How collaboration is transforming the relationship between sell-side and buy-side financial markets


One of the most important dynamics in almost all industries today is how value creation is increasingly shifting to be between organizations rather than within organizations.

Most notably, the nature of client-supplier relationships have dramatically shifted over the years.

This is not new. I have spent considerable time working with the institutional financial services sector, and seen major changes over the years. I recently recalled a White Paper I wrote years ago, How Collaborative Technologies are Transforming Financial Services, in the wake of a Collaboration in Financial Services conference I co-organized and chaired in New York.

Here is an excerpt from the White Paper. The same issues are still playing out today.

At the highest level, there is no question that collaborative technologies will impact the structure of the financial services industry. The implications may take some time to be visible, however the shifts in power and value creation between industry participants are already evident.

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Transforming clients and executives: How to enrich their mental models


When I wrote my first book, Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships, which came out in 2000 in its first edition, I thought of it in many ways as a stepping stone for me to gain credibility and move on to deal with broader issues. Yet still today the themes of the book are immensely relevant to my work.

As a futurist the greatest value I can create is in helping people to think more broadly, to be more open and responsive to trends, issues, and possibilities that they have not yet fully considered. As I often say, my definition of a futurist is someone who helps people to think usefully about the future, so they act more effectively in the present.

It is in fact the same for every professional. Performing services for clients can only have a fraction of the value of actually changing the client, to help them think more usefully and make better decisions.

Chapter 4 of Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships is titled Adding Value to Client Decision-Making: Better Strategic, Line, and Portfolio Decisions. Below are some brief excepts on the theme of adding value to mental models, which is at the heart of tranforming clients.
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Sorry Grant Thornton, amorphous fears about IP loss should not trump value creation


Sorry, Grant Thornton, I think your instinct is very likely wrong.

I saw this advertisement (also in French and Flemish) in Brussels-Midi station when I was recently passing through.

Grant Thornton claims to have an ‘instinct for growth’. For some reason it seems to have an instinct (it appears without any evidence) that expanding into new markets will lead to loss of intellectual property. So the instinct is one for inaction, and in turn no growth.
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Open Meeting Protocol and the structure of emergent collaboration


Last week I had an early evening meeting set up with Indy Johar, the inspiring co-founder of Hub Westminster. When I arrived I found that Indy had invoked an ‘Open Meeting Protocol’, offering £10 to Matt Sevenoaks of KPMG to join the meeting, who in turn invited Shelley Kuipers, the CEO of Chaordix, who as it happens I had conversed with on email as reecently as a few days before but had never met in real-life. Another Hub Westminster member Pamela joined us.

To be frank I don’t completely understand the protocol, even after viewing the very interesting Prezi explanation below from David Pinto. In essence it is a structure for inviting people to join a meeting by paying them (nominally) £10, and thus participating in a value-creating structure.

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The MegaTrend of Distributed Attention is driving everything


Yesterday I ran Getting Results From Crowds and Crowd Business Models workshops in Sydney, the first in a global series of crowdsourcing workshops.

In opening the Crowd Business Models workshop, I ran through some of the driving forces that are shifting business models to crowds. I had quickly drawn up the list the evening before the workshop, with the first coming to mind Distributed Attention.

During the workshop we had an awesome panel of three of Sydney’s top entrepreneurs: Rebekah Campbell of Posse, Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin of BlueChilli and Phil Morle of Pollenizer.

Each one of them spoke about how much harder it is to get people’s attention than even a year or two ago. For each of them, one of the fundamental reasons that business models need to start with crowds is that individual attention is increasingly fleeting. You can’t bolt on crowds to a business model as an afterthought – it must be at the center.
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Value based pricing is at the heart of the future of professional services


In my first book Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships: The Future of Professional Services the final chapter was titled Value-Based Pricing: Implementing New Revenue Models. Pricing by value rather than time is clearly a central aspect to building true knowledge-based relationships, since knowledge should be measured by the value of its application rather than time spent by professionals.

The chapter in my book provides a fair overview of the key possibilities and factors in value-based pricing. However I am not a deep expert in the field. When discussing the issue with clients, I usually refer to Ron Baker, who among other claims to fame has written books including Pricing on Purpose, Professionals Guide to Value Pricing, and one I’ve long had on my bookself, The Firm of the Future.

Ron is currently in Australia running a series of workshops on The Firm of the Future, and he kindly invited me to join his masterclass session in Sydney this morning.
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The realities of intellectual property and crowdsourcing: don’t hold on too tight


When you talk about crowdsourcing, consistently one of the first objections you hear is worries about losing valuable ideas and intellectual property to unscrupulous overseas contractors.

Our new book Getting Results From Crowds is designed to help people get the most value from crowdsourcing. Part of doing that is giving perspective on the challenges and opportunities of using crowds. In Chapter 4 on When to use crowds, embedded below, one of several free chapters available from book, we discuss Intellectual property and confidentiality and provide a ‘reality check’ on IP protection – see pages 24-25.

Getting Results From Crowds: Chapter 4 – When To Use Crowds
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Want to buy drinks for a bunch of Sydney entrepreneurs?


This is now the thirteenth year that I and some friends have organized the Annual Entrepreneurs and Self-Employed Xmas Drinks in Sydney. The reality is that many who are setting up companies, working solo, or running small businesses don’t have the kinds of Christmas parties that employees of big companies do. So we celebrate together, bringing our teams along.

This year we are running the event adjacent to a launch for my new book Getting Results From Crowds. In the end it wasn’t logistically feasible to run two separate events, and it made sense to do them at the same venue. The book is in any case highly relevant to entrepreneurs.

See the event page for full details, summarized below.
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Yelp leaps into the underserviced consumer review space in Australia


Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO of Yelp, is in Australia for the launch of Yelp Australia. I was invited to interview him on Monday (embargoed until today) as part of a major media campaign to kick off the site.

Australia is the 13th country where Yelp has launched, with up until now all the action outside North America being in Europe. Stoppelman said that they are patient and take the time necessary to get quality data from the outset, so that users’ initial experience is positive.

In this case Yelp in July announced an exclusive deal with Sensis, the Telstra subsidiary that operates the Yellow Pages in Australia. This deal provides Yelp with the initial data to launch, plus a partner for monetization, with Sensis’ sales staff offering customers Yelp advertising options. Local search is a highly sales-intensive business, so the Sensis deal means Yelp can effectively build presence and monetize with limited local staff. It is in the process of hiring community managers in Melbourne and Sydney, where it is initially focusing.
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How technology is transforming events


One of my speaking bureau just asked me to provide them with a few quick ideas on how technology is changing events, as one of their key clients is having an internal meeting to discuss their future use of technology in events.

I only had 10 minutes free to write something, so it’s far from comprehensive, but I thought worth sharing here.

Before events:
– Connecting with speakers and others attendees
– Identifying who you’d like to catch up with at the event
– Arranging meetings with sponsors or other attendees
– Voting on content to be covered
– Surveys to gain insights into participants and their experiences and views
– Sharing content relevant to the event
– Getting recommendations for people to meet with similar interests, projects etc., using tools such as introNetworks
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