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An unpublished research interview with Erica D’Aloia, Manager of Ecommerce Traffic for Godiva Chocolatier. The topic explored the idea of upgrading RFPs for CMOs to consider the mobile customer journey uniquely. Special thanks to Mike Grehan of Acronym.

How have micro-moments and shift in mobile behavior shaping the RFP process (or not)? How are micro-moments changing marketing strategies? Grouped these two questions together.

The word ‘Mobile Behavior’ initially threw me off – where I think of this more as use and importance of a device. I am in agreeance that this is the central portal which has become the most value tool in a person’s life and the most valuable platform for brands to be in the right place at the right time for those micro moments. Breaking down Macro strategies in Micro strategies.

The path to conversion paired with the correct content (tips, tricks how to and more), helps confirm that buyers are making an educated decision in a product. Also helping to build trust with a brand.

Have digestible content, which is tailored to the ‘you’ and ‘me’ in the now but also nailing the aspirational part of the ‘you’ and ‘me’. The aspiration part drives emotional connection or the curiosity of the I-want-to: know or do.

The need for a mapping out different KPI’s to different stages of intent. Understanding the lifetime value.

Brands need to be able to speak to and hitting customers throughout their micro-moments and understand the new customer journey around awareness, consideration, decision and loyalty. Understanding what type of content should be actionable or content for someone to consume.

Preference shaping and being adaptable, marketing strategies constantly tweaking and testing different strategies and moments.

It’s is not a ‘push’ marketing world anymore it’s a ‘pull’ from customer environment.

What can brands and agencies do to improve the RFP process to help companies be more relevant to evolving customers?

Brands understand who they are and where we want/should fit into consumers lives. They know the ideas and why’s behind the creation for a product, having a target market (customer) in mind.

Customer understand the micro-moments, they live them every second of everyday (who they want to be).

Agencies help connect those dots in where we need to and what exactly we need to be saying at those times (know your audience). I think if a brand teaches the agencies the ‘whys’ behind what they stand for or the new & existing product they create it helps agencies tap into the correct strategies.

Making moments into keywords. Mapping ads to content.

“Mobile has become the most value tool in a person’s life and the most valuable platform for brands to be in the right place at the right time for those micro moments. The RFP now must account for breaking down Macro strategies in Micro strategies.

Agencies need to help brands speak to and connect with customers throughout their micro-moments and understand the new customer journey around awareness, consideration, decision and loyalty. More so, work with brands to understand what type of content should be actionable or content for someone to consume is also critical in these moments.”

Brian Solis, Author, Keynote Speaker, Futurist

Brian Solis is principal analyst and futurist at Altimeter, the digital analyst group at Prophet, Brian is a world renowned keynote speakerand 8x best-selling author. In his new book, Lifescale: How to live a more creative, productive and happy life, Brian tackles the struggles of living in a world rife with constant digital distractions. His model for “Lifescaling” helps readers overcome the unforeseen consequences of living a digital life to break away from diversions, focus on what’s important, spark newfound creativity and unlock new possibilities. His previous book, X: The Experience When Business Meets Design, explores the future of brand and customer engagement through experience design.

Please, invite him to speak at your next event or bring him in to your organization to inspire colleagues, executives and boards of directors.

Follow Brian Solis!

Twitter: @briansolis
Facebook: TheBrianSolis
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The post It’s Time to Upgrade the RFP for Mobile Only Customer Journeys and Experiences appeared first on Brian Solis.

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It’s said that there are two things certain in life…death and taxes. We can also add the certainty that a great divide will always exists in each generational shift. The “generation gap” as it’s formally called, represents the difference of opinion between one generation and another regarding beliefs, politics or values. Depending on the situation or circumstance, this gap can foster debate, ignorance and even contention, often pitting younger people against their parents, grandparents, teachers, managers and fellow citizens. But, this is a time not only of great divide, but also of great disruption. Continuing on a path of “business as usual” is a sure passage to irrelevance or obsolescence. If we do not shift perspectives and mindsets to build bridges between generations, we distract or prevent productive and lucrative investments in equitable transformation and innovation.

The generation gap is as certain as it is unproductive, but it doesn’t have to be. In my work and research in digital transformation, I see cognitive biases unnecessarily creating tension between groups of people in all industries, in all facets of work, in roles at every level in every function. These disconnects are usually based on demographic stereotypes, which fosters tension, separates the workforce and inhibits much-needed opportunities for cross-generational and functional collaboration, iteration and innovation.

When you talk to older generations about their impressions about younger people, you hear them pigeonholed by a number common stereotypes:

  • They’re lazy and lack loyalty.
  • They’re entitled and they all think they’re special.
  • They’re overly sensitive and can’t take criticism or feedback.
  • They want a trophy for showing up.
  • They’re easily distracted.
  • They can’t commit to jobs.
  • They’re all about “me, me, me.”

Instead of trying to understand the differences or nuances between older generations and Millennials and Centennials, the generation gap creates “us vs. them” environment that promotes hierarchies, blaming and shaming and inhibited perspectives that confine opportunities for empathy and cooperation. If you believe the press, for instance, “Millennials are killing” everything from Budweiser and canned tuna to homeownership to motorcycle sales to restaurant chains to breakfast cereal and American cheese to Costco and Home Depot to paper napkins and golf and anything and everything in between.

Somewhere in these stories however, are behavioral and also emotional clues as to why things are changing. The less time we spend studying preferences, expectations, intent and aspirations, the more we miss opportunities to counter disruption through transformation and innovation.

For example, in schools/universities, education systems and curriculum are slow to keep up with not only the times, but also with digital-first brains and behaviors. In the workplace, management, HR and IT technologies, processes and policies are unorthodox and counterintuitive to the way digital natives think and operate. If you want to, you can find gaps and opportunities everywhere.

