Professional summary

Dr. Drumm McNaughton is an international strategic management pioneer, change management innovator, and governance expert. With P&L experience in multiple industries, he has stimulated transformation and propelled double-digit growth from startups to Fortune 500 through innovative approaches to strategy planning / implementation, succession planning/talent management and culture change. He has extensive international experience, having lived overseas 19 years and worked / travelled in 50+ countries. His change initiatives and counsel have resulted in over $500 million to organizations’ bottom line.

Dr. McNaughton currently serves as Chair & CEO of The Change Leader, a management consultancy that improves higher education institutions, nonprofits,

Engagement overview

I work with clients to determine project objectives and outcomes, and once agreed upon, we mutually agree on fees that are fair to both parties.  I generally do not charge a daily rate as I believe this is unethical & not in anyone's best interest.


Institutions of Higher Learning
• King Saud University
• Capella University
• Chapman University
• LIGS University
• Sabi University
• Trident University
• EC-Council University

Large Urban School Districts
• Los Angeles Unified School District

• U.S. Air Force Reserve
• U.S. Navy
• Government of Guam

Nonprofits / NGOs
• European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
• American Board of Orthodontics
• Tennessee Dental Association
• IMC USA’s Academy for Professional Development

Large and mid-cap companies in the following sectors / industries:
• High-tech
• Telecomm
• Biotech
• Chemical
• Defense
• Financial Services


1. Address “Human Side” of Change. Anticipate “people issues.” Job descriptions will change, new skills and capabilities will be needed, and employees will be resistant. Dealing with these issues on a reactive, case-by-case basis puts speed, morale, and results at risk. Develop a game plan early.

2. Executive Team Needs to Speak in One Voice. All eyes will turn to the CEO and the leader... Read more

People support what they help create. Have you involved your people in decisions that affect their lives? Most execs don't, but you seem pretty smart and probably have. However, if you haven't, invite them to get them involved with the planning, looking at the environment, helping them to understand what the organization is facing and how the need for change is critical. This will get them ex... Read more

This is very simple - people support what they help create. Get poeple involved early, and the project goes much smoothly.

As the saying goes, "You can pay now, or pay later. Your choice.".. Read more

IMUS - I make up stuff (or s*%t, depending on how bad it is) - is alive and thriving in most organizations, especially in new areas or when a new boss comes into town.

I'm not one for long answers . . . and this is a pretty easy situation to diffuse. Talk to the people, and find out what are their concerns (if any) - most of this comes from their (1) being fearful of their own jobs and attem... Read more

Don't agonize over it - just change it. You are a consultant and should know what works / doesn't with your clients, and the same things work with employees. Just find out if anything useful comes from that meeting before cancelling it, but you seem to be on the right track so far.

WRT redesigning team meetings, not sure what you are attempting to accomplish, so my giving you advice would b... Read more

I don't know your situation, but frankly, given what you have asked, I don't think using just one metric is smart, especially if it is market share. What if you have 80% market share and the market isn't large or profitable? That doesn't work for anyone.

Whether it is in life or business, people need targets to meet. Market share is a "feel good" metric, but may not tell you everything you n... Read more

ERP implementations are among the toughest IT projects, but that is no excuse: to not get the results you anticipated (and were promised) would, as Dolly Parton once said, "fry my grits"!

Truth and reality. The truth is that many consultants will say they like performance type contracts, but the reality is that most do them only when we are required to and very rarely if ever for IT integratio... Read more

First, congrats on your new position. Being a CEO is one of the most rewarding and "fun" things I've done in my career.

You are right in saying that your experience will help, but you will face new challenges, one of which may be the board. Some recommendations if I may.

First, your first 100 days (forget that – 30- days is all you really get) are critical. Get to know and understand yo... Read more

I agree with my colleagues. Many times in situations like yours, the "acquired" firm's key personnel are "locked in" for 2-3 years as part of the merger agreement, and they and others are incentivized to stay. I hope that the barn door was closed long after the horses got out, but I'm guessing that this didn't happen on a broad enough scale if at all.

Shared vision is critical in times l... Read more

I personally am not a big fan of Lean/Six Sigma for service organizations - I think that it's been stretched too much to make it adapt to too many different scenarios. However, the structure that you describe - one team per client - doesn't seem like it may be the best use of your resources as I would think there is too much redundancy which is why I am guessing you are thinking about "leaning" t... Read more

I am going to respectfully disagree with my colleagues. I view this as two separate issues, (1) board responsibilities and (2) resistance to change.

As a board, you have five main responsibilities: (1) setting the strategic direction and approving the strategic plan, (2) approving the budget, (3) setting policies, (4) holding leadership accountable for results, and (5) ensuring the long-time v... Read more

This reminds me of Drucker's statement (which many erroneously attribute to Bennis): "Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things."

Controls are critical to ensure the proper functioning of an organization, and from you have said, you previously didn't have many in place until you hired a consultant. Perhaps the consultant put too many in place, and people are bypas... Read more

With all due respect to my colleagues, I would suggest that this may not be an engineering problem as much as it is a people / leadership problem.

The simplification-standardization-automation lens is great for Lean companies, but most management consultants would tell you that turnover results from unhappy employees, which may or may not result from engineering issues.

I don't discount that... Read more

I would say Caveat Emptor - let the buyer beware - to this one! What may be a great idea on the surface of the car may not be so good when you look on the hood.

I've seen a number of these arrangements work out very well, but the keys for that were clear expectations around metrics, responsibilities, and actions. Without those, an arrangement like this is a recipe for a train wreck.

For ex... Read more

This is a tough one, but the reality is that things change. Try the 3M / Google approach - 10-20% of the employees' time is their own to work on their own pet projects, but the remainder they have schedules and ROI to consider. I'll bet that those "pet" projects end up having more of a financial impact than do the other projects. :).. Read more

I would take a page out of the major consulting firms who have multiple projects going on at once, and implement a three step process.

