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Recognized across the globe for her record of success in partnering senior executives, helping them to enhance their ability to make complex strategic decisions using collaboration and creativity, Susan Lucia Annunzio provides invaluable insights into the ways in which high-performance business environments can be created and maintained.

Susan is currently President and CEO of The Center for High Performance. She previously worked for Hudson Highland Group, Inc, running their research-based high-performance consulting subsidiary. While there she oversaw the most comprehensive global study of knowledge workers ever undertaken, the results of which she has presented to the World Economic Forum, The International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change and at other prestigious events.

Adjunct Professor of Management at the University Of Chicago Booth School Of Business, Susan has been a guest lecturer at INSEAD business school in France and has been invited to teach at General Electric's Crotonville Corporate Training Center. Previous high-profile posts have included being a partner at the Marsten Institute of Chicago, where she increased annual revenue by 200% in 5 years for a number of prestigious clients including Amoco and Ernst & Young. When working for Nextera, a specialized niche consulting firm, as head of global Change Management for Fortune 100 companies, Susan won many awards including the Dalton Pen Award of Excellence and the CIPRA Award of Excellence.

Susan has published three books; her first, Contagious Success, was a Fast Company Reader's Choice. She followed this with Communicoding and Evolutionary Leadership. She makes frequent appearances on both local and national TV and radio and has been quoted in or on The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, BBC, USA Today and Bloomberg, among many others.

Full Profile

Susan Lucia Annunzio is President and Chief Executive Officer of The Center for High Performance (CfHP). She is a strategic advisor to CEOs of leading global companies on strategy attainment and business transformation. Annunzio has a strong track record helping leaders maximize returns on strategic, financial and human capital investments. Annunzio partners with senior executives to increase their ability to make complex strategic decisions through enhanced collaboration and creativity. She is a globally recognized speaker and thought leader on shaping and maintaining high-performance business environments.

Previously, Susan ran the research-based high performance consulting subsidiary of Hudson Highland Group, Inc., a leading international professional staffing and talent management solutions company. Under her direction, the Hudson Highland Group completed the most comprehensive global study of knowledge workers ever conducted on the factors that accelerate or stifle high performance. Susan has presented on this study internationally at such prestigious venues as the World Economic Forum, The International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change at the University of Greenwich, and Vacature′s 2004 “Talent Economy” launch event in Belgium.

Susan is an Adjunct Professor of Management at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, has been a guest lecturer at INSEAD business school in Fontainebleau, France, and has taught at General Electric′s Crotonville Corporate Training Center.

She is also author of Contagious Success (Portfolio, 2004), a dynamic management book which revealed a global standard for high-performing workgroups that can be replicated in any organization. Contagious Success was voted Fast Company′s Readers′ Choice selection in January 2005.

Additionally, Susan authored two more prominent business books: Communicoding (Fine, 1990; Penguin USA, 1991) and Evolutionary Leadership (Simon & Schuster, 2001; Fireside, 2002). She has been a guest on numerous local and national television and radio news programs and has been quoted extensively in the business press, including The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, BBC, USA Today, and Bloomberg.

As head of the global Change Management practice at Nextera, a specialized, niche-consulting firm, Susan and her team won numerous industry awards in recognition of the practice′s pioneering work with Fortune 100 companies crossing all industry sectors, including: BP, Pfizer, ABN AMRO, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Amazon.com. The awards included the Dalton Pen Award of Excellence, the CIPRA Award of Excellence, the Telly Award, and the Publicity Club of Chicago Silver Trumpet.

As a partner at the Marsten Institute of Chicago, Susan grew annual revenues by 200% in five years working with clients such as Amoco, Ernst & Young, and the John F. Kennedy Healthcare Foundation. Susan is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and the University of Chicago Women′s Business .Group. She is also an active volunteer and advisor at the Metropolitan YWCA of Chicago and The Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii.


Susan Lucia Annunzio Speaker Videos Back to top

Demo Video


Susan Lucia Annunzio presents her vision of the business world to her audience. Using the knowledge she has gained over decades of the most intensive research, she condenses her principles into a simple message: “Twenty-five years ago I developed a personal mission statement. My mission statement was to demonstrate to senior leaders that treating people with respect and dignity is morally, ethically and fiscally responsible."

Susan always seats her ethics, principles and theories in a solid basis of research. As she tells her audience, “If what I believe in, if why you're in this room is really important, there has to be a way to prove it. And we've got to be able to prove it with math, because we all understand, it's the numbers today that count."


Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


Susan Lucia Annunzio uses the knowledge gained from the Center for High Performance study that she oversaw to explain how you can spread high-performance across your organization. This global study was the largest ever undertaken to determine critical factors for accelerating profitable growth.

Companies are increasingly finding that traditional methods for sustaining or promoting growth in difficult economic times are no longer sustainable. Susan breaks down her research and shows how the information she has gathered can be used to enhance performance. She will teach you how to identify your high-performing workgroups and increase their performance by removing the barriers that hinder them. Having done this, she will show you how to spread that high-performance culture across your organization.

