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Davos…A thrilling experience

By Tim Hanley - February 03, 2012

WEF Davos villageLast week at the World Economic Forum in Davos was a whirlwind - the three days go by in a heartbeat. The DTTL Global Manufacturing Industry group is serving its second term as the executive industry partner for the Forum’s Chemical sector leading a project focused on Collaborative Innovation. Because of our involvement, this was my second opportunity attending the Annual Meeting.

Each day at Davos is filled with activities from day to night. My first day (Wednesday 25 January) started off by attending a panel led by DTTL CEO Barry Salzberg entitled The New Context for Leadership. Barry cited several interesting observations from DTTL’s point of view on Business: Society. The panel joining Barry was a diverse group that discussed a wide range of topics focused on leadership. One interesting statistic from the report that Barry pointed out was that 73 percent of business leaders believe that their core business activities make a positive contribution to society, but only 25 percent think it is well know by their customer, consumers, and clients. The panel shared with the audience interesting observations about the impact their company’s contributions are making to society.

Later that day, I also attended a fascinating session led by several renowned Fortune 500 manufacturing leaders. The highpoint of this session was the insights shared from the CEOs how they are continuously reinventing themselves. Each CEO shared a perspective how they have remodeled their company over the past decade. Conversely, the CEOs pointed out that those companies that have not adjusted to the times, may not have survived.

During the second day (Thursday 26 January), I focused all of my energy on the chemical industry. I was an active participant in the Chemical Governors session where CEOs from the leading chemical leaders gathered to discuss the most important issues facing the industry. DTTL’s research work fueled the active discussion among the CEOs in this session. For me, this session was a memorable opportunity to be in the room with 25 top leaders in the industry. Another highlight of Davos overall is the annual Deloitte member firm client CEO dinner. This year, Malcolm Gladwell, New York Times #1 bestseller for Outliers and journalist, was invited to speak to the attendees. Everyone I spoke to seemed to really enjoy his comments.

The last day, (Friday 27 January) was focused primarily on Deloitte member firm client visits. Davos provides an incredibly unique opportunity to interact with CEOs of top global companies.

One thing that Davos does not provide is ample time for sleep. All days start early with breakfast meetings and end well after midnight with dinner gatherings. I guess there are always the weekends to catch up on sleep. I hope this perspective on my personal experience was of interest to you. Please send me a note back with any specific questions of my time there. I will certainly never forget it.  

Related links:
Tweets from Tim Hanley
As a leader video 2012 – What will our global economy look like in the next three to five years?
Ask a leader video 2012 – Favorite Davos moment


Tim HanleyTim Hanley is the Global Leader of the Manufacturing Industry group of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL). In his global industry leadership role, he directs strategic initiatives and investments to grow Deloitte member firm market share within the manufacturing industry. During his distinguished 32-year career, Hanley has led teams serving all business aspects, including consulting with top management regarding organizational financial strategy development and execution, acquisitions, and market development.

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