SIG just made its maiden voyage across the big pond for our first Regional Roundtable in London (Members, download the presentations by clicking here). While it may not have been as widely attended as the wedding of Will and Kate the week before, we were still met with a royal welcome and encouragement to expand into the rest of the UK and Europe. With the warmth and hospitality of the UK still fresh, I couldn’t help going back there in my mind when my son asked me, "Mom, if you could get the answer to only one more question in your lifetime, what would that question be?"
That single inquisitive moment from my pre-teen son brought my mind right back to the UK…to All Souls College, Oxford, the esteemed "best of the best" graduate school that a year ago dropped the most arduous part of the entrance exam…the dreaded one word question, known as Essay. Words like bias, miracles, style, chaos, innocence, morality, and recently water—so horrifying in their simplicity, yet requiring three hours to respond to something that does not ask a question, yet expects an answer. A challenge, to be sure…and one that many of the most decorated scholars, historians and writers failed…yet so brilliant in its humble one-word form. I frankly think it’s a shame that the school has done away with Essay. It raised thought-provoking and mind-bending responses. So my answer to my son was not a question, but rather one word requiring a thoughtful reply…"revolution".
To be more specific, I’d like to see responses to "corporate revolution". Think of what it would be like to be surrounded by brilliant leaders pondering "corporate revolution". I know some of the concepts I would incorporate into my response—things like leadership, vision, passion and the ability to make people feel "safe" on the journey. Corporate revolution would require a leader that could soar like an eagle and yet have the heart of a lion; a leader that could hunt on the ground or rise above the noise and see the road to success.
At our October SIG Global Leadership Summit, we’ll be pondering this question…or rather, this concept…at our "Revolution Roundtable". After our four groups of CPOs, CIOs, CFOs and BPO leads convene concurrently; we’ll bring them all together and put them at cross-functional tables to discuss corporate revolution. Unlike the many people over the years that sat for the All Souls Prize Fellowship who flipped over the paper to find that one daunting word, we’re giving you months to think about how you’ll respond and what you can bring to the table. Are you up for the challenge?