The IBM Connect roadshow moves from Auckland to Sydney and then to Melbourne over the next few days. Come along and learn how you can turn data into business value.
No doubt you’ll have heard about Bitcoin by now. It’s that disruptive technology that is keeping Financial Services CEOs awake at night. JP Morgan CEO, Jamie Dimon, in his annual letter to shareholders warned investors and the banking industry that “Silicon Valley is coming” – suggesting that there are hundreds of startups focusing on the financial services technology space (“fintech”) and that traditional banking will need to double down on its innovation efforts.
[Startups] … are very good at reducing the ‘pain points’ in that they can make loans in minutes, which might take banks weeks. We are going to work hard to make our services as seamless and competitive as theirs. And we also are completely comfortable with partnering where it makes sense.
But his particular focus on next generation payments systems like PayPal and Bitcoin were called out for special attention.
Here in Australia, these new systems have been the subject of a Senate Hearing Committee investigating digital currencies.
But how does Bitcoin work? Sean Carmody, Head of Credit Risk at Westpac put together this presentation that explains the technical underpinnings of Bitcoin – the blockchain. It explains:
- Why virtual currencies are a happening thing – the perfect match for a virtual world
- The problem with virtual currencies – how to prevent people simply “copying” a digital currency
- The innovation in the “blockchain”
And while the presentation does get technical, it is also eye-opening. Technology may be transforming the way that currencies can operate (now and into the future) – but TRUST remains a vital ingredient in currency transactions. And as Sean suggests, Bitcoin may not be the winner in the digital currency race – but it has fired the starter’s gun.
Digital disruption is a popular theme in any business discussion. No matter whether I am speaking with technology companies, startups, industrial product manufacturers, professional service firms or pharmaceutical companies, eventually the topic arises. But it is hardly ever a direct conversation. More often than not, we approach “disruption” from the side.
You see, when we think of disruption we are thinking of some big change that temporarily suspends the way that we work – forcing us to change. But digital disruption doesn’t necessarily work this way. It’s more like wave after wave of small changes. Like a tide rolling in way past the high tide mark. But the REAL problem of disruption is that we don’t see if for what it is. Put simply:
We treat disruption’s symptoms but not its root cause.
And this means the threat of digital disruption is all the more dangerous for business.
Marketers have been at the forefront of digital disruption partly because they have (or should have) a good ear for the voice of the customer. They should understand the accelerating pace of change that consumers are adopting and incorporating into their everyday behaviours. But digital disruption is not JUST a marketing challenge. It is a challenge that faces almost every aspect of our businesses.
To understand the wide ranging impact of disruption, we put together a framework – the Five Cs of Digital Disruption. It’s a framework that we use with clients to map, understand and address digital disruption in a programmatic way. It helps us and our clients determine priorities – how to CREATE value in an age of disruption, how to CONNECT socially, engage CULTURALLY, CONDUCT business and CONSTRUCT our thinking.
But more than this – the Five Cs provides a focus for action. After all, if you are sitting still, you’re a sitting duck. Choose one of the Five Cs, analyse your situation and begin a PROCESS of attack (note I don’t say “plan of attack”). Don’t let digital disruption sneak up on you – act and iterate. For in a world where disruption is the new “business as usual” you really MUST find a place to start.
Up until recently, I have rarely listened to podcasts. They just did not seem to work for me. I didn’t have the regularity of travel or the time to focus. But podcasting seems to be riding a wave of new popularity – and an explosion in the type and number of podcasts combined with easy to use apps has seen me start to change my ways. And with an interest in supporting people and businesses I know, I started with some local casts – Trevor Young’s Reputation Revolution podcast and Mark Pesce’s This Week in Startups Australia.
Trevor’s podcast investigates personal branding and the do-it-yourself thought leadership route available to us all. I was able to join Trevor to share some of my own DIY thought leadership. Hope you enjoy it as much as Trevor and I had recording it.
You have a week to get your entry in for this year’s Telstra Australian Business Awards. The awards close on Monday, 30 March 2015.
The Awards program has recognised the achievements of brilliant Australian small and medium businesses across five awards categories – Startup, Micro, Small, Medium and Regional.
Obviously there are some great opportunities that come from being selected as a Telstra Business Awards finalist – but the process of entering the Awards can help you really focus on your customers, the value you provide and the impact that you are having.
In addition to the personal / professional satisfaction that comes with entering, every business that enters the Awards receives a 70-page Business Health Check report that evaluates their business performance, identifies areas for improvement and provides a platform to review business strategy and plan for future growth.
Telstra Business Group Managing Director Will Irving said the Awards not only recognise the best in business but also provide some amazing opportunities for business growth and innovation.
“The Awards are an opportunity for businesses to benchmark their performance across all sectors, providing unparalleled networking opportunities and a chance to reinforce credibility, build recognition and pursue new ventures.”
Winners of the state-based Telstra Business Awards will be announced at gala dinners throughout July, with national finals to be held in Sydney on 20 August 2015.
Nominations and entries can be made at telstrabusinessawards.com or by calling 1800 AWARDS.
Public figures attract a lot of bile on social media. But there is a special kind of hatred that seems to be reserved for politicians – especially female politicians. The very public campaigning against Australia’s first female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, will certainly be remembered for the dog whistling and sexism that passed for public debate. It marked a low point in political discourse – one from which we have scarcely recovered.
It certainly seems that many in the Australian population still struggle with successful women on the public stage.
So what is a politician to to? Resort to the broadcast media? Or create their own?
South Australian Greens Senator, Sarah Hanson-Young has taken a leaf out of US Talk Show Host, Jimmy Kimmel’s book, and has started sharing some of the more colourful – and downright rude – messages that she receives via her YouTube channel. Introducing “Pleasantries with Sarah Hanson-Young”, the senator explains:
As a federal senator, I receive a lot of correspondence. Today, I am going to share with you some of the more heartwarming messages.
What I like about this forthright approach is that, where possible, Twitter identities are shared. It’s great to see some of this kind of “feedback” get the ridicule it deserves.
But even better than that, it’s great to see some of our politicians giving some creative thought to the way that they engage with the public. If only more of them actually engaged with technology they might not pass such ill-informed legislation as the Data Retention laws – and we’d all be better off for it.