I’ve shared with you in the past about ten people that get my attention everyday, but there are three authors that reach the very core of what I believe, I have to put them on your radar screen. I’ll assume you like to read, if you’re online, you have no choice. It’s been said, leaders are readers, but readers are not necessarily leaders.
I was recently asked who my favorite author is, I couldn’t answer with just one. I have many, but three tend to be at the top of the list.
These gentlemen have helped shape and affirm what I believe to be true in the world of business, more importantly, they are real people, with real issues, no different than you and I. The big difference, they Create. Differentiate. Deliver. all the time, they have a message for you, and I think we should pay attention.
All three of these authors, along with many others, have taught me in one way or another, to shape, to encourage, and they inspired The Open & Free Business Model, which I teach and preach here on this blog, and to anyone who is even a little bit curious about the 90 / 10 rule, it is the future of business.
The Internet is a huge world, and yet it can feel like a small town, because we are all connected. This connection, or connecting, is the new economy, it is what makes the world go round. It is the connectedness where you will be found, where you will find your place eventually, because someone also believes what you believe, and they will connect with you to become a true fan.
I challenge you to read anyone of these three authors everyday, if you do, your world will change, and it will never stop changing, especially if you put into practice the lessons learned from these brilliant minds.
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The Future Of Business – The Consumers New Found Power. It’s been said forever, the customer is always right. So why doesn’t business believe it, why don’t they practice it? Greed? Probably. I as a consumer, more than anything want accurate information, pure uninterrupted support, ease of access, and above all, the freedom to make a decision without being coerced, or sold.
It’s also been said, that a customers experience with a brand (product or service) is what determines the life span of a business. If it’s good, you get another day. If it’s bad, your days are numbered, it’s really that simple. It’s called Word Of Mouth, people talk, and now they talk to millions at the stroke of the keyboard.
The future of business is like the threat of an avalanche, a business can be wiped out as quickly, and it can grow equally as fast. Why? Word Of Mouth. The Consumer has new found power, many will abuse it, that’s human nature, but many will tell the truth. It’s the truth that’s the problem, it’s harder to deal with, it’s harder to make corrections when the truth is revealed. Those who abuse this new found power will be found out, and then will have to deal with the truth, it goes both ways doesn’t it.
Gerd Leonhard has said it, I have said, and many others have quoted it, we will have to learn how to trust the people formerly known as the consumer. Why? Because they have the new found power. Whether you believe it or not, that’s the truth in a nut shell, they can and will determine the future of your business. They don’t need to qualify, they don’t need permission, they only need an opinion. You and I have absolutely no control on how they will share that opinion. As a business owner, we have the opportunity to ensure it’s a positive opinion, there in lies the rub. We have to work hard for that positive opinion, and most of us don’t want to. We want to do just enough to reach our objectives, then get out before we have to work too hard.
I can only offer this, in order to build a legacy, to build a business that makes the world a better place, you have to plan and work hard to ensure that happens. If it’s just about making money, you’re looking at the wrong metric. Money is merely a means to an end, but the legacy, the world, it wants more from you than just handing over money. The new found power of consumers wants more, and will demand it, it will force you to be accountable, you will comply or pay the price of ignoring the new found power consumers have today. Their opinion matters, and you need to pay attention to it.
And that’s why telling the truth, honesty, sound products and services that deliver, and your integrity matter, it is the foundation that will help you build a legacy, a strong successful business. It sounds corny, and it sounds like hard work, that’s because it is. If it was easy, well you know the answer to that one.
The future of business will be built on this new found power of the consumer, they will determine whether you service or product is any good, they will determine if your recommendations actually solve their problems. Plan, work hard, and deliver. That’s how you will get on the good side of the consumers new found power.
