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Making the most of our now with your vision for the team’s bright future

Posted by Cliff Locks On February 24, 2021 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

Making the most of our now with your vision for the team’s bright future

We felt like we could reach out and touch the stars.

A few years ago, my family and I went stargazing in a remote location. Without city lights to obscure our view, every tiny dot of brilliance shone crystal clear. As we looked through the telescope, we were awestruck by the countless stars and swirls of the Milky Way. In that moment, we felt connected to something bigger than ourselves.

The future is bright

Contributor: Gary Burnison, Korn Ferry, CEO, with insights from Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director

Today, we all need this same cosmic shift in perspective. When we look through the eyepiece of a telescope, what is distant suddenly zooms closer. But if we look through the wrong end of the telescope, things shrink away from us.

We need to ask ourselves, which end of the telescope are we looking through?

That question is more important than ever. A survey of global professionals conducted by Korn Ferry told a shocking story: 60% of respondents said stress, boredom, and sadness best describe their mood. Obviously understandable, for sure. We are connected, yet isolated—hopeful, yet numb. Maybe part of the problem is actually the lens we’re looking through.

Ironically, it’s the glimmers of hope that make us impatient. With every piece of “good news”—cases declining, some people receiving the vaccine—we just want it to be over. It’s like when you’re on a long road trip and the last 50 miles drag endlessly.

As paradoxical as it may sound, when nothing seems to be progressing, we actually can make the most progress! When everything appears unchanged externally, we experience tremendous growth internally. When things seem so far away, they are much closer than they appear. When we clearly see just how far we’ve come, we appreciate more fully just how capable we’ve become. And it all happens in a moment.

I’ll never forget when I got that call a few years ago. It came out of nowhere—and yet it really wasn’t a surprise. As soon as I heard my cousin’s voice, telling me my uncle wasn’t doing well, there was no mistaking her meaning. I was on my way to New York on business and immediately got on a connecting flight to Kansas to see my uncle one more time. When I arrived at the nursing home, I instantly saw just how frail he had become.

He knew and I knew—but we let it be the unspoken truth. It was just my uncle and me in that small room. My uncle was one of the strongest people I knew, and there he was—smiling at me. The last thing I wanted to do was break down in front of him. And so, I didn’t think about the days ahead or what would come next. Embracing the moment was all that mattered.

We reminisced about old times. My uncle had worked at the local oil refinery and had remodeled my aunt’s house himself—everything from the framing to the plumbing. He had taught me how to fish. Even though my eyes misted as I gave him one last hug, I felt far more gratitude than sadness. As I left the nursing home and stepped out into that hot Kansas sun, I finally let my tears flow.

Today, despite sporadic green shoots all around us, we still must embrace this moment before we can own the next. Here are some thoughts:
• Our existential moment. Over the past year, companies and even entire industries have transformed. It has happened on a personal level, too—and to all of us. Everyone has stories. “Who we are in February 2021 is not the same as who we were in March 2020,” Bryan Ackermann, Managing Partner of Korn Ferry’s Global Leadership and Professional Development Practice, told me this week. If we’re not self-aware, we can lose our perspective on just where we are. “Are we still in the old world or in the new world? Do we have a foot in some weird hybrid of both?” Bryan commented. These questions can be a welcome opportunity to continually shift our focus to the bigger picture of what we value, how we find meaning, and who we want to become.

• The neutral zone. Even as we look ahead with optimism, the reality is we’re not quite there yet. We’re in transition—moving through a neutral zone—from one place (physical, mental, emotional) to the next. “We’re like trapeze artists, flying through the air ungrounded,” David Dotlich, PhD, a CEO and Board advisor and a senior leader at Korn Ferry, said “We can’t make the next trapeze appear automatically. We have to wait for it. And as it approaches, we have to let go of the old trapeze so we can reach for the new one.” Being “up in the air” can feel uncomfortable. But in that instant, we develop the courage and creativity that will bring us closer to whatever comes next.

