Chairman, CEO & Co-Founder, Blackstone
The world has changed at a breathtaking 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 dare to imagine what lies ahead and ask “What if..?"
What if everyone lived to 100 years old? What if the world had no borders? What if business could solve the world’s biggest problems? What if robots replaced the global workforce? What if all boards were 50% female? What if you were able to stop the great ideas leaving your company?
These are just some of the questions we will speculate about on what promises to be an insightful and thought provoking day.
Book your place and join a host of business leaders and London Business School faculty as we look to future of business and ask “What if..?”Global Leadership Summit films
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
What if we incentivise long-run growth?
The 20th century firm was predominantly capital-intensive. The key assets were physical – factories, land, and machines. The key challenge for shareholders (and society) was to ensure that managers did not misuse corporate resources for their own benefit, for example by paying themselves excessive salaries, building empires through value-destructive acquisitions, or simply shirking and enjoying the quiet life. As a result, investors focused on closely monitoring management – using financial statements to measure a firm’s physical assets and current profits, and tying executives’ pay to short-term performance.
The world has changed. The key assets in the modern firm are intangible – human capital, brand strength, R&D capabilities, and corporate social responsibility (goodwill with one’s customers, suppliers, employees, and regulators). These assets cannot be reduced to simple numbers on a balance sheet, nor do they show up in short-term profits – instead, their benefits may take several years to manifest. The focus on measurement, while appropriate for the 20th-century firm, backfires with the 21st- century firm. Evaluating managers according to tangible short-term measures will cause them to ignore the intangible drivers of long-term value.
Alex Edmans, Professor of Finance
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 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
Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship; Chair, Strategy and Entrepreneurship Faculty
Adjunct Professor of Marketing
Dean and Professor of Management Practice in Accounting
Deputy Dean of Programmes; Professor of Economics
Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship
Now is a time of profound choices for Japanese workers, and particularly its Gen Y generation, argues Lynda Gratton.
With its oil wealth and increasingly influential role in the world, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is moving towards the economic centre stage.
Andrew Scott makes sense of the new technology-enhanced educational landscape.
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 can employees take the lead in innovation? Julian Birkinshaw and Lisa Duke went in search of employee-led innovation and found some inspiring examples.
Research by Professor George Land has shown an alarming decline in our creativity as we go through the educational system.
How should academics keep up-to-date with issues such as corporate social responsibility? Ioannis Ioannou is advocating a more interventionist approach.
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.
India's working population will overtake China's by 2030. The most formidable talent pool in the world is a huge advantage — and challenge.
Blog post: CSR as a Driver for Innovation, Competitiveness and Growth.
Julian Birkinshaw examines innovative approaches to seeing the world through the eyes of your employees.
Andrew Likierman argues that the role of boards in making change happen in the financial services is important and likely to grow.
HR should focus on 'aggregate talent' over individuals.
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.
Royston Seaward and Martin Laws look at how companies of the future will use innovation to optimise the workplace for employees and clients.
The crowdfunding phenomenon has seen rapid growth over the last couple of years. Research firm Massolution estimates that crowdfunding platforms raised $2.7 billion.
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.