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Zoë Routh: 3:59 and just about to click over. Some logistics are you can chat to me and ask questions in the chat box. Hopefully you can see that. I think it might be called a question box on your panel. We will have a poll later on. That's going to be pretty exciting. I'm thrilled to explore this technology with you. All righty. I am going to hit "record" because it just has turned over four o'clock. Here we go.
Fantastic. Welcome to the webinar. This is Five Business and Leadership Trends You Can't Afford to Ignore and my name is Zoë Routh. If you haven't listened to me or met me before my accent is Canadian even though I've been here for 20 years. It doesn't sound a little bit funny. I'll just get it out of the way now. If you can say, "Burger," like a Canadian you can win the prize. So far I haven't met any Australians who can say it with any authenticity at all and it's fair enough because I can't say, "Banana," with any kind of credibility either.
If you haven't met me before I'm a leadership coach and really what I'm obsessed with is inspiring big thinkers with big hearts to make a big difference. All my programs focus on that and if you're on this call likely you're one of those people so I am honoured and privileged to be of service to you today and I'm really excited to share the content.
A couple of logistics, we are recording the call so keep that in mind if you want to say anything spurious or controversial. You may get recorded. You can stay anonymous and give me a fake name if you like. The transcript will be made available to everyone who has registered for the un-conference and after the call the un-conference attendees will get the transcript. Everybody who shows up on the call today will get the tip sheet and the trends-report so those bonus goodies will come after the program. If you have a question during the call feel free to write it in the Q and A box there and I will do my best to keep my eyes on what's going through that screen. If not, there's a Q and A part towards the end and if that doesn't suit you you can always shoot me an email or give me a call afterwards.
Right. Let's see if I can navigate here. Okay. This little picture is my alter ego life. That is actually not me abseiling. I'm just taking the picture but this was on a program I was running over in WA in Margaret River. Spectacular place called Wilyabrup Cliffs and you abseil down the cliff to crashing waves below, not quite into the water but it feels like it and it's really amazing. This was the kind of work I also incorporate into my leadership programs, not all of them but some of them is to do this kind of wilderness activity because I think when we learn how to challenge ourselves in remote locations we get a bigger picture of who we are and also the world around us. As a metaphor, though, I think what it feels like now as we live in this time of exponential change and massive volatility and interconnectedness, I feel like we are going over the cliffs backwards. It feels like that, right?
Abseiling, if you've never done it before, is not a natural thing to do. Going over a cliff backwards with some flimsy looking rope is very scary. Even though I've done it for 20 years it's still scary. I still get the heart rate up and so on and you just feel awkward going over the cliff backwards. You're off balance for a little while. However, when you learn the skills to look and read the landscape and you learn the skills and you trust the way that you think about the world and you develop strong thinking filters going over the cliff backwards is less of an issue. In terms of dealing with what we've got on our plates and looking at volatile trends, we can actually have our safety system in place so even though it may feel awkward and uncomfortable and unknown, we can still get down the cliff or get through the turbulence with some sort of sense of safety.
In terms of me as a professional, I'm equally comfortable in business suits and hiking boots. I'm probably one of the few facilitators around Australia who can actually say that, though I have to say learning how to walk in heels was far more difficult than learning how to walk in hiking boots. Let's look at what the hell's going on in the world and there is a lot going on. When I work with leaders I find that we have a lot of big questions like what should we focus on in order to stay ahead of the game? There's so much volatility, so much change, so much destruction. Where do you actually start with that?
Second of all, this is the biggest issue I find with the leaders I work with is where do you actually get the time to do the thinking that you need to do in order to address the big picture issues? That's the biggest challenge. All of my leaders are commitment rich and time poor and trying to fit big picture thinking into the urgent and important is radically challenging and it seems like everything urgent is important. There's none of that fluffy stuff that Stephen Covey talks about. All of it is important so how do you actually get time out to do that?
Then the other big challenge, of course, is what if we actually get it wrong? What if we make the wrong decisions? What if we back the wrong horse? What if we experiment and it all goes really badly? In terms of advice, who do we actually trust? There's so much noise around, "Oh, the trends are going this way. You should take this direction. You should do this." I find there's actually some competing advice around that and I think it's worth showcasing both points of advice so you can determine which way you want to go and the two directions of advice if you like are either the optimist or the pessimistic view of the world. I'm going to share a little bit of both.
The first piece of advice comes from Martin Ford who wrote this very good book, "Rise of the Robots". It is apocalyptic. It is rather depressing. It is rather black and its outlook and basically Martin Ford's premise or assertion is that if you look at the history of technology things are slightly different now. In the past when we were agrarian society technology came along and it improved the means of production so it got us off farms and put us into factories. Then technology improved again and it got us out of factories and into offices. With the "Rise of Robots" though, the difference here is that instead of the technology improving the means of production technology, robots, artificial intelligence is actually replacing production.
