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Leading Ahead of What’s Next – The New Rules of Business

NAVIGATING DISRUPTION, UNCERTAINTY: MANAGING, LEADING AND COMPETING

“Leading Ahead of What’s Next – The New Rules of Business”

The whole world of business is changing in historic and profound ways – technological disruption, government’s role, and the balance of global economic power are shifting massively — and it’s happening fast! While political winds may blow toward restrictions on trade and immigration, the trends powering the friction-free economy are technological and going strong. Competing and winning in business today requires extraordinary leadership at every level of the organization. Colvin has a unique perspective rooted in long-standing relationships with the world’s top leaders in business and government. He knows what they’re seeing, thinking, and planning and reveals how they’re leading, making choices, and responding to today’s challenges in ways that others can learn from. A unifying theme as the economy transforms is that in almost every business, barriers to entry are coming down. Geoff’s message is optimistic and energizing: Opportunity is more widely available than ever. Every organization, and every person, can possess the 21st Century’s most valuable assets – openness to new ideas, ingenuity, and imagination.

Some of what Colvin sees the best performers doing now:

-They’re creating new business models, often light on traditional capital and heavy on innovative ideas. Today’s winning new models take advantage of a friction-free economy in which labor, information, and money move easily, cheaply, and almost instantly. Every company will have to become better at creating value in innovative ways, or lose out to competitors that do so, often with capital-light, Internet-enabled business models.

-They’re integrating all the parts of the business to create great total customer experiences. That’s what every company wants to do, of course, but most fall short. They rarely (or never) bring together the people who actually create the elements of the customer experience, instead holding high-level meetings of cost and revenue managers who oversee the creators. The result is always frustratingly sub-optimal. By contrast, top performers are devising new management models to bring out the best that’s inside every company.

-They’re building human capital, which has become the most valuable asset in every kind of business. That means developing employees, especially future leaders, confident that the investment will pay off not just in better performance but also in attracting and keeping higher-caliber employees – a virtuous circle. It also means embracing the extraordinary power of culture, shaping it deliberately and carefully.

-They’re developing the new high-value skills of deep personal interaction. As technology advances and takes over more of the work previously done by people, the way that humans add value is changing like never before. The traditionally important linear, logical, left-brain skills remain important, but they’re the skills that machines do better every day. Top companies in every industry are focusing instead on right-brain skills of human relationships – empathy, creative collaboration, even storytelling – as the new keys to creating high value.