6 key elements in effective innovation governance


Earlier this week I ran a two-day workshop in Bali for the Malaysian Directors Academy on The Innovation Zone: Unleashing The Mindset.

I ran the same program in Phuket last October for another group of directors of large Malaysian companies, with the feedback from that session prompting the Malaysian Directors Academy to ask me to run the workshop again.

The topic of “innovation mindset” is an excellent one for company directors, as that must be the starting place for successful innovation initiatives.
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Do you have the passion of the explorer? If you do, what kind of employer could attract you away from entrepreneurship?


Today the ever-inspiring John Hagel spoke in Sydney today about passion at work as part of AMP’s Amplify series, organized by Annalie Killian.

The story in summary, told at more length in the Unlock the passion of the Explorer report, is that:

* Technological change is creating ever-increasing pressures and challenges for institutions and individuals;

* In this world the rationale for large organizations to exist is no longer scalable efficiency, but scalable learning;

* The Center for the Edge looked to find examples of “sustained, extreme performance improvement” that reflects this scalable learning;

* What they found in common was deep passion, but a particular type of passion that they dubbed the passion of the “Explorer”
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In the Asian century, Australia is becoming Asian too


Earlier this week I gave the opening keynote at the Institute of Chartered Accountants/ Centre for Accounting, Governance and Sustainability Thought Leadership Forum in Adelaide.

The day’s theme was The Australian Accounting Profession and Asia, with a strong emphasis on education given the participation of most of the heads of accounting departments of Australian universities. As such in opening the event I was asked to speak on the broader theme of “Australia’s Engagement with Asia”.

In my keynote I started from the broader context of the ancient and modern history of Asia and Australia, looked at current trends including demographic shifts that are shaping our relationship, the most important intersections between our economies and cultures, and finally the leadership required for Australia and Asia to engage more deeply into the future.

In the course of my research for the keynote I looked at changes in Australia’s population, and generated the following very interesting chart:

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics
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Availability in Europe in March and Latin America in April


I have a very busy travel itinerary coming up, with keynotes scheduled on 5 continents in the next 4 months.

While I often travel for a single engagement, I look where possible to fit in other client work when I am travelling.

I currently have availability in Europe the week of March 10 before the Congres Intranet in Utrecht, Netherlands, which is apparently the largest intranet conference in the world, where I am running a pre-conference workshop on Tapping the Power of Internal Crowdsourcing and doing a keynote on The Future of Work and Organisations.
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Keynote for Optus Business – Five driving forces of connected business


Business networking expert, Ross Dawson recently completed delivering keynotes in six cities as part of a national roadshow for Optus Business. Optus’ annual client event was a morning event for its clients and prospects in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Canberra. The sessions began with Ross’ keynote on Surviving and Thriving in a Connected World, followed by Optus executives presenting insight and client case studies on mobility and IP convergence. Each event included an exhibition featuring Alphawest, the ITC services firm Optus acquired a few years ago, and a broad array of Optus Business delivery partner organizations.

Below is the key content from just one of the five sections of Ross’ presentation, on the Driving Forces that are transforming a connected world. The rest of the keynote describes in detail what connected business looks like, winning strategies for organizations in a connected economy, and finally the actions that needs to be taken to succeed.

The five driving forces of Connected Business are:

1. Connectivity

Increasing connectivity is an overwhelming force, shaping society and business. We have come a long way since the first mobile phones that weighed no less than a brick in the early 1990s and the birth of the graphic web browser in 1993. As we shift to pervasive connectivity, giving us access to all the people and information resources of humanity wherever we go, entirely new possibilities are emerging on who we are and how we live our lives. As messages flow rapidly between us, the people on the planet are becoming connected as tightly as the neurons in our brains, giving rise to an extraordinary global brain in which we are all participating.

2. Speed

We can think of it as the acceleration of everything. Our expectations for the time it takes people to respond to messages has shrunk from weeks to days to hours. The value of our knowledge is depreciating at an increasing rate. By every measure, from the number of science and engineering graduates globally, to the amount of information produced, and on to the number of patents filed, the pace of knowledge creation is increasing. Now the extraordinary visibility of innovation and new ideas is further accelerating the pace of change. In the video above XXX shows his idea for using anamorphic representation to create an “iHologram”. He doesn’t know how to do it, just what it will look like. However from the hundreds of thousands of people who saw the video, some will take the idea and do something with it. Ideas proliferate and spark new concepts and actions at an ever-increasing pace.

3. Fluidity


We are shifting to a fluid global economy, based on the ready flow of information and ideas across borders. Amazon’s Mechanical Turk enables companies to engage people across the world to perform simple tasks that can be done better by people than by machines. Business processes are being broken down into elements that are performed partly by computers, partly by people. Web services technologies continue to allow business processes to be broken down into smaller and smaller modules, each of which can be performed anywhere on the planet and then readily integrated. As business processes are distributed across the boundaries of IT systems, organizations, and countries, we are shift to a fluid economy that organizations must embrace if they wish to participate in the vast growth ahead.

4. Participation


Perhaps the biggest social shift in recent years is towards participation. I think it is an intriguing question whether the rise of enabling web technologies over the last years has shaped our social attitudes, or whether a transformation in social views has resulted in us developing the technologies to support these. Probably both are true, but either way there has been an extraordinary rise in participation, as illustrated in the diagram above (taken from our Future of Media Report 2008), accompanied by increasing expectations of openness and transparency. This massive trend changes not just how companies must engage with their customers, but also how they must organize to tap the degree of participation that their younger (and older!) staff expect.

