The 2018-2019 State of Digital Transformation


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I’m proud to announce the availability of The 2018-2019 State of Digital Transformation report. Now in its fifth year, our annual “State of Digital Transformation” research continues to document the constantly evolving enterprise. As disruptive technologies and their impact on organizations and markets continue to progress, our research aims to capture the shifts and trends that are shaping modern digital transformation. In 2018, strategic digital transformation is only becoming more pervasive moving beyond IT to impact competitiveness throughout the organization. Budgets are soaring. The list of disruptive technologies on the radar of stakeholders is expanding. Ownership is moving to the C-Suite and managed by cross-functional, collaborative groups. Customer experience (CX) continues to lead digital transformation investments, but as we observed in 2017, employee experience and organizational culture are also rising in importance to empower and accelerate change, growth, and innovation. This year, it’s clear that digital transformation is
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Oh The Humanities of It All: A Podcast with Andrew Koppel on the Importance of Social Science in an Era of AI


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Sasha Freemind
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Somewhere between Summer and Fall, I spent an unforgettable moment with Andrea Koppel. The good news is that we recorded our conversation. If the surname sounds familiar, it’s because Andrea is the daughter of iconic broadcast journalist and host of Nightline Ted Koppel. Andrea is a force of her own however. She’s the host of the uber-popular Time4Coffee podcast. It’s a show dedicated to students and entrepreneurs where “caffeinated career conversations” guide listeners in their studies and career pursuits. Initially, we focused on A.I. and why social sciences and creativity are more important in an era of machines and robots than ever. As time went on, I started to share a more personal side of my work, my challenges with technology and also what I can only say is a preview of my next big thing (click here to be among the first to
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Digital Darwinism: What Killed Borders, Blockbuster and Toys R Us and How to Survive


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We live in an era of “digital Darwinism,” a time when technology and society are evolving faster than the ability of many organizations to adapt. It is for this reason (along with a myriad of other problems of course) that in fact killed Borders, Blockbuster, Toys “R” Us and the like. Not only did digital Darwinism cost us close to a half billion job, it’s only accelerating. As Leon C. Megginson once said in paraphrasing Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” Over the years, I’ve studied how disruptive technology affects consumer behavior and decision-making. I’ve also researched how businesses react (or don’t) to these changes. What I’ve learned is that barring a few exceptional instances of complete ignorance, organizations are open
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The Frozen Middle Separates Management from Leadership (and Innovation)


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Illustration created with culture design firm @GapingVoid We live in a time of digital Darwinism. As technology evolves so do markets. And as they evolve, behaviors, values and norms also adapt. This sets the stage for the widespread disruption that we are witnessing today. Regrettably, or not, many reigning executives are not experienced to lead growth and innovation strategies as disruptive technologies radically shift everything around them. Yet, no matter how well we study history, it’s always doomed to repeat itself. There’s something about being in charge and surrounding yourself with other executives, boards of directors or investors that project a fallacy of invincibility. “I know the world is changing, but I don’t see it affecting me. I’m in control. Everything is fine.” These are the words of someone destined to tempt fate and inevitably repeat history. As I often say, disruption is the result of an all too
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Dear executives, find and empower your change agents, innovators and intraprenuers


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I’ve spent the better part of 20 years studying innovation and specifically, the past several years studying the people behind digital transformation. One universal truth I’ve found time and time again is that, in the face of disruption, the most meaningful and lasting change is always human. But, that spark, vision, or drive to change doesn’t always come from the top. Many times, there are those unsung heroes who feel, see or know at their very core, what needs to be done, they just don’t always know what it takes to organize or rally everyone else to move in different and challenging directions. These are the change agents, the innovators, the intrapreneurs, those who believe in something so passionately, that they take bold risks to open new doors. In these times of Digital Darwinism, legacy businesses need this talent now more than ever. They don’t just represent a different way
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Three Brand Storytelling Misconceptions That Are Holding You Back


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Guest Post by Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio In the era of the connected digital consumer, brand storytelling needs to undergo a radical shift. For many companies, brand storytelling has become a buzzword, a way to support marketing campaigns or polished commercials. So much so, that we’ve lost our focus on the heart and soul of brand storytelling. It’s time we took the BS out of brand storytelling and focus on what truly matters: building the meaningful and relevant connections with our customers. In our new book,The Laws of Brand Storytelling, we talk about the impact storytelling-done-right has on your business and provide a roadmap which you can use to plug in your own brand storytelling strategy and approach to achieve that impact. In this post, however, let’s address the top brand storytelling misconceptions that are holding most companies back from achieving that impact:

Misconception #1: “Brand storytelling
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The Magic of Creativity and Innovation Happens Outside of Your Comfort Zone


