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Articles

How Much Do You Trust Them?

How Much Do You Trust Them?

In a fast-changing world, leaders and managers need to trust and empower their team members – especially in a hybrid workplace. This is especially challenging when we’re asking them to make critical decisions that affect our organisation’s reputation, brand, and bottom line. DOWNLOAD THE WORKSHEET HERE   ...
Know Your COI – The Cost of Inaction

Know Your COI – The Cost of Inaction

When creating a plan, you calculate the return on investment, or ROI, for taking action. But unless you also calculate the cost of inaction, or COI, your plan lacks context. ROI answers the question, ‘What are the benefits of this change?’, and COI answers the question, ‘What is the cost ...
Clear Their Path

Clear Their Path

Although my first sporting love is cricket, I’m also a fan of Australian Rules Football. We’re in finals month now, so it seems like a good time to talk about it. A common defensive tactic in Aussie Rules is ‘shepherding’, where you assist a team mate from a distance. In ...
Nobody Wants to Pay For Work Anymore

Nobody Wants to Pay For Work Anymore

If you have been following the latest buzz around leadership and workplaces, you might have come across the phrase ‘quiet quitting’, which refers to employees who do what they are paid to do, and no more. Does that describe some of the people in your team? I think it’s a ...
Are You a Future-Ready Leader?

Are You a Future-Ready Leader?

I’ve recently been working with many leaders who are grappling with change, uncertainty, and disruption. Some are just battening down the hatches and hoping all that change stops soon. But that’s wishful thinking! If anything, we’ll seen even more change in the future, and you need new skills to survive ...
When The Going Gets Tough, Involve Your Team

When The Going Gets Tough, Involve Your Team

I’ve been working with many leaders recently who are doing their best to lead their teams through this time of great uncertainty and change. They know it’s their responsibility to take the lead, and they are doing their best, while still desperately trying to stay calm and collected for their ...
Getting The Working From Home Formula Right For Your Team

Getting The Working From Home Formula Right For Your Team

I’ve been doing a lot of work recently with leaders and leadership teams, and the biggest topic on their minds right now is the future of the office. Specifically, how do you manage a team that doesn’t want to come back to the office full time? Early in the pandemic, ...
How Will You Leverage Something New?

How Will You Leverage Something New?

Last week, I started working with two leadership groups – from two very different industries – who wanted help with thinking about their future. Both groups were smart enough to realise they knew a lot about their own organisation, but didn’t know enough about external forces that could affect them. ...
Turn The Tables On Talent

Turn The Tables On Talent

Two weeks ago, I went to Bali to speak at a conference of HR professionals and executives from all around Indonesia. In addition to a keynote presentation to the entire group, I also ran a small invitation-only executive masterclass for senior leaders, sharing ideas about how they could be more ...
If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Know

If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Know

Last week, I spoke at a conference in Bali, Indonesia, for a group of 1,000 business leaders and HR professionals from all around the country. I was talking about one of my favourite topics: leading through change, disruption, and uncertainty. In my briefing call with the conference organisers, they shared ...
COVID-19 Has Made Your Customers More …

COVID-19 Has Made Your Customers More …

You might think you know your customers, but do you really? In the last two years – as a result of the pandemic and how it changed our lives – our customers’ wants, needs, and expectations have changed. If you’re still serving the ‘old’ customer, you might be completely missing ...
Your Customers Have Changed … But Have YOU?

Your Customers Have Changed … But Have YOU?

At the start of every year, the consumer intelligence company Brandwatch asks people about their New Year’s Resolutions. In 2018, these were the top three resolutions: In 2019, these were the top three: So you probably won’t be surprised to know that at the start of 2020 (remember, this was ...
It’s 2022 – Do You Know Where Your Customers Are?

It’s 2022 – Do You Know Where Your Customers Are?

What do these stories have in common? Early in the pandemic, the Stadt Hotel in Sweden converted its empty hotel rooms into private dining suites, so locals could still eat out safely with appropriate social distancing. Global consumer goods giant Unilever has made a commitment not to market food and ...
Treat Your Customers Like Partners

Treat Your Customers Like Partners

In 2020, Sandra Choi, creative director at designer footwear company Jimmy Choo, launched a competition for fans to design their own fantasy shoes. Anybody could submit a sketch to Choi, who posted her top ten choices on Instagram and asked the community to vote for their favourites. After almost 200,000 ...
Do You Know Your Cost of Inaction (COI)?

Do You Know Your Cost of Inaction (COI)?

When you’re planning an important change in your team or organisation, you might calculate the expected return on investment (ROI) before you go ahead. But there’s another thing you should calculate – and most people don’t. I’ll explain this using something we all know. It’s been more than two years ...
Five Smart Ways to Double Your Leadership Productivity

Five Smart Ways to Double Your Leadership Productivity

I’m preparing for my next Future-Ready Leaders coaching program, which starts in May, and the first few participants have shared what they most want to get from the three months we’ll be working together. And I’m always curious to see what’s top of mind for leaders. Of course, the topics ...
Map Many Scenarios, Choose a Few

Map Many Scenarios, Choose a Few

I’m preparing for my next Disruption By Design leadership program, which starts in May, and the first few participants have shared what they most want to get from the three months we’ll be working together. Not surprisingly, ‘leading in uncertainty’ is a common theme! As we’re gradually learning to ‘live ...
Be a Possibility Thinker

Be a Possibility Thinker

Most of us now have heard of self-driving cars, but even a few years ago that wasn’t necessarily true. So when Google, which was one of the pioneers in self-driving car technology, first started developing prototypes, I used to carry a photo of one of their early models on my ...
Want to Be a Better Leader? Become An Authority

Want to Be a Better Leader? Become An Authority

We all know leadership has changed, and people expect different things from their leaders. We still face an uncertain future, Generation Z employees don’t automatically respect older managers, hybrid and distributed teams are breaking down traditional hierarchies, and age and seniority don’t automatically imply trust and wisdom. In the past, ...
Habit Trumps Discipline

Habit Trumps Discipline

What are the habits in your personal life? Things like brushing your teeth twice a day, getting dressed, a glass of red wine with dinner, washing up the dirty dishes in the sink, putting on your seat-belt when you get in the car, going to the gym, eating everything on ...
5 TED Talk Secrets To Revamp Your Online Presentations

5 TED Talk Secrets To Revamp Your Online Presentations

(Picture courtesy of Steve Jurvetson) What’s your favourite TED Talk? If you’re a fan of TED, I’m sure you will have your favourites. Mine include some of the classics, such as: Ken Robinson talking about creativity and education Dame Stephanie Shirley talking about ambitious women (that’s her in the picture ...
The #1 Thing You Can Do To Amp Up Your Online Presentations

The #1 Thing You Can Do To Amp Up Your Online Presentations

I was recently speaking at a company’s annnual conference, which they were running online again this year because of COVID-19 uncertainty. The speaker before me was the CEO, who made a brief but highly engaging presentation. The content was what you would expect – summary of last year, top-level ideas ...
How Digital Are You?

How Digital Are You?

In a presentation last week, I shared some of the challenges Australian business leaders said they will face in the year ahead. It’s based on some research done by KPMG at the start of each year, where they ask leaders, “What’s keeping you up at night?” In the presentation, I ...
Disrupt Less, Innovate More

Disrupt Less, Innovate More

After two years of massive and (dare I say it) unprecedented disruption, Australia and much of the Western world are moving towards ‘living with COVID’. Even my home State of Western Australia has finally conceded it‘s time! Don’t get me wrong! We haven’t seen the back of this pandemic yet, ...
The Five Key Mindsets for the Future

The Five Key Mindsets for the Future

Last week, I delivered the opening keynote session for a company that had an online conference to launch a major international construction project. The audience was full of smart, experienced, world-class engineers from around the world, so there was nothing I could teach them in their area of expertise. But ...
Wise Leadership in the Age of AI

Wise Leadership in the Age of AI

Are the robots coming for your job? Yes and no. Automation and AI are rapidly spreading through every industry and every workplace. They accelerated during COVID-19, because the need for limiting physical contact forced organisations to find more digital solutions (According to McKinsey, 67% of companies sped up their use ...
The Future Job Skill That’ll Change Everything

The Future Job Skill That’ll Change Everything

School is back this week in Western Australia, and last week I worked with two forward-thinking schools who ran professional development conferences for their staff. They wanted to know more about jobs, careers, and the future of work, so they could make their teaching more relevant for students. One of ...
Your World, Redefined – A Day In Our Life in 2025

Your World, Redefined – A Day In Our Life in 2025

Right now, in early 2022, it’s easy to put all our energy into wrestling with the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s important, of course, but we’re also seeing many other significant, profound, and exciting changes in our world. Here’s a small glimpse into how our daily life might look just a few ...
Online Meetings That Sizzle (Really!)

Online Meetings That Sizzle (Really!)

