A potpourri of international CEOs, a Nobel prize winner, management visionary and Bill Clinton.
The bloggers hub got off to a slow start the morning of day 2 due in part to a tasty and lively bloggers dinner the night before. Nevertheless, we were treated to another action packed day capped off by an address by Bill Clinton.
Globalization 2.0 – An Interdependent Economic and Ecological Geo-System
The first part of the day lived up to its billing…International Insights. The morning was rich with non-stop presentations, perspectives and insights from a wonderful cross section of top executives from some of the biggest and best global powerhouse companies.
- Roger Agnelli – CEO of Vale, Brazil
- Morris Chang – CEO of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing
- Peter Voser – CEO of Shell,
- Dennis Nally – CEO of Price Waterhouse Coopers
These guys are good! And, one blindingly obvious observation. They were all guys. Irene Rosenfeld, the CEO of Kraft who would present in the afternoon, was the sole female featured corporate executive addressing the Forum. The glass ceiling endures. (More about that in a future article)
These common themes permeated their presentations:
- Unprecedented Inter-connectedness and Co-dependence
- Glimmers of Improvement and Movement
- A Permanently Changed (for the better) Financial Game
- China Rising, Rising and Rising
- Emerging Markets As “Lead Markets”
- The Environment – We’re all in this together.
In the afternoon, Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize Winning Economist, helped put all of this into an overall economic context with his view of what the future holds for the global economy. Even I understood most of what he presented.
Gary Hamel and Management Innovation
Like most people, when I hear the word Management my energy level drops and I brace myself for a pretty flat, buzz word filled, old school lecture about management principles.
Wow! Was I wrong. Gary Hamel delivered a riveting, energetic, forward thinking talk with an inspiring vision of the future of management. One of the best, thought provoking, aspirational wake-up calls I’ve ever experienced.
People Tech. He sees Management as technology that moves people to get things made and done while driving efficiency and efficacy. Mr. Hamel believes that innovations in management have enabled the great leaps forward in business. Unfortunately, the management innovations and advances that have served us so well in the past are just “table stakes” for the future. A quantum leap in management innovation is urgent and essential for future progress.
This is being driven by a shift from a knowledge economy to a creative economy that demands challenges to current dogmas. He laid out an impressive array of possible innovations, visions and scenarios that could serve as future models . It’s impossible to do justice to all the great concepts Mr. Hamel discussed in this short article. These are a few of his big shift concepts for management technology that can “up the ante” on the current table stakes. They are all fundamentally rooted in Asset-Based Thinking.
- Unleash the creative content of every job through employee passion. Obedience, diligence, intellect, expertise are now commodities and costs of entry. Move beyond initiative to creativity.
- Create a work climate and organization that fosters a sense of purpose and inspires people to bring their individual passions to work every day. These are “gifts” that cannot be commanded or demanded.
- A new mental mindset that redefines and re-frames control and authority…manage from the fringe not the center. Management should ask itself “how would I get things done if I had no positional authority and sanctions?”. The answer. Authority comes from adding value…not position.
- Stop Testing. Start Experimenting. Experiments liberate people. Building portfolios of radical experiments will help build organizational firepower.
Mr. Hamel closed with question that he asked us to think about. “Isn’t it It’s weird that our organizations are less human, adaptable, resilient and engaging than we are as individuals?” Mr. Hamel believes that’s because we impose an overlay of management 1.0 technology. To be fit for the future companies must be fit for human beings. That’s Management 2.0.
If you can buy only one video lecture from the World Business Forum, this is it.
Irene Rosenfeld and Leading Transformational Change
As the only female CEO delivering a featured address Irene Rosenfeld stood out. More importantly she stepped up and stood out as a CEO on mission of leading change that is transforming one of the World’s largest consumer products companies.
Confident, cool and comfortable in her role as change agent, Ms. Rosenfeld took us on her now almost three year journey of turnaround and change at Kraft that started with listening.
These were her Rules of the Road that guided the changes at Kraft.
First. Get the right people on the bus. Raise the performance bar, identify those that can reach it and build an optimistic team.
Next. Give everyone a clear picture of the destination and the rewards that await them.
Then. Give people a roadmap to help them get there.
The Roadmap encompassed these strategies that are based on classic Asset-Based Thinking principles.
- Engage peoples’ hearts and minds around aspirations. Shift from cutting cost to growth. Create a sense of higher purpose with shared hopes and dreams. Their new mantra. “Make Life Delicious”
- Move Quickly. Tell the truth fast, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable. In hindsight you wish you would have moved sooner.
- Communicate frequently, consistently and honestly.
- Celebrate success publicly and often. More about triumphs than trials
As with most transformations, they seem simple in hindsight but very difficult at the time of execution.
Bill Clinton and Being A Committed Global Private Citizen
There is only one Bill Clinton. He owns the room and connects and lands on everyone in the audience. Mr. Clinton covered a wide range of topics and is in total command of each subject he touches. I could never do justice to Mr. Clinton’s remarks and observations so I thought it best to provide a perspective on some of his more personal commentary and advice that hit home with me.
One is immediately struck by how very comfortable Mr. Clinton is with his place in the world as a private citizen working on things that are both important to him and the world. He takes pride in his work and is thoroughly enjoying it. Mr. Clinton’s simple message…each and every one of us, in our own way, could feel the same sense of fulfillment and pride by doing what we believe in, giving back and taking action. He echoed a similar Asset-Based Thinking message that permeated the Day 1 sessions. Find your “Mighty Cause” and give it your personal brand of attention and action.
He recounted that government and public service primarily focused on answering two questions…what are you going to do and how much are you going to spend on it. But the more important third question is ignored or given short shrift. How will what you do benefit peoples’ lives…one by one, group by group, community by community.
Answering and addressing this “How” question is where he is placing virtually all of his attention, getting the most results and deriving his greatest satisfaction.
At the end of his talk when Mr. Clinton was asked what advice he would give future leaders he said this. “Leaders have to understand people, not just policy. They must be empowered–not paralyzed–by this understanding,”
Now that’s some Presidential advice worth leading by.
Then the lights went down, the hall was emptied and the stage was being set for something even better. The Rockettes.