• Making the most of our “now.” We have a choice of what we see: obstacles or opportunities. When Christina Gold, former CEO of Western Union and a member of several boards, including ours, started out in her career, there were few opportunities for women. As she related to me, her first job out of college was counting coupons for the local grocery store—at a time when a man with a college degree could easily land a supervisory position. Her break came when she was hired by Avon as an inventory clerk. Christina went on to a series of firsts in her career, but always made the most of the here and now—which led to the top spot at Western Union. “I never thought of what I faced as being obstacles,” Christina told me. In other words, her attitude was her altitude.

Look up, look out, look forward. The signs of hope that had once seemed as unreachable as the most distant star are suddenly within our grasp. Indeed, we can see the future—but only if we ground ourselves in this moment.

Success is measured by what you and your team accomplish towards fulfilling your strategic goals, ensuring they are aligned with the company’s vision of success.

Let’s work together on creating the tools:

  1. Develop a One-Page Strategic Plan.
  2. Set the top company priorities.
  3. Create clear, measurable objectives.
  4. Use one-on-one check-ins with your team members.
  5. Maintain an ongoing feedback loop with early corrective action and positive praise.

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.

Available to join your Board as a Certified Master 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.

Investment:

One-to-One – Individual payment: Strategic Coaching: $295 per month (weekly for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the depth of our conversation Zoom meeting).

One-to-One – Corporate payment:
i. Coaching & Leadership Development: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
ii. One-to-One Executive Coaching and Mentoring: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iii. Increasing Top Team Performance and 1:1 Mentoring Sessions: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iv. Planning New Futures for Senior Executives: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).

Team coaching:
i. Enhancing Boardroom Effectiveness & Executive Impact Group: Starting at $15,250 per annual engagement.
ii. Strategic & Operational Planning/KPI Development: Starting at $25,500 per annual engagement.
iii. Productivity Assessment & Profitability Improvement: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
iv. Sales Channel and Product Development: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
v. Energy and Sustainability Efficiency Initiatives: Starting at $18,500 per annual engagement.

Board of Directors or Board of Advisors:

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

Believe to Achieve – Why it’s critical in these times for leaders to train others to lead

Posted by Cliff Locks On February 17, 2021 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

Believe to Achieve – Why it’s critical in these times for leaders to train others to lead

Come gather ’round people

Wherever you roam …

       – Bob Dylan, The Times They Are A-Changin’

For organizations today, the times they are a-changin’ — and to make it ashore, we need to keep believin’.

Many years ago, a ship out in the middle of the ocean was rocked by a fierce storm. Everyone had to abandon ship. After countless days in a small life raft, the captain finally stood on the beach of a deserted island, surrounded by 10 other wet, cold, and scared people.

Instinctively, the captain reassured the others that they would be rescued. In the meantime, the priorities were shelter, fire, and food. People worked together in small groups—and they began to believe.

Light-after-the-Storm-300x198

The captain climbed a hill above the beach to search the horizon for signs of a rescue. Instead, the captain saw at least 10 more life rafts being carried toward the island by the tide. “We’re going to have company,” the captain called out to the others. “Soon, there will be 100 or so people on this beach—and they need our help.”

“Lucky for them, you’re here to take charge,” someone called out from the group, and many others nodded.

“No,” said the captain. “That’s not going to work. There will be too many for one person to lead directly. I need each of you to meet one life raft and help those people for the next few days until we get rescued.”

The group didn’t look happy. “How will we do that?” they asked.

“The same way I did,” the captain said. “It’s not that difficult—reassure them about their future, help them understand what needs to be done now, and be clear about their accountability within their capabilities.”

“So, what will you be doing?” another person asked.

The captain explained: “It’s my job to help each of you become the leader that your team needs.”

The captain’s fable, which was shared with me this past week by Peter O’Neill, a colleague in Europe, reminds us that there may be many life rafts approaching this year— filled with people who are in search of hope, help, and heroes—and we each must rise up and bring them ashore.

