CHL’s agenda is driven by member CEOs and focuses on the issues that matter most to their organizations’ long-term success. We support members of the higher ambition community as they seek to: Build higher performing organizations, develop purposeful leaders, amplify collective social impact, and transform management practice.


CEOs discuss “The Purpose of the Corporation” at a New York City
Zeynep Ton, MIT Sloan School of Management, Leads a Discussion at
CHL’s CEO Summit in Boston

Build Higher Performing Organizations

CHL connects, convenes and catalyzes leaders from its member companies to share and advance the distinctive practices of high performing higher ambition organizations.

CEO Summit. The CEO Summit is CHL’s signature event. It provides an annual opportunity for the CEOs in the higher ambition community to reconnect, reflect and gain insight with peers on the challenges and opportunities of leading a purpose-driven enterprise. Now in its sixth year, the theme for the 2019 Summit is “Realizing Purpose, Delivering Performance.”

CHRO Community. Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs) are the natural partner to the CEO in building mission- critical higher ambition leadership and organizational capabilities. At CHRO Summits, leaders engage in a strategic dialogue with their CEOs and their peers on the opportunities and challenges for senior human resource leaders within higher ambition organizations.

Metrics and Performance Management Initiative. Higher Ambition companies must measure and optimize not only financial returns, but also other critical but less tangible assets such as culture and stakeholder trust and engagement. Given the central importance and unique challenges for Higher Ambition companies in establishing the right metrics and performance management processes, CHL will launch a focused initiative in 2019 in this area—identifying shared issues, leading practices, and key success factors.

Higher Ambition Practice Innovation Workshops. CHL sponsors collaborative workshops led-by world-class thought leaders to help member companies accelerate practice and performance in areas most central to their success.  Planned workshops for this year include: “Building a Higher Ambition Employee and Customer Value Proposition and Brand,”  facilitated by Mark Bonchek, Founder Shift Thinking and “Implementing the ‘Good Jobs Strategy’,”  facilitated by Professor  Zeynep Ton, MIT Sloan School.


Develop Purposeful Leaders

Through the Higher Ambition Leadership Institute (HALI) CHL members develop their next generation of senior leaders and cultivate the distinctive capabilities required to lead a purpose- and values-driven enterprise.

Advanced Leadership Course. Available exclusively for CHL members, this highly selective and intensive program was created to support the development of the future corporate leadership of member companies. Directed by former Campbell Soup Company CEO Doug Conant, and featuring other highly-regarded CEOs and educators, this experience is a master class on higher ambition leadership. It provides an opportunity for an organization’s highest performing and potential higher ambition leaders to hone and refine their craft as members of a learning community with their peers.

Currently running our seventh cohort. The eighth cohort will run March 2019 – March 2020.

Internal Company Programs. CHL is currently partnering with several member companies to leverage the core principles and content of the Higher Ambition Leadership Institute as part of their internal company leadership development programs.

Alumni Community. The HALI Alumni are a mission critical strategic asset for their companies—in their leadership roles and as partners with their CEOs in building their companies’ higher ambition leadership capabilities and cultures. CHL provides a range of supports for the Alumni including an annual reunion and an active online community.


Amplify Collective Social Impact

CHL member CEOs are taking the lead in connecting and convening their peers to exponentially amplify positive social impact at the community and regional levels.

CEO Leadership Alliance: Orange County.  A group of committed CHL CEOs in Orange County, California are an emerging center of excellence for social impact. Working together with community leaders to solve the most complex issues in the county, they are demonstrating the positive, catalytic role that business can play at the regional level. The Alliance is starting with a focus on reducing childhood hunger and the creation of high-paying jobs that will provide a living wage in their region.

The National CEO Community Leadership Alliance. In addition to their local leadership efforts, CHL CEOs are reaching out to their peers in communities and regions around the country. At a time of national gridlock on fundamental social issues, they are mobilizing a national network of CEOs to drive social innovation and accelerate progress at the regional and community level. The Alliance will officially launch in the Fall of 2020 with a CEO Summit hosted by the CEO Leadership Alliance: Orange County. This and subsequent annual summits will bring together CEOs to:

  • Share best practices around the collective work of community leadership e.g., Engaging and mobilizing key stakeholders, establishing shared goals and metrics, delivering value and building momentum.
  • Sponsor outcome-driven, cross-geographic communities of practice to accelerate innovation and progress around the cross-cutting “building blocks” for healthy community development—such as early childhood development, nutrition, workforce development, and housing.

Transform Management Practice

Through documenting and sharing real-world practice and research with industry leaders, we are advancing a new corporate model for sustainably delivering economic and social value.

Shaping the Future of Management and the Next Generation of Leaders. Case studies featuring higher ambition executives and organizations are shaping the future in MBA and college classrooms. CHL Fellows and our academic partners are generating a stream of important cases, articles, and papers that provide business leaders with the insights and the tools to thrive as part of a new paradigm for creating sustainable business and social value.   

Advancing Higher Ambition Practice and Knowledge. CHL supports an ongoing agenda of rigorous research to enable purpose and values-driven leaders to separate emerging breakthrough practices from passing management fads. Current initiatives include:

  • Drawing on more than 90 in-depth interviews and multiple workshops with leaders across the private equity landscape, several CHL executive fellows from the PE industry have identified and documented a model for pursuing Higher Ambition Leadership in Private Equity. It includes unique governance practices, CEO leadership requirements, and non-traditional metrics that reflect both financial performance and contributions to society.
  • From its base at Chalmers University, CHL Europe is serving as a center for Innovation in Higher Ambition Practice. CHL Europe provides members a range of innovative offerings including:
    • The opportunity for in depth action-learning partnerships as “transformational partners”
    • The annual CHL Europe Summit for leaders of transformational change