Skip to content

Nordic Business Forum 2014 recap day 2

What did we learn from the business masters today?

We have been fan’s of the Nordic Business Forum for years.  The NBForum app has been made by us for all platforms for the benefit of all seminar guests. The first day (and night) we’re pretty much mind blowing, but we’ll try to stay sharp also today and keep writing notes. Let’s just hope there’s no football training happening in the afternoon.

What did we learn from the business masters today?

Dambisa Moyo – What’s It Going To Take To Be Successful


Dambisa Moyo is the CEO and founder of the Mildstorm Group. Mildstorm is a boutique firm that analyzes the global macroeconomy, world financial markets, and works with clients to devise investment strategies.

Speech notes took Anu-Kaisa:nbfAk

For 142 years USA has been the largest economy in the world. This year China took over.

Out of the top 10 employers in the world 7 are governments:

  1. US goverment/ defence dpt
  2. Chinese defence dpt
  3. Walmart

Top 4  reasons for the fact that the world will be going to a global depression are:

  1. Techology replaces jobs
  2. Demographics – different problems in developing and developed countries with quality and quantity of labor.
  3. Natural resources are scarce and force countries to go to unstable areas for resources.

The problem is that goverments are looking for short term solutions to long term problems. And that we have professional politicians vs. people who actually have perspective from real work.

 Soulaima Gourani  – Growing with Purpose


Soulaima Gourani is a Danish speaker, author, board member and special adviser to ministers, task forces, government think tanks and demanding private companies.

Notes by Erika:nbfErika

  • To be able to grow with a purpose you need to be innovative. So what it means to be innovative?
  • Stop benchmarking. Benchmarking equals doing the same shit again.
  • We need to be more hungry. We are doing too good – we are too lazy to be innovative and truly re-designing our businesses. We are lacking shiny eyes and ambition to malke a better living.
  • Happy people don’t innovate – they aren’t forced to survive comparing for example children of immigrants. They have seen their parent working 24/7. They can’t afford a proper education (or they really need to struggle to get it done). They don’t have a solid background, they lack self-esteem. They need to be innovative to break it through. They have shiny eyes.

Notes by Matias:nbfMatias

  • In the Nordics it’s believed that employee happiness leads to innovation. Wrong. It’s the other way around. As there is no hunger in the paradise, we can only increase hunger by providing the employees with a sense of purpose.
  • The marketing has changed as has the relationship with the customers. What would happen if you regarded your customers as fans instead? Only organizations with purpose can atract fans.
  • Doing good is not a matter of money, it’s all about attitude. If you can’t find the purpose for your company, you are at the risk of being beaten by the newcomers who can.

Tony Fernandes – Choosing Excellence


Tony Fernandes is a Malaysian entrepreneur and the founder of AirAsia and Caterham F1 Formula One Team. For many years, AirAsia has been recognised as the World´s Best Low-Cost Airline by the Skytrax World Airline Awards. Tony is also 2010 Forbes Asia Businessman of The Year.

As a kid Tony Fernandes had three unbelievable dreams: owning an airline, owning a football club and owning a F1 racing team. Even more unbelievable is that they all came true.

Notes by Elias:nbfElias

What a show! After a Mexican wave by the audience the festive atmosphere continued as tony took the stage. He delivered an edgy and entertaining telling of his story leading up to starting an airline with just music industry background. His insight into growing a company through its personnel and daring marketing serves as a strong inspiration for any budding entrepreneur.

After firing some shots at Finnair for its government supported business model, Tony continued to please the crowd by other sharp comments. The well thought-out show culminated in inviting an audience member to visit Malaysia with her daughter ex tempore. Well played.

  • There’s a fine line between brilliance and stupidity
  • Shots fired at Finnair : “airlines that don’t make much money and get a lot of support from the government”
  • If you look worse than you staff, your staff will not be afraid to talk to you
  • Fernandes does baggage loading work every two to three weeks to understand the whole operation
  • Recognize talent and let them grow -> from baggage worker to captain. Everyone has a solid dream of moving forward.
  • Successful organizations are transparent
  • Crisis is the best time to build brand when no one else is advertising.
  • Believe the unbelievable, dream the impossible and never take no for an answer.

Notes by Matias: nbfMatias

  • Fernandes got into airline business by acquiring the heavily debt-ridden Asia Airlines in 2001. He attributes the success of the company to multiple factors, centered around transparency and authenticity:
  • Utilize the whole brain power of the company by keeping the organization lean
  • Put your ego aside and get your hands dirty. That’s the best way to recognize the opportunities in the market.
  • Keep in touch with the manual labor tasks by doing them yourself regularly. It’s also a great way to spot talent.
  • Make possible for talented individuals to advance in their career. Yes, women can fly, too.
  • Keep your employees happy first, so they will keep your customers happy.
  • Go big with marketing: utilize the powerful brands with sponsorship deals and leverage social media.
  • See the possibilies even in crisis: turn SARS epidemy into success. Push forward where others retreat.
  • Low cost doesn’t equal low quality. A smile costs nothing.

Sir Ken Robinson – How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything


Sir Ken Robinson, PhD is an internationally recognized leader in the development of education, creativity and innovation. He is also one of the world’s leading speakers with a profound impact on audiences everywhere. The videos of his famous 2006 and 2010 talks to the prestigious TED Conference have been seen by an estimated 200 million people in over 150 countries.

Notes by Tommy:nbfTommy

Sir Ken Robinson talked lot about education. What each person has aptitude for but also and most importantly what they have a passion for.

  • Life and corporations are not linear, mechanic things but organisms. In the theme of NBF 2014 he reminded that companies consist of people. These people create the culture of the company and a culture can make or break a company in a ever changing and unsertain world.
  • Also thanks to Sir Ken Robinson a lot of influential people probably find out what kind of app Grinder is.
  • Funniest presentation of NBF 2014 so far. Definately going to check out his 2006 Ted talk.

Sir Alex Ferguson – Creating a Winning Organization


When Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 after 26 years as manager of Manchester United football club, media outlets around the world lauded his legendary career.

Notes by Tommy:

Sir Alex Ferguson highlighted that you need to make your players understand how they contribute to the end result. It is also important to observe and support your players when you see that they yave tough time. All these things are also true with your company employees.

Base for creating a winning organisation:

  • Foundation
  • Communication
  • Preparation
  • Adapting to change

Nordic Business Forum 2014 was an awesome experience!