He contends this is going to lead to the job apocalypse meaning that robots will be doing the work that we used to do and there will be no jobs for people and when there's no jobs for people, there's no income, there's no income to buy the products that the robots are producing and of economy, the world is over. It is rather alarming if you go down that track and believe that so I think it's important to know that that's one perspective and it has some merits and this book, I totally recommend and I think every leader should read that to be aware of what some of the particular advocates are saying about what we need to content with with AI technology and prepare for the worst.
On the other hand we have a different viewpoint which said that technology is actually a huge enabler and that we have a lot less to fear and lots to look forward to. This is the work of the amazing Peter Diamandis, Diamandis I think and Steve Kotler, I think. This book is a seminal piece which every reader should read. It's called "Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think". Their key worldview and their key premise is that scarcity is a false worldview. They contend that technology is actually fixing access to resources, redistribution, that was a tough word, of wealth. What that means is that even though, yes, robots AI may replace jobs technology is also freeing up a whole bunch of otherwise locked resources, et cetera.
What you all have instead of the apocalypse is that you'll have an explosion of intelligence, of resourcing, of man and woman power, of intelligence power that can actually be put to use to solve the world's greatest problems. He is really seeing huge leverage points for the advent of technology so that we can pool brains faster, easier globally. Think about all the intelligence that hasn't been online to date because they haven't had education, they haven't had technology and access resources. Resources and tech changes all of that and we can have all this collective intelligence applied to solving things like climate change and water access, et cetera. All those people, we couldn't access their intelligence before.
I'll just flag up front, I'm backing a view of the world with Peter Diamandis and I back human innovation and human inspiration as opposed to, "Oh, I don't have a job anymore. I'm going to lie down and give up." I see the human spirit alive and well and I believe that this human spirit for creativity and the desire to experience and grow will help us capitalise on the changes as opposed to just be victims of them. Those are two competing worldviews and I think it's important to have those as a background.
Now, let's look at some of the mistakes I see with leaders when they're looking at how to contend with global trends. This is the first one here. Are they looking at noise or signal? I think most leaders are paying attention to noise. They're not looking for the signal so what do I mean by noise? I mean the headlines of the day, superficial impressions of what's going on and assumptions. In fact, I saw a great example of this in one group that I was facilitating and this gentleman, he was a big, big advocate of the straw pull thing and he would ask the group broadly, "Well, let's just take a quick straw pull of this idea. What do you think?" Then the hands go up, the hands stay down. He goes, "There, you see! Vindicated." I think that's what happens a lot. You make assumption and reinforce them by seeking peer validated support in Facebook or LinkedIn or whatever so it's this kind of surface peppering of looking at the issues as opposed to looking at signal.
If you know the work of Stacy Barr, she's one of my colleagues. She is a performance measurement specialist and she is a huge advocate for looking at trends and looking for signals within those trends. You look for patterns, you don't just look for points. A point would be, as an example, the election of Trump in the US. That is a point, an event. If you just look at that and translate it to everything in the world according to one event you would have a very skewed superficial view of the world. However, if you look at trends in political life and other things that are going around there you can see that might be a signal or it might be just a point. The point is that you need to be careful. Are you getting your information? Where are you getting your information? Is it noise or is it actually signal that things are changing, either for the better or for the worse. This is a significant mistake I see a lot of leaders making.
Mistake number two is catastrophising and you see we're all wired to do this. We're hardwired as humans to look out for danger so it's not surprising that we befall to this in our environment. Just yesterday I was on a flight back from, where was I? Sydney, Sydney to Canberra and I texted my husband before I got on the flight saying, "Okay, these are my flight details." I didn't get an answer, like nothing. I'm like, "Well, that's weird." Usually he texts me back right away. When I landed I'm like, "Okay, landed," and I started to go, "Did he get the message? Maybe he lost his phone."
Still no message and I kid you not, this is what happened in my brain. As I'm walking down the tarmac to go into the building, I've landed in Canberra, I'm walking through the building to go and collect my bags and what happened in my head was, "That's two texts. He hasn't answered. I wonder if he's lost his phone. I wonder if he is injured somewhere. I wonder if he somehow vomited in his sleep and choked on his own vomit and is actually dying. He's not going to be there at the other side of the airport for me to pick up. I'll have to take an Uber to go home. I don't have a key. I'm going to have to smash the back door to get in. I'm going to find the cold dead body of my husband and my life will change forever."
