Getting rid of email – here’s a company that’s done just that

Over the last few months I have begun to include a small section in some of my workshops on the clutter and “stuff” that makes work life a pain. Almost all participants identify meetings and email (and many add managers,
Microsoft To Acquire Maker Of Popular Minecraft Game For 2.5 Billion

Microsoft targets Gen Z

Microsoft has acquired Mojang the maker of Minecraft for $2.5bn [see AFP article below]. Minecraft is a game with very simplistic graphic and game play but it has managed to garner a player base numbering in the millions spread across

Award winning emerging market startups with a global edge

Seedstars World is a Geneva-based company that holds competitions for startups around the world. Their list of competition winners from the last year includes 19 emerging market companies that are innovating products and services with some exceptional promise. We believe
RIP-Blackberry

Blackberry: Time of death…?

John Chen, the CEO brought in to arrest Blackberry slide into oblivion believes that Blackberry has turned the corner and can be saved. In an article by Nic Fildes in THE TIMES Business (6 August) Chen was quoted as telling
England-world-cup-despair

Don’t trust Deutsche Bank…well when it comes to football at least!

Before the 2014 FIFA World Cup, analysts within Deutsche Bank developed a computer model to forecast the results.  The winners? Why, England of course. It should be pointed out that they were after all ‘foreign exchange analysts’ which might just

Sharing Your Secrets: What Elon Musk’s latest move at Tesla means for you

I’ll admit it: I have a huge man-crush on Elon Musk. I like everything this guy does. From his passion for space exploration and madcap vision of a one way trip to Mars, to his recent announcements about building both

Banks, small businesses and paying for what you don’t use

Earlier this week, I received a message from our business bankers in South Africa, informing me that they would be charging us for all credit facilities that we were not using. This baffled me. Then it irritated me. So, I

Apple just entered your market (Healthcare, I’m talking to you)

For the last few years, our team has enjoyed asking our clients a hypothetical question: “What would the impact be if Apple/Google/Facebook announced today that it was entering your market?”. To be honest, I think it should be a thought

Print me a face: another mind blowing use for 3d printers

At TomorrowToday, we’re big fans of 3d printing technology. We’ve been speaking about it for more than 5 years now. I actually have a 3d printer at home, and as a team we write about the implications of 3d printing

Apple isn’t going away just yet

The predictions of Apple’s demise have, it seems, been all too premature. At TomorrowToday, we’re big Apple fans. Personally, I am certified Apple cult member, with a completely Apple-infested house (with everything from iPads and iPods to Apple TV and

Changing cycling forever

I don’t enjoy cycling, but my UK colleagues do. Dean van Leeuwen, James Dunne and Wendy Mauchline all regularly hit the roads and cycle tracks of the world in a serious way. So, when I saw this neat little video
Mandela-SA-flag

You are mistaken Mr Friedman, there was a miracle.

It has been an interesting experience processing both the death and burial of Nelson Mandela from distant shores. Whilst I would have loved to have been home amongst ‘my people’ to fully enter into the emotion, celebration, mourning and expression
Hands-holding-world

TomorrowToday: Welcome to our world

Imagine a company with no written contracts between the business partners; no offices; no underpinning capital; as much – or little leave as you want; measured by outcomes; no HR policies or any policies really – just sensible agreements on

When social media turns on you (don’t blame the messenger)

There will lots of chatter again about whether social media is a good thing or not after JP Morgan had to abandon a planned Twitter Q&A yesterday. The bank had invited people to tweet questions to them using the hashtag

Film director Joss Whedon on strong female leads

Joss Whedon, according to his Wikipedia entry, is an American screenwriter, film and television producer, director, comic book author, composer, and actor. He is the founder of Mutant Enemy Productions and co-founder of Bellwether Pictures. He is best known as

Businesses that are building sustainable competitive advantage by doing good for society (Case Study)

In an earlier blog I spoke about the “perversions of the proper workings of capitalism”. In my mind Capitalism is inherently good. The Capitalist seeks to find and address a need. They innovate, take risks and work out how to
SouthAfricanAirways-225x300

A Feel Good Plane Ride

I have traveled on South African Airways before and been decidedly unimpressed. I once took a flight to London where they ran out of food and the toilets stopped working all on the same flight. To make things worse we

Experiments for a new world of work

If you follow anything at all about our work at TomorrowToday, you’ll know we’re passionate about understanding the changing world of work. We are also always on the lookout for people and organisations who are attempting to make adjustments today

BrainBoosters making a difference to the next generation

Here at TomorrowToday, we’re very proud of one of our ex-colleagues, Lynda Smith. Lynda is a serial entrepreneur who left TomorrowToday a number of years to start The Refirement Network, an organisation focused on providing services and support to Baby

Quality is defined by the promise your customers need you to make

How would you define quality in your industry? What is it that your company strives to perfect and on which that can be better than anyone else? And I wonder how much money, time and effort is spent on getting

Inc.com’s Best Business Books picks

I am a big fan of Inc magazine. It’s aimed at “new world of work” entrepreneurs and small businesses, and always has insightful and useful articles. One caught my eye in particular, as it came from Leigh Buchanan, who, amongst
Lab-burger

Good news for animals…and vegetarians: but what about leadership?

In London scientists recently (5 August) unveiled the first purely lab-grown beef burger and tested it on a select group of tasters (sounds like a good job to have…for the most part at least!). It is seen as the end
Aussie-cricket

The Ashes debacle: Maybe Australia should have done their homework!

Australian cricket is in crisis and it is a situation that gift-wraps several important lessons for any executive team. Of course we are aware of the ‘homeworkgate’ episode with former coach, Mickey Arthur. Against the backdrop of poor results, Arthur

The Factory in Your Garage: A review of 3d printing options and implications

A few weeks ago, I bought a 3d printer for use in my home. On the day I installed it, I recorded a video for our team’s Signpost’s YouTube channel (it’s available here or at the bottom of this post).

All that’s wrong with the media today: A ridiculous example

It sounds like something out of one of those cringeworthy, self-written high school plays. But in reality it is a genuine news report from a Fox affiliate TV station in the United States. And although it is a single anecdote,

All that’s wrong with the media today: A ridiculous example

It sounds like something out of one of those cringeworthy, self-written high school plays. But in reality it is a genuine news report from a Fox affiliate TV station in the United States. And although it is a single anecdote,

Is Google the perfect example of a future focus business?

Google is winning and you don’t have to search very far to find out why, says Fast Company writer Frahad Manjoo. In a world of the tech giants – battling against the likes of Facebook, Amazon and Apple – Google

10 Leadership Lessons for building a Quest from Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn

Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn is on a quest to create economic opportunity for the 3.3 billion people in the global workplace by matching skills with job opportunities. This is a bold and audacious quest and quests are a key element

Podcast: The Customer Experience Show – Secrets of Successful Multi-Generational Work Cultures

Dean and myself were interviewed by Michelle Romanica on the Customer Experience Show on Blogtalk Radio. It was a great show, with some fascinating insights into multi-generational workplaces. The blurb of the show says: In their work, Graeme Codrington and

I want you in my office. Now. What’s really going on at Yahoo?

The biggest tech news so far this year has been an announcement by Yahoo that they want “all hands on deck” and that all work-from-home is being cancelled as from June. Irked Yahoo employees have leaked the memo that was
google-300x208

No more ‘Top Gear’? But how else could the driverless car impact you?

Self-driving cars?  Seems like a million miles off, right?  Like flying cars (which already exist, by the way). When Sebastian Thrun was 18, he lost his best friend in a car accident.  Since then, he has set himself the goal

Witness the death of Blackberry

I don’t know if Blackberry 10 (the Z10 phone with the BB10 operating system) is going to be any good. I hope it is, for the sake of all my friends and clients who’s IT departments force them to use

When will they learn that we live in an age of transparency?

This is a bit of a nerdy blog post. Or as we say in the UK, I am being an anorack. But I’ll declare that I am a fan of Elon Musk, of Tesla, and a media skeptic (all will
lessons-from-apple1

Improvising the revolution: Fail to win, like Steve Jobs

The Apple Lisa. The Newton. Macintosh TV. The Apple III. The Powermac G4 Cube. Steve Jobs had a brilliant understanding of how technology trends were developing, yet even he messed up fairly regularly and spectacularly (although he got better with

Improvising the revolution: Fail to win, like Steve Jobs

The Apple Lisa. The Newton. Macintosh TV. The Apple III. The Powermac G4 Cube. Steve Jobs had a brilliant understanding of how technology trends were developing, yet even he messed up fairly regularly and spectacularly (although he got better with

Tomorrow’s Retail – using data to help customers (not scare them)

Our UK Strategic Insights team has recently released a report on “Tomorrow’s Retail” – and it’s now available for you to download. It’s filled with fantastic insights – like this one… What if a retailer could anticipate what a customer

Tomorrow's Retail – using data to help customers (not scare them)

Our UK Strategic Insights team has recently released a report on “Tomorrow’s Retail” – and it’s now available for you to download. It’s filled with fantastic insights – like this one… What if a retailer could anticipate what a customer
Tomorrows-Retail-229x300

Tomorrow’s Retail – using data to help customers (not scare them)

What if a retailer could anticipate what a customer needs before they even realise it themselves? US store Target, famously got into hot water when it used analytics to predict when customers were pregnant in order to benefit from their
Shopping-bags-and-mobile-218x300

Tomorrow’s Retail – Available Today!

Today we launch our new Tomorrow’s Retail report and we hope you take the chance to download and read it. And please don’t think that if you don’t work in retail, it’s not for you.  One of the things we

New ways of working – the revolution is still rumbling along

It was the early 1990s, and a new generation had started entering the world of work at just the time that personal computers were creating opportunities for significant change to the way the workplace functioned. Within just a few years,
Coke-Santa-300x167

A seasonal post (and some thoughts on brand longevity)

There’s a part-myth that Coca-Cola ‘invented’ the modern Santa Claus as we know him today. The truth is that Father Christmas had appeared in a red coat before Coca-Cola’s illustrator Haddon Sundblom painted him, but he had also appeared as

Microsoft needs reinvention not improvement – and so do you

This past year saw Microsoft post it’s first ever quarterly loss. This was to do with a $6 billion write down of an investment, and wasn’t really a trading loss. But nevertheless it rang some alarm bells. In the digital
Emirates-staff

Fly Emirates: How an Airline gets it right in all but one thing

November. Dubai. Emirates business lounge. ‘Home’. I do a lot of flying. It comes with the territory and let me say right upfront, travel is not as glamorous as it is sometimes made out to be! Any frequent flyer will
Emirates

Fly Emirates: How an Airline gets it right in all but one thing.

November. Dubai. Emirates business lounge. ‘Home’. I do a lot of flying. It comes with the territory and let me say right upfront, travel is not as glamorous as it is sometimes made out to be! Any frequent flyer will

BIC pens FOR HER! (How not to market to women)

Bic produces pens. They’re ubiquitous. You’ve probably had many of their cheap plastic offerings lying around, rolling around in drawers or down the side of your sofa. Bic recently launched a new range which they thought would be perfect for

Why Apple introduced maps (before it was ready) and why it’s brilliant for us all

So, the iPhone 5 has been launched along with iOS 6, Apple’s latest operating system for its mobile devices. As always a few users have had hiccups upgrading, and Apple has already released a further update or two to deal

Why Apple introduced maps (before it was ready) and why it’s brilliant for us all

So, the iPhone 5 has been launched along with iOS 6, Apple’s latest operating system for its mobile devices. As always a few users have had hiccups upgrading, and Apple has already released a further update or two to deal

Humility in Leadership

Think Big, Act Small by Jason Jennings is a worthwhile read (Kindle edition here). He looks into what has made best performing companies (in the USA) sustain their ‘start-up spirit’. In the book Jennings offers some arresting insights based on
end_of_story

Strategic Insights: How Kraft delivered performance and profit improvements by offering teams blank cheques

In 1960, during a Mercury space flight, John Glenn used the powdered breakfast drink Tang. Not surprisingly, as the general public became aware of NASA’s endorsement of Tang, sales skyrocketed. In recent years, however, sales – especially globally – had been sluggish.
Microsoft-LogoHistory

Microsoft has a new logo – how much do you care?

I don’t think I can ever remember a brand or logo relaunch that didn’t feel a little bit like the company in question had way too much time on its hands and should have been doing something better with it
Zurich-Insurance-logo

What you can tell about the ‘smell of a place’ by sitting in the reception!

An 8am meeting with the head of learning and development at Zurich Insurance in downtown Johannesburg taught me more about the company than any Google search could have revealed. I say ‘could have’ because I had forgotten to bring my

The end of the line…

It’s hardly earth shattering news, but a recent piece of research in New Zealand has indicated that as Generation Y are growing up and becoming home owners for the first time, they’re simply not installing home phones. No landlines at
barclays

Barclays and ABSA get the lesson: ‘culture matters most’.

