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Purpose & Vision: Overcoming Trump’s Fear-Driven Capitalism, Part 2



Photo credits:  „Eye“: http://tinyurl.com/y8gb8h4b. “Fear“: http://tinyurl.com/y8gtw3wj.

Photo credits: „Eye“: http://tinyurl.com/y8gb8h4b. “Fear“: http://tinyurl.com/y8gtw3wj.

Trump’s economic policies are starkly different from his predecessors and deviates from mainstream economics and political thinking.  Take, for example, his massive tax cuts for the corporate world or his initiated trade wars.  Just by looking at recent economic numbers and the booming stock market his policies seem to pay off and open a new era of economic prosperity.  But do they really?

Long-term market performance indices and forecasts tell a different story.  Shareholder buybacks and alike contribute nothing to building a solid foundation for future business success.  They yield short-term benefits and the party is on.  But, for how long?  Where does it lead to?  Has big money finally succeeded and overtaken economic and political thinking?  How sustainable is this short-term growth? Who benefits, who loses?  And, last but not least, what kind of answers does it provide to today’s global challenges that are becoming more and more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous?  What if Trump’s favored form of capitalism leads to a dead end?!

As explained in a previous post, I am more than skeptical about the outlook of traditional capitalism.

Fact is that traditional capitalism does not answer today’s challenges in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) world, widens the gap between rich and poor, exploits and threatens to destroy our environment and thus our own planet.  What we need is a different, a new business paradigm that not only helps find solutions to today’s problems but can also serve as guidance to sustainable business in the 21stcentury.

In this article I explain why and how purpose-driven human business can make a huge difference.  It differs significantly from the classical business paradigm.  At the same time it has built-in bridges every business can cross to build a sustainable future.

Maximizing Shareholder Value: Engine for Growth?

There is one and only one responsibility of business: to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game.

– Milton Friedman

No doubt, Milton Friedman and shareholder value theory has shaped Western business since the 1970s.  It has led to tremendous wealth of companies as well as societies, even though the fruits of this growth have not been distributed equally.

And, Milton is still very much alive as Steve Denning points out in a Forbes article.  He explains that “in 1990, an article in HBRby Michael Jensen and Kevin Murphy, gave shareholder value thinking a new push. The article, “CEO Incentives—It’s Not How Much You Pay, But How” suggested that CEOs were being paid like bureaucrats. Instead, they should be paid with significant amounts of stock so that their interests would be aligned with stockholders. Thereafter, the use of the phrase ‘maximize shareholder value’ exploded and CEOs became very entrepreneurial — but in their own cause,not necessarily their firm’s cause.”

Denning continues stating that “by 2017, shareholder value thinking was everywhere. Joseph Bower andLynn S. Paine reported in Harvard Business Reviewthat shareholder value thinking “is now pervasive in the financial community and much of the business world.” It had led to a set of behaviors by many actors on a wide range of topics, “from performance measurement and executive compensation to shareholder rights, the role of directors, and corporate responsibility.”

Acknowledging shareholder value thinking is prevalent in today’s business world, and a booming stock exchange market, what’s so wrong about it?!  Why change a winning formula?!

On the face of it, shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world.
– Jack Welch

Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, had been heralded as one of THE proponent of maximizing shareholder value.  This is in contrast to what he has been preaching since he left GE, stating „On the face of it, shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world.“ Welch also pointed out several times that „shareholder value is a result, not a strategy . . . Your main constituencies are your employees, your customers and your products.“

So far so good.  But what about business performance in the market place?

According to the 2009 Shift Index of Deloitte’s Center for the Edge there is conclusive proof of failure of traditional management.  Accordingly

  • The rate of return on assets has fallen by 75% since 1965
  • The life expectancy of Fortune 500 firms is down to 15 years, and is heading towards 5 years.
  • Only 1 in 5 workers fully engaged

Preserving the performance of a status quo may be laudable.  Yet, it doesn’t secure lasting, sustainable business.  The opposite is true.  Mariana Mazzucato  explains that „shareholder value theory – the destructive idea that companies should be run solely for the benefit of shareholders – has led to financialized businesses that do not invest in the areas that will lead to future growth or the invention of useful new products.“

In short, traditional businesses infiltrated by shareholder value theory not only ignores long-term perspectives, they also risk their own future existence.  Myopia at its best.