For more than two years, we’ve been running online meetings, attending online meetings, making online presentations, and participating as audience members in online presentations. And I’m sure we’ve all seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’ve been delivering online presentations since 2009, so I have a lot of ...
The #1 Thing You Can Do Stay Relevant in 2022

The #1 Thing You Can Do Stay Relevant in 2022

As we’re starting a new year and looking ahead to yet another of our annual round-trip voyages around the sun, there’s no doubt we will still face a lot of uncertainty during the next few months (years!). A lot has changed in the last two years, and we should expect ...
The Three Unwritten Rules for Success in 2022 (You Won’t Believe #2)

The Three Unwritten Rules for Success in 2022 (You Won’t Believe #2)

Based on my research into how the next 12 months will pan out, here are my three unwritten rules for success in 2022: 1. 2. 3. “Unwritten” (geddit?). Ha, ha, must be the silly season getting to me! But seriously, … Here are ten things you could do as a ...
21 Ways the World Became Better in 2021

21 Ways the World Became Better in 2021

As we’re nearing the end of 2021, with the COVID-19 pandemic dragging on for yet another year, it’s easy to forget our world has also become better in many, many ways. Here are just 21 ways the world has become better in 2021. (Sources: Forbes, Springwise, The Happy Broadcast, Wikipedia, ...
Resilience Is Not Enough

Resilience Is Not Enough

A couple of years ago, when my then 20-year-old stepdaughter Abbey was living in Perth, she and I used to go out regularly for breakfast or lunch. As soon as the food arrived, she – like many others of her generation – pulled out her smartphone, took a photo, and ...
To Make Better Decisions, Scan Wider

To Make Better Decisions, Scan Wider

Like many others, during our strict lockdown early in the pandemic, we used jigsaw puzzles to while away the time. If you enjoy solving jigsaw puzzles, you know the most common tactics: start with the edges, sort the pieces by colour, sort them by shape, tackle a difficult section together, ...
Shut Up And Listen

Shut Up And Listen

It’s now almost two years since COVID-19 first spread through the world, and there’s no doubt the pandemic has created huge stress and anxiety in many workplaces. So if you’re a leader or manager, you might be heartened by some recent research from the Society for Human Resource Management about ...
Give Them Meaning, Not Just Money

Give Them Meaning, Not Just Money

A few weeks ago, Harvard Business Review editor-in-chief Adi Ignatius interviewed Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella about his ideas for a post-pandemic future. Not surprisingly, Nadella talked about some technology things, like Microsoft’s new collaboration platform, virtual reality, and the Facebook metaverse. But, to me, his most important insight was about ...
Here’s How to Lead in 2022: Be An Avocado Leader

Here’s How to Lead in 2022: Be An Avocado Leader

As we’re coming to the end of 2021, you might be putting plans in place for 2022. Of course we’re not through this pandemic yet, so 2022 still holds some uncertainty and doubt. If you’re a leader, manager, or business owner (or all three!), this gives you a double challenge: ...
Your Employees Really Want This – Why Aren’t You Doing It?

Your Employees Really Want This – Why Aren’t You Doing It?

In October last year, during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Oracle and Workplace Intelligence surveyed 12,000 employees globally about their mental health. You won’t be surprised to know that three-quarters rated 2020 their most stressful year ever. But you might be interested to hear about their approach to dealing ...
Flatten Your World

Flatten Your World

In 2011 – a whole decade ago – I wrote my book ‘Fast, Flat, and Free’ to help business owners understand and leverage the online world for their offline business. That book is out of print because so much of the technology is obsolete. But the principles of ‘fast, flat, ...
Digital Transformation Won’t Disrupt You – Unless You Ignore It

Digital Transformation Won’t Disrupt You – Unless You Ignore It

For the three years before COVID-19, KPMG’s annual survey of Australian CEOs reported that digital transformation was their #1 priority. Even the pandemic didn’t slow this trend – and many leaders say it even accelerated their digital transformation by 5-10 years! And yet, McKinsey says 70% of transformation efforts fail. ...
Freedom Ahead? Not So Fast!

Freedom Ahead? Not So Fast!

Right back at the start of this pandemic, you might remember all the talk of ‘flattening the curve’. Australia’s goal at the time was not to eliminate COVID-19 altogether, but to keep infections at a low enough level that it wouldn’t swamp the healthcare system. For a while last year, ...
Power Up Your Team

Power Up Your Team

In March last year, when the reality of a global pandemic first hit us, we kept hearing the word ‘unprecedented’ as a way to describe how our lives had changed. Now, 18 months later, some of the changes we’ll face in the next few months are just as unprecedented. For ...
Move Fast But Stay Loose: The Secret For Success In An Uncertain 2022

Move Fast But Stay Loose: The Secret For Success In An Uncertain 2022

As we’re nearing the last quarter of 2021 – which has been yet another chaotic and uncertain year for so many people – many leaders are making their plans for the year ahead. Two weeks ago, I was working with a group of leaders in regional Western Australia who were ...
Trust Them!

Trust Them!

In the book ‘No Rules Rules’, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings explains how Netflix leaders trust their staff and demonstrate that trust in practice. For example, they post high-level strategy documents – with confidential information they wouldn’t want to leak to competitors – on a public bulletin board and trust staff ...
Don’t Just Learn Something – Do Something

Don’t Just Learn Something – Do Something

When the World Economic Forum’s ‘Future Jobs Report’ for 2020 identified the key skills we need for the future workplace, one of the top five (both globally and for Australia) was active learning. We can’t rely only on the skills and knowledge that brought us here; we must be willing ...
The Single Best Team Strategy in Uncertainty and Chaos

The Single Best Team Strategy in Uncertainty and Chaos

A World Economic Forum survey of Australian employees about a year ago found almost half of them worried they wouldn’t have a job by the end of this year – as a result of the pandemic. That’s a shocking number, but – given our current challenges – it’s not too ...
The Power of the Pivot

The Power of the Pivot

Some leaders and business owners cringe now when they hear the word ‘pivot’, because it’s one of those words that became a cliché early in the pandemic – along with ‘the new normal’ and ‘unprecedented’. Many people with no business experience were urging struggling businesses to instantly switch to a ...
Give The Man A Fish

Give The Man A Fish

I’m sure you’re familiar with the saying: Give someone a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach them how to fish and you feed them for a lifetime. There’s a lot to like in this idea, but it’s not always appropriate. Sometimes you need to give them a ...
Your Secret Weapon for Success In Uncertainty

Your Secret Weapon for Success In Uncertainty

With most of Australia back in lockdown, it’s easy to think ‘Here we go again’! Be careful, because there’s a common – but dangerous – trap many leaders fall into when the future is uncertain. Because you can’t see far ahead, it’s tempting to think only about small goals and ...
We’re Hard-Wired to Avoid Uncertainty – And That’s Not Good

We’re Hard-Wired to Avoid Uncertainty – And That’s Not Good

How well do you deal with uncertainty? Probably not as well as you’d like – and that’s a problem, because the uncertainty we’re facing in 2020 and 2021 will continue for some time to come. Unfortunately, we’re hard-wired to prefer certainty, and there’s research to prove it. In 2016, a ...
There’s a Reason They Can’t Get COVID-19 Out of Their Head

There’s a Reason They Can’t Get COVID-19 Out of Their Head

Many years ago, when I was working in the UK, I went to Paris for a short weekend trip, and lined up at the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa. Millions of people have done it over the years (and most of them seemed to be there the day I ...
This Ten-Minute Trick Takes You From Chaos to Calm

This Ten-Minute Trick Takes You From Chaos to Calm

A few months ago, you might have been forgiven for thinking we in Australia were over the worst of COVID-19. The vaccine rollout – although slow – was happening, the spate of short lockdowns earlier in the year had stopped, and things were gradually getting better. But it didn’t take ...
Why You Need To Change Your Mind

Why You Need To Change Your Mind

As I’m writing this, ATAGI, the expert group advising us on Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, is meeting to reconsider its advice about the AstraZeneca vaccine. ATAGI initially approved the vaccine as safe for all adults, and that advice still applies. But, due to a small risk of blood clotting issues, ...
In A Crisis, Look Further (Like a Fox!)

In A Crisis, Look Further (Like a Fox!)

It seems a long time ago that we first heard of this ‘novel coronavirus’, and you might have hoped it would have run its course by now. But with Sydney going into lockdown to protect further spread, and a few leaks into other parts of Australia, it seems we have ...
You Can’t Always Plan The Journey

You Can’t Always Plan The Journey

Next week, I’ll be working with a leadership team to help them with their short-term strategic planning. They have an ambitious goal to grow by 50% within two years, and they need to create some concrete plans now to achieve that goal. But in a fluid, fast-changing environment, they don’t ...
Embrace The Change-Makers In Your Team

Embrace The Change-Makers In Your Team

Next week, Nikki and I are going on a short holiday to Denmark and Albany, in the south of Western Australia. We’re looking forward to visiting one of the most beautiful corners of the world, but the main purpose of our visit is to see Nikki’s 22-year-old daughter (my stepdaughter) ...
Want Better Ideas? Don’t Only Ask The Usual Suspects

Want Better Ideas? Don’t Only Ask The Usual Suspects

I’ve just returned from a quick trip to Port Hedland, in the north-west of Western Australia, where I was speaking at a one-day economic and resources forum. Western Australia was recently ranked the most important mining location in the world, and the success of our mining and resources sector was ...
Expand Your Team To Be Future-Fit

Expand Your Team To Be Future-Fit

As we’re increasing vaccinations and easing restrictions in Australia, we continue to have the conversation about the best balance for our workplace of the future: everybody in the office (but that’s so 2019!), everybody working from home, or somewhere in between. If you enhanced your infrastructure in 2020 to support ...
Understand the Future Customer Journey

Understand the Future Customer Journey

I remember speaking at a conference in Brisbane to a group of CEOs of private hospitals about the future of healthcare. These are smart, savvy, experienced people who know healthcare is changing, know they need to change as well, but don’t know exactly what to do. But I know some ...
It’s a Matter of Trust

It’s a Matter of Trust

Early in the pandemic, organisations with office workers scrambled to allow them to work from home. Many leaders and managers saw it only as a short-term crisis response. To everybody’s surprise, productivity increased and many people enjoyed working from home – and want that to continue one or two days ...
Unleash Artificial Intelligence

Unleash Artificial Intelligence

Last year, during the worst of the pandemic, Oracle and Workplace Intelligence surveyed 12,000 employees globally about their mental health. Not surprisingly, three-quarters rated 2020 their most stressful year ever, but more interesting was their approach to dealing with it. Two-thirds said they would rather talk about their problems to ...
Forever After: How COVID-19 Has Changed Our World Forever

Forever After: How COVID-19 Has Changed Our World Forever

In the 14th century, the bubonic plague – known as the Black Death – spread throughout the world, leaving death and destruction in its wake. It didn’t discriminate, slaying young and old, rich and poor, urban and rural. Densely populated Europe suffered the worst, but the rest of the world ...
Do Something That Matters

Do Something That Matters

When Santiago Jaramillo, the CEO and co-founder of Saas software company Emplify, was a seven-year-old child in Colombia, he craved Snickers bars, which his parents couldn’t afford because they were expensive imported products. Young Santiago sold avocados from his garden to earn money, and eventually had enough to buy five ...
Create a Premium Non-Digital Experience

Create a Premium Non-Digital Experience

Last year, when the pandemic virtually shut down international air travel and devastated the airline industry, Singapore Airlines – like most other airlines – grounded most of its fleet. Forced to generate revenue in other ways, the airline offered a first-class dining experience at home. For $900, a chef comes ...
The One Thing That Will Make or Break Your Hybrid Workplace

