As you can tell from my two previous blogs this week, my head is spinning as I try to process all the insights and thoughts I have and try to figure out where the world of business is going to end up. What can we all do to be at the party and enjoy it? Or maybe… Is the world of business so hardened that it doesn’t allow for fun, spirit and mindfulness? Oh, and what about the comment that 40% of Fortune 500 companies we know of today will be gone within the next 10 years. OMG! Can you imagine what that means for all the employees of those companies? Now, one could say that given what I said in blog #1 and #2 this week, we have the waterfront covered with the ideas of purpose, achieving the unachievable and being true to yourself with a beating heart.
But I want to share another thought with you as well. My feeling is that there is one other key component you are going to have to have to make sure you are relevant as a company or a stakeholder. I wanted to give this some thought because it wasn’t immediately apparent to me and I wanted to make sure it was compelling. Then I thought about what JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon said in his closing comments at the Fortune Global Conference. His quote wasn’t exactly what I was thinking, but it was in the right zip code.
This is from the Fortune CEO daily newsletter:
Dimon ended the three-day conference on an optimistic note. Asked for final advice for the group assembled in San Francisco, he responded: “Don’t be so damned depressed.” Leaders have been programmed to be risk averse since the financial crisis, but the economic forces are generally in America’s and the world’s favor. We have all become risk experts and are afraid of our own shadow at this point. Move on. The world is going to be fine.”
What this said to me was… Yes, be positive, be upbeat, be excited about the world, about life. Take risks, explore and hey, why not make a few mistakes? Perfect is not human. Wouldn’t it be a novel concept to know that you or your organization are going to explore the fringes of everything in a way that has never been done before? How about bringing that curious, playful child that lives inside you out. My feeling is, if you are happy and positive, not afraid to take risks, purposeful, authentic, and treat everyone around you as a human with a beating heart, you will not be one of the companies (or with one of the companies) that will not be with us in the next 10 years.
So, this is the final blog about this conference. My question to you is, what are you going to do today to not be afraid, to not be “risk averse,” but to stretch the typical boundaries? How will you be upbeat, positive and unbelievably curious? Start the exploration process today. I can feel it, you get it and it feels good!
Who would have thought that a Fortune Conference could leave me with a new sense of purpose or bring me back to true north? That it could remind me to be authentic, to be real, to have a beating heart and to not be afraid to make mistakes and to explore relentlessly —with a big smile and a positive, upbeat attitude. Oh, my! It just hit me… If what I took away from this CEO conference sticks, the world of business is going to be better than ever! I think it already did stick and the seismic shift to a more mindful business world is here. And yes, it could be that 40% of the companies won’t make this shift and they won’t be with us in 10 years.
But now, after I have had a chance to reflect on what I learned at the Fortune Conference, I think if we can keep the simple values that I came away with, then we will all be in a better place for business in 2025.