For me, the greatest learning from Drucker’s ideas and the Forum is that it is not enough for managers and tomorrow’s leaders to recognize that the world around them in a constant state of chaos. Besides “business –as usual”, organizations today have an additional role to play in overcoming the cloud of distrust that has surrounded private sector as a response to the recent recessionary situations. In the words of Adrian Wooldridge, one of the keynote speakers at the Forum and columnist for The Economist, “we must pay heed to the warnings of the external environment”. Managers and organizations must shed managerial myopia, and as suggested by Rick Wartzman, a columnist for Forbes, resolve the “disconnect between what we know, what we say and do.” Organizations and its people need to continually evaluate how they are contributing to the wealth producing capacity and adding value through innovation and operational excellence. One notable example was provided by Patrick Deconinck, Senior Vice President of 3M, when he talked about 3M’s practice of measuring “Innovation Vitality” through an index. Kathleen Mazzarella (CEO of Graybar) and Peter Solmssen (Member of Managing Board at Siemens, AG) stressed on employee- centric and participatory business models, so crucial for profitability, growth and a competitive advantage. Pierre Hessler, Capgemini’s Chairman’s delegate, in his signature style moderated an excellent panel on “Looking for signposts for future” which aptly summarized experiences of offspring of capitalism 2.0: cooperatives, employee owned corporations, partnerships vs. traditional organizations. This is the sunny side of the capitalistic reality is that organizations have found collaborative models to sustain and thrive. Continuing the theme of alliance building, Professor Linda Gratton of London Business School stressed the importance of technology and open collaboration systems. The Forum also touched on how Capitalism has adapted to local contexts, providing interesting realities. Professor John Quelch of China Europe International Business School in his amazing talk, provided cases of how companies are adapting marketing communication to a digitalized and community based society in China. Alexander Triebnigg, President of Novartis in Brazil described the “state capitalism” model. Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever also mentioned how consumer expectations are changing world over, and how they contrast in Europe and other markets.
Overall, an excellent platform to absorb advice from the best!
Yavnika Khanna is currently a project manager at Capgemini Consulting. Besides a bachelors degree in Business Studies from Delhi University and an MBA from KJ Somaiya Institute of Management and Research (SIMSR), she holds about 5 years of professional experience with various international consultancies.She is also the founder member and elected National Coordinator of Liberal Youth Forum- India (lyfindia.org), a youth organization promoting the ideas of liberty, market principles and self- governance. She is also one of the winners in managers/entrepreneurs category at Drucker Challenge 2012.