Why McKinsey wants to help shape WORLDWEBFORUM
WHY MCKINSEY WANTS TO HELP SHAPE WORLDWEBFORUM
We speak to Sirus Ramezani, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company
The members of the WORLDWEBFORUM board are united by their mindset. Like the visionaries and revolutionaries in history, change is always brought about by a small niche of thinkers and actors who feel uncomfortable with the status quo. Call it anti-establishment or call it progression, it is when these “change agents” come together that momentum builds, and transformation really gains traction.
Sirus Ramezani is the youngest consultant to reach Senior Partner in McKinsey Switzerland which he achieved aged 39. When not advising insurance companies and asset management firms about adapting to the modern world, Sirus Ramezani works out and chills out with his young family.
We caught up with him to ask him a few questions…
How many WORLDWEBFORUM conferences have you attended?
What was something from WORLDWEBFORUM that you would return for?
The type of people WORLDWEBFORUM are able to attract – it’s the right mix of speakers, participants and discussion partners. I also like the broad participation by business people, academics, philosophers, artists.
It’s a great setting to get challenged, think outside the box and get some different ideas. I think only that will lead to the truth at the end. I’m not sure the business community can figure it all out by themselves.
Why is change and transformation vital for individuals?
Basically, what one learns today might be completely outdated five years from now. So I think there is a necessity to renew and refresh. Without that element it is very hard to be a critical player on the “soccer field”. Personal transformation is also exciting – The kick that people get out of all these new impulses and new things is an amazing source of energy.
Why is transformation important for companies?
To put it bleakly, it’s pure necessity. Many of the companies on the Dow Jones Index dont exist anymore. It’s a question of survival and institutional renewal. It’s so hard for large companies to change. How do you shift the hearts and minds of an organization with 50,000 employees? How do you make them endorse and embrace change? It’s probably the hardest thing for a leader to do. Technology is just a trigger or catalyst, of how people change to engage with that technology.
What does the mission of the WORLDWEBFORUM mean to you?
I like the fact that it’s not a fair full of salespeople, but a platform that has grown organically, that facilitates important discussions about the future how we can prepare for it better.
Why did you want to join the board of WORLDWEBFORUM?
It’s really a manifestation of my commitment to WORLDWEBFORUM as a representative of McKinsey. McKinsey & Company are very reluctant and very careful about sponsorships and we don’t see this as a sponsorship. The knowledge partnership matters to us, and we would like to bring a lens of transformation in large companies to the discussion, and help shape the topics and the content.
We really see our involvement with WORLDWEBFORUM as a partnership, and it’s about doing something great together.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO BE YOUR IMPACT ON BOARD?
We have a pretty good view of what change is happening, where some of the bottlenecks are, what some of the recipes are… I think feeling that pulse and bringing it back to the event in terms of Agenda setting will make it very relevant for WORLDWEBFORUM participants.
Also, bringing the hands-on experience and capabilities of McKinsey experts who see how corporates are experiencing the change.
This year’s topic is Masters and Servants. Who do you see as the current day Masters or Servants?
In my personal life, the Master is my wife!
Joking aside, we can say that the largest technology company with US$1Trillion market cap is the most powerful, but we’ve seen how little it can take for that power to get diminished. With all the change happening, the concept of power is quite fragile and going through change itself. I prefer to look at it in a way that technology is like a new tool – the question is, what are you going to do with it? How can we get the best out of these new tools? It’s a relationship of how humans can master technology.
What discussions or outcomes do you hope to see at WORLDWEBFORUM 2019?
The people who come will leave the event inspired – they do not leave with just the usual pile of business cards of people they’ll never speak to again; but a few meaningful contacts that they had in depth discussions with and would like to continue seeing. We would like to see the trajectory of WORLDWEBFORUM’s organic growth continue – in terms of growing relevance, quality of thinking. On an individual level, it would be encouraging to see more leaders reflecting on impact to society: see the risks, talk about opportunities and take that back with them in how they lead their companies.