Peter Schwartz (pictured) is senior vice president of strategic planning at Salesforce.com. His attendance at the World Government Summit 2016 was not directly focused on the work of his cloud-centric software-as-a-service employer - his session was titled: How do governments get ready for the unthinkable?
Schwartz spoke at the event to explain how both public and provide bodies need to challenge their mental maps and, therefore, think the unthinkable.
“[In my day job] I basically focus on making sure we stay ahead of the game and I help make sure that nobody does to Salesforce what Salesforce did to Oracle,” said Schwartz – referencing Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff’s departure from his former position at Oracle to launch a new service-centric business.
Schwartz was previously co-founder of the Global Business Network, a corporate strategy company specialising in so-called “future-think” and scenario planning. He urged the audience to consider unthinkable, tangential, what-if thinking in every business engagement they make.
“When Bill Gates offered Windows to IBM to develop and they turned him down it was an all-male group. Were they a bunch of dumb people? No, they were really smart, but they might have done a lot better if they had had a few women working with them,” said Schwartz.