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Without question, he is one of the most dynamic speakers and professional partners I've ever come across. Our audiences love him. He hits a home run every time.You will not be sorry if you use him. In fact, I'm willing to bet your first experience will lead to many, many more, as it has with SAP - comments from a client



That’s the problem that many financial services industry companies have — they are in a world in which they are having to respond to the challenges of fin-tech, disruptive business model change and more, and yet are running on an infrastructure that is still largely tied to the technology of the 60’s and 70’s.

That’s the modern day dilemma – and that’s part of what I will discuss when I open SAP’s 2018 Financial Services Industry Day conference in New York City next week.

To stir up interest, I filmed the little sneak preview above.

What happened? SAP has a BIG PROBLEM – in that the number of registered attendees is DOUBLE their expectations. Too many people have signed up!

What a nice problem to have. We know from experience that there will be a number of no-shows – it’s always the case – but still. It goes to show that senior executives from many of the world’s largest financial services companies – banks, insurance companies and more — are clamouring for insight on what to do in the era of acceleration. And that’s what I will cover in my keynote, and more.

(Do you run similar events, and want a similar BIG PROBLEM? Read more about my promo videos here).

In the last few months, I’ve had two keynotes where I’ve put in perspective the marriage of the Internet of Things with blockchain as a trend. This is a pretty massive issue yet one with a lot of hype and hysteria. I’ll have lots to post and say in the coming months on it. Here’s a short clip from one of those talks:

The first of these events was a leadership meeting was for Columbus McKinnon, a manufacturer of overhead cranes used in manufacturing, entertaining, shipping and logistics; the second was for the Canadian Finance and Leasing Association. The first group asked me to outline for several hundred of their engineers and sales staff how the essence of what they build and sell will change as they become ‘smart and hypercpnnected;’ the other wanted a talk that put into perspective the fact that the very nature of what they lease will change through such connectivity.

Here’s the thing: most #IOT (Internet of Things) projects today are a complete failure – they are insecure, built on old outdated Linux stacks with mega-security holes, and ill-thought out architectures. My slide on that fact? Simple: a reality which is already happening today. This type of negligence will doom of the future of the products of many of the early pioneers.

So here’s the thing: if organizations are going to build a proper path into the hyperconnected future, they need to understand and follow my “11 Rules of #IoT Architecture.” Read it, print it, learn from it : this is what you need to do as you transition to becoming a tech company. Some of the biggest organizations in the world have had me in for this detailed insight – maybe you should.

My inspiration for how to build the future right comes from Apple’s robust Device Enrolment Program architecture, which lets an organization deploy, manage, upgrade and oversee thousands of corporate iPhones or iPads; and Tesla, which is not really a car company, but a hi-tech company.

And so in both of these talks, I put into perspective how Tesla has (without knowing it, LOL) been following my rules. First, think about what a Tesla really is – here’s my slide….

Going back to my list of the 11 Rules of IOT Architecture, you can see that Tesla has met a number of the conditions …

Go through my IOT architecture list and think about what has been engineered into the computer that is a Tesla.

Upgradeable: any device should have the ability to be upgraded from afar, automatically, either by user choice or centralized management”.

Got that. Consumer Reports didn’t like the braking distance on the Model 3. No problem: that’s a software update.

“Feature addition capable: the design should provide for the addition of future capabilities, some of which might not be imagined yet at the time of development.”

You can do that when you buy your Model 3.

“Prognostic, diagnostic: each device should be able to self-diagnose and report when it is not working correctly.”

Yup, built in.

“Self-repairing: better yet, it should not only know when things are going wrong, but have the capability to fix it once it is aware”.

Let’s fix it at night….

“Programmable: the device should be controllable by users, to the extent that is possible within a predefined robust security and privacy architecture.”

User/driver interactivity is at the heart of operator interaction.

“Self-reporting: the device should be able to report on a wide variety of information pertaining to operations, proximity, location, status, etc.”

Built in. And yes, there’s an app for that (above).

“Swarm data-generating: it should be able to generate types of information that, in concert with other similar devices, is able to be manipulated to provide some unique operational, predictive or maintenance-information data-set (or more)”.

It’s a data gathering machine.

“Intelligence-capable: it should have or be provided capabilities to make its own decisions based on input data.”

As in, a new AI based, neural network…..

“Grid-connectable:  it should be able to exist or participate within a connected series of devices to achieve some original or newly conceived purpose.”

Vehicle-to-grid connectivity is a huge trend!Tesla isn’t participating fully yet, but it will. Your car battery becomes a part of the energy grid….

Here’s the thing: Elon Musk understands the need for a great IOT architecture. Most CEO’s of Fortune 1000 companies don’t, and until they get someone who does, their project will be a fail. They’ll likely put the future of their company at risk through security and privacy failures, product failures and more.

Get with the program, folks!

Here’s a clip you’ll need to get you thinking. I was brought in by a manufacturing company to speak at their global leadership meeting, with a predictive on key trends they need to align themselves to. And of course, I had to close with some guidance on what to do to deal with the reality of those trends.

The content was developed through very careful consultation with the CEO and leadership team, but its’ a good example of how I go from the trends to actual action plans.


In October, I will keynote the Tag & Label Institute annual general meeting in Amelia Island, Florida. I’ve put together two good summary videos that they will share with their attendees in advance of the event, to get them thinking about the issues that they must confront as an industry.

In the first one, I take a look at the key manufacturing trends which will impact this organization, and everyone in the world of manufacturing: 3D printing, the arrival of the smart factory with the Internet of Things, mass customization, rapid prototyping, advanced materials and more.

In the second one, I examine the 3 key issues that the organization needs to address in the short term. This came about as a result of a long consultative call with the CEO of the organization. A good part of my keynote will focus on these issues – that’s a key part of how I customize my keynote for the issues in the room. I don’t do canned stuff!