10 people who get my attention everyday. Do you know how hard it is to make a list of just 10? There are many who get my attention, but these ten can stop me in my tracks. Now I talk often about attention, it can determine your success in business, who you give your time to. But the deeper question is, why do these individuals or companies get your attention. I find, as I look down my list, it’s because they make me think…not about what they are talking about, but how the topic applies to my business, maybe even my day-to-day life. But mostly, these individuals do a number of things, they affirm me, are extremely interesting, really make me stop and go Hmmmmmm, and the bonus, they seem to be very genuine people. I’ll qualify that with, I have only met 2 from this list face-to-face, my bucket list just got longer : )
These people can disrupt my day very easily, especially when they hail me on Twitter or write a blog post. You may already know these individuals, and maybe you don’t, but I think they are worth your time. These 10 people do have one thing in common, they see the world, and want to make that world a better place, no matter how abstract and disturbing it might be. I learn much from each of them, and I know you will to if you take the time to follow their work. More importantly, they are all much smarter than I, and deserve a tip of the hat for the work they do.
Gerd Leonhard – I tell the story of how I came across Gerd and his work, I thought long and hard, wondering if I was the only one that saw the world of business the way I do, until I found Gerd. He is much smarter than I, much more connected, and he is a machine when it comes to producing content. The thing that gets me, is his desire to share what he believes, he is a like-minded friend I hope to meet one day. – http://mediafuturist.com
Chris Brogan – I have chatted, was on one of his Kitchen Table Talk Online TV Show, promoted some of his posts, and he has done so of mine, but we have never met. I don’t always agree with Chris, but most of the time I do. I’m a fan of his because he is real, he is what he preaches, a human business. – http://chrisbrogan.com
Jim Connolly – This UK marketer is not only a cool character, he is smart. I’ve know Jim for 4 years now, and he gets better each and every blog post, thought provoking, and makes you think about how you are marketing. – http://jimsmarketingblog.com
Rick Rake – Now I’m biased with this person, why? Rick is a huge promoter of my work here where I live, he was the very 1st person to attend my workshops, and he gets it. Rick & his wife Kathleen come from the older generation, but practice a lot of the new ways of doing business online. I have come to love & appreciate both of them, and can’t thank them enough for all that they do for me and the business community we live in. – http://clickmediaworks.typepad.com/click_media_works_blog/
Seth Godin – I have to admit I feel pretty stupid after listening to him, but I’ll get over that : ) Seth keeps things simple in my head, he makes me think about the world as it really is, and he teaches me far more than I can put into action at any given time. I love his keynotes, and can’t get enough of the Linchpin & Poke The Box, because those two books show you how I feel and think, without the smarts. I fly at 50,000 feet most of the time, and then Seth will bring me back down to earth for a street level view. I thank you. – http://sethgodin.typepad.com/
Brian Solis – He is much like Seth Godin to me, but different. I’m not even sure how to describe him, he just resonates with me from a business perspective. He is intelligent, and one of the best interviews I’ve ever known in this new digital world, asks some the smartest questions, and shares the answer equally as good. – http://www.briansolis.com/
Glen Hiemstra – I had the privilege of meeting Glen last year, he drove up to Vancouver for the World Futurist Society Conference I was speaking at, he attended my session. Probably wishes he could get that 90 minutes back : ) Glen does some very interesting work as a Futurist, I read his work and bookmark it regularly, he probably doesn’t know that, but he does now. Not only is he a smart man, he is so down to earth and a joy be around. I thank you Glen for being so gracious with me, and for taking the time to come my session. – http://www.futurist.com/
Olivier Blanchard – The Brand Builder – We go back a few years, but only online. Olivier has done something that no one else seems to have figured out yet, he knows how to derive an ROI out Social Media (Networks). He has gone so far as to write a book on the topic, to show you how simple and yet how hard it is to stay committed to the endeavour. Plus, he is damn funny! I cherish every opportunity to chat with Olivier, I learn so much, and I constantly challenge him on the value of a follower, a fan, and or a like. – http://thebrandbuilder.wordpress.com/
Ray Kurzweil – Probably the nuttiest person I pay attention to. I don’t mean that in a sarcastic way, or disrespectful way, he is amazing to listen to. He is very star warzy to me, and yet, scares the crap out of me at the same time. He sees technology embedded in humans, which shows him a world run by machines, but mostly to improve our ability, our way of life, and to create a healthy world. – http://www.kurzweilai.net/
Tom Peters – I have followed Tom’s work for many years, he wrote the famous book called, In Search Of Excellence, just in case you don’t know who he is. His work gets me on trouble all the time, because he talks about doing business better, shares stories and examples of businesses actually doing what he talks about. If you haven’t read any of his books, I challenge you to go out right now and do so. – http://www.tompeters.com/
An honourable mention:
John Morgan – He recently released his first book called, Brand Against The Machine, his work helps you look at how and what your up against in the marketing world. Again, keeping things simple, why? Because simple is hard enough. John has a special way of communicating his message, very direct, and very helpful. – http://johnmichaelmorgan.com/
So there’s my list, it was hard to narrow down, there are many more whom deserve to be on this list, but for the purposes of this post, I’m keeping it down to ten. Many of these people have written books, I highly recommend you read them, and better yet, follow their work here online.
