In COVID times: the value of keeping journals and leadership for organisational reinvention

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I was delighted to be a guest on Zanele Njapha‘s Future-fit Fridays podcast, with her dynamic style helping bring out some of my strongest-held beliefs.

You can listen to the interview on Apple or Spotify, or the full transcript is below.

Zanele opened by asking me about my practice of keeping a journal, following up by asking me if this was particularly relevant today. I agreed.

These are very challenging times for almost all of us and so this is a time when we can get value in reflecting, by writing and capturing our own thoughts

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Conversation with Harold Jarche: Sense-making in a networked world and personal knowledge mastery

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Harold Jarche and I have long known each other online. He started blogging in 2000 while I jumped in in 2002, so we were part of an initially small but burgeoning community exploring online connections before and as modern social media started to emerge.

We actually did meet face-to-face briefly some years ago when by an odd coincidence both of us had engagements in Toronto on the same day, but we have certainly shared and explored each others’ ideas and content at length over many years.
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With the launch of Infinite Office Facebook is making a play for virtual reality offices

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From today’s suite of virtual reality and augmented reality product launches by Facebook, one of the most interesting was its announcement of Infinite Office, allowing users to work on multiple screens in a virtual/ augmented reality space.

I shared some thoughts on the announcement and what it means for the rise of virtual offices in this brief segment on The Virtual Excellence Show. See below for the video transcript.


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The next generation of tools to enhance serendipity in remote work environments

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The greatest value of people working in organizations is not having them act as cogs in a machine, but in interacting to spawn ideas and insights that generate new opportunities.

I have long explored the value of serendipity in work environments, and in particular how we can ‘enhance’ serendipity to make happy, fortuitous connections between people and ideas more likely.

In a world of remote work, often dominated by scheduled video meetings, serendipitous connections are far harder to come by.

A recent Wall Street Journal article examines some of the tools being used to mimic the accidental conversations around the office water cooler.
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The shift to contactless physical retail and promise of haptics for online retail

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Yesterday the Sunrise national breakfast TV program featured brief excerpts from an interview with me highlighting two related key trends: Physical retail is going contactless, avoiding touch where possible, and online retail is using haptics to enable touch and feel at a distance.


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Choosing our lives from infinite possibility

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In Jose Luis Borges’ exquisite story The Garden of Forking Paths he beautifully evokes the many different paths that our lives could take.

Every day we make choices small and large that lead our lives down a particular path, collapsing the infinite possible directions into the one reality we actually live.
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Will coronavirus reverse the Megatrend of Urbanization?

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I often say that a trend-watcher and a futurist are very different things.

Trend-watchers see what has happened and implicitly assume that it will continue into the future.

Futurists uncover trends and consider the impacts of and responses to those trends, that could sustain, accelerarate, slow, or potentially reverse them.

In fact one of the most pertinent questions when observing a powerful trend is what could stop or reverse it.
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Conversation with Mark Pesce on the future of virtual events, organizations, and society

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Fellow futurist Mark Pesce is an old friend. We first actually connected when he spoke at my Future of Media Summit 2008, but I had long before being inspired by his work, writing about Virtual Reality Markup Language (VRML), which Mark co-developed, in my first book.

We happened to live 100 meters from each other in Sydney’s Surry Hills for a few years, and for many years now our work and positioning as futurists and keynote speakers has been highly aligned.

I obviously had to interview Mark for The Virtual Excellence Show, and it was indeed a highly stimulating conversation. Watch the video, and see below for some summary points.
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In times of uncertainty showing vulnerability is the mark of a true leader

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The world has always been uncertain.

Now perhaps it is more uncertain than ever before, not least in that new uses of technology are shifting the structure of society, business, and government, amplifying the manifold unknowns of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it might play out.

In the past many leaders sought a sense of control, and in relatively steady-state environments they were sometimes able to achieve that.

However for many years already, leaders who have not been comfortable with the reality of a lack of control in a highly complex world have been sidelined or found themselves presiding over rapidly shrinking organizations.
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How virtual audiences for sports, music, and conferences create a positive feedback loop of engagement

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Since the advent of coronavirus here has been a lot of work put into building virtual events.

However we are now realizing that having virtual audiences is an essential part of creating great events, energizing sportspeople, speakers, and performers and creating a positive feedback loop that is at the heart of a great in-person event.

We have already seen examples of this in soccer, notably of Danish team Aarhus teaming up with Zoom to put massive screens of fans in the audience.

Today the US NBA and Microsoft announced that digital stands comprising fans displayed on 17 foot screens would help bring basketball games to life.
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