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Owning the Outcome

Posted by Cliff Locks On October 21, 2020 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

Owning the Outcome

Early one morning, a couple of weeks ago, I had a phone conversation with a colleague that, frankly, I wasn’t proud of. As soon as I hung up, I realized what I’d done. When I called back a short while later to apologize, my colleague graciously told me, “You don’t need to say anything—I understand.”


“I appreciate that, but I do,” I said. “I was wrong. I am sorry.”

When most people think about accountability, they immediately look through the lens of how accountable others are to them. But first, we need to look in the mirror and see how accountable we are to ourselves—for who we are and how we act. If we want to know how we’re doing, we only need to count the number of times we say, “I’m sorry”—in all its forms including, “That’s on me,” “That was the wrong call,” and “You were right.”

This brings to mind another conversation I had many years ago, early in my tenure as CEO. After a 360-degree review, I flew to New York to meet with a board member in his office to go over the feedback, line by line. “You’re in the left-hand seat in the cockpit now. Your role is different,” the board member told me. “As the leader, don’t tell people what to do—instead, tell them what to think about.”

At the end of our three-hour conversation, the board member said, “I don’t just want you to be successful—I am going to ensure you are successful.” Then he hugged me and gave me an invaluable piece of advice: “Gary, never forget that your job is to make people feel better after every conversation than they did before.”

Deceptively simple, but hard to do. Over the years, I’ve had to stop myself many times—just as I did in that recent phone conversation. No one bats a thousand. We are all works in progress.

At the heart of accountability are two key principles: honesty and humility. With these 2 Hs, we become accountable for who we are—and who we become.

Accountability is substantially different from responsibility. Responsibility is all in the present. Accountability is after the fact, which means owning the outcome—win or lose.

In business, a lack of accountability can make people seem indecisive, especially when the stakes are high. The problem, I’ve observed, is not that people are afraid of making decisions—they’re actually afraid of the consequences of those decisions. When it comes to the accolades and taking credit, many people are quick to use I, me, and my. But when it comes to accountability for failure, it’s too often they, them, and their.

I’ve witnessed this so many times, especially early in the pandemic when organizations needed to make rapid-fire decisions. As one executive confided in me at the time, “They’re all bad decisions. I’m just trying to pick the least worst decisions.” Despite so much hanging in the balance, few people are willing to weigh in with their opinions until others do. It’s like when someone gets caught out in the ocean. Few people will charge into the riptide to save them. But as soon as they finally get closer to shore, everyone rushes in for the rescue—but only up to their knees.

Accountability starts at the top with greater self-awareness. Before the start of this year’s NFL season, Coach Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs, winners of last season’s Super Bowl, sat down with us to talk about accountability and performance. “We all have strengths and weaknesses in what we do,” he told us. “Maybe my weaknesses you can take care of, and maybe I can help take care of yours.” In any organization, that’s how the best teams come together—it’s all about others. As the late John McKissick, America’s winningest football coach, once told us, “Coaches don’t win games, players do. Players don’t lose games, coaches do.”

Just as leaders must improve themselves before they can improve their organizations, accountability is also personal first—then team and organizational. Here are some thoughts:

  • Lying Larry. Years ago, I worked with a guy who truly was the smartest person in the room, and when it came to performance, he was amazing. I wouldn’t be surprised if his IQ was 150—but his emotional intelligence was 0. Larry wielded his genius like a weapon and raised arrogance to an art form. Whenever the team had a conference call, Larry would never announce himself—even if someone asked if he was on the line. Instead, he’d lie in wait, ready to strike—to criticize or take credit. And whenever things went wrong, Larry always made sure he was on the right side of history. Larry was notoriously tough to pin down on anything. I remember calling Larry on his cell and he insisted he was in the office, even though I could hear the road noise and the “ping-ping-ping” of the gas pump. Soon it became clear that Larry was not always honest, a reputation that caught up with him eventually. Moral of the story: each of us must strive for a say/do ratio of 1-to-1. We say what we mean, and we do what we say—honestly and with accountability. A person’s word is only as good as their last promise kept.
  • Ego is not your amigo. The cost of self-delusion is high. Research shows that people who greatly overstate their abilities are 6.2 times more likely to derail than those who have self-awareness. If that’s not a case for honesty and humility, I don’t know what is. I once engaged my senior team in a live assessment of my leadership strengths and blind spots, using remote-control “clickers” to ensure anonymity. After each question, the clicker results immediately displayed on a huge screen at the front of the room. As insightful and welcome as that feedback was, there was another purpose for that exercise. I put myself on the spot to model for others a willingness to be vulnerable—and accountable for what others see.
  • “Mirror, mirror.” In the battle to improve performance at all levels, accountability is a surprising secret weapon. On the organization level, our firm’s research reveals five key factors for achieving superior performance. Three are intuitive: purpose, leadership, and strategy. The other two probably don’t come to mind automatically: accountability and capability—but together, they contribute about 50 percent of organizational performance. The same holds true for individuals—accountability is the all-important foundation. This is “mirror, mirror” time, and we all need to see the unvarnished truth as we face unprecedented levels of change. We hold ourselves accountable to listen first—then lead. That starts with taking a total inventory across the organization—listening for what people are thinking, feeling, and experiencing. Only with a total picture, accurately perceiving today, will we become learning agile—the No. 1 predictor of success. We will “know what to do when we don’t know what to do.”

Making tough decisions—the difficult calls that affect others—is never easy. Harder still is living with the consequences of those decisions. But that is what accountability is all about. Indeed, with honesty and humility, we each must say, “Whatever the outcome, I own it.” In the end, the accountability we wish to see in others starts with each of us.

Contributing Author: Gary Burnison is CEO of Korn Ferry

OptimizeLife #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #Professionalpedia #TeamBuilder #success #beyourself #goals #lifeisgood #Influencer #Successful #Business #WorkLife #OfficeLife #Work #Office #Inspiration #Marketing #Tips #Leadership #BusinessIntelligence #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Cliff Locks is a trusted confidant to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Certified Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted confidant and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.

As a Trusted Confidant Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence.

What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

• Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting
• Operations, planning, and execution
• Career transition
• Retirement
• Legacy
• Kids and money
• Marriage and divorce
• Health concerns
• Values and life purpose
• Vacations
• Mentoring & depth of the executive bench
• Succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.

Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

• Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth.
• Wanting more meaning and purpose in life.
• Desiring a candid and experienced perspective.
• The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily.
• Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Referrals to a team members or family members are always welcome.

Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

Being authentic, creating a connection, and giving others a taste of who we are.

Posted by Cliff Locks On October 14, 2020 at 10:14 am / In: Uncategorized

Being authentic, creating a connection, and giving others a taste of who we are.

Early in the pandemic, as my family sheltered in place, someone found the old Clue boardgame in the attic. Soon this relic from our old world was brought into our new lives

As we rolled the dice and moved around the gameboard—was it Colonel Mustard in the library with a candlestick or Mrs. Peacock in the dining room with a rope—it struck me that these little rooms reflected what our pre-pandemic lives looked like. Everything was compartmentalized within its own walls—not just separate physical spaces, but figurative and emotional ones as well.

Some of those “rooms” were called commuting, going to meetings, traveling to see clients—the routines that put structure into our lives. Other “rooms” were attending weddings and parties, eating in the lunchroom with colleagues, and more. Then, seemingly overnight, our world shrank into one room with an open floorplan. As the walls came down, life went from segmentation to integration—professional lives melding with personal lives.

Now, as I look around, I see people everywhere are rethinking their space. It’s a time of introspection, resetting, and re-evaluating what we’re learning as we move forward. Some are finding ways to bring the old into the new—like long walks, family game nights, kids playing in the street—even beekeeping. Others are throwing out the old and unproductive to make room for the new and empowering.

Gregg Kvochak, Korn Ferry’s senior vice president of finance, used to spend five hours a day commuting. Being a numbers guy, Gregg calculated that, since the pandemic started, he’s regained about 720 hours—an entire month—and counting. Now he jogs five days a week and is eating healthier than ever.

It’s natural to be nostalgic for some of the old rooms, but we can’t get stuck in the past—locked in an attic full of dusty memories. Better to explore possibilities of the basement. Growing up in Kansas, I spent countless hours in basements—it’s where you went for shelter, to play ping pong, do arts and crafts, or just hang out. Not many people ever paneled and tricked out the attic or put a pool table up there. All that happened in the basement.

That’s what we’re doing now: converting our spaces, transforming our minds, to actualize a new reality. The insulation is being taken out of the isolation.

We know how to do this. As children, we “made believe” all the time—with whatever we had available to us—physically or in our imaginations. For me, it was on a dirt driveway with a net-less, rusty basketball hoop bolted to the side of the garage. Often, I would play a game with myself, winding down an imaginary clock in my head: Five, four… The last shot of the season-ending championship game. Our team is down by one point. Three, two… I leap high off the ground. One … The ball leaves my hands. The buzzer sounds. The ball arcs toward the basket and—swish—the winning shot!

