I recently spoke to 40 Chinese CEOs and Chairmen who were attending an executive program designed by Prof. John Chen, Babson College, VP of Asia Program. My talk was centered on providing these executives practical tips on how to develop a culture of innovation and separately, how to implement a successful transformation program within their companies. Here are my observations:
- Commitment to Learning – Most of the executives in the group were either CEOs or Chairmen, as opposed to EVPs or SVPs, so the fact that they took 10 days out of their schedules to personally attend such a program clearly demonstrates the importance that they place on innovation and growth. Pretty cool!
- Attitude – Despite the business success that most of these executives had realized to date, they were very open-minded and humble. This attitude is not always seen, particularly when companies have achieved a great deal of success.
- Seeking Growth – The common theme seemed to be relative to growth. Many of these companies had achieved a fair degree of success throughout the last years or decades, and they were now experiencing a combination of greater competition, local market saturation and increased labor costs. Therefore, they peppered me with several questions, seeking practical answers and tips relative to the following:
- How do they cultivate a culture of innovation in which employees are motivated to think creatively and unconventionally?
- How to develop a multi-year growth strategy– Who should be in charge of it and what measures can be implemented to ensure that it is accurate and successfully executed?
- How do they implement transformation initiatives and programs, when the greatest inhibitors could very likely be their own leaders and employees?
As for Prof. Chen’s executive program, it is quite unique. It is case-study based and delivered by multiple universities. The executives learn about various topics by studying case studies at Babson, Harvard Business School, and West Point. The theory is supplemented by on-site visits to various companies, like EMC, Google, Intel and many up-and-coming startups.
On May 8, 2014, I will be a panelist at an exciting event– Chasing the Internet of Things hosted by Gennari & Aronson and ThinkStrategies. I will be joined on the panel by Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of ThinkStrategies, Brendan McSheffrey, CEO of en-Gauge, Dave Icke, CEO of MC10. The panel will be moderated by fellow global citizen, Larry Gennari of Gennari & Aronson. Details are below. I hope to see you there!
This month, I will be participating on the panel of the upcoming event, “Practical Aspects of Doing Business in Brazil.” The event will be held at Babson College at the Arthur M. Blank Center on Monday, September 23, 2013 from 6:00-8:00pm.
Recognizing the importance and further potential of Brazil, the panelists will review their own experience entering that market. We’ll share our insights on the strategic considerations that guided our entry and the lessons of our actual experience. Read more
Sharing one’s business experience with global peers is an invaluable opportunity and I am fortunate to have been invited by the International Executives Resources Group (IERG), a private network of international, senior executives, to give a talk on doing JVs in the Emerging Markets. Diego Tebaldi, Boston Chapter President, has asked me to discuss the challenges and opportunities of implementing JVs, as part of IERG’s Going Global Series. I am looking forward to an engaging session…
IERG was founded in 1997 in New York City, and its membership base has grown to more than 500 members across the world. Its chapters meet regularly in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Florida, Texas, California and China. Its members primarily include CEOs, COOs, Presidents, among others, and have broad, domestic and global experience.
They regularly meet, both in-person and online, to share their knowledge, best practices and to support and advance each others’ careers and interests. More specifically, they meet to:
- Interact with practiced internationalists who share interests and goals
- Pursue new prospects in business and careers and to broaden existing opportunities
- Obtain first-hand information about markets, issues, procedures, etc.
- Build a solid foundation of continuously updated global business knowledge
- Develop professional and social ties with dynamic businessmen and women
For more information, check out this video from Diego Tebaldi, summarizing IERG’s benefits to its members:
The event will take place on Monday, March 26th in Waltham, MA and if you would like to attend or are looking for more information on IERG, feel free to contact Boston@IERGonline.org. I hope to see you there!