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In July 2018, I had a chance to speak in Rancho Palo Verdes at the NBJ Summit. I think I would move to the area given the opportunity. It’s a wonderful oasis in between the [INSERT ADJECTIVE/S HERE] of Southern California and the serenity of a beachside community. Before walking off stage, I noticed a graphic recording by The Sketch Effect off to my left. I missed it during my presentation, but was more than curious about what was captured following the event. Then, like all of us, I got busy. I forgot all about it until I found a rare moment when I could dig through past emails. And, there it was! It was interesting after all this time, to revisit the conversation, what I hoped to communicate and what the artist captured. I was impressed and I wanted to share their work with you here. It almost looks
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Through a Research Lens: What Captured My Attention in 2018 and What’s in My Purview for 2019


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Photo Illustration by Tracy Ma/The New York Times; Shutterstock (child and phone)

Prophet’s Emily Schreck recently interviewed the Altimeter analysts to spotlight some of the things that we never get a chance to share, such as what we’re working on, what has our attention and what’s on the horizon. Schreck’s piece is now live.
This year has been a whirlwind for Altimeter’s famed analysts; Charlene Li, Brian Solis, Susan Etlinger and Omar Akhtar. The team has published several new research reports, presented keynote speeches at top global industry conferences, and helped some of the world’s top brands learn how to best leverage disruptive technologies.
Not all of the Q&A made the final cut, but I did want to share it with you here.

Altimeter Roundtable: What’s Happening with Our Analysts

Emily Schreck: What research areas have been your focus in 2018? Brian Solis: 2018 has been a whirlwind
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Find Joy and Meaning Along the Long and Winding Road of Life


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A moment if you will…away from everything else. Sometimes I wonder how I got here. If I had to be honest, I would say that none of it was intentional. And if I had to be fully transparent, there were many throughout my life who believed I wouldn’t amount to much. There was a time when I believed them. I let it define me. The truth is that I still think about it from time to time. Am I supposed to be here? How do I earn the right to stay here? I’m not sure when or where or how, but something clicked along the way. I should say that it’s still clicking. I realize that none of this is easy nor is it meant to be. I still struggle like anyone else. I still fight to stay relevant in an ever-increasing sea of really smart people. I still wonder
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Humanity and Transparency are Genuine Value Propositions


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Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to keynote #SMMW18 in San Diego on the “State and Future of Social Media” and how we can (and need to) take back control of technology’s role in our lives. It was the first time speaking on the subject after walking away from it for several years. It was a big talk…first time presenting it. It was also a big audience…several thousand attendees. I was nervous and human and trying to stay centered. On my way to the room, my friend Carlos Gil stopped me in the hallway to ask a few questions for his show. I think I was “in the zone” at the time, so watching this was a surprise in many ways. I couldn’t remember what we talked about or what I said. When he shared it with me however, I wanted to immediately share it with you. In a
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A Prelude to Innovation: Figure Out How The World is Changing and How To Be More Relevant as It Evolves


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There are many places in this world I hope to one day experience. On that list was Sofia, Bulgaria. I use the past tense as I’m so happy to report that I had the opportunity to visit this beautiful city (and country) for the DigitalK conference. What a great event! I presented on topic that I refer to as “A Prelude to Innovation.” It’s meant to spotlight the important actions and events serving as the introduction to innovation itself. Shortly after my talk, I had the opportunity to meet Vassilena Valchanova to answer a few of her questions. Our conversation led to an incredibly thoughtful article that I wanted to share with you here. Even though the context of the article focuses on customer experience and marketing, you can substitute those monikers for innovation, transformation, or any role or industry. It’s very honest and candid advice. I hope
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It’s an Ideal World After All; The Importance of an Open Mind


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If you and I stood on opposite ends of the number “6” painted on the floor, it’s likely that one of us would see a “6” and the other would see a “9.” As rock legend, and one of my favorite musical idols of all time, Jimi Hendrix once sang, “If 6 were 9.” You could be so sure I see what you see, and I could be certain, you see what I see. It’s all a matter of perspective really. If we switched sides for example, chances are, we would most certainly recognize and appreciate what one another saw. Sometimes however, we can’t see something, even if it’s right in front of us. Sometimes, we don’t want to see it. And quite often, subconsciously, we believe there’s nothing to see. These finite perspectives unfortunately, work against us. They prevent us from seeing new possibilities that can lead
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Tomorrow’s Products and Services Need to Offer Innovative (Not Just Iterative) Experiences


