Keep Calm and Carry On Faster

We are a resilient species.
Particularly those that are adaptable...
Be proud of how fast we are shifting.
Now, go with that momentum!

Freedom and flexibility has never been more necessary to assess opportunities without bias of previously working systems ... and therefore be able to discover adjacent business models. Not price-gauging hand sanitizer (ugh). More like adding virtual engagement options to all your interactions.

Are you adding new methods to your business and your new businesses?

Concall platforms like are easy and adding new features. Online alternatives to cancelled conferences are rated and searchable at Watch the below short video about the many ways helps you put your event online:

Email me to quickly choose the smartest solutions for you -

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The Right Way for Innovation Iteration

The key to building and innovating new products and services is to provide some level of value at every stage. Learn by observing, asking, and collecting data insights. Then iterate towards the best customers. Think "Product / Market Fit"

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CIO <> CMO + Ownership <> Control

(click to enlarge)

ZDNet nails the top five issues, and some workable solutions, for improving the CIO and CMO relationship in the context of customer experience... which is, arguably, your priority.

Hint: it's REALLY about leadership resolving people issues over ownership and 

5 Solutions to CIO/CMO Success for your Customer Experience Agenda:

   1. Create a jointly-owned shared service for digital experience

   2. Appoint a new CIO of Marketing that reports to both the CIO and CMO

   3. Decide who owns and who controls

   4. For the 360 view, connect ALL department's tools, data, and responsibilities

   5. Keep everyone in the loop and participating

Easy, right?  Right.

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The Purpose of Purpose

As your business gets more connected, how can you choose priorities?

Focusing on a shared Purpose will inform and define every decision you and your company needs to make and re-make.

You could call it a philosophy... but it's more of a method for problem-solving and taking more considered actions. This image combines what I have learned is required to let trust flourish and more successfully collaborate to build/evolve businesses, products, and services.  

Increasing your profits is usually the end goal, but these alignments will foster a more efficient and proud organization and market ecosystem (employees, investors, clients, partners, vendors) ... of course, in support of your sales and marketing.

Your Purpose will inspire a broader perspective of who you can impact deeper inside your existing network and in adjacent industries. 

This focus will not limit your reach. As you understand the real feelings and needs of like-minded people, you will discover even more relevant ideas, services, partners, and acquisitions. 

Let your Movement move you.

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How MIT succeeds thru "Collective Action"

As I have been riding across the wild west of Innovation-Driven Enterprises since before it was an acronym (IDE for those keeping track of TLAs), a few resources have proven consistently helpful. MIT is on the top of that list.

But with the exponential expansion of Technology, it is difficult to keep up with all your best options. So, their MIT Innovation Initiative is at the center of not just MIT, but the very systems and methods for success. See 
(click to enlarge)
MITii has databased and assessed it's way to being the hub of innovation. Just check out their "Resources" tab.  The above a screenshot of the I&E Resource Guide ... see how they deliver their most relevant activities by catering to different profiles and drilling into specific categories of projects, communities, and issues.

Another section in "Resources" is a list of (very) deep-dive Working Papers on WHAT and, most importantly, HOW to think and act for success.  For those of you familiar with Agile Scrum for software development, a key element is the Retrospect - see it there at the all important end of the Sprint. This is where the team de-briefs and shares what elements are, and are not, working in their methods, technologies, everything. 

This "How are we all doing?" is key for the iterations towards optimization.

