On November 7 and 8, 2011, 35 current and former CEOs from the U.S., Europe and India joined the five Higher Ambition authors, and five HBS faculty to share perspectives on leadership. The CEOs at the conference included many from the research for Higher Ambition and others who share a common objective of creating both economic and social value through the organizations they lead. The conference provided an opportunity for Higher Ambition CEOs to engage in pragmatic and open discussions around what it takes to build and sustain a great company and to share experiences on how to do so effectively.
The conference included case discussions of two Higher Ambition companies, United Stationers, and Becton Dickinson and small group discussions of key ideas and successful practices that CEOs have discovered. Breakout sessions included:
- How to sustain a high-trust, values-driven community?
- In what ways does commitment to higher ambition affect choices about firm strategy?
- Personal leadership challenges
The final session focused on developing the next generation of higher ambition leaders.
A number of important themes emerged from the discussion, including the critical role of the CEO’s personal integrity and authenticity in building a great firm, and the need to move beyond a purely economic view of the purpose of the firm. In the coming weeks, we’ll share a series of video clips highlighting perspectives and personal stories from some CEOs. Stay tuned for more from the conference.