Ironically, despite all that practice, I never had the opportunity to hit a game-winning shot—and if I ever did, I don’t know if I would have made it. But flash forward a couple of decades. My daughter Emily was a freshman on her high school basketball team. It was a big game, and her team was down by one point. With only seconds left, nobody wanted to take the last shot, so they kept passing the ball. When Emily got it, I knew what she was going to do—because we had practiced countless times in the driveway. She drove to the hoop and scored.

Sometimes in life, the ball is thrown our way—either by chance or by choice. But we have to take that shot. That’s where we are right now. We have to seize this moment to create a world with fewer walls and more windows for greater transparency and authenticity. Here are some thoughts:

·  What would you do differently? Over the last couple of weeks, I must have asked 100 people the same question: If they knew last year that a pandemic was coming in 2020—if they had “perfect vision”—what would they have done differently? Overwhelmingly, and more often than not without any pause or hesitation, they said one of two things: (1) spending more time with friends and loved ones and (2) taking that big trip. No one mentioned the material things—or making some investment at the right time. It was all experiential—particularly around people and emotions. It’s an important perspective to keep, considering that we’re all bracing for what could be next—including a possible human hibernation in the Northern Hemisphere this winter. Even if we do end up sheltering in place because of a second wave of contagion, we need to connect with others.

·  Demolition—or design. So how do we live in this new space? Do we revert to the attic or, ironically, do we travel to the basement? I reached out to some PhDs, psychologists, and researchers across our firm. Here’s what they had to say:

  • ·  “It takes intentionality to migrate from segmentation to integration. But when we do, efficiency, harmony, purpose, and balance are all positive outcomes that can be realized,” says RJ Heckman, a Vice Chairman in our firm’s Consulting business.
  • ·  “The pandemic is forcing people to create new structures to support themselves and how they behave in the world. If they don’t have structures, they can feel at the whims of circumstances and change,” says Janet Feldman, a Senior Client Partner in our firm’s CEO Succession Practice.
  • ·  “For some people, the structures are about being disciplined with their time. Others may have to do that literally—separating workspace from living space,” says Signe Spencer, Client Research Partner at the Korn Ferry Institute.

These new structures shouldn’t wall us away—they should help us make connections. It’s the one choice we always have, even when we’re not in control. These days, we may have self-driving cars and the world at our fingertips via a 5-inch screen, but that doesn’t give us control. And we certainly can’t control time. But we can control what we do with our time.

·  A walk in the park. Despite all the technological advancements of the past 50 years it still comes down to people. We want human connection. We need human connection. We thrive from human connection. We know from our research that affiliation—establishing and maintaining relationships—is one of the most important motivators of human behavior. Even during this time of social distance, we can’t stay locked behind our walls—virtual or otherwise—waiting for the vaccine. By tapping our people agility, we can find safe—and surprising—ways to interact and relate to each other. Sonamara Jeffreys, Korn Ferry’s Co-President of EMEA, based in London, described for me how we’ve been encouraging clients to go beyond Zoom and interview candidates in person—but outside the walls of offices and conference rooms. We’re going totally old school and old world, arranging for clients to meet with candidates while taking a walk in the park together. “Clients are telling us that it’s incredibly refreshing. They get much further down the road (literally) by walking and talking than if they had met via teleconference,” she said. You actually discover the “who” of somebody rather than simply the “what.” Her comments reminded me of when I interviewed people in the old days: I always met them in the lobby and brought them first into the office kitchen to get water or coffee. In familiar settings, we can more easily show our A.C.T.: being authentic, creating a connection, and giving others a taste of who we are.

How long we will occupy our open floorplan and what new rooms will emerge are anyone’s guess. Unlike the game of Clue, there won’t be just one little envelope at the end that contains the solution to the mystery. We each must find our own envelope. One thing is certain, though: after tearing down so many walls, we need to be careful about how many we put back up again.

OptimizeLife #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #Professionalpedia #TeamBuilder #success #beyourself #goals #lifeisgood #Influencer #Successful #Business #WorkLife #OfficeLife #Work #Office #Inspiration #Marketing #Tips #Leadership #BusinessIntelligence #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Contributing Author: Gary Burnison is CEO of Korn Ferry

Cliff Locks is a trusted confidant to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Certified Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

Cliff Locks is a trusted confidant advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand person,  to make a significant contribution and impact.

As a Trusted Confidant Advisor, I support you, with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan, including marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts and fears.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I’m always by your side. Holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Knows as much about you as you do, in complete confidence.

Often missing from the busy Executive’s life is a trusted person who understands the holistic complexity of their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

  • strategic planning
  • operations, planning, and execution
  • career transition
  • retirement
  • legacy
  • kids and money
  • marriage and divorce
  • health concerns
  • values and life purpose
  • vacations
  • mentoring & depth of the executive bench
  • succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in the leader’s professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting the people in their sphere of influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful individuals often isolate themselves as a reaction to their inability to find people they can confide in.

Abundance and isolation are not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that abundance only solves problems and does not create them.

Material success does not make you invulnerable to the pitfalls of life – we need only to glance at the headlines to verify that.

Material success can create unique vulnerabilities that are often overlooked because, after all, the “problems” of the wealthy are not really problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

  • aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth
  • wanting more meaning and purpose in life
  • desiring a candid and experienced perspective
  • usually, the answers are within us, but we can’t see them, or we are stuck. Clarity can come from skilled questioning and guided discovery. Being asked the right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who do you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

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#BoardofDirectors #BoD #HR #executive #business #CXO #CEO #CFO #CIO #executive #success #work #follow #leadership #Engineering #corporate #office #entrepreneur #coaching #businessman #professional #excellence #development #motivation #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Let’s get you educated on the Sensors Explosion & the Rise of IoT

Posted by Cliff Locks On October 30, 2019 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

Let’s get you educated on the Sensors Explosion & the Rise of IoT

“Hey Google, how’s my health this morning?”

“One moment,” says your digital assistant.

It takes thirty seconds for the full diagnostic to run, as the system deploys dozens of sensors capturing gigabytes of data.

Smart sensors in toothbrush and toilet, wearables in bedding and clothing, implantables inside your body—a mobile health suite with a 360-degree view of your system.

“Your microbiome looks perfect,” Google tells you. “Also, blood glucose levels are good, vitamin levels fine, but an increased core temperature and IgE levels…”

“Google—in plain English?”

 “You’ve got a virus.”

“A what?”

“I ran through your last forty-eight hours of meetings. It seems like you picked it up Monday, at Jonah’s birthday party. I’d like to run additional diagnostics. Would you mind using the….?”

As the Internet of Things catapults to new heights, Google is developing a full range of internal and external sensors, monitoring everything from blood sugar to blood chemistry.

American Association for the Advancement of Science

The list of once multi-million dollar medical machines now being dematerialized, demonetized, democratized and delocalized—that is, made into portable and even wearable sensors—could fill a textbook.

Sensor Proliferation

Sensors will not only transform healthcare and diagnostics. Any electronic device that measures a physical, quantitative value—light, acceleration, temperature, etc.— then sends that information to other devices on a network, qualifies as a sensor.

Sensors add intelligence to our appliances. But more importantly, they add hours to our lives.

Consider that in less than a decade, when you run out of coffee, your kitchen cabinet will detect a shortage (cross-referencing sensor data with your coffee-drinking habits) and order more. A blockchain-enabled smart contract will subsequently place an order, triggering an Amazon drone delivery directly to your doorstep.

And of course, your very own Butler-bot might soon transport these freshly ground beans from delivery box to cabinet, sparing you the trouble.

If advances in computing power, AI, and networks represent the center mass of the digital revolution, then today’s sensor uprising is the outer edge of that revolt.

Comprising the first part of tomorrow’s smart environment information-processing pipeline, sensors are the data-gathering apparatus that provide our computers with the information they need to act.

Case Study: The Oura Ring

Not much more than a sleek, black band, the Oura Ring is the most accurate sleep tracker on the market, thanks to its TK sensors.

The product began in 2014 at an infectious disease lab in Finland. Health researcher Petteri Lahtela noticed that many of the diseases he’d been studying, including Lyme disease, heart disease and diabetes, shared a curious overlap: all of them negatively affected sleep.

Lahtela started to wonder if all these diseases cause insomnia or if it worked the other way around. Could these conditions be alleviated or, at least, improved, by fixing sleep?

To solve that puzzle, Lahtela decided he needed data, so he turned to sensors. In 2015, driven by advances in smartphones, we saw the convergence of incredibly small and powerful batteries with incredibly small and powerful sensors.

So small and powerful, in fact, that building a whole new kind of sleep tracker might be possible.

The sensors that caught Lahtela’s fancy were a new breed of heart rate monitors, particularly given that heart rate and variability serve as excellent sleep quality indicators. Yet at the time, all such trackers on the market were riddled with issues.

Fitbit and the Apple Watch, for instance, measure blood flow in the wrist via an optical sensor. Yet the wrist’s arteries sit too far below the surface for perfect measurement, and people don’t often wear watches to bed—as smart watches can interrupt the very sleep they’re designed to measure.

