About 100 senior Euro 500 executives from 13 countries convened in Geneva for BCG’s ninth European Strategy Leadership Summit. The theme—“The Beauty of Disruption”—challenged participants to see disruption as a friend, not a foe. Of the group gathered in Geneva, more than 95% reported that their businesses had been affected by disruption of one sort or another, and nearly 60% named new technologies and business models as the primary types of disruption they face. At the same time, many participants said they struggled to respond to disruption, with 60% describing their organization’s ability to adapt to it as average or worse.
The summit began on an inspiring note with a dinner at CERN’s Globe of Science and Innovation, where participants learned not only about CERN’s leading-edge physics research but also about NEOM, a special economic zone spanning 26,500 kilometers in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt. Klaus Kleinfeld, NEOM’s CEO, shared details on this ambitious project to create a vibrant new economy and society.
A key perspective emerged from the summit: organizations that embrace disruption are more customer-centric, innovative, and agile—skills that position them for long-term success. Here are eight specific takeaways from the sessions: