104 Years of Global Growth: 5 Questions With Dale Carnegie CEO Joe Hart

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Dale Carnegie Global Day of Giving

Time was when the route to business success often went through a Dale Carnegie course, where participants learned how to rub shoulders more effectively and even grease their way up the corporate ladder. But does the founder’s slogan and title of his book, How To Win Friends and Influence People, still resonate today?

CEO Joe Hart is here to tell you it does. Privately held Dale Carnegie Training is celebrating its 104th anniversary next week not only by enjoying its “thriving franchise network” in 90 countries but also by launching a new annual program: The Dale Carnegie Global Day of Giving.

The Global Day “will focus on providing leadership and life skills to youth and the agency staff workers who support young people” through two- to three-hour workshops, the company said in a press release. More than 100 Dale Carnegie offices worldwide are participating, ranging from Argentina to Vietnam, and several thousand young people are expected to benefit.

“Over the years, Dale Carnegie franchisees have dedicated immense time and resources to enriching their communities, continuing our founder’s legacy through deep and longstanding local relationships,” Hart said in the press release. “We are thrilled to mobilize our unsurpassed global network as a single unit.”

Hart talked with brandchannel about Dale Carnegie Training today:

bc: Can you catch us up a bit on the brand and how it’s evolved over the last generation?

Joe Hart Dale Carnegie

Joe Hart: I took a Dale Carnegie course in 1995 and absolutely changed the course of my life. I’ve traveled the world, met with clients all over the country, and so much of what people tell me is that Dale Carnegie has had a major impact on people and their businesses. It’s because of the enduring nature of our business and what we do and how we help them unlock their confidence and public skills. From that standpoint, the work that we do is every bit as relevant and powerful as it’s been.

bc: How does Dale Carnegie play with the millennials who increasingly are pulling the levers in business?

Hart: There’s a bit of a contrast. On the one hand we’ve got a very technologically sophisticated generation. But this is cross-generational. Millennials want to do something that’s really going to be meaningful in their careers and have an impact. They will leave a position if they feel like they’re just going through the motions and it’s not meaningful.

Another thing is that they are very into [personal] growth. One of the top things they say they want is training. Not just in communication skills but interpersonal skills.

bc: What is your assessment of where the Dale Carnegie brand stands today?

Hart: The brand recognition and brand relevance of Dale Carnegie today isn’t what it used to be. But in my mind, that’s one of the most important opportunities we have: to communicate what we do more effectively and tell our story  more effectively.

bc: How are you going to go about doing that?

Hart: It’s kind of a work in progress. But we are looking to do some things to reinvigorate the brand. Part of it will be around how we communicate global PR and communication initiatives, and a new website that will go online next year.

bc: How does the Global Day of Giving fit into the big picture for Dale Carnegie?

Hart: One thing is that Dale Carnegie is a global organization. One of the things we talk about internally is we’re one organization. And we know that a number of our franchisees will do specific things charitably. And it’s in our heritage to give back. We thought it would be kind of great to bring those two concepts together: Let’s come up with one day to truly give back to our communities. We picked October 19 in part because October 22 is our 104th anniversary.

So we were thinking about our anniversary. And better than picking one global charity would be to let our franchises pick a charity around a theme. One of them is to support kids and organizations that support kids. Or people who work in charities that support kids. So what we have now are more than 100 franchises around the world and it’s really cool. Some of it already has happened and I’m getting emails about it. It’s just really very exciting.


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