Everything we know, will soon no longer apply

By: Bob Pritchard
Posted: 11/25/2013

Forget everything you know about business, it will soon no longer apply.

We urgently need to totally change the way we think about aspect of business.  Everything we know, will soon no longer apply.

Whether it be leadership, corporate culture and community citizenship, management, marketing and advertising or customer communication and service, we need to be able to manage extraordinary change.

The worlds leading thinkers, university in Silicon Valley, estimate in the last 10 years we have advanced just 1% of the technology revolution, in the next 15 years we will move the next 99%

That means that in just 10 years, in approximately 2023, we will be exposed to 2048 times more information every day than we are getting today.

In just 5 years there will be over 5000 new apps every day, the overwhelming majority to facilitate various aspects of business. Leadership…

Increasingly, leaders will have to be a visionary, inspiring the market and employees.

Investor demands will change from steady management and incremental change to transformational, disruptive and dramatic change.

Cloud technology will interconnect everyone, from management to employees, to investors and suppliers, transparently and faster in all directions.

It is likely that CEOs will be more like the visionary inspiring leaders of Jobs and Musk than business managers like Jack Welch with the traditional CEO role being carried out by the COO.

Leadership will change from protecting status quo to extending innovation capabilities.Leaders will be challenged by;·      

no longer information management, in future, information intelligence·                     

no longer IT systems management, in future, platforms to enable new value chains and integrated ecosystems·  

no longer cost management, in future, business transformation and  accelerated growth

Millennials will move into positions of authority changing the values of the corporation and transforming the whole attitude toward life-work balance with the emphasis on life first.

Organizations lifespans will be reduced from 45 years to 10 years.

These challenges will impose severe pressure on tomorrow's leaders.

Corporate Culture and Community Citizenship…

Research has shown the rapidly increasing importance of the Triple Bottom Line as the community becomes increasingly aware of, and concerned about, not only the environment but also the concept of assisting those less fortunate. The triple bottom line is the concept of not only generating financial returns but also simultaneously creating social and environmental returns.

In order to attract the top employees, investors, and generate sales from consumers, companies are having to increasingly take into account their complete impact on society and the environment, not just their impact on the economy. Businesses will  have to assume responsibilities that go well beyond the scope of simple commercial relationships.

Good corporate citizenship will increasingly provide substantial business benefits in eight areas;

Reputation management…

The percentage of companies value derived from intangible assets increased from 17% in 1981 to 89% in 2011 and will continue to increase.·

Risk profile and risk management…

Investment in environmental management will substantially reduce a firm's perceived risk and increase stock price from 5% to 25%.·       

Employee recruitment, motivation, and retention…

Today, 56%, and predicted to rise rapidly, of employees take into account a company's ethics when deciding to take, or remain in a job, increasingly critical in high skill talent shortages·

Investor relations and access to capital…

Corporate focus on environmental and social criteria now accounts for a 45% better  financial performance than companies without such focus. This will become increasingly important.·      

Learning and innovation…

Corporate citizenship objectives encourage creativity and innovation which leads to bottom line benefits.  This innovation will be critical.·       

Competitiveness and market position…

Research clearly shows that a rapidly increasing, and now a majority of consumers, form their impression of a company on the basis of its corporate citizenship practices rather than on brand reputation or financial factors.·       

Operational efficiency…

Reducing material use and waste saves money, as well as reducing the environmental impact which leads to direct improvements on the bottom line·       

License to operate…

Companies with a good reputation for corporate citizenship will increasingly fare much better in the face of labor or environmental issues.

Companies that take corporate citizenship seriously can increasingly improve their reputations and operational efficiency, while reducing their risk exposure and encouraging loyalty and innovation.

They are also increasingly more likely to be seen as a good investment and as a company of choice by investors, employees, customers, regulators and joint venture partners.

Government are setting more stringent targets to reduce green house gas emissions so organizations will become more ecofriendly; reducing their energy and water consumption, implementing renewable energy as well as increasing recycling.

Customers will demand this and if organizations don’t comply they will find another supplier that will.


In 10 years, there will be an alarming scarcity in the supply of leadership talent with up to 20% of leadership positions vacant. Leadership development within companies will be critical and there will be a huge challenge in identifying and retaining top talent.

High potential managers will be required to take on short duration overseas assignments to broaden their experience.   There will also be an extraordinary increase in diversity and inclusiveness within a more uniform corporate culture where  employees require more flexibility, more empowerment and more open communication.

Companies will be flatter and management will need to address reduced loyalty to the organization and increased churn.  Management will need to devote an increasing amount of time to training and educating employees.

There will be a great deal more emphasis on employee creativity and innovation.

Marketing and Advertising…

Just eight years ago, 10,000 people watched an event, a few with binoculars or cameras and the next day they each told 2 or 3 people about it.  Maybe a total of 30,000 people were exposed to the message.

Now the same 10,000 people have smartphones and tablets and each tweet, post or Instagram and multiplier average of 78 people INSTANTLY….a total of nearly 1 million people get the message in REAL TIME.

This is repeated when they see product or content they like. They tell their friends instantly. Recently, a television program and Twitter were linked, resulting in over 260,000 real time tweets for Wheat Thins, an advertiser.

So how powerful is social media?

When TAMMY CANAL put up a page on Facebook to protest Monsanto and genetically modified foods, she had 2 million people in 436 cities in 52 countries all turn out on the same day to protest.

In September in Los Angeles a car buff tweeted spontaneously at 8 PM that there would be a car show in a suburban shopping mall parking lot at 9 PM. By 9.30 there were 600 cars on display and over 3000 people turned up catching the police and store owners by surprise.