Under the title, ‘Ramos fights on all fronts’ (Business Times 15/7/12), ABSA Chief Executive, Maria Ramos, tells parent bank Barclays of the concerns she has about their banking culture. She has every right to be concerned. When Barclays bought a

Banksters – the most recent crisis explained simply by The Economist

I’m a subscriber to The Economist. This week I am absolutely loving their cover on the banking crisis: “Banksters” is the one word title, with a wonderful image. This week has definitely been a bad one for banks, and Bob

Banksters – the most recent crisis explained simply by The Economist

I’m a subscriber to The Economist. This week I am absolutely loving their cover on the banking crisis: “Banksters” is the one word title, with a wonderful image. This week has definitely been a bad one for banks, and Bob
bank_crisis_02

Do no harm: why banks continue their agonising, slow death plunge

It seems too easy, and almost cliched these days, to bash the banks. And yet, astonishingly, just when you think you’ve heard the worst of it, some new piece of information comes to light that shows just how sick and

TomorrowToday launches our own TV channel: TomorrowToday Business TV

In partnership with our business television friends at yourBusinessChannel, we’re pleased to bring you TomorrowToday TV. On this channel, we feature a selection of short video clips from business experts to get you thinking further about various aspects of the

Scott Thompson of Yahoo should resign – not for lying, though

Scott Thompson is the CEO of Yahoo, a position he has held since January, after moving from PayPal. An activist shareholder recently discovered that Scott has falsified his CV and bio, claiming to have a BA in Computer Science when

Scott Thompson of Yahoo should resign – not for lying, though

Scott Thompson is the CEO of Yahoo, a position he has held since January, after moving from PayPal. An activist shareholder recently discovered that Scott has falsified his CV and bio, claiming to have a BA in Computer Science when

How to attract Gen Y into engineering – a case study from MOL

I am sitting in a presentation by Gabor Varjasi, Head of Competency Development and Strategic HR at MOL Group. This is at Stamford Global‘s Talent for Tomorrow conference in Vienna. MOL have a similar problem to many companies around the

When advertising gets personal (and conversational and fun)… it can be brilliant

Updated on 25 April 2012. South Africa has a long history of clever TV advertising, with some outstanding brands and campaigns. Probably the stand out brand, though, is Nando’s, the chicken restaurant, who have a reputation for pushing the boundaries

When advertising gets personal (and conversational and fun)… it can be brilliant

Updated on 25 April 2012. South Africa has a long history of clever TV advertising, with some outstanding brands and campaigns. Probably the stand out brand, though, is Nando’s, the chicken restaurant, who have a reputation for pushing the boundaries
mango

In the search for logic: Please help.

There must be a reason but I sure as heck can’t find it! For that matter nor could the staff of Mango. Yes, it is another airline saga and one that perhaps you can enlighten me on. The other day

TomorrowToday’s tenth anniversary

Today is the tenth anniversary of the starting of our company, TomorrowToday. Ten years ago today, Barrie Bramley, Keith Coats and Graeme Codrington had lunch at a restaurant called Ruby’s in Fourways Mall, Sandton. We had already been working together

Africa’s Chance to Leapfrog the West

A few weeks ago, a Ghanaian entrepreneur wrote an excellent article in the Harvard Business Review blogs about Africa’s potential. You can read the full article here, or an extract below: Africa’s Chance to Leapfrog the West HBR Blog Network,

Starbucks and the future of customer relationships

In November 2010 I wrote an article called “Herding Cats” that explored how increasingly difficult it is to build customer loyalty using conventional approaches and that companies who are serious about loyalty needed to focus on personal partnerships with their
Untitled-235x300

What does the Future look like for your industry?

TomorrowToday Innovations and Futures Laboratory has recently worked with the UK Hydrographic Office, on an exciting project researching “The Future of Shipping”. Using the TomorrowToday TIDES framework we pulled together the latest thinking and predictions in Technology, Institutional Change, Demography,

Women take the fast track – and we’re part of the process

The FT yesterday ran a piece about a programme for the development of women leaders at Novartis. The programme was headed by Duke Corporate Education MD, Liz Mellon. The reason this article caught my eye, is that our workshops and

Too Big to Fail: The Need for Leaders to Remember

Imagine a workforce that takes initiative, accepts responsibility for their work, their learning and their company. Imagine an environment where there is energy, goodwill and a shared camaraderie. Image! Anybody who thinks that this isn’t desirable, who thinks this impossible,
socialmediaicons-299x300

Why people follow brands on social media – insights for social marketers

I was watching a video by one of Microsoft UK’s top digital marketing strategists (you can too, it’s available on YouTube, courtesy of Digital Surrey). In it, he shows research about why people follow brands on social media. It’s very

The challenges and opportunities facing South Africa in 2012

Trevor Manuel was moved our of the Treasury some time ago and has spent much of his time in a new entity called the National Planning Commission (NPC) of South Africa. The NPC is tasked with identifying and responding to
Season-Greetings

It was well intended but…Understanding the Connection Economy

I recently got ‘an end of year wish you well’ kind of email, the type that we all experience at this time of year. The email subject title was, ‘Best Regards, Personal!!!!’ Such a title is sure to grab your

Education for the new world of work (vidcast)

Last week I was asked by the great team at Enviable Workplace.com to experiment by doing a video podcast for them instead of something written. So, here’s a 12 minute discussion on the role of education in the new world
good-to-great-company-performance

Good to Great… to Gone!

Jim Collins got it wrong. Not totally wrong, but wrong enough that we need to be careful (as always) about who we listen to when designing companies for future success. Too often, leaders take a shortcut and blindly apply models

Everything you know is wrong (Or is it?)

Here’s a superb thought experiment for you and your team. What if everything you think you know is wrong? Just in case you think this is too big a thought experiment, let me tell you about an event that is

A Warning to Leaders: Turbulence is not the Danger

Flying into the small South African regional airport of Port Elizabeth recently I was reminded why it is I hold to the wisdom, ‘the bigger the plane the better’! As we were tossed around by the not-so-clear-air turbulence in the

Michael Porter presenting on the new role of business

Creating Shared Value represents the most exciting new thinking to come out of Harvard Business School since the 1980’s. Michael Porter’s work in this area has the potential to reinvent capitalism. You can watch an video of him below being

Creating Shared Value is driving innovation and growth at GE

GE has had a string on successes implementing Creating Shared Value  and the following figures demonstrate GE commitment as well as the financial reward for pursuing a shared value strategy under the umbrella of Ecomagination: Over $18 billion on revenues were

Nestle ecolaboration, leading the pack in sharing value

Nestle’s offers some of the best examples of how re-orchestrating  business can create more value and a bigger pie for all stakeholders. As Nestle’s CEO puts it: “Creating Shared Value  is a fundamental part of Nestlé’s way of doing business

A brief primer on #occupy and the 99% – what’s going on, and why it matters

I am sure you’ve been following the news of protests around the world. The OccupyWallStreet protest that started a few weeks ago spread this past weekend to other capitals with protestors clashing with police in places such as London and

A brief primer on #occupy and the 99% – what's going on, and why it matters

I am sure you’ve been following the news of protests around the world. The OccupyWallStreet protest that started a few weeks ago spread this past weekend to other capitals with protestors clashing with police in places such as London and
chick-beer1

How Beer Can Offer Insights into Gender Difference

Saffron Baggallay is head of our South African TomorrowToday Training company. She has great insights into the new world of work, and has written this very interesting piece on women and the beer market. It reminded me of how important
panel_img_fish

The “C” in the new business SCRIPT stands for Collaboration

This article is third in a series of seven articles that TomorrowToday International Partner Dean van Leeuwen is writing for Motivated Magazine and; is based on our latest presentation and framework SCRIPTing your Future. For more information on booking one of
get-lost-300x1731

Global Leadership Principles from which to Lead: learning from the Asia Pacific Leadership Program

For the past 10 years I have had the privilege to be part of the teaching facility of the Asia Pacific Leadership Program (APLP) based at the East West Center in Hawaii. And yes, Hawaii is not too shabby a

Why industry ‘best practice’ is not ‘best strategy’ for you

I am an educator, speaker and facilitator, and work mainly with large organisations, helping them make sense of the new world of work. Most of the time I do this through workshops and keynote presentations. As I work through briefings

How to Liberate America from Wall Street Rule

David Korten is an amazing thinker. His book, “The Great Turning” (Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com) is a remarkable vision of where we find ourselves in history, and what we should be doing in the next century. He, and a whole team

Where are the jobs you promised: Universities sued by Gen Y graduates

This is a story I should not have enjoyed. I have many friends and family in higher education, and many colleagues whom I respect and admire, including two who have founded colleges. I know it’s a tough gig, and generally

Nostalgia: a key to creating great customer experiences

Maybe it’s because the Baby Boomers have started to turn 65, or maybe it’s because we are living in an historical epoch where we expect things to just keep changing. Whatever is causing it, nostalgia is as big as it

Why ignore Africa when looking at emerging market telecoms?

Euromonitor International, a research company recently released a study into Internet access and usage in emerging markets from 2011 to 2020. They focused their attentions on 25 countries, which include only one sub-Saharan African country: South Africa. (See the image

What type of society stops valuing teachers?

I come from a family of teachers. My sister, a few cousins and some uncles and aunts are all teachers. An uncle, an aunt, a cousin and my father have all been head teachers. An aunt founded a school. My

Definitive proof that the government (and music industry) are too far behind

Today, the UK Parliament will pass a bill that finally makes it legal for you to make copies of your own CDs and DVDs and rip them onto your own computer for personal use (read BBC report here). You might
amywinehouse300-225x300

Gladwell, Cobain, Winehouse, birth, death and 27

If you’ve read Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, then you’re probably familiar with one of the ideas he suggests around being born in a certain era, a certain generation, or even a certain month. When you’re born counts, says Gladwell. Some

Do customers need to be delighted? – case study IKEA

When it comes to great customer experiences IKEA is unlikely to be a company that heads the list in anyone’s mind. And yet today IKEA is the largest furniture retailer in the world. Let’s take a look at some impressive numbers:

Kaiser Chiefs new album takes a step up in social business

UK Indie Rock band, The Kaiser Chiefs, have taken a step up in the social business world with their latest album, The Future is Medieval. They’ve made twenty tracks available to their fans. You listen to the tracks and select

Kaiser Chiefs new album takes a step up in social business

UK Indie Rock band, The Kaiser Chiefs, have taken a step up in the social business world with their latest album, The Future is Medieval. They’ve made twenty tracks available to their fans. You listen to the tracks and select
Picture-6-150x1501

Rethinking Capitalism – paring profits with purpose

Michael Porter, the Harvard Business School strategy guru says that strategies of the future will be led by companies that serve communities and understand the deep underlying needs of the communities that buy their products. Coined Creating Shared Value (CSV)

Seth Godin on the free-gap

In his daily blog entry today, Seth Godin provides an amazingly insightful analysis of what he calls the “free-gap”. Many of us who produce intellectual capital for a living (authors, speakers, consultants, but also musicians, artists and the like) battle

Gen Y in American pop culture

It’s the final weekend in this year’s American Idol competition. The two finalists are the youngest ever, Scotty McCreery (17) and Lauren Alaina (16), and they are genuine Gen Yers. They both sing the down home country style music of

Africa in the world: Corruption is not just a developing world issue

At the moment, I am engaged in some significant research that will hopefully turn into a book and presentation sometime mid 2012. I am looking at the potential of sub Saharan Africa in the next two decades, and identifying the
1253

Africa in the world: Corruption is not just a developing world issue

At the moment, I am engaged in some significant research that will hopefully turn into a book and presentation sometime mid 2012. I am looking at the potential of sub Saharan Africa in the next two decades, and identifying the
saa

SAA Express…Another Oxymoron!

The first warning sign was a message informing me that my booked flight had been cancelled and I was now on a flight that departed some 30 minutes later. Not great but this seems to be something of a frequent

Facebook – of all companies – should know better

We say it over and over again on this blog and in our presentations and workshops: we are living in a new era of ultra transparency. You can’t get away with things, you can’t hide information, you can’t fool your

Facebook – of all companies – should know better

We say it over and over again on this blog and in our presentations and workshops: we are living in a new era of ultra transparency. You can’t get away with things, you can’t hide information, you can’t fool your

The Future of the Organisation: A Compelling Vision

In their book, The Individualized Corporation[1], Sumantra Ghoshal[2]and ChristopherA. Bartlett[3] (Random House, 2000) (Buy it at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com) present an alternative view of what the future of the organisation might be. Their intent is not to provide a detailed
transparency-sml

Which countries the young and the educated want to go

Here’s a great InfoGraphic from Good, around some research done by Gallup that tracks the movement of young people with and without education.It raises some important questions for countries included in the study, and for those that aren’t. In a

A revolution on its way: near field communication

One of the technology advances that is going to slowly but surely revolutionise the way our world works is near field communication (NFC, see wikipedia for more details). NFC is contactless technology that requires a reader and a device to
0909_02_z-2011_hyundai_ix35-front_three_quarter_view-300x224

What’s happened to customer service and what is a good customer experience

Last Friday I became the proud owner of a Hyundai ix35, which was very exciting; and I am absolutely LOVING the car. I therefore cannot fault Hyundai on their product and I want to make it abundantly clear that my
0909_02_z-2011_hyundai_ix35-front_three_quarter_view-300x2241

What's happened to customer service and what is a good customer experience

Last Friday I became the proud owner of a Hyundai ix35, which was very exciting; and I am absolutely LOVING the car. I therefore cannot fault Hyundai on their product and I want to make it abundantly clear that my

What's wrong (and right) with "best company to work for" lists

I have never been a big fan of “best company to work for” lists. They exist in many countries, and are normally sponsored by a high profile entity (Fortune magazine in the US, The Sunday Times in the UK and

What’s wrong (and right) with “best company to work for” lists

I have never been a big fan of “best company to work for” lists. They exist in many countries, and are normally sponsored by a high profile entity (Fortune magazine in the US, The Sunday Times in the UK and

Delivering profits by delivering happiness

A few months ago I read the book Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh the CEO of Zappos an online shoe and clothing retailer in the United States. It’s a great read and was number one on the New York Times
kulula-300x159

Trapped in Kulula Limbo Hell

Kulula owe me 18 hours of my life back. That is the delayed time that they have cost me over the past couple of weeks as a frequent flyer on their carrier. In addition to this did I mention the
david-and-goliath-sumo-262x300

A David v Goliath lesson from The Cloud (@BantamLive and @ConstantContact)

My colleague, Graeme Codrington, beat me to the punch with his post last week (Incomprehensible business decisions that alienate customers) about Constant Contact and their decision to put Bantam Live on ice for a period of time (a long period of time) while

Incomprehensible business decisions that alienate customers

Every now and again a company does something that is so incomprehensible, so mystifying, that it blows my mind. I have had two such experiences in the last week, and have to tell someone about it – if for no

Incomprehensible business decisions that alienate customers

Every now and again a company does something that is so incomprehensible, so mystifying, that it blows my mind. I have had two such experiences in the last week, and have to tell someone about it – if for no

Wall Street: Aiding the Economic Recovery, or Strangling It?

