France 2.0: French Finance Minister Declares French rEvolution in Economic Policy

French Finance Minister Declares French rEvolution in Economic Policy is a real-time case study with lessons for G7 Knowledge Economy transition—”Courage” to the rats—A new French realism?

Christine LagardeIllinois leaders were addressed by Her Excellency Christine Lagarde, Economy, Industry and Employment Minister, Republic of France at the special luncheon held in her honor by the Executives’ Club of Chicago at the Westin on 23 May 2008. Attending were Chicago Mayor Richard M. and Maggie Daley, a French delegation that included the Ambassador of France to the U.S. Pierre Vimont, the Head of Cabinet Christian Dufour, David Appia, Minister Counselor for Economic and Commercial Affairs, and numerous executives of Chicago Fortune 500 firms.

If one were not listening attentively and willing to question stereotypes, it would have been too easy miss this intriguing story. However, as in all things “2.0,” profound change manifests slowly at first, and I detected a glimmer of disruption in France’s status quo. Having lived in West Berlin surrounded by the concrete reality of a wall that subsequently, unbelievably, came down, I ask myself, “What if France were […]

The U.S. Healthcare System: Can This Patient Be Saved?

“Yes,” Says Team of Healthcare Experts, Employer CEOs and Patient Representative at the Executives’ Club of Chicago, “But You Must Change Your Ways”

ecchc-2008-logo-S Honestly Assessing Quality—Engaging Consumer Empowerment—Trading in the Ferrari for a Chevy

The Executives’ Club of Chicago convened its healthcare reform summit at the Hilton Chicago on 20 February 2008, drawing on diverse expertise. Ian Morrison, Ph.D., healthcare futurist, gave the keynote and moderated two panels: first, the healthcare expertise panel with Dean Harrison, CEO Northwestern Memorial Healthcare; William Novelli, CEO AARP; Scott P. Serota, CEO BlueCross BlueShield Association; and second, the business executive panel with Andrew M. Appel, Chairman AON Consulting; John A. Edwardson, CEO, CDW; John B. Menzer, Vice Chairman and Administrative Officer, Wal-Mart Stores. Robert L. Parkinson, CEO, Baxter Healthcare gave an insightful point of view on recommended actions to close the event.

There was broad agreement that the U.S. healthcare system was broken, and speakers offered excellent insights and perspectives about how to fix the system. However, what they didn’t say was as interesting as what they did, and I will address two key issues in […]

India Trade Minister Draws Chicago-India Transformation Parallels at Executives' Club

India Trade Minister Draws Chicago-India Parallels at Executives’ Club offers coverage of Shri Kamal Nath’s Chicago presentation. Key themes: new global economic architecture presages economic realignment and thinking beyond the obvious to tap emerging opportunities.

India Trade Minister Draws Chicago-India Parallels at Executives' ClubIllinois leaders were addressed by His Excellency Shri Kamal Nath, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Republic of India. True to form, His Excellency struck chords of transformation, partnership, common interests and harmony at the lunch held in his honor at the University Club on 19 February 2008. Attending were Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Mr. Rajinder Bedi, Managing Director of the Illinois Office of Trade and Investment, The Honorable Susan Schwab, U.S. Trade Representative, Craig S. Donohue, Chief Executive Officer, CME Group and John Estey, President & Chief Executive Officer, SC Electric Company.

Reading between the lines, the U.S. and India stand at a significant turning point: India’s impressive economic growth is a significant element of the ongoing redistribution of global economic power—which holds excellent opportunities for U.S. businesses and workers that are looking for it.


Web 2.0's Impact on 2008 U.S. Presidential Election Declared Minimal at Executives' Club

Web 2.0 Impact on 2008 U.S. Presidential Election Declared Minimal at Executives’ Club, but cantankerous subtext hints at possible monkey wrench—democratic race in spotlight.

Web 2.0 Impact on 2008 U.S. Presidential Election Declared MinimalThe Executives’ Club of Chicago fielded an expert panel to brief Midwest executives on Web 2.0’s current and likely impact on one of the most watched U.S. elections in recent history. Marie Cocco, a renowned political columnist, Peter Greenburger, Director of Google’s Elections & Issue Advocacy Team, and Alan Webber, Senior Analyst of Forrester Research brought to bear diverse perspectives on the question at the event, which took place at The University Club on January 31, 2008.

They produced a logical conclusion, namely that Web 2.0 was a force in the making but that it would probably not be a decisive factor this year. The session was graciously co-hosted by Communications Committee Co-Chairs David Prosperi, Vice President Global Public Relations, AON and David Blake, Publisher of Crain’s Chicago Business.

As usual, I will share my notes of speakers’ remarks before adding my between the lines analysis and conclusions. As an […]

Economic Outlook for 2008—Executives' Club of Chicago

U.S. Economy Due for Sideways Year—Special Effects by Presidential Election—Uncomfortable Long-term Questions Waiting in Wings

econ_fcast_eec-08The Executives’ Club of Chicago assembled an all-star panel to give Midwest business leaders their guidance for various aspects of the U.S. economy in 2008. Diane Swonk, Chief Economist of Mesirow Financial and Robert “Bob” Froehlich, Chairman of the Investment Strategy Committee, Deutsche Asset Management returned, and the mystery panelist was Jack Ablin, Chief Investment Officer, Harris Private Bank. They broke out their respective crystal balls for 2008, along with comedic effects. The session was brilliantly moderated by Terry Savage, Financial Columnist of the Chicago Sun-Times who didn’t miss a beat and extracted specific predictions from panelists.