Lahtela’s upgrade? The Oura ring.

Location and sampling rates are its secret weapons. Because the finger’s arteries are closer to the surface than those in the wrist, the Oura gets a far better picture of the action. Plus, while Apple and Garamond measure blood flow twice a second, and Fitbit even raises this figure to 12x/second, the Oura ring captures data at 250 times per second.

And in studies conducted by independent labs, the ring is 99 percent accurate compared to medical grade heart rate trackers, and 98 percent accurate for heart rate variability.

Twenty years ago, sensors with this level of accuracy would have cost in the millions, requiring reasonably sized data centers and tremendous overheard processing costs.

Today, the Oura costs around $300 and sits on your finger—a perfect example of sensors’ exponential growth. 

Connected Devices and IoT

We are in the middle of a sensor revolution. The street name for this uprising is the “Internet of Things,” the huge mesh network of interconnected smart devices that will soon span the globe.

And it’s worth tracing the evolution of this revolution to understand how far we’ve come.

In 1989, John Romkey, one of the inventors of the transmission control protocol (TCP/IP), connected a Sunbeam toaster to the internet, making it the very first IoT device.

Ten years later, sociologist Neil Gross saw the writing on the wall and made a now famous prediction in the pages of Business Week: “In the next century, planet Earth will don an electric skin. It will use the Internet as a scaffold to support and transmit its sensations […] These will monitor cities and endangered species, the atmosphere, our ships, highways and fleets of trucks, our conversations, our bodies—even our dreams.”

A decade later in 2009, Gross’ prediction bore out: the number of devices connected to the Internet exceeded the number of people on the planet (12.5 billion devices, 6.8 billion people, or 1.84 connected devices per person).

A year later, driven primarily by the evolution of smart phones, sensor prices began to plummet. By 2015, all this progress added up to 15 billion connected devices, with researchers at Stanford predicting 50 billion by 2020.

As most of these devices contain multiple sensors—the average smart phone has about twenty—this also explains why 2020 marks the debut of what’s been called “our trillion sensor world.”

Nor will we stop there. By 2030, those same Stanford researchers estimate 500 billion connected devices. And according to Accenture, this translates into a US$14.2 trillion economy.

Hidden behind these numbers is exactly what Gross had in mind—an electric skin that registers just about every sensation on the planet.

Consider optical sensors. The first digital camera, built in 1976 by Kodak engineer Steven Sasson, was the size of a toaster oven, took twelve black-and-white images, and cost over ten thousand dollars. Today, the average camera that accompanies your smartphone shows a thousand-fold improvement in weight, cost, and resolution.

And these cameras are everywhere: in cars, drones, phones, satellites— with uncanny image resolution to boot. Already, satellites photograph the Earth down to the half-meter range. Drones shrink that to a centimeter. And the LIDAR sensors atop autonomous cars are on track to capture just about everything—gathering 1.3 million data points per second, and registering change down to the single photon level.

Implications

We see this triple trend—of plummeting size and cost, alongside mass increases in performance—everywhere.

The first commercial GPS hit shelves in 1981, weighing 53 pounds and costing $119,900. By 2010, it had shrunk to a five-dollar chip small enough to sit on your finger.

The “inertial measurement unit” that guided our early rockets was a 50-pound, $20 million device in the mid-60s. Today, the accelerometer and gyroscope in your cellphone do the same job, yet cost about four dollars and weigh less than a grain of rice.

And these trends are only going to continue. We’re moving from the world of the microscopic, to the world of the nanoscopic.

As a result, we’ve begun to see an oncoming wave of smart clothing, jewelry, glasses—the Oura ring being but one example. Soon, these sensors will migrate to our inner bodies. Alphabet’s Verily branch is working on a miniaturized continuous blood glucose monitor that could assist diabetics in everyday treatment.

Research on smart dust, a dust-mote-sized system that can sense, store, and transmit data, has been progressing for years. Today, a “mote” is the size of an apple seed. Tomorrow, at the nano-scale, they’ll float through our bloodstream, exploring one of the last great terra incognita—the interior of the human body.

We’re about to learn a whole lot more, and not just about the body. About everything. The data haul from these sensors is beyond comprehension. An autonomous car generates four terabytes a day, or a thousand feature length films’ worth of information. A commercial airliner: Forty terabytes. A smart factory: A petabyte. So what does this data haul get us? Plenty.

Doctors no longer have to rely on annual check-ups to track patient health, as they now get a blizzard of quantified-self data streaming in 24-7.

Farmers now know the moisture content in both the soil and the sky, allowing pinpoint watering for healthier crops, bigger yields and—a critical factor in the wake of climate change—far less water waste.

In business, agility has been the biggest advantage. In times of rapid change, lithe and nimble trumps slow and lumbering, every time. While knowing every available detail about one’s customers is an admitted privacy concern, it does provide organizations with an incredible level of dexterity, which may be the only way to stay in business in tomorrow’s accelerated times.

Final Thoughts

Within a decade, we will live in a world where just about anything that can be measured will be measured— all the time. It will not be your knowledge that matters, but rather the questions you ask.

It’s a world of radical transparency, where privacy concerns will take on a whole new meaning.

From the edge of space to the bottom of the ocean to the inside of your bloodstream, our world’s emerging electric skin is producing a sensorium of endlessly available information. And riding rapid advances in AI, this “skin” possesses the machine learning required to make sense of that information.

Welcome to the hyper-conscious planet.

Board of Directors | Board of Advisors | Strategic Leadership

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

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Forging a >50% renewable electric economy by 2030 is your company ready?

Posted by Cliff Locks On July 10, 2019 at 10:16 am / In: Uncategorized

Forging a >50% renewable electric economy by 2030 is your company ready?

By 2030, more than 50 percent of the U.S. economy will run on electricity derived from renewables. What are the implications as we shift the U.S. and global energy economies away from fossil fuels?

For the first time ever, our harnessing of renewable energy has surpassed domestic reliance on coal, a critical milestone for democratizing energy. 

Current technological advances in wind, solar, hydrogen, geothermal, hydroelectric power, nuclear and localized grids are forging a future of cheap, abundant, and ubiquitous energy.

Today’s blog I’ll be exploring the ways in which we are fast approaching an all-electric, renewable energy economy. Two areas of disruption take center stage:

  1. How we produce energy;
  2. How we utilize energy.

Let’s dive in!

Energy Production

Simply put, our world in the coming decades will need a lot more energy than it does today.

The industrial and technological booms of emerging nations are bringing online billions of high-demand energy consumers, now just as voracious as their American and European counterparts. Already, China’s energy consumption is expected to double by 2030, and India is right on its tail.

In our ‘linear and scarcity-minded’ world of fossil fuels, these skyrocketing trends present a problem: more demand equals more environmental devastation, higher prices, and increased geopolitical tensions as the ‘haves’ supply the ‘have-nots.’

Luckily, a ‘global and exponential mindset’ offers an alternative. Rather than slicing the pie into thinner and thinner slices, let’s just bake more pies.

Namely, higher-priced hydrocarbon fuels drive market incentives to invest heavily in alternative energy sources. Advances in batteries, solar, wind, geothermal, and even nuclear fusion offer humanity a future in which we can viably switch from coal, petroleum, and natural gas to renewables, and eventually to an all-electric economy.

Between 2010 and 2017, utility-scale solar photovoltaic capital costs in the U.S. have fallen by a factor of five, from $5-6 per kilowatt to a mere $1-2. And the only constraint to plummeting prices is technology, not resource availability.

In today’s fossil fuels market, by far the greatest cost is the commodity itself, i.e. coal, oil, or natural gas. But the opposite is true for renewables. Think of the commodities needed: sun, wind, (to a large degree) nuclear power, and water are all free.

All costs borne by producers lie in building and maintaining the infrastructure to harness power from these renewable energies. As a result, the greatest business opportunities surrounding these sources are primarily unlocked by improving the technology.

And the rate of technological advancement is accelerating.

Companies like GE are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in microgrids and smart grids, which will make electricity far more accessible to larger populations. Several companies in solar energy, such as SunRun, Sun Power and Sunnova Energy Corp, are vastly improving the efficiency of solar cells, whether in production, installation or manufacturing.

But how is our energy used?

Energy Utilization

Today, transportation represents roughly 29 percent of the U.S.’s total energy use. Yet almost none of that energy use is currently electric.

Herein lies the greatest growth opportunity for U.S. electrification. As advancements in renewable energy drive down the price of electricity, the market will respond by capitalizing on this electrification.

While only 20.5 percent of the U.S. economy is currently electrified, that number has the potential to jump to more than 50 percent by 2030.

But how will this happen?

Because of exciting innovations across the three greatest energy-guzzling sectors: transportation, commercial and residential, and industrial.

While these sectors represent electrification potential to varying degrees, here’s one route by which we might reach a 50 percent renewable energy economy over the next decade:

Shifting the Transportation Sector (29% of Current Energy Use) to Renewable Electricity:

Electric vehicles (EVs) are cheaper per mile, require less maintenance, demonstrate greater reliability, and have far fewer moving parts (<200 in electric cars vs. >1,000 parts in gas-fueled cars) than internal combustion engine-driven vehicles.

