Posts Tagged ‘Collective Knowledge’

Catalyst Technologies and their Global Impact

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

In this third blog we look at the implications of the catalyst technologies we identified in our last blog, and determine why they have become so important. In his book “What Technology Wants” Kevin Kelly identifies that “the ever thickening mix of existing technologies in a society create any supersaturated matrix charged with restless potential”. We have written extensively about the digital world which is the combination of technologies that are shaping our world and digital life which is the effect that these technologies are having on everyday life. Kelly again reinforces our perspective when he says that we as a society are “symbiotic with the technology” and that as fast as we invent technology, we change our behavior and become dependent upon it.

Instant Markets

The current global economic turmoil did not come about by accident, but is in fact a consequence of today’s society being able to instantly communicate and share information. In other words society has changed behaviors and has become increasingly dependent on converged technologies. The use of internet trading platforms, for example, with Twitter users virally sharing the latest snippet of information is compounding the application of sophisticated trading algorithms (flash trading). The fact that the U.S. is now leading the way in the deployment of 4G mobile Internet makes the realities of the 2008/2009 Wall Street collapse pale into insignificance as the next wave of technologies facilitate “anytime, anywhere, anyhow” trading and speculating based on viral information.

Controls Lag

More recently the global LIBOR banking scandal, on top of the Euro crisis, points to the fact that we as an international society are struggling to come to grips with and learn what control mechanisms will work in this volatile and real-time world. Compounding this is the problem that we have not yet come up with a common language to document the necessary global beliefs and values that are required to guide policy regulation, monitoring and correction of this 24/7 digitally trading world.

Inextricable Interdependence

The U.S. has struggled to interpret the current rapidly changing and unpredictable global situation, mainly because it finds it hard to accept the fundamental changes that have been occurring on its own soil. A recent Financial Times article identified that the U.S. is now significantly more interdependent on the global economy than it was 31 years ago, at the outset of the shift to Digital Renaissance 2.0.

At that time, in 1981, the U.S. was a relatively closed and self-sufficient economy as measured in terms of trade of goods (import/exports) as a percentage of the U.S. gross domestic product. U.S trade represented only 21% of GDP and was made up of 10% exports and 11% imports. By 2012 this had grown significantly to approximately 32% of GDP – exports accounted for 14% of this and imports 18% – putting the U.S. on a par with the global average as an open economy.

Consequently the U.S. belief in self-reliance and independence now needs to be replaced with the realization, not only in terms of stock market indices but also as an economic reality, that it is inextricably tied to the Euro crisis, the emergence of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and the struggles in Africa.

Collaboration & Knowledge

The original Renaissance in Europe resulted in the disappearance of principalities and kingdoms, and ushered in the emergence of a nation state, which was followed during the industrial age with the emergence of overlapping market states. The question is how will the world evolve and will market states be the future societal organization? There are a number of theories about the organization of society going forward (Philip Bobbitt, David Ronfeldt, are two such theorists and this article compares their position with those of others). Regardless of which theory prevails, it is highly likely that in the world of Digital Renaissance 2.0 networking, collaboration and knowledge will be critical components of its underlying architecture. It also seems probable that global communities, digitally connected and potentially proactive, will coexist alongside and within hierarchical organizations, both in government and also in industry.

Ren 2.0 Man – Techno Artisan Craft Society

Digital Renaissance 2.0 was founded upon four enabling technologies and was exponentially accelerated by the catalyst technologies that released the restless potential of other technologies, such as cloud computing and Web 2.0. Ren 2.0 is now embracing a raft of emerging technologies, like NFC, voice recognition and kinetics, which are giving rise to business models not previously conceived. For instance 3-D printing is enabling designers / entrepreneurs to create new product concepts from digital files more rapidly and cost effectively than ever previously thought possible. Coupling this capability with global internet access and mobile commerce, Ren 2.0 now allows others to market this product concept globally.  Personalized products for the “market of one” are created by transmitting customized product specifications to printers anywhere on the planet and in close proximity to the consumer. To a large degree these hybrid technology and commerce systems facilitate the reincarnation of the craft society that got lost in the industrial age. These techno artisan craftsmen are in many respects the Digital Renaissance 2.0 men/women of the new digital era who are living, working and trading in global communities of trust, practice and purpose.

In prior blogs we have discussed the concept of “digital agents of change” and shown how critical this role has become in today’s digital business world. In some respects we all now need to become digital agents of change for the global society, or to use the words of Mohanda Gandhi “we must be the change we wish to see in the world”.

Steve Bell, President, KeySo Global

www.keysoglobal.com

What Spawned the New Digital Renaissance 2.0?

