Geoff Colvin Fortune Magazine


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 of Fortune magazine, and named by Directorship magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential Figures in Corporate Governance,” Colvin draws on his years of insider access to top government figures and high-profile executives to share effective leadership strategies, and provides his unparalleled perspective on the business climate of today…and tomorrow.

In addition to his regular column in Fortune, Colvin also authors frequent feature stories for the magazine and is daily on the CBS Radio Network, where he reaches seven million listeners each week.

Colvin’s ground breaking and bestselling book, Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else, received the Harold A. Longman Award for “Best Business Book of the Year,” and was called both “spectacular” and “fascinating” by Charlie Rose. His earlier book, The Upside of the Downturn: Ten Management Strategies to Prevail in the Recession and Thrive in the Aftermath, was named the “Best Management Book of the Year” by Strategy and Business magazines. His latest book, Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will, looks at the trend of technology displacing more jobs than it creates, and the ways people will create value for their organizations and their careers in the changing economy.

As a speaker, Colvin has engaged hundreds of audiences on six continents. 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. He is the regular lead moderator of the Fortune Global Forum, and he serves as moderator for the International Business Leaders Forum in London.

In the media, Colvin has appeared on The Today Show, The O’Reilly Factor, Good Morning America, Squawk Box, CBS This Morning, ABC’s World News, CNN, PBS’s Nightly Business Report, and dozens of other programs.

Political Chaos and Your Business

The political pros have been wrong about almost everything in the election cycle so far. How can business people even hope to make sense of it – or make plans for their businesses and themselves?

Geoff Colvin has answers, explaining what’s at stake in terms you won’t hear elsewhere. This election may profoundly alter the factors and forces that business people really care about. Economic growth, consumer demand, interest rates, taxes, employment costs – cable news doesn’t spend much time on those issues, but all of them could be affected by the election’s outcome, transforming the business environment in important ways.

That’s why business people must keep the most significant issues in mind, even if candidates don’t want to talk about them. In the era of the gig economy, the Uberization of everything, advancing technology, and a large-scale global labor market, Washington is still in the 20th century on business policy. In addition, business people need to remember that three giant, long-term issues – entitlement reform, comprehensive tax reform, and immigration reform – are the real keys to how Washington can turbocharge or hinder the overall U.S. economy in the years ahead. Those issues often get lost in the daily coverage of candidates’ latest tweets.

Geoff explains why partisanship won’t decrease, regardless of the election results. So one thing most business people want from government – policy stability – will remain a dream. Yet we can’t afford to be paralyzed, and Geoff shows how the most successful business people are competing and winning in this uncertain environment. Calling on his deep relationships in the worlds of Washington and corporate America, Geoff brings a message of optimism as we look past the rough and tumble of an election cycle unlike anything we’ve seen before.

The 21st Century Corporation: Winning in a Friction-Free World

Imagine an economy without friction – a new world in which labor, information, and money move easily, cheaply, and almost instantly. Psst – it’s here. Is your company ready?

The most successful companies today are forming starkly new, more fluid relationships with customers, workers, and owners.  They’re rethinking the role of capital (as traditionally defined) and finding they can thrive while owning less and less of it.  They are creating value in new ways as they reinvent R&D and marketing.  And finally, they’re measuring their performance by new metrics because traditional gauges no longer capture what counts.

These companies aren’t all glamorous Silicon Valley startups. They can be of any age and in any industry.  Every company will have to become one, creating value in innovative ways, or lose out to competitors that do so.

Geoff Colvin’s presentation is optimistic and energizing showing that opportunity is more widely available than ever – and how to seize it.

Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will

Technology is now capable of doing jobs we once thought only humans could perform. In a world of robots and smart machines, what is the future of work? Where will humans add value?  How will companies compete? The answer lies in people acting more like . . . people.

Employers say the skills they’ll need most in the future are those that focus on social interaction: empathy above all, collaboration, storytelling, social sensitivity, brainstorming, creating and innovating with others, and leading.

The transition to these newly valuable skills is happening faster than organizations and most psyches can keep up with. Geoff reveals what top organizations are doing to meet the challenge. The good news is that we humans already have what it takes – it’s up to us to make of it what we will.

Talent Is Overrated: Unexpected Truths of High Performance

What if everything you know about raw talent, hard work, and great performance is wrong? Scientific research on great performance shows that what most of us believe is off-base – which 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 advantage.

Leading Ahead of What's Next

The business environment is changing in historic and profound ways – competition, technology, government’s role, and the balance of global economic power are shifting massively — and it’s happening fast! Successfully navigating the tumult is every leader’s great challenge today.

For this talk, Geoff draws on his unique perspective rooted in long-standing relationships with the world’s top leaders in business and government. He knows what they’re seeing, thinking, and planning and reveals how they’re leading, making choices, and responding to today’s challenges in ways that others can learn from.

In a presentation that’s as relevant as the day’s headlines, Geoff explains what’s important, what isn’t, and what’s next – offering audiences specific strategies they can put to work right now to navigate the future

The Economic Outlook

It’s what everyone wants to know: where’s the economy going? Today’s economic environment is more volatile and uncertain than at any time in memory: the BRICs are slowing, America’s growing, Europe’s a question mark; technology is upending whole industries; surging demographic changes are creating new challenges and opportunities; governments are playing a larger role than ever. And it all changes by the day.

Geoff offers fresh economic insights that get ahead of official statistics to uncover what’s trending. Engaging, energetic, and topical, Geoff helps his audience anticipate the future more clearly.

The Power of One: Aligning Your Organization's Incredible Strengths

It’s one of the most striking trends in business today: companies feeling frustrated that the tremendous abilities inside their organizations – the knowledge, creativity, and innovation – aren’t being combined as one to deliver knockout products and services that leave competitors wondering what hit them.

For most businesses it’s a huge missed opportunity. Yet a growing number of companies, as varied as Ford, Apple, Lego, Amazon, and Hershey, have cracked the code and are achieving extraordinary success as a result. Geoff explains how they did it and how you can too – before your competitors beat you to it.

What Makes You Better Than a Computer?

Every day, technology is doing something else better than humans, and the trend is picking up speed. For the first time in 200 years, mainstream economists are seriously considering whether technology is pushing unemployment up and wages down. Where does that leave growing numbers of NEWLY insecure workers, from taxi drivers to lawyers? What will be the high-value skills that will raise living standards for us and our children?

Answers are becoming clear, and they involve elements of our deepest humanity – empathy, emotion, narrative, creativity. For the individuals, companies, and whole economies that can master them, these will be the counterintuitive keys to competitive advantage.

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 two decades at Fortune magazine’s most prestigious conferences worldwide.

Top corporations and associations regularly utilize Geoff because he has a gift for getting the most out of participants; asking the right questions, listening intently to what’s being said on stage and responding to that — keeping the discussion relevant and the energy high.

He is so skilled that many top firms can’t imagine doing an important program without him. As an attendee at a recent conference told the event organizer, “Geoff Colvin literally made this conference.”