Ultimately, when a product is cheaper and better, consumers switch. Let’s take a look.

Image result for Transportation Sector (29% of Current Energy Use) to Renewable Electricity

The price per mile of an EV is already four times cheaper than that of its gasoline-fueled counterpart. (An EV’s average operating cost is 3.72¢ per mile vs. that of a gasoline-fueled vehicle, which stands at 16.00¢ per mile.)

However, EVs represented only 2 percent of the U.S. personal car market in 2018. And while we are about to witness the massive electrification of personal and commercial vehicles over the coming decade, passenger vehicles represent only 63 percent of all transportation energy use. The remaining 37 percent consists of air and freight.

Nonetheless, companies and governments alike are achieving extraordinary progress in making these systems run fully on electricity from renewable energy sources.

Aircraft: This year’s Paris Air Show witnessed the introduction of electric commercial airplanes, as EasyJet announced its partnership with startup Wright Electric to roll out a fleet of electric planes (capable of traveling a little less than 300 miles).

Trucking: In the large-scale ground transit arena, Tesla boasts that its electric trucks can save $100,000 per year on fuel costs.

Image result for nikola trucking

And as projects like Hyperloop and the Boring Company reduce our dependency on air travel for long distance human and freight, exponential technologies like VR will soon begin to indirectly disrupt our need to physically travel in the first place.

Shifting the Industrial Sector (32% of Current Energy Use) to Renewable Electricity:

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While still constituting a minority, electricity represents a more significant chunk, 17 percent, of the industrial sector’s energy use.

Beyond the obvious suspects — turning on lights, running air conditioners, etc. — several industrial processes use electricity on a tremendous scale.

Take aluminum production, a relatively modern invention dating back only to 1886, which requires a high-voltage electric current to extract aluminum from bauxite ore. Currently, the best smelters use around 13 kilowatt-hours to produce one kilogram of aluminum. (For reference, it takes approximately 29 kilowatt-hours to power the average American home for one day.) 

Or look at the creation of synthetic gas, not to mention that of carbon-based polymers and aggregates, both requiring high amounts of energy in the form of electric current.

Tomorrow’s advanced-materials economy will require a much higher proportion of energy to take the form of electricity.

Shifting the Commercial & Residential Sector (38% of Current Energy Use) to Renewable Electricity:

Lastly, almost half of the commercial and residential sector’s energy use is already electric. And the reasons for this perhaps speaks best to the economic argument for electrification with renewables.

It used to be that almost all of this sector’s energy was derived from fossil fuels. But as the price of electricity has continued to decline, home adoption rates of electricity have increased accordingly, as reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

In the EU, it’s mission critical to change the energy mix, once you look at whom is supplying the EU with energy imports. You’ll get a better idea.

And as renewables and converging technologies continue to drive down cost, commercial and residential use of electricity will only soar.

Calculating for the Total

If we assume that energy use ratios by sector – transportation, residential and commercial, and industrial — remain relatively constant, our economy is already on target for over 50 percent electrification from renewables in the next decade.

Our trajectory to a 66 percent electric transportation industry by 2030 alone puts us at a 19.3 percent electric total economy.

Next up: if another 30 percent of the industrial sector becomes electrified — requiring a conservative annual increase of 3 percent — that adds another 7.1 percent to our aggregate economy’s electrification.

And already today, the residential and commercial sector is well on its way to full electrification. With the continued rate of transition, a whopping 62 percent of this sector will be electrified using renewables in just ten years. That represents 23.6 percent of the U.S.’s total energy use.

Added together, these massive shifts represent a 50 percent renewable-electric economy, and a 110 percent increase in U.S. electrification in just 10 years.

Welcome to a future driven by electrons generated from renewable sources of energy.

What are the implications to your business? Your industry? What will the impacts be on global geopolitics, our families, and our environment?

Board of Directors | Board of Advisors | Strategic Leadership

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

leadership #business #CXO #CEO #CFO #BofD #Entrepreneur #WSJ #VC #socialmedia #Diversity #BigData #CorpGov #elearning #Marketing #Periscope #Recruiting #technology #startup #HRTech #Recruitment #sales #Healthcare #cloud #work #motivation Contributor: Peter Diamandis #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Exponential CHINA – something you can’t ignore and why you should be educated on their tech market and the size of their GDP

Posted by Cliff Locks On June 26, 2019 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

Exponential CHINA – something you can’t ignore and why you should be educated on their tech market and the size of their GDP

President Donald Trump with China’s President Xi Jinping during their bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The rise of China as an epicenter of rapid-fire innovation and technological disruption is more important than ever before in transforming each and every one of our businesses.

Soon to surpass the U.S. as the world’s largest economy with a $14 trillion GDP, China has grown at about 9.6 percent CAGR since 1989, accounting for over an estimated 35 percent of global economic growth from 2017 to 2019 — nearly double the U.S. GDP’s predicted 18 percent.

In less than two years, China’s government plan to lead the world in AI by 2030 has witnessed a record-breaking surge in both AI enterprise and innovation across biotech and longevity, smart manufacturing, autonomous and electric vehicles, next-gen renewable energies, and new tech-driven markets you’ve never even heard of.

As Eric Schmidt has explained, “it’s pretty simple. By 2020, they will have caught up. By 2025, they will be better than us. By 2030, they will dominate the industries of AI.”

And the figures don’t lie.

PricewaterhouseCoopers recently projected AI’s deployment will add $15.7 trillion to the global GDP by 2030, with China taking home $7 trillion of that total, dwarfing North America’ $3.7 trillion in gains. 

Behind the scenes, a growing force of driven AI entrepreneurs trains cutting-edge algorithms on some of the largest datasets available to date.

Key Takeaways: China, AI & The Future of Your Business

While countless Chinese startups still observe U.S. company strategies and iterate on Western business trends, today’s American businesses would be severely remiss to forego analysis of Chinese companies and best practices. 

At the peak of its ongoing heyday, China is undergoing a technological renaissance bolstered by thousands of startups and dozens of multibillion-dollar tech companies. As firms like Alibaba, Tencent and Xiaomi capitalize on China’s now 1 billion+ Internet users at home, burgeoning Chinese unicorns have now established thriving markets among Western consumers.

Yet for many, what drives the business of China remains shrouded in mystery. What’s driving this entrepreneurial ecosystem? How can entrepreneurs collaborate with China or model its innovative culture closer to home?

This blog presents key insights from the go-to experts in China: Dr. Kai-Fu Lee of Sinovation Ventures and David Li of Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab.

Dr. Kai-Fu Lee serves as chairman and CEO of Sinovation Ventures, a venture fund with US$2B AUM. Dr. Lee has previously served as President of Google China, held numerous executive positions, including at Microsoft, Apple, and SGI, and named one of the top hundred most influential people by TIME magazine.

David Li is Founder and Director of Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab (SZOIL) and has been honored with the title of “Top Maker in Asia.” One of the foremost leaders of Shenzhen’s Maker Movement, Mr. Li co-founded Maker Collider, a platform to develop next-gen IoT from the maker community; XinCheJian, the first hacker space in China to promote hacker maker culture and open source hardware; among others.

When thinking about the AI industry and the underlying technological architecture as a whole, one tool I find highly useful is Kai-Fu Lee’s “Four Waves of AI.” As outlined in his diagram below, these consist of Internet AI, Business AI, Perception AI, and the most nascent wave, Autonomous AI.

The Four Waves of AI. Source: Dr. Kai-Fu Lee.

Yet while U.S. tech giants may have birthed the first two waves of AI, the data emerging today stands compellingly in China’s favor across all four categories.

China’s Competitive Advantage

Witnessing an explosion in grassroots innovation, smart manufacturing, abundant and high-quality data, China is surging ahead on the back of several core drivers: 

(1) Massive proliferation of engineers and entrepreneurs: Demand for AI engineers has skyrocketed in the matter of a mere three years across China. The proliferation of local entrepreneurs, makers, tinkerers, and AI scholars is on a scale unimaginable by U.S. businesses, CEOs and VCs.

But underpinning these numbers is a radically different cultural approach to innovation and an abundance mindset about tools and (lack of) constraints in breaking open new markets. 

As David Li synthesizes, “What’s happening in China is not just headline innovation. It’s what’s going on at the bottom side of China. People are excited. Entrepreneurship is everywhere. Opportunity is everywhere. And [common citizens] are supported by this rapid advancement of technology. They don’t see technology coming and say, ‘My God! It’s going to take my job.’ […] They ask ‘How do I make a buck with this new thing?’ And when we have tens of millions of people thinking like this, it’s what makes China’s economy work.”

One booming example is Shenzhen.

We often think of “catch-up” regions receiving new gadgets, technologies and intellectual property from “developed” regions on the tail-end of their development. Some U.S. tech giant brimming with capital builds the next big breakthrough, and its wisdom, technology, and know-how slowly trickle down the hierarchy.

