Geoff Colvin

Geoff Colvin
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Biography of Geoff Colvin

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 long-standing 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.

In his fourth decade at Fortune, Geoff Colvin’s breadth of experience is impressive. He is one of 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. His “On Leadership” series, which appears online on, provides a compelling look at what top leaders are doing to navigate uncertain times.

Geoff is also one of America's preeminent business broadcasters. He is heard every weekend 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, he 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 World-Class 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 next book (due in mid-2015) is 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 will look at the trend of technology displacing more jobs than it creates and the ways people will create value for their organizations and their careers in the changing economy. The ideas have profound implications.

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.


Video(s) of Geoff Colvin

Program Descriptions

The business environment is changing in historic and profound ways – competition, technology, government’s role, and the balance of global economic power are shifting massively -- and it’s happening fast! Successfully navigating the tumult is every leader’s great challenge today. For this talk Geoff draws on his unique perspective rooted in long-standing 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. In a presentation that’s as relevant as the day’s headlines, Geoff explains what’s important, what isn’t, and what’s next – offering audiences specific strategies they can put to work right now to navigate the future.

It’s what everyone wants to know: where’s the economy going? Today’s economic environment is more volatile and uncertain than at any time in memory: the BRICs are slowing, America’s growing, Europe’s a question mark; technology is upending whole industries; surging demographic changes are creating new challenges and opportunities; governments are playing a larger role than ever. And it all changes by the day. Geoff offers fresh economic insights that get ahead of official statistics to uncover what’s trending. Engaging, energetic, and topical, Geoff helps his audience anticipate the future more clearly.

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 advantage.

It’s one of the most striking trends in business today: companies feeling frustrated that the tremendous abilities inside their organizations – the knowledge, creativity, and innovation – aren’t being combined as one to deliver knockout products and services that leave competitors wondering what hit them. For most businesses it’s a huge missed opportunity. Yet a growing number of companies, as varied as Ford, Apple, Lego, Amazon, and Hershey, have cracked the code and are achieving extraordinary success as a result. Geoff explains how they did it and how you can too – before your competitors beat you to it.

Every day, technology is doing something else better than humans, and the trend is picking up speed. For the first time in 200 years, mainstream economists are seriously considering whether technology is pushing unemployment up and wages down. Where does that leave growing numbers of NEWLY insecure workers, from taxi drivers to lawyers? What will be the high-value skills that will raise living standards for us and our children? Answers are becoming clear, and they involve elements of our deepest humanity – empathy, emotion, narrative, creativity. For the individuals, companies, and whole economies that can master them, these will be the counterintuitive keys to competitive advantage.

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.”

Testimonials for
Geoff Colvin

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

“For a second year in a row, people are talking about your presentation. Thank you for joining us and teaching me a lot. I look forward to working with you again!”
--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.”

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