Stuck in the past

In face of this evidence why do so many companies still stick to a business paradigm of the past?

There are lots of reasons for clinging to this pastime.  Let’s have a look at two of them:

  1. For one, it is convenient.  Governance in most businesses still built on the old business paradigm, along with complicated incentive system for individual and company performance at the stock market.  Changing these processes and culture takes ages.  Why change it given that those who would have to make the call for a change personally benefit from the old system?
    Linking maximizing shareholder ‘value’ to personal compensation blinds managers from the real world – and most of them don’t even realize it because they were born blind or lost eyesight early in their childhood (or education). From this perspective, they live out their DNA. I guess, you can’t even blame them for their upbringing shaped their belief system. They were indoctrinated.
  2. A second reason for favoring existing belief systems is that proponents of the status quo simply don’t see any real alternative at hand.  Thinking in complicated, elaborate governance structures and processes implies that there needs to be an even more complicated system? There is simply no time to address this, even less so, coming up with new ideas that improve existing processes.

As long as this reasoning prevails, it is difficult to change anything until it may be too late.  Alas, it is not that complicated at all.  Let’s have a look at the opposite of the traditional business paradigm of short-term profits and shareholder value theory.  It’s called purpose-driven business.

MVP’s for doing business in the 21stcentury

A purpose-driven business follows a compass that gives a clear direction for the future of the business.  The compass also indicates where the business is coming from, i.e., why it is business in the first place.   Both, the motivation and the vision of a business constitute the credo of its practice. I call this the MVP of a purpose-driven business whereas stands for motivation, for visionand for practice.

For example, Johnson & Johnson’s company credo is engraved in granite at the entry to company headquarters, which makes crystal clear that customers are first, then employees, and shareholders absolutely last.

Another example is Procter & Gamble which declares in its purpose statement: ‘We will provide branded products and services of superior quality and value that improve the lives of the world’s consumers, now and for generations to come. As a result, consumers will reward us with leadership sales, profit and value creation, allowing our people, our shareholders and the communities in which we live and work to prosper.’

On this token, a business that has forgotten or neglects its motivation or vision for short-term gains, such as maximizing daily stock prices, may just as well be digging its own grave in the long-run.  It is anything but a purpose-driven business.

Human business is purpose-driven business

Facing the increasing number of challenges in our volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world, Human Business addresses today’s challenges.  It focuses on serving and delighting its customers, workforce, business, and society.  And it does so holistically and puts us as humans in its center.  That is, it constantly seeks ways and means to generate and add sustainable value to its customers, workforce, business, and society.  From this perspective human business follows three elementary principles:

  1. Delight your customer(s)
  2. Take care of your employees
  3. Build sustainable business value

(1) Delight your customer(s)

Having a customer focus is not new.  Peter Drucker, father of management thinker, explains that

There is only one valid definition of a business purpose: to create a customer.”

Alas, delighting a customer goes beyond creating or satisfying a customer. Delighting a customer implies that a business has a deep understanding of the needs, expectations and wishes of its customers and strives to fulfill and exceed them.  It seeks to build customers for life.  It reaches out to its customers, communicates with them, walks in their shoes and shows a sincere interest in them.  There are no quick fixes for this approach.  It is an attitude and belief system.

(2) Take care of your employees

Employees are not resources like products.  They are human beings and want to be treated as such.  A human business understands and practices this.  It shows

a sincere interest in the needs of their employees. It starts with a safe, secure and environmentally friendly work environment.  For employees to follow a direction you have to set it, share it and let your employees contribute to it. Let them become a part of it.