1. Develop an application / skills matrix that collects all employees' skills, e.g., roles, projects, task descriptions, relevant skills.
2. Develop a process or application that can search these "resumes" and allow keyword searches. This take some time to ... Read more

Wow, this is a tough one. Frankly, and I know I'm being a bit of a heretic on this, I would throw the baselines out.

There is a reason that you are downsizing, and for that reason (and probably other good ones) new baselines must be established. At the same time, employees must have something to strive for, so helping them set goals going forward is a good thing.

In downsizing, employees... Read more

ABSOLUTELY! Diversity of thought is one of the most critical things organizations require, and when there isn't that diversity, they ultimately die as there is too much "group think" that goes on. Having led organizations before, I know this to be critical to spur innovation and ensure success in the marketplace.

As Carol mentioned, there are instruments available that highlight diversity in ... Read more

First, congrats on your decision and commendations on your courage for taking on one of the most challenging change projects there is. ERP projects are important, especially for a organization of your size, but they are not for the faint of heart. :)

I will not repeat my colleagues' advice, because training and the WIIFM (what's in it for me) are critical for the success of your project. HR ... Read more

I understand your frustration - spending money needlessly isn't a good thing. Sounds to me as though the process for approving and owning projects is broken.

Let's face it - given two choices - operations normal or change, what is going to win out? The ops normal. This is what keeps the lights on, what people are evaluated against, etc. To make a change happen (and this is change manageme... Read more

I don't know the nuances of how you are actually conducting the performance evaluations, but based on what you have said, my sense is that the problem is the process you are using. The employees are not involved with setting their own goals, and I suspect that that they don’t have much input on the organizational goals.

Fact is, we cannot force people to change - they must want to do it. ... Read more


“They can be very good in something like a turnaround,” McNaughton says, but “there’s almost no way someone can be ready to run a company in three days. If someone is really going to be a leader, it’s very difficult to do it on an... Read more

“He’s very much what we could call in academic circles a transformative leader,” said Drumm McNaughton, chairman and chief executive of the Washington-based Institute of Management Consultants. “When you have a political environment... Read more

“I handle my own finances, but I have a CPA who takes care of my taxes and a financial planner who takes care of retirement,” says Dr. Drumm McNaughton, a mastery-level management consultant based out of Fallbrook, Calif. “There is on... Read more


We have been fortunate that Dr. Drumm McNaughton was here to assist us as our strategic planning consultant and facilitator. Drumm's guidance and encouragement throughout this process have been key to the development of our Strategic Plan as well as our implementation plan. I would strongly recommend any organization use them to guide their process. He truly knows how to 'make visions take flight.

Ken Hugins, Treasurer, City of Escondido, and President Hugins Associates, CPA/Financial Advisors

eCommerce, eBusiness, B to B, Channel Parity…..We called upon Drumm McNaughton and Steve Haines to take us through the systems thinking approach to eBusiness strategic planning. Thanks to their efforts, eBusiness will become a part of the regular credit union strategic plan, as it is already part of our everyday work at OCCU. We recommend their approach to any type of planning.

Judy McCartney, President/CEO Orange County's Credit Union

Drumm has the rare ability to stimulate an intensive examination of his client's hopes and aspirations without inserting their own solutions. His guidance and encouragement throughout this process have been a major contribution to the quality of our Strategic Plan as well as our implementation plan.

Nigel Hook, CEO Dataskill, Inc.

You have an excellent grasp of strategic management (planning and change), a broad understanding of marketing and sales, and a keen knowledge of organizations and human nature. Your coaching, leadership, and guidance were much appreciated, and I would strongly recommend you to anyone for developing and implementing strategic management (both planning and change) programs, operations, or eBusiness programs anywhere.

Bob Arthur, CEO The Success Institute

Your ability to ask the questions that help us get to the meat of what we are trying to do, and then to step back and allow us to take ownership of the process is invaluable. You really helped us to clearly define eBusiness as it relates to our business. You helped us move away from a "technology" driven strategy… to a much more strategic "business" strategy.

Lori Reeves, Senior VP of Operations Financial Partners Credit Union

Your knowledge and abilities as a consultant are unsurpassed. . . .You understand this requirements and intricacies of developing and implementing strategies and tactics for successful online program, including the accreditation process. Those so gifted with this knowledge are rare indeed.

Dr. Sheila Fournier-Bonilla, Faculty Chair Capella University

[You] listen carefully to all sides, reflect, and then put forth unique solutions ... [You have been] instrumental in developing pedagogy's for delivery of quality education online …

Dr. Bernard J. Luskin, Executive Vice President Fielding Graduate University

I would like to thank all of you for the assistance you provided to our IMCs and new CMCs in particular. I believe that obtained opportunity will enable us to endeavor new challenges and achievements in CMC World. That was a great time we spent in Jordan, where we had a chance to meet and converse with you. We are looking forward to continuing working with you.

Rustambek Djalbiev European Bank for Reconstruction and Development / Business Advisory Services

Your final report contained both a thorough analysis of our concerns and solid recommendations for developing more coherence in our programs and instruction. Inspired by your positive attitude, we believe that we can implement your suggestions successfully and quickly." "I am impressed with your skills and abilities, and look forward to further assistance from you in making the changes we have long needed.

Richard Alonzo, Superintendent Local District 4

You inspired us to become better. . . .Your ability to easily create trust and rapport helped you to get the root of the issues . . . you gave us invaluable recommendations which we can put into effect to improve performance while reducing costs. . . .You understood the political climate in which we operate, and were sensitive to that in your recommendations and working with people.

Ronni Ephraim, Chief Instructional Officer Elementary