What’s new at Pivot? Mike Edelhart and Brian Solis discuss this October’s conference.
Mike Edelhart – This is Mike Edelhart, the CEO of The Tomorrow Project, the producers of the Pivot Conference in New York, and I’m here with Brian Solis, executive producer of Pivot, author, partner of the Altimeter Group, and friend. Hey Brian!
Brian Solis – Hey Mike, I can’t believe we are back at it again – it seems like yesterday we did the last Pivot Conference.
Mike- I know, we’ve been at this now five times, I guess, and each time, at least in my experience (and I expect in yours) it’s been a little different – and we do that on purpose – so maybe that’s a good way to start. From your point of view, what do you think has made Pivot unique and what do you think makes it particularly unique this year?
Brian- You know, the thing that I love about Pivot is it first starts with working with you, working as friends, it becomes a real personable conference. We all go to these conferences to get smarter , to meet people and network. Then there are conferences like Pivot where you really start to feel a part of a community – part of a movement is probably a better way to describe it – and I think that’s what made Pivot really special for me and what keeps me coming back every year is that you can actually see progress in the themes and in the people we bring together and in the careers of those who advance who attend Pivot – we’re really pushing things forward and I feel a little proud to be a part of it.
Mike- Yes, same here. We’ve talked about this since the very beginning of Pivot – the senior executive community we serve, the world that’s being transformed by social and mobile technology, keeps changing and we need to change with it and at least for me, one of the things about this year that’s most exciting is the notion that we have a two day conference where each day is essentially a one-day event unto itself, trying to get our arms around the breadth of what’s happening out there for the companies we serve now. And we’ve all decided that the first day is about business transformation.
What does business transformation mean for you? I know you’ve written about it. When we say to folks: “come to Pivot on the first day – we’re doing business transformation” – what does that mean for you?
Brian- Business transformation is (I really get pumped up when I think about it) because there’s this way of doing business, the way that always been done – you look at the classics, the business models that we’ve been taught in school and are still in. But you have technology that has continued to evolve to the point where now the machine is an extension of people. Everybody sort of jokes around that the next evolution of human beings is that everybody’s hands are going to be little bit longer so that they can accommodate texting and multi tasking on one screen a lot more efficiently.
In all seriousness, transformation starts to look at people first, it’s going back to the basics of just who are the people that we want to do business with? And why would they want to do to business with us? And who are the people that we want to work with us to do a better job and how do they want to work? And this is the transformation – a much more human approach when we say “wow- those processes, those systems, those reward-mechanisms, those policies that we have, I mean everything is open to change. That’s what really inspires me.