Businesses today exist in a radically changing marketplace. In the blink of an eye you can go from being a winner to a loser. New pressures exerted by digital technologies, globalization, cultural diversity, and the sheer variety of available digital tools force companies to rethink everything they are doing – from advertising to product innovation to staffing.
I’ve always been an entrepreneur who’s worked at the edge of innovation by launching start-ups. But I rarely see the same innovative thinking that happens at a start-up applied and integrated into larger corporate systems. Until I met Paul Estes.
One of the things I’ve been trying to do better this year is listen to my customers. It seems listening is a very difficult skill to learn. Asking a provocative question is one thing; listening well to the answer is quite another. Really listening depends in part on making yourself innocent again.
We are in the midst of a radical revolution. While some call it the digital revolution it’s much bigger than that. For sure, digital technology is at the foundation of this revolution but it is only the catalyst to the change.
The story of the song Old Town Road is a preview of the new economy. The rapper, Lil Nas X, was throwing stuff up on Soundcloud that he’d recorded in the closet of his bedroom. He was going through YouTube listening to beats.
As a society, we’ve never had more access to information and share our opinions. And more, our brands have access to more data than ever before. Over the last few weeks I’ve seen a cultural shift in recognizing and being open to how we must evolve, use this in our favor and acknowledge that consumer driven co-creation is happening.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what hinders innovation, especially business model innovation from taking hold in agencies and brands. There’s always an immediate buzz or sometimes panic that breaks out when a new idea comes to the forefront of culture.
As a long time TED participant I always look forward to this time of year. TED provides a perspective on where the world is going. A week of thoughtful dialogue with some of the best thinkers in the world.
Recently, I was in Alaska skiing in the Tordrillos with the good folks from Inkwell including Jimmy Chin and Mark Healey. On several of the runs I was haunted by the memories of an avalanche I was in several years ago.