Burrus Blog

WYOD: Is Your Organization Ready?

mail_image_previewShortly after the launch of Apple’s iPhone, corporate Blackberry users started experimenting with the iPhone, and it didn’t take long before we began seeing office workers and executives juggling two phones – the Blackberry because they had to and the iPhone because they wanted to.

Blackberry was focused on the corporate market and they designed the product for corporate communication and email systems. This way, every device would be under the control of the IT department. 

Smart Home Opportunities

mail_image_previewToday’s smartest smart homes have your appliances talking to you through texts sent directly to your smartphone. We have thermostats that automatically adjust based not just on the temperature, but on your daily routine. Some smart homes allow the homeowner to control everything—from starting your coffee in the morning to locking your doors and arming your security system—right from your smartphone.

To the average homeowner, this might sound a little like George Jetson’s Skypad Apartment. But before you decide that smart homes are too far in the future to worry about, or are only available to the fantastically rich and famous (I’m looking at you Bill Gates), look at what’s happening in middle class homes right now. The reality is that smart homes are already starting to be built in large numbers. And the technology is well on its way to becoming more refined, more affordable, and more mainstream.

Anticipatory Healthcare: Predict and Prevent

preventive healthcareThere’s incredible value in foresight — in business, in government, but most of all, in your personal life. And nothing’s more intrinsically, existentially valuable than foresight about your own health. If you could know what will happen to your body based on the way you treat it now, along with your genetic profile, would you make lifestyle changes to prevent those problems from happening?

A Future Fact about health care is that technology is providing the tools for it to become more anticipatory. We’re seeing a shift from the current model to one that’s more predictive, one hinging on foresight and a combination of the right technology and analytical knowledge — what I would call the Predict-and-Prevent model of healthcare.

Essential Strategies For Exceeding Expectations

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAKVAAAAJDAwYTJlNTA1LWZiYjktNDg4Yy1iYWNkLTExYjM2OGRjYzQwOA-1In today’s highly competitive world, it’s never been more important to exceed both personal and professional expectations. If you’re merely meeting expectations, you can position yourself as good — but not great. Or, you might be positioned as great, but not extraordinary. You will continue to have to work hard to add new customers and grow your business, as well as your reputation, and you will find competitors stealing your customers.

The sad truth is that few companies, businesses, associations, organizations, and individuals exceed their customers’ expectations. Here are some strategies you can use to do just that.

Are We Educating Students for a Future that Doesn’t Exist?

Few subjects these days are more contentious than education, and rightly so. If our children are our future, it’s essential we do everything we can do educate them properly, to prepare them for what’s to come. But are we schooling our kids for a future that might not even exist by the time they’re ready to transition to the working world?

thumbnailToday, more than ever before, the ground beneath our feet is continuously shifting — growing and expanding in ways few have been able to anticipate. And with exponential advances in technology being reached with each passing year, the pace at which the global economy is changing has increased proportionally. The fact is, we might be training the next crop of professionals for obsolescing positions, and we may be failing to accurately predict the yet-to-be-invented industries and professions of tomorrow.

The Power of Certainty

Probable ResultsWe all know that we live in an amazingly uncertain world full of doubts and reservations. Questions and misgivings about all manner of things, big and small, race through ourheads constantly.

On the global stage, we wonder: What does the future hold for the economy — what’s going to happen with Greece’s financial crisis? Will it damage the European economy at large? How will this and other struggling member nations affect the euro and the dollar’s standing against it? How will the dollar fare against the Japanese yen or the Chinese yuan? Will it perform against Brazil’s strengthening real?

As Americans, we ask ourselves what will happen with Social Security in the future, and whether our retirement savings are truly secure. Let’s face it, last week hackers were able to break into a Social Security database and take key financial information, including Social Security numbers, from a good number of U.S. taxpayers. We fret about whether our government will ever be effective again, and who will win the next general election, and if it will even matter.

Uncertainty is present in every facet of life, and how we process and deal with it determines how successful we are. Whether in business or your personal life, any strategy based on uncertainty is inherently high-risk — and that risk decreases as certainty forms.

Increasing certainty about anything you’re unsure of is categorically beneficial, and you can do this by discerning the certain elements of any situation from the uncertain ones. I’ve spent the past 30+ years developing a proven methodology of doing this, a Science of Certainty. This science hinges around my principle of Anticipation — that is, making sure you’re ahead of the game and predicting future trends instead of simply reacting to disruptions, be they in your industry or in your personal life. The Science of Certainty is all about separating the Soft Trends, things that might happen in the future, from the Hard Trends, things that will happen.

Wherever we can feel a true sense of certainty, we can use the resulting high level of confidence to our advantage by applying this science. For example, while we may not be sure of how the economy will look in a few months, let alone a few years, we know stocks will continue to fluctuate, and by discerning Hard Trends based on what we know, we can capitalize on these certainties in our business practices.