Susan can customize presentations to your company and location as necessary.

Spreading High Performance In Your Organization
Global competition, political realities and economic conditions are affecting business success, challenging companies to continually harness brainpower and accelerate organizational performance. In the past, companies have right-sized, cut costs, improved efficiency, acquired or shed businesses and flattened the organization. But in today′s world, these measures are not enough to achieve profitable growth.

The Center for High Performance conducted the largest, systematic global study ever undertaken to determine critical factors for accelerating profitable growth in uncertain economic times. The study, which includes the United States, Europe, Australia, Japan and Shanghai/Beijing, not only reveals the characteristics that distinguish high performance work environments, it also uncovers the systematic barriers hindering profitable growth.

In this keynote, Annunzio will discuss the groundbreaking research and detail how companies can use this information to increase performance. The speech will reveal how to:

    • Identify the differentiating characteristics of high-performing workgroups
    • Increase the performance of exemplary groups within the organization
    • Remove barriers that hinder performance
    • Replicate high performance practices and behaviors throughout the organization

By redeploying existing human and financial resources, companies can remove barriers and fully realize growth opportunities.

Please note: The keynote speech can be customized to your company and geographic region. Speeches on leadership, innovation, resilience, coaching, business strategy and other topics are also available.



Susan Lucia Annunzio Speaker Testimonials Back to top

    "Susan’s approach enabled our management team (from Boardroom to front line) to develop our ability to effectively execute our strategy. Through her experience and insight, we were able to turn theory and unconscious practice into practical skills, tools and processes to use every day in our business. Only when we grasped the learning from the programme did we truly discover how much we needed this capability."
    Shane Spiers, Group HR Director, UNITE PLC, UK

    "Susan takes a complex area and simplifies it with practical tools, processes, and concepts that can be readily applied at work (corporate, team, or individual level)."
    Robert Lindeman, Managing Director, RSM McGladrey, Inc.

    "Working with Franchee Harmon was a thoroughly enriching experience. She is one of the best corporate strategists I have ever worked with. She had a fantastic ability to see through the noise and pinpoint the direction a company should take. Her creativity and pragmatism allowed totally new and cost effective strategies to be realized. Franchee adds value to any organization."
    Kevin Magee, Chief Technology Officer, Crucible Corporation




* Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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    "Susan’s approach enabled our management team (from Boardroom to front line) to develop our ability to effectively execute our strategy. Through her experience and insight, we were able to turn theory and unconscious practice into practical skills, tools and processes to use every day in our business. Only when we grasped the learning from the programme did we truly discover how much we needed this capability."
    Shane Spiers, Group HR Director, UNITE PLC, UK

    "Susan takes a complex area and simplifies it with practical tools, processes, and concepts that can be readily applied at work (corporate, team, or individual level)."
    Robert Lindeman, Managing Director, RSM McGladrey, Inc.

    "Working with Franchee Harmon was a thoroughly enriching experience. She is one of the best corporate strategists I have ever worked with. She had a fantastic ability to see through the noise and pinpoint the direction a company should take. Her creativity and pragmatism allowed totally new and cost effective strategies to be realized. Franchee adds value to any organization."
    Kevin Magee, Chief Technology Officer, Crucible Corporation


Spreading High Performance In Your Organization
Global competition, political realities and economic conditions are affecting business success, challenging companies to continually harness brainpower and accelerate organizational performance. In the past, companies have right-sized, cut costs, improved efficiency, acquired or shed businesses and flattened the organization. But in today′s world, these measures are not enough to achieve profitable growth.

The Center for High Performance conducted the largest, systematic global study ever undertaken to determine critical factors for accelerating profitable growth in uncertain economic times. The study, which includes the United States, Europe, Australia, Japan and Shanghai/Beijing, not only reveals the characteristics that distinguish high performance work environments, it also uncovers the systematic barriers hindering profitable growth.

In this keynote, Annunzio will discuss the groundbreaking research and detail how companies can use this information to increase performance. The speech will reveal how to:

    • Identify the differentiating characteristics of high-performing workgroups
    • Increase the performance of exemplary groups within the organization
    • Remove barriers that hinder performance
    • Replicate high performance practices and behaviors throughout the organization

By redeploying existing human and financial resources, companies can remove barriers and fully realize growth opportunities.

Please note: The keynote speech can be customized to your company and geographic region. Speeches on leadership, innovation, resilience, coaching, business strategy and other topics are also available.



Demo Video


Susan Lucia Annunzio presents her vision of the business world to her audience. Using the knowledge she has gained over decades of the most intensive research, she condenses her principles into a simple message: “Twenty-five years ago I developed a personal mission statement. My mission statement was to demonstrate to senior leaders that treating people with respect and dignity is morally, ethically and fiscally responsible."

Susan always seats her ethics, principles and theories in a solid basis of research. As she tells her audience, “If what I believe in, if why you're in this room is really important, there has to be a way to prove it. And we've got to be able to prove it with math, because we all understand, it's the numbers today that count."