In the frenetic pace of real business, often it’s tough to slow down just to think. Well, maybe it’s just me…But, really, when is the last time you carved out time in the work day just to get smarter on your industry or your business? I took two minutes to do something like that this week. (Ok, more than two minutes but the time really flew).

Attending the Forbes CMO Forum, I had the chance to get reacquainted with the world outside of Xerox. Steve Forbes shared his views on why the economy is the mess it is (monetary policy and inane mark-to-market accounting). I participated in a panel with the CMOs of Dell, Mercedes-Benz and IBM, where the conversation focused on the need to balance brand and performance-metric marketing, and how marketing investments extend beyond the customer to include all stakeholders, most notably our employees.

Scott Anthony of Innosight Ventures presented a brilliant view of how to master disruption in innovation. My favorite tips: target the customers you’ve historically ignored, and make sure you “break the sucking sound of the core.” He reminded us of Peter Drucker’s always-relevant comment, “The customer rarely buys what the company thinks it’s selling.”

Congratulations to Forbes for getting in front of what’s on the minds of its clients and readers these days…and for demonstrating thought leadership at its best. Turns out in real business, you really can take a break from just “doing” to doing some real thinking.

Christa Carone, vice president, Corporate Marketing and Communications, Xerox Corporation