The One Thing That Will Make or Break Your Hybrid Workplace

Early in the pandemic, organisations with office workers scrambled to allow those employees to work from home. Many leaders saw it only as a short-term crisis response. But to their surprise, they found productivity increased and many people enjoyed working from home. All the research shows many employees want this ...
Think Equal, Not Same

Think Equal, Not Same

A year on from the first major impact of the coronavirus and the mad scramble to get office workers working from home, leaders and organisations around Australia – and the world – are grappling with the challenge of understanding the workplace of the future. Broadly, employees love the flexibility of ...
Leave Some Things Behind

Leave Some Things Behind

In an innovation workshop I was running for leaders, a leader in her university’s student experience centre described some of their new initiatives – such as more parking, increased security for women at night, a wider range of eating outlets, and more social activities. As she spoke, it struck me ...
Trust Is Your Responsibility

Trust Is Your Responsibility

In my many conversations with leaders working in uncertain times, I hear one word over and over again: trust. How do you trust people working from home? How do you trust people to take the initiative? How do you trust people to know when to follow the rules, and when ...
Diversity Trumps Ability

Diversity Trumps Ability

In December, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo was fined €90,000 (about A$140,000) by the French Ministry of Civil Service because she had broken a rule about gender diversity in senior public service appointments. The 2013 rule was designed to increase the number of women in senior positions, but here’s the twist: ...
More Customers Want a Faster Experience

More Customers Want a Faster Experience

I went to breakfast last week at a restaurant that provided QR codes for ordering directly from the table. Each table has a QR code on it, which you scan with your phone, and it takes you to their online menu. You choose what you want, pay with Google Pay, ...
Let’s Get Digital!

Let’s Get Digital!

For the last three years, KPMG’s annual “Keeping Us Up At Night” survey reported on what Australian business leaders consider their biggest challenges and issues. The same topic ranked #1 for all three years (pre-pandemic!): digital transformation. Even the pandemic didn’t slow this trend. In fact, it’s the opposite, with ...
Customers Want More For Less

Customers Want More For Less

When we first moved to Australia in the 1970s, we kept in touch with relatives in Sri Lanka with the occasional long-distance phone call. They were expensive, so we four kids all lined up by the phone, spoke very fast for our allotted couple of minutes, and quickly passed over ...
Customer Priorities Have Changed

Customer Priorities Have Changed

When I speak to healthcare groups about the future, I often talk about the use of robots for care and support. For example, the Paro robot seal in aged care facilities provides support and comfort for older people, and “Stevie” is an interactive robot that’s brightening up aged care homes: ...
Better Than Referrals – Share the Customer Experience

Better Than Referrals – Share the Customer Experience

A crisis like a global pandemic makes everybody re-assess and re-evaluate what’s important to them. And that includes your customers. So don’t assume you know what they want – make sure you continue to keep in touch with them. This is not just for loyalty purposes. It can also be ...
Light the Fire of Innovation

Light the Fire of Innovation

All the disruption we experienced in 2020 – and will continue to face in 2021 – means we need to be constantly innovating to adapt to change. Innovation isn’t something you can leave to an R&D team, and it isn’t something you do “when things quieten down”. It’s simply about ...
Embrace Chaos

Embrace Chaos

If you’re picking apples from a tree, how would you choose the best apples? You might decide based on colour, shape, size, texture, and other physical attributes. But research from University College London suggests we subconsciously also factor in the ease of reaching the apple. The low-hanging fruit appears more ...
Measure COI, Not Just ROI

Measure COI, Not Just ROI

In March 2015, almost six years ago, Bill Gates, former Microsoft CEO and now one of the world’s leading philanthropists, delivered his sixth TED Talk, this time on the topic, “The next outbreak? We’re not ready”. In his presentation, Gates described a global pandemic scenario that matched almost exactly the ...
Adapt, Don’t Simplify

Adapt, Don’t Simplify

As part of my mathematics degree at the University of Western Australia, we calculated how objects in space – such as planets, asteroids, and moons – would interact with each other, based on their mass, velocity, and other factors. We assumed these objects were perfect spheres, which was a reasonable ...
Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You

Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You

I grew up in the 1980s, and my favourite actor at the time was Steve Martin (My all-time favourite actor is Humphrey Bogart, but that’s another story, and he was way before my time). When Steve Martin was once asked for the secret of his success, he said this: “Be ...
What “Survival of the Fittest” Means (It’s Probably Not What You Think)

What “Survival of the Fittest” Means (It’s Probably Not What You Think)

Unless you’re an evolutionary biologist, you probably aren’t an expert in the theory of evolution. For most people, all they know about it is the name Charles Darwin, the occasional debate about whether it’s true (spoiler alert: it is), and some vague idea about “survival of the fittest”. When talking ...
Too Many Interruptions? It’s Your Own Fault

Too Many Interruptions? It’s Your Own Fault

When I was a middle manager in corporate Australia in my mid-twenties (quite a long time ago!), I read every people management, time management, and leadership book I could find. And one of the most useful pieces of advice I got was about avoiding interruptions, while still being available to ...
What Will Be Your Theme Song for 2021?

What Will Be Your Theme Song for 2021?

Remember the devastating bushfires around Australia at the start of 2020, when we thought that was the worst possible thing that could happen to us this year? Last week, I spoke at a conference for 750 of Western Australia’s firefighters and marine rescue workers. Some of these people and their ...
Build Trust Differently in a WFH Team

Build Trust Differently in a WFH Team

I’ve had many conversations recently with leaders and managers about their WFH (working from home) team culture, and one topic keeps coming up over and over again: trust. This could be in a team that’s all working from home full-time, or some people are back in the office, or they ...
Warning: If You Use This Phrase, Your WFH Culture is Doomed!

Warning: If You Use This Phrase, Your WFH Culture is Doomed!

Early in this pandemic, organisations scrambled to allow their office staff to work from home (WFH). As we’re seeing restrictions being eased in some places, organisations are gradually moving their staff back to the office. I’m noticing some consulting groups, government departments, and other advisers writing reports about how to ...
Start Before You’re Ready

Start Before You’re Ready

If you’re one of the more than 500 million users of the file sharing service Dropbox, you know how convenient it is for managing files across all your devices and with other people. For Dropbox founder Drew Houston, who started the service in 2007, it was anything but obvious that ...
Our Fast-Changing World Needs Fast-Moving Teams

Our Fast-Changing World Needs Fast-Moving Teams

I was recently working with a leadership team in a financial services business. Their business, and their industry as a whole, hasn’t been badly affected by the pandemic – at least not directly. But, of course the pandemic – and its health and economic impact – affects us all in ...
Ask Your Customers (It’s Lucky the Boston Symphony Orchestra Did)

Ask Your Customers (It’s Lucky the Boston Symphony Orchestra Did)

If you were a symphony orchestra that wanted to boost audience numbers, what would you do? The Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) had this problem, and tackled it with the most obvious solution first: Get more people through the door, let them enjoy the orchestra experience, and that would turn that ...
Work Extra Hard to Make WFH Work

Work Extra Hard to Make WFH Work

The coronavirus pandemic has affected us in different ways, and one of the biggest changes for office-based workers is the shift to working from home (WFH). When COVID-19 hit, many office-based teams had to scramble to let people work from home for the first time. We often talk about our ...
Why Leading a WFH Team is Hard (Part Two): You Feel Disconnected

Why Leading a WFH Team is Hard (Part Two): You Feel Disconnected

If you walked into the office on a working day and found it empty, what would you think? Is it Sunday? Or a public holiday? Did you miss the memo about the company picnic??? Was there a COVID-19 outbreak? That’s how many people feel when they’re working from home (WFH). ...
Why Leading a WFH Team is Hard, Part One: Some People Are Struggling!

Why Leading a WFH Team is Hard, Part One: Some People Are Struggling!

There are many advantages to a non-office workplace, and there’s already a lot of evidence that some people who have been forced to work from home enjoy it. But that’s not true for everybody. And if you’re a leading a team that’s doing “WFH” (working from home) for the first ...
Leading a Working-From-Home Team – Are You Surviving or Thriving?

Leading a Working-From-Home Team – Are You Surviving or Thriving?

Over the last few months, I’ve talked to many leaders, managers, and HR professionals about the pros and cons of their teams working from home. I’ve heard the full range of opinions, from “I can’t wait until we get back to the office!” to “We never want to go back ...
We’re Hard-Wired to Avoid Uncertainty – And That’s Not Good

We’re Hard-Wired to Avoid Uncertainty – And That’s Not Good

How well do you deal with uncertainty? Probably not as well as you’d like – and that’s a problem, because the uncertainty we’re facing in 2020 will continue for some time to come. Unfortunately, we’re hard-wired to prefer certainty, and there’s research to prove it. In 2016, a team of ...
Find Another Way (a.k.a. Better Than Gluten-Free Pasta)

Find Another Way (a.k.a. Better Than Gluten-Free Pasta)

Last week, I had an interesting conversation over lunch with a smart, savvy friend who’s a senior leader in a large global organisation. We were discussing the changes to workplace dynamics due to people working from home. As one example, she compared online meetings with in-person meetings – and in ...
Open the Door To Greater Experience

Open the Door To Greater Experience

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt our communities, leaders and managers are trying to come to grips with the knock-on effects to their workplaces and their workforce. The old style of management – top down, with a command-and-control structure – just doesn’t work in this wildly uncertain world with ...
What Customers Want Right Now

What Customers Want Right Now

A few years ago, I took this photo in the Qantas terminal at Sydney domestic airport, showing big advertising banners for GoToMeeting: At the time, I thought, “Wow! That’s interesting – Qantas is happy to accept advertising from a competitor!” Of course, Qantas didn’t see it that way. They saw ...
The Real Secret of the Future Workplace (P.S. It’s Not What You Think)

The Real Secret of the Future Workplace (P.S. It’s Not What You Think)

COVID-19 has forced many organisations – and employees – to work from home, and this has caused many people to rethink their ideas about the workplace. For knowledge workers, the research already shows that people who worked from home for the first time want to continue doing so (For example, ...
Hard Skills vs Soft Skills? You’re Asking the Wrong Question

Hard Skills vs Soft Skills? You’re Asking the Wrong Question

A few weeks ago, the Australian Government announced changes to funding of university degrees, prioritising the jobs and professions they said would be most in demand in the future – especially in a post-pandemic future. Predictably, the industries with more funding were happy, and there was an outcry from those ...
Out of Sight, Top of Mind