The latest TIME magazine carried an interesting and thought-provoking piece about how the best and brightest of America’s scientific minds (mathematicians, engineers, scientists, and the like) have been lured to the world of banking. It also makes the point that
delmonte-bananas

I must be seeing things: Individually plastic wrapped bananas

I must be missing something, because I could not believe my eyes. In a world that is becoming increasingly concerned about the environment and trying to reduce packaging, waste and the use of plastic in particular, Del Monte and Chiquita
apple-iphone-4-1-195x300

Is this a Vodacom / MTN dirty little secret?

I have a simple question to float out there, that’s been banging around in my mind for a few years now: Why has the iPhone (all versions) been so expensive in South Africa since it’s launch? The question first emerged
Picture-61

TAG Reader will revolutionise our ability to seamlessly connect real life with the digital world

Most of us will have seen an advert, a TV programme or read an article with a web address which we wanted to visit, but then forgot the web address or just never got around to it because we are

Heroic Leadership – A Summary

This post was first published on Pete Laburn’s blog in Feb 2011 After living for seven years as a Jesuit seminarian, practicing vows of poverty, chastity and obedience to the Jesuit general in Rome, Chris Lowney was transformed into a
Charlie-Sheen

The Sheen is off Charlie

If what we read is true then we might well have seen the last of Charlie Sheen and Two and a Half Men. Sheen’s inability to act like a normal human being has seen the plug being pulled on one

An interview on the Internet of Things

A journalist recently interviewed me on the topic of “the Internet of Things” (IoT). I thought you might be interested in some of the questions and answers. The IoT is definitely going to be one of the biggest trends in

Battling cultural imperialism (a critical issue in the new world of work)

I was both amused and amazed to see this tweet a day or so ago: When will China become civilised? Chinese court confirms sentence on US man http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12502111 The news report referred to is about a Chinese-born American citizen, Xue

A database of social media policies

I am preparing a one day workshop on the use of social media in companies. The workshop itself is called “Beyond the Hype” and helps clients in small, medium and large organisations to use social media to “Connect, Engage, and

Volkswagen adverts connect with Generational Family Values

It’s Superbowl time on Sunday, and that means another raft of pretty awesome adverts is being released. Volkswagen got the jump on things today with their offering – “The Power of the Force meets the Passat”. It’s an awesome ad

How to give your staff bad news

I am a big fan of FT journalist Lucy Kellaway. Her column in the Financial Times is a joy to read (I subscribe to the FT, and also download her column as a free podcast in iTunes). Her primary interest

Three key future trends in retail

I was asked to contribute to an article on the future of retail. My task was to think of the three key issues retailers should be thinking about for 3 to 5 years time. Here’s what I submitted. But what

China is going green

I am very confident in my prediction that China will be considered to be the greenest nation in the world by the end of this decade. Too often, the “middle kingdom” is seen as a smoky dragon, intent on industrial

What you might have missed over the holidays

While most people were away on holidays, the TomorrowToday team was busy blogging – throughout the Christmas and New Year holidays, we continued to scan the new world of work for news, reviews and signs of change. We can’t help

Award winning Middle Eastern conference organiser

The Otherways International Research and Consultants Association is a French-based organisation focused on supporting and recognising small and medium sized businesses in Europe and the Middle East (the also have offices in Bahrain). They have annual awards that recognise achievements

Time for remorse and apology for banks is past – or is it?

Yesterday, Bob Diamond, Barclays Bank’s CEO came before a parliamentary committee in London. As part of his submission, and when talking about banker’s bonuses and salaries, he said that the time for “remorse and apology” by banks over their role
duggan_blog_pic

Strategic Intuition – A Brief Summary

This post was first published on Pete Laburn’s blog in Feb 2010 Have you ever wondered how some people come up with their great ideas, and wished you knew how to do the same? William Duggan’s book, ‘Strategic Intuition’ is

Kindle, digital rights management and clippings limits

My business partner, Barrie Bramley recently wrote a report about how digital readers are changing his reading habits. I too started using a Kindle in 2010, and have enjoyed it. Much more than I thought I would. There are frustrations,
william-duggan

Making Strategic Intuition work for you

I met William Duggan in 2008, and had the pleasure of taking him out to dinner while he was on a lecture tour in South Africa. His book, Strategic Intuition is one of the best books on developing strategy –
508

My top story of the year: The reaction to the reaction to Wikileaks

This is the week for all of the “reviews of the year” features on UK TV and radio. They can be a bit tedious. But every now and then one of them captivates me, and in a few minutes reminds

My top story of the year: The reaction to the reaction to Wikileaks

Updated on 30 December 2010 This is the week for all of the “reviews of the year” features on UK TV and radio. They can be a bit tedious. But every now and then one of them captivates me, and

The M-commerce Challenge – coming to a store near you in 2011

The next few years are going to see mobile commerce becoming more and more important in the retail space. Smartphones are already changing how we shop. Savvy and tech-ed up consumers want a very different interaction with their shops. Keep

Unilever uses Crowdsourcing to boost market share and profits

Partnering with customers is a trend that I’m a huge advocate of. The new world of work demands that companies actively engage with and enter into mutually beneficial relationships with customers. Companies that create and encourage channels allowing customers and

Can I bring the kids? And other questions top talent are asking

Back in June 2004, Inc magazine ran a short story on new employee benefits – focusing on child-care facilities. It grabbed my attention as it really made the case for non-cash incentives as a critical part of employee attraction, retention
1-Time

1Time Airlines Encourage Customers To Use Other Carriers!

I’m standing in a queue at gate C12 OR Tambo airport waiting to board a 1Time flight (IT 221) to Durban. The boarding is already delayed by 5 minutes when a 1Time staff person walks the line announcing that the

TomorrowToday SA – why we M&A’d our blog?

Some readers may have noticed, that on 2 December 2010, TomorrowToday’s Blog housed at connectioneconomy.com was ‘Merged and Acquired’ by the tomorrowtoday.co.za domain? From a user perspective nothing has changed outside of look, feel and url. The content is still generated

Surprise! Creating experiences for your customers

For many years now, we’ve been telling our clients that one of the keys to connecting with younger customers (Generations X and Y) is to add an experience to your offering. No longer are the traditional “Ps” of marketing (product,
pixy9

How (not) to do business like Jack Welch

Since leaving GE, Jack Welch has refused to retire gracefully or quietly. He has continued to stay vocal and keep his profile in the media, especially by writing and disseminating business advice. I suppose one shouldn’t begrudge him this –

So close yet no cigar!

I recently moved house and needed to have my mail redirected. The Royal Mail has an awesome service that automatically redirects your mail to a new location for just a small fee. It’s great as it means no worrying about

Seeing the world through your customer’s eyes – your key to growing your business

I regularly write articles for magazines and journals. Some of these really strike a chord, and just “work”. Here is a recent article that has been getting a lot of comment, and has been helpful to business leaders trying to

The mess that airlines are in

In today’s S+B newsletter, there is an excellent article highlighting the structural and institutional changes that the airline industry is facing over the next few years. You can read the original in the S+B newsletter or an extract below. The
Picture-4-225x300

Customer loyalty schemes should be the cream not the cake

I’ve noticed recently that Loyalty schemes are making a come back. Following the recession, companies have discovered that coupons and points schemes are a good way to entice struggling customers back to their shops. The trend of developing a points

Free stuff you have to pay for: Rupert Murdoch’s (mis)adventures in new media

It is plain to see that certain industries are being hard hit by the rise of digital media. The music industry is pretty much clueless as to how to respond – so much so, that Apple (through it’s iTunes store)

Forces shaping the future of meetings

I have started writing a column for the MPI (Meetings Professional International) One+ magazine. I’ll be writing monthly on the issue of the future of meetings. The column itself will be set up in October, but for now you can

Crowdfunding

You’ve heard of crowdsourcing – using the minds of many to work for you in coming up with new ideas and implementations. Now there’s crowdsourcing – accessing the wallets of many people to raise money for almost any (and every)

Forced saving – a solution to the looming pensions crisis

TomorrowToday’s UK team has started a new blog, focused on UK and European issues specifically and trying to understand and respond to issues related to the new world of work. We’ve called it, “The New World of Work” and it

Blockbuster Bankrupt! Not a surprise, but still a shock

The news came as a shock today: Blockbuster videos filed for bankruptcy protection in the USA today. I say it’s a shock – not because it’s a surprise, but because it is another deeply disturbing sign that the world of

Blockbuster Bankrupt! Not a surprise, but still a shock

The news came as a shock today: Blockbuster videos filed for bankruptcy protection in the USA today. I say it’s a shock – not because it’s a surprise, but because it is another deeply disturbing sign that the world of

The forever recession, by Seth Godin

I like Seth Godin. I like his style (see some videos of him in action – 1, 2 or 3), and I like how he does a daily thought bullet on his blog. Yesterday he made a really important point

The Liberal Democrats conference and UK public spending cuts

As the Liberal Democrat’s conference unfolds in Liverpool, and Nick Clegg enjoys unprecedented media coverage as the UK’s deputy prime minister, I must admit to a little bit of self-congratulation. On the day that Gordon Brown called the election (6

A marketing lagniappe – can little things make the biggest difference?

I just came across a really excellent website called Marketing Lagniappe i.e. purple goldfish, is any time a business goes above and beyond to provide a ‘little something extra’. It’s that unexpected surprise that’s thrown in for good measure. The

Africa votes more, but struggles to grow democracy

Thabo Mbeki proudly announced at the start of his presidency of South Africa that this century would be “Africa’s century”. That may or may not be true (and China and India would have something to say about it, too), but

Vital Leadership Skills for the 21st Century: A Global Mindset

The world is not really flat.  Not yet, anyway.  In his best-selling book about globalisation in the 21st century, Thomas Friedman suggested that it was.  He argued that massive advances in telecommunications and ten converging trends had “flattened” the world

How South Africa’s economy could be even better

The Economist, 22 July 2010 edition highlighted a recent report by the OECD on South Africa. This is the first time the OECD has ever produced such a report, and their findings come as no surprise to any thinking person

Are your talented staff selfish and greedy? Take this quiz to find out

FastCompany ran this superb quiz in their recent edition. My colleagues, Dean and Barrie, both stress how most companies have messed up “talent” by implementing policies and systems that have bred selfish, greedy and self-serving individuals. This quiz is a
button-static-50x6022

The printed Oxford English Dictionary is no more

The times are truly changing. In a press release earlier this week, the Oxford English Dictionary announced that it may never again be released in print. This is not as bad as it sounds – it relates only to the

Is Google becoming a former supermodel?

In the rapidly changing world of the Internet, Google has become one of its superstars. Within little more than a decade Google has risen to be a giant in the industry with almost 20,000 employees, revenue of $23.6 billion and
button-static-50x6020

Declining Job Markets everywhere – even chicken sexers are changing

I had to check that it wasn’t April Fool’s Day when I read an article yesterday. It tells the story of an industry that is changing. On this blog, we try to provide the reasons why the future of world

A bit of fun: 10 Incredible Politician Technology Gaffs

FastCompany magazine recently were a bit taken aback by a very unscientific survey that rated the “Digital IQ” of the United States Senators. It was a completely nonsense survey, but it did allow the magazine the opportunity to poke fun

Cell C may need more than (Trevor) Noah’s Ark to get them out of this one?

I’m sure it started out as a great idea at CellC Marketing HQ? The mobile phone industry has a mostly terrible name when it comes to customer service. Lines drop all the time, prices cripple you, data crawls regularly and

As Google Wave dies, here’s what Foursquare does NOT understand about social media

Google officially axed the underutilised (and overhyped) Google Wave project last week (read Fast Company’s obituary here). I have a fear that my favourite geo-tagging program, Foursquare, will go the same way. Foursquare allows you to use your mobile phone’s

Talent teams vs Talented individuals

A new report is about to be released in Organization Science, entitled: “Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth: How High Status Individuals Decrease Group Effectiveness” (Authors: Boris Groysberg, Jeffrey T. Polzer, and Hillary Anger Elfenbein). Their Abstract says: Can groups

Using Design thinking to create a culture of innovation

Working through some old magazine clippings last week, I found this amazing excerpt from a book that was released just a year ago. It’s by Tim Brown, the CEO of design shop IDEO, and is called “Change by Design” (buy

Where are the markets going? No-one really knows, and that's the 'new normal'

One of the strong messages of our work on future trends is that this recession has been more than just a financial downturn. In almost every industry we work in, the past two years have seen the acceleration of forces

Where are the markets going? No-one really knows, and that’s the ‘new normal’

One of the strong messages of our work on future trends is that this recession has been more than just a financial downturn. In almost every industry we work in, the past two years have seen the acceleration of forces
button-static-50x6018

Are Most Big Corporates Really Psychopaths?

RANT ALERT. Most times I try to be a dispassionate researcher of the new world of work. But sometimes I just can’t take it anymore. Today is one of those days… Almost every day I pick up a story on

SPAR, Good for You: Real Learning

“Let’s get rid of the tables” came the suggestion.  An innocent enough suggestion but one that signalled a significant shift had taken place. It was the SPAR Leadership Development Programme (SLDP) reunion and the 2009 / 10 cohort had organised

Ebooks outsell hardbooks on Amazon – another marker of signficant change

For the first time in history (I seem to using that phrase a lot at the moment), ebooks now outsell hardcover books on Amazon (read the report here). You can also listen to an excellent speech by Seth Godin to

BP might fix their well, but big industry is still broken

As I write this, BP have capped their gushing oil well in the Gulf of Mexico (although they still need to complete tests on the cap – read the news here). At last! But the crisis is, of course, nowhere

Opinion: Ashwin Desai… What a Loser!

