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BeReady - the digital series for Top Executives

Digital live sessions to inspire and equip top executives to shape the future of their business

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Booking information
This digital series is part of the Top Executives Specials’, which are board-sponsored and by invitation only. Eligible persons will be automatically invited to participate on a regular basis.
Free of charge
Session 3
75 minutes

What you can expect

Are you ready for the future? Expect an inspiring combination of insights from thought leaders and useful frameworks and management tools, in an engaging discussion of the organizational capabilities needed to define and execute your company’s growth strategy. Trusted BU faculty member Jim Dowd (Harvard Business School) will be our moderator for these short, digital live sessions.

Here you find the recordings of the digital live sessions – for internal use only

BeReady >> to understand the opportunities & threats of Generative AI in content/media/service businesses

This session we narrow our focus to explore specific uses of Generative AI in our own industries. Our discussion will cover the big playersin the AI ecosystem, the application landscape, and the new business models being developed today. How are our competitors in these indusries responding to these opportunities and threats? What are the implications for our own content, media and service businesses?

Jim Dowd hosting Teo Pham (

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BeReady >> to consider the broad ethical and social implications of Generative AI

As technology companies race to develop and deploy Generativ AI, we can already see that these capabilities emerging today have profound implications for society and for individuals. In this session, we begin by examining the context in which Generative AI will be used, in order to grasp the ways in which these tools can help and harm us. What do these opportunities and risks imply for mindful and ethical deployment in our businesses?

Jim Dowd (HBS) hosting Sue Hendrickson (Harvard Law School & Berkman Klein Center)

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BeReady >> to understand how to attract & engage talent for tomorrow

Let’s move beyond the anecdotes, the myths and the generalizations about “young people today” to try to understand the needs of talent for tomorrow.
In this session we will hear directly from young talents and future leaders in Bertelsmann: What do they want from work? What do they expect from their employers? How do they think about their careers? And what advice would they give leaders for attracting, engaging and retaining creative and tech/data talent in the future?

 Jim Dowd (HBS) hosting internal Bertelsmann Talent

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BeReady >> to capture the contributions of talent outside the organization

Facing a highly tense labor market, one of the most promising recruiting innovations is the open talent model, in which companies engage people outside the organization with temporary working arrangements, filling gaps in expertise at an on-demand and as-needed basis. But how does ‘open talent’ really work when it is our culture that makes us stand out in a competitive environment? In this session, we examine the approach with which one global company meets ever-increasing demands for skills and expertise with talent it does not “own”.

 Jim Dowd (HBS) hosting Balaji Bondili (Deloitte)

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BeReady >> to master the new challenges of the global talent market

Attracting and retaining business- critical talent has never been more challenging for leaders – but why?
We begin the spring edition 2023 with a close look at academic and business research into the global forces shaping the market for talent. And we will examine the most effective approaches other leading companies have taken in response. 
Which key trends are most relevant for our businesses, and where are the opportunities for us in this new reality? 

Jim Dowd (HBS) hosting William R. Kerr (HBS) 

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BeReady >> to drive culture as a social movement

The aim of transformation is behavioral change at all levels of the organization. We know that top-down initiatives for creating large-scale change often fail. In this session we examine the mechanisms of social movements to better understand how groups or even individuals can drive deep change. We will discuss how leaders can engage and orchestrate the energy of employee groups in their business to pursue strategic goals.

Jim Dowd (HBS) hosting Leandro Herrero (CEO The Chalfont Project)

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BeReady >> to model inclusive behavior in your organization

We know that diverse teams hold the potential for superior decision-making, but that potential can only be realized when their differences are leveraged by inclusive leadership. If leaders are not intentionally inclusive they are unintentionally exclusive. In this session we will identify and demonstrate small behaviors and tipping point skills that enable leaders to increase employee engagement, communicate more effectively, and shape an inclusive environment for their team and the people around them.

Jim Dowd (HBS) hosting Tiq Milan (Facilitator at LifeLabs Learning)

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BeReady >> to establish a learning culture for business growth

Learning in organizations has never been more important than it is today. When aligned with company’s strategic goals, a learning culture is an essential driver to accelerate business growth. No company proves this more than Microsoft, where leaders worked hard to transform a “know-it-all” culture to a “learn-it-all” culture. In this session, a leader from Microsoft will share insights into their learning culture and its benefits for customers, employees, and leaders.

Jim Dowd (HBS) hosting Edith Wittmann (Member of German Board of Microsoft)

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BeReady >> to shape a safe environment for innovation

Sustained success in a changing world demands continuous innovation, which requires persistent trial and error. This iterative approach is possible only where people feel safe to explore new ideas, to speak up, to run experiments, risking failure, and try again. In this session we examine how leaders foster psychological safety in their company and enable more candor and creativity in their teams.

Jim Dowd (HBS) hosting Amy Edmondson (HBS)

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BeReady >> to transform your company – and yourself

Organizational transformation is never easy. Leaders as well as employees can feel overwhelmed by the continuous pressure to learn and change in response to new opportunities in the digital world.
In this session we will closely examine the people side of digital transformation and discuss how leaders themselves must transform in order to transform their companies for the digital age.

Jim Dowd (HBS) hosting Linda Hill (HBS)

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BeReady >> to understand and influence organizational culture

When we talk about leading transformation in our companies, we often refer to “changing the culture” as one of our toughest challenges. But what exactly can leaders do to shape a company’s culture?  In this opening session we will focus on what’s real about culture – and what isn’t --  and identify ways that leaders can influence culture to enable organizations to achieve strategic goals.

Jim Dowd (HBS) hosting Sarah Schmidt and Bennet van Well (Metaplan)

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BeReady >> to build a responsive, human-centered culture

As the world grows increasingly complex and uncertain, traditional hierarchical structures and legacy procedures and practices prevent us from evolving our businesses in the right pace. In this session we explore the need for a new organizational operating system that fosters our ability to grow, innovate, adapt, and remain resilient

Jim Dowd (HBS) hosting Aaron Dignan (founder "The Ready")

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BeReady >> to collaborate across boundaries

In knowledge-based work the capability for collaboration - in the same room or across the world - has become a crucial asset for any company. But what key variables determine the success or failure of any collaboration? In this session we focus on how leaders enable productive and sustained collaboration both within their organizations and with other organizations in the business ecosystem.

Jim Dowd (HBS) hosting Thomas Schumacher (osb)

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BeReady >> to shape the future with the future

It seems contradictory: a VUCA world demands flexibility and fast adaptation, but at the same time sustained competitive advantage requires purposeful long-term thinking. In this session we consider the challenges of our businesses today in the light of our aspirations for the future. What kinds of innovation do we need to address both at the same time?

Jim Dowd (HBS) hosting Roman Krznaric (public philosopher)

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BeReady >> to explore possible futures for your business

Envisioning alternative positive futures for your business is an essential driver for growth. In this session, we will equip you with a practical tool – the Disruption Map – to help identify implications of select technologies or trends. Further, the Map can assist in structuring the unintended consequences as well as reveal hidden opportunities for your business

Jim Dowd (HBS) hosting Pascal Finette (be radical)

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BeReady >> to venture an ambitious future

The courage to think big is one of the main drivers for innovation.But what does it take to build and scale an innovation mindset in your company? This session reflects on the organizational challenges of true innovation.

Jim Dowd (HBS) hosting Tom Malnight (IMD)

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BeReady >> to manage your business ecosystem

This session explores the underlying principles of business ecosystems in the era of digital transformation. What are the key determinants that drive success or failure of this form of collaboration?

Jim Dowd (HBS) hosting Jeffrey Rayport (HBS)

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