The Future of Work and Innovation is Tied to Personal Creativity, Productivity and Happiness


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Yes. You. Us. We are all distracted and have been increasingly so for a long time. But, this isn’t a story about distraction. This is a story about how we, with the help of seductive tech and real-time experiences, disrupted our creativity, promise and happiness. To explain more, I wanted to share a very special conversation with my friends at Gapingvoid Culture Design Group. Via “Friends of Gapingvoid”

Creativity, Productivity and Happiness:
The Real Costs of Distraction and Opportunities

Brian has been collaborating with us since 2007. We’ve done super cool projects for Linkedin (Once Upon A Digital Time and Attention Is A Currency) as well as illustrated some of his great books. Brian has a new book out called Lifescale: How to Live a More Creative, Productive and Happy Life, and we sat down recently for a conversation on his take on how our distraction is
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Customer Experience In The Age Of Digital Distraction


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Tamara McCleary is a dear friend.  I was so happy when I joined her on SAP’s Tech Unknown podcast, a show that features “discussions from the edge of next.” Honestly, I didn’t know she was going to be the host. So, it was all the more special. Our little conversation focused on what has become what I see as my next keynote presentation, “Experience in the Age of Digital Distraction.” The impact of digital distraction on work and everything from CX to EX to experience design is profound and under appreciated. We as customers, employees, colleagues, loved ones, as human beings, are increasingly affected by how technology influences our behaviors, norms and happiness. This was a very soulful and honest talk between two smart friends.
What a GREAT interview we had! Thank you for your soul-filled discussion around the deeper human aspects of the shifts taking place within
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The History of Business Phone Service


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The future of business phone service lies in the history of Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP. Introduced in 1973, VoIP is a form of the electrical telecommunication system. A technology used to send and receive phone calls via an Internet connection. It no longer warrants the need for a landline or phone service. The many contributions to the tech industry, over the years, are what led businesses to the doors of VoIP. Without these certain inventions, the new business communication system would cease to exist. Thus, to gain a better understanding of how VoIP came to be, we must go back to learn more about what came before the invention of VoIP. What Came Before VoIP?
Pre-Electrical Telecommunication Systems
Electrical Telecommunication Systems
The Major Inventions Which Led To VoIP
How the Business Phone System Meets VoIP
What is PBX?
The Business Phone System Becomes Acquainted with PBX
PBX Plus
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Social Media is a Human Network: We Have the Power of Choice in What We Consume, What We Share and Who We Engage


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The good thing about social media, is that it gave us a voice. The bad thing about it, is that it gave us a voice. The path to saving it, making it valuable to not only ourselves, but for society at large, is in our control. The question is, what are you going to do differently moving forward? They say hindsight is 20/20. At some point, we will look at everything, recognize our missteps and ask, “why didn’t we see this earlier!?” So we look to the past to give ourselves answers that deliver insights, validation and peace of mind. It’s how we learn. But while we do, the future continues to unfold in the present. The key is to unlearn from our past mistakes to learn in the moment, so that we avert future missed moments. We must allow ourselves to be more open, to see what we
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Voices of Customer Experience: Designing the Future of CX


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I was recently browsing Twitter, when a tweet by Dennis Wakabayashi caught my attention. It referenced “some of the most important CX voices” and included a shoutout to Mary Drumond, CMO of Worthix, and host of the “Voices of CX Podcast.” Dennis took that moment to “personally recognize and celebrate the amount of hard work Mary is doing every day to shape the industry.” Agreed. Dennis also recognized some of the leading voices that have been featured on Mary’s show including Dave Fish, Jay Baer, Dan Gingiss, Annette Franz and yours truly. You can learn about about each episode here. In his summary, Dennis included a segment from my episode that I forgot saying, but wanted to revisit since it’s a topic that comes up quite a bit. I have the title of “futurist” in my professional work. A lot of times I’m asked “about
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FIR 182: Hot Bee Action