These gaps represent opportunities to explore new ways to learn, unlearn, work and grow. But this can only happen if everyone believes that they have something to gain and contribute. They have to believe that their way isn’t the only way or that their life experiences aren’t mutually exclusive, entitling or absolute. The more we are encouraged and incentivized, as individuals and as a dynamic and diverse group or team, to continually acquire new mindsets, skills and experiences, the greater the creativity, change and progress.

To help, I created this Slideshare to give a voice to Millennials and Centennials among audiences who are quick to judge younger generations. When it comes to leadership, there is much work to be done. After all, it’s not about “us vs. them.” It’s about “us” and how “we” pave a more productive, collaborative and rewarding future for all. We all have a role to play in closing the generation gap and shaping the future together. And, the future starts by accepting that we also, right now, play a role in feeding the gap.

I hope this helps…

Brian Solis, Author, Keynote Speaker, (Actual) Futurist

Brian Solis is principal analyst and futurist at Altimeter, the digital analyst group at Prophet, Brian is a world renowned keynote speakerand 8x best-selling author. In his new book, Lifescale: How to live a more creative, productive and happy life, Brian tackles the struggles of living in a world rife with constant digital distractions. His model for “Lifescaling” helps readers overcome the unforeseen consequences of living a digital life to break away from diversions, focus on what’s important, spark newfound creativity and unlock new possibilities. His previous book, X: The Experience When Business Meets Design, explores the future of brand and customer engagement through experience design.

Please, invite him to speak at your next event or bring him in to your organization to inspire colleagues, executives and boards of directors.

Follow Brian Solis!

Twitter: @briansolis
Facebook: TheBrianSolis
LinkedIn: BrianSolis
Instagram: BrianSolis
Pinterest: BrianSolis
Youtube: BrianSolisTV
Newsletter: Please Subscribe
Speaking Inquiries: Contact

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The post The Generation Gap is Getting Old – Why Older Generations Should Build Bridges to Millennials and Centennials not Roadblocks appeared first on Brian Solis.

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Part 2 of 2: I recently dug up my proposal for TED@IBM in 2014. It wasn’t accepted. I still wanted to share it with you here after all these years. 

Brief outline of the suggested talk (in as much detail as you feel is required):

If you look out onto the horizon, the onslaught of disruptive technology is, at face value, complicated and overwhelming. Technology is having an impact on us…as human beings and also as executives, employees, and strategists. And, we can’t overlook the result of technology’s influence on the behaviors and expectations of a new generation employees too.

But there’s hope. What’s happening now, if you can take enough of a step back to see it for its promise and potential, you’ll realize that all of the technology offers the promise of making things more human again. As crazy as that sounds, it’s simply a matter of perspective.

Why do you believe this talk would be of interest?

In my day job, I’m a digital analyst. I study the impact of disruptive technology on business. I publish research and offer help to focus and expedite digital transformation. But it is my work as a digital anthropologist that allows me to see the human side of change, which helps me pave a more meaningful path toward relevant change. I hope that this human and empathetic approach to technology is as refreshing as it is inspiring.

What is the new and tangible impact or benefit this talk will bring forward or have on the world (as much detail as you feel is required)?

Technology is part of the problem but it is also part of the solution…it’s just not “the” answer.

Existing systems and processes support business as usual. As a result, companies tend to take a technology-first approach toward employee and customer engagement without understanding behavior and psychology.

Because technology is not just affecting business, it’s changing society and how people, in their personal life, communicate, collaborate, and connect. And it’s radically different than how we learned how to work. With the rise of BYOD (bring your own device) and BYOD (bring your own disposition), employees and customers are forcing businesses to change…fast. But politics, aspirations, self-preservation and other very human behaviors form a wall of detainment.

Does management prevail? Does leadership rise?

It’s the latter.

To persevere takes vision to see what others cannot and courage to do what others cannot or will not.

But that’s why I believe this is a magical time. It’s a time when the future is unwritten and in need of visionaries who can see possibilities beyond complacency and uncertainty.

I believe that in its own way, all this technology is making us more human…or it could. We just need a different perspective.

We can learn more about people than ever before if we want to really see them for who they are, what’s important to them and who they want to be.

I hope to, if selected, help those in the audience see change for what it could be not for how they react to it today. They are the leaders of tomorrow. They are the hope for businesses to change in ways that matter. They can use technology to see people for people and to help transform some of our time’s most sophisticated technology to make businesses more human again too.

What is the “one sentence” key takeaway you want the audience to know or feel after hearing the talk?

I finally see that differences behavior, people, and what they do and why they do it as the center of my strategy…it’s more than just technology.

Bonus Question (I added this for fun): How is this talk personally or emotionally relevant to you and/or how can you make it so for the audience?

I’m inspired by putting people, you and me, as everyday human beings, back into the spotlight. Our relationship with brands has become increasingly disingenious with every tech revolution that has come along. It’s still about the funnel. I hope that it becomes about what it is that we (brand and customers) can do together.

I’ve helped businesses. I’ve watched them fail. But once I started to study digital anthropology, I have been moved, impassioned and determined to help expedite change so that the work we do tomorrow matters for our generation and the generation that follows.

If it’s one thing that I learned, and if it’s one thing that I want people to leave believing, is that change is going to happen because of them…not to them. They are the future.

Brian Solis, Author, Keynote Speaker, Futurist

Brian Solis is principal analyst and futurist at Altimeter, the digital analyst group at Prophet, Brian is a world renowned keynote speakerand 8x best-selling author. In his new book, Lifescale: How to live a more creative, productive and happy life, Brian tackles the struggles of living in a world rife with constant digital distractions. His model for “Lifescaling” helps readers overcome the unforeseen consequences of living a digital life to break away from diversions, focus on what’s important, spark newfound creativity and unlock new possibilities. His previous book, X: The Experience When Business Meets Design, explores the future of brand and customer engagement through experience design.

Please, invite him to speak at your next event or bring him in to your organization to inspire colleagues, executives and boards of directors.

Follow Brian Solis!