Out of Sight, Top of Mind

The coronavirus pandemic forced many organisations to let team members work from home for the first time, and that trend will continue even after offices become completely safe workplaces again. It goes beyond just working from home, though, because the office won’t necessarily be the “standard” workplace. Teams of knowledge ...
10 Ways to Bring Innovation To a Screeching Halt

10 Ways to Bring Innovation To a Screeching Halt

The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic means many people are going through massive disruption right now. The impact is different for everybody (we’re not all in the same boat; we’re in the same storm, each with our own boat!), but there’s never been a more important time to be ...
Think Like a Beginner on the Road to Recovery

Think Like a Beginner on the Road to Recovery

A few weeks ago, I was working with a leadership team, helping them expand their thinking as they set out their new strategic plan. They weren’t as badly affected by the pandemic as others, so they are now turning their attention to their long-term plans. During the session, I showed ...
You Might Not See This Disruption Before It’s Too Late

You Might Not See This Disruption Before It’s Too Late

The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the hospitality industry, with many restaurants, pubs, and hotels experiencing their worst times ever. But rather than letting their rooms remain empty, one Swedish hotel, Stadt, in the town Lidkoping, is offering rooms as private dining rooms. Instead of booking a ...
Stop Calling It “Remote Work”

Stop Calling It “Remote Work”

As many businesses are gradually moving staff back to the office, we’re coming to the end of a huge worldwide “working from home” experiment for office workers. But that doesn’t mean we will all go back to the way things were. The initial research is already clear: Both employees and ...
The Coronavirus Pandemic Will Change This Forever

The Coronavirus Pandemic Will Change This Forever

Early in our response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Australian government fast-tracked the use of “telemedicine” – that is, doctors and other health professionals doing online consultations rather than meeting patients in person. I predict telemedicine will continue even when in-person consultations become as safe as before. This is not ...
Are You Making This Mistake on the Road to Recovery?

Are You Making This Mistake on the Road to Recovery?

During the coronavirus pandemic, you might have heard people say, “We’re all in the same boat”. But that’s not true! We’re all in the same storm, but we’re in different boats, navigating our way through the storm. If you’re a leader, you can’t control the storm and you might be ...
Reimagining the Post-Pandemic Workplace

Reimagining the Post-Pandemic Workplace

Around Australia, people who have been working from home for the last two months are starting to make their way back into offices. Because of the ongoing risk of coronavirus, this is happening in stages, and with some changes – for example: better hygiene, re-configuring offices for social distancing, stricter ...
It’s Time to Think The Unthinkable

It’s Time to Think The Unthinkable

On 2nd March, Australia recorded its first death from coronavirus – a 78-year-old Perth man who returned to Australia after contracting the virus on the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Even if that feels like a lifetime ago, it’s been only 10 weeks, and in that time Australia has done an ...
Leverage Your Assets to Solve New Problems

Leverage Your Assets to Solve New Problems

The last decade has seen the growth of “the sharing economy”, with Uber and Airbnb the most famous examples. The fundamental idea driving the sharing economy is that ownership is inefficient. Most assets sit idle most of the time: Most cars spend most of their time parked, houses are left ...
How To Prevent Conflict In a Team Working From Home

How To Prevent Conflict In a Team Working From Home

Conflict occurs in all teams, and it’s sometimes healthy, because it creates opportunities to share valuable feedback and constructive criticism. But it also creates problems, so if you can prevent the conflict in the first place, that’s usually better than tackling it when it occurs. This is especially important now, ...
The 7 New Rules of Social Media Engagement (probably not what you’d think)

The 7 New Rules of Social Media Engagement (probably not what you’d think)

Many people don’t know how to use social media well, especially in a business or professional context. This is a genuine and valid concern. After all, your mother might have told you which cutlery goes with which course, but you probably didn’t have anybody telling you the etiquette of communicating ...
Working From Home – You’ve Got This!

Working From Home – You’ve Got This!

For many people, working from home is a normal part of their work style. You love the flexibility and convenience, your manager knows how to lead and manage people they can’t see in person, and your team understands how to collaborate and innovate remotely. But many others have never made ...
Coping with Change and Uncertainty in the Time of COVID-19

Coping with Change and Uncertainty in the Time of COVID-19

I often work with people who are facing disruption and massive change in their organisations and industries. Sometimes the change could have been predicted, sometimes it couldn’t. It always causes stress and anxiety. I’ve never seen anything as disruptive as this new coronavirus and the illness it causes, COVID-19. But ...
How Can You Tap Into Peer Mentoring?

How Can You Tap Into Peer Mentoring?

When the term “mentoring” is used in a business context, it is most commonly pictured as the wise, grey-haired senior executive having lunch meetings with an up-and-coming younger employee. There’s nothing wrong with that picture, and it’s probably still the most common form of mentoring in business. But have you ...
The #1 Thing That Breaks Your Digital Transformation Program

The #1 Thing That Breaks Your Digital Transformation Program

For the last three years, KPMG has published an annual report, “Keeping Us Up At Night“, where Australian business leaders rank their top challenges and issues. The same topic has ranked #1 for all three years: digital transformation. No surprise, right? Of course, leaders recognise the importance of being fit ...
Ready for the Flexible Work Revolution?

Ready for the Flexible Work Revolution?

For most of the last 200 years, if you were a knowledge worker, you probably worked in an office, as part of a team of permanent staff working full-time. We’ve come to accept that as the default work environment for knowledge workers. But it wasn’t always this way, and it ...
Three Steps to Power Up Your Team

Three Steps to Power Up Your Team

If you’ve seen some of the recent research about what motivates the best people, you would know it’s about more than just money. This is especially true now that Generation Z – the youngest cohort of employees – is now entering the workforce in significant numbers. And they are not ...
Get the Most Out of Every Book You Read and Every Conference You Attend

Get the Most Out of Every Book You Read and Every Conference You Attend

When you attend a conference, do you make lots of notes to take action later – but most of them don’t get done? Or do you read a great business book and intend to put some of the ideas into action – but never find the time to do them? ...
Be an Authority, Don’t Just Have Authority

Be an Authority, Don’t Just Have Authority

Leadership now is not just about the organisational structure. It’s not even about the organisational structure turned upside down. Modern leadership is much more about facilitation and collaboration, and everyone can be a leader. This is not just some glib motivational statement (“You too can be a leader!”). There really ...
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas – Disrupted!

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas – Disrupted!

(by Gihan Perera, with a nod and a wink to Clement Clarke Moore) ‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse The stockings were hung by the chimney, in time For last-minute express delivery by Amazon Prime. The children ...
Solving Customer Problems? That’s Not Enough Anymore!

Solving Customer Problems? That’s Not Enough Anymore!

As a futurist, I’m often asked by business leaders how to stay ahead of their competition in a fast-changing world. Many of these leaders think it’s about embracing some new technology, understanding some future trend before anybody else in their industry, or creating an innovative product. Those might all be ...
Kick Start Your Internal Thought Leaders

Kick Start Your Internal Thought Leaders

If you have passionate, articulate people on your team who have great ideas they want to share, let them! Champion their cause to be a thought leader in and for your organisation. Most leaders don’t proactively think about giving their team members a voice, so you’ll stand out if you ...
The Hedonist’s Guide To Getting Things Done: Goal Setting Made Easy

The Hedonist’s Guide To Getting Things Done: Goal Setting Made Easy

Most goal-setting programs are hard. The system might sound easy, but achieving the goals is difficult. It usually takes discipline, willpower, a strong mindset, hard work, sacrifice and struggle. No wonder most people fail at their goals or New Year’s Resolutions! I’ve got a different approach to goal setting: This ...
The Do’s and Don’ts of Introducing AI Into Your Organisation

The Do’s and Don’ts of Introducing AI Into Your Organisation

Every new technology appears with a lot of hype, but there’s one where a lot of the hype is matched by reality: artificial intelligence, or AI. Here’s some of the solid evidence supporting the adoption of AI: Respected technology adviser Gartner predicts that by 2021, 80% of emerging technologies will ...
The #1 Habit That Boosts Innovation

The #1 Habit That Boosts Innovation

Just as most plants don’t grow in an arid space but flourish in a fertile environment, if you want to build a culture of innovation, you must create the right environment for it. You don’t need special rooms with bean bags and coloured walls to inspire creativity. But you must ...
When it Comes to Innovation, Habit Trumps Discipline

When it Comes to Innovation, Habit Trumps Discipline

What are the habits in your personal life? Things like brushing your teeth twice a day, getting dressed, a glass of red wine with dinner, washing up the dirty dishes in the sink, putting on your seat-belt when you get in the car, going to the gym, eating everything on ...
Look Beyond Your Hierarchy

Look Beyond Your Hierarchy

New York City, like many other large cities, is the home to many cyclists – about 200,000 a day, according to the city’s research. Most of those cyclists take their bicycles home safely every day, but a small percentage of those bicycles are abandoned, tied to cycle racks, fences, and ...
Artificial Intelligence In The Workplace: What Most Leaders Don’t Understand

Artificial Intelligence In The Workplace: What Most Leaders Don’t Understand

What do these three things have in common? When I want to drive at a constant speed, I can set the cruise control in my car. When I want to hear music in my lounge room, I say to my Google Home assistant, “Hey Google, play some music” – and ...
The First Step to Using AI in Your Workplace

The First Step to Using AI in Your Workplace

The most extreme – and most limited – mindset is to see AI completely replacing a human’s role. But that’s not the only way to think. Broadly, you can think of any new technology at four levels: When you integrate this into your workplace, you can do it at any ...
The #1 Daily Habit That Makes You More Productive

The #1 Daily Habit That Makes You More Productive

There’s a story (possibly apocryphal) about Charles Schwab, the head of Bethlehem Steel in the 1930s, seeking help to become more effective. Management consultant I. V. Lee gave him a simple piece of advice, with a request that Schwab try it and then pay him whatever he thought it was ...
Kick Start Your Online Authority – Share and Share Alike

Kick Start Your Online Authority – Share and Share Alike

Paradoxically, one of the best ways to position yourself as an authority is to share insights and wisdom from others. Your audience will appreciate you taking the time to selectively share what’s relevant to them. The Internet makes it easier than ever before, and if you know where to look, ...
Fan the Flames of Innovation

Fan the Flames of Innovation

Creativity is about generating ideas, and innovation is about putting them into action. To make a difference, it’s not enough to just generate the ideas. Acting on an idea not only creates real change from the idea itself, but creates a positive feedback loop for your team members to create ...
The Troublemakers Will Inherit The Earth

The Troublemakers Will Inherit The Earth

We used to say “There’s no ‘I’ in ‘Team'”. But that’s no longer the case. Your team members have unique talents, individual goals, and innovative ideas. They want you to be their mentor, not just their manager. They want work that gives them meaning, not just money. They want to ...
15 Instant Innovation Questions to Future-Proof Your Business

15 Instant Innovation Questions to Future-Proof Your Business

In the past, when most organisations could rely on a few innovations a year, innovation was considered to be only the role of a Research & Development department. Now, when your organisation is more complex, employees have more ideas, and the external environment is changing so fast, innovation is everybody’s ...
Will You Lead The Change?