Panelists agreed that the U.S. economy would struggle in 2008, but it would move mostly sideways, probably eking out a 1-2% gain for the year after an unsatisfying first half. All panelists predicted that the Dow would touch 14,000 sometime during the year. Froehlich again emphasized the importance of looking beyond the U.S. for investments. Swonk and Ablin were less outspoken but had high non-U.S. allocations in their recommended […]

Innovation Defines New CIO Role at Executives' Club

Three CIOs Share Vision and Techniques for Creating the Networked Enterprise—Facebook and Tagging Creep In

going_global_eecAfter James Owens’ luncheon address, the Executives’ Club of Chicago’s 2007-08 Technology Conference series opened with the CIO of the Year Award and a sneak preview of the 2008 Chicago Technology Outlook Survey.

Then a diverse panel of executives took the stage to discuss the role of the CIO in the “networked economy 2.0.” Bahman Koohestani, Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer, Orbitz Worldwide, Paul Mankiewich, Chief Technology Officer, Alcatel-Lucent and Karenann Terrell, Chief Information Officer, Baxter International, shared their visions for the evolving role of the CIO and IT. John Gentry, Partner and Managing Director, CSC Consulting, moderated the panel discussion with aplomb. The Club’s quarterly Technology Conference took place October 16 at the Chicago Hilton.

Although the panel represented such diverse businesses as pharmaceutical giant Baxter, global network equipment provider Alcatel-Lucent and travel sensation Orbitz, all were very focused on how CIOs needed to enable a new level of innovation by fostering a new level of trust and adopting a networked model—for everything. […]

Caterpillar CEO Pitches Free Trade Gauntlet to Business Leaders at Executives' Club

Caterpillar CEO Pitches Free Trade to Business Leaders at Executives’ Club asks whether the U.S. is at turning point with global economy in the balance—A lack of courage?

Caterpillar CEO Pitches Free Trade to Business Leaders at Executives' ClubJames W. Owens, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Caterpillar Inc., beseeched U.S. business and government leaders to find the courage to save free trade. The speaker at the Executives’ Club of Chicago’s Global Leaders Series, Owens addressed a packed house at the Hilton Chicago on 16 October 2007. His speech was immediately followed by the Club’s Technology Conference at which CIOs advised their peers on the emerging role of the CIO in the “networked economy 2.0.”

A Ph.D. economist with extensive global management experience, Owens made a very convincing argument that the U.S. and the global economy are at a turning point. It is time for the U.S. to lead by example to assure the continuance of the free trade juggernaut that has produced so much wealth in the world. If it fails, the world stands before the prospect of sharply curtailed trade.

Following […]

Rebooting Kraft—CEO Outlines Growth Strategy at Executives' Club Breakfast

Rebooting Kraft—CEO Outlines Growth Strategy clearly shows the innovation imperative: A Play in Two Acts, Starring the Consumer.

Rebooting Kraft—CEO Outlines Growth Strategy: Irene B. RosenfeldIrene B. Rosenfeld, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Kraft Foods, outlined her vision for relaunching Kraft at the Executives’ Club of Chicago’s Chicago CEO Breakfast on May 30, 2007 at the Mid-America Club. She was enthusiastic about the company’s second lease on life: having spun off of Altria this spring, the company is newly independent, and she was eager to share her plan to drive growth by addressing the “eye of the consumer.”

Kraft Foods is the second largest food company in the world and the largest in North America. It has seven brands that produce revenue of over $1 billion and fifty that bring in over $100 million each. Central to her strategy is leveraging Kraft’s formidable brand portfolio and other economies of scale. Rosenfeld “came home to Kraft” about a year ago, having had highly visible leadership roles at the company in the past and the top job at Frito-Lay immediately prior.


Leadership, Trust and the Globally Integrated Enterprise

Leadership, Trust and the Globally Integrated Enterprise reports on IBM’s CEO as he articulated a prescient vision for the enterprise—adapting to the Knowledge Economy.

Leadership, Trust and the Globally Integrated EnterpriseSamuel J. Palmisano, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of IBM Corporation, outlined a new version of the enterprise at a lunch honoring him with the Executives’ Club of Chicago’s Thirteenth Annual International Executive of the Year Award April 12, 2007 at the Chicago Hilton. Entitled “Leadership, Trust and the Globally Integrated Enterprise,” his speech emphasized key points from his Summer 2006 article of the same name in Foreign Affairs. He was especially interesting to hear due to his experience with leading one of the world’s foremost global enterprises as well as his insight from serving global enterprises in every industry.

Yesterday’s model for the global enterprise, the multinational corporation (MNC), looks increasingly outdated due to widespread adoption of standards-based technology, increasingly standardized work processes and a liberalizing regulatory environment. Today, knowledge-based resources are available globally, and the enterprise’s means to create value is choosing how and where to tap the resources to […]

Technology Conference: Getting Global From Chicago - and Back

Visions for Technology Leadership

going_global_eecAfter Gary Forsee’s luncheon address, a diverse panel of executives took the stage to discuss global technology leadership. Hardik Bhatt, CIO of the City of Chicago, Steve Goldman, Director of Architecture, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Raymond Spencer, CEO of Kanbay International, and David Weick, Global CIO of McDonald’s, shared their visions for Chicago’s global role in the world. Janet Kennedy, Midwest General Manager of Microsoft, gracefully moderated the panel discussion. The Executives’ Club of Chicago’s quarterly Technology Conference took place March 8 at the Chicago Hilton.

“Getting global” can mean many things, and panelists hit the issue from many directions. I’ll venture that, more than anything, it means changing one’s mindset, focus and approach, all of which are difficult to measure. All panelists represented organizations that had had international operations for decades, so how is global different?