The 50 best ideas for business leaders … exploring the world’s top thinkers and their practical tools, all in one inspiring day!

July 21, 2017

Markets of relentless change, exponential technologies, social and political uncertainty, challenge every business. Ideas can change the world, but making sense of this change, and making new strategies happen is not easy. In fact, everything you learn’t at business school has probably changed.

That’s why, even the busiest CEO, the most qualified and experienced leader, still needs to take time out to think, to make new connections, and to explore “where next” and “how better.”

Thinkers50 ranks all of the world’s top business thinkers – academics, leaders, authors, consultants – based on the power of their ideas (how distinctive, relevant, useful and contagious it is). I’ve decoded all of these ideas, brought them together into themes, and made them practical for you to apply in your business.

So imagine listening to the top business gurus, reading all the best books, going to all the elite business schools, and getting the best of the best … all in one day … what could be a better use of you time?

Sign up now for The 50 Best Ideas for Business Leaders in One Inspiring Day

I will be your host, curator and facilitator, your “Ideas DJ”!

Here are a few teasers to get you started … some of the best known ideas in business right now (and we’ll be exploring many others which are less well known, but just as useful!):

“Design Thinking” … one of the buzzwords of today’s business, coined by David Kelley at IDEO to capture his deep dives process of gaining deeper insight into customer’s challenges and opportunities, and rapidly turning these insights into practical ideas and prototypes which can then be much more tangibly shaped further. Read more about Design Thinking.

“Disruptive Innovation” … perhaps one of the most overused words thrown around. Harvard’s Clayton Christensen interprets it in a very specific way, about how a new good-enough technology can displace an existing over-engineered one. However it can have many other definitions too, Jean Marie Dru focuses on how a radical new idea to create a mindset step-change in markets. Read more on Disruptive Innovation.

“Blue Ocean Strategy” … one of the most commercialised terms, coined by Insead’s Renee Mauborge and Chan Kim. In simple terms “blue oceans” are the uncontested market spaces – for example, an unserved customer segment, a new application and need, or a redefined space – as opposed to the existing “red oceans” which are fought over by most competitors.

“Reverse Innovation” … sometimes known as “trickle-up innovation” is an innovation seen or used first in the developing world, before spreading to the industrialized world. Vijay Govindarajan wrote a book on it, and worked with GE to apply the principle. One frequent example is Godrej’s battery-operated fridge, which is cold enough to allow people to store fresh food and drink for a short time.

“Business Model” … explains how the business creates, delivers and captures value. Examples of business model innovations include Xerox’s copier’s which were leased rather than sold, Southwest Airline’s low cost model, and Netflix’s subscription to unlimited movies. Most commonly used is the one-page canvas which articulates all of this in one diagram, popularised by Alex Osterwalder and others. Read more on Business Models.

“Viral Communication” … social media has popularised the notion of things going viral, be it an inspiring article or crazy gif, it can spread quickly. Of course, there have always been fashion trends to catchy pop songs that spread contagiously, whether through word of mouth or tribal behaviour. Jonah Berger added science to the concept explained who spreads and the structure of ideas that spread fastest.

“Level 5 Leadership” … Jim Collin’s wrote the bestseller Good to Great which includes this concept,  about leaders who are humble, but driven to do what’s best for the company. It champions humility and engagement rather than command and control. Leadership in a digital age requires new approaches, to engage diverse people in new ways, to champion ideas-driven growth rather than operational efficiency.

“Emotional Intelligence” … we all know this one, and the common phrase “EQ beats IQ”, meaning its how you get one with people that matters more than how clever you are. Daniel Goldman described it as the capability of individuals to recognise their own and other people’s emotions, to discern between different feelings, and manage emotions to adapt to environments or achieve your goal.

We’ll also be learning directly from some of the world’s top business gurus (including a run-down of the Thinkers50 global ranking), and about their new ideas – making them clear and practical for you:

Erin Meyer … the American-born, Paris-loving, Insead professor has become a global guru on how cultures work together. Her recent book The Culture Map gives us a fascinating insight into how different cultures get along – both inside business, and in markets. Americans with Germans? British and Japanese? The implications are huge – how to build global teams, how to do business around the world, and more.

Dan Pink … says we’re all in sales now. But sales is not what it used to be. When sellers are in command, and information is accessible by all, then we sell by being more human and more yourself. In his book DRIVE he illustrates the hidden truths behind what really motivates us at home and in the workplace, and how to build our personal brand for more effective relationships, leadership and happiness.

Erica Dhawan … on the power of connected intelligence. In her book Getting Things Done she focuses on harnessing knowledge and networks to engage with people in better ways – the shift from quantity to quality, how we use knowledge and human capital, to embrace diversity and the power of togetherness – and the there types of people  – the thinkers, the idea enablers, and the connection executors.

Don Tapscott … the Canadian guru, author of Wikinomics, explores the potential of networks. Networks have the ability to connect people in exponential ways, to share ideas, to mobilise communities and deliver value in new ways. From blockchain that is set to revolutionise transactional processes, to challenging nation states, Tapscott demonstrates the value of networks is proportional to the square of their nodes.

Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez … the Spanish guru, who grew up in the America, now lives in Belgium and leads the project office of GSK’s vaccines business has a passion for projects. He says that, as business focuses on relentless change and innovation, organisations are more about projects than functions, continually developing and delivering newness, and leaders will become the ultimate project managers.

Martin Lindstrom … the Danish brand guru, who cut his teeth in Lego, and now hosts American TV shows explaining brands to consumers is fascinated by what and how we buy. In the future, he says, you’ll subscribe to brands the same way you currently subscribe to Netflix. Martin is also famous for his concept of Small Data, by which he means the small insights that when addressed can have big impact.

These are just a few of the thinkers and ideas that we will explore. How can you apply them to your business? Which ones matter most to your future?

Sign up now for The 50 Best Ideas for Business Leaders in One Inspiring Day when I will reveal all 50 of the best ideas, and the people behind them. There’s also a practical workbook to capture these ideas, apply them to your business, and develop your personal plan for implementation.


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