Michael Illert – keynote speaker at the Youth to Business Forum

March 25, 2015

Michael Illert, Partner – Frazer Jones, was delighted to be the Key Note speaker at the Youth to Business Forum on Friday 10th October 2014 in Germany. The Youth to Business forum is hosted by the global student organisation AIESEC  and was supported by leading corporates such as Porsche, Ernst & Young, PwC, Claas amongst others. Michael was speaking about the competences we need in future leaders. His speech was partial inspired by Dr. Linda Holbeche and her work around corporate agility. 

Michael outlined that future leaders need to have three qualities. They need to be engaging and strong people leaders, they need to be agile and they need to be resilient. Most importantly they need to be able to turn their organisations into engaging, agile and resilient corporate entities as well. 

Michael informed the students that to some degree it does not matter what they study as nobody really knows what technical & scientific skills will be required in 10 years. He based that on the fact that the biggest challenge of the corporate world today is “an ever changing market, with ever growing competition, both happening at ever growing speed”. Hence the global employment market will constantly require new skills and will stop requiring others. What the market does need though is talent who can re-learn and re-invent themselves and who do not see that as a threat, but who see constant change as a positive challenge.

During his speech Michael made it very clear that universities alone cannot “produce” enough of such leaders. He pointed out that from his personal experience as an AIESEC alumni that voluntary work in organisations such as AIESEC during university time will give opportunity to develop leadership skills, to learn to be agile and resilient. Michael also addressed the companies present at the event reminding them, that pre-selecting graduates purely for overachievement in grades might filter out students who bring more than the academic skill. Students who did more than just university, i.e. who worked in charities, had a good university jobs and internship may in some cases not have the best grades but certainly the best skills. As a result graduate selection processes need to be re-designed.

Michael also used the opportunity to thank AIESEC´s corporate sponsors for the continuing support for a case which is very close to his heart.

View the video on Michael’s experience with AIESEC here