Below is an excerpt from MIT’s Stakeholder Framework for Building & Accelerating Innovation Ecosystems (PDF of 28 page report):
The promise of regional innovation ecosystems is manifest: in the unequal world of innovation and entrepreneurship, the returns to strong innovation capacity and strong entrepreneurial capacity – and ways to connect them - are significant. The wealth and prosperity created in successful innovation ecosystems in the US, Europe and beyond are hard to deny. And yet the challenges of reaching a region's full potential are also clear: who should lead, can all stakeholders be brought to the table, how easily can these parties agree on a shared vision of the future and act accordingly?  
This short Working Paper serves as a guide to these efforts, drawing on our research, by emphasizing the important role of all actors in this process and reminding us all that ‘collective action’ among stakeholders is most likely to accelerate the process. We have tried to address the initial puzzle – of why innovation is still so localized, even when the world was supposed to be becoming so flat – and provide advice and options for those who wish to optimize ‘innovation-driven entrepreneurship’ in their specific regions, and build a vibrant innovation ecosystem in their locality. 

Managing "Collective Action" is the hard part... but the most valuable.

Thanks again MIT.

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Re-Building Right With Blockchain

It's NOT about the cryptocurrency rollercoaster over the last few years, Enterprise Blockchain is used as the ideal foundation to re-build the awesome digital mess we have created. 
Yes, we should have built the Internet with distributed ledger technology (DLT) transparency and security... but it is here now and being applied by those that understand that "Digital Transformation" is NOT just a buzzword when blockchain is used properly.

DLT is most relevant where velocity of trust is a valuable asset and market differentiator (hence, Financial and Insurance deployments).
Check out the Truth Refinery to consider how to Align and Combine for Velocity of Trust ... and how to apply this to your business.

NuArca is a re-builder. Their studio of system architectects deploy on a platform that is only 20% blockchain ... that's the point. The rest is good old fashioned software development that can now enable exponential flexibility and efficiency - such as lowering the cost of fulfillment for one of their clients by 60%, saving millions of dollars.

Read NuArca's post on their PipelineDL solution for the Oil & Gas industry - The True Cost Of Ownership Tracking And Payments Distributions 

The Big Blockchain Picture
CBInsights has a paragraph overview of 55 industries that are transforming by re-building with blockchain. 
How is your market evolving? How is your career? 
See their 47 page deep-dive report as well written as this general overview:
"What began as the basis of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, blockchain technology — essentially a virtual ledger capable of recording and verifying a high volume of digital transactions — is now spreading across a wave of industries.
Blockchain tech has gone far beyond its beginnings in banking and cryptocurrency: In 2019, businesses are expected to spend $2.9B on the technology, up almost 90% from 2018, according to IDC. Industries from insurance to gaming to cannabis are starting to see blockchain applications.
Bitcoin’s popularity helped demonstrate blockchain’s application in finance, but entrepreneurs have come to believe blockchain could transform many more industries. Ultimately, the use cases for a transparent, verifiable register of transaction data are practically endless — especially since blockchain operates through a decentralized platform requiring no central supervision, making it resistant to fraud."

Oh yeah, The Chain has been around since 2008, long enough to prove it's value ... Here is an overview, and a nifty graphic, from Economist in 2015:

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We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don't let yourself be lulled into inaction.

Find and Book the Best Events all over the World

Event Advisor is optimizing the value of gathering for the 350 million people attending conferences every year!

Events are getting better... and finding the right ones is as easy as a search at 

The Yelp! and Expedia of conferences.

Business event attendees search and assess over 300,000 events to find and buy the right ones for their personal and professional goals.

Their solution is gathering real comments and real feedback from real attendees' Social Network activity and direct polling. Their brilliant business model is increasing the sales of attendee registrations for a revenue-share with event organizers.

Their Partner Mission Statement is also inspiring...

Email me if you want Events to work better:

FYI - This is another international connection I met from the very important network of coaches and consultants at Cambridge Innovation Partners.

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Please Sign the "Contract For The Web"

This is important. Learn and share it... please.

Sign the Contract For The Web at

A global plan of action to make our online world safe and empowering for everyone.
The Contract lays out a vision for the web we want and provides a roadmap for the policies and actions we need to get there. It sets concrete actions that governments, companies and individual web users can — and must — take to build a web that works for all humanity.

