BusinessDay
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Michael Raynor, bestselling author on strategy, headlines BusinessDay’s CEO Forum

…as business leaders discuss strategic flexibility in era of uncertainty

The 13th edition of the BusinessDay CEO Forum, coming up tomorrow (September 30), will feature a keynote address by Michael Raynor, bestselling author and expert on strategy and innovation.

Raynor is the author of management bestsellers like The Strategy Paradox: Why Committing to Success Leads to Failure (And What to do About It), The Innovator’s Manifesto: Deliberate Disruption for Transformational Growth, and The Three Rules: How Exceptional Companies Think.

At the end of his presentation, he will join a fireside chat with CEOs to discuss how his ideas square up with the Nigerian business reality.

The BusinessDay CEO Forum presents a unique opportunity for business leaders to sharpen the strategic assumptions, future plans, tactical priorities, and execution prowess with CEOs of leading companies and ranking thought leaders.

This year’s edition under the theme, ‘Reboot: Regaining Strategic Flexibility in the Age of Uncertainty’ will address two main issues.

Firstly, how CEOs can build strategic flexibility into their business planning so that no matter how future events turn out, which is increasingly the case in a world characterised by uncertainty, the cost of remedying bad guesses is minimal.

Read Also: Jean-Michel Paul to deliver guest address at BusinessDay CEO Forum

Insight on how CEOs should read and respond to growing calls for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), post-profit corporate purpose, and environmental and social activism is the second issue the forum plans to address.

While BusinessDay has hosted the CEO Forum every year since 2009, this year’s edition is a must-attend for decision-makers in Nigeria’s private sector to dissect key trends, best practices and successful business models. The CEO Forum provides the platform for debate around the prevailing challenges they confront in running their organisations.

With a reputation for helping companies escape the whims of chance, which can upend the best-executed strategy, Raynor’s presentation at the CEO event promises to be useful for business leaders.

Raynor, who was described by the Financial Times as “one of the most articulate and interesting thought leaders in innovation today,” brings a unique data-driven approach to the development and implementation of cutting-edge concepts.

Writing in the Harvard Business Review, he observed, “Much of the strategy and management advice that business leaders turn to is unreliable or impractical. That’s because those who would guide us underestimate the power of chance.”

After performing a statistical analysis of more than 25,000 companies over more than 40 years, he concluded that there were just three rules companies need to abide by to excel.

First, they must strive to offer better products and services before price. Those who compete on differentiators rather than price stand a better chance of standing out and succeeding in the long term.

Second, they need to put revenues above cost. In other words, they must prioritise increasing revenue over reducing costs.

Finally, there are no other rules so companies must embrace disrupting their business models and standard practices to achieve the first and second principles.

Attendees at the CEO Forum will leave empowered with the knowledge to implement these in their organisations.

Jean-Michel Paul, author of The Economics of Discontent: From Failing Elites to The Rise of Populism will also deliver the guest address at this edition.

Paul, the founder/chief executive of Acheron Capital, a London-based hedge fund, and faculty member at the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, is expected to ride on his analysis that shows how the social contract that has underpinned growth and political stability in the Western world since World War II, has broken down to impact CEOs, boards, economists, elected representatives, and policy-makers for interpreting recent unrests like the Zuma riots in South Africa, EndSars in Nigeria, secessionist agitations, and class-driven social tensions in Nigeria.

An acute scarcity of jobs and deepening poverty have fuelled social discontent that has found voice in protests in Nigeria and South Africa, whereby protests against police brutality and President Jacob Zuma’s arrest turned opportunity for protesters to loot private stores.

The trend of rising unemployment and poverty does little favours for Nigeria and South Africa in their bid to boost consumer spending, attract investment and grow the economy.

With three-panel sessions titled- ‘Changing business for a changing world,’ ‘New imperatives for corporate strategy’ and ‘Our people, our future’ the forum will have other speakers and panellists that will share lessons on how business leaders can regain the strategic initiative when bogged down by past choices, and radically new realities.

Some of the speakers include Adun Okupe, lecturer, Lagos Business School, Pan-Atlantic University; Akintoye Akindele, chairman/CEO, Platform Capital Group; Bolanle Asumah, director of People, Africa, McKinsey & Company; Chidi Okoro, founder, Drugs and Medicaments Nig.; Elohor Aiboni,MD, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo); Ije Jidenma, managing partner, IRC Global Executive Search Partners, Nigeria; Ireti Samuel-Ogbu, CEO & Citi country officer for Nigeria/Ghana; Karl Toriola, CEO, MTN Nigeria, and Kunle Oyelana, managing director, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria (GSK).

Others are Mustapha Njie, group managing director, TAF Africa Global; Oluwole Oshin, group managing director, Custodian Investment plc; Patrick McMichael, group managing director, Eat‘N’Go; Peju Adebajo, advisory board member, Lagos Business School, Rolake Rosiji, CEO, Jobberman Nigeria; Sonnie Ayere, group managing director/CEO at DLM Capital Group; Steve Osho, co-managing partner, Comercio Partners/CEO, Comercio Partners Capital.

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