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Thoughts from the Network of Executive Women (NEW) Leadership Summit

Last week, Clarkston Consulting participated in the annual Leadership Summit presented by the Network of Executive Women (NEW).  There were more than 1,000 women and men from the Consumer Products and Retail industry who gathered for two days for a packed agenda of great speakers and networking opportunities.

Here are just a few takeaways from the many great speakers, sessions and topics:

  • Nadia Bilchik, Editorial Producer at CNN and President of Greater Impact Communications:  The ultimate goal in networking is to invest in others and to be someone in which others want to invest.
  • Cy Wakeman, President, Cy Wakeman Inc.:   Reality based leadership encourages people to stop judging and start helping.  The value stewards provide to their companies can be calculated by: current performance + future potential – (3* the emotional expense to the organization).  Thus, finding ways to reduce emotional expense is the real key to increasing individuals’ value.
  • Executive Roundtable:  International borders are becoming more porous for all industries including CPG and Retail.  Innovation and talent development are key factors of focus for these companies.  Today’s innovation calls for a balance between consumer observation to understand needs and disconnection from the consumer to create more unique products and services (e.g. disruptive innovation).  Using the concept of reverse mentors (much like Kimberly-Clark) can help leaders stay in touch with company stewards at different levels and from different generations to help drive change for retention and innovation.

In summary, the conference was a great investment of two days.  Visit Leadership Summit 2012 for a full review of the agenda, speakers and more.