Perverse market theory and the perversion of crypto-currencies


I recently tweeted:

I was later asked for more information about perverse market theory, and after digging around I have drawn a blank. The term “perverse market” is usually used to refer to unintended or unanticipated market responses, but that is a different meaning from the one I referred to here.

Perhaps my memory fails me on the concept’s name (let me know if you can instruct me on this!), but the idea really struck me when I heard about it in my early career working in financial markets.

Do markets want to hurt people?

The idea of perverse market theory essentially anthropomorphizes the markets, attributing it intent, not dissimilarly to how Kevin Kelly describes directional behaviors in the development of technology in his book What Technology Wants.
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6 characteristics of education of the future and how credentials will change


The Commonwealth Bank Jobs and Skills of the Future Report I wrote recently dug into how work and jobs are changing and what skills will be required. These shifts in work mean it is crystal clear that education must also change.

Below is an excerpt from the report giving a snapshot of some of the shifts needed in education:

Education of the Future

Looking further into the future of education, we may see a radical restructuring of how we learn, not just in schools and universities, but through our entire life. Classrooms will continue to exist, enhanced through the use of a wide range of new tools, technologies and methodologies. Education will also become an ongoing part of everyone’s lives, and embedded into our employment, helping us improve our skills and capabilities while we work.
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A practical strategy framework to drive useful action and high performance


Last week I ran a three-day strategy workshop in Dubai for a group of senior executives who are marked as the next generation of leaders in a global professional services firm.

The heart of the workshop used scenario thinking to broaden their perspectives on change and strategic opportunity in their industry. We also wanted to provide a useful framework for the executives to develop and implement effective strategies for their respective country operations.

I was not able to find any strategy frameworks that were sufficiently relevant and pragmatic, so created a summary framework designed to be useful to any executives or entrepreneurs who need to develop practical, actionable strategies. I distilled the approaches and frames I have been successfully using for facilitating strategy development over the years with many executive groups, bringing it together into a succinct 6-step guide.

See below the diagram for a detailed explanation of the framework.

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The potential and dangers of the ‘autonomous economy’ where machines transact with machines


Australia’s largest bank Commonwealth Bank has just released a very interesting white paper Welcome to the machine-to-machine economy, anticipating machines engaging in financial transactions with other machines or parties, for example hiring and paying for their own maintenance workers. This would require them to have their own bank accounts and payment systems.

Source: Commonwealth Bank
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“Inspiring and terrifying” perspectives on leadership for the future of work


I was honored to recently give a Special Lecture at Stony Brook University in Long Island, NY, on Leadership for the Future of Work.

I discussed how in a world in which work is dramatically changing, we must all show leadership in taking the actions that will shape as positive a future as possible for society.

Two articles on my keynote captured some of the points I made.

A piece in The Statesman Keynote speaker Ross Dawson discusses the future of work noted:
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Visual network map of MegaTrends to 2050


Futurist Richard Watson and I have collaborated for many years on client projects and visual frameworks, including Trend Blend 2007, over a decade ago sparking the trend for using subway maps to display trends and their intersections.

Richard is still at it, having recently created a massive visual exploration based on the London train network of MegaTrends out to 2050.

Click on the image to see the high resolution version – you need to spend time on this to discover the details.

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Our education systems must focus on developing underlying human capabilities, not just knowledge and skills


It is absolutely clear that better, broader education will be essential in creating a positive future of work. However we still need to work out precisely what is the education that will be most relevant for tomorrow’s world. Read more

How company directors can integrate innovation and governance to drive performance


Last week I ran a half-day program on Integrating an Innovation Mindset with Effective Governance for Bursa Malaysia (the Malaysian stock exchange) attended by 160 company directors.

Over the last years I have annually run two-day innovation programs for the Malaysian Director’s Academy (MINDA), designed to develop company directors’ capabilities and mindset to engage with and promote effective innovation in the organizations they lead. I was pleased to have the opportunity to take these ideas to a broader audience of senior company directors in this dynamic economy.

The key issue for company directors is balancing their fiduciary responsibilities to manage the risk of organizations with the imperative of innovation. Organizations that do not change in a rapidly shifting world will inevitably be left behind.

I would argue that it is not just a question of “balance”, but one of actively integrating innovation and governance, in that understanding that NOT innovating effectively – which requires actively moving into uncertainty – is often the greatest risk.
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Just launched: The Commonwealth Bank jobs and skills of the future report


The future of work has been a central theme of my work for many years. Work sits at the very center of society, the economy, and our individual and collective identities. It may well be the domain that is most disrupted by technological and social change in coming years. And education is at the heart of how we can make these shifts as positive as possible.

As such I was delighted to be commissioned by Commonwealth Bank to create a report in collaboration with their team: The Commonwealth Bank jobs and skills of the future report (12.4MB), to share useful insights for individuals, families and organisations what we can do today to shape a positive future of work for all Australians.

The report has been launched this morning and can be downloaded here (12.4MB).
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The future landscape of financial services will be driven by modularization


Last week I gave a keynote to the senior leadership team of a major financial services organization at their annual strategy offsite. My brief was to provoke and stimulate, taking them out of their current frame of reference on strategy.

My session dug into key themes such as rapidly declining trust in institutions, the rise of platforms, and decentralization driven by blockchain among other factors.

The reality is that financial services is an exceptionally broad space, and our long-established financial institutions bring together a wide and diverse set of services to their customers.

Newer players including fintech startups tend to address specific offers, attracting customers by doing them better than incumbents. This is illustrated by the well-known ‘unbundling’ diagrams, as shown below. Read more