Experience counts in serious times. For four decades at Fortune, Geoff Colvin has covered the economic, political, technological, and competitive forces disrupting business and how top leaders and companies adapt and transform to win in spite of them. The big takeaway, Geoff says, is that winning companies and leaders summon the courage to act – they stop protecting the past and start inventing the future – and they confront this reality faster than the competition. As business leaders face their biggest challenge ever, Geoff Colvin is the voice of experience who shines a light – revealing a clearer path for an uncertain future. His columns and cover stories for Fortune have earned him millions of loyal fans. Many of them also hear him dispense critical business insights on the CBS Radio Network, where he reaches seven million listeners each week. Geoff’s bestselling books include The Upside of the Downturn, Talent is Overrated, and Humans are Underrated. A keynote speaker with compelling content, Geoff Colvin is also a brilliant panel moderator and interviewer.
As Fortune‘s senior editor-at-large, Geoff Colvin is now in his fourth decade at Fortune. He is one of business journalism’s sharpest and most respected commentators on leadership, management, globalization, government regulation, corporate governance, competition, the economy, the infotech revolution, human performance, and related issues.
In addition to his daily CBS Radio Network segments (he’s done over 15,000 since 1995), Geoff has appeared on Today, Good Morning America, Squawk Box, CBS This Morning, ABC's World News Tonight, CNN, PBS's Nightly Business Report, and dozens of other programs. He also served as anchor of Wall $treet Week with Fortune on PBS.
In addition to speaking, Geoff is also a brilliant panel moderator, emcee, and interviewer whose subjects have included Madeleine Albright, Ben Bernanke, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Bill Gates, Timothy Geithner, Alan Greenspan, Henry Kissinger, Henry M. Paulson, Colin Powell, Robert Reich, Condoleezza Rice, Desmond Tutu, H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, Jack Welch, Janet Yellen, and many others.
Geoff is a respected author whose groundbreaking international bestseller, Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else, has been published in a dozen languages. The Upside of the Downturn: Management Strategies for Difficult Times was named “Best Management Book of the Year” by Strategy + Business magazine. Geoff’s latest book is Humans are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will. It’s based on the idea in his wildly popular Fortune article “In the Future Will There Be Any Work Left for People to Do?” It looks at the trend of advancing technology performing ever more tasks better than people perform them, and the ways humans will create value for their organizations and their careers in the changing economy. The ideas he shares have profound implications for every business and industry.
A native of Vermillion, South Dakota, Geoff Colvin is an honors graduate of Harvard with an economics degree and an M.B.A. from New York University’s Stern School of Business.
Keynote Topics (all can be customized):
NO NEW NORMAL: LEADING IN CONTINUOUS CHANGE
The pandemic accelerated just about every trend you can think of. Nonstop change has now become the norm, and the world isn’t going back. While there is no “new normal,” the good news is we aren’t doomed to play defense. Geoff Colvin shows audiences how to embrace a world of continuous disruption while building powerful competitive advantages. This uplifting talk shows step-by-step how we can all respond faster to change and even get ahead of it as individuals, teams, and enterprises. Geoff provides actionable takeaways to help leaders face change smarter: • What the best leaders and companies are doing right now to create the future
- Why confronting reality faster is the key to seizing new opportunities
- Biggest pandemic lessons for business
- Scenario planning: surviving bad times begins with better decisions in good times
- 3 best ways to lead during crisis and disruption
- Creativity and innovation - how to unleash it individually and organizationally
THE NEW ECONOMIC ORDER – RISKS AND OPPORTUNITIES
Global turmoil has roiled an already fragile economic order in ways that are still unfolding. At Fortune, Geoff tells the economic story in terms that focus on the risks and opportunities. Business people already know the numbers – what they might miss is the big picture; the forces driving the trends causing disruptive change in their world and, most importantly, what to do about it. In this presentation, the economy isn’t a bunch of statistics; it’s a story that Geoff tells engagingly, humorously, and memorably with valuable takeaways because, as he says, “Even in tough times, somebody’s going to win, why not you?” Geoff covers:
- Why, even in times like this, it's vital to remain optimistic
- The latest data and trends curated for the audience/industry he's addressing
- A plain-spoken explanation of what's going on now - on Main Street, Wall Street in Washington, and globally.
- How successful companies are winning in this economy
HOW TO CREATE A BUSINESS MODEL BUILT FOR THE FUTURE
Brace yourself: In 2022, 94% of CEOs said their company’s business model will have to change in the next three years! More important: The majority of them also feel they aren’t making progress fast enough. Business model innovation has become a must-have competence for all companies. That’s a problem for those that are unprepared but a huge opportunity for the rest. Geoff Colvin identifies the inescapable forces that are rendering reliable old business models obsolete and shows how companies of any size in any industry can – and must – rise to the challenge. Geoff reveals:
- Inspiring examples of companies transforming their business model and winning
- Key trends driving the need for business model change
- How to just do it: Stop protecting yesterday and start creating the future
- The secrets to becoming a business model innovator
- How to adapt to a friction-free economy and create outsized opportunities
- Why human capital is the most valuable kind and how to make the most of it
LEARNING FROM THE WORLD’S GREATEST LEADERS
Through his work at Fortune, Geoff Colvin has seen top business leaders up close. Over the years, he’s gotten to know many of those leaders well. Watching them and talking with them has revealed eye-opening insights into how they cope with change, wrestle with transforming their companies, and face the economic, competitive, technological, and political forces buffeting their businesses. Geoff unpacks their stories in this talk uniquely crafted for each audience, showing relevant lessons learned from leaders and companies we all know. The talk can focus on several themes:
- The crucial process of making tough decisions
- Finding and keeping great employees
- Navigating regulatory uncertainty
- Adopting new technology
- Managing in a crisis
- Leading cultural change
PANEL MODERATOR, DISCUSSION LEADER, EMCEE/HOST
Geoff Colvin’s unique gift is his ability to brilliantly moderate panels, lead onstage interviews, and host/emcee. He’s played these roles for more than three decades at Fortune conferences worldwide. Top companies and associations regularly utilize Geoff because he gets the most out of participants; he asks the right questions, listens intently to what’s being said on stage, and responds to that. He also connects ideas and insights across sessions, transforming a multi-part program into a satisfying, unified whole. He always keeps the discussion relevant and the energy high.