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William C. Byham, Ph.D.

DDI Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Bill Byham is cofounder, chairman, and CEO of Development Dimensions International (DDI), an internationally renowned human resource training and consulting company. Prior to the founding of DDI in 1970, Bill was manager of selection, appraisal, and general management development for J.C. Penney.

Bill has pioneered important human resource technologies that have had a significant impact on global organizations. These technologies include: the assessment center method, behavior-based interviewing, behavioral job analysis methodology, results-based employee and management training and development, empowerment, Retirement ManagementSM and Acceleration Pool® as a method of succession management. These technologies have been described in 23 books and more than 200 monographs and articles.

Education and Credentials

  • Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Purdue University
  • 2007 Honorary Degree, Doctor of Social Sciences from Purdue University
  • M.S. and B.S. from Ohio University
  • Fellow, American Psychological Association
  • Member, American Society for Training and Development
  • Member, Instructional Systems Association (past president)
  • Member, Society for Human Resource Management
  • Diplomate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, American Board of Professional Psychology

Key Capabilities and Experience

Bill's recent recognition includes:

  • Inc. magazine (March 2003), Adam Hanft wrote: "What Tom Peters is to excellence and Jim Collins is to leadership, William C. Byham might very well be to hiring."
  • HR Innovator magazine (July/August 2003), Matt Damsker wrote that "In the HR world, William C. Byham is as much a legendary innovator as he is a top-line dynamo."
  • Lifelong Learning Market Report named Bill Byham one of the top 20 people to watch in corporate training in 2003.
  • Recruiter Magazine online named Bill Byham as one of the top 100 most influential people in the recruiting industry for 2003.

Bill's professional accomplishments include:

  • Co-founding DDI in with Dr. Douglas Bray in 1970.
  • Championing the application of the assessment center method worldwide. He wrote the first popular article on the assessment center method, which appeared in the Harvard Business Review in 1970. He has been the thought leader of the methodology ever since. He has co-authored two books and has written more than 60 articles, book chapters, and monographs on the subject. He published the first catalog of the assessment center exercises in 1970, and founded the International Congress on Assessment Center Methods in 1973. Each year DDI assesses more than 5,000 people for organizations.
  • Developing the first behavior-based interviewing system, Targeted Selection®, in 1970. The Targeted Selection® interviewing system is available in 10 languages and used by more than 3,000 organizations, including many of the world's largest organizations. He has championed behavior-based interviewing in books such as the Selection Solution:  Solving the Mystery of Matching People to Jobs and Landing the Job You Want:  How to Have the Best Job Interview of Your Life, and in more than 40 monographs and articles.
  • Writing the first book on the implications on Equal Employment Opportunity law and other legal constraints on personnel testing and selection, The Law and Personnel Testing (co-authored with Morton Spitzer). He has served as an expert witness in several federal court cases involving EEO issues.
  • Co-developing the first commercially available leadership training programs using behavior modeling, Interaction Management®, in 1975. More than 20 million people have learned their leadership skills in Interaction Management® programs.
  • Co-authoring of Zapp!® The Lightning of Empowerment, a seminal book about empowerment. It has been a business best seller since its publication in 1988 and has sold more than 3.5 million copies. Zapp! was named the number one business book of the 1990-2000 decade by other CEO readers. Dr. Byham has also adapted this book for educators, health care professionals and service providers.
  • Helping to make teams and teamwork successful in organizations throughout the world, including co-authoring three books on teams (Empowered Teams: Creating Self-Directed Work Groups that Improve Quality, Productivity, and Participation; Leadership Trapeze: Strategies for Leadership in Team-Based Organizations; and Inside Teams:  How 20 World Class Organizations are Winning Through Teamwork). He also helped to develop DDI programs to provide skills to organizations, employees and leaders as they move toward teams.
  • Encouraging the expansion of employee empowerment through his writings, speeches and programs including his best-selling business book, HeroZ™ -Empower Yourself, Your Co-workers, Your Company, which offers step-by-step techniques to make jobs more enjoyable and rewarding.
  • Devising new methods of succession management that dramatically depart from conventional replacement planning techniques. To promulgate his ideas, he has published articles and co-authored the book, Grow Your Own Leaders®.
  • Making multirater (360°) feedback more effective in creating on-the-job behavior change through the development of training programs for feedback recipients and their managers and through his book, What Now?
  • Introducing a strategy for retaining older workers through Retirement Management®, which is chronicled in 70: The New 50.
  • Writing the handbook for expatriates in ChinaLeadership Success in China: An Expatriate’s Guide.
  • DDI was named one of the top 10 Best Companies to Work for in America by SHRM and the Great Place to Work Institute.

Bill has received numerous awards including:

  • 2013 Innovation Award for Continuous Development of Assessment Center Methods, 3rd National Congress Assessment Center, Indonesia
  • 2013 Legacy Award (outstanding contribution to the science, practice and organization of assessment centers), South African Assessment Center Study Group
  • 2012 H.J. Zoffer Medal for Meritorious Service Award from University of Pittsburgh
  • 2007 Entrepreneur of the Year award from Washington & Jefferson College
  • 2003 Distinguished Alumni Award from Ohio University, College of Arts and Sciences
  • 2002 The Excellence 100 Top 50 Award, given to the top 50 trainers, consultants, authors, and speakers by Executive Excellence Magazine
  • 2002 Instructional Systems Association (ISA) Thought Leadership Award.recognizing an individual whose advocacy, commitment or action in support of work-related learning and performance has influenced audiences and organizations.
  • 2001 Golden Achievement Award, Junior Achievement of Southwest Pennsylvania
  • 2000 Small Business News Pittsburgh Pacesetter, Leaders for the New Millennium
  • 2000 Liberal Arts Alumni of the Year, Purdue University