Leading ahead of disruption
Every day can bring harsh new surprises to business leaders. Veteran business journalist Geoff Colvin leverages nearly 40 years at Fortune to help audiences plan and think ahead. He looks at the latest news on trends driving change in business and reveals what top leaders in business and government are doing right now to meet the challenges they face. While political winds may blow toward protectionism, the market trends powering the friction-free economy are technological and going strong. Technological, governmental, societal, market and economic whiplash have become the new normal – and all require swift and full attention. As a result, winning in business today demands extraordinary leadership at every level of the organization acting on the best intelligence it can find. Geoff’s message is optimistic and energizing: opportunity is more widely available than ever and there will be winners – why shouldn’t it be you?
The future of work: How will humans fit in?
Technology is now capable of doing jobs we once thought only humans could perform. In a world where robots and smart machines factor prominently, what is the future of work? Where will humans add value? How will companies compete? This talk draws on research for Colvin’s New York Times lauded book, Humans are Underrated. The answer, he says, lies in humans acting more like . . . humans vs. competing with machines. Elon Musk famously said Tesla’s 2017 production problems came from an overreliance on technology – “humans are underrated,” he said. Where is the balance? Employers say the skills they’ll need most in the future are those that focus on social interaction: empathy above all, collaboration, storytelling, social sensitivity, brainstorming, creating and innovating with others, and leading. The transition to these newly valuable skills is happening faster than organizations and most psyches can keep up with. Geoff reveals what top organizations are doing to meet this challenge. The good news is that we humans already have what it takes – it’s up to us to make of it what we will.
Where is this economy headed?
Even before the new alignment of power in Washington, it was the question on every business leader’s mind: where are the U.S. and global economies going? Now it’s more urgent – and uncertain. In opinion surveys, top CEOs and ordinary consumers say the same thing: there’s too much change, too fast; we can’t keep up. We all remember a time when it was easier to anticipate where things might be headed, when the consequences of misjudgment were less severe. Now a meltdown of financial markets in China can ripple globally and take down a trillion dollars in assets in a single day – and such volatility is becoming more common. The economic picture changes by the day, and Geoff Colvin has a brilliant perch at Fortune to view it all – to get ahead of official statistics to uncover what’s going on. He reflects on the varied forces driving economic change and offers a glimpse of where each may take you and your business.
The New Political Reality for Business
The main theme of the Trump administration has been unpredictability. President Trump has said that his unpredictability is a deliberate strategy. That makes strategic planning a huge challenge for business leaders everywhere. Geoff Colvin helps unwind the impact of Washington in terms you won’t hear elsewhere. Economic growth, consumer demand, interest rates, taxes, employment costs – cable news doesn’t spend much time on those issues, but all of them are set to change, transforming the business environment in important ways. That’s why business people must keep the most significant issues in mind, even when the daily Washington chatter wanders away from them. Geoff explains why partisanship won’t decrease and policy stability will remain a dream. Yet business can’t afford to be paralyzed. Geoff shows how the most successful business leaders are competing and winning in this uncertain environment. He brings a message of optimism that too often gets lost in the political rough and tumble.
Talent is Overrated: How great performers really got great
What if everything you know about raw talent, hard work, and great performance is wrong? Scientific research on great performance shows that what most of us believe is off-base – which means most of us will never perform as well as we could. Geoff Colvin, author of the groundbreaking international bestseller Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else, explains the findings and relates them to real life in real organizations. He shows how most organizations value the wrong things – that passion, honesty, and learning are more valuable than hours, IQ, or “native ability.” Geoff demonstrates that world-class performance comes from behaviors that every person and organization can adopt. Those who apply these principles gain a tremendous competitive advantage.