Dov Seidman states that „working with passion is an engine that is unbelievable. A person with drive and passion does three times the job of another person. But it is not so much the quantity of the job; that is not the point. The point is that they draw crowds; they have followers; they push, and lead, and so achieve much more.“ (Dov Seidman (2011). “How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything”, p.295, John Wiley & Sons)

(3) Build sustainable business value

Shareholder value is not identical to business value.  Business value comprises short-, mid- and long-term business concerns, interests and investments.  Business value is made up of a number of factors: the overall business performance and outlook, customer satisfaction ratings, market position, innovation performance, the skillset and turnover rate of the workforce, the attractiveness of the company as an employer of choice and many other factors.

Whereas the daily stock price is heavily influenced by quarterly results and a relative short time horizon into the future, business value is more than quarterly results.  Jeff Bezos clarifies why holding a long-term perspective is so important:  “If everything you do needs to work on a three-year time horizon, then you’re competing against a lot of people. But if you’re willing to invest on a seven-year time horizon, you’re now competing against a fraction of those people, because very few companies are willing to do that. Just by lengthening the time horizon, you can engage in endeavours that you could never otherwise pursue. At Amazon we like things to work in five to seven years. We’re willing to plant seeds, let them grow—and we’re very stubborn. We say we’re stubborn on vision and flexible on details.” (Source: “Jeff Bezos Owns the Web in More Ways Than You Think”. Interview with Steven Levy, www.wired.com. November 13, 2011.)

Last but not least, business value doesn’t only look at business numbers but includes corporate social responsibility, too. Klaus Schwab, founder and head of the World Economic Forum, explains that “corporate social responsibility is measured in terms of businesses improving conditions for their employees, shareholders, communities, and environment. But moral responsibility goes further, reflecting the need for corporations to address fundamental ethical issues such as inclusion, dignity, and equality.”

Human business as a compass for organizational excellence

Klaus Schwab’s wide view on business value summarizes what it means when we say that human business is holistic and human-centered and focuses on generating and adding sustainable value to its customers, workforce, business, and society. It serves as a business compass that helps optimize daily operationsand build and sustain organizational excellence.

Walking the Talk. Building a Human Economy

Art of New BusinessAt Motivate2B and The Art of New Business we are witnessing businesses that have made the transition to a human business.  And, we too, follow the principles of human business by ourselves. What else can we do?!  We walk the talk and invite you to do the same.  Please join us and share your stories.

Posted in: Agile, Future of Work, Human Business, Leadership, Sustainability, Uncategorized, WEF

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Open Forum Davos 2014: Changing the world, one panel discussion at a time


This year I have had the privilege to join a group of alumni of the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation and attend the Open Forum Davos .  We attended the following panel discussions:

TJ at WEF Open Forum2014 Kopie

Have a look at these video streams of the panel discussions below.  Luckily, in every panel discussion I had the chance to ask the panelists a question.  I cite the slot in the video where you can watch me asking the questions.

For a list of all WEF related posts, please select the News Category ‘WEF’ in the right navigation bar or click here.

Higher Education – Investment or Waste?

Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Yet today, the US has a trillion dollar student loan bubble and the graduate unemployment rate has reached 14%. With over 285,000 university graduates working at minimum wage in the US, many students are faced with buyer’s remorse. Is it time to reconsider whether a college degree is worth the investment?

Speakers: Angel Gurría, Sean C. Rush, Daphne Koller, Gianpiero Petriglieri, Zach Sims, David Callaway Themes: Education, Jobs, Open Forum

My question for Angel Gurria, Secretary General, Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD):

Youth unemployment is a very big issue in Europe.  On the other side, the OECD publishes the PISA report.  Interestingly, countries ranking very high in this report, don’t have the lower youth unemployment rate as the report might suggest.  Hence, isn’t it time to revisit and qualify the priorities and check and update the underlying assumptions of this report?

