Summary of TouchPoints

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  • Innovative
  • Applicable


You can become a great leader if you take to heart the message and the methods of Campbell Soup Company president and CEO Douglas Conant and executive management training consultant Mette Norgaard. They describe an innovative leadership model based on making the most of “TouchPoints,” those seemingly innocuous but quite powerful interpersonal events that pepper the daily lives of corporate leaders. Many executives resent “pesky” interruptions, but the authors reframe them as golden opportunities for leaders to move their strategic agendas forward via personal connections with their employees. Conant and Norgaard based their approach on the philosophy of “leading in the moment” that Conant developed and used to turn Campbell’s around when it was distressed. getAbstract recommends their book to executives seeking a workable model for creating and honing a personal leadership style.

About the Authors

Douglas Conant is president and CEO of Campbell Soup Company. Mette Norgaard is a training consultant who works with executive management.



“The Action Is in the Interaction”

Leaders often make the mistake of trying to minimize or eliminate the “pesky” interruptions that plague them on a daily or even hourly basis. Instead of seeing these interactions as impediments, leaders should embrace them as the kind of contact that is at the core of their responsibilities and as “opportunities to influence” everyone they meet. Each encounter represents a priceless opening to connect directly with another person, to everyone’s benefit. No matter how small, every TouchPoint interaction offers a new occasion “to influence, guide, provide clarity, inspire, create a sense of urgency and shape the course of events.”

TouchPoints can happen one-on-one, with a few people or in a large group. They can be as short as a few minutes, or they can stretch into several days or longer. Whether “planned or spontaneous, casual or carefully choreographed,” TouchPoints happen in the commissary, in a corridor, on the production floor, in the conference room, or via telephone, email, or text message. All TouchPoints contain three variables that overlap:

  1. “The issue” – Questions, problems, or decisions...

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