Project Description

Geoff Colvin

Geoff Colvin

Senior Editor-At-Large, Fortune Magazine

Speaking Style: Thought Provoking, Inspiring, Insightful

Travels From: New York

Fee Schedule: 3

Geoff Colvin is an award-winning thinker, author, broadcaster, and speaker on the most significant trends and issues impacting business and the economy. As Fortune magazine’s senior editor-at-large, Geoff has an insider’s perspective fueled by longstanding relationships with the world’s top leaders in business and government.  He knows what they’re seeing, thinking, and planning and reveals how they’re leading, making choices, and responding to today’s challenges in ways that others can learn from.

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, The O’Reilly Factor, 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 (released August, 2015) is called Humans are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will.  It’s based on the idea in his wildly popular article in the 2014 Fortune 500 issue – “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.

LEADING AHEAD OF DISRUPTION
Every day can bring harsh new surprises to business leaders. Veteran business journalist Geoff Colvin leverages nearly 40 years at Fortune to help audiences plan and think ahead. He looks at the latest news on trends driving change in business and reveals what top leaders in business and government are doing right now to meet the challenges they face. While political winds may blow toward protectionism, the market trends powering the friction-free economy are technological and going strong. Technological, governmental, societal, market and economic whiplash have become the new normal – and all require swift and full attention. As a result, winning in business today demands extraordinary leadership at every level of the organization 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?
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 THIS 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.

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.

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.

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.”

  • Humans are Underrated
  • Talent is Overrated
  • The Upside of the Downturn
  • Angel Customers & Demon Customers

Advertising/Marketing & PR

  • Direct Marketing Association
  • Food Marketing Institute
  • Institute for Public Relations (IPR)
  • Omnicom

Agriculture

  • AgFirst
  • CHS, Inc.
  • United Suppliers

Banking/Financial Services

  • A.G. Edwards
  • American Bankers Association
  • American Express
  • Amerifirst
  • Bank of America
  • Behrman Capital
  • Blackstone Group
  • BNY Mellon
  • Broadridge Financial Solutions
  • Canadian Finance and Leasing Association

Colleges/Universities

  • Belmont University
  • Providence College
  • Southern Connecticut State University
  • Troy University
  • University of Charleston
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Delaware
  • University of South Dakota
  • University of Tennessee

Energy

  • Allegro Development
  • ConocoPhillips
  • Ecolab
  • Gulf Power
  • National Ocean Industries Association
  • Tenneco

Construction/Engineering

  • American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC)
  • AECOM
  • Gannett Fleming
  • Pacific Coast Builders Conference

Food/Beverage Related

  • Dairy Management Inc.
  • General Mills
  • National Alcoholic Beverage Commission Association
  • National Pork Producers Council
  • PepsiCo
  • The Coca-Cola Company – Mexico & Eurasia/Africa

Government

  • Baldrige/NIST
  • Maryland State Department of Education

Hospital/Medical/Dental Profession

  • American Psychological Association
  • Assisted Living Federation of America
  • Braun Medical
  • BioEnterprise
  • Congress of Neurological Surgeons
  • Health Action Council
  • IMS Health
  • MedeAnalytics, Inc.

Information Technology

  • Cisco
  • Computer Sciences Corp
  • Dell

Insurance

  • AIG
  • American Association of Health Plans
  • American Council of Life Insurers
  • Assurant
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota
  • Hartford Insurance
  • Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company
  • Hood Hargett
  • MetLife
  • Nationwide

Non-Profits

  • Detroit Regional Chamber
  • Kansas City Area Development Council
  • North Texas Commission
  • Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Omaha Chamber of Commerce
  • Phi Theta Kappa
  • Shelter for Abused Women and Children (Naples, FL)
  • Ten at the Top

“Thank you, once more, for making the time to moderate the Board and Governance Forum. Your thoughtful remarks, questions, and insights contributed to making this Forum a resounding success!  Now that we have received formal input from our participants, I wanted to share that we are hearing tremendous feedback on the job you did and it is clear that your leadership was universally well-received.”Americas Alumni Leader, EY

 “We were completely amazed with how incredible Geoff was with the five very unique sessions we had him lined up to moderate.  He added a layer of additional perspective to each and every one of those sessions that we just would not have expected.  Truly amazing.”  – Tax Senior Manager, National Growth Team, Deloitte Tax LLP

 “Geoff Colvin played an integral role in our FSI Forum and was a key contributor to making the event a success.  He was a true professional and a pleasure to work with. In addition, he put the presenters at ease with his calm and confident manner, and he was quick on his feet when improvising questions or using poll everywhere technology.  We also appreciated how flexible he was when we asked him to step in at the last moment to introduce the banking speaker and moderate Q&A. We could not have asked for a better moderator and were thrilled he could join us.”Senior Manager, Deloitte Services LP

“Thanks for doing your bit to help knock #IABC16 out of the park! Much appreciated – and by the way, some of your slides were the most tweeted images so you clearly resonated.”Conference Chair, International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)

“Thank you very much for speaking at our Summit – I got fantastic feedback on your message! It was uplifting and inspiring, and you certainly made me look good!”Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Certent