These are good examples of the types of pre-event videos I’ve been doing for clients, and they are proving to be a smash hit. Learn more!

Just over 18 months ago, I opened the annual meeting of the United Soybean Board in St. Louis, a group that represents most of the US soybean industry. I was on stage with a message for over 300 soybean farmers about opportunities for future growth. In addition, I spent 2 hours in a private session with the Board of Directors talking about opportunity. To see what I covered, read my blog post from my keynote “Accelerating Innovation: My Time With the United Soybean Board.”

We talked a lot about China and global markets as a big opportunity. Today, the industry is struggling with the fact that they while they spent a lot of time developing China a key market, the country has now targeted their beans with tariffs. They are in the front line of the new global trade war.

Who would have thought? Well, people vote, and votes matter.

With that in mind, watch this video from my good friend Jim Carroll – he’s the head of the Arkansas Soybean Board. Jim and I met when I spoke to this group. It’s a video message with his most recent update to his members – soybean farmers all of them – on their opportunities for innovation.

He’s talking about the same opportunities that I focused on in my keynote: new markets, using soybeans for new products and new opportunities (i.e. meal for fish farming in Egypt), sustainability – the whole idea of not selling ‘beans by the bushel’,’ but selling soybeans for use in different ways for different purposes. Did you know that Ford uses soybeans in seat cushions for cars? That’s an example of the type of innovative thinking occurring in the industry. Continue Reading

You can book a boring keynote speaker who will do the same old. Or, you can call me. Your choice. Here’s what you need to think about.

The Trapeze Group had me in to headline their annual user group conference – individuals thourhgout the global urban transit industry. As with many of my events, I went above and beyond and delivered far more that most other speakers who simply pay lip service, with a custom event video, Q&A and more. Read about that on this blog post, Are You Stuck with the Same Old Boring Keynote? Stop it NOW!.

But wait! There’s more! I also hosted a private meeting of key leaders in the sector; I had CEO’s and senior executives of transit organization from Memphis, Nashville, Long Beach, Dallas, Spokane, Philadelphia and more. This gave them a chance to dive deeper into the issues I framed in my keynote.

 

 

What did we cover? Take a look.

Bottom line? You can book a boring keynote speaker who will do the same old. Or, you can call me. Your choice.

It probably means that you are in pretty big trouble.

Over the last 25 years, I’ve been brought into an extensive number of Fortune 1000  leadership meetings at a senior level in order to speak about future trends an innovation – simply take a look at my client list to get a sense of who I work with. With this, I’ve seen many top-notch CEO’s who know that their organization needs to change – and fast. Often, I will be on the phone with them in advance of the event in order to understand their perspective on the challenges that are in front of them in the era of acceleration.

And on the other hand, I’ve seen situations involving the utmost of CEO hubris – a belief that the industry they are in, the business model they are structured for, and the customer behaviour they are aligned to, won’t be subjected to any sort of dramatic change. Which is, to put it mildly, foolish and dangerous!

Just about a year ago, I was in to talk to the senior leadership team of a major global company that I will leave nameless. There was a belief, expressed during a number of conference calls with various VP’s, that the organization needed to align itself for the challenges it might face in the era of Amazon business model disruption. The company is in essence, a distributor – a middleman between various manufacturers and the end customers. Amazon could step into and carve out some of the business; this is such a potential threat that numerous organizations engage me for my keynote on the challenge: Disrupting Amazon : Accelerating Strategies for Success in the Era of Industry Transformation.

And indeed, that was the topic for which I was booked!

Moments before I went on stage, the CEO spoke, immediately dismissing the idea that Amazon or other ‘upstarts’ might ever be a threat. Let’s just say it made for an interesting, if awkward, keynote. The folks who had booked me to come in with palpable with their discomfort.

Continue Reading

Just-in-time knowledge. The acceleration of knowledge. Faster emergence of new issues. Skills specialization.

Over 25 years, I have spoken to dozens of professional services firms, including the largest global law and accounting firms. I recently filmed a pre-event video for a global law firm for whom I’m speaking – and cut this generic version from what we did. It’s a good watch for insight on what comes next!

The future happens slowly, and then, all at once!” – Kevin Kelly, Founding Editor at Wired magazine.

That, in a nutshell, was the modern day leadership dilemma that I presented to the CEO and senior team of a major company in the US financial services industry, at their corporate meeting last Monday in Dallas. Before I met with them, I put together my early morning “motivational quote of the day” and came up with this observation.

(Learn more about these daily quotes here – and take part by following me on various social networks!)

I put the quote together that morning based on my slide deck for the day: I was covering the key trends which would impact the world of insurance, banking, wealth management, investment advisory services and more going forward. And here was the big issue I was challenging them with that was the sub context of my talk – when it comes to the future, the big challenge is not necessarily knowing what the trends are — it’s increasingly, ‘when are they going to happen?’

We might have any number of trends which will impact financial services going forward – artificial intelligence, blockchain, disintermediation, robo-advisors, the acceleration of expectations, the emergence of new competitors, social-network driven wealth management and more. Yet, when might any of these trends become real and have a significant, disruptive impact? That can be a bigger issue than the trends themselves!

Consider one of the most overwhelming and challenging trends in the industry — will direct broker relationships survive in a world in which consumers are doing more and more online? It’s a trend known as “disintermediation,” and I’ve been speaking about it on stage for close to 25 years. Read my post from 10 years ago about the potential for change in the wealth management industry, when I did a talk for the National Australia Bank!

Continue Reading

Siemens has booked me to headline a major energy conference in Houston in May.

So I did a little video about what to expect. Give it a watch. We are going to see more change to the global utility/energy industry in the next 5 years, than we have seen in the next 100!

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