Will You Lead The Change?

Over the past few weeks, I’ve spoken at events in Sydney, Melbourne, Wellington, Auckland, and Perth – and for clients in diverse industries, including banking, human resources, local government, sport, commercial property, and retail. Despite their differences, one thing these organisations all have in common is they are all going through ...
Want Them to Succeed? 4 Magic Words to Empower Your People

Want Them to Succeed? 4 Magic Words to Empower Your People

This week, I’m speaking to a group of secondary school principals in Melbourne, and then travelling to New Zealand to deliver a presentation at the HRNZ (Human Resources Institute of New Zealand) conference. Both presentations are about leadership – in particular, about how to get the best out of your ...
How To Get Things Done When Everybody Keeps Interrupting You

How To Get Things Done When Everybody Keeps Interrupting You

In our fast-paced, always-on world, interruptions and distractions are a fact of life. You’ll find plenty of advice about how to “manage” other people who interrupt you, but you’ll always be fighting a losing battle that way. Instead of trying to control others, here are some practical ideas to take ...
10 Ways to Bring Innovation to a Screeching Halt

10 Ways to Bring Innovation to a Screeching Halt

Last week, I spoke at an innovation breakfast for the forward-thinking team at Landgate, the State government authority responsible for property and land information in WA. In my keynote presentation, “The New Rules For High Performance”, I made the point that innovation is everybody’s business. It’s not just for a ...
Make Better Decisions With This One Move

Make Better Decisions With This One Move

I’ve been doing a lot of work recently helping clients with their strategic planning. Obviously, I don’t have a crystal ball and they don’t expect me to predict the future. But they want to know some possible, plausible and probable future scenarios. Some things are easier to plan for because you can ...
Stop Trying to Predict the Future

Stop Trying to Predict the Future

In 1965, the oil company Royal Dutch Shell started its department of Long-Term Studies in its London headquarters. The term “department” is an exaggeration, because Ted Newland, who was given the lead role in this area, said, “I was placed in a little cubicle on the 18th floor and told ...
Don’t Ignore the Live Dragons

Don’t Ignore the Live Dragons

The world is changing fast, and there are some things that are difficult to predict in our future. But that doesn’t mean you can’t foresee anything. Leaders look further into the future and see what’s lying ahead. “It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you ...
Read This If You’re Worried About Disruption

Read This If You’re Worried About Disruption

If I asked you to name a disruptive company – quick! – I reckon there’s a pretty good chance you would name Uber. And that’s fair enough. There’s no doubt Uber has disrupted the taxi industry – a long-established, entrenched industry that’s completely been turned upside-down by Uber (and now many ...
How Disruptable Is Your Business?

How Disruptable Is Your Business?

Disruption seems to come from out of the blue, catching everybody in an industry by surprise. It’s often the strongest, most stable, most well-established businesses that are the first to fall. The bad news is you can’t predict where the disruption is going to come from — that’s outside your ...
Disruption By Design

Disruption By Design

In the past, when the world wasn’t changing as quickly, you had time to adapt, adjust, and evolve your organisation to solve new problems. Now, you need to move much faster – and disrupt yourself or be disrupted. Discover some of the tools you can use to innovate now – ...
Why We’re Hard-Wired to Resist Change

Why We’re Hard-Wired to Resist Change

What if I told you of a new technology that could improve the lives of millions of people, but would kill 1,000 people a year. Would you support it? Most people would say No, because a thousand deaths a year is unacceptable, regardless of the benefits. But we do already ...
Make This Weakness Your Superpower

Make This Weakness Your Superpower

Last week, I was in Fiji speaking at the Fiji Institute of Accountants annual conference. Their theme was “Prioritising Humanity”, and I was speaking in the Innovation section of the event. An important part of my role was to explain global megatrends, describe Fiji’s position in the world, and highlight ...
Thriving on Difference – How to Increase Diversity in Your Workplace

Thriving on Difference – How to Increase Diversity in Your Workplace

Diversity and inclusion drive innovation, revenue, and profits. According to EY, diverse companies are 35% more likely to have higher financial returns. And according to Deloitte, two-thirds of executives rated diversity as an important issue. Here are 10 ways to increase diversity in your workplace … Embrace diversity – don’t ...
Your Survival Secret For The Future: Time Travel (Yes, Really!)

Your Survival Secret For The Future: Time Travel (Yes, Really!)

Last week, I was back in one of my favourite countries – Singapore – attending a conference. This was part of my ongoing professional development, so I had the rare opportunity to not be one of the speakers, but had time to just be an audience member, absorbing the ideas. ...
Scan the Environment using PESTLE Analysis

Scan the Environment using PESTLE Analysis

When you’re planning for your future, it pays to know what might affect it from outside. You won’t be able to predict everything, but at least you will have some idea of the external pressures you might face. Scan the environment to consider the impact of external factors. One of ...
No Worker Left Behind: The Change Management Idea Every Leader Should Follow (and Share)

No Worker Left Behind: The Change Management Idea Every Leader Should Follow (and Share)

A few months ago, I was working with a group of CEOs in the healthcare industry, and we were talking about what it takes to attract and keep the best talent in their workplaces. Most of our discussion was about the top talent – smart, passionate, driven, and highly motivated ...
The #1 Thing That Gets in the Way of Flexible Work

The #1 Thing That Gets in the Way of Flexible Work

LinkedIn recently published its “2019 Global Talent Trends” report, which identified what it calls “the 4 trends transforming your workplace”. They compiled this report based on surveying over 5,000 talent professionals across 35 countries, and also incorporated vast amounts of data from the online behaviour of LinkedIn members. Given their ...

Top 10 Healthcare Trends in Australia in 2019

By 2050, a quarter of the population will be aged 60+ everywhere except Africa (EY) AI uses patient data to improve clinical decision-making and personalize care (World Economic Forum) Wearable and portable devices empower patients to self-manage their care (Deloitte) The always-connected patient changes how healthcare providers engage with consumers ...
Are You Ready for Generation Z In Your Workplace?

Are You Ready for Generation Z In Your Workplace?

Generation Z – the “dot com kids” – are people born between 1995 and 2009. They are the largest generation ever, make up 20% of Australia’s population, and 2 billion people worldwide. By 2025, they will make up 27% of our workforce. Are YOU ready for them in your workplace? ...
People and Machines: Better Together – Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace

People and Machines: Better Together – Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace

There’s a lot of talk now about Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the workplace. But as much as we hear about “robots coming for your jobs”, the reality is that the best workplaces will have people and machines working together. Employer demand for AI in the workplace has more than doubled ...
Are You Flexible Enough for Flexible Work?

Are You Flexible Enough for Flexible Work?

The best people want more flexibility in their working hours – as research shows: 81% of employees want to be trusted when, where and how they work (Sage People) 35% of people are choosing freelance work (Forbes) 47% of Australian workers would accept a pay cut for more flexible working ...

What Will the City of the Future Look Like?

By 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities. What will the city of the future look like? Here are 10 things we’ll see in the not-too-distant future … Most buildings source their power from renewable energy sources. Vertical farming uses land efficiently to feed larger, more dense, ...
Talent Magnet: 4 Trends To Future-Proof Your Workplace

Talent Magnet: 4 Trends To Future-Proof Your Workplace

As a futurist, I’m always looking at the trends affecting workplaces and organisations, and I’ve noticed an interesting trend over the last 8-10 years. A decade ago, we were in the early stages of the technology explosion – with social media, smartphones, and the first discussions around practical uses for ...
The Future of Private Hospitals and Private Healthcare in Australia

The Future of Private Hospitals and Private Healthcare in Australia

Young people are deserting private hospital insurance – with 49,000 fewer Generation Z’s and Generation Y’s with private insurance than in 2017 (APRA) Health insurance reform will start taking effect from April 2019 with premium rises and falls for different categories (Deloitte) Digitisation of the healthcare system has pros and ...

Ten Trends for the Airport of the Future

Forget the endless queues and delays – the airport of the future will be a destination in itself. Airports around the world are reinventing themselves to cater to the new model of treating passengers as customers. ...
To Attract Top Talent, Create a Shared Journey

To Attract Top Talent, Create a Shared Journey

When a small, New York City-based organisation advertised for a graphic designer to join its 70-person staff, over 500 people applied. When they later advertised for a receptionist, they had almost twice as many applications. This organisation wasn’t offering above-average salaries, lucrative stock options, or free food and massages for ...
Top 10 Talent Trends for 2019

Top 10 Talent Trends for 2019

The War for Talent: Finding high-quality talent will be the top challenge for HR leaders in 2019 (XpertHR) Integrating AI: 67% of workers believe they must develop their skills to work with intelligent machines (Accenture) The Rise of Social Recruiting: 79% of job seekers use social media to find a ...
The Best Workplace on Earth

The Best Workplace on Earth

We all know the workplace of the future will be very different from the workplace of today. But what will the workplace of the future look like? It’s more than just technology and automation – it’s about the environment you create for attracting the smart, talented, savvy people with the ...

Flying cars are coming sooner than you think

We all watched The Jetsons and either laughed at or desperately wanted its futuristic flying cars. Now, more than 50 years on, the idea may soon be a reality. I was recently interviewed on this topic by news.com.au journalist Adrianna Zappavigna. We talked about drones, air taxis, flying cars, and even ...