I hope these individuals help you in better ways than they help me, I just wanted to share them with you, and give you some insight to who I pay attention to. After all, attention is the currency we are all trying to acquire.
The University of Phoenix has a video series on YouTube called The Phoenix Lecture Series, some very interesting points of view on multiple topics for you to consider, much of it is about change, taking you out of your comfort zone. Here is a short chat that caught my attention, it makes you think about what we have and what the future of people will demand.
Does this talk make you feel uncomfortable, sick to your stomach, or does it get you excited?
Enjoy but truly think about what the speaker is suggesting.
What say you?
- The Future Of Business Workshop – In Abbotsford (openandfreebusinessmodel.com)
- Building a job vs. building a business (sethgodin.typepad.com)
- The Future Of Business – It’s Between Your Ears (owengreaves.com)
- The Future Of Business – Means Multiple Revenue Streams (owengreaves.com)
- The Future Of Business – Be Useful (owengreaves.com)
I’m up late every night trying to find new ways to teach you the ins and outs of where business going, the future of business. It’s my hope you are actually learning something here. You’re probably seeing it’s not business as usual, that things have been changing rapidly, and it’s painful too. I hope I’m making you think long and hard about what to do next in this new open economy. As I’ve mentioned many times, the future of business is not a skill set, it’s not mechanical, it’s not even about technology, it is however, about how you and I think.
Throughout this blog I have covered a variety of topics, I even share local events in my community, I do that for couple of reasons, to keep it interesting (I hope), and that I am a real living person practicing what I preach. The difference between you and I is, I see things you don’t, and I share that foresight with the intent of helping you take your first steps toward this new world of commerce. The Future of Business is a broad topic really, there are so many paths to go down but there isn’t enough time in a day to cover it all. So I tell you about what I find in my research, in my collaboration with other futurists, and then hopefully you can see the same patterns and trends being presented before us.
You probably find it difficult to implement strategies and tactics to an uncertain future, to something you can’t see clearly. That’s why I write about it, the best way to figure it out is to learn, find sources that can help you understand the paradigm shift we are going through. I pay attention to other futurists, 265 of them, I collaborate with some, and I do countless hours of research of my own, and I don’t get paid to do it! I’ll talk about that another time.
One of those 265 futurists I refer to is Gerd Leonhard, he lives Basil, Switzerland. He heads up The Futures Agency, The Futures Agency is structured as a virtual organization with global reach, deep knowledge and domain expertise, and extensive experience as strategic advisers. He is a digital mentor of mine, I respect his work, and he makes it interesting.
Now you may have noticed there’s push back from the corporate world, most Industrial Age businesses, they are throwing up paywalls everywhere, trying to control you, trying to prevent you from having information freely. Gerd talks about the end of control regularly, he even wrote a book on the topic a few years ago, so I’m not even going to try preaching it, I’ll let you read his book. You can get it here: End Of Control By Gerd Leonhard