The future of social media: Almost all commerce will become social

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Earlier this month Air New Zealand ran its second Social Media Breakfast in Auckland, with close to 1,000 people coming to see Teddy Goff, the Digital Director of Obama’s campaign, and myself speak. The number of attendees had increased since Randy Zuckerberg spoke at the first Social Media Breakfast last July, and now Air New Zealand intends to run the event regularly through this year.

Below is a brief but nice highlights video of the event, including highlighted excerpts from my and Teddy’s keynotes.


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Thinking about the future: Why predictions usually (but not always) have negative value

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A few days ago I spoke at the opening dinner of a strategy offsite for a professional firm, on the topic of ‘Thinking About The Future‘. It is a very common style of engagement for me, being briefed to set the broadest possible mental frame for executives before their in-depth discussions on directions for the business. The session went extremely well in provoking some very interesting conversations during the evening, and I gather driving new thinking through the rest of the offsite.

Just before I spoke the executive group had heard from a well-known economist who was giving them economic forecasts for the next 10 years.

As such, in my presentation I explained why forecasts usually have negative value. I spent a long time working in financial markets, and I have seen market and economic forecasts tremendously abused.

The most important point is that almost all forecasts will turn out to be wrong. The future is unpredictable. Giving numerical values to future economic or market data can easily shut down useful thinking about the reality of uncertainty and the range of possibilities that may transpire.
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The Future of Customer Service: Using technology to increase both efficiency and relationship strength

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Last week I gave the closing keynote at KANA Connect 2012 in Las Vegas, on The Future of Customer Service.

I packed in a wide-ranging view on where customer service is going, including the impact of connectivity, the rise of new channels, where value will reside in relationships, and what supports the integration and integrity that will be at the heart of successful customer service.

One of the key areas I covered was the shift in customer service channels, using a diagram I originally created for a keynote and supporting article on Creating the Future of Customer Relationships.


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[VIDEO] The world’s first full motion-graphics presentation

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In late April I gave a keynote at TheNextWeb 2012 conference in Amsterdam on The Future of Crowds.

I have for many years intended to develop a full motion graphics presentation. I have long used highly visual presentations to accompany my keynotes, often including numerous videos without sound as well an array of full screen images. However they primarily consisted of static visuals.

I decided TheNextWeb conference was a good opportunity to create my first full motion-graphics presentation. Below is a video of the keynote’s visual presentation.


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Study: Increased customer expectations are driving corporate uptake of social media

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Yesterday I spoke at a business leaders lunch event in Darwin on the Future of Business organized by the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce and Optus.

Following my keynote John Paitaridis, Managing Director of Optus Business, shared some of the highlights of a recently released Optus Future of Business report, based on an extensive survey of corporate Australia.

One of the pointed themes that emerged from the study was that customer expectations are driving uptake of social media and digital intiatives. This happens to be highly aligned with my perspective that increased expectations are at the heart of social change, as expressed in my Transformation of Business framework.

Here is some of the interesting data from the report:


Source: Optus
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Social Media and the Future: Keynote slides at CIO Summit

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This afternoon I am giving a keynote on Social Media and the Future at the Australian CIO Summit in the Gold Coast.

Here are the slides from my presentation. As always, my keynote slides are shared with the proviso that they are designed to accompany my presentation and are NOT intended to be useful on their own. However you might find them of interest.

To provide just a little context on the flow of my keynote:
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Free webinar July 19 on the Future of Media – Mobile, Social, Cloud… and Paid? with Ross Dawson and Gerd Leonhard

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Gerd Leonhard is a greatly valued friend and colleague in our shared calling as media futurists, and work together in The Futures Agency.

As part of our intent of working more together in both public forums and with leading media organizations we are announcing a free webinar:

The Future of Media: Mobile, Social, Cloud… and Paid?

July 19, 2012

8am US EDT
1pm United Kingdom
2pm Central European Time
8pm Singapore & Beijing
10pm Sydney
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Travelling for work: 7 principles for productivity and value

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Over the last 9 weeks I’ve been on a plane every week, have been on 26 flights or inter-city trains, and delivered 28 keynotes or workshops across 8 countries. This week I will be at home all week :-).

I have long had the concept of “the right amount of travel”, that is enough but not too much. How much that is depends on personal temperament, your relationship and family situation, health, life stage, and many other things. I do love travelling but there is certainly such a thing as too much. Fortunately on the European segment of my recent travels Victoria and the girls spent four weeks based out of Paris to overlap with me, so we were able to spend time together there and in London, which made it a lot more palatable.

The nature of my work is that I do have to travel extensively, so it is critical that I get the most out of my time travelling. I need to work at getting better at it myself, but here are some principles that I try to work by, and you might find useful.

1. Travel is the ultimate learning experience.
I am fortunate in that I travel widely rather than to the same places all the time, so I always have things to learn wherever I go. Wherever I go I look around myself continuously to learn from what I see, whoever I meet I ask about what they are seeing change, whatever companies I engage with I observe their unique culture and experiences. While all of this is of course essential to a futurist, I believe we all need to take every opportunity available to learn what is happening across the glorious global diversity of business, society, and humanity.
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Video of TheNextWeb keynote on The Future of Crowds

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TheNextWeb produced a good quality video of my keynote at TheNextWeb Conference 2012, shown below.

It doesn’t show all of my full motion graphics presentation, though it frequently cuts to show segments of the visuals through my keynote. I will create and share a full video of my motion graphics presentation along with the audio of me speaking, however as I’m travelling it may take a little while to complete.

Here is a brief overview of the structure of the presentation:
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European speaking tour: What, where, and what else

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I am currently in transit in Hong Kong on the way to London for a few days with my and my goddaughter’s family at the beginning of a five-week speaking tour. Below is my itinerary in case you’d like to get along to any of the events. My schedule is jam packed in almost all of the locations on the tour. However there are two gaps in my schedule 5-9 and 11-14 May, so do let me know if you are interested in discussing engaging me on any of the days that I am currently free, for example for executive briefings on the future of business or business transformation.
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