The Arab Spring uprisings across the Middle East were all organized on Twitter.

The extraordinary power of “flash mobs” is increasingly being harnessed by progressive businesses with phenomenal results.

The key to more successful marketing today is no longer the size of the marketing budget or using traditional media vehicles.

In the US, the finale of the TV program Breaking Bad garnered a record 10.3 Million viewers, not on network, but on cable.  Nice Peter, a daily program on You Tube attracted 78 million views.  The balance has shifted.

In the US, the combined network and cable audience nightly is 48 million yet Facebook attracts 110 million daily between 8 and 11 pm.

It is extraordinary that 79% of corporate marketing expenditure is still in traditional media despite new-media said being a fraction of the cost and the fact that the 50 most successful companies over the last two years have embraced new media wholeheartedly. The increase in digital and social media is 256% while the decrease in traditional media and call centers is 61%

The reason is that social and digital media enables you:·  

To identify your customers·     

Know everything about them·     

Understand their likes and dislikes·     

Communicate with them one on one·     

Generate  extensive viral marketing·     

Know precisely where your customers are at all times

All at a fraction of the traditional media costs,

More importantly for the retail business, applications such as Facebook and Twitter can drive business like no other form of advertising or marketing. It can be effectively used with people at home or the office, then in transit, then at the in store or office location, while people are making a selection, at the point of purchase and then most importantly, the follow-up post purchase.

Some examples of businesses using new media to drive exceptional results.

J Crew, launches 2013 catalog on Pinterest•       

1888 Hotel, offers free rooms to people with 10,000  Instagram followers

Oreo cookies, Superbowl post Facebook = "You can still dunk in the dark" 15000 re-tweets, 20,000  Likes

Coca-Cola, "Unlock the secret formula" on YouTube, click on bottle takes you to more social media outlets•       

Bonobos tailors, re-tweet incentive on Twitter to get a discount....1200% ROI•       

Taco Bell's customers scanned QR codes on drink cups to get free music downloads, ..270,000 downloads•       

Scotty P's offered mobile coupons by SMS for lunch menu only; 12% response rate, 1,650% ROI

Whether you are using traditional or new media to reach your customers, you need to really challenge your thinking.

Customer Communication and Service…

The increasing use of self service, and social media including online customer communities, social networks like Facebook, YouTube and micro blogs such as Twitter will bring about a decline in the volume of calls, fax and post to corporations by at least 50 percent. The number of social media searches is already more than Google searches.

Online communities and support forums will integrate with the company’s web site and be used to post questions, give answers, build a knowledge base which customers and call handling teams can access. Customers will be adept at communicating using social media, instant messaging (IM), blogs and other  collaborative communications tools that haven’t even been invented yet. Data speeds will be up to 20 times faster than today within ten years.

Automated phone services like payments, online, mobile commerce and 2 way SMS, multimedia messaging and video clips, will be key to cutting the drain on contact handling resources. 40% of grocery shopping will be done online by 2025.  Businesses and consumers will order blueprints online and will print the products on 3-D printers. Products that can't be printed on site will be delivered direct to the home by drone.

Companies will utilize contact engagement and integrate their management software with social media and Instant Messaging platforms. Social Media will become a core part of customer contact.

Companies will proactively monitor consumer discussion on social networking and microblogging sites. Consumers will post comments social networking sites and will expect the company to see their response and demand a response.

Ultimately, a cultural transformation will be required, where customer service teams become highly trained advisors dealing with complex issues rather than simply agents handling simple enquiries. They will also measure performance and response times across all contact channels, not just call performance alone.

The following technology will be widely used within contact handling teams in the future:

Web chat and Instant messaging: most instant messaging platform will be able to communicate with each other.

Hosted phone system and call centre software services will reduce capital expenditure, use on a pay as you go basis, and integrate different software providers.

Voice recognition.

Speech analytics: automatic methods to analyze speech content as 98% of calls will not be listened to.

Voice biometrics will identify and authenticate people by their voice.

The convergence of IT and telecom infrastructure – voice, video and messaging.

Organizations will maximize Twitter and Facebook style sites and get customers to contribute to their blogs. They will increasingly use big data and analytics to understand everything about every individual customer. They will communicate with their customers using the method the customer prefers, keeping customers engaged and allowing them to connect closely with them.

People will use their mobile device, wearables, phones and tablets, for almost all transactions/ interactions e.g. mobile TV with built in shopping, payments, flight check in, ID cards, messaging. Mobile content will be on one screen and mobile configured, quickly uploaded, brief and simple to interact with.

The one to many communication such as Twitter will mean that customers will communicate their issues with the wider world rather than directly to the organization. Contact handling teams will be working around the clock to monitor what is said about their products and services in the cloud and respond appropriately.

The company’s reputation will be the sum of impressions held by the external world, so the reputation has to be owned by everybody within the organization not just by the senior management team and the customer service department.

The social media explosion has created an instantaneous, multi-channel, many-to-many communication web, and organizations will have to increasingly invest in tools and resources to manage and contribute to it in order to protect their brands. Customers will receive a better experience as organizations become increasingly aware and responsive to customer feedback, irrespective of the channel.

The customer has finally become king! 

"Let World Class Speakers & Entertainers enhance your next event by providing the appropriate speaker or entertainer to fit your program and budget requirements."

- Joseph I. Kessler, President
Connect with me on LinkedIn

You may register as a Speaker, Entertainer or Entertainment: Speaker/Entertainer Registration
We welcome submissions of eNewsletter articles by Speakers: Submit Article