If “disruption” and “change” were the most used words of day one at the Fortune Global Forum in San Francisco, “culture” carried day two. Conversations kept returning to the challenge of creating company cultures that can endure and embrace the hurricane winds of change.
“Fifty percent of our business has changed in the last ten years. The key to surviving is having an ownership culture. You have to get to people’s hearts. You have to get to people’s pride” – Joe Kaeser, CEO, Siemens
“Only a baby with a wet diaper likes change. Everyone else resists change. The job of a CEO is to resist the temptation to look at last year, and to persuade everyone that where we are going is worth fighting for.” —Mike Ullman, Executive Chairman, JCPenney
“The culture, people wanting to work for Comcast-NBC Universal, is the one thing I’ve got to get right.” – Brian Roberts, CEO, Comcast
“As companies get bigger, they get slower and more risk averse, especially in fast-moving industries. That’s good for entrepreneurs.” – Geoff Yang, Redpoint Ventures
“It isn’t that entrepreneurs are smarter than companies, it’s that they are trying more crazy ideas, taking more shots on goal.” – Peter Diamandis, Founder, X Prize
“Culture does trump strategy, every day.” – Mark Bertolini, CEO, Aetna
The takeaway: Technology may be driving the rapid change in business today. But it is human attitudes and behaviors that are gating it, and determining the difference between failure and success.
You can see full coverage of the Forum – including investor Marc Andreesen’s claim that we are in a tech “bust,” not a “bubble – here.
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