Which Industries Are Most At Risk of Disruption? My Interview on Your Money

A few weeks ago, Melbourne taxi drivers launched a class action lawsuit for $500 million against Uber, claiming that it was operating illegally in its early days from 2014, and had caused significant losses to the established taxi industry. This is a copycat lawsuit, with these taxi drivers jumping on ...
The Single Best Change Management Technique Most Leaders Skip

The Single Best Change Management Technique Most Leaders Skip

A few days ago, I was in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, presenting to a group of leaders in an organisation that’s going through a lot of change. Together with Dr. Shaun Ridley (from the Australian Insitute of Management WA) and Dr. Jenny Brockis (an expert in brain fitness and future thinking), ...
Are You Flexible Enough for Flexible Work?

Are You Flexible Enough for Flexible Work?

  The Fair Work Commission recently added a new rule about flexible work in Australia that tips the scales in favour of employees. In a nutshell, if an employee wants more flexible working hours, their boss can’t automatically refuse it. Even if this ruling won’t apply to you, it should ...
They Are Smarter Than You Think They Are

They Are Smarter Than You Think They Are

If you asked a random group of people for their general impression of a brilliant scientist, many of them would give you a stereotypical description: the lone genius working long hours in a private laboratory, labouring over his instruments until he has a flash of inspiration that changes everything. That’s ...
Five High-Tech Dementia-Busters

Five High-Tech Dementia-Busters

More than 400,000 Australians live with dementia, and it costs us $15 billion a year. But now new technology is making life easier for people with dementia, their carers, and family and friends. Here are five high-tech dementia busters that help people deal with dementia in their lives. 1. Virtual ...
Are You Really Solving Customer Problems?

Are You Really Solving Customer Problems?

I was recently in Melbourne, delivering the opening keynote presentation at the AHRI (Australian Human Resources Institute) National Convention. These are senior leaders and managers in the HR space in Australia, and one of the questions they ask is: “How do I make sure that HR stays relevant in this ...
Education 2030 – What the World Needs Now

Education 2030 – What the World Needs Now

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recently released the first position paper from its “The Future of Education and Skills 2030” project. In a nutshell, the aim of this project is to identify the key skills for the future and show how the (school) education system can deliver ...
Jugaad Thinking – Do More With Less

Jugaad Thinking – Do More With Less

From the time Scottish professor William Cullen designed a small refrigerating machine in 1755, artificial refrigeration has transformed the way we store, transport, and preserve food. It has enabled settlement of areas that aren’t served by natural transport lanes, facilitated the dramatic shift from rural areas to cities, and changed ...
Smart Places – A Competitive Advantage for Location Brands

Smart Places – A Competitive Advantage for Location Brands

We tend to think that everything is moving online and digital, but that’s not always the case. It might be true that we don’t buy music in CD stores anymore, or that we hold a business meeting in an online conference room. But there are some things we still do ...
Help Customers Help Each Other

Help Customers Help Each Other

In May 2006, a Malaysian IKEA fan who goes by the pseudonym Jules Yap started the Website IKEAhackers.net, posting interesting examples of IKEA customers who assembled their furniture in creative and innovative ways. Before long, the site became the leading community for IKEA fans looking for interesting ideas to enhance ...
We’re All Living in an AI World

We’re All Living in an AI World

Gartner has released its 2018 emerging technology hype cycle, and they are predicting artificial intelligence (AI) will be everywhere within 10 years. But it’s already here, and you’re already interacting with it, even if you’re not aware of it: When you’re writing a text message and your phone predicts the ...
The Australian Fintech Landscape

The Australian Fintech Landscape

I’ve been doing a lot of work in the financial services industry recently, and it’s an area that has been facing a lot of disruption recently. Of course, there’s the Financial Services Royal Commission, which is due to deliver an interim report at the end of this month. But even ...
The Real Secret to Smarter Decisions (It’s Not What You Think)

The Real Secret to Smarter Decisions (It’s Not What You Think)

In the last few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to work with two large organisations in Australia – a healthcare provider and a professional services firm – helping them with their strategic planning for the next five years. Both of them wanted to know how to make smart decisions for ...

Strategic Planning for Two Kinds of Futures

When you create your strategic plans for the future, do you include two kinds of futures? In the past, we could see what was ahead, and could plan for that in our strategy. That’s still important, but the world is changing so fast that there’s another kind of future: the ...
There’s An I In Team

There’s An I In Team

When my niece Abbey was ten, when she outgrew her Lego Friends toys, she sold them on Gumtree. She kept half the proceeds and donated the other half to a charity of her choice. She set an attractive price, and usually sold a kit within an hour of advertising it. ...
Know What Problem You Solve

Know What Problem You Solve

Jaime Casap, Google’s Education Evangelist, said this: “Don’t ask kids what they want to be when they grow up. Ask them what problem they want to solve.” You might be caught up in your day-to-day work, constantly trying to keep on top of everything and fighting all the everyday challenges ...
How to Future-Proof Your HR Career

How to Future-Proof Your HR Career

Later this month, I’ll be delivering the opening keynote presentation at the AHRI National Convention and Exhibition – Australia’s leading conference for HR professionals. Because organisations are fighting it out among themselves to attract, engage, and retain the top talent, HR is a fast-changing role in a fast-changing world. If ...
Ask For Customer Feedback Sooner

Ask For Customer Feedback Sooner

As a young software developer working for a small software company in Perth in the 1990s, I was involved in building some of the infrastructure of the early Internet. Our company was subcontracted to STC Submarine Systems, which laid telecommunications cables along the seabed of the world’s oceans, carrying early ...
Practise Being a Possibility Thinker

Practise Being a Possibility Thinker

When I show a picture of a self-driving car to a child, their first reaction is usually, “Cute!” or “Cool”. But when I show the same picture to adults in my conference presentations, their first reaction is usually “Scary!” Of course, that’s partly because adults anticipate some of the risks ...
Turn Your Customers Into Innovators

Turn Your Customers Into Innovators

In Auckland, there’s some discussion now about building a light rail system. Like many topics that are open for public discussion, interested residents can have their say in online forums, and of course they do – with comments like this: “From building face to building face, all Dominion Road stations ...
Go Lean! Try Jugaad Innovation

Go Lean! Try Jugaad Innovation

Facebook has recently been reminding me that, five years ago, I went on a holiday to Sri Lanka with my parents and my sister. Among the many enjoyable moments was spending time with two of my aunts, who I hadn’t seen for more than 30 years. Not only did we ...
Think Ahead by Connecting Outside Technology

Think Ahead by Connecting Outside Technology

The biggest changes to your job and business will come from outside your industry. In their Accenture Technology Vision 2016 report, Accenture says almost half of Australian executives expect the greatest risk of disruption from this kind of competition. It’s all well and good to compare yourself with yourself, so ...
The Future of Conferences: Ten Things Great Conference Organisers Do Differently

The Future of Conferences: Ten Things Great Conference Organisers Do Differently

Videoconferencing, online meetings, telepresence and other collaboration technology are gaining traction. That doesn’t mean the in-person conference is obsolete – but its role has changed. Some of the benefits of coming together for a conference can be achieved just as effectively in other ways. As a conference keynote speaker (and ...

Engage in Lifelong Learning with Online Courses

In our fast-changing world, you can’t afford to stop learning when you finish formal education. If you truly want to be fit for the future, making lifelong learning a habit – and tap into the awesome power of online courses to keep feeding that habit. ...

Add Foresight To Your Ideas to Make Your Innovation Really Hum

Many organisations run innovation programs, but it’s hard to get traction when your innovation doesn’t have any direction. The missing ingredient is foresight – the skill of looking into the future, so you can pull your innovation from the future, not just build on the past. ...
We’re Getting Innovation All Wrong

We’re Getting Innovation All Wrong

I’ve been speaking to a lot of organisations recently about innovation, and I reckon we’re getting this whole innovation thing wrong. Smart leaders know they need to change and innovate, but their efforts just don’t get traction. Why? We’re not talking about the simple and obvious reasons – like: Change ...
Don’t Switch Off – Lean In

Don’t Switch Off – Lean In

Last week, at the end of my “Fit for the Future” keynote presentation, an audience member asked me about how to handle her son’s obsession with technology. Her question went something like this: “My son loves technology and is really good with it. But we’re worried he spends too much ...
Do You Know the Future Climate For Your Business Strategy?

Do You Know the Future Climate For Your Business Strategy?

Earlier this week, I attended a conference (actually an “Unconvention”!) about leadership and strategy, with a focus on the role of Boards in working with their senior management teams. I was chatting with one of the organisers, Dr. Nicky Howe, the CEO of Southcare, about how boards and senior leaders ...

Are You Using Reverse Mentoring?

Many organisations have mentoring programs, but do you also encourage and foster REVERSE mentoring? It’s a growing trend among smart organisations, and one of the best ways to tap into the talent and skills of your people. ...
Why You Shouldn’t be Optimistic – or Pessimistic – About Bitcoin and Blockchain

Why You Shouldn’t be Optimistic – or Pessimistic – About Bitcoin and Blockchain

As a futurist, I see a lot of news about Bitcoin and blockchain (the technology underlying Bitcoin), and many people ask me for my opinion about them. Are they a bubble? Do they have a future? Will blockchain transform the banking / healthcare / baby food industry? Some people are ...
That is None of Your Customers’ Business (But THIS Is!)

That is None of Your Customers’ Business (But THIS Is!)