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

This article is the first of a trilogy in which we share some of the more intriguing aspects we have uncovered about digital technologies and the dynamic impact they are having on our business and personal lives. This first blog examines the unique origins of the new age Renaissance – what we call Digital Renaissance 2.0™ – and its impact on today’s global economy.

Previously, we identified the four “enabling technologies” (cell phone, PC, Internet, Walkman) that rocked the world and pointed out that they all emerged on the scene around the same time – 1981. We also pinpointed 2010 as a “year of convergence” when 3G, 4G and the Cloud all came together. It was only recently, however, that it became apparent to us that 2007 was the year that the “catalyst technologies” facilitated this convergence and, with it, the advent of the new digital age.

My colleague, Steve Benton, and I coined the expression Digital Renaissance 2.0™ (Ren 2.0™) to capture the concept that a fundamental shift is occurring in the way that information is now being accessed and shared. In the original Renaissance era, the enlightenment of Europe occurred due to the introduction of the printing press which led to the democratization of books.

During Ren 2.0™ the Internet has led to the democratization of information, now freely available to everyone – anywhere, anyhow and anytime – and as a result, the collective knowledge held by society is expanding exponentially, both actively and passively. The Internet has enabled information to become much more “transparent” as silos of data are shared between continents, countries and corporations, and on a significantly broader basis. This in turn has facilitated the global cross-pollination of ideas and concepts on a scale never seen before.

The four enabling technologies referred to above evolved rapidly and converged to facilitate the emergence of the Mobile Internet age. In our paper “Introduction to Digital Life Renaissance” (contact us to obtain a copy) we determine that this change is occurring at an unprecedented pace and show how it is touching all aspects of society, as well as governments and global economies.

The magnitude of these digital world changes in economic terms is captured in a chart we compiled that shows the global economy growing from less than $10 trillion in 1981 and accelerating to over $60 trillion by 2010. In a recent blog article in the Economist it was identified that between May 2011 and 2012 the global economy generated $65 trillion of trade (GDP), and that by September 2013 it will add a further $10 trillion to achieve a global GDP of $75 trillion.

The case can be made that global saturation of cellular and expanding penetration of mobile broadband access are primarily responsible for this rapid, worldwide distribution of information, which in turn is fueling economic growth at an unprecedented rate. Concurrently, this transformation is impacting the lives of individuals in developing and developed countries, and their awareness and expectations are growing as they become more exposed to vast amounts of new, previously inaccessible, information. As human behavioral patterns and methods of interaction change, so do their needs and requirements, which in turn are generating an abundance of new business and service opportunities.

It is our belief that the reinforcing cycle of continued innovation, based on the application of new digital technologies, is facilitating an increasingly interconnected planet which will, in turn, strengthen economic growth and favorably impact our digital lives.

Look out for our next two blogs in this series and find out exactly what the “catalyst technologies” are, what their significance is today and the powerful impact that they are going to have on our business and personal lives going forward.

Steve Bell, President, KeySo Global

www.keysoglobal.com

Digital Life – Rubber Band Forces that Prohibit Change

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Why change at all? Why embrace what is new and intimidating instead of holding on to what is tried and true? The natural inclination of most people is to resist change, and when it begins to happen we tend to snap back to the shape of the things we know best, just as a rubber band that is stretched will revert to its original shape when released.

Digital Life is very new and can be scary. It is also here, now – right now – and is impacting the world in ways that can seem confusing, often even contradictory to what we have learned, accomplished, and know. Why would we want embrace it? 

Maybe your company actually can embrace the changes brought about by Digital Life. I mean really embrace change in ways that transform your business into a digital metamorphosis that propels it into this century; effectively reshape the rubber band by altering your business model to capitalize on the wide range of opportunities presented by Digital Life. However, I doubt it, unless you have some seriously sound “digital change agents” within your company to help you achieve this transformation, and unless you’re truly wanting to change.

Change is disruptive, which is what makes it so scary. Go back to your roots for a second. Think about those things that seemed exciting to you when you were willing to explore new ways of doing things, and those things that made you what you are today. What was new, intriguing – and yes scary – back then now seems safe. Your business faces the same challenges with embracing Digital Life that you faced growing up into the person you are today.

Digital Life demands that we embrace change and growth on a scale never experienced before. The advances and convergence of technologies are changing almost every aspect of how we do things. Smartphones, tablets, laptops and notebooks provide us with unparalleled access to the collective knowledge of the world. Social media tools and social networking sites enable an amazing new capability for us to share our own knowledge, interests, likes and dislikes with our friends, family and colleagues.

