Our People

Norm Smallwood


Norm Smallwood is a partner and co-founder of The RBL Group. His research and consulting focuses on helping organizations increase business value by building organization, leadership, and people capabilities that measurably impact market value. He has written extensively about leadership and organization effectiveness in eight books and over a hundred articles. 

Norm Smallwood is a recognized authority in developing businesses and their leaders to deliver results and increase value. His current work relates to increasing business value by building “outside in” organization, leadership, and people capabilities that measurably impact market value. In 2000, Norm co-founded The RBL Group with Dave Ulrich. 

Norm partners with clients to increase the contribution of people to the business by aligning the organization to foster high-performance cultures that resonate with customers. Outputs include distinctive organization capabilities and a recognizable leadership brand. Success is defined as increased confidence in the future by investors, customers, and employees. This translates in publicly traded firms to a higher stock price and a strong reputation for the business.

In 2010, the Harvard Business Review recognized Norm in an ad for the magazine as doing “innovative and ground-breaking work on effective leadership.” 

Norm has co-authored eight books, and he has published more than a hundred articles in leading journals and newspapers. Norm has been a frequent blogger on HBR Online where his blog on Personal Leader Brand was highlighted as one of ten most read of 2010. 

Norm was a faculty member in executive education at the University of Michigan in the Ross School of Management between 2001 and 2003. For several years, Leadership Excellence magazine has ranked Norm as one of the top 100 Global Voices in Leadership and The RBL Group as one of the top leadership development firms in the world.

Prior to co-founding The RBL Group, Norm was a founding partner of Novations Group, Inc. where he led business strategy, organization design, and human resource management projects for a wide variety of clients spanning multiple industries. Before this, he was an organization development professional at Procter and Gamble in a start up business in Georgia and in Calgary, Alberta, with Esso Resources Canada. 

Norm and his wife Tricia enjoy their children and grandchildren as well as their pets including Frank, the Great Dane, and Stein the Bengal cat.