The Role of Failure in Leadership Development

Former Executive Committee Member and Head of HR, Novartis

Why is this interview interesting?

  • The importance of examining past failure or setbacks with a constructive mindset
  • The role of feedback and personal accountability when addressing and learning from setbacks
  • The importance of communication channels where individuals can share information upwards from junior to more senior leaders
  • A proven framework to bounce back from failure
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Executive Bio

Norman Walker

Former Executive Committee Member and Head of HR, Novartis

Norman started his professional career with Ford Motor Co. in London, where he held a number of positions in human resources management. From these early years at Ford Motor Company, Norman moved on to increasingly important regional and then global HR roles at Grand Met and Kraft Jacobs Suchard, culminating in the ultimate strategic role as HR leader (1998-2003) in the (at the time) world’s largest merger that became Novartis. Here he was stretched to become a consummate leader, working on integrating and developing companies, cultures, individuals and teams into the giant success the healthcare company has become. In 2003, Norman established his company Ardfern AG which focuses on the nexus of the strategic and the human. He has served on public and private Boards, and for 15 years has been a senior advisor to global Private Equity firms. He co-wrote an important book called “Leadership Passages” and established a retreat for CEOs in 2010. Read more

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