Listen to his answer at 1:05:00 in the video stream.

Read a previous post including an analysis of this panel discussion.

Immigration – Welcome or Not?

For over 200 million people, migrating to a foreign land represents the hope of a better life and valuable career experience. While viewed by some as an opportunity for development and a healthy source of skills on the job market, many people are concerned with irregular flows of migrants, the cost of integration and potential increase in criminal activity. With European migration on the rise, should governments improve their integration policies or impose barriers to entry?

Speakers: Kofi Annan, Peter D. Sutherland, Martin Schulz, William Lacy Swing, Wolfgang Lutz, Amy Rosen, Khalid Koser

My question for Kofi Annan, Chairman, Kofi Annan Foundation, Switzerland; United Nations Secretary General (1997-2006):

What projects do you have in mind that could help prevent a “brain drain” in African countries? 
What projects in Western Europe do you suggest that could help us become more sensible for “brain drain” in developing countries?

Listen to his answer at 0:41:03 in the video stream.

Ethical Capitalism – Worth a Try?

Capitalism lifted 1 billion people out of poverty in 20 years but, today, society is discontent. Some believe the neo-liberal capitalist model needs shaking up, and that regulators, supervisors and corporate governance managers have failed those they are meant to protect. Western economic and social crises are pointing to the bankruptcy of the capitalist model. Yet the question remains: What is the alternative?

Speakers: Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Martin Sorrell, Muhammad Yunus, Jasmine Whitbread, Stanley M. Bergman, Ignazio Visco, Zanny Minton Beddoes

My question for Martin Sorrell, CEO WPP, United Kingdom:

The government of Bhutan is using a Gross National Happiness Index.  How, do you think, can a “Happiness Index” change the discussion on ethical capitalism?”

Listen to his answer at 1:14:00 in the video stream.

Faith and Gender Equality – Mind the Gap

Women represent more than half of the world’s population. Yet, with enduring patriarchal traditions, women still do not have the same rights as men. Issues of reproductive rights and socially mandated roles in the family remain controversial. Considering the important role of faith in social and economic development, can religious bodies help rethink the role of women in society?

Speakers: Beth A. Brooke, Diarmuid Martin, Orzala Ashraf Nemat, Chris Seiple, Karnit Flug, Anne Mcelvoy

My question for Chris Seiple, President, Institute for Global Engagement:

The US is a strong proponent for faith and gender equality worldwide.  On the other side it seems that the US education system is moving backwards as reflected in the debate whether or not evolution or creationism should be taught in high schools. What is your view on it? Is this something we have to be afraid of?

Listen to his answer at 1:11:00 in the video stream.

The Secret Is Out – What’s Next for Switzerland?

Switzerland is known for its chocolate, watches and banking sector. But today, with traditional banking secrecy gone, the country has to reinvent itself to retain its competitive advantage. Can Switzerland use this shift to its advantage by creating new markets while continuing to benefit from its pharmaceutical, energy management and tourism industries?

Speakers: Jean-Claude Biver, Joseph Jimenez, Boris Collardi, Harry Hohmeister, Didier Burkhalter

My question for Didier Burkhalter, President of the Swiss Conferation and Minister of Foreign Affairs:

Mr. Bundespräsident, you are saying that all Swiss citizens are integrated in a project.  The question is:  what are the goals of this project?  What is the joint project vision?

Listen to his answer at 0:59:18 in the video stream.

 

Posted in: WEF

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‘Chairlift to Innovation’ concludes on a happy note


Today was Day 3 of the workshop “Chairlift to Innovation”.  We took easy today and reviewed and refined the results of Day 1 and Day 2.

Bottom line of the workshop:  We’ll do it again!

