26
Jan
2016
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Leading Ahead of Change — Geoff Colvin

Geoff Colvin's Leadership update: Leading Ahead of Change at Ford & Adidas

Geoff Colvin’s Leadership update:
Leading Ahead of Change
at Ford & Adidas

A LEADER’S GREATEST CHALLENGE

Fortune magazine’s GEOFF COLVIN wrote two great pieces this month on every leader’s biggest challenge: leading ahead of change.  It’s also a popular speech theme for GEOFF who has addressed business audiences all over the world on such topics. An example: this video of Geoff talking about the need to innovate the business model and meet the challenge of changing market conditions.

HOW FORD’S CEO IS LEADING AHEAD OF CHANGE

Geoff’s Fortune story about CEO Mark Fields and how he’s leading Ford’s transformation into an unknowable future is a great example.  Automotive companies are facing competition from the unlikeliest of competitors.  They’re also contending with a changing public sentiment about personal transportation. It’s a daunting combination.  

Ford’s outside-the-box thinking includes some ideas that might seem decidedly weird — unless a company is deeply rethinking its business, that is.  Here’s some of what leading ahead of change looks like at Ford:

  • A just-introduced free mobile app called FordPass, which helps you borrow and share vehicles while traveling, find and pay for a place to park, schedule service, and more—regardless of whether you’re a Ford customer.  It’s a big bet by the company with a huge payoff if done well.
  • The sharing economy is in full swing.  Want to lease a car with six friends? Ford just introduced a plan for that.
  • It’s experimenting with Internet-connected bicycles.
THE IMPACT OF HUMAN CAPITAL

Of course – leading ahead of change is what CEOs get paid for.  As great as a business plan might be, it’s impossible to execute a successful organizational transformation without human capital.  Geoff did a great piece this month that showed the impact of human capital.  Consider the job change by Kasper Rorsted, CEO of Henkel.  When Rorsted announced his plans to depart and join Adidas, Henkel lost $2 billion in market value and Adidas gained $1 billion.  If ever there was a clear indication of the value of human capital, there it is.  The story is a great read.

GEOFF COLVIN – SPEAKING ON LEADERSHIP

There’s no such thing as business as usual anymore.  That’s why leading ahead of change is so vital for every organization.  Leading, managing and competing in business today requires fresh thinking.  Geoff Colvin, a top business speaker, has a great perspective from his Fortune perch to talk to audiences at conferences and events about what top leaders and organziations are doing right now to succeed. 

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