Not in Shenzhen. With a mean age of 28.65, Shenzhen residents have local dynamism embedded in their DNA. David Li captures this environment, one in which “people want to grab onto every opportunity [and believe they] have the tenacity to make something happen.”

Growing from a population of 300,000 to 15 million in just 40 years, Shenzhen has registered over 3 million companies. That makes 1 in 5 Shenzhen residents a CEO.

And if that isn’t enough to convince you, look at Shenzhen’s GDP. A mere fishing village in 1987, Shenzhen stood at 0.1 percent of Hong Kong’s GDP. Today? Shenzhen is surging past a US$350 billion GDP, far exceeding its next-door neighbor.

(2) End of a copycat era: But beyond skyrocketing rates of local entrepreneurship, China’s “copycat economy” is long gone. Today, local entrepreneurs have created and iterated upon novel concepts, resulting in markets that far exceed the scale of their American counterparts. 

Take Chinese mobile payments spending, which now exceeds the U.S. by a ratio of 50 to 1. Or video-based social networking apps that are making it big in Western markets (think video-sharing app TikTok, now wildly popular amongst U.S. teens). Shared bicycle networks that span hundreds of millions of users. And gamified, socialized e-commerce that presents one of the biggest playgrounds for AI training on the planet.

Even in legacy markets, China has become a dominant global player, out-diversifying Western counterparts. Take mobile phone shipments worldwide. As explained by David Li, “In 2017, Apple stood at 14%, Samsung at 15%, and [of] everybody else, almost all are Chinese companies. And with the exception of Xioami, everybody else is headquartered in Shenzhen.” This means “one city in China has 70% of the global market share of mobile phones.”

(3) An abundance of capital pouring into AI: Last year, for the first time ever, China surpassed North America in venture capital financing, as Chinese startups raised over US$56 billion in the first half of the year. By end of Q2, Chinese startups accounted for 47% of global VC funding.

Already, Chinese investments in AI, chips and electric vehicles have reached an estimated $300 billion. Meanwhile, AI giant Alibaba has unveiled plans to invest $15 billion in international research labs from the U.S. to Israel, with others following suit.

Just last year alone, nearly 100 Chinese startups hit unicorn status, each reaching a $1 billion valuation. Think about that for a moment. China saw the birth of 1 unicorn almost every 3.6 days.

And even while trade tensions have temporarily slowed investor enthusiasm, groundbreaking startup after startup has sent investment figures booming. Led by FinTech giant Ant Financial (an affiliate of Alibaba that last year raised nearly as much capital as all U.S. and European FinTech companies combined), China’s list of unicorns grows ever longer, currently standing at around 186 tech startups. 

(4) Astronomical quantities of high quality data to train AI algorithms: China not only has three times the available AI-driven mobile platform users as does the U.S., but usage time and real-world, layered data vastly exceed that enjoyed by Western tech giants. Not only do Chinese citizens spend 50 times more than do American counterparts in mobile payments, they order 10 times more in food delivery, and produce about 300 times more real-world movement data through use of shared bicycle platforms (not to mention ridesharing services).

These numbers are notable, yes. But what’s truly remarkable about these statistics is what the data reveal about offline activity.

Whereas most U.S. tech giants enjoy tomes of data about their users’ every click and online glance, it is mobile payments, ridesharing data, and smart city technologies that offer goldmines of real-world information about everyday users. And in China, last year’s mobile payment transactions exceeded the country’s GDP (don’t believe me? Read an explanation here). Credit cards and cash have grown virtually obsolete, and even beggars hold up signs reading, “I’m hungry, scan me.” This massive adoption of AI across all facets of life facilitates unprecedented levels of training and improvement across data-dependent algorithms.

(5) Arguably the most AI-supportive government in the world: Just two years ago, China’s government issued its plan to make China the global center of AI innovation, aiming for a 1 trillion RMB (about $150 billion USD) AI industry by 2030.

And when China’s State Council speaks, everyone listens.

As the nation’s political system incentivizes local officials to outcompete others for leadership in CCP initiatives, positive feedback loops have seen countless government officials luring in AI companies and entrepreneurs with generous subsidies and advantageous policies. Mayors across the country (largely in eastern China) have built out innovation zones, incubators and government-backed VC funds, even covering rent and clearing out avenues for AI startups and accelerators.

Beijing plans to invest $2 billion in an AI development park, which would house up to 400 AI enterprises and a national AI lab, driving R&D, patents and societal innovation. Hangzhou, home to Alibaba’s HQ, has also launched its own AI park, backed by a fund of 10 billion RMB (nearly $1.6 billion USD). But Hangzhou and Beijing are just two of the 19 different cities and provinces investing in AI-driven city infrastructure and policy.

Cities like Xiong’an New Area are building out entire AI metropoles in the next two decades, centered around autonomous vehicles, smart solar panel-embedded roads, and computer vision-geared infrastructure. Projected to take in over $580 billion in infrastructure spending over the next 20 years, Xiong’an has ambitious plans to split its entire downtown in two levels: a top level for parks, trees, pets, kids, bicycles, skateboards, and human pedestrians, and a lower level reserved solely for cars (autonomous, electric vehicles, of course), eliminating the possibility of vehicle-human collisions and multiplying efficiency.

Lastly, local governments have begun to team with China’s leading AI companies to build up party-corporate complexes. Acting as a “national team,” companies like Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, SenseTime, and iFlyTek collaborate with national organizations like China’s National Engineering Lab for Deep Learning Technologies to pioneer research and supercharge innovation.

Pulling out all the stops, China’s government is flooding the market with AI-targeted funds as Chinese tech giants and adrenalized startups rise to leverage this capital.

Final Thoughts

China’s emergence as a leader in AI sets the stage and offers a tremendous opportunity for U.S.-Chinese collaboration lessons learned, one that is vital for expediting and shaping the direction of future progress.

As the world learns to grapple with a future of dual human-AI intelligence, U.S. and Chinese businesses stand at a critical juncture in history, requiring shared innovation and new modes of cooperation.

Board of Directors | Board of Advisors | Strategic Leadership

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

artificialintelligence #AI #innovation #HR #executive #business #CXO #CEO #CFO #CIO #executive #success #work #follow #leadership #corporate #office #luxury #entrepreneur #coaching #businessman #professional #aviation #excellence #development Contributor: Peter Diamandis #motivation #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Tokenizing the World with Blockchain

Posted by Cliff Locks On June 19, 2019 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

Tokenizing the World with Blockchain

These five ideas convey an overriding truth. In our world of escalating change, the core principles of strategy have not only remained the same; they are now more important than ever for creating enduring success.

In almost every industry you can think of, blockchain is poised to cut out middlemen, dramatically improve transparency, and multiply the efficiency of countless transactions worldwide.

While most well-known for its application in cryptocurrencies, blockchain is on the cusp of fundamentally revolutionizing supply chains, healthcare, elections, and real estate. 

But what is blockchain, and how does it work?

Blockchains emerged in 1991 as a way to timestamp digital documents, but became much more widely-known in 2009 when “Satoshi Nakamoto,” whose true identity is disputed, used blockchain to create the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

A blockchain is a decentralized database shared across a network of computers, or “nodes,” that can only be altered after approval from all nodes in the system. Once information is created in a blockchain, it is very difficult to change.

Each block within a blockchain contains (1) data, (2) the hash, or a digital fingerprint of the block, and (3) the hash of the previous block. Different types of data can be stored within blocks, such as the sender, receiver, and transaction amount in the case of Bitcoin. A block’s hash, which is generated based on the data within that block, changes if its data is altered.

Blockchains are extremely secure for several reasons:

  • Because each block contains its own hash and the hash of the previous block, changing one hash will make the rest of the blockchain invalid.
  • Proof-of-work is a mechanism that slows the creation of new blocks, requiring about 10 minutes per block in the case of Bitcoin. This delay makes it extremely difficult to recreate an entire blockchain after changing the data of one block.
  • Consensus models vet computers seeking to join the blockchain with proof-of-work and proof-of-stake tests. Proof-of-work tests require nodes to solve computational challenges in exchange for tokens, which can then be used in proof-of-stake tests to purchase entry into a blockchain. 

Next 5 “Blockchain Breakthroughs” (2019-2024):

One of the most successful entrepreneurs in government and enterprise technology, Eric Pulier is my go-to expert on all things blockchain. The best-known venture capital groups in the world have financed companies that Pulier has founded or co-founded, including MediaPlatform, US Interactive, Desktone and SOA Software.

“Blockchain is a new way of looking at value and a new way of creating a transaction between parties where you don’t need a third-party intermediary and can track things and really have trust.”

— Eric Pulier, Founder, CEO, vAtomic

In the next five years, Pulier predicts five blockchain trends, each poised to disrupt major players and birth entirely new business models by 2024.

Let’s dive in…

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs)

An NFT is a token on the Ethereum blockchain that contains unique metadata that differentiates it from other tokens. While currency is fungible and can be easily transferred, NFTs can be used to store much more complex and individual-specific information.

