Herman Gref talks contemporary pivot points at Gaidar Forum

Jan 13, 2022

Herman Gref, CEO and chairman of the Sberbank Executive Board, took part in a panel session titled “Pivot Points in a Context of Rapid Change. How to Adapt to Omnipresent Rapid Change” at the ongoing Gaidar Forum. In a conversation with Alexander Asmolov, director of the School of Future Anthropology at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), and Sergey Ryazansky, an astronaut and Hero of the Russian Federation, the head of Sber expressed his views on the preparedness of both individuals and society in general for the global transformation processes taking place.

The speed of the increasing changes means that humanity requires an understanding of behavioral factors and pivot points in a context uncertainty. The development of calm situational analysis skills (not an instinctive or reaction-based perception of reality) is now considered a pivot point in addition to classic points of support in the form of family, friends, and teams.

As Gref said, we are always preparing for “yesterday's crises,” while new crises will be completely different. Nevertheless, an in-depth study of cause-effect relationships allows the professionally trained to envision a response to difficult situations and emergency non-emergencies. The head of Sber noted that we always have the resource of time, however limited, and it is important for us to teach people how to manage it and themselves.

At the same time, the most important skills that a leader needs to develop in a team through leading by example are soft skills, which determine the right attitude to the world and a person's own position in a context of change. Faced with uncertainty, many are deterred and are afraid to take the necessary steps. Our experience and education are too formulaic: we only know what to do in situations we were taught beforehand, while the world is constantly changing. The key issue when it comes to achieving goals or an inability to achieve them is: “Why?” If you rely on expert opinion, then your goals need to be adjusted. It is a mistake to base achievability on reflexive perception.

Herman Gref, CEO, chairman of the executive board, Sberbank:

“Constant growth and maintenance of an energy balance and depth are key to constant development, understanding challenges, and finding the right solutions to them. Burnout, emptiness, Martin Eden syndrome (loss of motivation at the crest of success) are related to incorrect goal-setting. Our primary enemies are our ego and our inability to surpass ourselves, overcome our fear, and choose the right guidelines.”

The Gaidar Forum is an expert discussion platform for discussing the priorities of the Russian Federation for the current year, prospects for further economic growth, trends and challenges in socio-economic development, the state of the business environment and investment climate, and much more. The 2022 forum is being held in a unified TV format, with experts leading discussions in specially equipped studios on RANEPA's central campus, while participants follow the discussions online on the forum's official website and social networks.