Dr Susan Hetrick is an organisational psychologist, HR business leader, academic, and author of Toxic Organizational Cultures and Leadership, How to Build and Sustain a Healthy Workplace (Routledge, 2023).
For more than 35 years, Susan has worked with global and multicultural organisations such as the World Bank Group, RBS Group, Aegon, Arab Banking Corporation, HSBC, and Deloitte. Her career has enabled her to live and work in the UK, USA, Europe, and the Middle East. She has held academic roles with the Universities of Aberdeen, Glasgow, and London, as well as Birkbeck College and Helsinki School of Economics. Her doctorate in Organisational Psychology was awarded by City University Business School.
Susan has had numerous articles on corporate culture and HR published. Toxic Organizational Cultures and Leadership is her second book. Her first, Corporate Reputations, Branding and People Management, was co-authored with Professor Graeme Martin.
Her speaking style combines case studies from the headlines with an expert understanding of leadership, human resources and culture and hands on experience of dealing with the issues and opportunities she describes. Her real-life examples have the power to shock and engage an audience and motivate them to build a better workplace.
Susan runs her specialist culture consultancy, zuhra consulting, and is Chair of the Board for Dundee Rep and the Scottish Dance Theatre.
Dr Hetrick is an experienced and confident conference speaker, panellist and facilitator. Susan specialises in culture, corporate reputation, people management and organization design. She is perhaps best known for her research, writing and consultancy work in toxic leadership and workplace cultures. Her presentation to more than 600 HR professionals at the 2023 CIPD Conference garnered great praise.
"When I heard you speak at the recent CIPD conference Susan, I was inspired and that’s rare these days."
"I have just finished reading your book; excellent theoretical framework, clear context and pertinent examples. I also really liked the RESPECT approach, and the practical approach for planning."
"I was so inspired by Susan Hetrick’s session at the CIPD Conference featuring Toxic Organisational Cultures and Leadership, that I bought her book. It arrived today and I can’t wait to dive in!"
"Insightful and very inspirational session Dr Susan Hetrick."
"A gripping session and very well presented."
"Really enjoyed this session, lots of this resonated with me, and lots of key takeaways."
"A thought provoking presentation from Dr Susan Hetrick. Talking about toxic workplace culture is such an important topic and it was great to hear some practical solutions on how the prevent and solve this."
"Congratulations your talk today was superb!"
"Fantastic session narrated with some real live examples that truly brought it to life, thank you."
"It was an incredibly engaged speech from the opening line to the closing. It’s an issue that’s real and most of us have experienced it. You gave some fabulous insights into how it happens and how to deal with it. Learnings we can all take away and implement."
"We've been learning about the four stages of Toxic Leadership today at CIPD Annual Conference ACE under the expert guidance of Dr Susan Hetrick, with the CIPD's Daphne Doody-Green. When toxic leadership is tolerated, when there is a demand for loyalty and alignment, when there is reverence from external stakeholders and a cult of singularity, yes, (very) bad things certainly happen... Many topical case-study examples were listed demonstrating this. It's plainly not about 'just a few bad apples' which is the line often put out by organisations when allegations are made. Company values (positive) need to flow through everything like a stick of rock. Dr Susan Hetrick advises people professionals and HR teams, 'Are you asking the right questions of your people in all parts of the business and at all levels to check and measure evidence of toxic behaviour?' Don't shy away from it."
"This was a great session which I believe most people can relate to with their own lived experiences. I found this session very empowering."
“We've used Susan's expertise for a number of years. She's helped our board and senior leadership team design our growth and organisation plans, and challenging people situations. Susan has a vast experience in HR/OD in people-centric businesses and is immensely useful as a sounding board, advisor, facilitator, and chair. I also work alongside Susan on a board (non-profit) and she provides calmness, leadership, structure and far sightedness there also.”
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