Speaking Inquiries: Contact
Newsletter: Please Subscribe
Twitter: @briansolis
Facebook: TheBrianSolis
LinkedIn: BrianSolis
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The post All This Technology is Making Us More Human appeared first on Brian Solis.

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I’ve known Judith Aquino for several years now. Her work in customer experience is extensive and her connections in the space are deep. Shortly after the release of X: The Experience When Business Meets Design, I caught up with Judith to talk about the rise of experience innovation. She published our conversation in Customer Strategist, and I was able to get a downloadable PDF as well.

I wanted to share our conversation with you…

Solving for X: Why the Future of Business is Experiential

Brian Solis explains why companies must shift from product-centric strategies to cultivating outstanding experiences to remain competitive.

PRODUCTS DON’T DEFINE A BRAND, EXPERIENCES DO.

Such is the reality of modern business, where people are connected to a constant flow of informa- tion and are defining brands based on what they experience and share. Simply put, brands are increasingly defined by those who experience them. Brian Solis, futurist and author of X: The Experience When Business Meets Design, explains why the future of business is experiential and how to create meaningful experiences. We sat down with Solis to learn how businesses can begin to transform the customer experience.

Customer Strategist: In your book, you mention that technology is most human when it is invisible. Can you elaborate on that?

Brian Solis: When designing experiences, we have to first consider intent, desired outcomes, and also what customers value in their life. The key is to then design experiences where technology takes a supportive role, allowing users to seamlessly and intuitively take their next steps. Often, companies place an emphasis on technology-first solutions and stacking them on legacy platforms and methodologies.

But technology is most human when it’s invisible. Yet companies try to stuff everything under the sun into their devices, sites, apps, forms, etc., without consid- eration for the users’ experience, let alone their goals and aspirations. Users, I mean people, shouldn’t have to think about the UI, the device, or be forced to navigate the chaos of choice.

If you look at Google, Apple, or some of the most elegant experiences on the planet, they’re incredibly simple even though the technology powering each experience is incredibly sophisticated and complex. This takes resolve, vision, and the desire to make the complex intuitive. Don’t make people do the hard work. Innovation in experience design is all the work you do to conform to expectations and aspirations of people as they evolve, instead of making them conform to your legacy perspectives, assumptions, processes, and metrics of success.

CS: Where do brands tend to stumble when trying to implement human-centered design?

BS: This is going to sound trite, but after years of research, this is truer more often than not…companies are not customer-centric even though many believe they are. If anything, this is something more aspirational than real. The truth is that companies are shareholder-centric or stakeholder-centric. I should be clear though. I’ve never heard an executive say, “You know, Brian, we really don’t care about our customers.” I believe that whether it’s value, performance, aesthetic, competi- tiveness, etc., companies are trying to do what they feel is right by customers. But, when it comes to human- centered design, we have to fully appreciate the human beings who go through life differently than our strategies, processes, systems, and roadmaps allow or consider.

If you think about it, what’s the definition of experi- ence? Experience is something you feel, something you sense and interpret and, more importantly, what you commit to memory, either good or bad. You won’t remember those moments otherwise.

Brands don’t know their customers and how they’re evolving. To truly embrace human-centered design, brands must think beyond the traditional quarterly focus and think about what matters to “humans.” The most successful brands in experience design prioritize people (of course) because otherwise nothing else matters in the long term. From there, brands have to invest in more than just journey mapping. They need to understand intent, context, and activities. And more so, evolved values, behaviors, desires, motivations and emotions. This isn’t just updating touchpoints. This isn’t just implementing trends. This is about understanding what you’re absolutely missing. You are not your customer. Your executives don’t live the brand or live life like the people you used to know (or think you know). The direction and evolution of human beings change course as technology influ- ences and enables new possibilities while making previous habits or processes obsolete.

CS: You also point out that business experiences, customer experiences, and user experiences are rarely integrated. What advice would you give to companies on how to collaborate to integrate these disciplines?

BS: There are many disparate tracks within companies designing and delivering experiences today. The key to optimizing what the customer experiences in each moment of truth throughout the lifecycle is having these efforts not only work together, but also execute against a vision and sense of purpose. You have to first define what are meaningful experiences for a new generation of customers and employees.

UPDATED FRAMEWORK

Then you must design them for each moment of truth to come to life independently and then holistically. Remember, customer experience isn’t or shouldn’t be measured in one moment. Customer experience is defined by how a customer experiences your business throughout his or her journey. It’s measured as the sum of every moment of truth. Yet most businesses are attacking CX irrespective of the overall desired experience, if it’s even been defined or designed, and leaving it to busi- ness units and departments to solve independently. At best, some work well, others don’t, and none will ever be truly unified.

Customer experience is an investment in reshaping business models that help companies compete for different times. Unfortunately, many executives who are shareholder-centric see this work not as an invest- ment, but as a cost center and thus, a loss to potential margins and profitability. Those companies that invest in experience design and new business models, processes, systems, and metrics will ultimately outper- form businesses that focus on the bottom line.

CS: How do you see experience design evolving over the next few years?

BS: If you think about it, the best experiences you have are with you forever—just like bad experiences. You’ll never forget them. They are powerful because they ulti- mately become memories, and as human beings, we have on-demand access to them via our limbic system, which is the control center for our emotions. Businesses leave something so powerful as experiences and memories to chance today. Successful companies will go beyond brand, creative, and innovation to invest in enterprise-wide expe- rience architecture and design. It takes a unified approach that unites brand experience, customer experience, user experience, and other disparate disciplines to design and deliver experiences that people love and can’t live without in every touchpoint.

