Inspiration was in the air in late May in Montréal. When business leaders came together for C2, the agenda included a list of thinkers, entrepreneurs and doers who have transformed businesses and governments. From addressing climate change to discussing the next generation of digital technology to hearing about Airbnb’s disruption of the hospitality industry, C2 was packed with provoking questions. If you weren’t in Montréal for all the action, we’ve got you covered: here’s a look at three of our favorite quotes from the week that can help shape your business leadership skills.
1) “We need to think less like designers and writers. We need to think more like inventors.” - Mike Yapp, Founder and Director, The ZOO at Google
Google might be one of the most powerful names in the world, but Mike Yapp knows his company’s reach can only extend so far. “The user is in control,” Yapp said in his address at C2. With that in mind, Yapp highlighted the importance of embracing a make-something-new mindset in order to capture the attention of an audience. For those who think like designers and writers, it can tempting to create something that borrows inspiration from the components of past successes. But today’s world demands more from business leaders and creative minds. We need to approach the world with a clean slate and invent something new. Forget the past. Make the future.
SEE ALSO: Mike Yapp On Hypertelling
2) “You have to be a very agile learner. You have to be able to reinvent yourself constantly.” - Christine Renaud, CEO and Co-founder, E-180
Remember all the lessons you learned in college? Whether you graduated last year or last century, chances are that some of that knowledge may no longer apply. The world is constantly changing, and Christine Renaud highlighted the importance of updating your brain with an equally consistent frequency. As we enter an era defined by virtual reality goggles, 3D printers and robots, this agility will be more important than ever.
SEE ALSO: How Renaud’s Company Is Changing Networking At Meetings
3) “The definition of failure is inaction.” - Chris Baer, Senior Director, Global Experience Design, Marriott
It’s not just about learning. You have to be willing to put your new knowledge to the test. Chris Baer echoed Renaud’s belief that business leaders must be willing to revise their perspectives of the world and then put that new understanding to work. “The cost and risk of trying new things is very low, and it’s getting even lower,” Baer said. “The definition of failure used to be ‘what you tried yesterday didn’t work.’”
Now, Baer believes the definition of failure is failing to try something new. “Companies used to budget on an annual basis,” Baer said. “Trying something new might have taken two years, and by the time it was ready, it was already obsolete.” So if you can learn fast and fail fast, you’ll be able to fuel your success at a fast pace, too.
C2 did more than talk the inspirational talk. The conference set a new bar for creativity in the conference industry. Check out PCMA’s Instagram account to see some of the best images from the three days in Montréal.