I'm not making this up. This was in my head and I found myself starting to weep as I'm wheeling my bag through the airport. I'm like, "What the hell am I doing?" Of course I check my phone and there was a text, "Meet you in the usual spot." I know I am not alone in catastrophising like that and I think if we catch ourselves doing it we can stop and unplug and yet in our normal lives we can get over ourselves. We don't have to go to the worst is about to happen. When it comes to leadership I think we are often guilty of this. We can jump to conclusions, especially over incidents that seem like they have a huge piece of volatility like we lose a client or someone doesn't book us or a major competitor comes into our market and all of the sudden we go ... You hear alarm bells and we start catastrophising.
This is not strategic thinking. This is just freaking out for no good reason so we need to learn how to manage our fear response, our amygdala. It's one of the biggest mistakes I see that when people are looking at strategic thinking is that they get reactive instead of proactive and sensible in their thinking.
There third mistake I see is kind of the reverse. It's kind of denial and it's when we put our head in the sand or under the pillow and we go, "If I don't look, it isn't happening because if I look at what's happening I might have to deal with it." We see this a lot in different industries. If we look at the history of bookstores, how many bookstores stayed open looking at the rise of the ebook and Kindles and so on and sort of didn't really attract it, didn't really reinvent their business model and now we have a closure of massive bookstores everywhere. They're kind of a rare thing. Only a few have reinvented themselves in a different model.
How about this? Video stores. Even last year I was walking through Dickson, one of my local areas down here, and there was a DVD store. I'm like, "Wow, does that still exist? My word. How long is that going to live really with the advent of Netflix?" It's so accessible, so affordable and with improvement in broadband DVD stores, I'm sorry, is it's going downhill. The other one I think which is big which people don't think, "Oh, they're too big to go under," is radio and television. Yet if you look at the trends in terms of how people are consuming their information and their entertainment it's all screen-based and sort of mobile technology. It's not actually television and radio. You know why? We're irritated by ads. Technology has allowed us to have and watch and consume what we want, when we want according to our own desires. That whole business model is imploding and yet how many of them got their head under the pillow around this? Denial and ignorance is a huge, huge mistake.
Of course you have to know where to look. I think that's probably the big thing that we need to look at so when it comes to the differences between the businesses and the leaders that do well and those that don't, it's really the difference between non-thinkers and global thinkers. Let's have a look at this difference here. On the slide starting from the bottom up non-thinkers, those who are kind of reactive, when they're looking at the types of thinking that they have we find that there's little depth. They have a simple view of the world, simple view of the environment. They're likely making all those mistakes I just mentioned. Global thinkers, the ones that are successful have a complex view of the world. They're able to see interrelated relationships and forces at play and they have a bigger scope of understanding about the world and situations that they're in and their business is in. That kind of depth makes a significant impact in terms of being proactive, solution-oriented as opposed to reactive when you're a non-thinker.
In terms of scope the non-thinker is selfish and is really in kind of how do I look after me? How do I just get my needs met? It's a very desperate place to be as opposed to the global thinker which is self-full. Now, what do I mean by that? That means the global thinker is concerned for their own interests, yes, and for the interests of a larger group or world or community. They have their own interests as well as more people's and more stakeholders' at stake so they're considering more in terms of who is going to be affected by the decision.
The difference in the thinking is quite remarkable. One is really quite tight, limited and fear-based. The other one is proactive, solution-oriented because they're drawn to help more and to be more and to show up more. The top level, the non-thinkers are in survival mode and their purpose is really how do I just get through the day and manage my own business and practice and just look after my own immediate needs as opposed to a global thinker which is very focused on transformation. How do I use my work and my business to make a lasting difference on the planet, in my community, et cetera?
The difference in energy is quite significant. You have one that's kind of tight and closed and the other one is expansive. They are both dealing with the same issues, same symptoms, same issues. They see them differently. They react differently. Now the cost of being reactive is being hand-to-mouth. I get it. I was new to business once and I've had many times throughout my business where things got a little lean and you kind of go in, "Whoa, where's my next job coming from? How do I feed myself?" I get that in business and yet it's only when I connected to a higher sense of purpose that that purpose drew me through the lean times and kept me working towards what I was doing because it wasn't just about me. It was about the difference I wanted to make on the world. Global thinkers are responsive and make a transformative business which is long lasting and self-sustaining.
I'd like you to consider this quote from Bricia Lopez. "Embrace the fact that growth only comes inside uncertainty," and you can either be a non-thinker and be scared or you can be a global thinker and be proactive. I know because you're on this call that you are proactive and one of the global thinkers I'm talking about. The big question is, and this is where we apply thinking filters to what the heck is going on. It helps very much when we have a set of skills or filters that we can apply to our context so we can help make sense of what the hell's going on.