Brian Solis, Author, Speaker, Futurist

Brian Solis is principal analyst and futurist at Altimeter, the digital analyst group at Prophet, Brian is a world renowned keynote speakerand 8x best-selling author. In his new book, Lifescale: How to live a more creative, productive and happy life, Brian tackles the struggles of living in a world rife with constant digital distractions. His model for “Lifescaling” helps readers overcome the unforeseen consequences of living a digital life to break away from diversions, focus on what’s important, spark newfound creativity and unlock new possibilities. His previous book, X: The Experience When Business Meets Design, explores the future of brand and customer engagement through experience design.

Please, invite him to speak at your next event or bring him in to your organization to inspire colleagues, executives and boards of directors.

Follow Brian Solis!

Twitter: @briansolis
Facebook: TheBrianSolis
LinkedIn: BrianSolis
Instagram: BrianSolis
Pinterest: BrianSolis
Youtube: BrianSolisTV
Newsletter: Please Subscribe
Speaking Inquiries: Contact

The post Solving for X: The Rise of Experience Innovation appeared first on Brian Solis.

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Brian Solis by Brian Solis - 1w ago

Digital transformation is an essential topic at leading technology publications these days. One such outlet, TechRepublic, is a favorite of mine. I spent time with Olivia Krauth on the subject and I wanted to share our conversation with you here. It serves as a solid foundation for taking digital transformation beyond IT and into a business performance enablement role across the enterprise.

Generally, what does it mean to digitally transform?

The definition of digital transformation has expanded to cover everything involving digital trends and technologies. Achieving buzzword status seems to be diluting the importance of digital transformation as a C-Suite imperative and the need to accelerate enterprise-wide investments in digital expertise, capabilities, and innovation.

After years of research, I wanted to help contribute a definition that was more sweeping and, well, transformative to organizations beyond technology, trends and IT.  It’s evolved every year with new research, In 2019, I defined digital transformation this way…

Digital transformation is the evolving pursuit of innovative and agile business and operational models — fueled by evolving technologies, processes, analytics and talent — to create new value and experiences for customers, employees and stakeholders.

How are businesses digitally transforming themselves? 

After publishing several reports on the subject, I noticed a pattern in how companies evolved in their quest to digitally transform. I called it “The Six Stages of Digital Transformation.” It represents a common, but not linear path of maturity as companies define in their own way, what their journey will accomplish and how they get there. At some point, an organization may occupy several different stages. The goal however is to create a top-down culture of empowerment to encourage new thinking, learning, experimentation and innovation.

The six stages are briefly outlined as follows:

1) Business as Usual – Operate with a familiar legacy perspective of customers and employees supported by dated processes, policies, models and metrics. This foundation limits initial digital transformation efforts by framing it in yesterday’s existing constructs.

2) Present and Active – Pockets of experimentation drive digital literacy and creativity within respective groups. These pockets are strewn across the organization, operating in silos such as IT, marketing, customer service, etc. Each evolve at different paces in different ways.

3) Formalized – Experimentation becomes intentional while executing at more capable levels. Change agents rise to help Initiatives become bolder and reach beyond disciplines. They strive to earn executive support for resources, technology and air cover.

4) Strategic – Cross-functional collaboration becomes intentional to develop roadmaps that prioritize key initiatives beyond any one silo. A center of excellence forms to help guide groups and business units ready to invest in digital transformation while also earning executive buy-in.

5) Converged – Official digital transformation management teams assemble where ownership, responsibility and accountability and assigned. Enterprise-wide initiatives are funded and staffed. Digital transformation teams gain direct lines of reporting to the C-Suite and eventually the board. For example, our 2017 digital transformation survey shows only 40% of responding companies operate with an executive-mandated steering committee responsible for organizational transformation.

6) Innovative and Adaptive – Digital transformation is an ongoing effort affecting all aspects of the organization. It encourages new models and roles to scale digital transformation and also lead innovation efforts. Cultures become less rigid and risk-averse and more agile and progressive.

What are some barriers to digital transformation?

Consistently,  one of the top barriers to digital transformation is “corporate culture.” Most organizations operate within management models that are generations old and risk-averse. As a result, digital transformation is initially iterative, based on today’s standards, mindsets and expectations. That changes with experience of course. But this is why many organizations progress stage by stage rather than jumping ahead to innovative. Initially, digital is used to “do the same things better.” Eventually, digital affects everything, operations, leadership, performance, work, etc., to “create new value” and “make old ways obsolete.”

Each year, Altimeter, a Prophet company, studies “The State of Digital Transformation.” And, each year, we ask this very question. What are the top challenges they face? This year, the top challenge was “low digital literacy among employees and leadership” at 31.4 percent. The second top challenge was also revealing, “ digital transformation is considered a cost-center” at 30.9%. Other barriers include, lack of budget, lack of staff or resources, no sense of urgency, lack of ROI to prove value, etc. Most notably, “human barriers” such as egos, politics, fear, are consistently high ranking in digital transformation and innovation initiatives.

The human side of digital transformation led me to create “The Digital Change Agent’s Manifesto” to help digital champions breakthrough these hurdles.

If a business chose not to transform, what would happen? Would they be OK, or would they fall behind?

I refer to these times as digital Darwinism, the evolution of technology and society. Every day, times, trends, tastes, behaviors change…some incrementally and others dramatically. Customers evolve. Employees evolve. Values evolve. Organizations either keep up or try to stay ahead of this evolution or they don’t. This is why digital transformation must have a vision and purpose, one that matters to customers, partners and employees, now and as they progress.

It’s a matter of adapt or die. Disruption is a choice. Either you invest in evolution and in some cases revolution or the gift of disruption is given to you by someone else as they invest in surviving and thriving in digital Darwinism. At best, the (misleading) momentum that companies are enjoying will yield profits for the foreseeable future…until it doesn’t. At worst, companies experience obsolescence as markets move on.