Everyday during the course of the World Cup I have kept a newspaper. Why? Well I’m guessing that some day down the road it will be good to review the amazing period we have just lived through. I am sure

Reaching the Tipping Point in the shift from books to e-readers

Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The  Tipping Point, explores the idea that products, ideas, values, etc can be tipped, or do tip when certain criteria are ‘activated’. Wikipedia describes a Tipping Point (sociologically) as: In sociology, a tipping point or angle of repose is the event of a

America reinvented – as a hub nation

The American response to the BP catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico is a sad sign that the promise of the Obama presidency is unlikely to be fulfilled. Obama promised change – specifically he promised that he would change how

Glastonbury is not what it used to be

With the UK summer festival season well and truly underway, and the granddaddy of them all, Glastonbury about to finish, I was interested in the analysis of The Spectator. My colleague, Dean, has just recently posted two great blog entries

The beautiful game: Is it just me?

Is it just me or have football players taken acting lessons? The FIFA World Cup has been littered with theatrical dives and players going down as if they have been poleaxed by a Mike Tyson hook when in fact replays

So close yet no cigar!

I recently moved house and needed to have my mail redirected. The Royal Mail has an awesome service that automatically redirects your mail to a new location for just a small fee. It’s great as it means no worrying about

Where do you find your music? There’s a game for that!

We all know that the music industry is in huge trouble. Their fight against the music “pirates” is only going to end in tears – they need to work on new strategies. Luckily, some of the players in the industry

Where do you find your music? There's a game for that!

We all know that the music industry is in huge trouble. Their fight against the music “pirates” is only going to end in tears – they need to work on new strategies. Luckily, some of the players in the industry

Don’t look now – it’s China, but not where you expect her

Whenever people talk of China’s role in the world, there are normally two thoughts that spring to mind. China is fast ‘colonising’ the developing world, building key strategic relationships with resource countries around the world. And, manufacturing jobs in the

Don't look now – it's China, but not where you expect her

Whenever people talk of China’s role in the world, there are normally two thoughts that spring to mind. China is fast ‘colonising’ the developing world, building key strategic relationships with resource countries around the world. And, manufacturing jobs in the

Creating Raving Fans: Something to learn from Liverpool Football Club

Liverpool Football Club (LFC) has long enjoyed manic support from the terraces and I for one include myself in that tribe. It is a club with a rich heritage and traditions that evoke envy and admiration in equal measure. Yesterday

Why supermarkets will fail, and other nonsense predictions

I am sitting in a Leadership Conference in Beijing, China (details here), and listening to Dr Jenny Darroch, a Huffington Post columnist and Professor of Marketing at the Peter F Drucker School & Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management. She

Some (more) gems from our archives – valuable reading!

This blog has been running since 2003, and has nearly 2,000 individual entries. At one level it is a living library of the “new world of work”, captured as it emerges around us. I have recently taken some time to

Some hidden gems from our archives – valuable reading!

This blog has been running since 2003, and has nearly 2,000 individual entries. At one level it is a living library of the “new world of work”, captured as it emerges around us. I have recently taken some time to

Best blog posts of the last month

It’s been a long time since I have done a “best of” list, and today I plan to do two. The first is the best blog entries of the last month. It’s a been a good month for this blog,
Picture-2-187x300

The day Apple became more valuable than Microsoft

At the close of market yesterday Apple became bigger, by market cap, than Microsoft. This is huge and reflects the market’s belief that although Apple isn’t as big as Microsoft, (and probably never will be), nor does Apple make or

Just a Thought: Do conferences have to be so dreadfully dull?

This is the second in the “Just a Thought” series by Dr Graeme Codrington for the TomorrowToday ezine. (Read his first contribution on Getting Rid of Your IT Department here). Conferences seem to have taken a backward step during the

Book review: Orbiting the Giant Hairball

I am becoming increasingly interested in company structures that are trying to use quantum mechanics (as opposed to Newtonian science) as the basis of their design. The simplest versions of these are linked to the concepts of cloud computing and

Content farms – the future of journalism

Newspapers and magazines are going through a tough time. Not because of the recession, but because they don’t seem to know what to do with the Internet and the rise of free content. Some are choosing to try and sell

Crowdsourcing comes to Hollywood

I was recently introduced to Peter Vesterbacka, who heads up an innovative company called Wreckamovie. The concept is simple: use social media concepts to facilitate the crowdsourcing of movie making. Or (without the web 2.0 jargon): use the Internet to

Square – accept credit card payments via your cellphone

You heard about it here first. My colleague, Dean van Leeuwen wrote about this trend at the beginning of March (read his post on the Future of Money). Something he just mentioned in that post was launched officially today (and
Picture-141

@HeathrowAirport – a great case study for customer connectivity

Not many companies get how to use Twitter. @heathrowairport does! Bottom line Twitter and all other social media platforms are about building relationships with customers and entering into a dialogue. Check out @heathrowairport on Twitter. What impresses me about what

Dean interviews the COO of Zappos and Director Marketing Operations of Harley Davidson on customer experience

A lot of folks are drinking the Zappos kool-aid these days. And it’s easy to see why. Because every now and then you come across a company that’s so contrarian in its thinking and execution that it leaves most observers

Partnering with customers

Partnering with customers is a trend that I’m a huge advocate of. The new world of work demands that companies actively engage with and enter into mutually beneficial relationships with customers. Companies that create and encourage channels allowing customers and

WTF Goldman Sachs

Most of the time I am able to be even keeled and calm about most things. I have had occasion in life to be in tough, crisis and challenging situations, and have a reputation for being cool, calm and collected.

Reinventing customer service

The Great Recession has had a lasting impact on consumer behaviour and attitudes. Citi announced that 75% of people researched in a recent survey believe their attitudes towards savings and loans have changed forever. Combine this with social media providing

Why the UK needs a Jon Stewart

I really don’t like how the UK media (especially radio and TV) do political interviews. The journalists are exceptionally and unnecessarily antagonistic, and seem much more intent on tripping up their interviewees than finding any facts or truth in the
IMG_1497

The Global Wraps FourSquare last mile flop

When FourSquare opened it’s ‘borders’ to include South Africa, I think I might have been in the 20 first users. I worked hard to learn the culture and energy around this social media positioning platform that I was reading so

M-Pesa. Here she comes…

In November 2009 I suggested you should watch M-Pesa, Vodacom and Nedbank. I was right (according to 702). I guess it could be said it was fairly obvious? With all the cross-over in board members, owners, and the move of

Generation Y young people – NOT coming soon to a bank near you

In a report released in February 2010 by Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) (download the PDF here – 2.8Mb), the needs of a younger generation of banking customers was investigated. It makes for interesting reading. Some of the highlights

The challenge of doing business in China

I am a regular reader of Booz Hamilton & Co’s newsletter, S+B (Strategy + Business). I’d highly recommend you sign up for it – here. In their latest edition, their lead article was titled “The China Challenge” and presents an

The coming revolution in microinsurance

There has been a lot made of microlending in the past few years – most notably in the awarding of a Nobel Peace Prize to Grameen Bank founder Mohammed Younis for his work in Bangladesh. Now, throughout the developing world,

New gas markets are opening up

One of the major issues we are all facing is the looming energy crisis. Dwindling oil supplies, pollution from dirty energy sources (such as oil and coal) and growing fears around global warming are all combining to create a fairly

Who might be the big winner in cloud computing and virtualization

It’s not who you think… But, then it never is, is it? Video games didn’t come from Mattel or Waddingtons. Horse and cart manufacturers never really got into motor cars. Fountain pen manufacturers didn’t come up with the ballpoint. And

Airport security is a sham

My team and I travel a lot. We have literally millions of air miles between us over the past decade. And we all hate airports and airlines. We mainly hate them because they lie to you. It can’t be that

What you could get away with… if you were a corporation (by Jon Stewart of The Daily Show)

The Daily Show, by Jon Stewart, is one of my TV habits. It’s a satirical news show, that specialises in showing up the political and corporate establishments for their hyprocrisy. Their staple diet is to take sound bites from the

Africa’s Gift to Silicon Valley: How to Track a Crisis

A report under this title appeared in the New York Times on 12 March 2010. It’s a great example of a few things, but especially of the power of social media, and the fact that innovation (and competition) can come

Lessons from Kraft shutting a Cadbury factory

Today, Kraft executives came before the British Parliament to answer queries about the closure of a Cadbury’s factory near Bristol with the loss of 400 jobs. The reporting on this by the news media is sloppy and sensation-seeking. Kraft is

A Radical Proposal for Executive Pay

Everyone agrees that something must be done about executive pay. One of the major contentious issues emerging out of the financial crisis is the way that senior executives and manager, especially in the financial industries, are remunerated. These days, executive

Why do corporates act like machines when dealing with clients?

I am a big fan of Lucy Kellaway, a Financial Times journalist who is on a mission to expose and expunge the stupid and idiotic practices of the corporate world. Having been doing it for many years, she now has
button-static-50x607

When social media grows up… it will change everything

Download a copy of this article in PDF format – right click here. The contents of this article can be presented as a keynote or a workshop for your team – we call that “Beyond the Hype“. Contact our UK

The Internet? Bah!

Many years ago, in a South Africa finding it’s way to it’s first democratic election, a friend of mine would often say, “Don’t be a victim of your own words.” He of course was referring to saying things that might come back and

Relationship without investment – the example of online dating sites

My business partner, Barrie Bramley, has come up with a fantastic phrase to describe one of the foundational principles of social networking: “Relationship without investment“. I think he’s spot on with this. That’s why the Oxford Dictionary voted “unfriend” the

Tesco launches world’s first zero-carbon emission store

Tesco sometimes takes a few knocks in the press. Most recently for not allowing people wearing pyjamas into their stores and another for asking a father, for safety reasons, to leave a store because he was balancing his six-year old

Tesco launches world's first zero-carbon emission store

Tesco sometimes takes a few knocks in the press. Most recently for not allowing people wearing pyjamas into their stores and another for asking a father, for safety reasons, to leave a store because he was balancing his six-year old

Marketing and product development for Boomers

Appliance makers GE and Whirlpool have been quick to recognised to economic power of the silver tsunami (or baby boomers over the age of 50!) and are making great strides in product development. The Wall Street Journal in it’s article

A breakup, bowiechick, webcams and Logitech’s increased sales

I am currently at the F-Secure partners conference in Vienna, Austria, and have been listening to Richard Gatarski speak about a passion for social media. One incredible story illustrates the power that new social media forms have to influence brands,

A banking revolution?

Accenture recently put out a report entitled, “Banking 2012: Preparing for a revolution”. How I’d love to believe they are right. The executive summary says that the banks that will succeed are those that focus on transparency, simplicity and renewed

A Conversation around Google and China

I began a brief e-mail conversation recently with my colleague in the UK, Graeme Codrington, around the China v Google story. Or Google v China, depending on who you side with : ) I thought I’d take it online with

Hollywood, explain this… (Avatar breaks two very different records)

In almost every country it is being shown, James Cameron’s latest movie, Avatar is breaking box office records. It has already made over $ 1 billion, and is well on its way to being the best selling movie of all

Good leaders share the pain with their teams

This coming year is likely to see continued difficulties in most companies. Recovery is on its way, but it will be slow, and profits are likely to be low. In this environment, many companies are going to ask staff to

British Airways cabin crew on strike – how to strike back!

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, I hope you’re expecting a calm analysis of yesterday’s announcement of a 12 day strike of British Airways cabin crew, effectively grounding the airline over the busy Christmas holiday season (remember schools

Which movie does that come from? (Wonder know more!)

I picked up a tweet recently which talked of a great new resource called MovieClips. Simple concept – you can remember a line from a movie, but cannot for the life of you remember which movie it’s from. You could

In a Web 2.0 world, business has it’s head buried firmly in the sand

I’m curious. Curious about business’ lack of engagement with Twitter  / FaceBook / Tumblr / Google and everything else Web 2.0. I would have thought that any communication channel getting the sort of traction, focus, attention and subscription that these

In a Web 2.0 world, business has it's head buried firmly in the sand

I’m curious. Curious about business’ lack of engagement with Twitter  / FaceBook / Tumblr / Google and everything else Web 2.0. I would have thought that any communication channel getting the sort of traction, focus, attention and subscription that these
button-static-50x606

TIDES of Change: the five trends disrupting business in the next 5 years

Updated in May 2010 Download a copy of this article in PDF format – right click here. The contents of this article can be presented as a keynote or a workshop for your team. Contact our UK or South African

M-Pesa, Vodacom, Nedbank and Rob Shuter

Earlier this year Rob Shuter (head of Nedbank Retail) resigned from Nedbank and joined Vodacom as Financial Director. It was an exciting move from my perspective as I watch mobile phone companies (and technology in general) redefine how we do

The age of cheap oil

I’ve just watched a brilliant presentation by Rob Hopkins, founder of the Transition Movement on TED. He reminds us that the oil our world depends on is steadily running out, and proposes a unique solution to this problem — the

The Next Wave or just a ripple?

Earier this month I posted a blog titled Is the bubble set to burst again in 2010? Today in The Times is reporting that the second wave may be hitting earlier than expected. The front cover article titled Dubai in

25 "talented" people behind the meltdown

I’m currently researching and writing an article called “Talent has given business a bad name” and came across a really good article in The Guardian In this article Guardian City editor Julia Finch picks out the individuals who led us

25 “talented” people behind the meltdown

I’m currently researching and writing an article called “Talent has given business a bad name” and came across a really good article in The Guardian In this article Guardian City editor Julia Finch picks out the individuals who led us

The James Martin 21st Century School – understanding the future

I am a huge fan of James Martin. Not the celebrity chef. Nor the inventor of the aircraft ejection seat. Nor any of the other famous James Martins. I am a huge fan of James Martin the futurist and author

The Hand of God – Part 2.

