Professor Lynda Gratton
Professor of Management Practice; Executive Education Faculty Director
The world has changed at a breath taking pace over the last five decades - transforming the way in which we live and work in surprising and unexpected ways.
Given the unpredictability of the modern era, this year’s Summit will look to the future, imagining potential scenarios and the consequent challenges and opportunities they may bring.
What if business could solve the world’s biggest problems? What if everyone lived to 100 years old? What if the world had no borders? What if robots replaced the global workforce?
These are just some of the questions we will speculate about on what promises to be an insightful and thought provoking day.
Join us as we imagine the future of business and ask: “What if..?”
What if..? The future of business
2015 Global Leadership Summit
The Evolution of Brand Content and the Sharing Economy
The Importance of Open Innovation and Collaboration
The changing dynamic of the customer and service provider relationship
The changing sources of competitive advantage
Professor of Management Practice; Executive Education Faculty Director
Chairman, CEO & Co-Founder, Blackstone
Chairman, UN Association; Gatehouse Advisory Partners; and Lambert Energy Advisory
Adjunct Professor of Economics, London Business School
Author and Founder, eatbigfish
Senior Partner, Deloitte
Deputy Chairman, Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide; Adjunct Professor of Marketing, London Business School
Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour, London Business School
Deputy Dean of Programmes; Professor of Economics
Professor of Marketing; Tony and Maureen Wheeler Chair in Entrepreneurship
Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship
Professor of Management, London Business School
What if we run out of resources?
In a world faced with acute resource scarcity, businesses will have to adopt novel and radically innovative business models, in close collaboration with their supply chains, but also their other key stakeholders. Such models will have to be based on sustainable, recyclable and reusable inputs, and will have to design, produce, and deliver outputs from which firms will be able to recover a significant amount of material to feed back into their supply chain. Even with today’s technology for instance, it is cheaper to extract gold from one tonne of used mobile phones than it is to extract the same amount from one tonne of gold ore!
Businesses will also have to pioneer smart new ways through which to engage with their customers to ensure efficient utilisation of limited resources: for example, to lease to them products that deliver services rather than to sell products that end up in landfills. They will have to expand the scope and the reach of their partnerships, to maximise resource productivity through systems-level change and a transition towards a more circular rather than a linear economy. They will therefore contribute towards a reformed economic system that in many ways will mimic the natural ecosystem, in that materials may be produced sustainably and in relative abundance while the waste that is generated provides raw materials for other parts of the system, thus enabling sustainable future growth.
Ioannis Ioannou, Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship
What if my idea won't work?
John Mullins explains why it pays to challenge your business idea before throwing time and money at it.
In the US, 64 per cent of people see the opportunity to start a business as a desirable career choice (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, 2014). But without passion, conviction and tenacity, few entrepreneurs can endure the challenges, setbacks and twists in the road. Along with these traits, the best entrepreneurs have a willingness to ask a simple question: “What if my idea won’t work?”
Being an entrepreneur requires unwavering commitment. In the UK, an average week sees entrepreneurs spend 44 hours working on their idea, compared to a typical 39-hour full-time employee working week (Barclays research). Aspiring entrepreneurs – whether contemplating a raw start-up or buried deep in an established company – ask this important question for a simple reason. They understand the odds. They know most business plans never raise money. They know most new ventures fail. Most of all, they don’t want to end up starting and running a business that goes nowhere in the end. Despite asking this question every day, their passion never wavers. They are so committed that they want to know why they might be wrong before they are proved to be so.
John Mullins, Assistant Professor of Management Practice in Marketing and Entrepreneurship
What if we knew what was next?
We live in the information age, which according to Wikipedia is a period in human history characterised by the shift from industrial production to one based on information and computerisation. But what comes next? Just as the industrial age gradually gave way to the information age in the post-war period, we can safely assume that something else lies beyond the information age. Of course, firms will always need to harness information in effective ways, just as most of them still need industrial techniques to make their products cheaply and efficiently. But at some point information will become necessary but not sufficient for firms to be successful.
