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Alan Webber's Sebo conference talk

This is the outline of Alan Webber's talk from the Entrepreneurial Thinking conference. Alan sent me his slides and I converted them to this format. I added links as I researched his points to get even more out of his talk.

Innovation and Leadership: The Challenge of Change

Alan Webber, April 13, 2007, 4th annual Sebo Series in Entrepreneurship
Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio

Two Sides of One Coin

  • Innovation: Upset the status quo to create new value
  • Leaders: Guide/create positive change

The Great Divide: Which Side Are You On?

  • Here's the choice: Create your own change or respond to change created by others.

The Lesson of "Good to Great"

  • Change only starts when you face "the brutal facts of life"

What Are the Brutal Facts of Life?

  • Globalization
  • Technology
  • Human Capital

The World's Not Flat--It's a BRIC

  • By 2025, BRIC's share of world economic growth will increase from 20% to 40%
  • China is now the world's largest exporter of technology goods
  • By 2010 China will produce 40,000 PhD's per year

What about India?

  • In the last 3 years IBM has invested $2 billion per year in India
  • In the next 3 years IBM will invest $6 billion per year in India
  • IBM has 53,000 employees in India, second only to the U.S.

Craig Barrett, Former CEO, Intel

  • "The world has arrived at a strategic inflection point where nearly one-half of its population--Russia India, China--have been integrated into the global economic market. That's 3 billion people."


  • Global production base/global labor market
  • Global overcapacity

Technology Changes Everything

  • Web 2.0--everything moves to the Web
  • Can Craig's List happen to you?
  • The rise of user-supplied content
  • Welcome to SISOMO


  • Power shifts to the customer: Megan Smith's Rules
  • The weekend box-office effect

The Human Equation

  • It's a creative economy--where do great ideas come from?
  • You can't cut or merge your way to greatness

Nathan Myhrvold, former Microsoft chief scientist

  • "The top software developers are more productive than average developers, not by a factor of 10x or 100x or even 1,000x--but by 10,000x."


What's the New Bottom Line?

  • There is no such thing as "business as usual."
  • There is no such thing as "back to normal."
  • No one is safe.

Business at the Speed of Change

  • "Fortune 500 companies fail or are acquired at a rate 3 times faster than a generation ago."

Royal Dutch Shell

  • From Scenario Planning to TINA

The New TINAs for Innovative Companies

  • 11 Questions to ask yourself and your people
  1. Do you have the right kind of leadership?
  2. Are you playing "a bigger game"?
  3. Are you getting more than your fair share of truly great people?
  4. Is your culture about teams--or every man for himself?
  5. Is your corporate DNA diverse enough?
  6. Are you living inside your customers' skins?
  7. Do you know what your company stands for?
  8. What is your design saying about you?
  9. Is technology a way of doing business--or a cost of doing business?
  10. Is your company a talk show?
  11. Are you a fast company--or a slow company?

Richard Florida, "The Rise of the Creative Class"

  • "Human creativity is the ultimate economic resource."

William Gibson, futurist

  • "The future is already here. It's just unevenly distributed."