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. In 1999, Norm co-founded The RBL Group with Dave Ulrich. Much of his current work relates to measurably improving the customer and employee experience to increase business outcomes. This is accomplished by partnering with clients to integrate organization design, technical and cultural capabilities, customer brand experience, leadership, HR practices and employee experience. Success is defined as increased confidence in the future by investors, customers and employees which translates in publicly traded firms to greater market value.  

Norm has co-authored eight books: Real-Time Strategy, Results-Based Leadership, How Leaders Build Value, Change Champions Field Guide, Leadership Brand, Leadership Code, Leadership Sustainability and Agile Talent. He has published more than a hundred articles in leading journals and newspapers including Harvard Business Review, Washington Post, Forbes and Financial Times and has contributed chapters and forewords to multiple books. 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 that year.

In 2010, the Harvard Business Review recognized Norm in an ad for the magazine as doing “innovative and ground-breaking work on effective leadership.” In January of 2019, Norm joined the board of HRCI and later that year he received a lifetime achievement award from Utah Business Magazine. Norm has also been a faculty member in executive education at the University of Michigan in the Ross School of Management.

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 an organization consultant in Calgary, Alberta with Esso Resources Canada. 

On the family side, Norm and his wife, Tricia, are the designated leaders of Freddie, a Grand Champion Great Dane along with three cats (Achilles, Ghost and Max), a large school of koi fish and an assortment of delightful children and grandchildren.