For your business to embrace the changes brought about by Digital Life, you need to accept – and convince others – that the shape of your corporate rubber band must change to match these changes. If you don’t, then no matter how hard you push for change and stretch the familiar boundaries, your employees will revert back to what they see as safe – in other words, the rubber band will snap back to its original shape.

At KeySo Global we have developed methodologies, models, and tools that can help you to change the shape of your business model so that it can adapt to Digital Life. These inform and guide you through a transformation that will propel your business into the Digital World, and ensure a competitiveness and profitability that will match your aspirations.  Please email us at info@keysoglobal.com, call us at +1-847-478-1633 or visit our website www.keysoglobal.com to find out more.

Steve Benton, Principal, KeySo Global, LLC

Five Essentials for Business Success in the Digital World

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Digital technologies are forcing an unprecedented pace of change for business. If you don’t get on board now, you risk being left behind! To determine whether your business is on track to becoming a Digital Business, you need to ask these five questions:  

 

 

  1. Do you proactively monitor the industry changes that are affecting your business?

Use web based tools to help track the impact that converged technologies are having on all aspects of your business, such as customer behaviors, new suppliers, technology trends etc. This approach will give you a holistic perspective of your industry and enable you to identify strategic options ahead of your competition.

 

  1. Do you encourage collaborative behaviors within your organization?

It is crucial that your company provides the tools and environment that enable the sharing of knowledge and information in order to tap into one of its most valuable attributes – the tacit knowledge of your employees.

 

  1. Do you regularly engage with communities external to your company? 

It is essential to adopt a digital mind set and rethink how your business can more effectively engage (interact, listen, learn and co-create) with the rapidly growing collective knowledge base outside of your company in order to understand changing customer requirements, generate new ideas and gain important feedback.

 

  1. Do you disrupt your business model?

Traditional business models, tools and methodologies do not adapt well to the opportunities and threats encountered in today’s digital world. First you need to understand how the individual elements of your existing model work together and then take full advantage of digital technologies to create a disruptive new business model – before your competition does it for you!

 

  1. Do you inspire your employees to bring innovation into the workplace?  

You need to encourage your employees to leverage the mobile and social technologies that they use in their everyday lives to generate innovative ideas that will enhance, simplify and accelerate the business processes within your company.

We at KeySo Global have developed frameworks and tools that can help you rapidly adapt to changes in the digital environment. We have assisted companies by designing and implementing development programs that produce dynamic digital strategies. Contact us at 847-478-1633 or info@keysoglobal.com  to set up an initial meeting and we’ll help you discover your digital path to success!

 

The Eve of Digital Transitions

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

In 2011 the digital world continued to evolve at an unprecedented pace as multiple developments compounded and converged on each other. Through this blog, Twitter, our Facebook page, specific reports we have written, presentations we have given, and our recently launched daily newspaper Digital Renaissance 2.0 we have attempted to weave together the digital world threads of change and share with our audience the impact these are having on the digital lives we lead.

Technologists by Osmosis

This year I have given numerous presentations reflecting our foresight into technology trends of the future. During these I’ve shared significant knowledge gained in hindsight over the last 30 years in order to give my audience the necessary insight into the impact and influence that four fundamental technologies introduced in the 1980’s have had on the world today.

The reason for doing this is that most people don’t realize the extent to which their lives have been affected by these technologies. As a very simple example, the evolution of digital recording (DVR) as a means of watching programs when you want to via TV or streaming to a computer has introduced the concept of “time shifting”. Time shifting enables you to enjoy the entertainment you want at a time that’s convenient to you. The awareness that we try to bring to our audience is that most people have become “technologists by osmosis” over the last 30 years as they have absorbed technology into every aspect of their personal lives.

Collective Movements

More significantly, we have witnessed the ability to use technology to create and support collective movements; for instance, in the early part of 2011 the world watched as the “Arab Spring” movement inEgyptchanged the course of democracy in theMiddle Eastin ways most didn’t think were possible. Equally the “Occupy Wall Street” movement in theUSwas copycatted around the world as an outrage against corporations and bankers’ excesses. These are examples of people being enabled by technology to challenge those aspects of society and politics that don’t resonate with the growing awareness of what’s right and good that the Internet and the associated openness of information have facilitated.

Double Edged Capability

The counterpoint to this was raised by several people in different sessions – the fact that technology enables people to be tracked, analyzed and targeted for advertising and promotions. It also facilitates the creation of “Big Brother” systems which not only impinge on our privacy but which enable governments or other entities to control our lives. The reality is that as we enter 2012 it’s becoming increasingly impossible to go completely “off grid”.

Global Destiny

Abusive use of technology is always a potential threat but as “Wiki leaks” has shown, the Internet and technology have also given people a mechanism to oppose abusive use of information. This capability coupled with the power of the collective, as demonstrated by Arab Spring and other smaller positive actions of collective activity, give reassurance to the ability of the global population to take charge of their own destiny.

