Focus on Thought Leadership Meeting

Focus on Thought Leadership – Leading Technological Transformation

October 10-11, 2019

SAID Business School
University of Oxford


To provide more opportunities for members of the ECLF community to connect in a meaningful way,  we are launching a new meeting format called “Focus on Thought Leadership”. 

Complementing our annual summit and our traditional Focus on Practice meetings, we are planning for 1-2 additional events per year which will last two half days, from noon to noon. They will provide the opportunity to meet and discuss issues relevant to your profession with leading scholars from renowned universities, think tanks, and research centers. There will be no additional costs for ECLF members.

The first of such meetings will take place from October 10-11 at Oxford University. In a series of  interactive sessions with top faculty members from SAID Business School, we will discuss technological trends, the resulting scenarios for business and society, and the implications for leadership and organization.

As space is limited, seats will be allocated on a first com first serve basis, giving priority to senior primary members.  


Together with Oxford Saïd’s faculty we will explore contemporary areas related to technological transformation and the challenges they present for strategic leadership and organisation:


Chris Kutarna on Global Mega Trends
Now is humanity’s best moment - and its most fragile. Global health, wealth and education are booming. Scientific discovery is flourishing. But the same forces that make big gains possible for some of us deliver big losses to others—and tangle us together in ways that make everyone vulnerable.  We are living in a second Renaissance and we can flourish—if we heed the urgent lessons of history. During this first scene setting session we will explore how.


Trudi Lang on Scenarios Thinking
Often organisations have a single strategy approach to technology based on the analysis of forecasts, trends and the assumption that tomorrow will not be that radically different from today.   Scenarios thinking is a practical approach that enables executive teams to think in new ways and create credible stories of the future that challenge conventional wisdom and in that way identifies potential disruptors that could emerge.  This allows strategy to be stress tested and, if necessary, modified to withstand or harness disruption.


Marc Ventresca on Leadership and the Humanities
As we grapple with all the challenges that disruption brings, where can we look for ideas to inspire our leadership practice?  The humanities study human society and culture including ethics, creativity, communication, philosophy, politics and history,  all of which can provide inspiration and creative solutions for today’s challenges.  Our discussion will focus on how the humanities can inform leadership and what practical interventions can be applied.


Eleanor Murray on Making Change Happen (Executive Panel Discussion)
We will wrap up the FoTL meeting with a panel conversation between selected ECLF members and Eleanor, who specializes in how change is constructed in organizations and systems. What approaches work,  what else could be done in the light of fresh perspectives? How should leaders resilience-proof their business, to anticipate and respond to the spectrum of current and future disruption?


You can download the detailed schedule of the meeting here.


This link will help you to travel to the City of Oxford.


Event Venue

Our Focus on Thought Leadership Meeting will take place at Saïd Business School at Oxford University. 

SAID Business School  website  |  map
Oxford University
Park End Street
Oxford OX1 1HP
United Kingdom

Click here to learn how to best get to Oxford University



Marriott Courtyard has just opened a brand new hotel in 8 minute walking distance to Oxford University. 

Courtyard Oxford City Center   |   website  |  map
15 Paradise Street
Oxford OX1 1LD
United Kingdom
+44 (1865) 306900

Please make your reservation directly with the hotel.

We were able to reserve a dicounted block rooms for our group at a rate of GBP 158 including breakfast, which will be only available until September 1, 2019.

Please mention the code ECLF when booking your room. After this deadline, rooms are not guaranteed, and regular rates apply.


Dress Code

Business casual


For all questions regarding logistics please contact


For all questions related to the event please contact


Please register by September 15, 2019 by obtaining a "ticket" via eventbrite.




Special Terms for this Meeting

  • Space for this meeting is limited
  • Registrations will be treated on a first come first serve basis
  • Priority will be given to primary members
  • All others will be waitlisted until the registration deadline expires (September 15)



The meeting is free of charge for ECLF members.