5. Carbon

We are changing the climate of the planet. No-one knows quite what the impact will be in coming decades, however today’s social and political attitudes mean that every organization must focus on reducing their carbon impact. Not only will many customers make buying decisions based on their perception of how environmentally-friendly companies are, but there will soon be direct costs for carbon emissions. As improved communication technologies can increasingly replace not just many air flights but also legions of car commuters, carbon impact will accelerate the shift to connected business, driving video-conferencing, virtual worlds, work gaming environments, and richer forms of tele-commuting.

Contact keynote speaker and futurist Contact

Energize your event with leading futurist and inspirational speaker Ross Dawson’s compelling and inspirational presentations that leave audiences stimulated. Contact Ross Dawson’s office today to discuss the precise keynote topic and title that will best meet your requirements.

Scenario Planning – Strategy for the future of global financial services


Recently futurist Ross Dawson gave a keynote on The Future of Global Financial Services at the Vision 2020 Financial Conference in Mumbai.

As a part of his presentation Ross described four possible scenarios for the future of global financial services, running through 10 driving forces, 10 critical uncertainties, and the resulting scenarios, as listed below.

* 10 Driving Forces for Global Financial Services

* 10 Critical Uncertainties for Global Financial Services

* A Scenario Framework for Global Financial Services

* Four Scenarios for Global Financial Services


1. Economic shift

Economic power is shifting to the major developing countries. The BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) together host close to half the world’s population, and their pace of economic development means that before long there will be multiple economic superpowers. In addition, global economic growth is shifting to the virtual, and developing countries will gradually wean themselves from primary and secondary industries to be significantly based on knowledge-based services.

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Keynote speech: Network to Win!


Recently, I gave the opening keynote at the 38th annual global conference of international accounting network Kreston International. Below are the slides for my presentation. Note that they are intended to accompany my speech, not to be meaningful in themselves.

Kreston are a very interesting organization. With revenues across the network of over $2 billion, they are the 13th largest accounting network in the world. The day of the conference they made the final step in becoming a network according to the IFAC (International Federation of Accountants) definition of a network. One of the critical issues in determining whether a group of firms is deemed a network is whether they have common quality controls. The appointment of a Global Quality and Professional Standards Director is a key step Kreston has taken.

I have long been fascinated by professional services networks. I wrote about them in my first book Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships, and in detail in Chapter 9 of Living Networks.

I am actively continuing to explore the nature of networks in professional services. How well they network very simply determines their success. As such I was delighted to be invited to do the opening keynote on the conference’s theme of Network to Win. It took the format of a participatory workshop run over two 45 minute sessions, getting the attendees to reflect on and discuss how they can best enhance the cross-firm networks that drive results.

Contact keynote speaker and futurist Contact

Energize your event with leading futurist and inspirational speaker Ross Dawson’s compelling and inspirational presentations that leave audiences stimulated. Contact Ross Dawson’s office today to discuss the precise keynote topic and title that will best meet your requirements.

The future of technology in health care – Health futurist Ross Dawson


Recently health futurist Ross Dawson gave a keynote speech on The Future of Technology in Aged Care at the Aged Care Association Annual Congress. In this insightful keynote he took the audience on a big-picture journey into where aged care is going, which went down very well between the many high-detail presentations at the conference.
Below is a brief snapshot of the five key ideas that he presented:

1. Telemedicine

Health care is being transformed by connectivity. This ranges from simple applications such as monitoring medical data through to remote surgery, bringing the skills of the best doctors anywhere in the world. Accenture’s Online Medicine Cabinet is an example of how patients and the elderly can have their health monitored from home, and their medications managed effectively. Now robots such as the one in the video above can visit patients or do rounds in the ward, linking them directly by video to doctors or nurses.

2. Care robots

Japan is in the vanguard in using robots in aged care, being at the most pointed confluence globally of a rapidly aging population and a lack of health care workers. Increasingly the basic work and functions – both at aged care institutions and in people’s homes – will be performed by robots, or in some cases, such as in the video above, by people assisted by robots or exoskeletons.

3. Emotional robots

We will become increasingly emotionally engaged with robots. Paro the seal robot, which I first wrote about in 2004, is being used to help the elderly, people with Alzheimers and schizophrenia, and sick children. The first video above shows Paro being used in therapy, including of a Japanese Prime Minister. The second video reports on a recent study by St Louis University which showed that the robotic dog Aibo was as helpful as a real dog in helping seniors to feel good and engage with the world around them.

4. Connecting

While younger people have tended to take up social networks more than the elderly, most people underestimate how many old people are engaged in online communication with their family and peers. Over two years ago, 18% of Americans over 65 had shared content online, with photo sharing common in this demographic. The key thing that will allow elderly people to engage in technology is easier interfaces. As shown in this video, new interfaces such as that on the iPhone make access to technology far easier. We can expect social networks for the aged to grow rapidly, for example the Grandparents Network described at the Online Social Networking and Business Collaboration conference.

5. Getting better

Technology should not just ameliorate our problems, it should make us better. Technology, including games, can help us to keep our minds alert and engaged, which has been demonstrated to delay dementia. Beyond this, a whole array of new technologies will give us more possibilities as humans, especially in enabling our thoughts to get things done.

Contact health futurist Contact

Energize your event with leading health futurist and inspirational speaker Ross Dawson’s compelling and inspirational presentations that leave audiences stimulated. Contact Ross Dawson’s office today to discuss the precise keynote topic and title that will best meet your requirements.