Digital Agents of Change

As people become aware of the fact that they are “technologists by osmosis” and that they have both understood and absorbed technology into their personal lives, they can seize the opportunity to utilize this knowledge to observe, assess and determine how technology can be used to shape their community and business lives. As our eyes are opened and our curiosity becomes aroused, we see how technology can be leveraged to enhance, fulfill or simplify our lives. It is this that lies at the heart of the concept we at KeySo Global call “Digital Agents of Change”.

Engaging Change

In a previous blog we talked about the characteristics of a Digital Agent of Change, or that person who has the power to change business models from both inside and outside of the company. Over the last 12 months we have strongly advised companies to engage Digital Agents of Change as a necessity to facilitate the change and adaptation of their existing business models to the emerging requirements of digital life.

Sharing Knowledge

On the eve of 2012 I’m delighted to see indications that more and more business leaders now recognize that their businesses are being impacted by digital world technologies and digital life changes. Many, however, have little understanding of exactly what this means for their business models or how they need to be adapted. For the last two years we at KeySo Global have been researching, developing frameworks and working with leading-edge thinkers to evolve the solutions and approaches that can help you as executives – and Digital Agents of Change – to create the business models and change necessary to succeed in 2012 and beyond. We look forward to the opportunity of sharing our knowledge with you in the coming year.

To all of our clients, partners, friends and readers we wish you all a happy and abundantly successful 2012.

Steve Bell, President, KeySo Global

Google Plus – A Tool to Transform Knowledge Sharing As We Know It?

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

I was a relatively early adopter of LinkedIn and Twitter and although I have a corporate KeySo Global Facebook page, I really live vicariously on Facebook through my wife who, let’s face it, has managed our friendships and social calendar for most of our married life!

Then along comes this Google Plus! I’m invited to join, not by a friend or family member but by a business acquaintance where I suspect I’m in one of his circles labeled “met and might be an interesting or useful contact”!

I have to admit, I’d been intrigued by Google+ and the statistics for its growth are staggering. The media, of course, are claiming it’s the return of the cold war as Google takes on Facebook – but is it? Or is it something far more compelling than just another social network?

This amusing but revealing video on YouTube caught my eye, so I read Pete Cashmore’s blog on Mashable on “10 Tips for New Users”. Then I acquiesced and signed up!

We live in a world of “digital bytes” that consume our attention every second of the day. My biggest challenge is to find a digital tool that blends into my life to make it simpler, and replaces what currently requires multi-tasking with an all-encompassing digital medium. Similar to that which Steve Jobs managed to do with digital music and mobile web access.

Chris Brogan identified some interesting technical, human and etiquette aspects related to Google+ in two recent blogs. Firstly, just because you find someone of interest to follow and put that person in a “circle”, there is no guaranteed reciprocity. Unless you are “circled” in return, those people don’t see any of your updates and you still have the challenge of getting on their radar so that they “circle” you!

The belief is that Google+ will attract more professionals but their plight is the “digital byte syndrome” – compounded with fatigue – from constantly setting up new profiles and being disappointed by limited results. Then there’s the nagging question – what can I share that’s new? As I see it, the opportunity is there to blend the news updates of Twitter with the professional perspectives of LinkedIn and the digital life observations of Facebook, creating an integrated digital montage that could greatly enhance business and personal interactions.

David Armano appears to have a similar take on the situation. He views Google+ as a social layer that cuts across media, search, communication and collaboration services. This social layer potentially provides a capability that integrates the best of Web 2.0 into personalized services. It’s fascinating to consider that this horizontal layering could give rise to unforeseen and potentially transformational implications for our personal and professional lives, and I believe that its impact will extend way beyond that which most of us could predict.

Could the challenges of corporate knowledge sharing, together with the horizontal layering capability of Google+, form the seeds of what we at KeySo Global call “Digital Wisdom Networks”?  These networks face the challenge of bridging the gap between the internal communities within an organization that protect “aggregate” (internal) knowledge and those communities outside an organization, where an explosion of “collective” (external) knowledge has been powered by social networking. Essentially, Digital Wisdom Networks become trusted circles of professionals, in- and outside of a company, who collaborate to share new information for the purpose of generating company specific solutions and fresh innovation. Google+ might be just the tool they’re looking for!

To find out more about Digital Wisdom Networks and how converged digital technologies can greatly simplify collaboration and knowledge sharing within your organization, contact us at info@keysoglobal.com, +1-847-478-1633 or visit our website www.keysoglobal.com

Steve Bell, President, KeySo Global

 

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