Karen Golden-Biddle

Strategist for Cultural Transformation

Karen Golden-Biddle

Karen Golden-Biddle is a sought-after voice on business discovery, transformation, and cultural change. Karen works with current and future leaders to ignite a new practice of people-driven discovery that generates dramatically different and better outcomes.

Karen’s culture-focused methods are based on her research, teaching and consulting with a wide range of organizations such as Ericsson International, BF Goodrich, British Petroleum, Lockheed Martin, NutraSweet and Parker Hannifin; with agencies including the Veteran’s Health Administration, the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (Canada), the Centers for Disease Control and the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation; and with nonprofits such as the American Cancer Society, the National Society of Fundraising Executives, the Pharmacy Leadership Institute and the Southern Arts Federation.

In recent years, Karen’s work has focused on the single most debilitating weakness of leaders today: Undervaluing—indeed misunderstanding—the role of discovery in transforming organizations so they can reap lasting gains that go further than anyone believed possible.

Not only can organizations use the process of discovery to transform themselves, discovery forever changes teams, leaders and the organization’s operations to the good.

Karen has laid out her research, process, and framework in the premiere academic publication, Academy of Management Journal.

Karen runs workshops to teach MBA and PhD students, industry hires, and senior executives about discovery and cultural transformation: “How We Derail Transformation and What We Can Do About It,” “The Power of the Strategic Pause in Disruptive Times,” and “How to Capitalize on the Unexpected.”

Karen has published a number of related articles including “How Micro-Moves Can Drive Major Health Care Change” in Harvard Business Review. She also published “How to Change an Organization Without Blowing It Up” in Sloan Management Review.

Karen is Questrom Professor in Management and a Faculty Affiliate of the Human Resource Policy Institute at Boston University. She has also taught in executive education programs at Emory University, the University of Michigan, Boston University, and the University of Alberta.

Adding to her expertise, Karen has been a leader in driving change at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business during an historic period of disruption. As Senior Associate Dean (2011–2015) and Department Chair (2018–present), Karen has developed and rolled out a number of new strategies to elevate Questrom’s research and teaching culture through innovations in curriculum, research policy, and faculty development. During this decade, Questrom’s ranking among peer business schools has advanced markedly, now consistently in the top 50 in the nation and top 100 in the world.

Karen is a sought-after voice on business discovery, transformation, and cultural change. She has been featured in academic journals such as Organization Science and the Academy of Management Journal as well as Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, and others. Her breakthrough work is used in doctoral programs at top business schools around the world including Harvard, University of Michigan, Wharton, Columbia and Cambridge.

Karen was inducted to the Academy of Management as a Fellow in 2018.

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