Based on linear, one-way change (one of the two major types of change, the other being cyclical), we can conclude our increasing dependence on the use of technology will continue to increase, representing a Hard Trend within an uncertain economy. More people and businesses than ever are buying smartphones, using cloud computing, and engaging big data with high-speed data analytics. This pattern will not reverse or cycle around — obviously, few people with an iPhone 6 would want to go back to using an iPhone 3 or a flip phone, just as organizations that are using high-speed data analytics would not go back to using their old, slower analytics system — meaning their increasing use is a Hard Trend, a predictable pattern of irreversible linear change. In addition, the Three Digital Accelerators I identified way back in 1983, the exponential growth of processing power, digital storage and bandwidth, will continue to drive the one-way linear change curve to predictable, exponential levels. That’s a Hard Trend that will continue to cause digital disruption.  And clearly, the most anticipatory businesses and leaders have realized this and are capitalizing on these accelerating areas of growth.

Now, these are just a few examples, but they demonstrate that with certainty comes empowerment and strategic confidence. And while you can’t be sure of everything, any added certainty can make a difference and give you the confidence to make bold moves — while those failing to utilize the Science of Certainty and the Anticipatory Methodology are left scrambling to react to changes in their industries.

This is especially important from a business standpoint, where trying to simply keep up with the pack is a fool’s game. There’s no advantage in keeping up, but trying to jump ahead of your competition is risky unless you use the Science of Certainty to figure out what Hard Trends will impact and disrupt your industry in the future, and acting on it before your competition does.

From a sales standpoint, uncertainty can be a tool to open the door to a sale, but certainty is one of the best tools for closing a sale. If you can guide a prospective customer or client from a place where they feel uncertain to where they’re certain and therefore confident in what you are saying and the product, service or concept you are selling, you’ve not only come that much closer to closing a sale, you’ve also built an essential level of trust with your customer.

For example, if you’re looking to build a home but are unsure of the designer or construction company you want to use, you’re unlikely to sign a contract — but a confident professional can increase your certainty by supplying you with key details, like building plans, a scope of work, and a guaranteed completion date.

At the end of the day, everybody’s selling something. Babies cry, selling you on paying attention to them because you’re certain there’s something wrong; teenagers act out for the very same reason. As adults, we sell ourselves, by virtue of our skills, to our employers. We sell products to customers and clients when they have a high level of certainty. In our personal lives, we deepen our relationships with friends, and colleagues, and build new relationships by increasing their level of trust thanks to their level of certainty in who we are. We do all of this, whether we know it or not, by using the Science of Certainty — and the sooner we understand how to use this, the more successful we’ll become in any endeavor we undertake.

©2015 Burrus Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

What Makes A Good Leader Today — And Tomorrow?


What makes a good leader?

Things like integrity, honesty, and personal responsibility immediately come to mind. While those are all vital traits, they’re not the leadership traits I’m addressing right now.

There’s a new leadership principle leaders must embrace if they want to be relevant and effective in today’s world of technology-driven transformation and move forward into the future.

You sometimes hear people refer to managers and leaders interchangeably. In fact, they are crucially different. Managers control what tasks people perform and how they go about it. They can enforce this through policy, staff guidelines, rules on best practices, and by example. You’ve heard the word “micromanage,” but nobody says “microlead.” That’s because leaders don’t work the same way.

Teach A Man To Fish: Training vs. Education

thumbnail-1Given the transformational changes taking place in every industry, if you received a Ph.D. ten years ago it means you used to know a lot.  The need to learn new things, regardless of your age or position in an organization has never been more important and represents a powerful key to unlock both personal and business success.

As you consider both classroom and on-line training options, even those that are using the latest educational methods and tools, it’s important to keep in mind that there is a difference between training and education.

Who’s Afraid of Big Bad Data?

thumbnail-1Perhaps you’ve heard the saying that a tool is only as useful as the person who wields    it. I believe that’s true for a lot of things — including high-speed data analytics.

The term “high-speed data analytics” refers to the leveraging of raw data and converting it into actionable knowledge and insights. The most prized data comes from customers and from the products and services customers use, data that businesses have begun to accumulate in unprecedented amounts in order to improve and innovate in ways that better suit customer needs. This accumulated data — big data, as we’ve come to know it — is stored in servers and captured by a rapidly increasing number of connected sensors and machines making up what we are calling the Internet of Things (IoT). 

Your Working Future

thumbnailMore and more companies are going virtual, whether it’s to save money, attract talented employees, or benefit the environment, The extinction of the physical office is a Soft Trend – it is not a future fact – but the increasing importance of the virtual office is a Hard Trend, and it will continue to rapidly increase on a global level.

This presents some exciting opportunities for Anticipatory Organizations™ and it goes far beyond advanced cloud applications.. I want you to look past the obvious and think about the implications that aren’t on anyone else’s radar yet. That’s where opportunity lies.