back to the profession and others, having worked as Editor of Human Resource Management for 10 years, being a Trustee and advisor to universities and other professional groups, and serving on the Herman Miller board for 15 years.  He is known for continually learning, turning complex ideas into simple solutions, and creating real value to those he works with.

Wendy and Dave serve frequently in their church, have 3 children, 8 grandchildren, and get their greatest glee when their grandkids’ eyes light up at seeing them.

Education & Certification

Selected Articles


His Life

Ulrich was born in the small town of Ely, Nevada and grew up in Oregon. His father worked as a forester building campgrounds, then transferred in order to direct social programs for Job Corps. His mother spent time in church and community service. From his parents, he learned the importance of service and the value of hard work. The Ulrich family lived in Kansas City, Missouri where he attended high school. Ulrich attended Brigham Young University where he completed his undergraduate degree in University Studies in five semesters and began graduate school in Organizational Behavior. He earned a PhD in Business (Organization Theory) from the University of California, Los Angeles. He has been awarded honorary doctorates by Abertay University in Dundee, Scotland and by Utah Valley University (2020).


Recent Honors

2014: Ranked #1 speaker in Management/Business by Speaking.com
2014: Commencement speaker, University of Michigan Ross School of Business
2013: Lifetime Leadership Award from the Leadership Forum at Silver Bay
2013: Listed in Thinkers 50 as a management thought leader
2012: Lifetime Achievement Award from HR Magazine for being the “father of modern HR”
2011: Ranked #1 most influential international thought leader in HR by HR Magazine
2011: Listed in Thinkers 50 as a management thought leader
2011: Ranked in Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Leadership Behavior
2010: Nobels Colloquia Prize for Leadership on Business and Economic Thinking
2010: Life Fellowship in Australia Human Resources Institute (AHRI)
2010: Ranked #1 most influential international thought leader in HR by HR Magazine
2010: Kirk Englehardt Exemplary Business Ethics Award from Utah Valley University
2010: Why of Work (co-authored with Wendy Ulrich) was #1 best seller for Wall Street Journal and USA Today