These are a few of the many goals from the right people (this time):
   - Equal access for all
   - More diverse teams to develop products and digital presence
   - Transparent and secure tech and codes
   - A focus on humanity not just profits


The web is one of the most powerful tools we’ve ever had to transform our lives for the better. Never before has the web’s power for good been more under threat.
It doesn’t have to be this way. We can — and must — fight for the #WebWeWant @webfoundation -

.@timberners_lee warns that if we don’t act now — and act together — we risk squandering the web’s potential as a force for good. 

Join us

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Trust... Earned

As the Digital Services Industries compete and collide, I am optimistic again about how you can be valuable well-paid "Creative Technologists." 

Thanks to Rupal's riffs in AdAge on 6 ways Ad Agencies earn respect by delivering results from ideas.

Key line:
"Execution turns out to be harder, more strategic and more valuable than everyone thought and ... it's what clients are coming to agencies for." 

(FYI, what qualifies Rupal is her years as an industry journalist and then realizing the best way to provide value is to work directly with the digital developers)

This is what the most ambitious and successful Agencies are providing: a safe havens for creative problem-solving with a diverse and appreciated workforce led by sincere leaders that get out of the way of empowered teams focusing on their mutually beloved clients and their bottom lines. 

Well, that IS a lot...perhaps I have "guarded optimism." It's now up to you to play well with the Techies.

That key line above is about not spinning aimlessly around "innovation" when there are products and services to be built! Yes, it sounds obvious ... the best plan is getting SOMETHING out in the market into the hands of actual users is the only way to validate your assumptions .... and increase your chances of growing your client's revenue and asset value. The "i" word only works when it is applied beyond thinking, into and through production of something real. ONLY THEN can it be assessed accurately by real users and optimized. 

Because... Innovation = Iteration.

Let's all focus on what we do best but remember to include those that  actually deliver. When you are talking about digital transformation, that's the frontend and backend engineers and coders.

Frankly, I am done with small talk about big ideas. The last several years have been great to open our mindset, setup our strategy processes, and delivery frameworks... Now, there are enough good reasons to take action. Agency examples of how to grow businesses in this digital age should be inspiring. By partnering with tech augmentors like Creative Chaos, you can deliver like R/GA, Anomaly, and (insert favorite Agency that helps clients grow their business here).  

If you want to know what you Creative Technologists need to know, read Jules' 2016 State of the Digital Nation. Then look deeper at the new opportunities in the market to be yourself and read his 2020 update.

Simply, support your trusted nerds ... include them early and throughout your process to develop a dynamic tech architecture that includes CI/CD microservice containers (yeah, getting deep with our heroes at a16z).

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Definitions Reconsidered #27

Inspired by this note Leonardo da Vinci wrote 
to himself around 1500:
“Study the science of art. Study the art of science. Develop your senses – especially learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.”


Of all the isms... let's make Reputationism a philosophy we can be proud of.

Being good is, of course, good for business. But managing your brand across your constantly shifting internal and external ecosystem is difficult.

As everything gets connected, how are you choosing priorities?

This is big. A new and historically important change is the Business Roundtable's  Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation ... that shareholders are now part of a collective that also includes employees, suppliers, and customers (and not only bottom line at all costs).  

Scott Monty is (always) a reliable reference, as he provides Timeless Wisdom on his recent piece, "Why Businesses Need to Prepare for the Gathering Storm." It is a must read... and a must think. 

The Reputation Institute has been champions of corporations that strive for the best reputations. 

Their REPTRAK DIMENSIONS assess stakeholder and customer expectations across:

     1. Products / Services 
     2. Innovation 
     3. Workplace 
     4. Governance 
     5. Citizenship 
     6. Leadership 
     7. Financial Performance

Recent data shows companies that commit to the multiple dimensions of reputation rebound faster from disaster like the 2008 recession and the 2014+ mortgage mess.

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So, what does Reputation Institute suggest?

... This seemingly simple advice ... tell the world about your company as much as you tell/sell them about your products. Share how you are good ethical corporate citizens with an engaged workplace.