I watched in horror last night has one of the world’s finest footballers, Thierry Henry cheated in order to secure his country’s participation in FIFA’s World Cup next year. His blatant handball allowed France to score the goal that broke

Cleaning up the game (ban Henry from World Cup, and boycott Gillette?)

For the last few years, there has been a lot of talk about corporate corruption. It can probably be traced back to Enron, and the spate of corporate scandals that emerged at about the same time. More recently, the economic

The PM’s misspelt letter – a parable of modern Britain?

Poor old Gordon Brown. The Prime Minister of Britain just can’t seem to do anything right. This past week, he did what he always does, which is to hand write a letter of condolence to a bereaved family member. Every

The future for banks and a better way to pay bankers

POSTED 10 November 2009; UPDATED 11 November 2009 One story is going to run for the next 3-5 years at least: how to fix the banking system. The big media headline grabbing story is how to regulate bankers’ pay. It

1989 – a year that changed everything (everywhere)

Today is the twentieth anniversary of the Berlin Wall coming down. In just a few weeks, we’ll also celebrate twenty years since the Velvet Revolution (Prague, 17 November), the execution of Nicolae Ceausescu (Bucharest, 25 December), the release of Nelson

Office Technology, Boomers and Generation X & Y

For most Boomers (born 1950s and 60s), the office had the best technology – much better than they had at home. I started work at KPMG Johannesburg in the early 1990s, when they had just imported over 100 Apple System

Office Technology, Boomers and Generation X & Y

For most Boomers (born 1950s and 60s), the office had the best technology – much better than they had at home. I started work at KPMG Johannesburg in the early 1990s, when they had just imported over 100 Apple System

The military needs to change

In our latest presentation, “After Shock“, we talk about the five drivers of disruptive change that are shaping the new world of work. One of these is institutional change. The institutions of the world are the pillars of our society

This is not your father's Mail strike

I am sitting in a hotel in Birmingham, watching the live press conference where the CWU is announcing that the planned UK postal strike will go ahead from tomorrow (Thursday, 22 October 2009). There is the typical bluster of Unions

This is not your father’s Mail strike

I am sitting in a hotel in Birmingham, watching the live press conference where the CWU is announcing that the planned UK postal strike will go ahead from tomorrow (Thursday, 22 October 2009). There is the typical bluster of Unions

Halliburton, rape and mad Republicans

I cannot tell you how much I wish I was wrong. A large part of my job is to try and track trends – especially those issues that will shape the new world of work. Every now and again our

Surprise! Creating experiences for your customers

For many years now, we’ve been telling our clients that one of the keys to connecting with younger customers (Generations X and Y) is to add an experience to your offering. No longer are the traditional “Ps” of marketing (product,

Good to Great… to Gone!

Jim Collins got it wrong. Not totally wrong, but wrong enough that we need to be careful (as always) about who we listen to when designing companies for future success. Too often, leaders take a shortcut and blindly apply models

Oprah and Supply Chains

We all know about Oprah’s ability to significantly impact sales. In both directions. She loves it, we love it and we buy it. She hates it, we hate it and don’t ever buy it. It’s one of the reason’s, I

What Microsoft’s “racism” teaches us about ourselves

The ether is alive with enraged twits, tweeting and blogging on about Microsoft’s racist blunder. If you’ve not heard the buzz, it has to do with MS photoshopping an advert as it transported it from the US (where it features

The increasing bankruptcy of 24 hour news media

I enjoy Jon Stewart’s Daily Show – the satirical news program from the States. Sometimes puerile, sometimes just dumb, but quite often genius, it is an (irreverent) look into US politics, culture and media. This past week, Stewart once again
pixy7

How (not) to do business like Jack Welch

Since leaving GE, Jack Welch has refused to retire gracefully or quietly. He has continued to stay vocal and keep his profile in the media, especially by writing and disseminating business advice. I suppose one shouldn’t begrudge him this –

88 years old and mayer for 30+ years

Today is Nelson Mandela’s birthday. An international icon. But this is not about Madiba. He’s never been mayor. He has been President of South Africa, and leader of the African National Congress (ANC), but never Mayor. This is a video
9781422120606

The war for talent is still on – and it's going to get worse

At TomorrowToday, we are predicting that the recession is only exacerbating the long term trend of companies needing to battle for the talented and appropriately skilled employees they need in order to be successful. We are particularly concerned of a
97814221206061

The war for talent is still on – and it’s going to get worse

At TomorrowToday, we are predicting that the recession is only exacerbating the long term trend of companies needing to battle for the talented and appropriately skilled employees they need in order to be successful. We are particularly concerned of a

The author as performer

The FT (Financial Times) had a great piece recently on how authors are now using the art of dramatic storytelling to enhance the value they add when doing live presentations based on their books. Specifically focusing on Malcolm Gladwell (who

Sustainability – how to engage employees

by Ben Kellard, 27th May 2009 Reposted extract from: Forum for the Future How can you embed sustainability in a way that motivates employees? It’s a challenge for many leaders faced with the question of how to maintain the momentum
pixy4

Empty Hands & Dirty Plates

The dirty plate gets pushed to the edge of the table, begging to be cleared. Staff person after staff person walk past, the plate remains. The ‘invisible’ plate becomes a case study in restaurant efficiency…the tension mounts. Eventually, unable to
42-17773535

You can’t sit this one out

Originally posted at TomorrowToday UK’s article library, and distributed in their March ezine As the recession deepens, with customers dwindling and staff morale dropping, strong leadership is required. Too many companies, and the individuals in them, are falling into a
42-177735351

You can't sit this one out

Originally posted at TomorrowToday UK’s article library, and distributed in their March ezine As the recession deepens, with customers dwindling and staff morale dropping, strong leadership is required. Too many companies, and the individuals in them, are falling into a

Lessons from the best companies to work for in the UK 2009

Published yesterday in the UK Sunday Times, this article highlights a theme that runs through much of the work in HR these days. This article is linked to the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For survey. I am not

Talent: consider cost AND benefit

I read two articles this morning that confirmed a few thoughts in my mind: In a downturn, talent management is MORE important, not less important. The difference between companies that will succeed and those that will fail in these tough
Amadeo_Peter_Giannini_1929

Learning from History

I am a student of economic history, and love seeing the patterns that a study of history reveals. Amadeo Peter Gianini was born in 1870 in California, the son of Italian immigrants. His first occupation was as a produce dealer

Being a “Best Company to Work For” helps during a recession

Here’s an interesting piece of information: According to the UK 2009 Best Companies to Work For survey only 37% of employees in three-star accredited companies – the top award for engagement – are worried about the impact of the current

Being a "Best Company to Work For" helps during a recession

Here’s an interesting piece of information: According to the UK 2009 Best Companies to Work For survey only 37% of employees in three-star accredited companies – the top award for engagement – are worried about the impact of the current

A Lesson in managing (potentially) irate customers

Last Tuesday was my busiest so far this year. Departing home by taxi just after 4am, I took the 5.27am train from Paddington to Taunton, arriving by 9am to set up for an opening keynote. After lunch, I was back

Good news amidst the UK gloom

The UK media is an interesting animal. Some of the best journalists in the world work here, especially in the better newspapers and news magazines. The opinion pieces are often masterpieces of insight and analysis, as well as being written
Best-Companies

Employee Engagement a key to success in a recession

I am not a big fan of “the best company” type surveys. They can be so easily manipulated and quickly become an end rather than a snapshot they’re supposed to be. Nevertheless, they’re out there, and they can give some

Another – new – reason to take Generation Y seriously

There is a mountain of media wordage about “generation y” at the moment. This group of young people has been variously defined as those born from 1978, 1984, 1989 and 1990 until present (or year 2000). However you define them,

The Accounting Profession: Power, Pressure, Perfection and People

Return to TomorrowToday UK website | Download pdf version | Email this website link to a friend The Accounting Profession: Power, Pressure, Perfection and People Since 2002, the accounting profession has been rocked by sensational corporate scandals and subsequent strict

The Future of Publishing’s History

I am not the greatest fan of the publishing industry. The first paperback book, a massive innovation in the industry, was published this week in 1935, and sometimes it seems that was the last innovation the industry has seen. As

The Future of Publishing's History

I am not the greatest fan of the publishing industry. The first paperback book, a massive innovation in the industry, was published this week in 1935, and sometimes it seems that was the last innovation the industry has seen. As

Activists and companies can co-operate

The Economist recently ran a fascinating little piece on how activists and companies need to work towards a common outcome and goal. Read it here (subscription may be required) – or an extract below. It may be idealistic, but it

Developing a good business culture is like making fine wine

I recently read a fantastic interview with Management consultant, Ralph Sink. He has been a lifelong believer in high-performance systems, also known as self-organizing teams and participative management. These require employees to take ownership of their jobs, to collaborate with
ecologo4

Competing for Eco tourists

The Strategy+Business blog and website always has insightful content. It’s the online moutpiece of consulting giant, Booz Allen Hamilton, so that should be no surprise. Subscribe to their e-zine here. This month’s “Leading Idea” was about eco tourism, and how
ap_beijing_070806_ms

Olympics, controversy and you

The Olympic torch has left Athens, Greece on its traditional torch run around the world until it eventually arrives at the Beijing Olympic stadium during the opening ceremony. Right from the first day, it has been met with something that

To err is Terminal 5

I write this entry as a South African. I say that because we’re extremely hard on ourselves on this end of the planet. We often compare ourselves to the resources, experience and might of the ‘developed world’ when we open
0626viagra

V-day

Today is the tenth anniversary of the little purple pill. Although I personally think that big pharmaceuticals should spend more time trying to cure diseases that are part of the scourge of poverty (like malaria and TB), it is noteworthy

Green Homes Concierge

At last, some smaller entrepreneurs are beginning to understand that there is a growing market for environmental products and services. One of the easiest and obvious ones is to help people who want to be greener to, well, be greener…
41Y51YRRA1L._AA280_

Conferences with no power

Here I sit, at another conference without power. Don’t get me wrong – I am not talking about the content. I am at Gary Hamel’s latest thing: “The Future of Management”, a full day session with the innovation guru himself.
art_01_02

Lessons in attitude for the talented (or Ricky Ponting gets his just desserts)

Regular readers of this blog will know that many of the contributors are passionate cricket fans. (For our American readers, that’s the mysterious game that, in its purest form lasts five days and can end in an exciting draw!) Our

The Most Expensive Oil

Today the world wakes up to the most expensive oil ever. Those who believe in market dynamics of supply and demand will have an interesting time explaining this. The problem with oil is not that there isn’t enough oil around,

Just Good Business

In The Economist on 17 January 2008, this article on corporate social responsibility, “Just good business” appeared. It is one of the best summaries of the current state of play in the CSR world. A must read. See the original
pfizer_logo

Click here to get someone else to do this work

Pfizer has recently launched a wonderful new initiative for their most talented staff: the outsourcing of the drudge work associated with most jobs. It’s quite a simple concept, really – top end, talented staff spend a fair proportion of their

A car for the people of the world

This is how new markets are made, and how worlds are changed! Today, Tata released their latest car. It was a car that all of their rivals said could not be made. About 5 years ago, Tata announced that were

More lessons from SAS Institute

Over the years I have been doing presentations about attracting and retaining talent, I have watched global lists of “Best Companies to Work For”. Very consistently, SAS Institute, a privately owned software company based in the USA, has been rated

50 Ways to Green Your Business

Fast Company is a brilliant magazine. Their website is equally superb. They recently had a massive feature article on ways to make your business more environmentally friendly. From: Issue 120 | November 2007 | Page 90 | By: Mark Borden,
insomnia-cures-sleeping-child-picture

The world’s worst products

The world’s worst products, as voted for by Consumers International. Coca-Cola – for continuing the international marketing of its bottled water, Dasani, despite admitting it comes from the same sources as local tap water. Kellogg’s – for the worldwide use

The Airbus A380 is delivered – but will it deliver?

