Notes from GLC VIII Kick-Off Meeting

Below is a brief summary of the outcome of the GLC VIII Embodied Leadership Kick-off meeting – you can find the full summary of the meeting here.

  • We discussed the what Embodied Leadership means to us:
    • Being present with emotion
    • Intense emotion
    • Experience
    • Three intelligences in the body, head, heart and gut
    • Speaking from the felt unknown
  • We discussed possible Jolts related to Embodied Leadership
    • Posting as a sculpture, what does a leader look like?
    • Flash dance
  • Question to further explore: What stops you from embodying yourself as a leader?
  • We discussed possible theme for GLC IX – Agency (discussion to be continued).

Next meeting is planned for January 8 at 18:30-20:30 at Tokyo Creators.

Notes from GLC VII Prep Meeting #3

We’re on our way towards GLC VII Team Collaboration! Our third preparation meeting was held at the Honganji Temple, thanks to Ryoei-san (thank you!).

Key outcomes:

  • We converged on two questions for GLC VII:
    • When have you experienced great (co-creative) team collaboration?
    • How can you more purposefully encourage co-creation?
  • Want to focus on action, bigger emphasis on harvesting, suggested rough design:
    1. Quick Jolt
    2. 2 questions (see above)
    3. Harvesting
  • We all each aim to invite two relevant people to the event.

See the complete notes here.

Notes from GLC VII Prep Meeting #2

We met for our second GLC VII preparation meeting. It was a face-to-face meeting at the Wesley Center where we tried a new concept of setting the context for the meeting by quickly reminding ourselves why GLC exists – it connected us with our values and gave us focus.

Key outcomes:

  • Agreed on putting emphasis on co-creation rather than flow.
  • Many potential questions generated, but no conclusion on the core question, see Notes / 7) Cafe Questions below for details.
  • Many ideas for innovations at the event, see Notes / 9) Innovations below for details.
  • Reminded of finding ways to help non-English speakers to be included in the conversation.

See the complete notes here.

NES 2014 – Disruptive Innovation for the Airline Business

NES 2014 – Disruptive Innovation for the Airline Business

Session 6 started with, as mentioned in the Day 2 Summary post, an entertaining, insightful and inspiring talk by Tony Fernandes (Group CEO, AirAsia). Mr. Fernandes is a great storyteller that kept us captivated throughout the 30 minutes or so that he was on stage.

His talk was a story about disruptive innovation. It was also a story about disruptive branding and unconventional leadership. And tying it all together was a story about AirAsia that he bought for 25 cents in 2001. The airline Tony Fernandes bought in 2001 had 2 planes, 200 employees and $10 million in debt.

It all began “with the dream of making flying possible for everyone,” and no clue about airline business.


Tony Fernandes (CEO, AirAsia)
Each of Mr. Fernandes’ slides contained one message that was followed by anecdotes from AirAsia and his own experience as examples to underscore the message.

Begin with a dream. Dream big because sometimes dreams are realised. The dream story was about the acquisition of AirAsia for 25 cents and has since then been named the World’s Best Low Cost Airline 5 consecutive years, and is now worth billions.

Break away from tradition. When SARS hit in 2002-2003 travel basically stopped. The traditional response from airlines was to cut back on everything. AirAsia saw this as an opportunity. They tripled the marketing budget and lowered the price. They were the only airline doing marketing, and if prices are low enough people will travel. Building brand and loyalty.

Shake up old hierarchies. To enable cross-functional communication required to have an efficient airline (e.g. pilots and engineers communicating) they partnered up “enemies” with each other. They had to carry a photos of each other and eat together. But the groups started to understand each other efficiency was improved significantly.

Be accessible. Referring to the clothes his wearing on stage as a “dress-up” compared to when he is working, Mr. Fernandes emphasise his belief in dressing down to encourage people at all levels to approach him. All 15,000 employees at AirAsia has Mr. Fernandes phone number and can call him at any time about issues or to share a great idea. The core idea is to have 15,000 people working for him.

Enable everyone’s potential. Introduced a pilot program that anyone can enter. Mention a success story about a boy that 7 years ago was working as a belt loader that entered the pilot program, was best in class, and is now a captain. Mr. Fernandes also tells us about a young woman that approached him to ask if she can get a flight to Thailand to compete in Miss Thailand. She can get the flight on the condition that if she wins AirAsia can use her photos as promotion for a lifetime. She did, and was number 5 in Miss Universe. And is now the only Miss Thai pilot in the world.

Do dirty work. Don’t be afraid of getting your hands dirty. It’s the best way to learn how your business work and where there are problems. Tony Fernandes explains how he refused to invest in a belt from ground to airplane. The loaders that had to do the work manually asked him to work with them for a day. This story ends with a soar back and new belts to help the loaders in their daily work.

In summary, this was one of the best and most inspiring sessions in the New Economy Summit 2014. We got insights in how AirAsia disruptive the airline business, and how Mr. Fernandes is thinking about business, branding and leadership. Maybe the best way to describe it is to end with… AirAsia is a company I could work for!

New Economy Summit 2014 – Day 2 Summary

New Economy Summit 2014 – Day 2 Summary

The sessions of NES 2014 Day 2 (April 10th) focused on factors that enables and accelerate innovation. The day started with a general discussion on the core factors why innovation “happen” in some place and not in others. It was followed by an extraordinarily entertaining, insightful and inspiring session with Tony Fernandes (CEO, Air Asia) on disruptive innovation in the airline business (you can find a more in-depth post on his talk about his thinking on disrupting the airline business, branding and leadership here).

Day 2 continued with sessions of disruptive innovation in different industries and regions as example to support the general discussion that started the day. And ended with panel discussions on financing innovation and why Japanese startups are heading to Silicon Valley.

Highlights of the day! Tony Fernandes’ talk on disrupting the airline business and the panel discussion on disruptive innovation in Middle East and Europe – why global tech giants want the technology in Middle East and Europe?

Key takeouts on innovation


NES 2014 - key takeouts on innovation
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Key takeouts on leadership


NES 2014 - key takeouts on leadership
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Key takeouts on trends:


NES 2014 - key takeouts on trends
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