“… much of the conversation at Fortune Brainstorm Tech isn’t about tech at all, but about people—and how you build organizations that can deal with the complexity and the velocity of change facing today’s corporations.
Target CEO Brian Cornell continued the theme on Tuesday morning at the second day of our conference. … when asked later by Susie Gharib what the best leadership advice he ever received was, he said: ‘At the end of the day, it always comes down to people, and the values and empowerment that create a great team environment.’
… The topic was business transformation, and around the table were twenty top executives and veterans of transformation efforts at storied companies. I asked them for lessons learned, and while I can’t quote them by name, I can pass on some of their wisdom:
— ‘Overweight the future’ – to counter the fact that organizations tend to protect the past.
— ‘If you try to establish a vision for the future, you will fail. The question isn’t what you want to do in the future, but what you would like to do now, and can’t.’
— ‘Never get too high on the highs, and never get too low on the lows.’
— To develop great talent, don’t find ‘the best person for the job,’ but the ‘best job for that person.’
— ‘If it has a different business model, it needs to be under a different roof—and maybe have a different bathroom.’
— ‘Not everyone is going to come along for the change. You can’t be shy about shooting people who don’t come along.’ Or, as another participant put it, ‘at some point in time, you have to burn the ships on the shore.'”