One might be tempted to assume that anyone who works in telecommunications is a pretty good communicator because, after all, that is what you do; you help people communicate. But communication – even before Wi-Fi, twitter and smartphones- has never been simple.
As some organisations careen recklessly into the digital future and others are left behind by remaining steeped in the ways of old, thought leaders are coming to realise there is an important middle ground. Most often that’s where your customers and clients want you to be, the place where digital and analogue converge – the ‘digilogue’. In the digilogue it is understood that digital satisfies a customer’s mind while analogue soothes the heart.
In the late 16th century, a medical student in the Italian city of Pisa observed a swinging chandelier with interest. Later, after scrutinizing a collection of chandeliers of all shapes and sizes arcing from left to right the student, one Galileo Galilei, concluded that whatever their form or size, chandeliers take roughly the same time to complete one arc.
Galileo’s subsequent experiments led to theories that rocked the prevalent school of thought in Europe at the time – namely that the universe revolved around the Earth.
Pretty much all of my clients around the world are trying to change things, whether it be finding efficiencies, changing the way managers or staff work or trying to reach customers in news ways.
And pretty much all of them are finding it hard.
2013 feels uncomfortable in the mouth. The cultural baggage of the number 13 may be an influence of course. After all some building owners will deny a number 13 floor by simply going from 12 to 14 in their elevators listings.
So what does 2013 hold for us? What are some of the trends we need to be conscious of?
Someone recently told me that the company they worked for spent ‘2.8 million dollars last year on innovation.’
‘Great,’ I said. ‘Is it a very innovative company?’ He thought for a moment and then, slightly embarrassed, said ‘No.’
2013 will be looked back on as the year that marked the Death of the Gatekeeper. Known technically as ‘disintermediation’, recent years have seen the viability and necessity of middlemen significantly eroded – an erosion that will gather pace in the coming 12 months.
From travel agents to financial planners and stockbrokers, modern technologies and the Internet in particular have seen a profound change in the nature of distribution. The gates have been blown wide open – consumers can now connect directly with service providers and have access to ample information with which they can make intelligent buying decisions.
in 2013, retail, housing and finance should do well, sparked by lower interest rates and still low unemployment. Construction should start to turn higher, but manufacturing and tourism may well remain soft. The strong Australian dollar will not help. Mining will remain hostage to the world economy and that is looking problematic with China slowing, Europe in recession and the US still fragile. Don't bank on the boom in mining continuing.
The world of sales is going through a massive paradigm shift. Gone are the days when sales people could rely solely on great interpersonal skills, presumptive closes, and wining and dining clients. Nowadays, these analogue, high touch, and face2face abilities must be complemented by digital, high tech, interface2interface abilities. No longer is your analogue sales expertise enough, you must also become digitally savvy.
Some people say that selling is all about personal influence, some say it is about the art of persuasion, others say it is about 'the hard sell'.
I've worked with sales teams around the world and I can tell you if you're making it about these things you're making it harder than it should be. I think we place over-emphasis on old-school Cialdini-like approaches to influence and reciprocity, and spend too little time on leading edge insight into the neuroscience of human behaviour and decision-making.
Using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets is one of the main ways that upscale financial services companies can increase customer interaction and build loyalty.
Affluent consumers, more than anyone else, expect to interact with their financial services representatives both in-person and not via with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Providing a comprehensive and consistent mobile strategy for consumers will help to increase brand loyalty.
Those of us who work with speakers every day understand the importance and rarity of speakers who hold the Council of Peers Award for Excellence. But if a speaker shares the stage with Sarah Palin, Rudy Giuliani and Steven Forbes it’s an achievement that even the speaking industry layperson can understand.
So if you’re looking to book an Aussie speaker of international renown, look no further than our own Lisa McInnes-Smith, who will join some of the USA’s key leadership experts next month at PowerUp 360 in Boise, Idaho.
Colin James represents a refreshing challenge to the mantra of leadership, instead encouraging us to look to Followership as a means to being a better leader.
Colin uses a mix of energetic storytelling, humour and cartooning during presentations, all intended to disarm and distract you until the point of his message arrives.
More than ever before, the youth market is as lucrative as it is big. Considering Gen Y possess 50 cents in every dollar of discretionary spending power, companies and brands ignore this target demographic at their peril. After all, businesses whose messaging, distributions channels and products are only geared toward older generations will find themselves increasingly irrelevant in the coming years.
Would you like the next 90 days to be your best so far? What would you be willing to do to make this your reality?
We have an opportunity for a fresh start – a new financial year – and embracing the opportunity to step up to your potential is a choice. Get inspired by imagining what could be. Build a vision - what would you love to see happen? Put words to the progress you would like to see in the next ninety days – speak it out loud. Write down every benefit that you will enjoy when you accomplish your new goals. Get excited about the possibilities!
The new financial year kicks off on 1 July 2012 and having watched the economy and financial markets for more than two decades, these calendar benchmarks are a good time to take stock, look ahead and think about the issues that are likely to impact on businesses and personal finances.
Before doing that, there is no doubt that in the last month or two, there has been some great economic news in Australia.
Why do some companies survive crises, and others simply crumple? And stranger still, why is innovation alone not enough? Yahoo, RIM, and HP all unleashed serious resources on R&D initiatives, innovation departments, and expensive strategy advisors and yet all three firms nevertheless now circle dark and uncertain fates. Part of the problem is that leaders favour big solutions for big problems, whereas in nature as well as business - change first begins at the molecular level.
From the Idea Engineers Blog:
Closed loop contactless cards, such as Octopus, Oyster & Ez-Link, has been gaining mainstream scale and has penetrated by major sectors such as transport, payment, and retailing. Contactless card technology can now expand its domain of applicability by adding contactless functionality to the mobile phone. The Near Field Communication (NFC) mobile service, which leverages the current contactless infrastructures, particularly those based on industry schemes like VISA or MasterCard, has in the last year seen some major announcements and implementations. In countries like Korea and Japan, services benefiting from the convergence of contactless card technology and mobile phones have already been introduced commercially, and these converging services are ubiquitous and successful.
If you dislike change, you’re really going to hate being defunct. Because that is what is looming behind the choice to either adapt with the constantly changing business landscape, or not. Change doesn’t care whether you like it or not. It happens without your permission, and the bad news is that 2012/2013 is shaping up to be another year of massive disruption.