PALM SPRINGS, CA – I had the real privilege to attend EY’s Strategic Growth Forum (SGF) in Palm Springs last week. An amazing event focusing on mid-cap growth businesses and entrepreneurial startups from across the Americas.
The event itself was flawlessly executed. Quality and attention to detail at a level I have never before experienced in corporate events and hospitality – so kudos to the EY team that made the event happen.
In terms of takeaways, it was a real honor to be relatively up close and personal with some inspirational and highly effective leaders – (I didn’t manage to attend them all as I was working after all) but managed to squeeze in some really amazing talks – Jeffery Immelt from GE, David Rubenstein CEO of the Carlyle Group (maybe the best speaker I have ever seen on the topic of business), Kathy Ireland, Dr Kjell Nordstrom from Stockholm School of Economics, Jeffrey Sprecher of ICE who just bought the NYSE, Hamdi Ulukaya of Chobani, and Andre Agassi.
What did I take away? Here are my key thoughts:
- Purpose. It is essential in life and as a business. In my world, this is good news since BrandPie helps companies find their purpose and bring it to life internally and externally.
- People. Every speaker made no bones about it: get the best people, (almost) at any cost, so long as they fit your culture.
- Failure. It is good. Do it. Do it fast. Learn from it and move forward.
- Luck. All modestly, but probably accurately, credited luck as a powerful factor in any success.
- Learning. Every single one was passionate about constantly learning and its importance.
Of course, there were many more points made – I particularly related to Jeff Immelt’s passion for focus on outcomes as well as a culture of “zero optionality” at GE; and Kjell Nordstrom’s point that technology has abolished the need for “the centre” so that relationships, organisations and communities can operate “periphery to periphery.”
Time well spent.