TIAA CEO Roger Ferguson gets ideas from ‘inside out’ and ‘outside in’
May 20, 2020 by Zach Church
Roger Ferguson categorizes ideas as starting either “outside in” or “inside out.” The former is developed by examining the outside world and working with clients and external partners. The latter is well-earned, derived from the experience and expertise of the 102-year-old organization he helms. Both are necessary and are best when they work together.
As president and CEO of TIAA, the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, Ferguson leads an organization where both sources of ideas are are tapped to serve the guiding purpose of helping people achieve financial well-being and retirement security. The nonprofit financial services firm sits at 79 on the Fortune 500 list and had nearly $1 trillion in assets under management as of last year. Ferguson spoke last month in Corporations at the Crossroads: The CEO Perspective, a course taught by MIT Sloan dean David Schmittlein and former MIT president Susan Hockfield. We asked him how he develops and works with ideas.