This is a futurist set of filters called STEEPO and I learned this ... Oh, I don't know, 10 years ago from my futurist colleague Craig Rispin who I completely recommend you get across. He's got amazing presentations. If you book speakers he will blow your socks off. He's an amazing guy and he taught me futurist stuff, otherwise known as environmental scanning. STEEPO is an acronym for how to do that. When we're looking at trends there's a bunch of different categories we can look at. When I was thinking about this call and what'd most useful for you I thought was going to be useful to outline the entire tool and then drill down on one specific set of trends which is going to make the most difference for you.
Let's go into them. Social is the S in STEEPO and I mean looking at social trends, things like ageing population, like the refugee crisis around the world, like the rise of millennials and what's going on with them. Technological is simple. That's the one that people mostly go to when they think about trends are going to affect the future and they think, "Oh, robots and AI," and, yes, they are going to affect the future and the now, absolutely. It's not the only thing, though. Driverless cars, the other being thing that's happening that people are getting all excited about as well as drones so there's lots happening in the tech space that's affecting us.
Environmental trends, you might think about the war on renewables and how this backlash in Australia lately with the energy crisis. How can renewables be aren't good enough yet to supply all of our energy needs and so there's this backlash against renewables making sure that we still have coal powered stations. That's an environmental trend and then we have the obviously big mondo one, climate change and all its impacts. Economic trends, I think the big one that everybody's wondering about, will we have a global recession brought on by the Trump wars? You can call it whether that's a real war or a war of politics or a war of words or a war of, however, everybody's wondering what will be the Trump factor. What will be the effect on global economics?
P is for political trends and one of the things we might we look at is the conservative backlash against pluralism, if you like. This rise of nationalism and protectionism is a political trend and what will happen? Will it grow? Will it shrink? Et cetera. Another political trend we might look at is online voting. If online voting gets up this will have a huge effect in places like the United States where there is voter bullying and my uncle who lives in San Francisco did a lot of work in the last couple of elections helping out at poll booths and he never thought there was electoral fraud until he saw it for himself and how in some districts the polling booths are orchestrated to be extremely painful. They run them during the week, not on the weekends, so people are working can't get to them. They pick venues that are really small so people have to queue for hours, therefore not really interested. There's a bunch of stuff that contributes to not voting. Yeah. We thought electoral fraud was only for third worlds. Apparently not. This is a trend. If we get online voting some of that will go. What will that mean for the real democratic voice?
The last trend to look at is organisational. Are we going to have open plan, activity-based working? Are we going to work from home? Are we going to have poly pot agile workforces? There's a whole bunch of stuff that's happening in different workplaces. Who will that affect how we engage and operate?
As you can see that was a quick, quick overview of STEEPO and all the tons and tons of things that are going on across this. Now, I could spend all day on covering all of that. We don't have all day so I wanted to pick the trends that were going to be the most useful to look at for you and the ones that I think will have the biggest impact on your business if you address them. I've decided to drill down on social trends so we're going to take the S of the STEEPO and go deep on that. When I was looking at the social trends and all the things were happening in that space it really came down to three spears of social trends that are ironically fundamental universals that have existed from the dawn of human consciousness and yet they're being amplified by technology so let's just take a look here.
These are the social tends which we're going to unpack in just a moment. There's a trend of experience and learning so this is the human drive to experience new things and this has been alive since we crawled out of the mud really and yet technology is shifting this a little bit and I think it's important that we look at how the trends of one experience is shaping how we might respond as a business. The second one is connection and this desire of belonging. Again, since we were cave people scratching at each other and picking nits and fluff out of our fur we've had this desire for belonging. Technology is creating really interesting opportunities and trends along that. The third one is around meaning and conscience, what it means to have conscience in social trends and that's a big one affecting business plans.
Okay. That's the big overview. Let's drill down. Let's look at the five significant trends that you need to pay attention, first of all. The first one is the experience economy. I think this is the biggest opportunity for any business and so we've had the information economy, the knowledge economy. Really I think the opportunity for businesses is around the experience and what I mean by this is that the research shows, and this is from the 2017 Trend Watching Report, is that it has found when it comes to money, where people put their dollar, experiences trump things. Okay, listen to this stat. "More than three in four millennials," that's your gen Y folks, "That 78% of them would choose to spend money on a desirable experience or event over buying something desirable," so clothes, bags, whatever. "55% of millennials said they're spending more on events and live experiences than ever before," and if you remember the hooplah over Bernard Salt’s impression that what are those gen Y's doing buying smashed avocado on toast? Shouldn't they be saving for a house.
Actually, no. That's where they're choosing to invest their money, on experiences be it smashed avocado or going to a concert. One of the other stats they have in the trend report is this. "From 1981 to 2012 the price of the average concert ticket rose over 400%." Yeah, you remember going to the concert in the '80s? I know some of you will. Yeah, right. I think I might have paid 20, 30 bucks to see Thomas Dolby, my first concert and now think about how much it costs you to get tickets to see like Guns N' Roses. Hundreds and hundreds of dollars and yet we're willing to spend our money on experiences. This is the thing. This is an important trend because it's a fundamental human trend that is amplified by tech. People want to explore what it means to be human. They want to have experience in this world, otherwise what the heck are we doing in our life?
