Welcome to a new season of Signal 360. Summer provides some time to reflect and recharge, to get ready for what’s ahead. We start this issue with a great summary of Signal 2023. More than 4,000 people from 70+ countries joined us for another remarkable event, filled with inspiration and education on how to reset the bar.
Someone asked me recently what I learned from Signal this year. Now that I’ve had some time to reflect, I can sum it up in four words:
- Balance. In a time where attention is in short supply and hype ample, it’s important to get a balanced perspective. This starts with learning and listening, both prominently mentioned by Accenture CEO Julie Sweet and GE CMO Linda Boff. Balance also applies to how to grow a business. P&G CEO Jon Moeller provided an MBA education to the audience with the most highlighted quote of the event: ‘Top line without bottom line is a waste of time. Bottom line without top line is only a matter of time.’
- Substance. AI is a topic currently near the apex of hype. Fortunately, several Signal speakers cut through the hype to discuss meaningful applications that will shape our lives in the years ahead. For example, Gather CEO Sumit Agarwal demonstrated how AI acts as a genie, retrieving value from an abundance of locked-up personal data. Food-tech company NotCo CMO Fernando Machado explained how its AI ‘chef’ Guiseppe helps human chefs create new plant-based products from unexpected ingredient combinations, better than the non-plant based originals.
- Creativity. “When you talk about irresistible superiority, you won’t achieve it without big ideas that are insightful.” Great words from Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun, who reminded the audience of the importance of human creativity. Creativity requires bravery without being reckless, shared McDonald’s CMO Morgan Flatley. It’s easy to shoot down big ideas that make people uncomfortable. But saying yes creates energy and new opportunities.
- Outcomes. The Signal program highlighted several P&G innovators who created new approaches to solve problems with remarkable outcomes. For example, Katie Kelly and Cem Canikoglu reduced new-hire attrition by over 50% by creating a new approach that helped new P&G people feel more connected with their colleagues and managers. Their onboarding process highlights how great innovation starts with a challenging problem to solve. Signal provided us once again with world class speakers who delivered great inspiration and education. But the true value of the program will show in how we use what we learned to create remarkable outcomes.
“Every human is talented,” states Rishad Tobaccowala in his Signal360 guest contribution. His premise is that, in a world filled with technology, talent matters more than ever. Our purpose for Signal 360 is to provide you with insights that help grow your talent, with balance, substance, creativity, and innovative outcomes. Until next month!
Stan Joosten & John Battelle,
Editors-In-Chief, Signal360 / Co-founders, Signal P&G