World Business Forum 2011 - Introduction

Last month, I had the opportunity to join a group of my peers in New York City for the World Business Forum annual session, produced by HSM Global. I attended this conference for my own personal and professional development. Most conferences I attend, I’m interacting with clients and prospective customers in the higher ed and health care space. I thought this might be a good opportunity to see what’s going on in the wider business community.

As it turns out, there was a more important reason for me to attend this particular event: so many of the concepts that came together over these two days are part of a conversation that is largely not occurring in the higher ed and health care space right now. Creative leadership from the top, collaboration and teamwork, understanding our core customer; each of these takes a backseat to political struggles and strategic planning initiatives that risk looking backward far more than looking ahead.

The World Business Forum in so many ways was a port in the storm for me, a sign that while our intentions are good, we have so much more work to do together to ensure that our institutions are are ready to transform, to tackle the most difficult issues successfully, and to serve our most important core customers: the leaders of the future.

In the month that has passed since the event, I’ve had the chance to stop and reflect on key concepts and learnings. As I begin to integrate these lessons into my own work, I’d like to share a few of the stories of these leaders with you. Through this series of posts here on the blog, I will walk through the key lessons of eleven of the keynote presenters from the WBF stage including:

[twocol_one]Bill George Malcolm Gladwell Tal Ben-Shahar Ben Zander Howard Schultz

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[twocol_one_last]Patrick Lencioni Tamara Erickson Claudio Fernandez-Araoz Jack Welch Seth Godin

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In many cases, I’ve read their books. For some, I’m a regular reader of their writing online. For few, I’ve never had the opportunity to cross paths with the ideas they shared with us over those two days. But for each of them, I can now say they have rightfully earned their position as influential leader, and that they have taken the time to share their ideas on transformational leadership with our forum is a gift to us all.

It is my hope that this series of posts provides a brief framework for discussion, and that the notes I share here will provide you a launchpad for leadership through change in your own organizations.