Novel experience is really critical. Experiences fulfil. Experiences are really the elixir of life so in terms of what this means for you, this is how you turn customers into raving fans is that you give them an experience. You create something new for them and I've long been recommending that if you are in the financial services, say for example like a financial planner, is that you get hooked into virtual reality. You get some of those cardboard Googles and you start developing programs to help your clients imagine their future life. "Oh, you like travel? Here, put on these VR glasses and let's take you to Nepal or let's take you to Fiji or let's take you to the moon because we're going to be on Virgin Atlantic's first flight out into space." Isn't that cool? You could do that in your business.
Where could you use augmented reality, virtual reality tech to help push the boundaries of your clients? I think there's huge applications of this in coaching, in training, definitely I know that in the universities they're looking at how they can incorporate virtual reality and augmented reality. Lots of universities are already doing it for science based things. They're having virtual classrooms and virtual laboratories where people can experiment on doing dissections and operations all virtually so they don't have to experiment on real people. It's huge so, yeah. Those huge tech and science and training and there's also simple things that you can do in your business even without technology.
If you think about this concept, how can I give my clients a really amazing experience? That used to be called just good customer service, right? That's just giving a good customer experience and yet we expect more. We expect more than just good customer experience. Let me give you an example. When I fly into Sydney or Melbourne I often get picked up by a driver so I book a driver to come and collect me, et cetera. My favourite driver, his name's Steven in Sydney. He greets me at the door. He's immaculately dressed. He opens the door for me like a gentleman, like a great service provider really so he does that for men, too. There's sparkling water and plain water in the back of the car. He adjusted the music to your tastes. He provides polite conversation if you want, he's quiet if he doesn't. The car is always immaculate. He doesn't have any weird gross smelling scented things. It's just lovely and he texts you. He's always there. He just looks after you.
Compare this to my substitute driver from a different company last week who was late, who texted me and said, "Oh, I'm just outside," so I go outside and he's saying, "Walk down to the end of the corridor." I had to walk past all the smokers outside the airport and drag my bags with me and he didn't have a sign for me. I just felt like a second class citizen. You get into the car. He was well dressed, too. His car was clean. There was no water. Yeah. It was easy to compare and contrast and that's just basic customer service and yet think about the technology you could implement in such a simple service to make things so much better. That's why Uber absolutely killed it. Their app is, what a great thing, right? One of the irritating things about booking a taxi, where will it show up? Where is it? You think, "Oh my god. Is it going to get here? Will I make my flight?" Uber clears all that up, who's coming to pick you up. You know exactly where they are, you can track them, et cetera. Right. Okay. That's enough about me raving on about experience economy.
If you do nothing else think about that, how you can give a great experience. Here's a little tip for that. You can do a customer experience map. Map how your customers interact with you, how they come across to you, how they are treated from beginning to end throughout their life and you can see how can we make each of those touchpoints a wonderful, memorable, fabulous experience. Right. Okay. Enough on that trend.
Let's go to trend two. Okay. This is going to totally resonate with you because all of us have this problem. We've become so in tune with technology and we just expect it to deliver all the time and when we have to wait for something to download, isn't that irritating? If an app doesn't work properly and we have to do yet another update of the iPhone thing and it takes us one minute we get irritated. My latest irritation is in parking. If you go to park somewhere in Canberra they have given up on the parking meters except for at one place. Can you believe this still has coins. The only way you can pay for parking is like with shrapnel coins. It's like an outrage. This is a example of how irritated we are by these kinds of friction points. You have to dig in your wallet. It's like, "Oh my god. Who carries cash anymore?" You use the app, et cetera, and you have to wait in line. If it takes more than an instant it's ... This is a growing trend.
Friction when it comes to tech or any interactions is something we're becoming less and less and less tolerant for. Here's an example of where they're doing it well, going to park at Westfield Shopping Mall in Del Carmen here in Canberra. You drive in. Some technology, don't know where it is, scans your license place and because you were signed up to the app it knows exactly how to bill you so you go in, you park, you do as much shopping, as little shopping as you need and you leave and as you leave it scans your license plate and it has your record. It knows exactly how long you were there. It bills your app and away you go. You don't have to go get that little piece of paper thing or stand in line and wait for the gods to present you with it or dig for coins. It's just effortless parking and, yes, you just want to scream like, "Hallelujah, one of those last little irritating things in my life, getting tickets in the parking lot."
