Research, teaching and impact on business
An expert in corporate transformation, O'Neill explores why some declining companies turn things around while other firms keep spiraling downward. He studies how organizations cope with changing markets, economic conditions and technologies.
Similarly, he looks at how people inside declining companies cope with change. Listening to "the voices of survivors," he groups such workers into two categories -"victims of decline" and "agents of transformation." He then teaches managers how to be "change masters" who can respond quickly in a turbulent economy and shift direction if their actions prove faulty.
The key, he says, is "intelligent experimentation," or learning how to "fail fast." He also urges managers to be proactive, and to help others respond to change on their terms. way.
Most important thing for a new student to know about UNC Kenan-Flagler:
O'Neill suggests that incoming students define their purpose for attending business school. He also urges them to put their heart and soul into their studies. "The learning is going to require participation and self-direction," he says.
A New York native, O'Neill enjoys traveling to other cities and locales when he gets the chance. But mostly, he says, "I like to teach."