If you are looking for some good forward thinking that will stretch your brain, here are the top five talks that have influenced much of my thinking in the past year.
1. Gary Hamel’s talk, “Manage Differently NOW” at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit 2009. Hamel was recently ranked by the Wall Street Journal as he world’s most influential business thinker. In his talk Hamel states, “Organizations lose relevance when internal change lags behind external change”. He explains that in order to stay agile and outrun change organizations must do four things:
a. Conquer denial
b. Generate more strategic options
c. De-construct what you already believe
d. Move away from a top-down structure
I highly recommend watching this with your team. It will spawn some insightful dialog. You can buy it online as part of the whole conference DVD set or better yet, hopefully you have a friend that you can borrow it from.
2. Cisco CEO John Chambers made my mind spin in his Enterprise 2.0 : The workforce of the future (video is near the bottom of the page).
The main point I took away was that collaboration and corporate social networking are key to a global enterprise excelling in the future. Helping people move in this direction ought to be a main task of an operational leader.
A brain dump of my thoughts from this talk is posted.
4. Bill Hybels gave me a Christmas present. His talk Leading in a new reality highlighted the critical need for spiritual leaders to lead from the heart. As always, there is tons of ideas on organizational structure and leadership from Bill as well.
5. Clay Shirky on How cellphones, Twitter, Facebook can make history at TED. This talk helps to understand the implications of social media on global communications.