The long awaited monster passenger plane, the Airbus A380, is now ready for delivery. In fact, Air Singapore today took delivery of their first plane with much pomp and ceremony. Read about it here at the international airlines news, and
the_mail_on_sunday

Prince for Free

This Sunday, the Mail on Sunday newspaper in England will hand out free copies of Prince’s (The artist previously known as Symbol, previously known as Prince, etc) new album, Planet Earth. The album was self produced by Prince, and the

URTrmn8d – Sacking employees by text message

Here’s an old story that I just picked up. Mainly from the humour list, Top5. See below for the funny side of this. Over 2,500 people learned they’d lost their jobs when the British Amulet Group fired them by sending
2097645-Pic_of_the_Plane-Johannesburg

Transponders, airlines and the people who use them

I’m currently sitting on the tarmac of Durban’s Airport, on a 1Time flight having already taken off, circled and landed back where we started. Technical problem with a transponder they tell us? Whatever. Nothing to do, so I thought I’d
ikea_thumb

IKEA Experience: We make men feel like men again

In a surplus world, filled with similar goods and services, sold in similar stores which reside in similar looking strip malls or warehouses, sold at similar prices by staff who swap companies every few years, we need to do more
Air-NorthwestVideoSeating

In flight education – consumer value shifts

A nice innovation is being experimented with by Air France, JAL, Singapore and Virgin airlines. They will now be offering in-flight language tutorials on selected routes, helping passengers to learn a few key words and phrases of the language of
aacs-blank-screen

Locking up information

The first time I heard about the AACS ‘secret’ code (AACS is the anti-copying system built into HD-DVDs) being aired on the net, was the user revolt on Digg that made news on the blogosphere. Then this morning while browsing

In the dark

You need to know that I am grumpy. At 1:29am this morning, my electricity was turned back on – after 3 days of being off. I mean completely off – nada, nothing – since Monday night at 3am. Then, as

The Pope's Limbo

It’s official. After 800 years of being Catholic church policy, the theological construct of “limbo” has been abolished (read the International Herald Tribune on this). This was a place were unbaptised babies were said to go, awaiting some kind of

The Pope’s Limbo

It’s official. After 800 years of being Catholic church policy, the theological construct of “limbo” has been abolished (read the International Herald Tribune on this). This was a place were unbaptised babies were said to go, awaiting some kind of

Mount Grace Country House and Spa: how NOT to manage a management change

One of our family’s favourite luxury holiday destinations has been Mount Grace. My father was a friend of the founder, and so I have known about this hotel literally since attending its opening many years ago. Before our youngest child

The Luxury Touch

In Strategy+Business, recently, there was a great article on “The Luxury Touch” by by Robert Reppa and Evan Hirsh. They suggest four things that luxury brands have to consistently get right in order to differentiate themselves from the also rans:

Yes, it will cost more

I spend much of my time helping companies to create corporate cultures that will attract and retain talented young people. This involves looking at everything from terms and conditions of employment, remuneration policies and bonus schemes, to office layout, use
pre_cinema

NOT always better on the big screen

South Africa’s top cinema chain, Ster Kinekor, uses the tagline, “Always better on our big screen” in their advertising. Well, the last few times I’ve gone out to a cinema, I’ve had exactly the opposite experience. I have previously complained
suitcases

Manager, offshore thyself

A great article in the latest Economist magazine looks at the issue of corporate locations, and where you place your key executives. The subtitle asks: “Does the location of a company’s headquarters matter any more?” Read the article, from the

IBM to spend $50 million on staff financial education

The China Post is reporting this morning that IBM has announced a $50 million staff development initiative specifically aimed at improving their staff member’s financial education. Employees, as well as their spouses or domestic partners, will be offered a series

Green Banking

ICICI Bank has started to become an internationally watched brand, since it was featured in “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid” (a book by Prahald, available at Amazon.com or Kalahari.net). It is one of the largest banks in

Fast Company’s “Fast 50″ – 50 profit-driven solutions for fixing the planet

Every year, Fast Company releases a list of companies doing good things for the planet. This year, they extend the list to companies, organisations and individuals. The list is an interesting and uplifting one, in a sea of dark news

Cost cutting for competitiveness – really? What about executive pay!

In yesterday’s Star newspaper’s Business Report, there was an article on how Beacon, a sweet making division of Tiger Brands, had had to face up to stiff Brazilian competition. For example, by shaving just 1mm off each sweet’s wrapper, they

How not to apply for a job

This is too good to be true… It was reported in London newspapers last week, and is just unbelievable. It’s an anti-talent story. The story of a young web designer looking for a job in Dubai. He applies by email,
main

The Company of the Future

In Fast Company, Dec/Jan 07 edition, there is a short piece about a new type of company, entitled “Ears Wide Shut“. The company is Squeezebox, which sells “a $300 device that lets audiophiles take digital music from their computer hard

WH Smith closes pension fund

Today, it was announced that WH Smith, the UK retailer, would close its company pension fund and restrict it only to existing members. This would mean that over the next few years, the pension fund would decline and eventually die
7235

Fat Cats march on in 2007

The last few years have seen obscene payments made to CEOs. The gap between what the top managers earn and what labourers in their factories earn has never been as wide as it is today (unless you go back to
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Five Most Important People Trends of the Next Five Years

It is becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate between competitors in almost every industry in the world. New innovations are quickly copied and improvements in quality, service and price are easily matched. In this globalised world, you can no longer differentiate
qnomoreoffice

qnomore – gotta love the free market

Anyone who knows me will know that I am irrationally exuberant about South Africa’s future. I believe my home country has a rich legacy, a wonderful heritage to share with the world, and a bright future. Of course, there are

MILLENNIALS PLAN TO REWARD OR PUNISH COMPANIES

If the results of a recent study are true, then Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) needs to become a priority for companies and fast. A research study by the strategic planning and consumer insights division of AMP Agency shows that 61%

Girl Scouts update for the 21st century – its all about leadership

Sept. 18 /PRNewswire/ (full report here) — As it approaches its 95th anniversary in 2007, Girl Scouting is undergoing a historic transformation to modernize the iconic organization and focus on leadership development for girls in the 21st century. Addressing each

No room at the Inn

Maybe it’s just my lack of skill and ability, and so I submit this post, open to learning from those who know better…. * I’m looking for the details of a Holiday Inn Hotel in Cape Town. I go to

Larson not laughing

Gary Larson, creator and cartoonist of The Far Side © recently sent me an email. Now, under normal circumstances, I would have been ecstatically thrilled at this. The man is one of my heroes, and his self-imposed retirement from drawing
newspapers

The Future of Newspapers

We have a few clients who work in the news and publishing industries. These industries have always seemed out of date to me, but I recognise that many of these companies are working hard (scrambling?) to get into the digital
baesystems

BA Systems release environmentally friendly weapons

In the The Sunday Times in the UK today, there is a bizarre story about BAE Systems (read it here). This company produces a variety of products, mainly military armaments. In a report on Sunday, BAE Systems announced that they
42075956_dunn_ap

HP spy scandal

News broke this past week that HP board chairperson, Patricia Dunn, had ordered a probe into how information was being leaked to the press. This investigation led to the obtaining of personal phone records of some directors, and at least

Listen to your customers

Every marketer says that they do. Companies swear that they know their customers. But, as a fantastic article from Fast Company shows, most organisations are just fooling themselves. Its a long read, but well worth it – from Fast Company,
easyjet

Now I feel REALLY safe

I have travelled quite a bit since the terrorist plot to blow up planes was uncovered two weeks ago in England. In fact, I actually landed at Heathrow on the Thursday morning it all went down, and was kept waiting
IBM_logo

IBM Puts Dollars Behind the Crowd

IBM CEO Samuel Palmisano has announced what he calls an Innovation Jam – an attempt to come up with new business and product ideas by leveraging the collective intelligence of IBM’s 100,000-strong ‘crowd‘. According to Yahoo! Business, IBM has “used

Significance in the Connection Economy

When we speak about a sense of significance, this could be an implied point anyway, that significance needs not be found in the workplace only. Reading an article this morning on companies that promote and belief in social awareness, I

Motorola – creating flexibility

Motorola, (in South Africa at least) has reportedly been experimenting with a shift to more work-life balance in their working hours and office inhabitation requirements. Apparently, non-traditional working hours are the norm, driven by a vision of seamless mobility where

Best Business (Graeme Codrington on Carte Blanche)

Last night, Dr Graeme Codrington was on Carte Blanche (a South African investigative TV show), talking about Great Companies to Work For. A lot of the information came from TomorrowToday’s presentations on Talent, especially “Bright Young Things“. It was also

Microsoft Uses Firefox

At least some of their developers do…. An absolute classic. I was trying to download Microsoft Media Player 10 (to reinstall it, because ONCE AGAIN, MS Windows and MS Media Management and MS PowerPoint are not all talking to each

What’s Wrong With Football

Now that the hoopla of the World Cup is over, I can express something I know a lot of people have felt (see here for example). This World Cup set a record for cautions with 345 yellow cards, a 27
PepsiCoca

Co-opetition

Co-opetition: This was a word invented by Edward de Bono, that described co-operation between competitors. This is a feature of the Connected World. A small story caught my eye this past week. Recently, two employees of Coca-Cola (at head office
50_who_matter_banner

Business 2.0 Gets It

Business 2.0 recently released its list of 50 People Who Matter NOW, and 10 People Who Don’t just to compliment it. No huge surprises on the Top 50 Who Matter list, if you understand that the role of the consumer

Dubai in the Connection Economy

A few years ago, the super clever leaders of Dubai realised that oil was not going to last forever. Maybe only 20 years (some scaremongers think this is so), maybe 100 years, or maybe even more than that. But whatever

Grapevine marketing

We’ve all heard of viral marketing, product placements in movies and TV, and know the power of word of mouth. But now Proctor & Gamble (P&G) have taken this a step further. They’ve started paying hundreds of thousands of moms

Complaining about discrimination

Last week, the USA Supreme Court ruled on the matter of Burlington Northern v. White, a sexual discrimination case. Basically, the woman involved had been verbally harassed by a male supervisor in front of her all male colleagues. When she

Trillion Dollar Industries: The Next Big Things?

I could back this up if I needed to, but my gut and all the evidence points to the fact that the “next Google” (the next big company that takes the world by storm) will come from one of the

Connections matter

There’s a company in the US called ‘American Apparel‘. They’re well known for being a ‘non-sweat’ shop business that gives everyone who works for them a better deal than possibly other T-Shirt Manufacturers. Google them to connect to links that

Phones for Boomers

A few months ago, we commented that phone companies wanting to connect with Boomers should stop innovating, and start listening to their customers. Read that post here. Thanks to Pete Schumacher, my mate at Net#work BBDO, here is a company

No Name Brand

The “No Name” brand is instantly recognisable by any South African. Its a brain child of Pick n Pay (SA’s equivalent of Tesco’s, Safeways, etc). The concept was to provide quality products, from a trusted source, without having to pay

Staying alive through Marketing

There’s a well used analogy around the buggy-whip and the introduction of the motor-car. It didn’t matter how good your whip was. Didn’t matter how cheap. Didn’t matter how well you could make them. No market = no sales. There

M-Web should rule ADSL

Two or three weeks ago I told Telkom Internet that they could kindly take their service and…. well, take it somewhere else. This after one of the most incredulous customer service experiences I’ve ever had. It all started a few

The Little Things

This is a photo of the ‘smoking section’ in the Keg, Johannesburg International Airport. I think it’s a stroke of genius. In most restaurants, tucked away in some corner, smoking sections often resemble neglected herpetological exhibits. I’m not a smoker,

The community employer – a new employment contract

It is not breaking news that business paradigms are shifting significantly. The difference, in historical terms, is that the shift is taking place on a global scale never seen before. Thomas L. Friedman, in his seminal book The World is

Life Among The Dinosaurs

Here is a great article on newspapers. Worldwide, the newspaper industry is in such a complete state of denial that it is almost tragic. Enough of them are having a few successes with some of what they are currently trying

My blog is my sword

My brother phoned me the other day. I was on leave with my family but what he had to say just couldn’t wait. In a rushed and high-pitched tone he told me he just ‘did’ his first blog. I’ve not
ADV_rip

The Connection Economy and the Death of Advertising

Regular readers of this blog will know we try and track uses of the term, “Connection Economy”. For us, its a key term that describes the emerging reality of the 21st century. Its a world in which WHAT you sell

4 Predictions abut the future of work

FastCompany has an article in their March issue, ‘Fealress Predicitons (and what to do about them)’. These are their 4 predicitons about the future of work: 1) No Benefits, Better Jobs 2) Blue Collar Gets Sexy 3) Everything Global is
quote_agent

Agents are at serious risk from gen X & Gen Y

In 2004, Vertis, a provider of targeted advertising, media and marketing services, announced the results of a survey they had completed. It concluded that today’s young people (Gen X: born 1970s and early 80s; and Gen Y, born 1980s to

Chuck, The Hoff and Isuzu

I am pretty jaded about advertising. Only the surprising and clever (and possibly the downright wierd) adverts even et my attention. And very few of them even entice me to part with my cash. So, maybe I’m not the best

Toyota’s Secret

In a recent Fortune magazine, somewhere in a story about Toyota, I zero-ed in on this quote from Jeffery Liker out of his book ‘The Toyota Way’… Is Toyota a conservative company? Yes. Does it seem to be very plodding
cryonics-15

Cryonics founders cremated

This article was posted on www.iol.co.za sourced from Ananova.com These people were frozen while they waited for medical science to discover two things: 1) How to cure the disease that killed them. 2) How to resuscitate people who have been
rocky

Six Jobs that wont be around in 2016

In an article from Fast Company, they have cited six jobs that they think wont exist in 2016. Well, their list is interesting, but lets just think about this for a minute. How many jobs that were critical at the

Office Pirates – Dilbert for X'ers

Here is a great article from the 9 March 2006 edition of New York Times. Once you have read it you may want to visit officepirates.com. Just in case you were wondering…I don’t think this is just for men. Office

Office Pirates – Dilbert for X’ers

Here is a great article from the 9 March 2006 edition of New York Times. Once you have read it you may want to visit officepirates.com. Just in case you were wondering…I don’t think this is just for men. Office
050205_Tips_And_Tricks

Thoughts on corporate blogging

A few interesting articles around the increasingly accepted practice of corporate blogging (whether as marketing devices or internal communications tools) are finding their way into conversations on the Web at the moment. The first, one CNN Money‘s site (but originally
colonel

KFC gets it!