Your stories should be about how you are advancing the below 4 circled activities:

     - Positive influence on society
     - Fair in doing business
     - Ethical
     - Open and transparent
(click to enlarge)

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So... A CMO walks into a bar and...

It's not a joke. 

The Chief Marketing Officer role has gotten very serious. What can you do to help someone who, over the last decade, has careened from creative guru to media maestro to tech nerd to data scientist ... and now ALL of these?

Your company's Marketing promises and Technology capabilities have never been closer.

Here are some stats on what CMOs are focusing on. These are from a mix of our own observations, Adage, The Drum, The CMO Survey, and the annual Dentsu Aegis CMO Study, of over 1000.

FYI, see our list of the 8 best ways for service partners (Agencies, Consultants, etc) to take action on the below reality check and increase their OWN BizDev.

Here is what CMOs are saying:

> 92% of senior marketers intend to maintain or increase their internal digital prowess.

> 41% of chief marketing officers anticipate an increase in the work they do with agency partners. 

> Only 43%  agree that agencies do a good job of providing fully integrated solutions. Only 36% believe agencies are ‘good’ collaborators when it comes to driving long-term executions.

> Brands perceive agencies’ core strengths as offering consumer insight, bringing creativity to the table and giving access to talent.

> There will be more in-house direct investment in tech platforms and social media marketing.

> With sluggish market growth and the rise of adtech fuelling a demand for measurable ROI and optimisation, 64% of marketers expect to see “more pressure” to demonstrate tangible results in the next two to three years.

> Planning, on average, is only 2 years out. So, short-termism is a problem for media efficiency, and creative brand positioning. Management Consultants are already on the inside and increasing full service capabilities (mostly by buying Agencies and hiring those that can walk the straighter walk).

> 44% concerned that expectations may reach a point where brands will struggle to deliver.

> 75% identify better internal integration as a critical element in successful customer engagement and 40% cite their own lack of integration as a challenge in delivering on current strategy. 28% identify a lack of integration from their agency as an issue.

> On top of all of this, 79% believe they must transform, not just optimise, their businesses through digital technologies to keep up with the people who buy their products.

So, who is helping you with the these "digital technologies?"

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New Power of Your Why

What is your "Why?" ... Simon says that focusing on it will give us, and our companies, the purpose and drive we deserve. It might even be a Movement. 

In the current "Reputation Economy," get inspired by the new rules in New Power ( and inspire people to participate in your shared goals.

You do not need to actually start a Movement... just tap into the mechanisms and tactics of related flows. These 3 lines are key:

1) In the new power world we need solution seekers and not problem solvers. We need shapeshifters and not disruptors

2) Many new power structures will not work without the reputation systems that manage risk and rewards collaborative behavior

3) It's only a movement if it moves without you.

Check out the first few chapters here

This is a short video outlining the 10 elements needed to start your Movement from our friends at Strawberry Frog

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What is Your Milkshake's Job...?

What Jobs are you accomplishing for your prospects? 

Know what they are REALLY trying to accomplish... Watch how Clayton thinks about milkshakes:

More from Mr. Innovator's Dilemma about "Jobs To Be Done" here.

Thrv has a platform and process to use JTBD. Check out more about the below list of 11 new ways to think (click to enlarge):

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3:00 Summary for your Digital Strategy

What is your number?... "Only 8% of companies believe their business model will remain economically viable through digitization."

We recently worked with McKinsey when this short video on digital strategy was created. The production is enticing, the content should be inspiring ... and appropriately worrisome and motivating:  

Click here to read details about these 5 pitfalls:
Pitfall 1: Fuzzy definitions
Pitfall 2: Misunderstanding the economics of digital
Pitfall 3: Overlooking ecosystems
Pitfall 4: Overindexing on the ‘usual suspects’
Pitfall 5: Missing the duality of digital

Where are you in this flow? (click to enlarge):