The concept of the workshop was completely new to us.  Promotion was on a low key (Facebook, LinkedIn, Xing and our website).  This was probably one of the reasons for the few participants.  However, for those who did show up it was a blast.  We were amazed by the results and had lots of fun on he slopes and, of course, on the lifts.  Hence, the bottom line was that we will definitely repeat the “Chairlift to Innovation”.  Promotion will be improved for certain.  In addition, we will most likely partner with other organizations or companies to market this event.  Whether or not it will be possible to hold the workshop again this winter, is rather unlikely.  If so, we will post it ahead of time.

Posted in: Leadership, WEF, WOW projects

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Open Forum Davos 2014: Too many problems, too little solutions


Today was Day 2 of the workshop “Chairlift to Innovation”.  The weather and snow were spectacular.  In other words, perfect conditions for an innovative workshop.  So, what did we discuss today and what vision did we build?  Here we go:

IMG_4929The Dilemma:  Too many problems, too little solutions

This year’s panel discussions at the Open Forum Davos were very appealing.  The WEF picked topics that were guaranteed to attract a large audience.  Panelists were well-known celebrities and experts in the field.  Unlike in previous years, audience interaction in the form a question and answer session was possible.  And yet all panels faced a severe dilemma:  panelists shared their ideas and described problems.  Unfortunately, no solutions were being developed or portrayed.  This was and is frustrating and disturbing.  Frustrating because you could expect panelists to at least outline ideas for problems.  Disturbing because it becomes very difficult if not impossible for the WEF to achieve the objectives of the Open Forum, namely “to develop the insights, initiatives and actions necessary to respond to current and emerging challenges”.

What are some of the causes for this gap?  For one, it is the way the facilitator is asking questions.  Then, the panelists themselves did not really go out and offer too many solutions or food for thought that could inspire the audience to become active.  Last but not least, audience interaction exists but is limited.

As a consequence chances for “new insights, initiatives and actions necessary to respond to current and emerging challenges” were missed.

The Vision:  An interactive workspace nurturing the development of solutions and results in the form of concrete projects

The Open Forum Davos not only addresses pressing global problems.  Panelists spark a discussion for solutions and results.  They offer new solutions, thus inspiring the audience to get involved, too.  Following a Q&A session participants are invited to share their thoughts and ideas in an open workspace.  The WEF facilitates this exchange of ideas.  Either on site or virtually in an online community.  Interested individuals or organizations can meet with like-minded people.  The idea, however, is not to describe problems but to actively help those interested growing their ideas into concrete projects for social change.  Progress of such projects could be tracked on a central online platform.  1-2 months prior to the next Open Forum project results can be displayed.  Projects that made the greatest impact could be awarded by the WEF and presented in a special event at the next Open Forum.

Next Steps:

  • The Institute for Project and Business Transformation (name changed to “Human Business Academy for Today’s Economy” in December 2016)will reach out to the organization team of the Open Forum Davos and share the results of today’s “Chairlift to Innovation” workshop.
  • In addition, we will finetune the vision and derive possible actions to be tested in a smaller environment than the Open Forum to test their viability.

Please let us know if you, too want to get involved in improving the Open Forum Davos 2015 thus developing insights, initiatives and actions necessary to respond to current and emerging challenges on the global and local level.

 

Posted in: Centeredness, innovation, WEF

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Day 1 of ‘Chairlift to Innovation’ on Mindful Leadership


Today, 27 January 2014, was the first day of my workshop “Chairlift to Innovation“.  I met with one other individual, who happens to work in the consulting world just like me.

Chairlift to Innovation - PosterWe decided to pick the topic of “Ethical Capitalism” as the overall topic of our workshop.  After the first run and chairlift ride we qualified it to “Mindful Leadership”.  We find that most companies these days limit their scope to the short-term gain and neglect the long run perspective.  While this may work and actually could be quite profitable, it is not the idea we have in mind when we are talking about mindful leadership.  Instead, it is important to take the long-term perspective into account when making short-term decisions.  Long-term aspects include customer and employee satisfaction and happiness, customer retention, business sustainability to name a few examples.