I was fascinated yesterday while reading through my local Caxton newspaper to see a brochure from KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) on their latest offering….oven grilled chicken. WOW!!! In a world marinated (literally) in junk foods, fast foods, flavourants and the
MHS_question-mark

The Reason

The reason they teach biology before they teach chemistry in high school is that biology was invented first. Even though you need chemistry to do biology, but not vice versa. The reason that you have a water bubbler in your

From the "Any Idiot Could Have Told You That" Department

It was announced today that the new daily Joburg newspaper, Nova, is no more. After just four and a half months, it is closing up shop. (Read more here). The paper was aimed at “upwardly mobile young professionals”. Who are

From the “Any Idiot Could Have Told You That” Department

It was announced today that the new daily Joburg newspaper, Nova, is no more. After just four and a half months, it is closing up shop. (Read more here). The paper was aimed at “upwardly mobile young professionals”. Who are
South-African-Airways-logo

SAA does it again: saga continues…

Some time ago I wrote about the way SAA dealt with delays on the Sunday night of the A1 GP out of Durban. No problem about the delays (after all who can control a thunder storm!) but rather the total
41279662_google203ap

The power of Beta

BBC News, 20 January, run a story on Google’s approach to releasing products “early and often”. “We want to try things out, lots of things. Our goal is to fail fast, get the product out, and see what users like,”

SAA do it again

In the SAA lounge await flight 572 to Jhb. A bit grumpy to boot as who wants to be in the lounge on a Sunday afternoon (missing the finish of the A1 GP round the streets of Durban) anyway! My
alan_greenspan

Goodbye Alan Greenspan

On 31 January, in just two weeks’ time, the world’s most influential economic police maker retires. Alan Greenspan has headed up the Fed (USA’s central bank) for the past 18 and a half years. And now he retires, to much

South African Post Office impresses

There are only about 5 Post Offices around the world that run at a profit. South Africa’s Post Office is one of them. In terms of delivery, technology, services and functionality, SA’s Post Office is also rapdily moving up through

Apple released Intel Powerbook

Steve Jobs delivered his keynote yesterday at the Macworld expo in San Francisco. Here’s a list of all the announcements he made and blow-by-blow commentary. But the most exciting announcement is the release of the MacBook Pro – the first
top-100-sports-logo1

It's tough at the top

I listened to the Vice-Chairman of Johnson and Johnson, Christine Poon, at a GIBS evening a few months ago. While cleaning up my office for the onslaught of 2006 I came accross some stats she talked to during her 60
top-100-sports-logo

It’s tough at the top

I listened to the Vice-Chairman of Johnson and Johnson, Christine Poon, at a GIBS evening a few months ago. While cleaning up my office for the onslaught of 2006 I came accross some stats she talked to during her 60
UAL-logo2

United Airlines nausea

United Airlines Nausea : 3 months of hellishly slugging it out against call center staff determined jut to play dumb, lose my ticket, charge me twice...

Office Optional

The Dec 2005 Inc magazine has a great article on Point B, a consulting company with over 200 employees, and no office premises at all. In addition to their virtual nature, they also have a specific approach to their staff

An African Christmas: Awesome customer service

Ed Jordan is fairly well known in South African music circles. Together with some business mates, he has produced a few albums of kids music with a distinctly African flavour – you can get them here. Their latest album is

Cricket in the 21st century

One of the greatest things about southern hemisphere summer holidays is that it is also cricket season. And I am a cricket fanatic (for more on cricket read a serious summary and a humurous summary of the rules). I was

Outside of effective media strategies where else do monopolies hurt

South Africa is home to only one fixed-line-operator. It’s name is Telkom and it’s enjoyed this status for long enough to have generated a fair amount of frustrated customers. Screw the public! Do we care? NO! Why? Look how much
airline-ticket

Airlines and their pricing issues

One of the biggest problems for the airline industry right now is that not one of their millions of customers around the world understands their pricing policies. And I’d venture to suggest that their staff don’t either. In fact, their

The Dead: A Case in Point

Walk into The Chatterbox, a coffee shop in Westville, KZN, South Africa (now you know exactly where it is!). Only having about 30 minutes, I order a muffin and coffee. Settle back and switch on my laptop. Damn… need power
findingnemowall

Any bets on me getting a new DVD?

I bought my daughter the DVD of ‘Finding Nemo‘ a few months ago (not sure when?). As all well watched DVD’s are destined to do, this one cracked, and is no longer playable. So here’s my theory on DVD’s you

Is Telkom taking on Google and Skype?

So Telkom has a VoIP solution called TelkomInternet Communicator. But here’s what I don’t understand…. * It’s essentially the same product as Skype or Google Chat. Why are they doing this? Did they pay someone to develop a product that

Get outta the way, here comes Google

Like me, you’re probably bored of another Google ‘the destroyer’ story. But I found a great few paragraphs on Wired tonight outlining some of Google’s expansion and a brief summary of what they’re up to and who’s in trouble if

An idea: Free airlines

I have been on too many planes in the last 7 days. Probably a total of 40 hours actually sitting in the plane, let alone the airports and taxis. While doing so, I was reading an article about how TiVo
TelkomLogo1

If I ran a business like this, I’d be out of business

I know that posts on this Blog have hammered Telkom (South Africa’s only fixed line telephone operator) recently. And I know that much of South Africa’s online community is doing the same thing. And we all know that they deserve

The World Really Is Flat

Do Microsoft Really Believe It?

Microsoft South Africa are currently running a series of radio and print ads. The theme is how “risky” it is to have unlicensed software. The pic attached here is of a shop left unattended and the door open. The radio

Don’t flysaa.com

I had a query about an international ticket with SAA, so I phoned 0861FLYSAA and this is what I heard … 10h34 (Ring -ring) Thank you for choosing South African Airways. All of our sales agent are presently occupied. Please
rootkit

What do you pay Symantec for?

The world's foremost security expert, Bruce Schneier, writes about the Sony DRM rootkit controversy - and what the interesting questions are which we should ask. To summarise: Sony bundles a rootkit on their music cds which secretly installs itself
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“How to get free food at Mugg & Bean”

Posted on behalf of Glenda & Nicky – In CT, most times when we need to have a meeting, our place of choice is Mugg & Bean. However, after my experience today, I might think twice about going to have
0131467506

The Bottom Half of the Pyramid

Michael Goldman, Lecturer in Marketing, Innovation and Strategy with the Gordon Institute of Business Science, wrote a brief piece about C K Prahalad’s concept of reaching the world’s poor in MarketingWeb. Read it here. The key is a radical rethink

An interview with Jackie Huba

I recently got in touch with Jackie Huba of the Church of the Customer blog following a comment I made on the blog about her already infamous Apple Vlog. Jackie is an influential business speaker, trainer and writer. She recently

Sony and the ‘mother measure’

Excuse me for one last Sony post, but this is a beeooot. A friend mailed me today (sorry if I got in first, couldn’t resist) to say that his mom had forwarded him a ‘Boycott Sony’ e-mail. His comment was
TelkomLogo

Telkom sucks

Let's hope the SNO brings real competition, and unlike Cell C (the third cellphone company) which simply joined the pigs at the trough and provided no real competition for price.The lesson for everyone else works itself out in a company

How to really mess with your customers – The Sony Way

Following up a post on ?ic about Sony over the weekend, here are some of today’s posts on various sites. * Wired News – Boycott Sony After weeks of criticism, Sony has finally agreed to temporarily stand down on an

Sony and how NOT to do the customer experience thing!

How does a company who so often has been on the cutting edge of innovation and known for delighting their customers with some of the most amazing gizmos and gadgets get it so wrong? Personally I think they’ve moved a

Speak Up

Lately I’ve been wondering if we are using our “voices” as much as we should be. (Or in the right ways?) There is so much “communication” happening these days (what with blogging, texting, emailing etc) … but how much of

Profit killed the Dream

One of the lead stories in most newspapers today is that Standard Chartered is offloading 20Twenty. This is my reflection on the 20Twenty story by way of a selection of paragraphs from those e-mails I have been sent by 20Twenty

When the Rules Don't Work

The past few years have seen massive accounting scandals and corporate frauds. In order to protect shareholders, mounds of new legislation have been implemented. The key one is the Sarbannes-Oxley Act in the USA, which has had the effect of

When the Rules Don’t Work

The past few years have seen massive accounting scandals and corporate frauds. In order to protect shareholders, mounds of new legislation have been implemented. The key one is the Sarbannes-Oxley Act in the USA, which has had the effect of
er1300

Australia changes its Labour Laws

This week, the Liberal Australian government has started a massive public awareness campaign for its new labour law revisions, entitled: WorkChoices (read about it at the Labour Party’s website). Its about putting power into the hands of the average worker,

Poaching talent

Many companies today are recruting and attempting to retain staff in an environment where their ‘bright young things’ are being snatched with the lure of bigger salaries and more responsibility. Here’s a short article that caught my eye about SalesForce.com

Posters on the ceiling

There I was yesterday, needing an “urgent” haircut, and finally only being able to get an appointment at the salon where my wife usually goes. They charge a fortune at this place, but they give a bit extra, too. I

Speed Kills

‚If you ask the wrong questions, you’ll get the wrong answers every time.‛ Travelling to different conference venues means that I get to spend a lot of time in the car. One of the favourite venues of South African conference
waiting_queue

Talent at the Banks

Beyond the Algorithm

I’ve just read an article in a recent copy of Wired Magazine about the last 10 years that changed the world. They look at the 10 years since the Netscape IPO (1995) and the people/companies that changed the world (from
hands

Innovation in the healthcare sector Please!!

My wife was feeling a little queasy over the past few days. After having been to India, we both decided that maybe it would be a good idea to get this checked out sooner rather than later (Malaria and Hepatitis

Help I Need to Change My Address

Industry Analysis from an Outsider, #2 � Banking This is the second in an ongoing series that takes the view of a complete outsider into certain industries. Without in any way even attempting to understand the operational constraints and the
39m

They should pay me to watch their movie

A few weeks ago, my wife and I went to the movies (not as easy as it sounds with three pre-school children at home). We saw “The Island” – a fairly good futuristic thriller about cloning (although it bugs me

Beyond National Pride

I was at my daughetr’s school this morning to watch a small play on the Creation (armed with torch and yellow T-shirt, she was part of Day One – when light was created). One of her classmates was wearing a

Well done Jhb International

After a long flight home I was waiting for my luggage at Jhb International airport when to my surprise an announcement was made informing me on the progress that was being made in getting my luggage from the plane to
volvo-concept-18

Volvo Concept car – for women?

I found this post ( http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/050914/lawfns2.html?.v=1) on Volvo presenting it’s first ever car designed by women. My first thought was ‘At last! Someone’s done it’, but as I read through the article I couldn’t shake a nagging thought. We all
button-static-50x604

I Have a Dream

I have a dream that in my lifetime, I would see the revolution of the services company as we currently know it. I have a dream that one day our companies will shrug off the inertia of the past, and

Are all airline’s full of hot air?

Within the space of 24 hours, my relationship with airlines underwent another rollercoaster ride. Loves to travel, hates to fly … is fast becoming my new mantra. It all started when we tried to change the dates of my husband’s

The Rolling Whats!?

Back at Vodaworld’s website this morning in the hope of discovering that upgrading my wife’s mobile phone may lead to the free acquisition of a PSP or iPod nano or something, I was horrified to discover that Vodacom’s newest strategic

Microsoft, Mini-Microsoft and the Talent Exodus

The mileage our monolithic proprietary friend has gained out of its new human persona, attributable to the 2,000 or so registered Microsoft employee blogs, not to mention the now-famous Robert Scoble (of Scobleizer), is suddenly being tainted by a self-proclaimed
logo_kpmg

Auditing in crisis – and a solution?

KPMG, one of the global “Big Four” accounting giants, has acknowledged guilt in criminal tax frauds, by providing sham tax shelters to wealthy clients between 1996 and 2002. This was announced by the US Justice Department on 29 August, together

SAA flight crew don’t give a damn

My friends over at Jo’blog have posted an entry showing how customer-oriented SAA are, despite their recent bad press (see Graeme’s previous entry). When are SAA going to learn that consumer-generated media holds weight? When are they going to start
scuderia_lego_badge

Why lawyers shouldn’t be marketers

Credit to Jackie Huba of the Church of the Customer – blog for picking up on this link. Shimmy off to legos.com to see the accompanying legal admonishment. You will automaticall be directed to the holiest of holies, www.lego.com (naturally).

The Personality of the MD

My colleagues and I spend an awful lot of time in other people’s companies. We often only have a few hours with these companies, as we work with them at their conventions and conferences. These are not “typical” moments in

Twitchy Mobile Networks

Anyone else noticed the ‘twitchy’ behaviour of South African Mobile Phone Operators (specifically MTN and Vodacom) They’re on the offensive with adverts around their cheap calls if you use your phone betwen 17:00 – 20:00. Who uses their phone during

Been fired? Got story? Go here!

Another ‘isn’t blogging wonderful’ application. Been fired? Want to tell someone? Go here!

Looking for Incredible Intelligence

This morning I took my daughter into a computer store (click here) near to where I live. Our objective was to buy a PayStation 2 game suitable for a 5 year old. It was the first time I’d been in

Africa Leaps Forward

The Newsweek of 11 July 2005, carried a multiple page on Africa (read it here). It is fairly upbeat, arguing that Africa cannot wait for foreign assistance or aid, but needs to sort its own house out. It goes on
anarchist

Lessons from anarchy

The 18 August 2005 Economist magazine carried one of the most brilliantly written critiques of world governments’ responses to terrorism. By looking back at the Anarchist movement of the late 19th century, and seeing what governments did then and what

iPod: The Quintessential CGM Example

Ok, so this is not the first time we’ve mentioned iPod’s on this blog. It also won’t be the last. I want to refer back to two previous posts, Graeme’s Could 16 million iPod users be wrong? and my CGM:
86538-samsung_logo

Samsung – The Perpetual Crisis Machine

http://www.fortune.com/fortune/technology/articles/0,15114,1097317,00.html “The biggest barrier to management innovation is the ego – a self that never changes�. These are the words of Jong-Yong Yun, the man accredited for taking Samsung from being a follower in the technology industry, to a leader
logo_quill

The Quillionaire – Innovation 'Reality TV' style

To read the original version of this post go to Innovation Tools – Case Study Lights, cameras, action: Innovation ‘reality TV’ style at Quill Corporation By Stephen Shapiro Innovation — it’s the buzzword of the moment, and for good reason.
logo_quill1

The Quillionaire – Innovation ‘Reality TV’ style

To read the original version of this post go to Innovation Tools – Case Study Lights, cameras, action: Innovation ‘reality TV’ style at Quill Corporation By Stephen Shapiro Innovation — it’s the buzzword of the moment, and for good reason.

