Aim for Transformation, Not Change

by Vip Vyas, CEO of Distinctive Performance, and Diego Nannicini (INSEAD MBA ‘14J), Associate Consultant at Distinctive Performance

Transformation creates attractive futures, while change mends the past.

In May 2018, Google CEO Sundar Pichai unveiled Google Duplex, a new virtual AI assistant with a hyper-realistic voice. Attendees of this year’s Google I/O conference listened to a recording of Duplex making a hair salon appointment, then a restaurant reservation. Both conversations were so natural that the humans on the phone probably had no clue they were talking to an AI entity.

Within hours, videos of the presentation went viral, racking up millions of hits. The world had just witnessed a stunning transformation. A multitude of possibilities immediately flooded the minds of viewers. A new future in the field of human-machine interaction had begun.

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The Technologies Senior Leaders Plan to Deploy in the Coming Years

by Andrew Shipilov

Cloud computing is expected to take a back seat to AI, big data analytics and blockchain.

Despite all the hype, augmented reality, virtual reality, mixed reality, blockchain and 3D printing have had a small impact on businesses in the last few years. Big data analytics has had the biggest impact, according to a survey I conducted with my colleague Nathan Furr of 317 INSEAD MBA alumni and participants in our Executive Education programmes. Our respondents were mostly senior executives and around 50 percent of them worked in large companies.

Big data analytics, cloud and machine learning have all had a significant impact on business in the past two years. Big data analytics seems to have changed almost all business areas (creation of new revenues, core business protection, improvements in operational efficiency, new customer acquisition, increased retention and loyalty of existing customers). Cloud computing primarily helped improve operational efficiency.

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Senior level sales executive focused on new logo acquisition. Responsible for identifying and driving sales opportunities to closure; increasingly selling a mix of defined solutions/extensions and new offerings or products into white space; wide range of service group offerings and deal structures. Must develop strong relationships with key senior (Divisional head/C-Suite) client buyers and drive client decision-making spanning multiple layers of the organization. Responsible for managing the sales organization, achieving targeted margin contributions, developing sales & marketing strategies, and serving as a member of the executive management team.


  • Create, identify and drive business development opportunities with new logo clients and potentially expand existing client relationships
  • Work with and sell to C-level and senior level management
  • Develop trusted relationships, share insights that have meaningful impact to the customer’s business while positioning the company’s solutions to address business challenges.
  • Articulate and present the cost justification/risk mitigation related to the company’s solutions
  • Create differentiation, educate the customer on potential solutions and influence the decision making process.
  • Build excellent client relationships offering value-added, insightful and strategic input to their business strategies

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The importance of humility in leadership

By Cheryl Williamson

Rick Warren once said, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” In leadership, it can be tempting to become enamored with status. However, it is crucial that leaders focus on their staff more than they focus on themselves.

I have learned that the best leaders are selfless and more concerned with the well-being of their team than with their personal titles. You cannot be an effective leader if you feel that you are better than your subordinates. Furthermore, teams under said type of leadership become hostile and experience low productivity and high turnover.

I have worked with my team for many years and am grateful for their loyalty. My team never ceases to amaze me, and I feel like they go out of their way to make my days run smoothly. When I sat down to ask them why they work so hard and remain loyal to me, they had lots to say.

From their responses, I created some helpful hints for others who are seeking to lead with humility:

  • Be willing to get in the trenches. Your team needs to know that you are willing to work together with them. They cannot feel as if you aren’t willing to work for and with them. A true leader supports his or her team in any and every way. If your secretary is out sick, be willing to answer the phones for the day. There is no job beneath your pay grade when you lead with humility. If your team knows that you are willing to work side by side with them, there is nothing they won’t do for you. They will be fiercely loyal, and their appreciation will be evident in their productivity.
  • Think like a leader, not a manager. A wise person once said, “When I talk to a manager, I get the feeling that they are important. When I talk to a leader, I get the feeling that I am important.” This quote is the perfect example of what it means to lead with humility. Each person on your team should walk away from a one-on-one with you feeling empowered, valued, important and appreciated. A team member who feels this way will undoubtedly be a strong player on your team. A leader views his or her team members as human beings. A manager views his or team members as a means to an end. Know the difference and lead your team accordingly.
  • Remove your ego from the equation. When faced with a challenging decision or difficult personality, this can be a hard rule to follow. Maintaining objective judgment is one of the biggest ways you can show humility as a leader. If your team can count on you to check your ego at the door and make decisions that will be for the equal benefit of your entire team, they will have a great deal of respect for you. On the other hand, if they feel that you do what is best for yourself as opposed to what is good for everyone, they will have a hard time trusting you. People don’t want to work for someone they can’t trust. One good way to remove your ego from the decision-making process is to get a trusted colleague’s opinion. Hearing a neutral party’s perspective will help you to see the situation clearly.
  • Be the change. We have all heard the famous quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” As it relates to your team’s culture, this means to lead by example. As leaders, we must remember that our team looks to us to set the standard. Make sure they see a good standard when they look at your own personal work habits. For example, you can’t be upset about tardiness if you tell your team that your office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. but you stroll in at 10:00 a.m. I challenge you to take a few moments and examine the changes you would like to see on your team. Next, find ways that you can lead and inspire your team to make a change by seeing you in action.

When you decide to lead with humility, your team will immediately see a difference. As a result, you will also immediately see a difference. Not only will leading with humility impact your business, it will also impact you personally. You will feel better about yourself, your work and your team. Needless to say, it will have a positive impact on your bottom line.

Keeping humility as a priority in my leadership style has greatly impacted my business and my brand. I am excited for you to experience the same great results in your business.


Source: Forbes

The Portable Leader Is the New “Organization Man”

by Gianpiero Petriglieri

Gianpiero_Petriglieri-200x200 I met Tanya years ago, at a global corporation where she led a business unit and enjoyed a reputation as a formidable mentor. “The thing I always keep in mind,” she told me with obvious pride, explaining her approach to management as we walked through a bustling open office, “is that these people are the best talent in the business. They could be working elsewhere, if they so chose. And I am sure that many will, eventually.”

I knew that to be true. Competitors poached people in Tanya’s unit regularly. And yet there was no trace of cynicism in her tone. “Each of them is valuable and hard to replace,” she continued, “but I can’t preach them loyalty. They’d laugh at me. I can’t pay them more, either. All I can promise is that while they work here, they’ll grow more than they would anywhere else. And when they leave, they will be leaders wherever they go.”

Some version of Tanya’s promise — working here today will make you a leader elsewhere tomorrow — is at the center of many companies’ talent management strategies. Its popularity has led to the rise of corporate universities and to the corporatization of universities, all promising to turn talent into leaders. It is more than a promise of learning. It is a promise of transformation — that a stint at the organization will change your substance and value, not just your leadership style, in ways that will outlast your tenure in it. Continue reading