Government documents such as marriage certificates, land registrars, food-grade ratings, and driver’s licenses can all be tokenized using NFTs. In retail, consumers can use blockchain to verify the legitimacy of luxury goods. Digital goods and tickets can easily be stored as NFTs on blockchains.

Pulier predicts, “Now, the token, which is like a Bitcoin, can be a ticket, or a coupon, or a collectible. It could represent a real world good, like a coffee or a piece of art. So, what you’re going to see is the emergence of an entirely new space where non-fungible tokens are going to completely change the economy.”

Security tokens

Security tokens are cryptographic, programmable securities that serve as an asset that can also take action. Security tokens can pay dividends, pay interest, or even invest in other tokens or assets, among other functions. Smart contracts, for instance, will allow assets to automatically pay dividends on a specific date if criteria are met.

As Pulier explains, “Most of the tokens that you might be familiar with are called utility tokens, and they don’t represent a piece of a real world object or of an actual equity. Security tokens are now emerging this year.” Security tokens have huge potential to decrease liquidity issues but will require additional infrastructure to take hold, such as their own exchanges, Security Token Offerings (STOs), and wallets.

Tokenized assets 

“Everything that you can imagine that doesn’t have liquidity is going to be fractionalized and tokenized and put on exchanges,” predicts Pulier. Over the next five years, security tokens will start to represent a new form of liquidity in assets that traditionally have lacked liquidity, such as real estate or art. Pulier anticipates these assets will start trading 24/7, 365 days a year.

Malta and Switzerland lead the way in developing infrastructure for tokenized assets. The U.S. SEC and EU’s ESMA have begun issuing comments about plans to put regulations in place. 

Self-sovereign identity

As cyberattacks continue to proliferate, new forms of identity verification will leap onto the scene to protect users. Self-sovereign identity will allow users to maintain a single digital identity across multiple platforms while selecting the information they wish to share on each. This mode of interaction would drastically transform the current digital marketplace that has turned personal data into a commodity.

“Identity is going to be returned through blockchain back to the individual so that the individual will own their data and then be able to marshal it out based on what’s best for them as opposed to how Facebook or Google or other people may want to exploit it,” says Pulier.

In 2014, identity assurance processes cost the U.K. a staggering £3.3 billion. Self-sovereign identity would significantly reduce these costs as well. In e-commerce, online logins will be exponentially more secure and efficient. For financial services, Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money-Laundering (AML) work will be transferable from one bank to another, decimating costs. In healthcare, self-sovereign identifies will put medical history records back into the hands of individual patients, and transparency of permissioned access will become the new standard.

Free speech

“Blockchain allows you to have an immutable record, something that no government can tear down no matter what, because a distributed ledger all over the world is going to undermine the despots, undermine the organizations and the governments that want to clamp down on free speech, and coupled with ubiquitous bandwidth, create a world where everybody is going to be able to have a voice. No speech is going to be able to be brought down or in some way kept away from the masses,” predicts Pulier.

The trend away from hierarchical societies towards networked structures has become increasingly prevalent over the last few decades. Blockchain will only accelerate this transition across the globe, unleashing profound social impacts. Enabling trust within vast networks of decentralized control, blockchain is about to unlock a phenomenon that few human societies have ever achieved before.

Final Thoughts

Operating as peer-to-peer decentralized “digital ledgers,” blockchains will reduce the spread of corrupted information, increase transparency, witness multiplied efficiency in countless processes, and cut out unnecessary intermediaries across almost every industry. 

Within supply chains, blockchains will seamlessly record each touchpoint of an item, increasing production transparency for buyers who wish to make more informed purchase decisions. For elections anywhere, blockchain is poised to decentralize the voting process while maintaining fidelity to prevent election hacks. And in real estate, property record histories stored on blockchains will decimate time invested in due diligence and financial verifications. 

At the individual level, blockchain technologies will allow you to more easily verify your identity, share your health records, maximize gain from your financial assets, and track the origins of your every purchase. 

And at the broader societal level, blockchains will catalyze a sweeping shift away from hierarchical structures towards democratized networks at larger scales than ever before experienced by humankind. A next-generation tool capable of maintaining trust in large populations, blockchain will define a brand new order.

Board of Directors | Board of Advisors | Strategic Leadership

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

#blockchain #bitcoin #cryptocurrency #crypto #ethereum #btc #money #litecoin #bitcoins #forex #cryptonews #bitcoinmining #eth #trading #bitcoinnews #cryptocurrencies #altcoin #blockchaintechnology #coinbase #business #cryptotrading #investment #technology #entrepreneur #trader #ripple #investing #ico #xrp Contributor: Peter Diamandis #HR #leadership #business #CXO #CEO #CFO #BofD #Entrepreneur #WSJ #VC #socialmedia #Diversity #BigData #CorpGov #elearning #Marketing #Periscope #Recruiting #technology #startup #HRTech #Recruitment #sales #Healthcare #cloud #work

The value of an MBA in today’s business

Posted by Cliff Locks On April 17, 2019 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

The value of an MBA in today’s business

If so, why?

Should you, your colleagues or your children go to graduate school?

If not, what are your alternatives?

Millions of young adults across the globe — and their parents and mentors — find themselves asking these questions every year. I have three children and each has earned their Masters’ Degrees. My oldest son earned his MBA in Entrepreneurship, my youngest son earned his Master in Engineering, and my daughter earned her Masters in Social Work. Each is gainfully employed and building a great life for themselves. Only one went to an Ivy League School. The child that went to New York State University, I think received an amazing education for the tuition investment. Two of my children choose to attend a Study Abroad Program, one for a semester and one for a year, which allowed them to grow culturally and gain additional independence and highly recommend.

My earlier blogs, explored how exponential technologies are rising to meet the needs of the rapidly changing workforce.

In this blog, I’ll dive into a highly effective way to build the business acumen and skills needed to make the most significant impact in these exponential times.

To start, let’s dive into the value of graduate school versus apprenticeship — especially during this time of extraordinarily rapid growth, and the micro-diversification of careers.

The True Value of an MBA

All graduate schools are not created equal.

For complex technical trades like medicine, engineering and law, formal graduate-level training provides a critical foundation for safe, ethical practice.

(Until these trades are fully augmented by artificial intelligence and automation…)

For the purposes of today’s blog, let’s focus on the value of a Master in Business Administration (MBA) degree, compared to acquiring your business acumen through various forms of apprenticeship.

The Waning of Business Degrees

Ironically, business schools are facing a tough business problem.

The rapid rate of technological change, a booming job market, and the digitization of education are chipping away at the traditional graduate-level business program.

The data speaks for itself. 

The Decline of Graduate School Admissions

Enrollment in two-year, full-time MBA programs in the U.S. fell by more than one-third from 2010 to 2016.

During the 2018 admissions period, applications to business schools in the United States dropped 7 percent from the previous year.

While in previous years, top business schools (e.g. Stanford, Harvard, and Wharton) were safe from the decrease in applications, this year, they also felt the waning interest in MBA programs.

  • Harvard Business School: 4.5 percent decrease in applications, the school’s biggest drop since 2005.
  • Wharton: 6.7 percent decrease in applications.
  • Stanford Graduate School: 4.6 percent decrease in applications.

Another signal of change began unfolding over the past week. You may have read news headlines about an emerging college admissions scam, which implicates highly selective U.S. universities, sports coaches, parents and students in a conspiracy to game the undergraduate admissions process.

Already, students are filing multibillion-dollar civil lawsuits arguing that the scheme has devalued their degrees or denied them a fair admissions opportunity.

MBA Graduates in the Workforce

To meet today’s business needs, startups and massive companies alike are increasingly hiring technologists, developers, and engineers in place of the MBA graduates they may have preferentially hired in the past.

While 85 percent of U.S. employers expect to hire MBA graduates this year (a decrease from 91 percent in 2017), 52 percent of employers worldwide expect to hire graduates with a master’s in data analytics (an increase from 35 percent last year). 

We’re also seeing the waning of MBA degree holders at the CEO level.

For decades, an MBA was the hallmark of upward mobility towards the C-suite of top companies.

But as exponential technologies permeate not only products but every part of the supply chain — from manufacturing and shipping to sales, marketing and customer service — that trend is changing by necessity.

Looking at the Harvard Business Review’s Top 100 CEOs in 2018 list, more CEOs on the list held engineering degrees than MBAs (34 held engineering degrees, while 32 held MBAs).

There’s much more to leading innovative companies than an advanced business degree.

How Are Schools Responding?

With disruption to the advanced business education system already here, some business schools are applying notes from their own innovation classes to brace for change.

Over the past half-decade, we’ve seen schools with smaller MBA programs shut their doors in favor of advanced degrees with more specialization. This directly responds to market demand for skills in data science, supply chain and manufacturing.

Some degrees resemble the precise skills training of technical trades. Others are very much in line with the apprenticeship models we’ll explore next.

Regardless, this new specialization strategy is working and attracting more new students.