Humans are Underrrated: What high achievers know that brilliant machines never will
Technology is now capable of doing jobs we once thought only humans could perform. In a world where robots and smart machines factor prominently, what is the future of work? Where will humans add value? How will companies compete? The answer lies in people acting more like . . . people. Employers say the skills they’ll need most in the future are those that focus on social interaction: empathy above all, collaboration, storytelling, social sensitivity, brainstorming, creating and innovating with others, and leading. The transition to these newly valuable skills is happening faster than organizations and most psyches can keep up with. Geoff reveals what top organizations are doing to meet the challenge. The good news is that we humans already have what it takes – it’s up to us to make of it what we will.
Leading the Conversation: Panel Moderator, Discussion Leader, Emcee/Host
Geoff Colvin’s unique gift is his ability to brilliantly moderate panels, lead onstage interviews and host/emcee. He’s played these roles for more than two decades at Fortune magazine’s most prestigious conferences worldwide. Top corporations and associations regularly utilize Geoff because he has a gift for getting the most out of participants; asking the right questions, listening intently to what’s being said on stage and responding to that – keeping the discussion relevant and the energy high. He is so skilled that many top firms can’t imagine doing an important program without him. As an attendee at a recent conference told the event organizer, “Geoff Colvin literally made this conference.”
Artificial Intelligence & Digital Disruption
As technological developments continue at break neck speeds, impacting businesses across industries and fundamentally changing the way we work, consume and live, these HWA experts are qualified to address questions at the at the top of business leaders' and employees' minds. Whether shedding light on both the opportunities and threats in automation, revealing the next wave in artificial intelligence, or preparing your business for the impacts of disruption, HWA represents some of the leading minds of the new economy and tech.
Geoff Colvin is an award-winning thinker, author, broadcaster, and speaker on the most significant trends and issues impacting business and the economy. As Fortune magazine’s senior editor-at-large, Geoff has an insider’s perspective fueled by long-standing relationships with the world’s top leaders in business and government. He knows what they’re seeing, thinking, and planning and reveals how they’re leading, making choices, and responding to today’s challenges in ways that others can learn from.
Now in his fourth decade at Fortune, Geoff Colvin’s breadth of experience is impressive. He is one of business journalism’s sharpest and most respected commentators on leadership, management, globalization, regulation, corporate governance, competition, the economy, the InfoTech revolution, human performance and related issues. Geoff’s regular column and frequent cover stories in Fortune have earned him millions of loyal readers.
Geoff is also one of America's preeminent business broadcasters. He is heard every day on the CBS Radio Network, where he has made over 10,000 broadcasts and reaches seven million listeners each week. He has appeared on Today, Good Morning America, Squawk Box, CBS This Morning, ABC's World News Tonight, CNN, PBS's Nightly Business Report, and dozens of other programs. He served as anchor of Wall $treet Week with Fortune on PBS and spoke each week to the largest audience reached by any business television program in America.
As a keynote speaker, Geoff has a knack for bringing clarity to the most important and complex issues impacting business and the economy. He has spoken for scores of corporate and association conferences on six continents including dozens of high level Fortune conferences. His speeches pull together timely insights and strategies and are tailored to deliver relevant insights that help leaders understand what the future holds.
In addition to speaking Geoff is also a brilliant panel moderator, emcee and interviewer whose subjects have included Jack Welch, Henry Kissinger, Richard Branson, the Prince of Wales, Bill Gates, Alan Greenspan, Steve Case, Tony Blair, Michael Dell, Ted Turner, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Henry Paulson, Ben Bernanke, and many others.
Geoff is a respected author whose groundbreaking international bestseller, Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else, has been published in a dozen languages. The Upside of the Downturn: Management Strategies for Difficult Times was named “Best Management Book of the Year” by Strategy + Business magazine. Geoff’s latest book is Humans are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will. It’s based on the idea in his wildly popular Fortune article “In the Future Will There Be Any Work Left for People to Do?” It looks at the trend of technology displacing more jobs than it creates and the ways humans will create value for their organizations and their careers in the changing economy. The ideas he shares have profound implications for every business and industry.
A native of Vermillion, South Dakota, Geoff Colvin is an honors graduate of Harvard with a degree in economics and has an M.B.A. from New York University’s Stern School of Business.