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The World Business Forum – “Show Me the Assets”

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Creating this post has inspired me to borrow and slightly change a famous Tom Cruise line from the film Jerry Maguire: "Show me the assets." That will be the focus and lens through which I will be creating my blog posts at next week's World Business Forum.

The World Business Forum brings together thought leaders, business gurus and legendary CEOs to address critical issues facing businesses today. There will be about 5000 attendees from all over the world. I will be one of about 50 people designated as "some of the best business bloggers" embedded right in the middle of all the action. There will be a Bloggers Hub complete with high-speed Internet access and all the electronic bells and whistles we’ll need to report live from the conference.

Big Agenda Items

As with past Forums, the two-day event will be held on the big stage at Radio City Music Hall and it will very likely yield many interesting ideas and provocative headlines. We expect this year’s event to be a bit more intense since it comes a full year after the financial and economic mess that washed over the world. The usual-suspect big agenda items will be discussed – the financial crisis, energy policy, health care, and globalization. They will be tackled by a high profile A-list of of leaders and personalities including Bill Clinton, Jeffrey Sachs, George Lucas, and T.Boone Pickens.

Where The Rubber Meets The Road

Perhaps even more important, there will also be a powerhouse group of "hands-on" business leaders discussing extremely important day-to-day on-the-ground topics and issues that are critical to achieving success in today’s global economic environment. Here’s a short list of some of the speakers and topics:

  • Irene Rosenfeld on Leading Transformational Change
  • Gary Hamel on Management Innovation
  • Patrick Lecioni on Building Winning Teams
  • Bill George on Leadership In Times of Crisis
  • Bill Conaty on Talent Management

Listening “Softer” To See Deeper

As an asset-based thinker I'll be looking at how speakers address solutions rather than explaining problems; see threats as challenges; turn shortcomings into aspirations; and leverage collaboration as well as competition. These are the approaches that will help motivate and effectuate tangible, positive change and momentum going forward.

The other great opportunity at this event will be listening to the buzz and chatter of the thousands of businessmen in the audience and observing their body language: the CMOs, CFOs, product development specialists, planners, human resource professionals, CIOs, entrepreneurs, and small business owners without whom change and innovation would not make it to the marketplace.

Valuing Values Based Businesses

Hopefully we will hear a great deal of discussion and glean some insights into Values Based business models and learn how businesses look beyond their hard assets to the softer “values based” assets that are increasingly important today. Hard assets are the cost of entry into today’s competitive marketplace, but intangible “soft assets” will be the drivers of differentiation that add value and propel businesses, large and small, to greatness. What those softer assets are and how they are leveraged to add value will vary from business to business. As a start, here’s my short list of assets that I'd be looking for as business differentiators and value drivers.

I'm sure there are others. Feel free to leave some comments and send me your thoughts.

Please check back next week to see what transpires at the World Business Forum and how these business leaders are putting Asset-Based Thinking into action.You can also follow my updates on Twitter.

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About Hank Wasiak

Hank Wasiak is a communications industry leader and partner at the creative hot shop, The Concept Farm. Hank began his advertising career in 1965 as a real Mad Man at Benton & Bowles. He is a best selling author, teacher, motivational speaker and three time Emmy award winning television host. Hank and Dr. Kathy Cramer created a best selling business - self help book series based on Asset-Based Thinking published by Running Press. Hank also is an Adjunct Professor at USC's Marshall School Of Business.
  • Thanks Charles…glad you liked it. I enjoy working with business school students and have been having great discussions with my students at USC about the new enlightened thinking in C-suites today.

    Thanks again

    Hank Wasiak

  • Not sure about videos being posted…however, if you go to this link you might be able to find some videos.

    Thanks for reading my article. Be well.


  • Hank Wasiak

    Thanks so much for your kind words and comments. Like you, I try very hard to write pieces that will shine the light on the assets around us and help people. Your comments have made my day. I like your site and blog as well. Keep up the great work and please let’s stay in touch.

    Be well


  • Thanks for your great article. There is so much junk on the internet it is hard to find good quality information when you really need it. I just came across your site and have bookmarked it. Look forward to reading more in the future keep us posted.