Henry Ford was said to have quipped (although this is an urban legend), “If I had asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse.” More recently, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs echoed that sentiment when he said, “It isn’t the consumer’s job to know what ...
The Busy Adviser’s Secret to Lifelong Clients

The Busy Adviser’s Secret to Lifelong Clients

In a business environment where clients have more choices and information than ever before, keeping in touch with clients – and providing value – is not just about FoFA, the FSI, or compliance – it’s just good business. Do your clients only hear from you when you send them a ...
Making You Fit for the Future

Making You Fit for the Future

Virtual reality, social media, and global markets have changed the face of real estate, and real estate agents have to change to keep up. Be willing to look at what’s working for you and what’s not, and ruthlessly abandon what’s not working in place of something better. Read the full ...
Numbers … Graphs … Statistics … Make All Your Presentations Better

Numbers … Graphs … Statistics … Make All Your Presentations Better

I speak at a lot of conferences, so I see a lot of presentations from other speakers. Those who aren’t professional speakers often make the mistake of cluttering up their presentations with too much data – such as statistics, graphs, and other numbers. Of course, numbers are important, and they ...
Dead End Job

Dead End Job

The youngest Millennials (Gen Ys) and their younger siblings, Gen Z, are expected to have up to 17 jobs each across their careers. That means they need high levels of adaptability and a willingness to be self motivated. Most workplaces still carry over baggage from 200 years ago, when offices ...
Your #1 Threat: Your Own Brain

Your #1 Threat: Your Own Brain

Obviously we all use our brains, and one thing we do especially well is pattern matching. We’re great at seeing, recognising and acting on patterns in the world – and that gives us valuable insights, judgement, and wisdom. A lot of what we call intuition comes from pattern matching – ...
The Future of Conferences

The Future of Conferences

The NSW Government recently announced a trial of in-ground “traffic lights” at key intersections in the CBD, to warn pedestrians on mobile phones who don’t look up while crossing the road. It’s been interesting to see the reactions to this idea on social media. Many people are saying it just ...
The Future of Medicine – It’s the Patient … err, Customer

The Future of Medicine – It’s the Patient … err, Customer

Last year, my parents moved house after 40 years. When searching for a new local GP, my 80-year-old father’s first source of information was online reviews he found on Google. Although he’s intelligent and computer-savvy, he’s hardly the stereotype of the typical social-media-obsessed Internet user. And yet even he knew ...
Find Your Disruption Pressure Points

Find Your Disruption Pressure Points

You might be sick of hearing about “disruption” in every industry. And that’s no surprise, because examples abound: Uber disrupting the taxi industry, Netflix disrupting movie rentals and cinemas, Apple disrupting the music industry, and so on. In fact, Accenture’s Technology Vision 2016 report suggested most Australian business leaders expected ...
The #1 Skill to Future Proof Your Business

The #1 Skill to Future Proof Your Business

I have TPD insurance with AIA. That’s no big deal, of course – thousands of Australians are insured with AIA. But an interesting feature of my AIA insurance is that I get a 10% discount on all my Qantas domestic flights. As a professional speaker who travels a lot, that ...
Forever Young – Life Extension Science

Forever Young – Life Extension Science

  In 2015, then-Treasurer Joe Hockey was ridiculed for suggesting that some children alive right now could live to 150. But experts in anti-ageing – or “life extension science”, as it’s known – support his claim. It’s a fascinating area of science, and one that has obvious implications for all ...
Fan the Flames of Innovation

Fan the Flames of Innovation

What do these three things have in common? Amazon Prime – Amazon’s $99/year membership service, with an estimated 80 million members Gmail – Google’s free e-mail platform, with more than 1 billion active users McCafe – McDonalds’ highly successful café offering The answer: All three ideas came from employees, not ...
The Best Ideas Might Be Outside Your Industry

The Best Ideas Might Be Outside Your Industry

Even if you believe it makes sense to tap into your team and customers for innovative ideas, you might not be convinced to look further afield. After all, your team members work actively in the business every day, and customers already know a lot about your products and services. But ...
Muscle Into the Top 4%

Muscle Into the Top 4%

We hear a lot of talk about disruption, but not much about what you can do about it. Yes, it’s true that many businesses and industries will be “disrupted”, but it’s not necessarily bad news for everybody. In fact, for the most agile, nimble and innovative businesses in an industry, ...
The Six Disruptive Forces That Will Turn Your Business Upside Down

The Six Disruptive Forces That Will Turn Your Business Upside Down

If I asked you to name a disruptive company – quick! – I reckon there’s a pretty good chance you would name Uber. And that’s fair enough. There’s no doubt Uber has disrupted the taxi industry – a long-established, entrenched industry that’s completely been turned upside down by Uber. And ...
Shadowing: Your Surprise Secret Weapon for Leadership Success

Shadowing: Your Surprise Secret Weapon for Leadership Success

Help your team members step up by letting them “shadow” you in your job. This shows them how you spend your day, what you do, how you do it, what problems you face, and how you manage difficult situations. It also gives them the chance to ask relevant questions, which ...
Is YOUR Business Safe from Disruption?

Is YOUR Business Safe from Disruption?

Did you see the recent report from Seek and the NAB about which industries are growing the fastest in Australia? According to the report, four industries are leading the pack when it comes to increased employment and higher salaries: Building and construction Healthcare and social assistance Education and training Accommodation ...
The Busy Leader’s Guide to Building Skills Fast: Break Down the Walls

The Busy Leader’s Guide to Building Skills Fast: Break Down the Walls

In a research study reported in the Harvard Business Review, chefs in a restaurant made tastier food when they could see their customers. This wasn’t because the chefs felt like they were being watched (because the same result occurred when the customers couldn’t see the chefs), but because they could ...
Strong, Smart Mentoring Moves

Strong, Smart Mentoring Moves

For most organisations, traditional training courses have two big weaknesses: They teach skills rather than experience, and they tend to be “one size fits all” processes. You can address both weaknesses with a simple but highly effective way of accelerating the experience curve for your team members: mentoring. Mentoring is ...
Claim Your Expertise

Claim Your Expertise

Successful leaders stand for something – and are known for it. This is your personal brand. Many entrepreneurs and business owners recognise the value of a personal brand because they can leverage it for their business. However, a personal brand is valuable for internal leaders as well: You become the ...
How to Up Your Mentoring Game

How to Up Your Mentoring Game

Even if your organisation doesn’t have a formal mentoring program in place, offer mentoring to your team members. Because mentoring can be done informally and with few resources, it’s easy to take the initiative yourself. Find the right mentor The old-fashioned view of mentoring was that you should not mentor ...
Hack Your Next Presentation – Smarter, Sharper, Faster

Hack Your Next Presentation – Smarter, Sharper, Faster

Most presentation skills advice assumes a “typical” professional presentation: say, 30-60 minutes with you and PowerPoint at the front of the room, presenting to 5-20 people. You talk and show slides; and they listen, take notes and ask questions. That might be typical for you as well, but it’s not ...
Decisions, Decisions: The Fast Track to a High-Performance Team

Decisions, Decisions: The Fast Track to a High-Performance Team

When you start coaching your team members into more senior roles, you will ask for their input into decision-making. This is important, because you eventually want them to make their own decisions, and your role now is to help build their judgement. But don’t wait for them to be operating ...
More Learning in Less Time: Make the Student the Teacher

More Learning in Less Time: Make the Student the Teacher

One of the best ways to learn something is by teaching it to somebody else – as you might have discovered with your own learning. Use this with your team members as well, but encouraging them to teach each other. In other words, rather than them all being students, give ...
Fast-Track Your Contractors

Fast-Track Your Contractors

In an ideal workplace, the perfect team would come together to work on a specific project, then disband after the project is complete, and another team would form for the next project. That might be the norm for future teams, but we’re not quite there yet (because of offices, permanent ...
The Stealth Attack That Could Disrupt Your Business

The Stealth Attack That Could Disrupt Your Business

I’ve had a credit card merchant facility for my business for almost 20 years, and I recently saw some alternative options that would make it cheaper and more convenient. I investigated two options, and had two very different experiences … Scenario #1: New merchant account with my current bank Four ...
The Training Fix That Builds Skills Fast

The Training Fix That Builds Skills Fast

When a team member needs some training and development, consider an online course as an option. Although we’re still in the early days of online training, it’s still advanced far enough to be valuable. It’s also fast, accessible and affordable, which makes it ideal for your team members. For some ...
The Real Secret to Surviving Disruption (It’s Not What You Think)

The Real Secret to Surviving Disruption (It’s Not What You Think)

If you have a heap of sand and remove a single grain, you still have a heap of sand. The same if you remove another … and another … and another. Eventually, when you’re down to a few scattered grains, you wouldn’t call it a heap of sand. But at ...
Use Case Studies to Accelerate Learning

Use Case Studies to Accelerate Learning

One of the best ways to deliver learning in a workplace is through a well-designed case study. Think of a case study as a training course that’s more interactive and embedded than most courses. Instead of sitting quietly and listening passively, the participants engage actively every step of the way. ...
Change and Disruption: You’ve Got This Covered

Change and Disruption: You’ve Got This Covered

I read with interest last week that the USA is considering extending its laptop ban to flights from Europe as well as the Middle East. And here in Australia, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull confirmed the Australian government is “looking at it very closely” to determine whether to follow suit. This ...
Stretch Your Training to Extend the Learning

Stretch Your Training to Extend the Learning

Even with greater access to social, mobile and online education, in many organisations – and maybe even yours – the default tool for learning and development is still the traditional training course. Traditional training courses do still have their place, though, but you can improve them by enhancing the classroom ...
Talent Everywhere: Four Ways To Build a Stronger Team

Talent Everywhere: Four Ways To Build a Stronger Team

For most of the past 200 years, the workplace of the knowledge worker has been an office. It was the only practical option: That’s where teams could meet, that’s where the files were stored, that’s where the typing pool was located, and that’s where co-workers put memos in your In ...
Your Surprise Secret Weapon for Success: Work Your Week

Your Surprise Secret Weapon for Success: Work Your Week

It’s easy to trick yourself into thinking there’s never enough time to get things done – especially the most important things in your life. But the most successful people and teams do find the time. They do something that most other people don’t: They know how to work their week. ...
What You Don’t Know WILL Hurt You – Disruption in the Mortgage Broking Industry

What You Don’t Know WILL Hurt You – Disruption in the Mortgage Broking Industry

The release this week of the Sedgwick Report brings yet another major change to this fast-changing industry. If you’re a broker, you might despair because it places even tighter controls over your business, while at the same time you’re facing competition from other outside forces (such as online broking offers ...
Property Managers: How Smart Are You, Really?

Property Managers: How Smart Are You, Really?