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Beesexual
The April 2019 episode of “For Immediate Release: The Hobson & Holtz Report” features co-hosts Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz discussing the following topics:
  • How China is shaping the future of shopping — it’s online, social, and highly appealing to Gen Z
  • Media coverage of local news is evaporating. Should business pick up the slack?
  • Customer reviews are the new content marketing, says Jay Baer
  • Movements mean more than brand purpose. Just look at Pornhub’s new movement to save the bees.
  • The UK government has added 12,000 pieces of information to Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa
  • When you think of Augmented Reality, do you think of audio? You should.
  • Dan York reports on MindNode 6, WordPress 5.2, Pocket, Minnesota’s “Right to Repair” legislation, and Mozilla’s move away from IRC.
Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music.
FIR 182

Listen Now

(Or download the MP3 file.)
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The Deep Work of CX and Digital Transformation


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On 16 April 2019, I was invited by my dear friend Ross Quintana to join the popular, weekly Adobe series “#AdobeChat.” I have to say that it was one of the fastest hours I’d experienced in a long time. In this conversation, we, along with countless forward-thinking executives, discussed “The Deep Work of CX and Digital Transformation.” Of course, I peppered in a bit about Lifescale and how it affects employees and customers. Below, I’ve collected Adobe’s questions along with my answers to share with you here. There are also, hundreds of exceptional responses that are also worth your time. I hope this helps you in your work… — Hello! Thank you for having me as your guest today! #AdobeChat @Adobe @AdobeExpCloud Q1: Definition: #Digitaltransformation is the pursuit of innovative & agile business & operational models — fueled by evolving technologies, processes, analytics & talent capabilities —
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Near futures at scale


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On March 9, a technology trends report was published that is breathtaking in in scope and scale. Comprising a PDF of more than 380 pages, the 2019 Tech Trends Report from the Future Today Institute covers hundreds of trends in areas ranging from artificial intelligence and advanced robotics, to home automation and the Internet of Things, to workplace and learning technologies, smart cities and much more. As the publisher describes it:
This report is intentionally broad and robust. We have included a list of adjacent uncertainties, a detailed analysis of 315 tech trends, a collection of weak signals for 2020, and more than four dozen scenarios describing plausible near futures. Do not try to read it in one sitting. Begin with the Executive Summary and Keywords, then review the top tech trends listed for your industry.
Some good advice here. I started reading it yesterday, quickly realising that this is
Key Takeaways
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How to Be Disruptive and not Disrupted – Motivation for Tomorrow’s Innovators


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As the fortune reads, “may you live in interesting times.” It’s both a blessing and a curse as interesting implies not only arousing curiosity or catching one’s attention, but also presenting challenging and enthralling opportunities and experiences. Well, we do live in interesting times and every day, I’m studying and living through new experiences and trends to learn, unlearn and grow. But interesting times doesn’t quite describe what’s happening today nor does it properly set expectations for what’s to come. We are wading in and headed toward deeply disruptive times…in every facet of our lives. The truth is that there are things happening now and will in the future that are beyond our control. And, there are also things happening that we must aim to control. What you do and what you’ve done, what you’ve learned and experienced and what you can and need to accomplish now and in
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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
@sashafreemind, Unsplash.com

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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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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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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Emerging tech: Your bookmark for 2019


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Data has a better idea “We know from human history that developments in technologies over the centuries, ranging from the Industrial Revolution through to the invention of the automobile, then airplanes and so forth, the landscape of progress is littered with human casualties. People die because of these things being tested.” A provocative statement, the first thing you hear in episode 1 in the third season of the Digital Download podcast that I did with host Paul Sutton last month in which we discussed emerging technologies and communications and what’s predicted to hit the mainstream within the next two to three years. That statement was intended to sharpen focus on the dilemmas confronting all of us when we want to try something new or radically different to advance our knowledge, our well-bring, our development, where there are risks in doing so. It’s an extreme example of risk and consequence on the journey to that
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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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For Immediate Release 155: Did neglect kill SlideShare?


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slideshare-tombstone For the September episode of the monthly Hobson & Holtz Report podcast, aka FIR 155, I was the solo host with Shel away. Doing the show like this reminded me of the old days of FIR when Shel and I recorded a weekly show for over ten years, where one of us would typically do it all solo if the other was away. This was one of those times! Anyway, you have a show to listen to so here’s what’s in this month’s H&H Report: In his Tech
FIR155graphic
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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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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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