September 12, 2022 – Walking the Talk, a consulting and advisory firm focused on culture transformation which was acquired last year by ZRG, has named Amanda Fajak as president of Walking the Talk North America.
Ms. Fajak has been a core member of the leadership team at Amsterdam-based Walking the Talk for 10 years, advising C-suite leaders in dozens of organizations from start-ups to large global businesses. She was integral in growing the firm’s European business and developing Walking the Talk’s suite of products. She has over 25 years of experience working with leaders on organizational culture.
“Having Amanda on this side of the Atlantic helps us deliver better synergies for our clients,” said Larry Hartmann, CEO of ZRG. “Walking the Talk has been a wonderful addition to our company, and we are all excited to work more closely with Amanda and the team here.”
Ms. Fajak has a master’s degree in organizational behavior from the University of London and has been published in the British Journal of Social Psychology on the topic of diversity and inclusion. Additionally, she was a contributor to the World Book of Values and has served as an advisor to the U.K. government on culture.
“I am excited about the opportunity to combine our expert and practical approach with global expertise and digital solutions to enable many more North American organizations to transform their culture,” said Ms. Fajak.
ZRG acquired Walking the Talk last summer in a deal in which Hunt Scanlon Ventures facilitated the introduction and transaction between both organizations. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Walking the Talk specializes in enhancing performance results by aligning culture with strategy. Since the company was established 12 years ago, culture has landed firmly on the agenda of most executive teams and boards of directors.
As pioneers in this field, understanding the impact culture has on growth, performance, and reputation, Walking the Talk has grown to become the largest consulting firm solely focused on the culture agenda. The firm operates globally and has supported clients on dozens of engagements, which can last anywhere from a few months to a few years.
“Hiring top talent that aligns with a client’s culture objective has been a key success factor for ZRG,” said Mr. Hartmann at the time of the acquisition. “With the addition of Walking the Talk, we will expand our consulting and talent solutions capabilities, helping our clients address challenging topics like change management and culture transformation. Walking the Talk’s intellectual property developed by Carolyn Taylor (CEO of Walking the Talk) and the team will enhance our ability to understand, measure, and assess culture contribution at multiple levels. We see great power in the combination of our two businesses,” he said.
A Big Bet
“It used to be that organizations synchronized their leadership to corporate vision, mission, core values, and strategic objectives,” said Scott A. Scanlon, CEO of Greenwich, Conn-based Hunt Scanlon Ventures. “But in the wake of COVID-19, permanent, systemic changes to the workplace have forced a more holistic approach built around culture. This acquisition is a big bet on the coming realignment.”
ZRG quickly began incorporating Walking the Talk’s intellectual property and cultural insights into its Zi platform. This new and improved combined tool kit enables ZRG to bring more rigor, more data and more thoughtfulness to each client’s hiring decisions.
“We see tremendous opportunity to continue to expand our service offerings globally as part of ZRG,” said Ms. Taylor. “We intend to use our expertise in the field of culture, behavior and mindset to enhance ZRG’s ability to select the best candidates for clients, evaluating their contribution to the client’s culture goals.”
“Now, as a key component of the ZRG team we will be in a better position to meet emerging client needs,” Ms. Taylor said. “It will be exciting to see our advisory work extend into hiring, in a measured way.”
ZRG, founded in 1999, is a progressive mid-sized global executive search firm and one of the fastest growing in the search industry. It provides a full suite of executive, middle-management, and customized search solutions through its offices in North America, Europe, South America and Asia. The firm finds leaders across a broad spectrum of business markets, including aerospace, consumer, education, healthcare services and solutions, industrial, life sciences, non-profit, private equity and venture capital, and technology.
Related: ZRG Acquires Walking the Talk
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media