Global Conference

Foundations for the Future

Gabriele Labombarda Gabriele Labombarda

The 2016 Grant Thornton Global Conference took place from 26th to 28th October 2016 in Singapore.

I might report to you in detail about the various and interesting sessions we took part in, all focused on laying “Foundations for the future”, but I will try instead to get the essence of the event more effectively across by expressing in these few lines my feelings throughout it. From the International Business Center Directors meeting, which traditionally precedes the conference, to the Senior Leadership Program (SLP) – developed by Grant Thornton with the University of Oxford and which I am attending – Alumni event, to the Managing Partners’ Meeting, which the SLP participants were invited to, to the Annual Conference itself, during which I was honoured to make a speech during the plenary session.

It all begun before leaving: the organization of such an important event with hundreds of leaders attending from all over the world and live streamed globally on the web, requires a thorough planning to define contents, days of brainstorming to best schedule the various interventions in order to involve and engage the attendees, as well as testing the interactions with other speakers.

Luckily, the topic I was assigned (“How could we identify and develop our top talent to fill critical roles?”) is one on which our firms are perfectly aligned: we actually consider our people the prerequisite and the necessary condition for our continued success and growth.

Therefore, talking about my day-to-day experience – the interactions with the colleagues I am lucky to work with everyday, overcoming together the challenges of our profession and celebrating the success of our teams, treasuring and learning from failures to grow stronger together – on the one hand made my task easier, whereas on the other hand, implied stopping and thinking about what I could do better to be more efficient, both before the Singapore plenary meeting and in the organisation of my work and my team once back in Italy.

Breaking old patterns, getting out of one’s comfort zone, changing one’s mind to promptly react to an ever-changing environment, innovating and inspiring people to do the same, while remaining faithful to our core values, were the main points I focused on during my speech and are also the elements on which I would like to contribute shaping Grant Thornton in future years.

While listening to the interventions of the other speakers it was incredible to realise how our values go beyond boundaries and different cultures and are shared by people with different personal, cultural and geographical backgrounds. Being men and women of our time, focused on providing an excellent service to our clients, granting the deserved job gratification to our people, while respecting our families, the communities in which we live and the social engagement of everyone: these are our “Foundations for the Future”.