The 2015 Annual D’Amore-McKim Global Leadership Summit will convene scholars and corporate executives to discuss key issues facing today’s global leaders. This year’s agenda will cover virtual leadership, examining challenges and best practices for leading when you are not there, and leading over distance and time. Global business expert and summit organizer Allan Bird shares insight on the upcoming summit:
Global leadership tends to connote a constant balance of travel and virtual communication. Is it more than that?
What makes global leadership so distinctive is the array and nature of demands that the global environment imposes on the task of leadership. Often executives try to address those demands through travel and communications technology. But there is a limit to what those strategies can yield. Eventually, leaders have to develop a perspective on leadership that is fundamentally different than what they learned growing up.
What specific issues will be highlighted at the summit?
Some of the pressing questions we will discuss include:
- How can you be continuously present – assessing the context, influencing the values that guide decisions, motivating and empowering – without being physically present?
- How can you ensure others lead and influence consistently around the globe, while encouraging local opportunities?
- How do you engage employees to be motivated and committed to the global organization, when most will never see headquarters?
What do you find happens when you bring scholars and executives together to discuss the same questions?
They are often examining the same issue, but come at it from different angles. There is great value in having these different groups talk; we encourage conversations that share perspectives and also uncover solutions that may have otherwise not been discovered. Our expectation, based on prior summits, is that participants – scholars and executives alike – will return to their organizations and share what they’ve learned with colleagues, in turn sparking more conversations.
The agenda includes thought leadership sessions. What can we expect from those breakout discussions?
In Thought Leader sessions we avoid the typical “sage on a stage” dynamic where all attention is focused on one or two individuals who share their wisdom. Instead, we encourage session organizers to be creative in how they present material and also to elicit participation from everyone in the room. The goal is to get everyone in the room contributing.
What topic are you most looking forward to covering this year?
While all of the topics are of deep interest, I’m most intrigued by what may come out of the panel session on “How do we get there from here?” Both scholars and executives are struggling to understand the conditions under which leadership can take place without a leader present. One question that I’ve been asking of executives is “What does there look like?” So complex and chaotic is the global marketplace, that no one has been able give me a clear answer.
What does the future of global leadership look like?
I see increased complexity and flux creating greater demand for leadership that is less reliant on a single person as leader and more inclined to find variants that involve “shared leadership.” I also see organizations finding ways to use structural arrangements and both formal and informal protocols as substitutes for leadership.
When and where will the summit take place?
The summit will be held October 5-6, 2015, at Northeastern University’s Boston campus.
For more information on the summit, click here.
To register for the summit, click here.