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YPO Members Gather in Singapore to Defy Convention

“YPO really does change the lives of people who change the world,” exclaimed N.K. Tong, 2018 YPO EDGE Chair at the opening of the event on 8 March in Singapore. From plenary sessions to networking opportunities to peer-to-peer learning, the more than 2,800 YPO members and spouses/partners who gathered for YPO’s annual showcase of thought leadership and innovation heard from speakers who inspire and defy convention on thought-provoking topics ranging from how breaking stereotypes is good for business, advanced decision-making, online reputation management, what high-growth companies do differently and much more.

Orit Gadiesh, Chairman, Bain and Company, launched the day speaking about expert generalists, where CEOs need to be focusing and the competitive edge that can be gained with diversity. “Diversity used to be a good thing to do. Today, science has proven that diversity is critical to becoming better,” Gadiesh explained. “Diversity isn’t automatic in people’s thinking; but if you’re aware of this fact and you make it psychologically safe for everyone to be different, it’s amazing what you can get out of people because they’ll feel comfortable expressing themselves. ”

Maura O’Neill, Ph.D., Faculty Director, UC Berkeley Executive Education, rallied YPO members to embrace the possibilities of what can be achieved by disrupting. “I am here today because I want you to be disruptive innovators, to win the Nobel prize in your industry for being a disruptor, for thinking about what the next big thing is rather than sitting around while someone else does it.”

In the world of the YPO CEO, the rapid pace of every day led many to listen to the thoughts of Frank Ostaseski, Buddhist teacher; Co-Founder of the Zen Hospice Project; and Founder, Metta Institute, on becoming balanced through mindfulness and compassion. While meditation is key, it’s not a fix-all. “Meditation is one useful tool to explore a series of things in our lives. I know meditators who can sit like stones but have no capacity for interpersonal relationships. Think of meditation as a tool that we can bring into our lives to help us make wise choices and not just follow conditioned behavior.”

The day wrapped up with an inspiring interview with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Attendees were rivetted to the discussion on how Loong is dealing with disruptors, planning for succession, hiring the best talent and the leadership lessons he learned from his father, Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first prime minister. “He had total dedication and commitment to his work, always meeting new people and visiting all of Singapore. Starting early every morning, working late into the night, he always was thinking about how can we safeguard Singapore and make it better.”

Insights From the EDGE

New to the 2018 YPO EDGE is “Insights From the EDGE,” a daily video recap of highlights and learnings from the day featuring Tong and 2016-2017 YPO Chairman McKeel Hagerty. Take a look at the video to find out more about day one of the 2018 YPO EDGE.

For more than 25 years, Heather has been creating innovative content for a myriad of communities including business leaders, nonprofit, energy, health care, education and aviation. She has been with YPO since 2014 working currently in the content studio as the senior manager of organization communications.