Now in his fourth decade at Fortune, Geoff Colvin’s breadth of experience is impressive. He is one of business journalism’s sharpest and most respected commentators on leadership, management, globalization, regulation, corporate governance, competition, the economy, the InfoTech revolution, human performance and related issues. Geoff’s regular column and frequent cover stories in Fortune have earned him millions of loyal readers.
Geoff is also one of America's preeminent business broadcasters. He is heard every day on the CBS Radio Network, where he has made over 10,000 broadcasts and reaches seven million listeners each week. He 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 served as anchor of Wall $treet Week with Fortune on PBS and spoke each week to the largest audience reached by any business television program in America.
As a keynote speaker, Geoff has a knack for bringing clarity to the most important and complex issues impacting business and the economy. He has spoken for scores of corporate and association conferences on six continents including dozens of high level Fortune conferences. His speeches pull together timely insights and strategies and are tailored to deliver relevant insights that help leaders understand what the future holds.
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 WorldClass 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.
- What a Biden Administration Means for Business
- Recalibrate: How to Succeed in this Business Climate
- The Upside of the Downturn
- Leading Ahead of Disruption
What is a company’s purpose? That’s no theoretical question. Today employees, customers, investors, the media, government leaders, and others all want to know how – or if – any company is making the world a better place. If they can’t see a good answer, that company is more likely to suffer than it might have just a few years ago. Fortunately, society’s high and rising expectations of business are a tremendous opportunity. Geoff shows with real-world examples that every company has within it a noble purpose, and it’s the job of leaders at every level to identify it, enunciate it, and make sure everybody knows about it. The benefits are significant. Companies that pursue a clear purpose are much better able to attract and keep the best talent, and they perform better than companies that haven’t identified their purpose. There’s no conflict between purpose and profits; just the opposite. That’s why identifying a company’s clear and compelling purpose isn’t some dreamy exercise with a nice-to-have outcome. In today’s social and business environment, it’s a must-do – with results that pay off in big ways.
- The Future of Healthcare
Geoff Colvin has covered healthcare from a leadership angle for Fortune for four decades. He knows many of the top leaders and policy makers – personally. That makes Geoff a popular choice to speak for audiences in healthcare and related professions/industries.
- The Future of Work - How Will Humans Fit In?
Technology is now capable of doing jobs we once thought only humans could perform. In a world where robots and smart machines factor prominently, what is the future of work? Where will humans add value? How will companies compete? This talk draws on research for Colvin’s New York Times lauded book, Humans are Underrated. The answer, he says, lies in humans acting more like . . . humans vs. competing with machines. Elon Musk famously said Tesla’s 2017 production problems came from an overreliance on technology – “humans are underrated,” he said. Where is the balance? Employers say the skills they’ll need most in the future are those that focus on social interaction: empathy above all, collaboration, storytelling, social sensitivity, brainstorming, creating and innovating with others, and leading. The transition to these newly valuable skills is happening faster than organizations and most psyches can keep up with. Geoff reveals what top organizations are doing to meet this challenge. 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 the Economy Headed?
Even before the new alignment of power in Washington, it was the question on every business leader’s mind: where are the U.S. and global economies going? Now it’s more urgent – and uncertain. 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. The economic picture changes by the day, and Geoff Colvin has a brilliant perch at Fortune to view it all – to get ahead of official statistics to uncover what’s going on. He reflects on the varied forces driving economic change and offers a glimpse of where each may take you and your business.
- Leading the Conversation: 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 two decades at Fortune magazine’s most prestigious conferences worldwide. Top corporations and associations regularly utilize Geoff because he has a gift for getting the most out of participants; asking the right questions, listening intently to what’s being said on stage and responding to that – keeping the discussion relevant and the energy high. He is so skilled that many top firms can’t imagine doing an important program without him. As an attendee at a recent conference told the event organizer, “Geoff Colvin literally made this conference.”
- Talent Is Overrated - How Great Performers Really Got Great
What if everything you know about raw talent, hard work, and great performance is wrong? Scientific research on great performance shows that what most of us believe is off-base – which 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.
- The New Political Reality for Business
The main theme of the Trump administration has been unpredictability. President Trump has said that his unpredictability is a deliberate strategy. That makes strategic planning a huge challenge for business leaders everywhere. Geoff Colvin helps unwind the impact of Washington in terms you won’t hear elsewhere. Economic growth, consumer demand, interest rates, taxes, employment costs – cable news doesn’t spend much time on those issues, but all of them are set to change, transforming the business environment in important ways. That’s why business people must keep the most significant issues in mind, even when the daily Washington chatter wanders away from them. Geoff explains why partisanship won’t decrease and policy stability will remain a dream. Yet business can’t afford to be paralyzed. Geoff shows how the most successful business leaders are competing and winning in this uncertain environment. He brings a message of optimism that too often gets lost in the political rough and tumble.