Social Media Alive Wed, 07 Jun 2017 06:22:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Innovation, Disruption and Four Opportunities for Competitive Advantage Wed, 07 Jun 2017 06:22:35 +0000

“Uberize” is actually a word in Wiktionary.   It’s used in economics to describe modification (disruption) of a market or economic model.  We need a word like uberize because economic models are being disrupted a lot, especially as the digital economy digitizes into our lives.    I find these disruptions fascinating.  One of my favorite examples is of the self-milking cow.   Got milk?  Well 7500 years after the first cows were milked, innovations have enabled cows to milk themselves, giving more control to the cows, and freedom to the dairy farmers.


It seems that there is a new example of something being uberized every day.  So how can we set ourselves up to compete in a world of disruption, a world of digital transformation?  As part of a presentation at the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Competitive Consulting event, I thought pretty hard about that question and have listed four opportunities that are critical for change agents in the digital economy.

  • Data analytics expertise.
  • Embracing the Internet of Things (IoT).
  • Collaborating globally
  • Leveraging social networks to win opportunities

Would you agree or add others to this list?

Ready to Boost your Business Value? Here are 17 Sources of Inspiration! Wed, 07 Jun 2017 06:22:18 +0000

You wake up in the morning and get your caffeine fix to boost your energy, and you move throughout your busy day checking off action items and getting you work done. But maybe that’s not enough. Maybe you want to do a little more on this fine day to add more value to your business, or to society?

Well, look no further, because the United Nations has offered 17 sources of inspiration in their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).   They have thought exceptionally well about the world’s most pressing issues and how to make a valuable difference in the lives, communities and natural resources around the globe.  There is no doubt that one of these 17 goals for the world will inspire you. Pick one, or pick several, and think about how you can contribute to making a difference.

Whenever I think about solving problems, I try to think not just about the “what”, but also about the “why”. I’m currently on a teaching sabbatical mentoring international folks around the globe, helping them build business cases and solve business problems. The students naturally default to the task at hand, brainstorming ideas and plans to help their clients and businesses.  I try to break that default and challenge them to think about the “why”. These 17 SDGs provide a superb framework for aligning important goals for society with actionable next steps to solve problems for businesses.

So take a quick break in your day and look at these 17 sustainable development goals. Which of them are part of everyday action? Which can you contribute more to right away, and which ones inspire you to support them in the future? So tomorrow morning, along with your daily caffeine, take a moment to think about why you are doing what you do, and boost your value with some SDG mojo!

How ‘bout them Tomatoes? A Tribute to Jonathan and the Sierra Hillside Farmers! Wed, 07 Jun 2017 06:21:53 +0000

Farming is a really hard job. In fact it’s a tough job all around the world.  When you try to grow sustainable food, try to sell locally, try to make a profit, and try to make a decent wage, the economic and environmental balance becomes impossibly challenging.

Think about this scenario: you have spent years building up the health and fertility of your soils sustainably, you have spent months raising an heirloom tomato plant from seed, you have spent weeks staking and growing healthy sun-ripened tomatoes and you have spent the early morning hours harvesting and setting up your stand at the farmer’s market.  And then a market shopper picks up your tomato, looks at it and says “this tomato doesn’t look as perfect as the one from the supermarket and it costs more, can I have it for much cheaper?”  You sigh.

But some really special people in this world have stepped up to the local organic farming challenge and have dedicated their livelihood and passion to crafting the perfect nourishment for the rest of us. They have been out covering crops when it was freezing and covering them when it was scorching, they have been totally drenched in rain, and totally drenched in perspiration. They have seen a lot of sunrises and a lot of sunsets, and a lot of mosquitoes. And gophers. And they grow the best damn produce that you’ve ever tasted.

So this tribute is to all of those farmers, and namely Jonathan Anderson and the farmers at Sierra Hillside Farms.  Jonathan and his team have managed the Sierra Hillside Farm for over 5 years.   They are part of a chain of local superstar farmers that began in the early 90’s, and a legacy of farming established during the California Gold Rush times in the 1800’s. Jonathan and friends have terraced almost 2 acres of land and sold at like 5 local markets a week. Jonathan is moving upward and onward to his new home at Hawk ‘n Fox farms. It’s super exciting, but Jonathan and all of the farmers and family and WWOOFers, over the last 5 years at Sierra Hillside Farm will be sorely missed as the farm transitions to the its next phase, whatever that may be.  So be sure to like the new Hawk ‘n Fox Facebook page, support your local farmers (please pay them fairly) and join me in this tribute by raising a glass of freshly squeezed organic tomato juice to Jonathan and the dedicated farmers around the world who bring us the healthiest sustainable soils and the best damn produce we’ve ever tasted!