So here is a way of addressing this challenge: ask yourself, what would a world with too much information look like? And what problems would it create? Here are a couple of initial responses to get the conversation going. One problem created by too much information is “analysis paralysis” – we become so obsessed about collecting more information that we fail to act on it. Another is that easy access to data makes us intellectually lazy, with the result that we allow rapid processing power to substitute for thinking. In both cases, an excess of information puts a premium on our capacity to make smart and timely judgments. Maybe judgment and action are the scarce resources of the post-information age?
Julian Birkinshaw, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship
Can crowdfunding offer a viable source of funding to growth orientated businesses around the world? 2015 promises to be a big year for crowdfunding in terms of the role it may play in getting entrepreneurial ventures off the ground.
London Business School expert warns leaders to proceed with caution
Human progress has always involved gathering more and more energy, and getting it at cheaper
We live in the information age, which according to Wikipedia is a period in human history characterised by the shift from industrial production to one based on information and computerisation. But what comes next?
In a world faced with acute resource scarcity, businesses will have to adopt novel and radically innovative business models, in close collaboration with their supply chains, but also their other key stakeholders.
John explains why it pays to challenge your business idea before throwing time and money at it.
With research from Deloitte suggesting many lower-skilled workers may lose their jobs to machines in the future, should people be worried about the impact that increased levels of automation will have on employment?
Putting a number on intangibles such as human capital, brand strength and corporate social responsibility is tricky. But 21st century businesses need to find a way.
Cameron’s no-show at last night’s election debate may prove a masterstroke
Isabel Fernandez-Mateo wants to know why there are so few women at the top
What’s your scarcest resource at work? Most people answer, without hesitation, that it’s time. It certainly is finite, but I would argue that time isn’t actually your scarcest resource...
Professor Lynda Gratton says that families will benefit both emotionally and financially from the new UK laws as they’re able to ‘diversify their investments’
Richard Hytner on the nature of leadership and how this led him to his new book Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows.
Entrepreneurs using wealth and power to transform society are not a new phenomenon.
What is the model of the modern major CEO? Randall Peterson argues that the trend is moving away from the boss whose chief weapons are fear and control.
How should academics keep up-to-date with issues such as corporate social responsibility? Ioannis Ioannou is advocating a more interventionist approach.
Lynda Gratton, Professor of Management Practice in Organisational Behaviour at London Business School, has been included in the 6th annual 100 Women to Watch list for 2015.
About 90 per cent of Generation Y employees plan to stay less than five years with one employer, while nearly 40 per cent start a new role already planning their next career move, a study said.
The crowdfunding phenomenon has seen rapid growth over the last couple of years. Research firm Massolution estimates that crowdfunding platforms raised $2.7 billion.
Royston Seaward and Martin Laws look at how companies of the future will use innovation to optimise the workplace for employees and clients.
7800 millennials from 29 countries share their views on business, leadership and doing good.
ESG moving out of the compliance room and into the heart of the investment process.
HR should focus on 'aggregate talent' over individuals.
Julian Birkinshaw examines innovative approaches to seeing the world through the eyes of your employees.
With its oil wealth and increasingly influential role in the world, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is moving towards the economic centre stage.
Andrew Likierman argues that the role of boards in making change happen in the financial services is important and likely to grow.
Blog post: CSR as a Driver for Innovation, Competitiveness and Growth.
India's working population will overtake China's by 2030. The most formidable talent pool in the world is a huge advantage — and challenge.
Knowledge work is an understood idea and phenomena, but what about the nitty-gritty of actually making it effective? Julian Birkinshaw and Jordan Cohen make knowledge work real.
Research by Professor George Land has shown an alarming decline in our creativity as we go through the educational system.
How can employees take the lead in innovation? Julian Birkinshaw and Lisa Duke went in search of employee-led innovation and found some inspiring examples.
Andrew Scott makes sense of the new technology-enhanced educational landscape.