YW Interview: Jim Balsillie

Values Are The Fundamentals Of Leadership

At the 2017: the Workplace Conference held at the University of Waterloo last fall, Malcolm Gladwell (author of the Tipping Point and Blink) interviewed his good friend Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO of Research in Motion (RIM). Your Workplace Editor Krista Oulton Welsh jumped on the opportunity to have a conversation with this world famous leader and co-creator of the Blackberry. Here are the highlights of those interviews.

Your Workplace: The theme is the future, what can be predicted and what can’t. Is it useful to look ahead?

Balsillie: My view is that business is about navigating cascading circumstances and if it all works out you use revisionist history to act like you knew what was going to happen all along. I think the greatest success for me has been the absence of expectation, I don’t think expectation in outcomes has much use in business. The expectation on input, however, has enormous relevance.

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