Humans Are Underrated
by Geoff Colvin
It's easy to imagine a nightmare scenario in which computers simply take over most of the tasks that people now get paid to do. The unavoidable question—will millions of people lose out, unable to best the machine?—is increasingly dominating business, education, economics, and policy.
The bestselling author of Talent Is Overrated explains how the skills and economy values are changing in historic ways and offers a guide to what's next for all workers. Mastering technical skills that have historically been in demand no longer differentiates us as it used to. Instead, our greatest advantage lies in our deepest, most essentially human abilities—empathy, creativity, social sensitivity, storytelling, humor, relationship building, and expressing ourselves with greater power than logic can ever achieve.
These high-value skills craete tremendous competitive advantage—more devoted customers, stronger cultures, breakthrough ideas, and more effective teams. And while many of us regard these abilities as innate traits, it turns out they can all be developed. As Colvin shows, they're already being developed in a range of farsighted organizations, including the Cleveland Clinic, the U.S. Army, and Stanford Business School.
Talent Is Overrated
by Geoff Colvin
Asked to explain why a few people truly excel, most people offer one of two answers. The first is hard work. Yet we all know plenty of hard workers who have been doing the same job for years or decades without becoming great. The other possibility is that the elite possess an innate talent for excelling in their field. We assume that Mozart was born with an astounding gift for music, and Warren Buffett carries a gene for brilliant investing. The trouble is, scientific evidence doesn't support the notion that specific natural talents make great performers.
According to distinguished journalist Geoff Colvin, both the hard work and natural talent camps are wrong. What really makes the difference is a highly specific kind of effort-"deliberate practice"-that few of us pursue when we're practicing golf or piano or stockpicking. Based on scientific research, Talent is Overrated shares the secrets of extraordinary performance and shows how to apply these principles. It features the stories of people who achieved world-class greatness through deliberate practice-including Benjamin Franklin, comedian Chris Rock, football star Jerry Rice, and top CEOs Jeffrey Immelt and Steven Ballmer.
Featured Keynote Programs
RISKS & OPPORTUNITIES IN THIS ECONOMY
Global turmoil has roiled an already fragile economic order in ways that are still unfolding. At Fortune, Geoff tells the economic story in terms that focus on the risks and opportunities. Business people already know the numbers – what they might miss is the big picture; the forces driving the trends causing disruptive change in their world and, most importantly, what to do about it. In this presentation, the economy isn’t a bunch of statistics; it’s a story that Geoff tells engagingly, humorously, and memorably with valuable takeaways because, as he says, “Even in tough times, somebody’s going to win, why not you?” Geoff covers: • Why, even in times like this, it’s vital to remain optimistic • The latest data and trends curated for the audience/industry he’s addressing • A plain-spoken explanation of what’s going on now – on Main Street, Wall Street, in Washington, and globally. • How successful companies are winning in this economy
FUTURE-PROOF YOUR BUSINESS MODEL
Brace yourself: In 2022, 94% of CEOs said their company’s business model will have to change in the next three years! More important: The majority of them also feel they aren’t making progress fast enough. Business model innovation has become a must-have competence for all companies. That’s a problem for those that are unprepared but a huge opportunity for the rest. Geoff Colvin identifies the inescapable forces that are rendering reliable old business models obsolete and shows how companies of any size in any industry can – and must – rise to the challenge. Geoff reveals: • Inspiring examples of companies transforming their business model and winning • Key trends driving the need for business model change • How to just do it: Stop protecting yesterday and start creating the future • The secrets to becoming a business model innovator • How to adapt to a friction-free economy and create outsized opportunities • Why human capital is the most valuable kind and how to make the most of it
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 three decades at Fortune conferences worldwide. Top companies and associations regularly utilize Geoff because he gets the most out of participants; he asks the right questions, listens intently to what’s being said on stage, and responds to that. He also connects ideas and insights across sessions, transforming a multi-part program into a satisfying, unified whole. He always keeps the discussion relevant and the energy high.
NO NEW NORMAL
LEADING IN CONTINUOUS CHANGE
The pandemic accelerated just about every trend you can think of. Nonstop change has now become the norm, and the world isn’t going back. While there is no “new normal,” the good news is we aren’t doomed to play defense. Geoff Colvin shows audiences how to embrace a world of continuous disruption while building powerful competitive advantages. This uplifting talk shows step-by-step how we can all respond faster to change and even get ahead of it as individuals, teams, and enterprises. Geoff provides actionable takeaways to help leaders face change smarter:
• What the best leaders and companies are doing right now to create the future
• Why confronting reality faster is the key to seizing new opportunities
• Biggest pandemic lessons for business
• Scenario planning: surviving bad times begins with better decisions in good times
• 3 best ways to lead during crisis and disruption
• Creativity and innovation – how to unleash it individually and organizationally