Over the past decade (2006 to 2016), enrollment in specialized graduate business programs doubled.

Higher education is also seeing a preference shift toward for-profit trade schools, like coding boot camps. This shift is one of several forces pushing universities to adopt skill-specific advanced degrees. 

But some schools are slow to adapt, raising the question: how and when will these legacy programs be disrupted? 

A survey of over 170 business school deans around the world showed that many programs are operating at a loss.

But if these schools are world-class business institutions, as advertised, why do they keep the doors open even while they lose money? 

The surveyed deans revealed an important insight: they keep the degree program open because of the program’s prestige.

Why Go to Business School?

Shorthand Credibility, Cognitive Biases and Prestige

Regardless of what knowledge a person takes away from graduate school, attending one of the world’s most rigorous and elite programs gives grads external validation.

With over 55 percent of MBA applicants applying to just 6 percent of graduate business schools, we have a clear cognitive bias toward the perceived elite status of certain universities.

To the outside world, thanks to the power of cognitive biases, an advanced degree is credibility shorthand for your capabilities.

Simply passing through a top school’s filtration system means that you had some level of abilities and merits. 

And startup success statistics tend to back up that perceived enhanced capability. Let’s take, for example, universities with the most startup unicorn founders (see the figure below).

When you consider the 320+ unicorn startups around the world today, these numbers become even more impressive. 

Stanford’s 18 unicorn companies account for over 5 percent of global unicorns, and Harvard is responsible for producing just under 5 percent.

Combined, just these two universities (out of over 5,000 in the U.S., and thousands more around the world) account for 1 in 10 of the billion-dollar private companies in the world. 

Figure: Universities with the most unicorn startup founders

By the numbers, the prestigious reputation of these elite business programs has a firm basis in current innovation success.

While prestige may be inherent to the degree earned by graduates from these business programs, the credibility boost from holding one of these degrees is not a guaranteed path to success in the business world.

For example, you might expect that the Harvard School of Business or Stanford Graduate School of Business would come out on top when tallying up the alma maters of Fortune 500 CEOs.

It turns out that the University of Wisconsin-Madison leads the business school pack with 14 CEOs to Harvard’s 12.

Beyond prestige, the success these elite business programs see translates directly into cultivating unmatched networks and relationships.

Relationships

Graduate schools — particularly at the upper echelon — are excellent at attracting sharp students. 

At an elite business school, if you meet just five to 10 people with extraordinary skill sets, personalities, ideas or networks, then you have returned your $200,000 education investment.

It’s no coincidence that some 40 percent of Silicon Valley venture capitalists are alumni of either Harvard or Stanford.

From future investors to advisors, friends and potential business partners, relationships are critical to an entrepreneur’s success.

Apprenticeships 

As we saw above, graduate business degree programs are melting away in the current wave of exponential change.

With an increasing $1.5 trillion in student debt, there must be a more impactful alternative to attending graduate school for those starting their careers.

When I think about the most important skills I use today as an entrepreneur, writer and strategic thinker, they didn’t come from my decade of graduate school at Harvard or MIT… they came from my experiences building real technologies and companies, and working with mentors. 

Apprenticeship comes in a variety of forms; here, I’ll cover three top-of-mind approaches:

  1. Real-world business acumen via startup accelerators
  2. A direct apprenticeship model
  3. The 6 D’s of Mentorship

Startup Accelerators & Business Practicum  

Let’s contrast the shrinking interest in MBA programs with applications to a relatively new model of business education: startup accelerators.

Startup accelerators are short-term (typically three to six months), cohort-based programs focusing on providing startup founders with the resources (capital, mentorship, relationships and education) needed to refine their entrepreneurial acumen.

While graduate business programs have been condensing, startup accelerators are alive, well and expanding rapidly.

In the 10 years from 2005 (when Paul Graham founded Y Combinator) through 2015, the number of startup accelerators in the U.S. increased by more than tenfold.

 Figure: The number of startup accelerators in the U.S. from 2005 through 2015.

The increase in startup accelerator activity hints at a larger trend: our best and brightest business minds are opting to invest their time and efforts in obtaining hands-on experience, creating tangible value for themselves and others, rather than diving into the theory often taught in business school classrooms.

The “Strike Force” Model

The Strike Force concept is hiring an elite team of young entrepreneurs who work directly with top level senior C level team members on a rotation basis across your departments/division within your business, including travel by executives side, sit in on every meeting, and help build business and be mentored at the same time.

Previous Strike Force members have gone on to launch successful companies, including Bold Capital Partners, my $250 million venture capital firm.

Strike Force is an apprenticeship for the next-generation of exponential entrepreneurs.

To paraphrase Tony Robbins: If you want to short-circuit the video game, find someone who’s been there and done that and is now doing something you want to one day do.

Every year, over 500,000 apprentices in the U.S. follow this precise template.

These apprentices are learning a craft they wish to master, under the mentorship of experts (skilled metal workers, bricklayers, medical technicians, electricians, and more) who have already achieved the desired result.

What if we more readily applied this model to young adults with aspirations of creating massive value through the vehicles of entrepreneurship and innovation?

For the established entrepreneur: How can you bring young entrepreneurs into your organization to create more value for your company, while also passing on your ethos and lessons learned to the next generation?

For the young, driven millennial: How can you find your mentor and convince him or her to take you on as an apprentice? What value can you create for this person in exchange for their guidance and investment in your professional development?

The 6 D’s of Mentorship

In my last blog on education, I shared how mobile device and Internet penetration will transform adult literacy and basic education.

Mobile phones and connectivity already create extraordinary value for entrepreneurs and young professionals looking to take their business acumen and skill set to the next level. 

For all of human history up until the last decade or so, if you wanted to learn from the best and brightest in business, leadership or strategy, you either needed to search for a dated book that they wrote at the local library or bookstore, or you had to be lucky enough to meet that person for a live conversation.

Now you can access the mentorship of just about any thought leader on the planet, at any time, for free.

Thanks to the power of the Internet, mentorship has digitized, demonetized, dematerialized, and democratized. 

What do you want to learn about?

Investing? Leadership? Technology? Marketing? Project management?

You can access a near-infinite stream of cutting-edge tools, tactics, and lessons from thousands of top performers from nearly every field — instantaneously, and for free. 

For example, every one of Warren Buffett’s letters to his Berkshire Hathaway investors over the past 40 years is available for free on a device that fits in your pocket. 

The rise of audio — particularly podcasts and audiobooks — is another underestimated driving force away from traditional graduate business programs and toward apprenticeships. I use Audible by Amazon for my audiobooks.

Over 28 million podcast episodes are available for free. Once you identify the strong signals in the noise, you’re still left with thousands of hours of long-form podcast conversation from which to learn valuable lessons.

Whenever and wherever you want, you can learn from the world’s best.

In the future, mentorship and apprenticeship will only become more personalized.

Imagine accessing a high-fidelity, AI-powered avatar of Bill Gates, Richard Branson or Brian Tracy and Zig Ziglar (two of my early mentors) to help guide you through your career.

Virtual mentorship and coaching are powerful education forces that are here to stay.

Bringing It All Together

The education system is rapidly changing.

Traditional master’s programs for business are ebbing away in the tides of exponential technologies.

Apprenticeship models are reemerging as an effective way to train tomorrow’s leaders.

In a future blog, I’ll revisit the concept of apprenticeships and other effective business school alternatives. 

If you are a young, ambitious entrepreneur (or the parent of one), remember that you live in the most abundant time ever in human history to refine your craft. 

Right now, you have access to world-class mentorship and cutting-edge best-practices — literally in the palm of your hand. What will you do with this extraordinary power?

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

Training and Retooling a Dynamic Workforce Using AR and VR

Posted by Cliff Locks On April 10, 2019 at 10:08 am / In: Uncategorized

Training and Retooling a Dynamic Workforce Using AR and VR

As I often tell my clients, people generally remember only 10 percent of what we see, 20 percent of what we hear, and 30 percent of what we read…. But over a staggering 90 percent of what we do or experience.

By introducing gamification, immersive testing activities, and visually rich sensory environments, adult literacy platforms have a winning chance at scalability, retention and user persistence.

Beyond literacy, however, virtual and augmented reality have already begun disrupting the professional training market.

As projected by ABI Research, the enterprise VR training market is on track to exceed $6.3 billion in value by 2022.

Leading the charge, Walmart has already implemented VR across 200 Academy training centers, running over 45 modules and simulating everything from unusual customer requests to a Black Friday shopping rush.

Then in September of last year, Walmart committed to a 17,000-headset order of the Oculus Go to equip every U.S. Supercenter, neighborhood market, and discount store with VR-based employee training.

In the engineering world, Bell Helicopter is using VR to massively expedite development and testing of its latest aircraft, FCX-001. Partnering with Sector 5 Digital and HTC VIVE, Bell found it could concentrate a typical six-year aircraft design process into the course of six months, turning physical mockups into CAD-designed virtual replicas.