Photo Credit: Riccardo Annandale, @pavement_special, Unsplash

Brian Solis, Author, Speaker, Futurist

Brian Solis is principal analyst and futurist at Altimeter, the digital analyst group at Prophet, Brian is a world renowned keynote speakerand 8x best-selling author. In his new book, Lifescale: How to live a more creative, productive and happy life, Brian tackles the struggles of living in a world rife with constant digital distractions. His model for “Lifescaling” helps readers overcome the unforeseen consequences of living a digital life to break away from diversions, focus on what’s important, spark newfound creativity and unlock new possibilities. His previous book, X: The Experience When Business Meets Design, explores the future of brand and customer engagement through experience design.

Please, invite him to speak at your next event or bring him in to your organization to inspire colleagues, executives and boards of directors.

Follow Brian Solis!

Twitter: @briansolis
Facebook: TheBrianSolis
LinkedIn: BrianSolis
Instagram: BrianSolis
Pinterest: BrianSolis
Youtube: BrianSolisTV
Newsletter: Please Subscribe
Speaking Inquiries: Contact

The post Digital Transformation 101 appeared first on Brian Solis.

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When it comes to employee engagement and experience, innovation and digital transformation, corporate culture is under appreciated and largely neglected. Did you know that 85% of employees around the world are not engaged or actively disengaged at work according to Gallup? This global “norm” costs approximately $7 trillion in lost productivity. Titled “Culture 2.0 – The Art and Science of Human-Centered Change and Innovation,” my keynote at the Digital Workplace Experience aimed to change that. Culture is incredibly important to the long-term success of any organization as well as to the morale and productivity of employees. With Culture 2.0, forward-thinking organizations must embrace the art and science of prioritizing human-centered culture work, its relationship to the future of work and how it ushers in a new era of leadership vs. management.

I’m so passionate about this topic that I actually dedicate a significant amount of my time and personal resources to better understand culture, people and change. My entire career has been based on pushing cultures, management, leadership and organizations forward into the future because of all this digital stuff that has been playing out since the consumerization of technology.

Every time I study innovation, digital transformation, the customer experience, you name it, the #1 inhibitor to those things flourishing is culture. The number one thing when it works really well is also attributed to culture, so that’s both the #1 catalyst and #1 challenge we face. Somewhere in that whole discussion are people. We are the change. We are what’s responsible for performance today and tomorrow, yet culture is one of those things that’s ethereal. Some of the research I have been investing in has been the experimentation of art and response, art and motivation, art and change. Through all this work, I have found that employee experience is the next biggest trend for organizations that want to both perform by traditional standards and in ways that enliven people. It helps create a culture that makes people feel proud of where they are, makes them feel they’re part of something bigger than themselves. Employee experience is where we get to the heart of the matter of what really matters to business.

When we talk about employee experience we can’t fix or change anything until we actually understand the reality that most people today are disengaged. A lot of people just show up. They just need the paycheck. When it comes to transformation, we don’t need everybody to come along. We just need to attract the right people. If people don’t feel they love what they do, then we have problems that a cloud, collaboration or real time software and platforms won’t solve. In fact, they’ll probably going to accelerate the challenges we have today.

A few years ago, I studied how executives were thinking about change, culture, human resources and employee engagement, and how employees felt about all those things. Executives believe that employee engagement is important, but employees rated their engagement right in the middle on the issue, with more than half of them feeling neutral on their company culture. In a report I recently published called the Digital Culture, examining what it takes for companies to succeed or fail in this economy, culture was again cited as the #1 hurdle to overcome. Companies were struggling to create a digital culture. Flexibility and a digital first mindset were big problem issues. The nature of how they work doesn’t allow for any flexibility, and the digital mindset is completely new because they’ve been so used to working and making decisions that they use digital as tools but not as a way of life. That’s where things need to change.

It’s not easy because we grew up being taught and rewarded for following the rules at home, school and work, and those rules become norms. Those norms become behaviors and those become the culture of the organization. That’s why many companies are risk averse, and why employee engagement is down. Innovation asks you to challenge those rules and that goes against our very conventions and beliefs of how we work. Less than half of employees today believe it’s easy to collaborate within their company yet almost all of the executives believe it’s easy. I wonder sometimes if they’re working at the same place. What’s clear is that there’s not only a lack of collaboration but a lack of vision and sync within the company.

We have to adopt a new mindset to see the problem differently and also a systems way of thinking to change how we think and work. We need new expertise that may not exist within organizations today. We have to unlearn a lot of the standards that equate to how we work and how we measure success, which is why one of the pillars of digital DNA is recreating or building new KPIs and metrics for measuring performance and behaviors. We cannot undervalue the importance of change agents within the organization. The digital change agent is the one who wakes up every day trying to change people’s impressions, rally them together and make this a bigger conversation. They’re trying to innovate while meeting resistance and egos that prevent them from being successful. These change agents are incredible assets, yet they’re thinking about quitting because they’re frustrated, or they get fired for making too many waves.

The truth is, we are all change agents, whether we give ourselves the title or not. We’re here to learn, explore and most importantly to build a community with one another because we’re all facing the same challenges. One of the greatest skills change agents have is not only their resilience but also their ability to cheerlead. Every story of change starts with personal transformation. I can assure you that in the best stories where a company changes small at first and dramatically later, it is because change started from the middle, not from the top down. The ideas, the possibilities, the talent all come from the middle. Employees are being asked by the executives to change and at the same time they’re personally feeling the struggle to change because these are dynamic and scary times and what happens is a divide in work, innovation and culture. That’s a lot of divides but the good news is that once we start looking at things this way, we can stop that divide from growing. We can also start to close it.

I worked with a big pharmaceutical company that was creating a transformation strategy, and the chief human resources officer mentioned a key problem. They needed digital talent and younger mindsets to drive their work forward, but they weren’t able to attract the people they wanted. People were going on Glassdoor and YouTube and seeing that people post that it wasn’t the best place to work. I addressed some of their challenges. Chief among them was that they had no way of allowing people to apply for a job on their phones. 90% of most processes start on a mobile device. That was one example of the disconnect between these tools and this mindset that work is actually what you say it is. To change, you must create a vision for the future, understanding what matters to employees, which is different from five years ago, 25 years ago and 50 years ago. We have to bring employees along for this journey. The blueprint for the digital work experience is often counterintuitive because it goes against many of the norms and beliefs and rules that are in place today. That’s why I became a digital anthropologist 15 years ago. I felt the need to study how technology was affecting and changing us.

