Notes on leadership and innovation from 2010 World Business Forum (my notes)


Recently I was honored to have been able to attend The World Business Forum, an annual business conference featuring some of today’s most influential business and leadership luminaries. The event, held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, featured 18+ speakers – including Al Gore, Jack Welch, Vijay Govindarajan, and Charlene Li – covering a range of business topics from social media to innovation to government. As a featured blogger – along with writers from The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post – I watched and listened for two days as global business leaders shared their insights on stage. I’ve outlined portions of my speaker notes for you to read below. You can also read through the archive of on-the-spot tweets from myself and fellow attendees in the #WBF10 Twitter stream for more context.

Jim Collins on sustaining great results

The 5 levels of leadership

  1. The highly capable individual
  2. Contributing team member
  3. Competent manager
  4. Effective Leader
  5. Level 5 executive

- Leadership only exists if people have the power to not follow

- To much opportunity can kill a company more than a lack of opportunity

- Good executives must have the abiity to pick the right people for the right seats

- Most overnights success are 20 years in the making


Bill McDermott on winning in the new reality

- You need compelling vision for business

- You can tell everything about a CEO by their executive secretary

- The best run businesses have connected enterprise (IT)


Jack Welch on management

- The team that owns the best players wins

- The internet is the Viagra of big business

- Companies spend too much time with the bottom 20% achievers than the top 10%


Carlos Brito on building a performance culture

- Great people = Great companies

- Great people like meritocracies

- Without meritocracy, great people will leave because they have opptions, and weak people will stay because they don’t

- Create a culture of owners


Charlene Li on social networks

- You can’t have a strategy about Facebook

- Social technologies are about relationships

- We overvalues things we can measure, and undervalue what we can’t


Martin Lindstrom on marketing

- Removing a logo is just as powerful

- 83% of brands communicate with only one sense


Joseph Grenny in influence

- Grenny’s law of leadership: No strategy is so brilliant that people can’t render it useless

- Culture and behaviour are a good way to influence business success

- Influencers succeed because they overdetermine success

Six sources of influence

  1. Influence of pain or pleasure of behaviour
  2. Influence of skill
  3. Influence social networks
  4. Influence with power of crowds
  5. Influence of cost and incentives
  6. Influence with environment

David Gergen on leadership

- Blogs make it harder on Washington

- General Petraues is a good leader; combines accessibility with a chain of command


Steve Levitt on freakonomics

- The Best ideas are the simplest

- Regression analysis help economists see patterns

- Microeconomics in business can be important

- In a complex world, if you set up complex rules, people will game it

- If you want to succeed and you have no special talent, find the most niche topic and become an expert in it


Joseph Stiglitz on the economy

- During economic downturn, the poeple who needed to fix the economy probably too vested in maintaining it

- The White House doesn’t hate business, see the bank bail-outs


A.G. Lafley on customer centric growth

- Inventions are not innovative until it becomes commercial

Essence for creative innovation

  1. Openness
  2. Curiosity
  3. Connecting
  4. Collaboration
  5. Courage

Renee Mauborgne on strategy

- Management should spend more time on creativity rather than productivity


Vijay Govindarajan on innovation

- The 3 boxes of management

- Manage the present

- Selectively abandon the past

- Create the future


James Cameron on creativity

His creative process

  1. Do story treatment
  2. Get graphic designers to visualize story
  3. Write script
  4. Cast actors
  5. Produce and edit movie

As I mentioned before read through the The World Business Forum tweets for more context to my notes. You can also view some video highlights of the conference and read what some of my fellow bloggers wrote at the official Bloggers Hub. Hope to see you at the 2011 edition of the World Business Forum