But beyond the design process itself, Bell is now one of a slew of companies pioneering VR pilot tests and simulations with real-world accuracy. Seated in a true-to-life virtual cockpit, pilots have now tested countless iterations of the FCX-001 in virtual flight, drawing directly onto the 3D model and enacting aircraft modifications in real-time.

And in an expansion of our virtual senses, several key players are already working on haptic feedback. In the case of VR flight, French company Go Touch VR is now partnering with software developer FlyInside on fingertip-mounted haptic tech for aviation.

Dramatically reducing time and trouble required for VR-testing pilots, they aim to give touch-based confirmation of every switch and dial activated on virtual flights, just as one would experience in a full-sized cockpit mockup. Replicating texture, stiffness and even the sensation of holding an object, these piloted devices contain a suite of actuators to simulate everything from a light touch to higher-pressured contact, all controlled by gaze and finger movements.

Learn Anything, Anytime, at Any Age

When it comes to other high-risk simulations, virtual and augmented reality have barely scratched the surface.

Firefighters can now combat virtual wildfires with new platforms like FLAIM Trainer or TargetSolutions. And thanks to the expansion of medical AR/VR services like 3D4Medical or Echopixel, surgeons might soon perform operations on annotated organs and magnified incision sites, speeding up reaction times and vastly improving precision.But perhaps most urgently, Virtual Reality will offer an immediate solution to today’s constant industry turnover and large-scale re-education demands.

VR educational facilities with exact replicas of anything from large industrial equipment to minute circuitry will soon give anyone a second chance at the 21st-century job market.

Want to become an electric, autonomous vehicle mechanic at age 44? Throw on a demonetized VR module and learn by doing, testing your prototype iterations at almost zero cost and with no risk of harming others.
Want to be a plasma physicist and play around with a virtual nuclear fusion reactor? Now you’ll be able to simulate results and test out different tweaks, logging Smart Educational Record credits in the process.

As tomorrow’s career model shifts from a “one-and-done graduate degree” to continuous lifelong education, professional VR-based re-education will allow for a continuous education loop, reducing the barrier to entry for anyone wanting to try their hand at a new industry.

Whether in pursuit of fundamental life skills, professional training, linguistic competence or specialized retooling, users of all ages, career paths, income brackets and goals are now encouraged to be students, no longer condemned to stagnancy.

As VR and artificial intelligence converge with demonetized mobile connectivity, we are finally witnessing an era in which no one will be left behind.

HR #leadership #business #CXO #CEO #CFO #Entrepreneur #WSJ #VC #socialmedia #Diversity #BigData #CorpGov #elearning #Marketing #Periscope #Recruiting #technology #startup #HRTech #Recruitment #sales #Healthcare #cloud #work

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

Bringing artificial intelligence into your organization

Posted by Cliff Locks On April 3, 2019 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

Bringing artificial intelligence into your organization


The goal is to help you think about the specific benefits of artificial intelligence and the areas you can consider automating, in your organization or area of responsibility. Here are examples of successfully deployed artificial intelligence applications. When you need help reach out to me, my contact information is on the bottom of this post.

AI tool helps companies detect expense account fraud.

Employers across a range of industries are using artificial intelligence in a bid to curb questionable write-offs hidden within employee expense reports, writes Angus Loten for WSJ Pro.

The cost of fraud. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, in a report last year, analyzed nearly 2,700 global employee-expense fraud cases detected over the previous year that resulted in $7 billion in losses.

AI-based fraud detection. AppZen offers an auditing tool that works with popular expense-management software packages such as SAP SE’s Concur or Chrome River Technologies Inc.‘s Expense tool. AppZen can scour 100% of employee expense reports, according to the company. The tool’s capabilities include computer vision that is able to read submitted receipts, deep learning that leverages training data to account for nuances or identify anomalies, and semantic analysis to organize objects and relationships, such as currencies, taxes and spend types.AI can speed, improve audits. Manual audits typically rely on only a random sampling of less than 10% of expense reports, allowing many erroneous or fraudulent claims to slip through undetected, says Anant Kale, AppZen’s chief executive. And while manual audits can take days or even weeks to complete, AppZen’s automated review takes only a few minutes to flag questionable items, the company says. These can include minor violations—such as accidental double entries for the same expense reported by separate employees, out-of-policy hotel mini-bar purchases or unapproved upgrades to first-class airline seats—to cases where outright fraud may be occurring.

Business Transformation

Foot Locker’s game plan to win over sneakerheads. Foot Locker Inc., spurred by growing market pressure to offer a higher degree of personalization and on-demand services, is aiming to integrate and gather data from across its operations—everything from website clicks to delivery preferences—and then apply algorithms to the data to quickly and accurately glean market intelligence, often in real time.

To do all of this, Pawan Verma, chief information and customer connectivity officer at the New York-based sports footwear retailer, has boosted the company’s tech staff roughly 30% over the past three years, while creating separate teams that work on data, apps, interfaces between apps and operating systems, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and machine learning. In an interview with WSJ Pro’s Angus Loten, Mr. Verma spoke about the challenges of turning a 45-year-old shoe retailer into an agile, tech-driven venture for Gen Z “sneaker freaks” and working with data and artificial intelligence.

WSJ: What are your biggest challenges working with data, AI and emerging digital capabilities?Mr. Verma: There are several areas, but a key one is around security. We are collecting billions of events and using machine-learning software to find a signal from noise. For example, when we have a product launch, such as Nike Air Force or Jordan Retro, billions of bots mimicking customers will try to render our websites and mobile apps useless by staging distributed-denial-of-service attacks on our internal and cloud infrastructure. This can drive customers away from the products they want and impact the social currency of our brand. We created tools, with some vendor partnerships, that deflect bot traffic and protect the site.

Robots

Using robots to comfort the lonely. Sue Karp, who was forced to retire early by a stroke and now lives alone, begins every day by greeting her robot companion, ElliQ. The robot greets her back. “I’ve got dogs, but they don’t exactly come up and say ‘Good morning’ in English,” says Ms. Karp.

Robots pals. Intuition Robotics’ ElliQ can ease senior loneliness, reports the WSJ’s Christopher Mims. Studies have found that loneliness is worse for health than obesity or inactivity, and is as lethal as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. It’s also an epidemic: A recent study from Cigna Corp. found that about half of Americans are lonely.

What ElliQ can do. ElliQ consists of a tablet, a pair of cameras and a small robot head on a post, capable of basic gestures like leaning in to indicate interest and leaning back to signal disengagement. ElliQ can also help its owner connect to family members. Through an app, ElliQ will prompt children and grandchildren to start video chats with their relative, send notes and links, and share photos.

Human-like responses. Unlike Amazon.com Inc.’s Alexa or similar voice-activated assistants, ElliQ is capable of spontaneous communication, has a wide variety of responses and behaves unpredictably. Its creators say this is essential to making it feel, if not alive, then at least present. It uses what its creators call cognitive AI to know when to interrupt with a suggestion—“Take your medicine”—and when to stay quiet, such as when a person has a visitor.Medicare Advantage might cover ElliQ. The robot is undergoing a trial with 100 participants conducted by researchers from Baycrest Health Sciences hospital in Toronto and the University of California San Francisco, at retirement communities in Palo Alto and Toronto, in part to verify that ElliQ alleviates feelings of loneliness. If so, the robot might be eligible for coverage under Medicare Advantage.

Human Capital

HR turns to artificial intelligence to speed recruiting. Human-resource departments are increasing turning to AI technologies that can help reduce the time to fill open positions, reports the Financial Times. Among the new tools:

• Machine learning devices that can go through huge numbers of applications to find candidates who match an employer’s needs.
• Chatbots that can answer candidate questions and help screen early-stage candidates.
• Video systems that can be used to interview candidates and can help determine if a recruit is confident or passionate and issues.

While some HR tech firms claim their tools are free of bias, that hasn’t proven to always be the case. The systems also need to be trained to effectively screen job candidates. And then there’s the human tendency to overuse new tech tools, which could lead HR to add new steps to their existing processes and extend the hiring process.

Work in the age of AI. Employees and employers have a different perspective on how AI will change the workplace, according to a report in the MIT Sloan Management Review. Workers appear ready to embrace the changes that are coming. More than 60% of workers, according to an Accenture study, have a positive view of the impact of AI on their work. Business leaders, on the other hand, believe that only about one-quarter of their workforce is prepared for AI adoption.

Come together. But common ground can be found. It begins with senior executives seeking clarity around talent gaps and figuring out which skills their workers need. From there, execs should look at how to advance those skills for human-AI collaboration.A different way to view the world. This calls for a new way of looking at business. First, employers and employees must show each other that they’re willing to adapt to a workplace built around people and intelligent machines. Second, worker education needs to embrace smart technologies to speed learning, expand thinking and bring out latent intelligence. And third, both parties must be motivated to learn and adapt.

#artificial intelligence #AI #innovation #HR #executive #business #CXO #CEOo #executive #success #work #follow #leadership #travel #corporate #office #luxury #entrepreneur #coaching #businessman #professional #aviation #excellence #development #motivation

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

Contributor: Peter Diamandis