Geoff Colvin

Geoff Colvin

Senior Editor-at-Large, Fortune Magazine

Millions of eyes and ears count on — and respect — Geoff Colvin’s insights on the key issues driving change in business, politics, and the economy. The senior editor-at-large of Fortune magazine, Colvin draws on his years of insider access to top government figures and high-profile executives to share effective leadership strategies, and provide actionable insights on the business climate of today and tomorrow.

Now in his fourth decade at Fortune, Colvin is one of business journalism’s sharpest and most respected commentators on leadership, management, globalization, regulation, corporate governance, competition, the economy, the InfoTech revolution, human performance, and related issues. His regular column and frequent cover stories in Fortune have earned him millions of loyal readers.

Colvin is also the author of four books, including the ground-breaking international bestseller Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else. It received the Harold A. Longman Award for “Best Business Book of the Year,” and was called both “spectacular” and “fascinating” by Charlie Rose. His latest book, Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will, looks at the trend of technology displacing jobs, and how people can create value for their organizations and their careers in the changing economy.

As a speaker, Colvin has presented to hundreds of audiences across six continents. He is known for bringing clarity to the most important and complex issues impacting business and the economy. He is also a skilled on-stage interviewer whose subjects have included Jack Welch, Henry Kissinger, Richard Branson, the Prince of Wales, Bill Gates, Alan Greenspan, Steve Case, Ted Turner, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and many others.

In the media, Colvin has appeared on The Today Show, 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 an anchor of Wall $treet Week with Fortune on PBS, and is a daily contributor for CBS Radio Network, where he reaches seven million listeners each week.


Confronting Reality – Leading Ahead of Disruption

Every day can bring harsh new surprises. Economic and policy change. The competitor or new business model you never saw coming. Game-changing technology. Competing in the friction-free economy has leaders worrying most about what they don’t know. In his talk, Geoff Colvin leverages nearly 40 years at Fortune to arm audiences with valuable perspective on the trends driving business disruption, revealing how top leaders are confronting them right now. Economic growth, consumer demand, interest rates, taxes, employment costs — these issues are transforming the business environment daily, and Geoff provides unparalleled insights in terms you won’t hear elsewhere. And while political winds may blow toward protectionism, the market trends powering the friction-free economy are technological and going strong, requiring swift and full attention. As a result, winning in business today demands extraordinary leadership acting on the best intelligence it can find. Geoff’s message is optimistic and energizing: opportunity is more widely available than ever and there will be winners — why shouldn’t it be you?

The Future of Work – How Will Humans Fit In?

With robots and smart machines doing so much of the work humans used to do, what is the future of work? Where will humans add value? What job skills will be most in-demand? Geoff Colvin answers these questions and more in this talk based on research for his New York Times bestselling book, Humans are Underrated. Forward-thinking employers say the critical skills they’ll need most to compete in the future are those that focus on social interaction: collaboration, storytelling, social sensitivity, brainstorming, creating and innovating with others, leading, and above all — empathy. The need to transition to newly valuable skills is happening faster than organizations and most psyches can adapt. And for those companies balancing a workforce of people and machines, there are political and PR consequences. Geoff reveals what top organizations are doing to prepare for the future of work. The good news is that we humans already have what it takes — it’s up to us to make of it what we will.

Where is this Economy Headed?

Even before the new alignment of power in Washington, it was the question on everyone’s mind: where are the U.S. and global economies going? Now it’s even more urgent — and uncertain. The economic picture can change dramatically with a single tweet, and Geoff Colvin covers it in depth from his perch at Fortune. In opinion surveys, top CEOs and ordinary consumers say the same thing: there’s too much change, too fast; we can’t keep up. We all remember a time when it was easier to anticipate where things might be headed, when the consequences of misjudgment were less severe. Now a meltdown of financial markets in China can ripple globally and take down a trillion dollars in assets in a single day — and such volatility is becoming more common. Geoff helps audiences make sense of the forces driving economic change — offering a glimpse of where each may take you and your business.

Confronting Technology – Are You Ready?

It’s a huge opportunity if you’re aware of it — a mortal threat if you’re not. The technology that revolutionizes lives and businesses is advancing at an increasing rate. Each stride forward is bigger than the last. A $1,000 laptop will possess the computing power of a human brain by 2023 and the computing power of all human brains by 2050. Are you ready for the opportunities and challenges such technology will bring? Most people aren’t. Every business and businessperson now needs a new, uniquely modern competence: the discipline of confronting the reality of future tech, which we cannot intuitively picture, combined with the creativity of imagining what might be possible when that future arrives. Geoff describes what’s happening in an exciting, accessible way and shows how today’s most successful businesses are thinking and acting in new ways to own the incredible future. Geoff’s presentation will help align your people and make them more disciplined in confronting the future.

Talent is Overrated – How Great Performers Really Got Great

Scientific research on great performance shows that what most of us believe about hard work and raw talent is off base. That means most of us will never perform as well as we could. Geoff Colvin, author of the ground-breaking international bestseller Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else, explains the findings and relates them to real life in real organizations. He shows how most organizations value the wrong things — that passion, honesty, and learning are more valuable than hours, IQ, or “native ability.” Geoff demonstrates that world-class performance comes from behaviors that every person and organization can adopt. Those who apply these principles gain a tremendous competitive advantage and Geoff cites relevant examples to prove it and launch an important conversation in your organization.

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 — keeping the discussion relevant and the energy high.