This is the thing, becoming more and more irritated by things that cause us friction because we all have way too much to do. If we have to waste time on crappy little stuff like that we get irritated. In fact, I actually changed graphic designers not because of the quality of the design but because of the friction involved doing business with them. Every time I wanted to do a new job they'd send this three-page quote, even for something simple, that I had to get this print, sign and then scan and send back. Really? Not even an electronic signature? How long would that take? It was three minutes of my life in irritation that I didn't want to spend anymore. I actually opted for a different designer where it is friction free delivery so I just email him, I give him the brief. He comes back with a short email with a quote, if that, does the work, done.
I think this kind of thing is really important and you can have a look at your businesses after you've done your customer experience map. Where are the friction points in your business? I've been doing this in mine and we're about to improve our systems hugely because I know we have friction points in how we deliver to our clients and I don't want to cause that kind of grief for my clients. They've got enough busy things to do already. We see this at airport check-ins, correct? The whole bag drop thing is meant to reduce friction points, steps in the process so clients can ostensibly walk in, cruise through, go to the lounge and they cruise through on to the plane. Doesn't always work. That's the intention.
If you look at Amazon Go which is this new initiative where they're going for queue free shopping, again, it's all tech supported friction free technology. The idea is you walk into Amazon Go. It's a shopping supermarket. It scans your app or your badge or however they do the tech. It records what you take off the shelf, gets tallied up, you get to confirm it as you walk out the door and done. Bam. Charged to the app, no more queuing in the lines. No more fighting with the electronic voice that says, "Oh, did you scan that properly? Did you have a bag on the thing?" And all that Willy's checkout system where you have to do it yourself and often you have to get help. None of that. Go in, take your things, walk out.
Friction free is a massive, massive opportunity, something so simple that you can make a big difference in terms of how you are a cut above the rest of the competition and certainly how you can amplify the experience for your clients. I think the key thing to remember here is just make it easy for your clients. Make it smooth. Smooth service makes smiles and really, pardon this pun but I just love it anyway, resistance is futile. Resistance as in friction is futile. Yes, I laughed at myself because I am that clever.
Okay. Enough of me grandiosing my own cleverness and let's look at trend number three and this one is a sleeper meaning it's there and yet rarely do we make it articulate and deliver it and intentional. We just kind of do it by default if we do it at all and this is this one, the rise of social agenda. It is a huge one and when we're looking at conscience as one of the rising social trends we see that global trumps local, that this connected world is driving a huge sense of global responsibility and a connected world needs global thinking. We can't do non-thinking in a global connected world. It just doesn't matter. It doesn't work, I mean. Free flow of information is giving rise to new concepts of abundance and prosperity and the sense of responsibility for others is incredibly important.
If you read the last edition of AIM, Australian Institute of Management's "Leadership Matters" magazine, it lists global citizenship as one of the rising required executive skills, not just for cultural sensitivity. That's an obvious one. I had two contacts, two clients today saying, "Oh, I'm in Brazil and I'm heading to China." Another one was going to China. Another one was going to New Zealand. We are globally connected. Of course we need to have social sensitivity. However, with the global solutions piece we actually need smart leadership thinking. We need to be able to see systems. We need to be able to see connectivity and we need to be able to consider ourselves global stewards, citizens that think about more than just our own survival.
I think this is an important thing to consider because with the rise of social agenda we also have this other trend, which I mentioned previously, about the rise of nationalism and protectionism. They seem like two competing forces, don't they? We have this like, yes, we need free trade. We need open borders versus we need to shut those down. We need to buckle down. We need to keep jobs on shore and which power will win. Will the dark side win or will the ... light side of the force win, she says with her worst "Star Wars" analogy ever.
Successful businesses embrace both, actually, an example of that is social enterprise. Social enterprise is a massive exploding business model. These businesses that set up in a competitive market and they use their profits to fund and support social good activities. There's some amazing examples with that. We've got Thankyou Water which is an Australian based initiative so it started with Thankyou Water deciding to sell bottled water and using all the profits to fund clean water projects around the world. They've gone absolutely bonkers bonanza and now they have a huge range of products doing similar things so producing products that we use everyday and all the problems get cycled into projects, social projects that are making a difference to people around the world.
Another example is Global Sisters. They've got a couple of divisions around Australia. They've got one here in Canberra that was open last year with support of The Snow Foundation. Global Sisters helps disadvantaged women who haven't had a lot of education set up businesses for themselves to support their own families, give them empowerment because it's difficult for them to get jobs often so they set up these little entrepreneurial businesses online often so that they can start to grow a business. They're using business for social empowerment, individual empowerment and that's an example of the social enterprise giving hand up instead of hand out.
