Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship welcomes a distinguished guest speaker

In May 2021, our Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship welcomed William (Bill) Schultz to give a talk to our students titled ‘How boards operate in complex environments’.

This guest lecture was attended by students currently studying the Corporate Governance module led by Dr Anna Grosman, a Senior Lecturer within the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

In this talk, Bill discussed how board structures and roles change depending on the size and maturity of the company and what non-executive directors do in small companies and start-ups. Bill then talked through many different case studies giving students an insight into important considerations when choosing board members for an organization.

Bill included candid (non-public) insights from CEOs and board members he has worked with at Procter & Gamble, Georgia-Pacific, The Coca-Cola Company and Freshii.

No topics were off limits as the discussion later delved into some thorny issues like board tenure and diversity on the board. This talk was highly engaging and topical as Bill then went on to introduce how pivoting takes place in the face of crisis, such as today’s COVID-19 climate.

At the end of the talk, Bill opened the floor for students to ask any questions and encourage further discussion around these themes.

In speaking of how this guest talk benefitted our students, Dr Anna Grosman said:

“For me, the benefit of Bill’s lecture is not only his great understanding of what boards do or don’t but also, given Bill’s years of exposure to corporate boards of various sizes and locations, his advice on how boards could be reformed by taking advantage of technological advancements or by giving board directors anonymity in voting decisions”.

Bill Schultz is a strategic business innovator and board member whose work has energized products, profits and turnarounds at brand-name consumer product companies. A global executive with 20+ years of general management experience, Bill has managed multiple billion-dollar P&Ls and delivered swift operational change to complex organizations. He is customer-focused and data-driven, and he provides practical and time-tested solutions to business challenges.

After a career that included nearly a dozen years in senior positions at The Coca-Cola Company, Bill now advises start-ups, growth stage and turnaround companies on strategic initiatives, branding and capital strategy through PACE Strategies LLC, his independent consulting firm. He is also a Board Director and strategic advisor to Freshii, Inc. (TSX: FRII), a fast-casual restaurant business based in Canada, and Black Sheep Coffee, a privately held coffee chain based in London.

We would like to say a big thank you to Bill Schultz for meeting our students and for providing such thought-provoking discussions.

To find out more about our Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, please visit this page.