Daniel Burrus' Strategic Insights Blog

The Reputation Economy: Are You Ready?

Reputation Management

You probably grew up getting lectures from your mom about the value of a good reputation. Well, as usual, Mom was right—and maybe more than she knew. Reputation is about to become a capital asset, and it’s going to be digital. I’m talking about the rise of the reputation economy.

In fact the reputation economy has been rapidly growing for some time now. Before they do renovations, homeowners Google contractors to make sure they’re worth hiring. Consumers look at online product reviews before making a purchasing decision, and 90 percent say they’re influenced by those reviews.

Apple’s Smartwatch Will Launch A Wearable Revolution

Health sport woman with smart watchApple’s smartwatch launch will launch far more than their smartwatch, it will launch wearable technology into the mainstream for the first time and create enormous growth opportunities for both companies that are already in the wearable space, and new companies that will spring up thanks to a rapidly growing consumer demand.

Even before Apple’s launch, there is a growing list of naysayers who are predicting that the Apple watch will fail.  May say they there is nothing on the watch you could not already do with your phone and many go on to say that there is no business case for an Apple watch.

Leadership “Strengths” That Are Actually Weaknesses

What does it mean to be a great leader today?

thumbnailThe triumphant stories of tech moguls, business icons, and successful entrepreneurs have become a popular fixture in films, books, and TV shows — both fictionalized and fully fictional. We can’t get enough of them. And why not? When someone creates a company and stewards it to success in real life, it’s an incredible narrative. And in the capable hands of strong writers and talented performers, those stories become thrilling, dramatic reenactments of our own highest aspirations and touchstones of achievement we can all enjoy and relate to.

Everyday Innovation Can Produce Big Results

thumbnailSo many companies get obsessed with scoring the next Big Innovation. Of course we’re all hungry to find that next giant disruptive idea that will revolutionize our industry. However, how often can you truly expect that big stroke of genius to happen? Once every two years, once a year at the very most? In addition, most employees of large and midsize companies don’t feel they are capable of coming up with the next Big Innovation and assume others are working on this so they go about their tasks failing to innovate. Speaking of mindsets and culture, can you expect such a huge leap to come if you don’t have a culture in your organization that fosters innovation and rewards it? In truth, the type of innovation that we need most is not the Big Innovation that happens in dramatic bursts every now and then. What we need most is Everyday Innovation.

The Privacy Revolt: The Growing Demand For Privacy-as-a-Service (PaaS)

thumbnailThere’s one thing just about every company has in common right now. Without even necessarily meaning to, they have in some way become the proprietor of a new kind of wealth. I’m referring of course to their customers’ data. But the flipside to acquiring that data is your customers now hold you to certain expectations: namely, that you’re taking steps to safeguard their privacy.

25 Game-Changing Hard Trends That Will Create Disruption and Opportunity

mail_image_previewNo matter what industry you’re in, your company can’t survive without technology. From smart phones and tablets to mobile apps and cloud-based technology, there’s a plethora of technological advancements not only to keep track of, but also to profit from. To stay competitive, your organization needs to anticipate the most significant technology trends that are shaping your business and changing your customer, and then develop innovative ways to use them to your advantage, both inside and outside of your organization. Remember, if it can be done, it will be done. If you don’t use these technologies to create a competitive advantage, someone else will.

Technology is Transforming What and How We Learn

Education and learn concept: pixelated words knowledge is powerIn today’s world of technology driven transformational change, it’s important to understand that: “If you received a PhD ten years ago, it only means you used to know a lot.”

It’s not just what you learned, but more importantly that you learned how to learn and keep learning because things change so rapidly, and knowledge, even the most specialized kind, can get out-of-date very quickly. Given the accelerating pace of change, one has to ask; does investing time and money in education still have the same payoff it once did? Does the particular expertise you acquire remain relevant and put you at an advantage in the real world? Or have you lost a step and several years on your way to attaining an impractical degree? I don’t intend to diminish anyone’s education, but these are questions worth considering.

Millennials: Underuse Them at Your Peril


Are you taking your young employees seriously enough? Too many companies aren’t.