I think another trend in social agenda is the example of how many business foundations are out there doing amazing things. In Canberra we've got Aspen Medical Foundation which is really focused on alleviating a lot of medical conditions, especially in aboriginal communities. We have Spinify Foundation which is from the founder of E Way, Matt Bullock, and Spinify Foundation is one of the big tech companies that has done the 1% pledge which is 1% of time or product or profit or all three towards benefiting social charities. We're going to showcase a lot of that at the Edge of Leadership un-conference in Canberra so you're going to meet a lot of amazing people and what they're doing in the social agenda space.
Why is this a rising trend? It's because the need for global citizenship is actually a business fundamental and it's not just like, "Oh, I'll do it because it feels nice to do." There's an element of that, of course, and yet it's an integral part of being a good corporate citizen that gives meaning to your work and meaning to your clients and boosts the community so it's actually a self serving thing in some ways. It reinforces feel good things. It reinforced doing good in the community and it inspires both clients and staff. Really this compassion and rise of the social agenda is self sustaining motivator. Really we're all in this together. When it rains on your garden, it also rains on your neighbour's garden and we can't just look after our own garden. We have to image what we can do to help all the gardens prosper.
What this means for you, ask yourself how can your work and your business serve humanity and the planet? You might be already doing that. You might have a very purpose driven business. Think about how you might have time treasure, IE money, or talent to put towards a social agenda the you believe in strongly, either as the core fabric of your business function or as something your business supports. In terms of what I dow I my business, the Edge of Leadership un-conference is raising funds and awareness for Menslink and Outward Bound and they support young men at risk who don't have great male role models in their lives and they offer them free mentoring and programs to support these young guys.
These are the future leaders of our community and they're kind of anchorless and rudderless and these two organisations, Menslink and Outward Bound, help them get their feet back, help them give them a sense of purpose and a sense of confidence. That's what I'm doing with my business practice is I support young me and men's leadership in that way, something I feel very passionately about because I think the young guys are getting left behind. There's a lot of investment in young women and women's issues and not much for young guys. They really are falling behind in terms of support. Okay. That was trend three.
Trend number four, capacity capture. This one's fun. This has been around forever. If you've ever donated clothes or bought clothes at a secondhand store this is capacity capture, making use of waste. However, the way that it's turned up lately is in things like Air Tasker, so people who have spare time and skill. They can bid for jobs on Air Tasker. You can get jobs done. AirBnB, classic example. If you've got a spare room or a spare resource you can rent it out. BlaBlaCar, if you're driving somewhere and you want a travel companion you can share that space. Uber is another classic one and office sharing is another one. This is a really big trend and it takes a little bit of thinking about because you need to look for where is waste for you. Look around your home or your office and look for unused resources or unused space or how about unused talent that you could apply to leverage capacity.
We can do things completely different and I think here's another one that's unused is the baby boomers, age 60 plus, are a huge lost opportunity. I've had many conversations lately with men in particular 60 plus who are going, "I'm getting edged out of my business in my company, my organisation, I have more to give and I don't know how to do it." They have so much wealth of expertise and I see this in different rural sectors, rural industry sectors is that these people with a huge history of contribution are getting edged out by the younger ones and there isn't a way to leverage them yet. I think mentoring or capitalising on that experience and that wisdom is a huge opportunity for capacity capture. That's a big one for you.
All right, last one. Customers co-create. This is a really cool trend, right? Crowdsourcing as an example of that. This is how businesses can collaborate with their clients to create something that's truly in demand. It's brilliant because you don't have to guess what your clients want. You can just ask them because none of us is as smart as all of us. It's a key principle in design thinking that you build it together in consultation with the end user. You don't just sort of take a stab in the dark and go for it. There's been examples of this, people designing their own shoes, say for example, or designing your own handbag.
This is a brilliant one is Netflix, right? They have this huge database of users who hired videos and after a while they could see the trends and patterns of what people liked and so what do they start doing? They start producing the movies and the shows that people like so they used their client base to reinforce what they liked. The danger in that is if you're just reinforcing what people like where do you get innovation? We'll just leave that as a hanging question because I think as business people we can capitalise on this. The thing that's important here is that platform is king. How you connect and where you connect with your clients is critical.
Little case study, Ben Greenfield who is a superhuman guru, he is a Spartan racer, a Iron Man and triathlete, everything fitness and health and bio-hacking, that's him. He's a bit of a freak and he's amazing. In any case, he built up this platform through podcasting and blogging and videos and every social media platform he's on. He has a big following and he started writing, I think it was last year, a fiction book. He released a chapter month by month, got feedback and basically has been writing alongside all of his clients. What does this mean? His book is about to get picked up by a publisher and they're negotiating a movie deal. Mm-hmm (affirmative). That's pretty good for your first fiction book.
