In a recent interview, Warren Buffett singled out four CEOs who he admires most and, who he’s investing in. Here’s what I see in these leaders and their ability to be word class at innovation.
Warren Buffett has written a lot about leadership and why it matters to his investment philosophy. I’ve written many times on this blog on why leadership matters in growth innovation. The 3 out of 4 CEOs Buffett mentions--Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, BYD’s Wang Chuanfu, and Apple’s Tim Cook--are all running very innovative companies. Each one of these three leaders either managed to build or maintain a world class innovation engine alongside a world class execution engine. Building such an ambidextrous organization is one of the main corporate challenges of the 21st century!
We frequently cite Amazon as a strong example of a company that creates such a dual culture (execution and innovation). BYD’s Wang Chuanfu is a leader who works relentlessly toward an incredibly big vision (that nobody believed in) and has never given up on it. What’s yet to be seen is whether Apple under Tim Cook’s leadership can churn out new growth engines to rival the Steve Jobs era. However, so far there are little signs that Apple’s dual culture has been killed, despite the lack of entirely new growth areas.