Dr. Corrie Block Towards Enhanced Business Development Strategies

Recently, we got a wonderful opportunity to have a conversation with Dr. Corrie Block, UAE’s Top Business Coach, Globally Recognized Speaker and Award-Winning Author, and the owner of Paragon Consulting.

Dr. Corrie Block has been working towards helping millions of people find meaning at work and connect their personal purpose to their daily attitudes and behaviors in order to lead people to change their lives and live their dreams.

Paragon Consulting is a leading company aiming to solve any issues businesses come across by offering exceptional development strategies.

We also heard that Dr. Corrie Block will also be joining Marshall Goldsmith on stage at the SHRM MENA Conference and Expo 2022 this September 28.

Dr.-Corrie-Block-joining-Marshall-Goldsmith
Dr.-Corrie-Block-joining-Marshall-Goldsmith

They will both be launching their books, “The Earned Life” by Marshall Goldsmith, a book on discovering the steps to earning your path to fulfilment and living without regrets, and “Business is Personal” by Dr. Corrie Block, a blueprint for unlocking meaning at work.

Let’s learn more about Dr. Corrie Block and his journey through our interview below.

Explain the background of you and the Company in detail.

Several years ago, I achieved a strong enough reputation in the market that I could exit my previous venture and provide consulting independently. As an organizational behavior and leadership expert, I help companies like World Bank, Emirates airline, and Microsoft, but I’m now the only employee in my Company. I provide strategy & restructuring, leadership development, and executive coaching.

What are your goals?

I aim to improve the quality of a million lives every month. I do that best by improving the profitability of companies by helping employees find meaning at work.

Humans who find their work meaningful are higher performing, and companies who have those employees on board tend to make 21% more profit than those that don’t.

Plus, the employees themselves tend to get paid better, have fewer health issues, and actually live longer lives. Win-win.

What do you feel is the biggest strength of yourself/your Company right now?

Apart from being agile and experience-based, my concentration on evolutionary psychology and neurosciences in management and leadership is unique. I’m among an elite group of professors around the world that are studying these things, and among even fewer who are applying them already. I’ve also written books on executive performance and meaning at work in the last two years.

What was the path you/your Company took to get to where you are today?

I started my first Company at the age of 23. Since then, I’ve built and buried two companies and built and exited five more. I spent eight years in Estonia during the technocratic revolution and five years in Yemen before the civil war.

I just completed ten years in the UAE, and I’ve now worked on strategy and leadership in more than 150 companies across 30 countries, in industries ranging from oil & gas to luxury shoes. These days, I only work with people whose Companies I enjoy and often on projects that others might consider impossible. It’s good fun.

Why did you start (or want to be the head of) this Company?

The perks! I like the flexibility. My boss can be a jerk sometimes (me), but I’m the most disciplined person I know, and I do let myself breathe when I need it.

What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome?

I’ve been bankrupt twice, lived on credit cards, and woke up in cold sweats – not wondering if I would succeed, or how I would feed my family! I’ve been flat broke, in debt, in the dark, and parched for hope, and in those times, I found out how resilient I could be.

Give us one word that describes you the best.

Curious.

What makes you excited about Mondays?

The gym. I usually have fun on the weekend, and by 5 am Monday I’m ready to get back to finding out what the limits of my body are. It’s a pretty incredible machine, you know? I also usually respond to inquiries on Mondays, so it’s a day of discovery for me, and sometimes I get to discover who I will partner my work life with for the next few months.

What do you value most about your culture and vision?

I live my values. I can be counted on to consistently exhibit the traits of loyalty, generosity, curiosity, destiny, and passion. That’s the core of who I am. And the strongest of them by far is curiosity. I have two master’s degrees and two doctorate degrees, and I’ve studied AI at MIT and finance at Harvard, all because I was curious about things. In addition I don’t watch football or play chess – I collect competencies. I use those competencies to improve the quality of as many lives as I can, as often as possible.

Tell us about a project that forced you to be innovative and creative.

I was training a team of 30 executives on neuro skills recently, and one of them responded that flow states in management are impossible due to the open door policy. The expectation that managers would always be available, responding to emails within 30 minutes and WhatsApp within 5 minutes, meant that managers no longer had time to focus on strategy anymore.

I agreed, so I wrote what I think might be the world’s first Performance Protection Policy for their Company. It gives the right of managers above a certain grade to schedule 8 hours of uninterruptible time in their weekly schedule. Uninterruptible time will be the next performance disruptor in management, and flow states are the subject of my next book.

What are the strategies of your Company, and how do they stand unique from your competitors?

When I had my own staff, I could restructure a company or implement a strategy or training program well because I knew the capacity of my team. But more often than not, this kind of external consultancy either perpetuates ignorance or creates unhealthy dependencies in the client company.

Great for consultants, not great for their clients. So I evolved. Now I work as the external leader of an internal team and execute strategy and restructuring through the staff already present in my client companies. It’s more work for me, but when I leave, I leave the competencies behind in the existing team. I have less overhead, so it’s more cost-effective for the client, and they get a much stronger outcome.

There are also a lot of executive coaches in Dubai, but very few have a global track record of business success and thought leadership in their own right. Finding a coach is easy, but finding one who holds four post-graduate degrees, has started five successful businesses of their own, is an award-winning international author and public speaker and is a globally recognized business strategist and management professor. Well, that’s a whole new level of play.

What are the key values which helped you to overcome the roadblocks/challenges in your career?

Failure is a choice. The default outcomes of any attempt are winning and learning. Failure is the choice to ignore the learning and walk away from the next attempt.

Tell us something about your memorable incident in your leadership.

Last November, I was being coached by Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, and he absolutely humbled me on one of the fear narratives that I was still holding. I was embarrassed in front of him and frustrated with myself. And I’m so grateful to know that as far as I’ve come, there are still people in my life interested in improving my level of play in leadership.

How do you see the Company changing in two years, and how do you see yourself creating that change?

I am my Company, and I envision becoming more in demand globally. I’ve already been working with companies in the UK, EU, and the USA, and I think as more and more CEOs start to learn about the benefits of meaning at work and neuroscience in organizational behavior, I’m going to be a very busy man.

Where is your leadership going? What benefits do your clients get from your Company in this competitive world?

In order for our companies to perform well, their leaders have to be performing at their natural best. I will continue to deliver that. For example, in a study across ten companies, my Business is Personal program alone was shown to have an average direct ROI of 814%. I’d like to double that return in the next couple of years.

What are the services/solutions or products offered by your company on par with the current industry standards? Tell us something about your upcoming products or services.

I’m definitely not “in-line” with industry standards in organizational strategy and culture. In fact, I’ve been an outspoken critic of many deeply held HR best practices, such as work-life balance, performance management, job security, talent retention, and even the term “human resources” (which I think is terribly de-humanizing).

All of these ideas were made up at one point, and they all need dramatic renovation. Once I’ve finished my book on flow states for managers and leaders, I’ll be working on a book of HR myths for 2023. In the meantime, I’ll continue to help companies make more money by helping their leaders and members find more meaning. That’s the most profitable formula I’ve found in organizational dynamics, and I’ve reached a rare level of wizardry in that arena.

Connect with Dr. Corrie Block on LinkedIn.

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