It’s a new year with big business challenges. You would have thought CEOs would be worried most about the impact of Covid – but not so. That’s #13 on their list. Disruption is the #1 fear. The frenetic pace of change in businesses and the world has accelerated during the pandemic. An Alix Partners study released on December 27 revealed almost every CEO (94%) surveyed said their company needs to reinvent the business model within the next three years. 57% fear they’re not moving fast enough. The situation is also spiking CEO anxiety: 72% of CEOs fear losing their jobs due to disruptions facing their industries. That is an unprecedented level of anxiety. All this comes as no surprise to veteran Fortune senior editor-at-large GEOFF COLVIN. He's been speaking and reporting on business model transformation for years – watching how leaders are leading the change that keeps their companies competitive and relevant. Here's a great example of Geoff's reporting and research – a Fortune profile on how Goodyear has reinvented their business. Geoff also co-hosts a Fortune podcast and a recent topic was GM's transformation towards electric vehicles.
Think fast! Speed is life! COL. NICOLE MALACHOWSKI (USAF, ret.) a 21-year Air Force pilot, combat veteran, and first female pilot in the elite Thunderbirds, has important advice for those trying to cope with nonstop and radical change. Thinking fast. Deciding fast. Acting together. These factors literally determine survival in combat. They’re just as important in today’s business arena, too. One of the most impactful speakers on handling change, creating high-performance culture, and leadership, Nicole started hearing from executives organizing conferences that speed and quick decision-making were two vitally important qualities they wanted to instill in their organizations.
BILL WALTON is a wonder of modern medical science. He should not be standing, but 39 – yes, you read that right, 39! – orthopedic surgeries have made it possible. Bill’s physical health problems began in college when an undiagnosed foot abnormality led first to stress fractures and then more serious issues – culminating in a complete collapse of his spine in 2008.
IT ALL STARTED WITH WATERGATE In the summer of 1973, all eyes were riveted on televised coverage of the Senate Watergate hearings. The break-in, which occurred in June of 1972, went largely unnoticed at the time. But soon, thanks to investigative work by Washington Post reporters BOB WOODWARD and Carl Bernstein, troubling details began to emerge. A year later, those hearings were carried live on daytime television, pre-empting regular programming in an era when there were only three television networks – not the TV and streaming landscape of today. This was a very big deal.
HOW TO HARNESS A BREAKTHROUGH Where are you right now – and where do you want to be?
CIVIL CONVERSATIONS MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN POLARIZING TIMES How can we lower the emotional temperature at a time when people find themselves at odds with one another about so many issues - in their communities, at work, and at home? DARYL DAVIS has an answer: Get to know those who don’t share your values. Really get to know them! Daryl should know. A Black musician who befriended KKK leaders and other white supremacists, he built unlikely bridges with those who hate him just because of the color of his skin. And as unimaginable as that seems, many of those haters became true friends and renounced their old beliefs – some even gave Daryl their robes and hoods.
TOP LEADERSHIP SPEAKER MIKE ABRASHOFF ON TALENT RETENTION STRATEGIES MIKE ABRASHOFF has been an influential speaker on leadership and organizational culture since Fast Company profiled him over 20 years ago. His bestselling book, It’s Your Ship, came shortly thereafter and has sold 1.2 million copies to date. Mike’s success as a speaker came because he is brilliant at providing audiences with actionable insights on the most pressing problems facing business. He draws on lessons learned after taking command of the near-worst ship in the fleet and overseeing its transformation to becoming the best ship in the entire U.S. Navy.
TALKING WITH PEOPLE WHO DISAGREE WITH YOU If a Black man can talk to and befriend KKK members, you can talk to co-workers, neighbors, family, friends who don’t share your views, too. Nicholas Kristof offered this amazing endorsement of DARYL DAVIS’s work in his New York Times’ op-ed “How Can You Hate Me When You Don’t Even Know Me?” Davis, a Black musician who’s made headlines as a conflict navigator, reaching out to and meeting hate with civility, tells Kristof the biggest lesson for all of his from his extraordinary work: “If I can sit down and talk to K.K.K. members and neo-Nazis and get them to give me their robes and hoods and swastika flags and all that kind of crazy stuff, there’s no reason why somebody can’t sit down at a dinner table and talk to their family member.”
TURNING DOWN THE TEMPERATURE Is it possible to ignite positive change in a polarized world? Can we make our community, workplace, and holiday dinner table more civil? I was beginning to lose hope – and then I met DARYL DAVIS. I’ve never met anyone like him – and I’d bet you haven’t either.
“The biggest mistake we can make in uncertain times: to think we know.” -Beau Lotto