Best Practice Institute Named Best in Leadership Development

Results-based, best-practice skills and practice building are the keys to developing high potentials, founder says.

Best Practice Institute, a unique community of some of the world’s top business leaders, has been named to Leadership Excellence magazine’s “2011-2012 Best in Leadership Development” top 20 ranking. The list will be published in the magazine’s October issue.

Best Practice Institute was founded in 2005 by leadership development expert Louis Carter. The Florida-based organization has more than 10,000 paying members who use BPI’s leadership development tools, including an online learning portal, interactive webinars, research and on-site training programs.

“It’s great to be recognized for our innovations in leadership development,” said Carter. “Contemporary leadership development is still an emerging field. When I was first breaking into the field in the mid-1990s, I had the privilege to conduct research with some of the true pioneers: Warren Bennis, Marshall Goldsmith and Richard Beckhard. The idea behind founding BPI was to make our discoveries readily accessible to the world’s top corporations.”

BPI’s membership includes representatives of more than half of the Fortune 500 companies. Its top-tier corporate members include Walmart, Pfizer, Bank of America, Johnson & Johnson, British Petroleum, QBE, GlaxoSmithKline and Saudi Aramco.

Leadership Excellence, which focuses on leadership development, managerial effectiveness and organizational productivity, was conceived in 1984 by world renowned management masters Ken Shelton, Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard and Charles Garfield. The magazine published its first ranking of top leadership development programs in 2002. This is BPI’s first appearance on the list.

Leadership Excellence CEO and editor-in-chief Ken Shelton said the recognition is based on several criteria, including curriculum content, quality of presenters and presentations, customization of programming, and the “take-home value” of what is taught.

Louis Carter has authored or co-authored several books on leadership development, including the 2011 release, Best Practices in Leadership Development and Organization Change.

In 1998, while still a graduate student in social-organizational psychology at Columbia University, Carter co-authored his first book, Best Practices in Leadership Development, with management gurus Warren Bennis and Marshall Goldsmith. He then worked with the late Richard Beckhard, a pioneer in organizational development and professor at MIT Sloan School of Management, in developing a model for organization change.

Carter founded BPI in 2005, and Bank of America became one of its first clients. Brian Fishel, Bank of America’s Senior Vice President of Enterprise Leadership Development, said BPI is “an invaluable resource to Bank of America in the fields of talent, leadership development and change.” Fishel said Bank of America continues to rely heavily on BPI for leadership development resources and research.

From the start, Carter said, the goal has been to make BPI “the go-to leadership development source. I want BPI to be known as a place that you come to learn and to grow.”

Carter said corporations are especially focused today on getting the most out of their “HiPo’s,” their budding high-potential leaders. BPI offers its clients and members a different slant on developing leaders because its programs are based on building the hard skills a leader needs to create results-achieving programs, as well as soft skills associated with leadership and management, he said.

What often happens in the leadership training industry, said Carter, is that a prominent thinker will develop an array of programs and materials around some new theory, even though that theory may not be based on research, field testing or actual needs being reported in the workplace.

BPI wants to avoid getting stuck in the rut of being defined by a single hot idea,” Carter said. “Today’s hot idea quickly becomes yesterday’s old news. We are continually conducting new research and gathering case studies from top corporate leaders to identify what methods are actually working now in real life applications. We then assist leaders and managers in applying this new thinking back on the job through a community that is based in achieving real business results.”

Leadership Excellence also announced its 2011-2012 list of “50 Best Practices in Leadership Development.” Both lists are available on the magazine’s website,

For more information on Best Practice Institute, visit, or to schedule an interview, please contact Christi O’Neill: 800-718-4274; info(at)bestpracticeinstitute(dot)org.