Culture is defined by the experiences that people have and share and that is where culture design comes into focus. What do you want people to feel? What do you have people share? There’s a new normal happening today and this is exactly why there’s a divide – because employees are working with different standards. Every day they wake up they get a new iPhone, every day there’s a new app…they change and evolved, and how they work and why they work is not aligning with that. Most of the time people don’t necessarily know they’re changing because it’s that boiling frog metaphor – it happens slowly. But at certain points, their centers of reference change. But our way of working and our center of reference and decision making doesn’t change. It hasn’t evolved, so we’re making decisions about digital workplaces and culture right here while they’re over there and there’s that experience divide. What has happened is what I call the Law of Accelerated Society and Selfie Disruption. It just means that technology experiences we have that we use in our personal lives are changing us and our societal norms and cultural beliefs.

The reality is that all of these things are changing the way we live. Snapchat has turned conversations into moments. Instagram has sort of glorified the picture-perfect life. Facebook is polarizing relationships. Think of all those videos you watch on YouTube and then you realize, where did those four hours go and you have nothing to show for it? Anybody who uses Snapchat or Instagram today has an augmented reality – they just call it something else. As a human being, it completely rewires how you work, how you think, your values, your aspirations, your norms, everything. So you take this into work and suddenly everything feels off. Just because something is digital, doesn’t make it intuitive, seamless or normal. That’s why we have to start with culture. What are we trying to do and why a lot of companies I look at will put standup desks, open workspace, ping pong tables, free food, and happy hours. They try to gamify stuff by creating leaderboards, or put in other hip technology. Those are things. It’s not culture, it’s not experience design. Culture is the lifeblood or any organization. It defines how people treat each other, why they come to work and how they relate to one another. It’s one of the least understood but most talked about things when it comes to business transformation and innovation.

Most organizations that thrive have aligned their internal cultural vision with employee engagement and a new incentive program designed to have everybody work towards this vision. Studies are already showing that companies that have strong cultures, articulated cultures, have higher Glassdoor rankings.

How does that play out over time? Companies with these strong, articulated cultures actually perform better in the market, with higher profitability, higher growth, higher shareholder value. It is deeply tied to business performance and growth, so the question is, who owns culture? Who is that defining North Star? How are we inspiring people every single day to let them know where we are in that mission and the role that they play against moving towards that North Star? I call this culture, because it really is a time where we need an entirely new version of what we think culture is. Like the best customer experience work that’s being done today, employee experience is human centric. It’s understanding how people are different, understanding where their centers of reference moved and understanding where we’re trying to go as an organization – and bringing those closer to an alignment. With cultures that are strong, there’s a direct correlation between beliefs and outcomes, so the cultural beliefs of an organization have to be defined so they can be tied to these outcomes. Harmful cultures happen when people are not aligned.

We can articulate these beliefs through words, art, policies and processes. We must invest in the technologies and the employee engagement and human resources and management infrastructure that increases new cultural norms. We are essentially defining but also shaping new employer-employee behaviors because we’re working towards something together.

The problems that we all have are all a result of culture – what we allow, what we don’t allow. It’s important to notice that in my research – and also with Gapingvoid, which is dedicated to creating more engaged organizations by designing a better and more meaningful culture – that beliefs and mindsets dictate organizational behaviors. They are tied directly to organizational outcomes. There’s a direct correlation between beliefs and outcomes so the cultural believes of an organization have to be defined so they can be tied to these outcomes. Harmful cultures happen when people are not aligned. That’s why alignment is part of this process.

We’re trying to define the pillars of a culture that the formalization and the articulation of those beliefs are directly tied to establishingcultural norms and behaviors. We dictate the experiences that we want people to have and share and that manifesting those beliefs in words but also art and also employee engagement shape directly shape employee experiences. Sharing those beliefs through words through visuals, through art, through work, through policies, through processes and everything you do externally also improve customer experiences e^x is directly tied to CX. There’s a formula for that.

It’s this combination of the future motivating state and articulated beliefs that you create. You define and articulate those beliefs through words, through art, through policies, through processes – and we invest in the technologies. The employee engagement and the human resources and the management infrastructure increases new cultural norms that we are essentially defining. We are also shaping new employer-employee behaviors because we’re working towards something together.

To build a culture of innovation, you have to assemble leadership to define that future motivational state. You have to articulate and socialize those beliefs inside and outside the company. You have to give employees the tools every single day to be successful, and you have to reward those new behaviors.

I like to think about innovation as all the work that we do to learn how to conform and move our centers of reference to new centers of reference so that we can be aspirational. So that we can be that North Star. So they want to come along for that ride because today we’re asking people to conform to our way of working. When you look at performance and you tie culture to that performance, then culture becomes the number one metric. Things like morale things, like NPS internally and externally, those just become functions of aspects of how you work, not why you work. Culture is already proven to be your biggest competitive advantage. It’s tied to employee experience and also customer experience.

You can’t delight customers if your employees aren’t inspired and culture design employee experience customer experience it’s all human.

I think we’re all just looking for something to believe in and I think that’s the role you play in not just digital workplace experience but actually Culture 2.0. That work has to start somewhere. That vision has to start somewhere. And what I have truly observed is that innovation in these areas starts in the heart.