Gap stores don’t “Mind the Gap”

Yesterday, Globe and Mail in their investor’s section, gave a report about Gap Inc (owner of Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy brands), indicating that analysts are nervous of its current performance. The feature was headed, “Gap Stores Trip on

Workers of the world unite

In The Economist of 25 Aug 2005, A “Going global” feature looked at the issue of “Workers of the world attempt to unite against Wal-Mart” (login required, I think). The report is of a meeting of some of the world’s

The paradox of SARS

In South Africa our tax collecting department (SARS) has made huge progress in the past 10 years or so. Collections have never been higher. Credit for this dramatic improvement is often given to the marketing campaign SARS has gone on

My coffee-shop office

I love my office. My desk is never at the same place – in fact, I can choose a different desk each time I come to office. Also, my desk is always clean – no scrap papers from yesterday or

FedEx blows it

Thanks to Steve Rubel for an awesome link. The FedEx Furniture dot com guy (Jose) loves FedEx. So much so, that his entire apartment is furnished with FedEx packaging. He raves about it online and has an eclectic readership who

Ever read the EULA?

EULA = End User License Agreement. That annoying scroll-down window of text you always ignore when installing new software. I must’ve installed software hundreds of times, and never once read the agreement. My indifferent attitude has never come back to

Banks – make you think, doesn’t it?

Pete Carruthers is one of my favourite commentators (he needs a blog!). He sends out a regular email (click here to sign up for free), and is a great advocate (he calls himself a Warrior) for small business (mainly in

The Difference

What is the difference between good and bad service? The 11th of August was a big day for me. It was Biannual Cellphone Upgrade day. Time to trade in my outdated (and somewhat worse for wear) Nokia 6100 for a
27

Sun Microsystems and Blogging

Two marvelous links that show how Sun Microsystems is embracing the blogging phenomenon (Inner Circle – Blogging in Business) and “managing” it (Sun Policy on Public Discourse).

Customer service – getting it right!

At last I have a great example of customer service to share! It’s a rare thing – but when a company does get their customer service right it is thing to behold and admire! I recently went shopping at IKEA

Getting your customers to help each other

Nick Bradbury’s Nashville-based company, Bradbury Software, has only one employee – himself. He doesn’t have time to help all of his clients and answer their questions. He solved this problem reasonably easy – he got his customers to help each
dixons_logo

The end of an era

Yesterday, Dixons, one of the UK’s top retailers of electronic goods, announced that they would stop selling 35mm film and cameras in their shops. If we didn’t know it before, they know it now – its the end of an
trans-logo

LogoWorks gets it

LogoWorks designs corporate logos. Wow. So do hundreds of thousands of companies worldwide. But the reason LogoWorks rises above the crowd is that they have designed an internet business model that harnesses the power of ecommerce, attracts bright young things

Yet another way to steal that IP

According to an article in today’s Daily News, ‘Copycats Beware!’ (guess what the article is addressing?) there’s a new angle of attack on those poor people who own intellectual property, who are currently losing zillions and zillions of cash. I
tjo0020

From Democracy to Bureaucracy?

Ever thought what it would be like to start your own business? Whist one would think the government would encourage the establishment of SME’s, which would create employment, which would create stability and so and so on…… Instead it would

Deceptive Public Speakers – or just the blind leading the blind?

A disappointing deception is being perpetrated in the so-called public speaking arena. For years it’s been a ‘norm’ for companies to have a ‘motivational’ speaker at annual marketing, sales and other conferences. Being a veteran public speaker and founding member
Tree_LabeledFellow_72

Social Entrepreneurs can teach us about the Connection Economy

I have been privileged in the last 2 weeks to attend two functions that have pulled at my hearts strings. First a function at GIBS where a group of interested social entrepreneurs came together to listen to the stories of
aptn3417

Trying to catch a train

I have been meaning to write this blog since Friday, in fact it has bothered me constantly that I have not yet written it, esp when I see the volume of pieces that Graeme churns out, so I am making
mtv-logo

MTV gets brave

MTV have never been scared of controversy, but a recently scrapped set of adverts pushes their bravery boundaries in a wonderful way. Check out the images, and the message below.
N52111_200

Fire me for thinking

The nature of blogging has been a contentious issue on TmTd.biz. Graeme, Barrie and Roger have now begun to offer their services as blog consultants. Kudos to them for doing this, but my prayers are with them as well …

Ever read the legal yada yada @ the carwash?

Have you ever really read the legal notices/warnings at carwash? Well, yesterday after some heavy dirt road travelling I popped into a car wash to spruce up the jalopy. I was afforded some great complimentary coffee, and sat sipping it

Talking to customers the AVIS way

In a world where relationships are king, where connection is critical, how is it that AVIS gets to send letters of demand to their clients like the one below. I’m just a little irritated because I think the tone is
TBWA_LOGO

Another reason to question advertising awards

My good friends who work at Ad agencies will disagree, I am sure, but there are always question marks about the nature of Advertising Award Ceremonies. Right now, the ad world’s attention is focussed on Cannes 2005, where global entries

Professional or not?

Sport is a profession, is it not? By this we mean that there are people who make a living out of it – people who have studied and worked hard, who have made the sport their life’s focus, and who

Using Blogs for R&D

Pat Misterovich is a stay-at-home Dad who uses his basement as a development lab. More and more people are doing this type of thing – they don’t need to be zillionaires, nor rich or famous. They just want to be

Best Employers for People Over 50

The AARP (American Association of Retired People) lists some of the best companies to work for, if you’re over 50 – companies who do an excellent job of attracting and retaining “bright old things”. In a world where we tend

The thing with airlines …

I recently had the misfortune of flying from NZ to the UK. I say misfortune only because it’s something like a 30 hour trip – in Economy class. (enough said) Sadly things went progressively down hill when Air Malaysia annouced

Spoof adverts are adverts too

The point of an advert is to call attention to your brand/product, and inspire potential customers to part with some of their cash – in your favour. Many advertising campaigns around the world are spoofed – meaning that third parties

How not to treat your loyal customers

I am sitting in the lounge at Port Elizabeth airport, waiting for the 17h50 flight to Johannesburg. It is an SAA flight. I arrived at the lounge at 14h15, and was informed that because I had bought an X class

Shape the future – do whatever it takes

It is a great battle cry – shape the future – do whatever it takes. It was the rally call from a conference I have just attended where I was invited to present ‘Savvy Leadership: leadership for the 21st Century’.
investec

Ignoring a bad template

A criticism levelled at companies, often by their own people, is that value statements, visions, and the like, sound like every other company on the block. That nothing really differentiates them. It’s a fair criticism on one hand, and maybe

Go Kulula, go!

It’s funny how something that goes wrong, actually gives a company an opportunity to score massive brownie points – depending on how they handle it. I had such an experience with Kulula and afterwards went to their website and posted

ACSA gets up to speed (a bit)

The Airports Company of South Africa is really working hard to upgrade facilities to make SA’s airports worldclass. On the whole, they’re doing a great job. OK, so the lifts in the Joburg domestic terminal are tragic, but that’s a

1st world vs 3rd world – which is which?

This morning I took my baby to Ampath to get blood samples for the Netherland-lab. We also had an option to take him to the Pretoria Academic Hospital tomorrow for the same sample. Obviously we rather decided to go for
spam

Spam Filter – next addition to your Mobile Phone

A while ago one of our Blogs featured a thought on whether Mobile Phones would get more complex or more simple? What can possibly be added, or what should rather be taken away? That debate aside, it’s time we had

Bring your car in one day earlier and we’ll charge you more than double…

Me: “Hi, this is Jean Cooper speaking. I just want to point out a small administrative error: I hired a car from you at R88 per day, but you charged me R235 a day.” Car rental company: “No, sir, it

A Trip to Ikea could change your marriage (no really)

The Independent (UK) on Sunday, 15 May, (read it here – premium content) reports that Ikea is dominating a market you wouldn’t expect. They have had a wedding in a (Canadian) store, their famous in-house branded meatballs have become legendary

Guess our collective ages and sit with us in the cockpit for the landing

Yesterday I flew down to Cape Town. I fly on a variety of airlines. It depends on time and price. These are my variables and I do all my own bookings online. The delight about yesterday’s trip was the attitude

So just how valuable are these brands really?

So, South Africa’s most valuable brand list has been published for 2005, and the top 5 are made up of 3 banks and 2 mobile phone network companies. (Click here for the article) Value is based on future earnings discounted

Come Fly With Me

An Outsider’s Analysis of SAA and the Airline Industry On a recent flight on South African Airways (SAA), I browsed through their in flight magazine (Feb 2005). The new CEO, Khaya Ngqula, wrote a short one page article on the

How not to succeed in China

No one said it was going to be easy. China is going to make and break many companies – internationally and internally. Following on from my entry a few days ago (Why you shouldn’t be too worried about India and

SAA, travel agents and me

Last week, I got an email from our travel agent (Flight Center, if you must kn0w). I was told that it was imperative to ensure that I completed all existing bookings before 1 May when prices would be increasing. On

How long is too long for coffee?

One of the first things I learned at university was around customers and retail. My lecturer asked who was more valuable to a restaurant? The family that came in once each month for dinner, or the guy who came in

Would You Work for Halliburton?

The Devastating Effect of not Taking “Bright Young Things” Seriously. Halliburton History In the midst of all the corporate scandals and alleged shenanigans across the globe in the past few years, the name of Halliburton features quite prominently. This is

Lessons from where you least expect them

I spent 8 hours driving yesterday, to have a 90 minute meeting. Well an interview actually. I met with Thomas Schmuck. He manages a building supply store that is part of the Build It franchise (Click here for their web

New ways to attract top talent

How do you get noticed as a company attempting to hire this year’s crop of bright young graduates? L’Oreal has gone for an interesting strategy. Following the extraordinary success of business based reality TV game shows (we’re not fans of

3G – not the solution to everything

If you have been frustrated at the pricing and service of any of South Africa’s telecomms providers, you might enjoy Clive Simkins’ rant about Vodacom’s recent hassles with 3G (and the warning not to use their option-only Vodafone 3G card):

Rant: Vodacom and Voyager

Excuse me while I scream. Every now and again, I just need to rant. Today, two of them converge: Vodacom (cell phone provider) and Voyager (South African Airways Frequent Flier programme).

Just give it all away

The NY Times, carried a story on 11 April, on IBM hopes to profit by making patents available free (access it here). ABSTRACT: “IBM plans to announce it is making 500 of its software patents freely available to anyone working

Cheap movie tickets all smoke and mirrors

So the whole ‘new low prices’ for movies thing has come to an end, not even a full month after activation. (click here for Marketing Web Article) You gotta love these guys. Didn’t it seem strange when they cut their

Intellectual Property – Up in smoke

According to an article on allAfrica.com (click here for article) Weber (the makers of Kettle Braais and Barbeques) lost a copyright case against Cadac with costs and damages (ouch). The Weber legal team say they’ll appeal and that they lost

Death of the dinosaurs

I have just finished reading an article in the New York Times outlining the recent goings on at AIG in the USA. This has led to the dismissal and resignation of Maurice Greenberg as both CEO & Chairman of the

Sony Playstation Portable – another Sony stuff up

The new Sony Playstation Portable (PSP) is receiving rave reviews. It has an 11cm wide display, with superb graphics and comes in a lightweight, well designed skin. There will be a great many games available for it, since it is

4 Words that got me excited – and I don't know why?

Global Reach; Location Independence; Electronic Knowledge Network; Time Compression. These four headings were used to describe VeriFone’s business model in a FastCompany article today. Click here for full article As I read through the article there was something that immediately

4 Words that got me excited – and I don’t know why?

Global Reach; Location Independence; Electronic Knowledge Network; Time Compression. These four headings were used to describe VeriFone’s business model in a FastCompany article today. Click here for full article As I read through the article there was something that immediately

Correct, cute, cheeky, and/or clever. But which company connects?

A few weeks ago, a wealthy South African businessman paid about R 22,000 to take out a half page advert in a local Cape Town newspaper. His intention was to highlight the bad service he had received from Landrover as

15 Minutes of Wow!

Creating energy in an environment (physical space) seems so simple? When you’re in a place that’s got it, you know it. And when you’re in a place that doesn’t, you know it as well. And to complete the thought, if

Why fight the free market?

A massive public debate has erupted in the last few months in South Africa, and its now in the courts. Its over the control of the price of medicines. In particular, the price at which pharmacists can sell medicines and

All I wanted was a hug

Newspapers meet the web

So, there I was… wondering whether I was in a well known daily newspaper or not (a friend said he swore he had seen me in the Workplace section on Wednesday). So I went online to the newspaper’s online website

Why should it be free?

The use of multiple connection points with consumers, and an understanding that consumers are now more savvy than ever and are much more active and discerning participants in the brand building relationship. A few examples have come to mind that

The girl next door won’t go to the movies

Industry Analysis from an Outsider, #3 � Movies This is the third in an ongoing series that takes the view of a complete outsider into certain industries. Without in any way even attempting to understand the operational constraints and the

The channel that changes everything

The news that has dominated South African newspapers in recent weeks has been the reports about a hacker who has targeted a number of people in the Western Cape area of Bellville. The hacker has been able to access and

Learning from the poison chalice – Understanding leadership in an information age

Physicist, John Wheeler suggests that information may be the basic ingredient of the universe itself. In an ‘information age’ it certainly becomes a key indicator for both organisations and leadership alike. Recently there have been a few high profile stories
button-static-50x60

The death of an agent

The following article has received thebiggest response of the articles we’ve written so far. The style of the article is forthright and challenging, and its possibly the style, rather the content that has got people hot under the collar. We

Dumb moments in business

A dozen Burger King marketing execs suffer first and second-degree burns while walking over hot coals as part of a teambuilding retreat in October. One of the injured, a VP for product marketing aptly named Dana Frydman, tried to put