The opening keynote on the second day was from Steve Hills, President of Washington Post, who spoke about the state of Washington Post since its acquisition in October 2013 by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos. He shared some fascinating insights that are highly relevant for any news publisher looking to create the future.
The big idea of what they are aiming to create is “A national edition optimized for mobile and for interestingness with a simple UX designed for stunning storytelling that is less work for the user to consume.” Bezos thinks it is critical to reduce ‘cognitive overhead’ for their readers.
Continue reading Lessons from the transformation of Washington Post since its acquisition by Jeff Bezos
I attended a very interesting lunch today hosted by EMC launching a study and report on Information Generation, drawing on a survey of 3,600 executives globally looking at what will drive their business in coming years.
The primary themes of the report were around spotting opportunities, innovation, transparency and trust, personalization, and 24/7 availability, and the implications for business.
One of the interesting insights from the study was on what executives believe their organizations can best do to foster innovation.
Last week I ran a brief workshop at the strategy offsite of a professional services organization, with their top 100 executives in attendance. They wanted to understand major business trends and the implications for both their own organization as well as the services that will be valuable for their clients.
In a highly interactive session I ran through major trends in technology, business, and society, went into depth on the lessons emerging from lean startups and crowd-based models, and then facilitated groups in generating high-potential ideas for new service lines and creating a high-performance organization.
While many of the concepts of lean startups feel quite foreign within many established organizations, a useful way to help shift thinking is to focus on the concept of ‘testable hypotheses’. This is central to how dynamic startups function, and can fairly readily be introduced into large organizations – and their clients – without seeming overly radical.
In introducing the idea into enterprise I have found it useful to frame testable hypotheses as 5 steps:
Continue reading Using testable hypotheses to bring lean startup into the enterprise
Strategy is an intrinsically human task. Setting successful strategies is based on our ability to think effectively, both individually and collectively, about extraordinarily complex domains.
In a recent keynote I did for clients of New Scientist magazine on Science and Leadership for the Future, I discussed how executives can think effectively about strategy.
The following video is one of a series of 7 videos that captured the entire keynote.
Who we are largely resides in our brain, a dense network of 100 billion neurons. So far we have gained only tiny insights into how it is connected to give us the extraordinary capabilities and consciousness humans possess.
However one researcher may have found a path to uncover that rich lattice of connections, potentially showing us the essence of who we are.
Video: Real-time brain activity visualization from UCSF
An excellent article today in the New York Times titled Sebastian Seung’s Quest to Map the Human Brain describes the mission of Prof. Seung of MIT and Princeton Neuroscience Institute to map literally all the connections in a human brain.
Continue reading Mapping the entire human brain using AI and crowdsourcing: will we discover who we are?
Yesterday professional services expert George Beaton and I ran the inaugural Clients and Firms of the Future: How to Compete conference in Sydney, bringing together around 100 senior leaders of professional services firms to look at the future of the industry.
It is just over 15 years ago now that my first book was released with the subtitle The Future of Professional Services (now out in its Second edition). While these days my work covers a far broader scope, over the years I have worked extensively with professional services firms to help them create successful futures.
There has been substantial change in the professions over the last decade, however there will unquestionably be far greater change in the years to come.
It was an absolutely fascinating day at the conference exploring the future of professional services. I will be sharing more from the conference over time, but today would just like to put down a few initial thoughts from the three themes of the day.
Continue reading Three critical domains of change driving the future of professional services
The music recognition service Shazam will branch out into new domains, said CEO Rich Riley at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today.
The next phase of development will be to enable phone users to Shazam actual objects, said Riley, such as a cereal packet in the grocery store to get more nutritional information or a DVD case at home to buy the movie soundtrack.
The capability is not new, with services such as Amazon Firefly allowing users to identify objects and buy them on Amazon, and Slyce identifying objects within a store for lookup and purchase. However Shazam’s excellent and long-standing service suggests they will execute well on object recognition and take the domain further.
There are massive implications for both retail and product design.
A couple of years ago, anticipating this development, I wrote about the idea of “Shoezam“, that could recognize and order shoes on the street. I wrote:
Continue reading Shazam will recognize objects as well as music: the implications for retail and design
Last week I did the keynote on The Future of Work and Organisations at a four-city roadshow for social business consulting firm KINSHIP enterprise, spanning Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Brisbane.
The slides to my presentation are below, together with an overview of the 7 sections of the keynote.
My keynote was framed around looking through the critically-important lens of the future of work to gain insights into the future of organisations. As you will see in the slides, I covered:
Continue reading How the future of work leads to the future of organisations
Leading up to the Client and Firms of the Future: How to Compete conference in Sydney on March 11 (which I discussed in a previous blog post), my co-organiser George Beaton and I have recorded a brief video to set the scene.
In the video we begin by addressing the question: Why do professional services leaders need to think about the future? and go on to discuss what to expect at the conference.
Points we make in the video include:
Continue reading Video: Why professional services leaders need to think about the future