Digital Workplace Experience 2018 Keynote - Brian Solis - YouTube

Additional Coverage

CMSWire – Takeaways from Digital Workplace Experience

Strategic HCM – Brian Solis on Culture 2.0

Brian Solis, Author, Speaker, Futurist

Brian Solis is principal analyst and futurist at Altimeter, the digital analyst group at Prophet, Brian is a world renowned keynote speakerand 8x best-selling author. In his new book, Lifescale: How to live a more creative, productive and happy life, Brian tackles the struggles of living in a world rife with constant digital distractions. His model for “Lifescaling” helps readers overcome the unforeseen consequences of living a digital life to break away from diversions, focus on what’s important, spark newfound creativity and unlock new possibilities. His previous book, X: The Experience When Business Meets Design, explores the future of brand and customer engagement through experience design.

Please, invite him to speak at your next event or bring him in to your organization to inspire colleagues, executives and boards of directors.

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The post The Art and Science of Human Centered Change and Innovation appeared first on Brian Solis.

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I live several lives. As a digital analyst and futurist, I study disruptive technology and its impact on businesses and markets. As a digital anthropologist, I study the effects of disruptive technology on societies and us as individuals. In both cases, I am frequently asked to share the “state of” industries and also play out defined scenarios over the next several years. Recently, I took a break from my industry work to focus on the personal side of digital disruption with Lifescale: How to Live a More Creative, Productive and Happy Life. During that time, I had to press pause on the development of a book trailer for X: The Experience When Business Meets Design. Now it’s time to press “publish.”

X is the follow0-up to What’s the Future of Business aka WTF. It’s not an official part 2. It’s more of a companion guide that takes a deeper dive into the world of experience design and innovation. It was both written AND designed to help businesses architect unforgettable and intuitive experiences in an era of Digital Darwinism.

My friends at Ninja Tropic developed this special trailer to commemorate the anniversary of X. Now it’s time to finally share it with you!

The New Kodak Moment by Brian Solis, X: The Experience When Business Meets Design - YouTube

The New Kodak Moment

Do you remember the Kodak Moment?

It was evocative and deeply personal and emotional.

The Kodak Moment channeled memories that made the brand, the product and life experiences one.

Now the Kodak Moment means something altogether different.

It signifies the moment when a brand loses touch with how customer behaviors, preferences and aspirations are changing.

Nowadays, no brand is “too big to fail.”

What does it take to win in the future?

Experience

Experts believe that tomorrow’s successful companies will compete for customer experiences

But what is experience and how can they help companies avoid the new Kodak moment?

Experience isn’t just the next buzzword, it is the brand.

You just have to experience the world through the experiences of people.

Experience is something you feel, something you sense and interpret…and, it’s measured by how you react.

It’s emotional and sensory.

When you see things from the other side, you realize that today’s customer experiences are left to chance.

Rather, companies create experiences individually through products, touchpoints, processes, systems…

But customer experience is not one thing…it’s everything.

Once you chance your perspective, you can change your work.

If you think about customer experience from the customer’s viewpoint, you’ll learn that your brand is the sum of all engagements a customer has with you during the customer lifecycle.

If one moment is great and another is filled with friction or angst, your brand will always be less than great.

Branding now requires more than a style guide. It takes an experience style guide where each moment works together to deliver the experience.

Close your eyes for a moment and think about the last tie you had a truly incredible experience…an experience that moved you…that captured your heart, mind and spirt. An experience that’s become a memory. An experience that defined how you are. What about it was so special? Your work is now to bring it to life for someone else.

The future of brand lies in the experiences your design and that people have.

It takes empathy.

It takes design.

Experience starts with imagination, innovation and courage to pave new paths to customers and back.

Experience begins with you.

Xthebook.com

Brian Solis, Author, Speaker, Futurist

Brian Solis is principal analyst and futurist at Altimeter, the digital analyst group at Prophet, Brian is a world renowned keynote speakerand 8x best-selling author. In his new book, Lifescale: How to live a more creative, productive and happy life, Brian tackles the struggles of living in a world rife with constant digital distractions. His model for “Lifescaling” helps readers overcome the unforeseen consequences of living a digital life to break away from diversions, focus on what’s important, spark newfound creativity and unlock new possibilities. His previous book, X: The Experience When Business Meets Design, explores the future of brand and customer engagement through experience design.

Please, invite him to speak at your next event or bring him in to your organization to inspire colleagues, executives and boards of directors.

Follow Brian Solis!

Twitter: @briansolis
Facebook: TheBrianSolis
LinkedIn: BrianSolis
Instagram: BrianSolis
Pinterest: BrianSolis
Youtube: BrianSolisTV
Newsletter: Please Subscribe
Speaking Inquiries: Contact

The post The New Kodak Moment and the Rise of Experience Innovation appeared first on Brian Solis.

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Facebook Inc. unveiled plans to launch Libra, a payment system it describes as “global currency” that’s based on blockchain, the same technology powering bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It’s backed by real assets and attached to stable government securities. I’ve heard that more than two dozen corporate partners are on board, including financial behemoths MasterCard, Visa, PayPal and Coinbase. With partners contributing membership fees of $10 million each, Facebook’s goal is to line up a total of 100 corporate partners and $1 billion in assets.

I recently had the pleasure of being guest on Breaking Banks – the #1 Global Fintech podcast. The host, my good friend Brett King, asked me what I thought about Facebook’s move, given the controversy engendered by its data scandal with Cambridge Analytica when it was revealed that CA had harvested the personal data of people’s Facebook profiles to use for political advertising purposes. Brett asked specifically if the network affect could triumph over privacy concerns.

First, I applaud Facebook for this move. It’s something the company has been teasing about for years and which it has to do to help its growth. However, it’s the platform that it has with billions of users that concerns me. Facebook is not synonymous with privacy, at least not in the several instances that have plagued it going back to the 2016 election. But Libra is bold, innovative and worth many incredible conversations. I think Facebook has some PR issues it has to work through, and I understand that it’s part of this huge network and ecosystem, but it’s platform is going to be a huge launching vehicle for Libra.