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Napa Valley, what a wonderful place to visit. Some of my favorite wineries are in Napa. Paraduxx, Far Niente, Harlan, Mascot, Nickel and Nickel, Chandon, Domain Carneros, Cuvaison, Schug, just to name a few. Napa is also a wonderful place to work. And, I recently had an opportunity to do so when I was asked share my vision of the future at the Senior Living Innovation Forum. I’m not an expert in senior living care nor am I a master of its business models and regulations. But I’ve studied the evolving nature of consumer expectations, preferences and their strengthening power of choice. I’ve studied how entrepreneurs, investors and bold legacy businesses are paving new roads to deliver modern products and experiences that cater to this evolving generation of connected customers. At some point, we are all the customers we are trying to reach. We all want experiences that build upon
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Customer journeys start with smartphones, but brands still don’t get mobile


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Customers are not going to wait for brands to get the mobile journey right…they’ll move on and find someone else who gets them. Customers are increasingly and overwhelmingly mobile-first. For the most part, many brands are still learning how to optimize traditional e-commerce experiences let alone mobile sites and apps. The Amazons of the world don’t make it any easier to keep up. Yet every day, customers are reaching for their smartphones to learn about what to buy, what to do or where to go. But without being mobile-centric and integrating digital touchpoints, customer journeys are certain to be rife with obstacles between mobile sites and apps and even the desktop web.

Mobile journeys straddle mobile sites and apps

When customers reach for their smartphones to learn and make decisions, they begin a  mobile purchasing journey that’s complex and incredibly fragmented. As a result, the lines blur between mobile sites
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Digital Transformation: Strategies for Success


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“Transforming businesses through digital innovation — blazing through dreams, disruption and delivery.” These are the beginning words shared by Salesforce in its new “NorthStar” report. Over the last few months, Salesforce interviewed over 500 customers as well as executives and thought leaders to discuss their personal experiences, triumphs and challenges in their pursuits of digital transformation. I appreciate that I was on the company’s radar during the development of this report. I was asked to share my thoughts on the subject, and I graciously did. Even though, it’s easy to think that with all of the work we invest in a subject, that we are entitled to attention or notoriety, we’re
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Evolving customer behavior gives retailers insight into innovation priorities


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“Innovation starts with understanding who people are becoming, because in there are the insights into how they shop and why.” – Brian Solis, principal analyst at Altimeter Group Not too long ago, I had the opportunity to present my vision for retail innovation and shopper experience at “The Summit” hosted by AT&T in Dallas. Following the event, the AT&T Editorial Team, published a written summary and also a video highlight reel of my talk. I wanted to share them with you here. I hope this help you!

Retail gets a digital revamp

Evolving customer behavior is leading the way for retail companies

Solis — a futurist and analyst — stood before
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Important, please read – I’m deleting this email, please join me here


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Dear Feedburner Readers, we'll soon be shutting down our feedburner plugin. If you'd still like to receive news from Brian Solis, please scroll to the bottom of www.briansolis.com and subscribe to the newsletter.

Long story short, my current RSS feed (aka email updates from here) dates back to 2004 and was built on a system that was later acquired by Google and subsequently shut down. Unfortunately, my access has been shut off for years and I’m hearing that the structure of these emails is falling apart. Since I can’t design the experience here, and I’m all about the experience, I ask you to please consider joining me via… Thank you so much for your support! It’s why I do what I do!

Brian Solis

Brian Solis is principal analyst and futurist at Altimeter, the digital analyst group at Prophet
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Please Read – I’m deleting this list, please join me here


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Dear Feedburner Readers, we'll soon be shutting down our feedburner plugin. If you'd still like to receive news from Brian Solis, please scroll to the bottom of www.briansolis.com and subscribe to the newsletter.

Long story short, this list dates back to 2004 and was built on a system that was later acquired by Google and subsequently shut down. For quite some time, I’ve lost the ability to manage this list. My access has been shut off. Since I can’t design the experience here, and I’m all about the experience, I ask you to please resubscribe here. I promise the design, and the engagement, will be far better and more personal, on this new channel.

Brian Solis

Brian Solis is principal analyst and futurist at Altimeter, the digital analyst group at Prophet, Brian is world renowned keynote speaker and 7x best-selling author. His latest book, 
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Once upon a time, there was a meaningful conversation about the art of storytelling


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Storytelling is as magical as it is ancient. While many of us appreciate the power of story, we all could benefit from learning the art and science of storytelling and how it can help every facet of or professional and personal lives. Anyone who knows me, is well aware of my love for Disney. I’ve spent years studying the work of Walt, Imagineering, Pixar, et al. During the development of X: The Experience When Business Meets Design, I partnered with former Pixar storyboard artist Nick Sung. I wanted to learn the importance of storyboarding and everything from character development to story arcs to audience engagement. All I can say is that I
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