This is the thing, right? Just because you have a good book in you doesn't mean that it's going to get published or spread around. You actually need to be a platform. I try to get my book published. It's hard work and the thing they want to know is not necessarily just that you have a good idea and that you're credible. They want to know how many people know you and how many people like you. This is critical in business so for you this is the big question. How big is your tribe? Are your platforms self referencing? Do they feed into each other? Does your tribe have an opportunity to engage with you in many, many different ways? Then the last question also is how can you involve customers in your design?
All right. We've got the five trends. We're going to a poll now. I am so excited to try the poll. What I want to know is, when I get it up there, is which trend do you think you can capitalise on the most? Where is select a poll? Okay. Launch poll, here we go. See what happens. I think what you can do is click on the screen to select which trend you can capitalise the most on this year. Experience economy, friction free, rise of social agenda, capacity capture or customer's co-create. Okay. I'll just give you a second to do that. Give you five more seconds. If you want to get your vote counted, a couple of you more to go. 75% of you have voted. Come on. Pick one, pick one. All righty. Okay. 83%, just pick one. Come on. 10 more seconds. Which one will it be? It's kind of like ...
Okay, that's it. I'm closing the poll. Let's see the results. Where did they go? Share results. Here we go. Oh my god. Only 10% said experience economy. Really? Friction free and customers co-create, mm-hmm (affirmative). Yep. I can see that. Rise of social agenda and capacity capture. Yeah, capacity capture is harder I think to work on. It takes a little bit more resourcing and reflection to get that. The experience economy, come on! I thought that would be the winner. I obviously didn't sell it well enough but that's really interesting. You can capitalise on friction free, yep. Stop doing irritating things and invite your customers to collaborate and build your social platform. All right. Awesome. All right. We'll get that. Get out of there. I think I'm back on song here. A customer's co-create.
All right. I just want to come back to this piece here because I added it into intersection so I'm going to look at these social trends which we just covered. Experiences are the elixir of life and resistance is futile. When we connect that with conscience and the fact that global trumps local what we have is that we have people get to evolve. A really profound experience with meaning means that we can evolve as human beings. I believe virtual reality and augmented reality are going to catalyse and catapult our experience as humans so it'd give us access to different ways of thinking and feeling we haven't had before. When we combine experience, amazing experience with a sense of belonging and amplify it by technology we can have really amazing engagement and that's what every business owner and professional wants. How can we get traction and engagement and buy-in? That's how you do it. When you have conscience, meaning and belonging you actually elevate the planet so it's really got some significant opportunities there.
I'd love to know what questions you may have. Oh, I got to find my question panel now. If you have anything that you want to ask about, it's ... Pop something into the question box right there so James said earlier and I think we might have addressed this already, James, is that, "There's a lot of traditional jobs through automation. I think this is an ongoing issue." Bill Gates said the other day, saying they should tax robots. Yeah, well, there's also been this thing about the ethics of maybe we should have robots recognised as human beings or not as human beings, as persons so that you can marry them and they have rights as a person which is an interesting thing. I think with the rise of sex robots there's going to be all sorts of interesting ethical issues going on there.
All right. Questions popping in the box, otherwise I'm going to go to a bit of a summary bit. Okay. A couple things I think you need to know here is that leadership is not a solo activity and I think sometimes leaders ... Actually, I know leaders a lot of time feel lonely at the top and it doesn't have to be that way. If you feel lonely at the top then there's ways of building community.
A couple things that I'd like you to consider is come along to my Edge of Leadership un-conference March 28th and you just go EdgeofLeadership.com.au. The early bird special finishes on Monday, March the 6th so we're down to the last days of the early bird and the tickets are like half price at the moment so it's a bargain. There we're going to learn about strategic leadership thinking with myself and Doctor Jason Fox who is el guru. Can't wait to hear him talk. Can't wait to hear me talk, too, really. We're going to be looking at social agenda, at how that trend, we can capitalise on that so we can do well and do good, do good and do well. The third piece is building really strong connections. It's called an un-conference because we want to give people time to digest and connect and make use of the information that they're hearing.
If you want to take this bigger, further and better you can consider my top high end program called The Leader's Edge Mastermind. I'll put links in the followup poll along with the recording and probably send out a separate email with the checklist and the trend report that I promised as well. You're going to have all of that coming to you as a followup. I got no questions in the question box. Thank you for participating on the poll. Let's sum up.
You're going to walk away from the webinar, there's three things that you can focus on that you can leverage right now which will make a huge difference. These are make it easy, so that's the friction free piece. Make it meaningful so have a really strong sense of social purpose in the work that you do. Make it together, be collaborative with your clients and with each other. That's coming to the end of the webinar. I am extremely honoured to have you all with me today. It is such a privilege being able to share this with you. I look forward to hearing your comments. I welcome your feedback and I wish you the very best for the rest of the afternoon and will be in touch by the inter web thingy. All right. Thank you so much and have a great afternoon, everyone.