At the same time, I have to scold banks and finance brands for not actually getting there first. There was nothing to stop them, and something like Libra was inevitable. Banks could have done this! The problem is that banks got so caught up in iteration and not innovation, which is one of my big areas of research. It’s the difference between creating new services and value vs. building upon legacy services. Most banks still have a horrible mobile app yet here comes Facebook, a company no bank saw as a competitor for them, even though the company had been teasing for years. And now the banks are going to have to respond.

I’m looking at banks like Capital One that are focused on product management as a new discipline within the organization and are starting to build out more with a startup like expertise. That’s what banks need. Otherwise, they’re going to get stuck. I’ve heard of some banks that have a robot that greets you and helps you through your services. But if you’re walking into a branch, most likely you’re not going to be a customer of Libra. That’s what this is all about – reaching the “unbanked,” getting to the people who trust banks less than they trust Facebook!

I believe Facebook is actually helping rebuild trust and doing something about its tarnished image with its Libra announcement. To get out of that hot spot is a big deal. There are massive calls and demonstrations to remove Mark Zuckerberg as CEO but this movement is brilliant and scary at the same time. Facebook is its own closed ecosystem, it’s own internet, almost like a sovereign nation. So all of this reflects conversations of something akin to a sovereign currency. What is this going to do in terms of global currency?

We can’t know everything at the moment, but at the same time, I can’t emphasize enough that this is going to be a massive disruptor that is going to invite all kinds of competitors – the same way Apple Pay did when it came out – that will totally miss the make as far as understanding the way human beings want to bank. There was a research study done a few years ago called “The Millennial Disruption Index” that asked, “Who do millennials see themselves banking with in the next ten years?” The top three responses were Google, Apple and Amazon, none of which are top tier banks. So Libra is huge in terms of possibility and disruption.

There will always be skeptics. In every circumstance of disruption, I have a common saying I throw out no matter the industry: ignorance and arrogance equals irrelevance. At the same time – and this goes back to the 30’s when Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter coined the phrase “creative destruction” – closedmindedness stymies the opportunity to do great and inventive things. Banks and bankers often prefer their comfort zone, that paycheck, those bonuses every year. Banking is one of the worst offenders of iteration. And they’re getting what they deserve because Libra has the potential to reach 1.7 billion unbanked consumers. The Libra ecosystem is enormous, with some massive players to govern it. I wouldn’t be surprised if we will be watching some of our most recognized financial brands meet their demise in the next decade.

Facebook Bets on Libra - SoundCloud
(3392 secs long, 380 plays)Play in SoundCloud

Image Credit: The Verge

Brian Solis, Author, Speaker, Futurist

Brian Solis is principal analyst and futurist at Altimeter, the digital analyst group at Prophet, Brian is a world renowned keynote speakerand 8x best-selling author. In his new book, Lifescale: How to live a more creative, productive and happy life, Brian tackles the struggles of living in a world rife with constant digital distractions. His model for “Lifescaling” helps readers overcome the unforeseen consequences of living a digital life to break away from diversions, focus on what’s important, spark newfound creativity and unlock new possibilities. His previous book, X: The Experience When Business Meets Design, explores the future of brand and customer engagement through experience design.

Please, invite him to speak at your next event or bring him in to your organization to inspire colleagues, executives and boards of directors.

Follow Brian Solis!

Twitter: @briansolis
Facebook: TheBrianSolis
LinkedIn: BrianSolis
Instagram: BrianSolis
Pinterest: BrianSolis
Youtube: BrianSolisTV
Newsletter: Please Subscribe
Speaking Inquiries: Contact

The post Facebook Bets on Libra, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain appeared first on Brian Solis.

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One of the things I love most about the Lifescale experience, is the entirely new adventures on which I’m whisked away. One such experience was the result of attending “The Rising Glen Collective” in Hollywood recently. I was asked to present on the story behind the book to a curated group of artists, entrepreneurs, athletes, experts and executives in an intimate setting–in a beautiful Hollywood Hills home over looking Los Angeles. Boy, was I nervous.

Following the event, I met Dr. Kayte Susse D.C., a functional and preventative health expert who works with patients to proactively optimize their health. We immediately fell into an enthusiastic exchange as if we were two long-lost friends. She invited me to visit her studio the next time I was visiting LA.

Sure enough, I flew to Los Angeles just a few weeks later to record the audio book for Lifescale. I was invited to the very chic Evermedia TV Studios in Beverly Hills. I felt so LA! Dr. Kayte is the best! I felt right at home (although I was a little timid at first) and we picked right up where our last conversation ended.

I wanted to share our conversation with you here…

Mind, Body, Spirit with Dr. Kayte

Brian Solis interviewed by Dr. Kayte about Lifescale - YouTube

About Dr. Kayte Susse D.C.: Dr. Susse’s primary focus centers on supporting hormonal imbalance, anti-aging medicine, autoimmune disease, vitamin and mineral imbalances, thyroid health, fertility, and detoxification, as well as pre and post-operative surgery wellness.

Brian Solis, Author, Speaker, Futurist

Brian Solis is principal analyst and futurist at Altimeter, the digital analyst group at Prophet, Brian is a world renowned keynote speakerand 8x best-selling author. In his new book, Lifescale: How to live a more creative, productive and happy life, Brian tackles the struggles of living in a world rife with constant digital distractions. His model for “Lifescaling” helps readers overcome the unforeseen consequences of living a digital life to break away from diversions, focus on what’s important, spark newfound creativity and unlock new possibilities. His previous book, X: The Experience When Business Meets Design, explores the future of brand and customer engagement through experience design.

Please, invite him to speak at your next event or bring him in to your organization to inspire colleagues, executives and boards of directors.

Follow Brian Solis!

Twitter: @briansolis
Facebook: TheBrianSolis
LinkedIn: BrianSolis
Instagram: BrianSolis
Pinterest: BrianSolis
Youtube: BrianSolisTV
Newsletter: Please Subscribe
Speaking Inquiries: Contact

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The post Mind, Body, Spirit with Dr. Kayte appeared first on Brian Solis.

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