 “A quick thank you again for a wonderful talk last night.  I received great feedback from our group – everyone thought you were insightful and engaging.  Particularly, I heard, “Spot on.”  As mentioned, please be in touch if you would like a reference for future speaking engagements; I would be happy to help in the format most useful to you.”  – Vice President, Liberty Global

“Geoff did a fantastic job and really set the stage for the remainder of the day and his perspectives were repeated during later sessions.”Group Communications Director, The Coca-Cola Company

“Geoff did an amazing job with our event.  He was very thoughtful and thorough with his preparation and really hit the mark for us. He’s a wonderful moderator!”Marketing Manager, The Boston Consulting Group

“This was undoubtedly the best executive conference we’ve held in our 20 plus years of hosting this event. While venue was great, it’s all about the content. Your talk was particularly compelling since the empathy/humanity theme was something that our guests had not really contemplated, and as such, served as “fresh” content for them to consider. Your style in delivering was also superb.”Executive Vice President, Hartford Steam Boiler

“Geoff was very, very good.  Everyone bar none, was extremely happy w/ his discussion and topics.  Very relevant, timely and applicable as it relates to the Ever evolving business world. Would like to engage him again w/o question and would be happy to be a reference if you ever need it. “Senior Vice President and General Manager, Health Plan Business Unit, Mede Analytics

“Geoff, I truly appreciate you taking time to meet with the team and to listen to their discussions.  The feedback from the clients thus far was that you made them think out of the box and more strategically then they have in a long time.  What was most interesting is that two of the clients quoted you in the afternoon session so clearly you made an impression!”Chief of Marketing, PowerPlan, Inc.

“In a word: fantastic! Geoff really was perfect for this. He kept the conversation lively. Geoff really knocked it out of the ballpark.” Microsoft

 “No surprise, Geoff was articulate and insightful, thoughtful on global and fiscal issues affecting industry and candid on impressions of leadership. Not to mention, a wonderful man who I will forever be indebted to.”CEO, The Elliot Group

“Thanks so very much for your moderating today. I felt relaxed and right at home.”George H.W. Bush

“Once again your stewardship of the business sessions opened the door for a truly interactive and valuable dialogue for everyone. Your depth of understanding of the challenges these companies are facing and the opportunities that lie ahead added tremendously to our conversations.”John Chambers, CEO, Cisco

“Thank you very much for joining me this week at the THINK Finance: CFO CIO Leadership Exchange in New York and for contributing to our event in such a substantial manner.  It was such a pleasure to see you again and share the stage with you.  As with previous exchanges, you helped to draw out important insights from our speakers and deliver tremendous value to our audience. We at IBM value the perspectives you brought to our session and appreciate the time you spent with us. Thank you again for making our event a priority.”IBM Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

“Geoff was wonderful and feedback was glowing from my team, leadership and personally.  I loved meeting him and he was a true professional and absolutely lovely!”Marketing Manager, Agile-1

“Geoff turned in two outstanding performances for Commonfund. His grasp of business issues is second to none and his engaging style consistently pulls the best comments from our panelists. What more could one ask? But actually Geoff delivers more without our asking. He is one of the most genuinely respectful and caring people on the speaking circuit. And despite his vast business knowledge and superior interviewing skill, he hasn’t a trace of ego.”Producer, Lovett Productions

“You are as good as any interviewer I’ve ever worked with.  You seem to bring out the best in everyone, and you sure do with me.  I hope our paths cross again before too long.”Hank Paulson, Former Secretary of the Treasury & Chairman, The Paulson Institute

“Geoff was AMAZING.  All the feedback that we have been receiving for the keynote and panel has been very positive.”Administrative Assistant, Omers Private Equity

 “He was amazing!  One of the best we’ve had… executives loved him as well as students, and he was so inspirational to our student group – they are a hard audience, and rallied around his message on Talent is Overrated.  So true!”Director of Executive Learning and Marketing, Belmont University

“Evaluation comments indicate that registrants especially liked your humor, the easy-to-understand message and the way you transitioned the information theory to real world applications.  You generated an overall evaluation score of 8.64.  This, coupled with the numerous positive comments, means your presentation, “How the Best Companies are Winning Today and Why Talent is Overrated”, was a great SUCCESS!”  – Director of Conference Programs, Industrial Asset Management Council

“I just wanted to thank you again for speaking at our dinner on Monday night.  I cannot tell you how many people have commented on how nice the evening was, and especially how they enjoyed your remarks.  I hope you know how much we appreciated having you with us, and the time you took to prepare your remarks for our group.”Director of Program Management, Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe

“What a master! I was a bit worried when we got word that he wouldn’t be using any slides but everybody loved him. And for the panel, he conducted the “interviews” and wove it all together seamlessly. He had 4 people he had never met but got their best thinking and made it relate to the audience. We were all very impressed.”Brad Miller, Advocacy & Communications, BIFMA

“I want Geoff at all events doing all panels.  And I said it to those who can decide.” – Jessica Prince, SVP & Director of Production, IBM Team