Case in point: In my consulting work, I once visited a large—strike that, very large—company, one of the leaders in the tech sector. Something stood out to me, something that none of their executives had noticed. There were no Millennials working in the C-suite or anywhere close to the C-suite for that matter. In addition, few if any were in important strategic meetings. And this organization doesn’t stand alone. It is shocking how many companies promote employees to those top-level positions based on tenure, rather than skill, talent, or knowledge.

Take a look at the key positions in your own organizational chart, or at the people who attended your last strategic meeting. Is it segmented by age, with your youngest workers filling entry-level roles and attending tactical meetings, while your oldest workers take on the highest leadership positions and attend the most critical meetings?

If so, what message are you sending to the young people in your company?

The age-old belief that experience trumps everything else when it comes to climbing the corporate ladder or being part of critical meetings is just plain worn out, and the best of your youngest employees might be planning to leave so they can work for a company that will allow them to make a significant difference now.

In fact, according to the Millennial Compass Report, more than 40% of Millennial workers expect to be in a management position within two years. Perhaps even more alarming is that 50% of those surveyed said that they would depart from their companies after two years.

So in short, your youngest workers want to help shape the future of your organization now and to feel like there is opportunity to move into a management position not just when they get older, but once they have had a chance to prove their value. If you don’t offer them that opportunity, they have no qualms with jumping ship. And when they quit, they take all of the knowledge and training you gave them, along with their energy and forward thinking, elsewhere—potentially to a competitor.

While projections are all over the map when it comes to what we can expect in the near future regarding the number of Millennials in the workplace, one thing is certain: As Boomers retire and more Millennials infiltrate the workplace, the influx of youth is changing the way we do business.

At the same time, it is causing complications like we’ve never experienced before. There seems to be a huge divide between the youngest and oldest workers in any given company, a problem perpetuated by myths concerning today’s youngest workers.

The bottom line is that not all 20-somethings are self-entitled, job jumpers who expect the world to be handed to them. In order to break those stereotypes, companies must start seeing the leadership potential of people at every level in their organizations, regardless of age or tenure. It begins with truly acknowledging the value that Millennials bring to the table.

There is no denying that Millennials are tech-savvy, given that they were raised on technology. But beyond that, many young workers possess intrinsic qualities that make them great leaders—and good for business.

Having grown up in a time when teamwork is consistently reinforced and being social is everything, they are natural collaborators who share openly, and consistently look to their social groups for advice on everything. That level of collaboration and transparency is critical if you want an agile organization.

More than other groups, they are able to see past color, gender, sexual orientation, age, and physical characteristics to build truly diverse teams that lead to better ideation and problem solving.

In addition, the Age of Google has made them pretty self-sufficient in solving their own problems, and they are consistently looking for better, quicker, more efficient ways to do things. That can save you money and time, while avoiding hassles and obstacles.

Perhaps most important is that they want to make a difference. They want you to value their creativity. They want you to see the merit in their ideas, and they are motivated to work harder if their work has meaning. Imagine a workplace full of that kind of enthusiasm.

Based on the growing, transformational impact technology is having on every aspect of your business, are you doing everything you can to maximize the potential of your youngest workers? Or are you just waiting for them to either get older or move on to an organization that values them?

Are you actively grooming them to take over your leadership positions? Or do you merely use them for the grunt work and leave more prestigious positions for people who have “done their time”?

It’s time to end the war between the old and the young. It’s time to start respecting Millennials for the unique high value they bring to the table. It’s time to stop putting an invisible age requirement on promotions. It’s time to make fostering loyalty among your newest employees a priority. Otherwise, you are going to experience a huge talent drain that you may not be able to rebound from.

Adaptive Ads Get Personal

thumbnailRemember the scene in Minority Report when Tom Cruise’s character walks through a mall and is hailed by ads that recognize him and speak to his specific desires and concerns?

Those interactive, all-knowing, perfectly-tailored ads are a marketer’s dream come true, and they’re now possible thanks to the development of ambient intelligent systems.

What Can Watson Do For Your Company?

thumbnail-1Companies are using IBM Watson to grow and transform their businesses in huge ways that are making a lot of professionals nervous. Instead of writing it off as “another new supercomputer,” let’s take a look at what actually makes Watson unique. Watson is a cognitive technology that processes information much more like a smart human than a smart computer. Rather than thinking humans will be replaced by a computer, you should realize that this is, in fact, a huge opportunity.