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 2018

5th Global ECLF Summit (14th Annual ECLF Conference)

mercedes benz museum
Organizing for Transformation -
The Quest for Agile Strategies, Structures, and Mindsets

September 12-14, 2018

Mercedes Benz Museum
Stuttgart, Germany


After years of talk about digital transformation, there is wide consensus among corporate leaders that to compete in the digital era, traditional hierarchies, central planning, silo mentality, and bureaucratic processes must give way to agile strategies, structures, and mindsets, and that the ability to lead in networks and ecosystems has become a critical success factor. 

But this is easier said than done. Transformational efforts of that quality – especially in large corporations - are complex undertakings that require an innovative, often radical set of interventions that touch the entire operating model of an organization.

It is hard enough to figure out strategic and organizational frameworks that are futureproof and connectable with the existing DNA of a firm. But the rational considerations and objectives of transformational efforts are the easier part of the equation. The much bigger challenge is to deal with emotional, social, and political elements, such as traditional mindsets, fear, and the political power dynamics of the stakeholder system.

The Learning and Development (L&D) function is thrown into the middle of this conundrum: As one of the key stakeholders, it is significantly impacted by this change (as are all others), but it also has (or should have) a critical role in designing and driving the change processes.


Summit Topic Overview

Our 2018 ECLF global summit is designed to deep-dive into the question how to organize for transformation in a way that successfully deals with these challenges, with special emphasis on the changing role and contribution of the L&D function, and its interplay with other stakeholders inside and outside the organization.

Questions that come to mind in this context are:

  • What constitutes agile mindsets, agile teams, and agile structures, and how can we foster them?
  • What are design principles for organizational transformation towards more agility? Cultural, structural, process-wise?
  • What is the position of L&D within the stakeholder universe that needs to collaborate in transformational processes? How can other stakeholders be engaged for the L&D agenda?
  • What realistic role can L&D play when it comes to designing and driving this transformation process? What would be an ideal role?
  • How can we achieve the “horizontalization” that is required for cross-boundary collaboration? What organizational structures and mechanisms can be helpful in this respect?
  • How can we integrate top down processes with bottom up initiatives and lateral connectivity, also within the extended business eco-system?

As always, we will approach these questions with our traditional mix of member-driven analytical deep-dive and peer-sharing of experiences and perspectives.

To extend our dialogue beyond the boundaries of HR, we encourage you to share this agenda with senior colleagues from the areas such as Innovation, Transformation, Strategy, Communication, IT, Marketing or Sales, and invite them to join you for this event.


In the tradition of ECLF, the three days of our summit are designed as a highly interactive and collaborative mix of top level expert input, case studies from our members, and peer-to-peer exchange. While we are still working on details of the final design, here is what you can expect:

  • “Organizational Architect” Leandro Herrero, acclaimed author of 5 books and internationally recognized expert on viral change will share with us his perspective on how to design large organizations for ongoing change, through principles that uniquely leverage the power of influencers through a combination of formal and informal interventions.  
  • We will deep-dive into Daimler’s multidimensional efforts to cope with the massive change that the companyand the automotive industry at large – is facing.   After a session with Harald Rudolph, the company’s Global Head of Strategy, which will provide context, we will take a specific look at the company’s “Leadership 2020” initiative that includes organizational “game changers”, such as the company-wide deployment of agile teams, (or “swarms”).
  • Our host Oliver Fischer will share with us the cornerstones of Daimler’s Corporate Academy and its role in the overall transformational architecture. Inger Buus, Head of Leadership Development at JP Morgan Chase, will provide insights from a different industry by sharing her comprehensive transformational leadership initiative.
  • To put all Daimler initiatives into a larger perspective, we will conduct a fireside chat with a member of Daimler’s executive board.
  • The two ECLF Member initiatives that were launched last year have wrapped up, and we will share results from this work at the summit. Kai Liebert (Siemens) will report about the conversations among companies that have discussed how to leverage Artificial Intelligence in the context of L&D, and Roland Deiser (ECLF) will share insights from the consortium project on digital transformation challenges.
  • In our traditional workshop mode, we will also gather in smaller groups to dig deeper into various dimensions of our topic such as design principles for shaping a culture of transformation, collaboration challenges between L&D and other critical functions, the mission of L&D in the face of disruptive change, and more. 
  • As always, we will have our popular peer-to-peer Focus on Members Issues session...

... and there will be ample time for informal conversation and catching-up, for instance during a dinner among vintage cars which are in display at the iconic Mercedes Benz Automobile Museum.




Event Venue

Our 5th Global Summit will take place near the Daimler global headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, at the iconic Mercedes Benz Museum which features more than 160 automobiles from 126 years of automobile history.  

Mercedes Benz Museum
Mercedesstrasse 100
70232 Stuttgart

(see map)

To get to the venue takes a 30 minute taxi ride from Stuttgart airport or a 10 minute taxi rede from Stuttgart main station. 



we have blocked rooms in 3 hotels, with one of them being in walking distance from the venue

Hilton Garden Inn Stuttgart Neckar Park   |   website  |  map
(4* | 700m from venue  |  room rate €197)
Mercedesstrasse 75, 70372 Stuttgart
+49 (711) 900 550
Booking code: Daimler ECLF | book by July 30

Hotel Motel One Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt Inn  |  website  |  map
(3* premium | 2.6 km from venue  |  room rate €89)
Badstrasse 20,  70372 Stuttgart
+49 (711) 218 4020-0
no booking code  |  book by July 17

Steigenberger Graf Zeppelin Stuttgart  |  website  |  map
(4* | 5.4 km from venue  |  room rate €195)  
Arnulf-Klett Platz 7,  70173 Stuttgart
+49 (711) 2048-0
Booking code: Daimler ECLF | book by August 15

Please make your reservation directly with the hotel.


Dress Code

Business casual


For all questions regarding logistices please contact 





For questions regarding registration, program, and invitation requests please contact

For all questions regarding logistices please contact 



Please note that this event is restricted to ECLF members and invited guests. If you are not a member and would like to receive an invitation please contact us

To register, please visit our dedicated event page at and complete the registration process by getting a "ticket" for the event. 

The costs for attending this event are:

  • ECLF members:  FREE
  • guests from member companies (if not included in membership): $1,500
  • guests from non-member companies: $3,000

The fees includes all meals but do not include accommodation.



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.