Archive for July, 2011

How to Gain 20/20 Foresight in the Digital World

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

“Hindsight is 20/20”. We can always look back and see how past events have contributed to current situations. Hindsight is often used to measure the progression of governments and economies, and in the business world financial reports and assessments are all based on past performance. Yet in today’s fast paced digital world, hindsight alone is no longer sufficient. Knowing where you were, or even where you are, is not enough. Today’s requirement is for 20/20 Foresight – the ability to assimilate hindsight with current insight to define the road ahead.

New converged technologies are forcing digital life behavioral changes in the way we communicate and socialize, and are bringing such dramatic change to the workplace that, for many businesses, planning ahead and preparing for future challenges and opportunities are often seen as overwhelming tasks. 

Digital life is clearly having a massive impact on humanity on both global and personal levels. Through digital world converged technologies, cultural barriers are dropping, industry boundaries are blurring, consumerism is rising, and the attitude and behavior of people are changing faster than “rearview mirror” measurements can hope to keep up with. As a human race we must devise new frames of thinking, new tools for measurement, and new approaches to meeting the needs of us all.

20/20 Foresight provides organizations with valuable perspectives on consumers’, customers’, constituents’ and clients’ needs and wants of tomorrow, rather than those of yesterday or today. The “low hanging fruit” for grabbing quick returns may seem attractive now but it won’t provide a sustainable business strategy in the long term. It is the anticipation and foresight of peoples’ needs and wants of tomorrow that will increasingly determine how sustainable a strategy really is.

By identifying those factors that are contributing to major changes in human behavior – factors such as converging technologies and industries, impending baby boomer retirements, global tribes, and the mobile cloud 3.0 – and forecasting future digital life trends, we at KeySo Global have begun to derive actionable predictions; these, in turn, provide early identifications of both opportunities and threats that will help to ensure the long lasting success of any strategy.

20/20 Foresight has moved from a nice-to-have competitive differentiator to a must-have survival mechanism. To make this transition, companies must adopt a digital mind set and rethink how they can more effectively interact with the collective knowledge base outside of their business, to better understand the shifts in market trends that are occurring across the globe. At the same time they need to learn how to blend these fresh insights with their existing in-house aggregate knowledge in order to reshape out-of-date business models and become a truly “social business”.

If you’re open to change and willing to learn how to create a new digital strategy based on 20/20 Foresight that will lead to sustainable long term growth, we at KeySo Global can show you how. Contact us at info@keysoglobal.com, +1-847-478-1633 or visit our website www.keysoglobal.com.

Steve Benton, Principal, KeySo Global

Position Vacant: Digital Agent of Change

Friday, July 15th, 2011

I had the opportunity to present to a group of executives in transition last week on the subject: “Digital Agent of Change”. Our proposition is that this is a key new position that is emerging as a result of today’s fast moving digital world, and one that still remains vacant in the majority of corporations. The rapid convergence of multiple digital technologies that’s taking place is giving rise to a powerful all-encompassing tsunami of change – the impact of which most companies still remain blissfully unaware.

The pace of change in mobile technology, for instance, has accelerated at an unprecedented rate. By the end of this year nearly 6 billion people will be “connected” worldwide. It took 20 years for the first billion people to get a cell phone and only 15 months for the last billion!

More fundamentally, wireless connection is being used not only for voice communication but also for high speed broadband data. In a recent report Chetan Sharma, an acclaimed mobile strategy consultant, concluded that more changes will occur over the next 10 years than occurred in the last 100, and that value chains will be disrupted every 12 -24 months. This is yet further validation of our firm belief at KeySo Global that converged technologies will inevitably cause major disruption to business models – and most companies are, as yet, unaware of the magnitude of this.

New converged technologies mean that boundaries that previously existed between employers, employees and consumer communities are starting to blur and overlap. Once employees walk in through the revolving doors of a corporation, it’s no longer realistic to believe that they disengage from the outside world. Smartphones are an intrinsic part of digital life – and people will connect! We’re now seeing distrustful companies requiring that their employees contractually disclose their Twitter and Facebook identities, and pledge to not say anything negative about the company in social media forums. Maybe they wouldn’t if management didn’t give them reason to!

One member of our audience last week commented on this ambiguity of trust between companies and employees. Over the last 20 years, corporations have increasingly been treating their employees as disposable assets to achieve quarterly results – so why would they show loyalty to or trust in the management of their company? The emergence of social networking and social media also means that employees can now express their grievances more openly – and to a far broader audience. Many corporations have not yet recognized that in today’s digital world dismissed or badly treated employees will become tomorrow’s “brand terrorists”.

The challenge of recognizing and repairing this trust relationship within an organization can only be achieved when all sectors are prepared to collaborate, and open dialogue is initiated between management and employees. When trust is found lacking within a company, it cannot be expected from its customers on the outside.

It’s here that the Digital Agent of Change plays a key role – and it’s not a position for one individual alone. It’s built on the premise that the capabilities of each and every person in an organization need to be ignited; they need to be aware of and receptive to the changes that digital technologies bring so that these can be harnessed to organically restructure the business from the inside out.

To understand more about the role of a Digital Agent of Change, about how you yourself can prepare to step into this role and how your company can embrace this new position, contact us at info@keysoglobal.com, +1-847-478-1633 or visit our website www.keysoglobal.com

Steve Bell, President, KeySo Global LLC

Online Ambiguity – How Fine is the Line between Trust and Anonymity?

Friday, July 8th, 2011

I believe in fairness, in helping those whom I believe in to succeed, being as green as possible, and that all adults should protect children however they can. These values and beliefs are part of my DNA. Even though I state this, do you believe me?  Do you care?  You care when you need to assess whether or not you can trust me! This is the paradox – in the Digital World should we and can we really remain anonymous? If so, how do we in turn know who can be trusted?

In some countries and circumstances anonymity is synonymous with self protection. We see how Digital Life provides a medium for citizens to rise up in protest in countries such as Egypt, Libya and Yemen. Cell phones, Twitter and Facebook, have each provided people the means to join their collective voices and shout “enough is enough”. The challenge for them remains how to provide credibility to the masses and at the same time not be identified and victimized. In Saudi Arabia, for example, groups of women have launched online campaigns to urge others to fight for their legal right to drive. Those who revealed their identity were punished.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, in his documentary, “Erasing David”, UK director David Bond shows how hard it is to erase one’s identity and delete personal data held by governments and public entitles. Today’s digital environment makes it almost impossible for any of us to erase our past and remain truly anonymous due to the “digital footprints” we all leave in our wake.

Trust is at the heart of all elements of this issue. The Internet was inherently designed to be “open”. Our social and private lives, as well as businesses’ and governments’ activities have become increasingly transparent as information is made more readily available and shared globally via the web. Since total anonymity is almost impossible, the importance of “privacy” has become even more crucial; strict boundaries need to be adhered to, to protect what is known about an individual and by whom.

Follow through has always been the crux of trust and, while the medium for the voice may have changed, the human element of “doing what you say” still remains. Trusted communities of people communicating with each other are the counterbalance to potential privacy violations, and also the means for validating otherwise anonymous individuals.

We at KeySo Global want to get to know you and want you to get to know us! We believe that, as a trusted mentor and coach to our clients, open dialog is imperative. Using digital technologies, we can show you how to apply them in your business in ways that lead directly to effective, trusted relationships.

Contact us at info@keysoglobal.com, +1-847-478-1633 or visit our website www.keysoglobal.com.

Steve Benton, Principal, KeySo Global LLC