Both of us want to help organizations and companies to understand the value and need to take long-term perspectives into account when making decisions today.  This is not a contradiction.  It complements day to day business.  – For this purpose we will join forces building the Institute for Project and Business Transformation (name changed to “Human Business Academy for Today’s Economy” in December 2016). I will let you know shortly what concretely we have in mind.

Day 2 of Chairlift to Innovation is on Tuesday 28 January 2014

PhotoIf you happen to be in the Davos-Klosters region and want to test the new workshop format and have fun at the same time, let’s meet at the top of the Gotschnabahn in Klosters at 10 AM.  The meeting place is by the exit of the gondola building right before you exit to the slopes.

Skeptical? Just give it a try.  Or have you ever been in a workshop location directly in the mountains?!  Have a look at the picture on the left:  this could be your workshop space.

Last but not least, if you are interested in more impressions of the workshop, check out my Facebook page.

 

 

Posted in: Happiness, Upcoming Events, WEF

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Higher Education – Investment or Waste?


Tonight I attended the Open Forum Davos session “Higher Education – Investment or Waste”.

My opinion?

It was a very good session.  No, it was excellent.  a) because the speakers were very knowledgeable and presented different perspectives  and b) because it was  interactive  with a long q&a session.  The latter I did not expect and was thus pleasantly surprised. (I even had the chance to pose my own question; check the video at 1:05)

Bottom line?

Higher Education – Investment or Waste?  Yes, of course, it depends.  HOWEVER, if you look at the exploding costs of higher education  you can get serious doubts if this can still be a good investment.  Fact is, that higher education doesn’t guarantee you a job afterwards.  And, due to the outrageously high tuition costs in some countries, it becomes increasingly difficult for “normal” parents to send their kids to college.  Hence, while I would not go so far and consider higher education a “waste” I believe that we must not continue to downward spiral of exploding costs.

Possible solutions:

  • online universities / courses
  • subsidized education (ok, but then vocational training ought to be subsidized, too) ensuring universal access to higher education (provided entry criteria are met by student candidates)
  • more cost efficient universities
  • peer teaching, group learning thus cutting down salary costs
  • invest in primary and scondary education without burning our kids (yes, our children still need their free time, believe it or not)
  • invest in alternative education models
  • invest in vocational training; after all, who says that everybody has to go to a university to succeed?!

 

Posted in: Miscellaneous, WEF

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Chairlift to Innovation: Building WOW Projects While Having Fun (Jan 27-29, 2014 in Davos-Klosters)


Interested in going beyond debating the hot topics of this year’s World Economic Forum? Why not share your ideas and turn them into concrete projects – and have fun at the same time!?

Then join the free Chairlift to Innovation and learn how to grow your ideas into projects for success. Let’s meet on the slopes and chairlifts of the magnificient resort of Davos-Klosters and share our ideas and turn them into concrete project proposals – and have fun at the same time. After all, what better location could there be where you can integrate good ideas, physical exercise and natural beauty!?

http://www.igluski.com/images/davos_i5245603.jpg?height=240&width=440DATES:

Monday January 27 – Wednesday January 29, 2014

COSTS:

None – except willingness to share ideas and desire to grow them into concrete projects

MEETING LOCATIONS:

  • Monday January 27, 2014, 10 AM, top of Gotschnabahn in Klosters (Parsenn).  PICTURES ARE AVAILABLE ON FACEBOOK
  • Tuesday January 28, 2014 & Wednesday January 29, 2014, 10 AM, top of Gotschnabahn in Klosters (Parsenn)
  • In case of a demand to meet in Davos at the base of the Jakobshorn instead, please call  or send me an email.  My local number is  +41 76 798 53 21; my email is tj@thomasjuli.com.

HOW DOES IT WORK? 

  • 1 day = 1 idea or problem to work on.
  • 1 lift ride = 1 question / lift ride to discuss.
  • 1 day = 1 or more concrete project proposals.