Experience is useful, but it can also get in the way – especially in a fast-changing world where the old solutions don’t necessarily work anymore. Think about situations in your business where you might be acting on auto-pilot because you’re just responding to familiar patterns. For example: When you make ...
The Future of Medicine is the Patient … err, Customer

The Future of Medicine is the Patient … err, Customer

Last year, my parents moved house after 40 years. When searching for a new local GP, my 80-year-old father’s first source of information was online reviews he found on Google. Although he’s intelligent and computer-savvy, he’s hardly the stereotype of the typical social-media-obsessed Internet user. And yet even he knew ...
Think Sharp: Great Minds Don’t Think Alike

Think Sharp: Great Minds Don’t Think Alike

Every month, I host a “business book club” at my house for a group of 15 people. Each month, we choose a business book – the most recent was Daniel Coyle’s book “The Talent Code” – and discuss it, accompanied by catered food and a few bottles of red wine. ...
The New Skills for the Legal Profession (and the Rest of Us, Too)

The New Skills for the Legal Profession (and the Rest of Us, Too)

Last week, I presented the closing keynote presentation for the Queensland Law Society’s Annual Symposium. Their theme was “Framing the Future”, and the previous speaker was Professor Nick James, the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Law at Bond University. Professor Dean spoke about what it takes to be a ...
Are You Ready to Lead in a VUCA World?

Are You Ready to Lead in a VUCA World?

I heard somebody say recently that you don’t know what real pain is until you step on a piece of Lego on the floor when walking barefoot from your bedroom to the bathroom in the middle of the night. OK, it’s a First World problem, I know! But anybody who ...
Test Your Future-Proof IQ: You’d Be Surprised What Most Leaders Get Wrong

Test Your Future-Proof IQ: You’d Be Surprised What Most Leaders Get Wrong

When it comes to iPads, video production, and Apple technology, my technology consultant is my eleven-year-old niece Abbey. And yet, when Abbey was born, there was no YouTube, no social media, no smartphones, we didn’t have a street directory in our pockets, we only took cameras on holiday, and we ...
Next Level Productivity – Five New Moves For Our Fast-Changing World

Next Level Productivity – Five New Moves For Our Fast-Changing World

When the Institute for the Future looked to identify the key skills for the future workplace, they knew those skills would not be technical, task-oriented skills – because those skills will become obsolete through automation and artificial intelligence. Instead, the most future-proof skills will be higher-order thinking skills. One of ...
Is Your Team Ready for the Future of Work?

Is Your Team Ready for the Future of Work?

The youngest Millennials (also know as Gen Ys), and their younger sibling Gen Z, expect more from their workplace. Most workplaces still carry over baggage from 200 years ago, when offices were invented. But people are becoming much more entrepreneurial. You no longer need to be in an office. You ...
Futurist Spotlight on Virtual Reality

Futurist Spotlight on Virtual Reality

Last year, when speaking at a real estate conference in Brisbane, I had the chance to test out a virtual reality headset from RealEstate.com. This technology allows property buyers and tenants to view and inspect a property even if they are on the other side of the world. More recently, ...
Use This Trick to Figure Out Your Future Faster

Use This Trick to Figure Out Your Future Faster

I’m speaking at the FPA (Financial Planning Association of Australia) national conference this week about The Future of Leadership, and we’ll be looking at the skills for the future workforce. One of the key skills identified by the Institute for the Future is “transdisciplinarity”, which is about applying ideas, skills ...
Leads vs Loyalty: The Better Way to Make Money

Leads vs Loyalty: The Better Way to Make Money

I have been speaking recently at conferences in a range of industries – including financial planning, corporate travel, insurance underwriting, banking, and healthcare. As part of our presentation briefing, I always ask my client about the biggest source of income in their business or industry, and the answer is almost ...
Five Things You Must Know About The Future of Conferences

Five Things You Must Know About The Future of Conferences

The NSW Government recently announced a trial of in-ground “traffic lights” at key intersections in the CBD, to warn pedestrians on mobile phones who don’t look up while crossing the road. It’s been interesting to see the reactions to this idea on social media. Many people are saying it just ...
The Key to Success in a Customer-Centric World

The Key to Success in a Customer-Centric World

Last week, I delivered the opening keynote at the annual TravelManagers conference in Bangkok. The theme of the conference was “Adding Value” – an important principle in the life of a travel agent. And it’s not just for travel agents; we all have to add value in our business, so ...
Think Project, Not Goal

Think Project, Not Goal

When the Institute of the Future identified ten key skills for the future workforce, one of the most important in the list is what they call “Cognitive Load Management”. This is what we used to call time management, and has expanded over time to include concepts such as productivity, goal ...
The Pokémon Go Secret to Your Business Success

The Pokémon Go Secret to Your Business Success

You might have heard of the huge success of the new mobile phone game, Pokémon Go, where players wander around in the real world searching for Pokémon creatures that appear on their phone as if they were in the real world. It was launched only two weeks ago, and – ...
What Problem Will You Solve?

What Problem Will You Solve?

Jaime Casap, Google’s Education Evangelist, said this: “Don’t ask kids what they want to be when they grow up. Ask them what problem they want to solve.” What problem do you want to solve (when you grow up)? Too many business owners fall in love with their own solutions, and ...
Customers: How to Have More of Them

Customers: How to Have More of Them

I’ve just finished reading the book “Disrupted”, the true-life story of Dan Lyons, a 50-year-old journalist who loses his job at Newsweek and decides to take a job with a hot start-up Internet marketing company, HubSpot. It’s an engaging – and entertaining – insight into the world of Silicon Valley ...

10 Must-Do LinkedIn Ideas for Building Authority

LinkedIn is one of the oldest social networks. It’s often not even mentioned when people talk about social media, but it is a social media platform. LinkedIn has added so many features recently that it’s easy to get confused about how it works and what to do with it. But ...
Will This Technology Transform Your Business?

Will This Technology Transform Your Business?

I recently attended the Next Big Thing Summit in Melbourne, featuring a showcase of innovation and technology. One of the cool things I did was to get a 3-D map of my face, from Mark Ruff at 3dbodyscan.com.au. He had a small booth set up at the trade exhibition, and ...
The One Leadership Skill You MUST Have for the Future

The One Leadership Skill You MUST Have for the Future

I have a puzzle for you with these four cards: As you can see, you can see the back of #1 and #3 and the front of #2 and #4. Now suppose I made this statement: Just by looking at the cards, you can’t tell whether this is true or ...
Housing Challenges and Innovations for the South West of Australia

Housing Challenges and Innovations for the South West of Australia

In the next three weeks, I’ll be speaking at two conferences in the South West region of Australia – just “down the road” from where I live in Perth. One of these is the Critical Horizons conference, which this year has a focus on housing the South West in the ...
Influencers are Everywhere

Influencers are Everywhere

Natalie Tran operates one of Australia’s most popular YouTube channels. In 2009, in the early days of YouTube, she was Australia’s most popular YouTube channel, with over 150,000 subscribers. Even now, despite the growing competition for YouTube eyeballs, she has over 1.5 million subscribers and half a billion views, and ...
Spread Your Knowledge And Expertise Further

Spread Your Knowledge And Expertise Further

Whatever your role in your team, you’re there because of your expertise – and some people value and recognise that expertise. But that’s probably limited to your colleagues, your team members, your boss, and perhaps a few other people. Amplify that expertise by reaching more people. Don’t do this by ...
Will You Be a Game-Changer?

Will You Be a Game-Changer?

I was speaking with one of my corporate clients recently about changes in her industry. As the CEO of an insurance company, she’s been asked by her board to identify “game changers” (their phrase) in the insurance industry, so they can be ahead of their competition. Great! I love to ...
Is Your Business at Risk of Disruption?

Is Your Business at Risk of Disruption?

I’ve had my car for 10 years now, and it’s about time to get a new car. I mentioned to somebody that this might be the last car I ever buy, and she wondered whether I wasn’t expecting to live very long! Far from it. But I seriously believe this ...
What’s In Your Personal Learning Network?

What’s In Your Personal Learning Network?

Do you feel overwhelmed by information overload? If so, get over it! Your clients and team members expect you to consume vast quantities of information, pick and choose the bits that are most relevant to them, and present it in an engaging way. Of course, this is easier said than ...
What’s Your Authority?

What’s Your Authority?

Have you noticed it’s getting harder to get noticed? In the past, when a customer wanted to buy something important – whether it was insurance, a house, their next car, or an IT system – they would start by talking to a professional, like you. They knew you were an ...
Innovation is Everybody’s Business

Innovation is Everybody’s Business

In the past, when most organisations could rely on a few innovations a year, innovation was considered to be only the role of a Research & Development department. Now, when your organisation is more complex, employees have more ideas, and the external environment is changing so fast, innovation is everybody’s ...
It’s Amateur Hour on the Internet

It’s Amateur Hour on the Internet

My friend Melvin Yeo is a lawyer. And he’s an amateur. I don’t mean he’s an amateur lawyer. Far from it – he’s a highly-respected corporate lawyer who works for one of Australia’s leading companies. But that’s his day job. In his spare time, he’s an amateur “foodie” – in ...
"Patients Like You Also Had This Same Disease"

"Patients Like You Also Had This Same Disease"

We’re all used to getting peer-based recommendations from Web sites we visit. Amazon.com recommends other products to you, saying “Customers who bought this book also bought …”. LinkedIn and Facebook suggest friends and colleagues based on the connections of other people in your network. Travel review sites recommend attractions based ...
Google’s Report on Crashes in Self-Driving Cars Affects YOU

Google’s Report on Crashes in Self-Driving Cars Affects YOU

Google recently made public the number of crashes experienced by its self-driving cars: just 11 crashes over 2.8 million kilometres of driving. They were all classed as “minor” (light damage with no injuries) and all were the fault of other drivers. This astonishing success has even led to predictions that ...

Ideas For Local Government Innovation in our Fast, Flat and Free World

Local government authorities face challenges and opportunities in our fast, connected and open world. Those that meet the challenges and embrace the opportunities can provide better services, remain sustainable and viable, and thrive even in an uncertain future. ...

Financial Services Firms:Staying Ahead of the Game In Our Fast, Flat and Free World

Financial services firms in Australia continue to face uncertainty through government regulation (FoFA and FSI), market conditions, increasing competition, and online services. Smart practices who see opportunity in this volatile environment can stand out from the rest, embrace change and innovation, and stay ahead of the game. ...
Leading and Managing in a VUCA World

Leading and Managing in a VUCA World

You might have come across the term “VUCA”, which has been borrowed from the U.S. military and is now often used in a business context to describe our world today. It’s an acronym that stands for “Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous” – and that’s a pretty good description of our ...