By Katrien Audenaert Partner, The Resilience Institute Europe, November 28th 2019


WOBI – the world of business ideas- is a leading global business content hub. Their goal is to produce and distribute the best management media content to help companies and their top executives improve the way they manage their organizations. They strongly believe that knowledge is the ultimate competitive advantage. Organized in cities across the world, WOBI’s events gather thousands of senior executives to learn from the most influential business thought leaders and practitioners.

The speakers at the WOBI Forum NYC 2019 – Jim Collins, Simon Sinek, Dr. Janet L. Yellen, Guy Hamel, Marcus Buckingham, Zoë Chance, Kory Kogon, Randi Zuckerberg, Hal Gregersen and Ian Williamson- delivered excellent keynotes, full of interesting and often challenging ideas.

I went back home with 5 major take-aways:

–       Greatness or excellence is not luck or personality: it is a matter of conscious choice and discipline. It involves disciplined people, who combine humility with will and put themselves at the service of others. Take care of your people instead of your career and they will take care of you (Jim Collins).

–       When you operate in an age of uncertainty, in a VUCA world, there are no real answers. If we are stuck, questions are the answers. We need to compose conditions and wait for catalytic questioning: build daily disciplines to surface the right questions. Ask questions that make you feel uncomfortable, quiet, wrong, … Build good questioning patterns. If you have a challenge, instead of looking for answers, start with questions and your challenge will become much clearer and sharper. Try these question bursts with a buddy or with your team and you will be surprised! (Hal Gregersen)

–       Stephen Covey’s urgent-important matrix is not only about personal time management. Leaders should help their teams to getting things done with quality, by rewarding Quadrant 2 (important-not urgent) behaviors and keeping them out of Quadrant 1 (urgent and important) when possible (Kory Kogon).

–       Simon Sinek showed us how to live a life with an infinite mindset, even though our lives are finite. The goal is not to win the competition but to outlast the competition. It is a conscious choice based on the following principles. Advance a just cause: a vision that is so beautiful that we are willing to sacrifice for. Build trusting teams. Study your rivals because their strengths reveal your weaknesses. Build existential flexibility, this capacity to make a profound strategic shift. Have the courage to lead because the pressure to play the finite game is very high. Take care of each other: we have a lot of matrixes to measure performance but so little to measure trust.

–       Marcus Buckingham showed us that excellence has its own configuration. We cannot learn about it by studying its opposite. He blew me away with his ‘9 lies about work’. Using the example of Messi’s extraordinary dribble with his left foot in the Copa Del Rei in 2015, he showed us how learning comes from within and is done with passion, joy and love. Ask yourself: ‘what is my left foot?’ What am I really good at?’. Your strength is your opportunity: focus on what you are best at. Practice it. Know what you love and spend a week in love with your job. What are the current activities in my job that I love? What strengthens you?

I am already looking forward to the WOBI 2020!

Share This