We start our workshop with a brief introduction where I will the explain the steps of growing a WOW project. Now for the practical part: for each chairlift ride we pick one, and only one, simple question, discuss it on the lift, then ski or snowboard, meet at the base of a given lift, pick the next question and move on.  This way we will be able to combine „work“ and fun at the same time.  During lunch break we check our interim results.  By 4 PM we should have a concrete project proposal.
How good of a  skier / snowboarder do you have to be?  Intermediate and better skiing or riding skills are recommended.

HOW TO FIND THE PARTY AT THE MEETING LOCATION?

At the meeting location, I will post the following sign:

Chairlift to Innovation - Poster

How can you find me? – I will be wearing a black jacket and green ski pants.

REGISTRATION

Just show up at the meeting place.  However, in order to facilitate planning it would be great if you could send an email to info@thomasjuli.com and express your interest in joining.

Can you bring friends?

Yes. We will form groups of 3-5 people.

Questions?

Call me or send an email.  My local number is  +41 76 798 53 21; my email is tj@thomasjuli.com.

 

For more information, visit http://motivate2b.com/chairlift-to-innovation/ or http://motivate2b.com/institute/

Posted in: Company News, Happiness, innovation, Upcoming Events, WEF

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Chairlift to Innovation


From January 22 – 25, 2014 the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting takes place in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.  The meeting brings together some 2,500 top business leaders, international political leaders, selected intellectuals and journalists to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world, including health and the environment. The 2014 topic is „The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business“.

The question is, what comes out of this meeting?  Media coverage is guaranteed, provocative and not so provocative speeches will be given, experts have panel discussions, participants will be inspired (or not) by old and new problems and ideas alike.  And then what!?  Will it be like in most other conferences where people meet, network, listen to speeches, participate in discussions, just to go home and return to their daily routines?  I reckon that in the majority of cases, this will be the case.  This is frustrating and yet, not too surprising.

An idea is worthless if you don’t embrace it and follow through

Fact is that most conferences and seminars share the same fate.  While the quality of such events can be outstanding, the actual outcomes and returns of them are miniscule and often negligible.  What a waste of time, money and energy you are tempted to think.  And it is true, it often is a waste – safe for the networking, good food, nice location and maybe even fun.  The actual return on investment (ROI) remains low. – This doesn’t have to be this way!

How can ideas spark innovation?

I am lucky and honored that this time I will be in Davos.  Not to attend the WEF Annual Meeting.  I neither have the money nor the influence to get invited to this prestigious event.  But I will be in Daovs-Klosters nevertheless.  I will conduct a workshop for fellows of the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation with the title “Finding the Spirit of WOW Projects: Turning ideas into projects for cuccess and have fun at the same time”.

What we will do is to pick some problems and ideas shared during the panel discussion “Ethical Capitalism: Worth a Try?” at the Open Forum Davos and grow them into concrete project proposals.  I will show the workshop participants how to apply a simple yet very effective technique to get down to the real issues at hand and develop a foundation for WOW projects to evolve.  Time allowing we will present our findings and proposals at a debriefing event of the Open Forum Davos.

 

 

And it doesn’t stop there:  The hope is that participants will follow through with their project proposals and implement them.  Where and how, will be decided in onsite.

Invitation to fun and innovation: On a chairlift and the slopes of Davos-Klosters

http://www.igluski.com/images/davos_i5245603.jpg?height=240&width=440http://www.skisolutions.com/uploads/image/photo/3456/resort_carousel_Davos_skiing.JPGI want to continue this discussion.  For this purpose the Institute for Project and Business Transformation and I would like to invite individuals who are interested in learning more about the technique of turning ideas into WOW projects.  However, I don’t want to meet in a conference room.   Instead, let’s meet in the resort, i.e., on chairlifts and the slopes of Davos-Klosters.  What better location could there be where you can integrate good ideas, physical exercise and natural beauty. Planned dates are January 26-29, 2014.

Please contact me directly if you are interested and want to join this select group.

 

Posted in: WEF, WOW projects

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