Senior Editor-at-Large, Fortune Magazine and Author, Talent is Overrated
A Clear-Eyed Vision of the Future
Colvin provides audiences with clear-eyed analysis of the key issues impacting business today. From the landscape of the global economy and the impact of Washington’s policies to healthcare and management, Colvin speaks with authority on the topics that will define the business world now and in the future.
Standing Out and Moving Up
Colvin is the author of two groundbreaking books, Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers From Everybody Elseand The Upside of the Downturn, which examines the ways in which business can compete in an age of diminished expectations. Through a career of talking and debating with some of the finest business minds in American and the world today, Colvin’s books show a thinker who knows both the way businesses used to differentiate themselves as well as how forward-looking enterprises change and thrive.
“LEADING AHEAD OF WHAT’S NEXT”
The whole world of business is changing in historic and profound ways – competition, technology, government’s role, and the balance of global economic power are shifting massively — and it’s happening fast! Successfully navigating the tumult is every leader’s great challenge today and Geoff Colvin helps them meet it. Colvin has a unique perspective rooted in 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. Competing and winning in business today requires extraordinary leadership at every level of the organization. In a presentation that’s as relevant as the day’s headlines, Colvin explains what’s important, what isn’t, and what’s next – offering audiences specific strategies they can put to work right now to navigate the future.
“THE ECONOMIC OUTLOOK”
It’s what everybody wants to know. Today’s economic environment is more volatile and uncertain than at any time in memory: The BRICs are slowing, America’s growing, Europe’s a question mark; technology is upending whole industries; surging demographic changes are creating new challenges and opportunities; governments are playing a larger role than they have in decades. And it all changes by the day. Colvin uses his relationships with top leaders to get ahead of official statistics and explain the latest trends and what they mean. Engaging, energetic, and topical, he helps his audience put it all together to make better decisions.
“TALENT IS OVERRATED – UNEXPECTED TRUTHS OF GREAT PERFORMANCE”
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 we’ll 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 – how passion, honesty, and learning are more valuable than hours, IQ, or “native ability.” In this engaging, entertaining talk, Colvin demonstrates that world-class performance doesn’t come from mysterious natural gifts but rather from highly specific behaviors that every person and organization can adopt. Those who apply these principles gain a tremendous advantage.
“THE POWER OF ONE: ALIGNING YOUR ORGANIZATION’S INCREDIBLE STRENGTHS”
It’s one of the most striking trends in business today: companies feeling frustrated that the tremendous abilities inside their organizations – the knowledge, creativity, and innovation – aren’t being combined as one to deliver knockout products and services that leave competitors wondering what hit them. For most businesses it’s a huge missed opportunity. Yet a growing number of companies, as varied as Ford, Apple, Lego, Amazon, and Hershey, have cracked the code and are achieving extraordinary success as a result. Colvin explains how they do it and how your organization can too – before your competitors beat you to it.
“BECOMING RADICALLY CUSTOMER-CENTRIC: THE NEW OPPORTUNITY”
All companies like to claim they’re customer-centric, but few truly are. Most don’t deeply understand the varied wants and needs of their different customers, or craft different customer value propositions to meet those customers’ wants and needs – nor do they know how much money they actually make (or lose) with each customer or customer segment. Such companies are guaranteed to be wasting resources and losing customers to savvier competitors. There’s no excuse for that to happen. Big Data and powerful new analytic tools are changing the game, but they’re of no use unless companies know how to use them. Colvin, co-author of the groundbreaking book on this topic, Angel Customers and Demon Customers, explains how smart companies are taking customer-centricity to undreamed-of heights – and how doing so turbocharges profits.
EXTRAORDINARY PANEL MODERATOR, DISCUSSION LEADER, EMCEE/HOST
Geoff Colvin is master of a rare skill: he creates great conversation. He’s honed that skill for years at FORTUNE magazine’s most important senior executive conferences all over the globe. Colvin has interviewed heads of state and top leaders from business and government — he’s also moderated panels of high profile executives and officials on the most challenging and sensitive of topics. Colvin 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 at this specialty that many top firms can’t imagine doing an important program without calling on his unique talents. As an attendee at a recent conference told the event organizer, “Geoff Colvin literally made this conference.”
“In a word: fantastic! Geoff really was perfect for this. He kept the conversation lively. Geoff really knocked it out of the ballpark.”
“No surprise, Geoff was articulate and insightful, thoughtful on global and fiscal issues affecting industry and candid on impressions of leadership. Not to mention, a wonderful man who I will forever be indebted to.”
– CEO, The Elliot Group
“Thanks so very much for your moderating today. I felt relaxed and right at home.”
– George H.W. Bush
“Once again your stewardship of the business sessions opened the door for a truly interactive and valuable dialogue for everyone. Your depth of understanding of the challenges these companies are facing and the opportunities that lie ahead added tremendously to our conversations.”
– John Chambers, CEO, Cisco
“The consensus was: “He did a great job.” “He was dead on.” “He said what we needed to here.” “Great job.” I truly didn’t hear one bad or negative comment. He was a total “hit”. He was a total delight to work with (as were all of you). Thank you for everything.”
– Assistant to the CEO and President, Vanguard Health Systems
“Thank you very much for joining me this week at the THINK Finance: CFO CIO Leadership Exchange in New York and for contributing to our event in such a substantial manner. It was such a pleasure to see you again and share the stage with you. As with previous exchanges, you helped to draw out important insights from our speakers and deliver tremendous value to our audience. We at IBM value the perspectives you brought to our session and appreciate the time you spent with us. Thank you again for making our event a priority.”
– IBM Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
“Geoff was wonderful and feedback was glowing from my team, leadership and personally. I loved meeting him and he was a true professional and absolutely lovely!”
– Marketing Manager, Agile-1
“Geoff turned in two outstanding performances for Commonfund. His grasp of business issues is second to none and his engaging style consistently pulls the best comments from our panelists. What more could one ask? But actually Geoff delivers more without our asking. He is one of the most genuinely respectful and caring people on the speaking circuit. And despite his vast business knowledge and superior interviewing skill, he hasn’t a trace of ego.”
– Producer, Lovett Productions
“You are as good as any interviewer I’ve ever worked with. You seem to bring out the best in everyone, and you sure do with me. I hope our paths cross again before too long.”
– Hank Paulson, Former Secretary of the Treasury & Chairman, The Paulson Institute
“Geoff was AMAZING. All the feedback that we have been receiving for the keynote and panel has been very positive.”
– Administrative Assistant, Omers Private Equity
“He was amazing! One of the best we’ve had . . . executives loved him as well as students, and he was so inspirational to our student group – they are a hard audience, and rallied around his message on Talent is Overrated. So true!”
–Director of Executive Learning and Marketing, Belmont University
“Evaluation comments indicate that registrants especially liked your humor, the easy-to-understand message and the way you transitioned the information theory to real world applications. You generated an overall evaluation score of 8.64. This, coupled with the numerous positive comments, means your presentation, ‘How the Best Companies are Winning Today and Why Talent is Overrated’, was a great SUCCESS!”
–Director of Conference Programs, Industrial Asset Management Council