May 6 and 7 marked the fourth InterimExecs’ RED Roundtable (Rapid Executive Deployment), a gathering of top interim executives in Chicago. Executives across a range of specialties from CEO to CFO, COO, CIO, CMO, and CRO met for a mix of speakers, discussion, and sharing best practices on creating high performing companies.
The event kicked off Monday morning at William Blair’s headquarters where innovation expert, Jeff Leitner, drew on extensive research and 20 years’ experience improving operations to share why most change initiatives fail and what we can do about it. Interim executives discussed how Jeff’s findings applied to assignments they jump into where they often are called on to drive disruption, innovation, and powerful change.
The day concluded with a panel featuring venture capital investor, Jim Disanto, and Chief Information Officer Dean Samuels on how the nature of leadership is quickly changing in a world of AI and machine learning. Discussion ranged from robots to mid-level managers being challenged by automation taking over repetitive tasks. Executives were encouraged to think about how companies and the workforce must evolve. Of the 3.5 billion workers in the world, for example, 92% are engaged in physical labor that usually involve tasks that could eventually be taken over by machine intelligence.
Day two kicked off with a panel on how great operational leadership impacts Private Equity fund investments. Greg Jones, Managing Partner at the Edgewater Fund and Brian Boorstein of Granite Creek Capital Partners shared their insights. Greg said the best executive leaders have strong values and put the needs of the organization first. Brian added “We really want to find outstanding companies and outstanding management. People say you back the horse, not the jockey…but why not back both?” The team brainstorming continued, sharing best practices in completing business assessments and action plans for companies looking to get to the next level.
The most outstanding interim executives in the world usually launch their practices as solo efforts, making InterimExecs RED Team and the RED Roundtable vitally important in their ability to form vetted, trusting relationships that can be deployed at a moment’s notice. We send a big thanks to the team for the collective power boost.