The best companies and leaders win by confronting reality faster than the competition. GEOFF COLVIN of Fortune delivers valuable insights to help them do just that. His unique perspective stems from unparalleled access to top global business leaders who tell him what they’re seeing, thinking, and doing. As a result, Geoff can provide audiences with a clearer path for an uncertain future. Geoff unpacks actionable insights on the economic, market, political, and technological forces driving disruptive change. Geoff’s columns and cover stories in Fortune have earned him millions of loyal fans, many of whom also hear him on the CBS Radio Network, where he reaches seven million listeners each week. Geoff Colvin is author of four books including the groundbreaking international bestseller Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else. His latest book is The New York Times bestseller Humans are Underrated which looks at the future of work and how humans will fit into a workplace filled with robots and smart technology.
As Fortune magazine’s senior editor-at-large, Geoff Colvin is now in his fourth decade at Fortune. He is one of business journalism’s sharpest and most respected commentators on leadership, management, globalization, government regulation, corporate governance, competition, the economy, the InfoTech revolution, human performance and related issues.
In addition to his daily CBS Radio Network segments, Geoff has appeared on Today, Good Morning America, Squawk Box, CBS This Morning, ABC’s World News Tonight, CNN, PBS’s Nightly Business Report, and dozens of other programs. He also served as anchor of Wall $treet Week with Fortune on PBS.
In addition to speaking, Geoff is also a brilliant panel moderator, emcee and interviewer whose subjects have included Jack Welch, Henry Kissinger, Richard Branson, the Prince of Wales, Bill Gates, Alan Greenspan, Steve Case, Tony Blair, Michael Dell, Ted Turner, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Henry Paulson, Ben Bernanke, and many others.
Geoff is a respected author whose groundbreaking international bestseller, Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else, has been published in a dozen languages. The Upside of the Downturn: Management Strategies for Difficult Times was named “Best Management Book of the Year” by Strategy + Business magazine. Geoff’s latest book is Humans are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will. It’s based on the idea in his wildly popular Fortune article “In the Future Will There Be Any Work Left for People to Do?” It looks at the trend of technology displacing more jobs than it creates and the ways humans will create value for their organizations and their careers in the changing economy. The ideas he shares have profound implications for every business and industry.
A native of Vermillion, South Dakota, Geoff Colvin is an honors graduate of Harvard with a degree in economics and has an M.B.A. from New York University’s Stern School of Business.
Geoff Colvin's Programs
Confronting Reality: Leading Ahead of Disruption
Every day can bring harsh new surprises. Economic and policy change. The competitor or new business model you never saw coming. Game-changing technology. Competing in the friction-free economy has leaders worrying most about what they don’t know. In his talk, Geoff Colvin leverages nearly 40 years at Fortune to arm audiences with valuable perspective on the trends driving business disruption, revealing how top leaders are confronting them right now. Economic growth, consumer demand, interest rates, taxes, employment costs – these issues are transforming the business environment daily, and Geoff provides unparalleled insights in terms you won’t hear elsewhere. And while political winds may blow toward protectionism, the market trends powering the friction-free economy are technological and going strong, requiring swift and full attention. As a result, winning in business today demands extraordinary leadership acting on the best intelligence it can find. Geoff’s message is optimistic and energizing: opportunity is more widely available than ever and there will be winners – why shouldn’t it be you?
The Future of Work – How Will Humans Fit In?
With robots and smart machines doing so much of the work humans used to do, what is the future of work? Where will humans add value? What job skills will be most in-demand? Geoff Colvin answers these questions and more in this talk based on research for his New York Times bestselling book, Humans are Underrated. Forward-thinking employers say the critical skills they’ll need most to compete in the future are those that focus on social interaction: collaboration, storytelling, social sensitivity, brainstorming, creating and innovating with others, leading, and above all – empathy. The need to transition to newly valuable skills is happening faster than organizations and most psyches can adapt. And for those companies balancing a workforce of people and machines, there are political and PR consequences. Geoff reveals what top organizations are doing to prepare for the future of work. The good news is that we humans already have what it takes – it’s up to us to make of it what we will.
Where Is This Economy Headed?
Even before the new alignment of power in Washington, it was the question on everyone’s mind: where are the U.S. and global economies going? Now it’s even more urgent – and uncertain. The economic picture can change dramatically with a single tweet, and Geoff Colvin covers it in depth from his perch at Fortune. In opinion surveys, top CEOs and ordinary consumers say the same thing: there’s too much change, too fast; we can’t keep up. We all remember a time when it was easier to anticipate where things might be headed, when the consequences of misjudgment were less severe. Now a meltdown of financial markets in China can ripple globally and take down a trillion dollars in assets in a single day – and such volatility is becoming more common. Geoff helps audiences make sense of the forces driving economic change – offering a glimpse of where each may take you and your business.
Confronting Technology – Are You Ready?
It’s a huge opportunity if you’re aware of it – a mortal threat if you’re not. The technology that revolutionizes lives and businesses is advancing at an increasing rate. Each stride forward is bigger than the last. A $1,000 laptop will possess the computing power of a human brain by 2023 and the computing power of all human brains by 2050. Are you ready for the opportunities and challenges such technology will bring? Most people aren’t. Every business and businessperson now needs a new, uniquely modern competence: the discipline of confronting the reality of future tech, which we cannot intuitively picture, combined with the creativity of imagining what might be possible when that future arrives. Geoff describes what’s happening in an exciting, accessible way and shows how today’s most successful businesses are thinking and acting in new ways to own the incredible future. Geoff’s presentation will help align your people and make them more disciplined in confronting the future.
Talent Is Overrated – How Great Performers Really Got Great
Scientific research on great performance shows that what most of us believe about hard work and raw talent is off-base. That means most of us will never perform as well as we could. Geoff Colvin, author of the groundbreaking 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 competitive advantage and Geoff cites relevant examples to prove it and launch an important conversation in your organization.
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 three decades at Fortune conferences worldwide. Top companies and associations regularly utilize Geoff because he gets the most out of participants; he asks the right questions, listens intently to what’s being said on stage and responds to that – keeping the discussion relevant and the energy high.
Geoff Colvin's Books