Provided space is available after the registration deadline, the folllowing terms apply:

  • Guests from member companies pay a 50% discounted fee of USD 600.
  • Guests from non-member companies pay a nominal fee of USD 1,200

If you are not a member and would like to receive an invitation, please contact

Annual ECLF Conference 2014

10th Annual ECLF Conference (1st Global ECLF Summit)

Building the Capabilities of Globally Networked Organization

September 3-5, 2014

John F. Welch Leadership Center
Ossining NY, USA


It is hard to believe, but 2014 is the year we celebrate our 10th annual meeting. The ECLF initiative has come a long way since our inaugural gathering at Credit Suisse in 2005. To celebrate this occasion, we will turn our usual annual meeting into the 1st Global ECLF Summit.

Our member Sylvain Newton has generously offered to host this event at GE's famous Leadership Center in Crotonville. Under the motto "Building the Capabilities of Globally Networked Organizations", the Summit will bring together not only ECLF members; together with GE we also invite leading corporations from all over the world to engage in the kind of intellectually and socially inspiring dialogue which has become the hallmark of ECLF's culture.

Large and global organizations have to cope with distinctive challenges that come with size and reach. While they usually enjoy advantages of scale, vast resources, global brand recognition, and political clout, they also have to struggle with the structural symptoms of the "elephant disease": High organizational complexity, bureaucracy and inertia, political infighting, a culture of silos, slow response times to changing market conditions, and more. 

At the same time, leaders and their corporations are meshed up in a new interconnected world of complex global networks that engage in novel ways of co-evolution and co-creation, with stakeholders dispersed across the globe. They are faced with disruptive forces that require continuous business model innovation, and they have to deal with mounting political, economical, and ecological mega-challenges on a global scale. 

Corporate learning does not remain untouched by this massive change. Learning Leaders need to gain an in-depth understanding of the new capabilities that organizations and their stakeholders need to turn these challenges into competitive advantage, and they need to design their learning function accordingly.

Conference Topic Overview

Our 1st Global ECLF Summit will take a closer look at these challenges. Issues we are going to explore in this context are:

  • How do we deal with the new realities of the horizontal organization (leading across boundaries without the power of hierarchical control, empowerment of the periphery, informal network organizations, etc.)
  • How can an organization master the dynamics of the extended enterprise (drive a flat and global value chain and gain leverage among multiple stakeholders who compete for value)
  • What is the role of the corporate function in this context? How can corporate add value?
  • What capabilities do people and organizations need in this context? What structures, processes, systems can help drive and anchor such capabilities?
  • How can technology help to master this conundrum? What capabilities are required to leverage the opportunities that come with technology?
  • How does the Learning Function itself deal with these issues? What is the appropriate design for the Learning function in globally networked organizations? What are the governance implications?
  • What are effective learning interventions to promote key organizational capabilities of a networked organization (e.g., collaboration) that should be "owned" by global Learning?
  • Which capabilities does the learning function need in the future to deliver on these challenges?


In the tradition of ECLF, the summit is designed as a highly interactive and collaborative mix of top level expert input , case reflections from our members, and peer-to-peer exchange. Some highlights:

  • Aaron Dignan, CEO and Founding Partner of Undercurrent, a boutique consultancy specialized in innovative organizational designs, will provide insights how large organizations can become more responsive and able to change faster in the face of overwhelming complexity.
  • Debra France from W.L. Gore & Associates will share with us the capabilities and mechanisms that drive innovation and financial success in an organization of 10,000+ people that does not have a single manager, no traditional org charts, and no chains of command.
  • The GE Crotonvlle Team will share with us their transformational journey towards a globally networked organization.
  • Three Executive Round Tables will take a closer look at recent innovative initiatives at Cisco, AXA, and Fiat.
  • In two workshop-type sessions, we will also jointly map the issues that come with organizing on a global scale, and deepen our understanding how L&D can help companies master the related challenges.
  • And, as always, we will have our popular peer-to-peer Focus on Members Issues session...




June 24-26, 2020

For details please click on the individual event.


Hosted by member companies, ECLF annual summits are the highlight of the year, bringing together ECLF members from more than a dozen of countries to engage in an intellectually and socially inspiring dialogue which is the hallmark of ECLF's culture.

Each conference is dedicated to exploring a strategic challenge of the practice.