Senior leaders must learn to design their company's future, as well as lead the change that drives the business toward that future. And senior leaders need to be designing that future now.
How in the world do senior leaders prepare for this?
We suggest our own Business Innovation Factory (BIF) Collaborative Innovation Summit. Sure, we're promoting our own event, but with good reason: That's where we learned the information above, as Kimberly Kleiman-Lee told last year's Summit crowd the story of how she's been shaking up senior leadership training at GE-Crotonville, where she is Lead, Senior Executive Development
Kleiman-Lee told the Summit audience how she has been inventing ways to create a new kind of leader, designed for today's business world. Her process: Create training experiences that emphasize improv, adventure, and even scavenger-hunts. As a result, she said, "We’ve had leaders gain confidence, manage their ego, recognize their cultural biases, improve collegial relationships, evolve their approach to problem-solving, and empower their employees tenfold.”
Later, Kleiman-Lee praised the Summit. "Senior leaders will learn more from the BIF Summit's very different experience than they will from industry-specific events about traditional management topics. Senior executives need to get out of their industry-specific, traditional management topics and listen to change stories at the BIF Summit.
She adds, "The Summit offers a great learning and networking opportunity for senior leaders who now must create change, not simply manage change, leaders who need to be prepared for the speed and the scope of change in the future."
VIDEO: GE's Kimberly Kleiman-Lee and other leaders talk about why they recommend the BIF Summit for business learning.
At another Summit, Guy Wollaert from Coca-Cola told us, "You design an organization not for what it needs to do today, but for how it evolves over its life. You need to be able to picture how the whole, massive process will flow. There's an urgent need for thinkers who can understand complexity, because business complexity is part of our future, and it is growing exponentially."
“Leaders must develop a new line of sight into the future," said Bill Taylor, a co-founder of Fast Company, at an earlier Summit. "The most creative CEOs I've met don't aspire to learn from the 'best in class' in their industry. They aspire to learn from companies far outside their field as a way to shake things up and make real change.”
At the BIF Summit, you'll learn by hearing stories from, and connections with, diverse ideas and people. You'll hear stories by people who've made change happen, people who have transformed themselves, their companies, their industries, or even the world. You'll have lots of connection opportunities where you can share your story as well. You can place your Summit insights into context at our popular third-day workshop, Going Up The Innovation Learning Curve.
Story-driven events like the BIF Summit allow people to share the process and the struggles behind their success, to show that change happens on the journey, not at the journey's end. Stories that prove process is more important than the end goal itself, that failure can teach you to succeed, if only you let it.
“Facts are facts, but stories are how we learn," Fast Company co-founder Alan Webber told one Summit audience.
"The only way I know to make sense of things is to get together with smart people and learn from them," Webber says. "And BIF is about as good as it gets when it comes to learning from smart people who can tell great stories. Confused? Come to BIF! You may still be confused, but you're guaranteed to learn a lot before you leave."
The BIF Summit, one of the nation's most renowned storytelling gatherings, will take you well beyond 'business as usual.'
Please join us at our 12th annual Summit, BIF2016, which will be held Sept. 14-15 in Providence, Rhode Island.
Photo by Stephanie Alvarez Ewens.