Monday, August 12, 2013

IBM Forum on the Future of Leadership

These short videos on top leaders are just a handful of terrific interviews in the IBM Think playlist on YouTube:
IBM has brought together innovative leaders from across the globe to deepen our collective understanding of the future of leadership on a smarter planet. 

President leads without an army

Laura Chinchilla, President of Costa Rica, said her country made a constitutional decision not to have an army. Result? The relatively poor country doesn't look for wars to fight, and finds peace, instead.  It focuses its funds and resources on social and human development, instead of a defense budget.

The fact that Costa Rica can do this may or may not mean that another country can do it as well.  Each country has to decide what will in fact work best.  But its president must think carefully about this, and perhaps think unconventionally, in order to do what is best.

To Pres. Chinchilla:  Leadership = Hard work + Strong convictions + Service to people.

CEO adapts to environment

How well do you do this, and what have you found to be challenging in adapting to your environment?  Chanda Kochhar, CEO of ICICI Bank, offers her views and values on this.  Great leadership, to her, is about grasping what's going on in our environment, then working with your team, bringing them along, and ensuring they're on the same page as you.

Is it better for a company to have a gender-neutral culture, where women, for example, progress (or not progress) based on their merit, or rather a culture that places particular attention to women leadership issues and needs?  

Kochhar is fortune to have worked in organizational cultures based on meritocracy, where there was no special treatment of women and women were judged on performance and potential.  But perhaps in organizations with a long, entrenched history of gender bias, there must be a particular focus on women and concerted help to bring them along.   

CEO rethinks talent

If you cannot get the talent to work for you, bring your work to the talent.  Chris Meledandri, CEO of Illumination Entertainment, explains that the capable people you need may be in Spain and France and across the US.  So media and technology help him mobilize his team remotely, and he manages them to get things done.

Vice Chairman sees what customers see

Rajan Bharti Mittal, Vice Chairman of Bharti Enterprises, distinguishes the linear innovations of the past with the increasingly more disruptive innovations of today.  Failure to do this and to reinvent may mean a company doesn't have a tomorrow.  Practically speaking, people have a wider range of communication tools and platforms at their disposal:  It isn't just about exchanging business cards or phone numbers, but also leveraging social media like Facebook.

Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think!  Also, if you'd like a PDF of this article, please e-mail me at

Ron Villejo, PhD

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