And, just as in the fable, we need the ABCs of leadership: AccountabilityBelief, and Capability.

  • Accountability. The accountability we wish to see in others starts with each of us. In other words, we must first be accountable to ourselves for our own behaviors. Believe it, say it, mean it, act it!
  • Belief. When we believe we can make a difference—that change is possible—then our actions will follow. But if we don’t believe, we won’t achieve.
  • Capability. This is a broad brush: listening, connecting, inspiring, giving and getting honest feedback, expanding networks, exploring with others, and constantly looking for opportunities to learn. It’s all about allowing belief and accountability to shine through actions.

Contributor: Gary Burnison, Korn Ferry CEO. The tide is changing—and the life rafts are coming in. They’re filled with colleagues and clients; they’re carrying family and friends. We will all be accountable for who we are—and how we show up: as partners, parents, neighbors, and citizens. Indeed, we must believe.

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.

Available to join your Board as a Certified Master 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.

Investment:

One-to-One – Individual payment: Strategic Coaching: $295 per month (weekly for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the depth of our conversation Zoom meeting).

One-to-One – Corporate payment:
i. Coaching & Leadership Development: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
ii. One-to-One Executive Coaching and Mentoring: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iii. Increasing Top Team Performance and 1:1 Mentoring Sessions: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iv. Planning New Futures for Senior Executives: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).

Team coaching:
i. Enhancing Boardroom Effectiveness & Executive Impact Group: Starting at $15,250 per annual engagement.
ii. Strategic & Operational Planning/KPI Development: Starting at $25,500 per annual engagement.
iii. Productivity Assessment & Profitability Improvement: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
iv. Sales Channel and Product Development: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
v. Energy and Sustainability Efficiency Initiatives: Starting at $18,500 per annual engagement.

Board of Directors or Board of Advisors:

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

How to be agile, adaptable, and resilient, you will not only survive—but thrive.

Posted by Cliff Locks On February 10, 2021 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

How to be agile, adaptable, and resilient, you will not only survive—but thrive.

Thrive

Contributor: Gary Burnison, Korn Ferry CEO and Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director and Executive Coach

Potential. It’s the common denominator for all of us. Yet, it will always remain a mere fraction—substantially less than one—without the numerator of opportunity.
 

“I’m going on a date tonight,” one of my daughters announced excitedly this week. “We’re having dinner together.”

Given the lockdown, I wondered how that was going to work.

“It’s by Zoom,” she told me and went on to explain they were having food simultaneously delivered.

Instantly, I was reminded of the first time I heard of internet dating sites to “meet” people and wondered how that would work. Yet, it has—different times always demand another level of adaptation.

Flash back a few weeks ago, when my family and I socialized with another family on New Year’s Day. We didn’t give a second thought to having to be outside, masked, and socially distant. But when my friend brought out a treasured vinyl LP to play some music for us, my first thought was I could do the same thing with an app on my phone. For my friend, though, the physical album was clearly a tangible part of the whole experience. In his mind, it was the only way to listen to this “classic.”

I get it—nostalgia has its attraction. For me, seeing that album took me back to my hometown record store. I can distinctly remember going there to buy a record of “Midnight Train to Georgia” by Gladys Knight & the Pips. Later, when I was in college, I’d go to Tower Records.  I’d stand in front of displays of my favorite artists, walking my fingers across stacks of albums, flipping from one cool cover to the next.

Now it’s a swipe left, swipe right world.

So many things that used to be special have become commonplace—like travel. Growing up, I’d see pictures in “old” magazines of people all dressed up to get on an airplane. Flash forward, now we’ve taken it to ultra-uber-casual.

Until we reflect, we just don’t realize how much has changed—even the little things. Pre-Covid, I used to start each day early, reading newspapers and magazines for a couple of hours. Now, I start with a walk—always with phone in hand and buds in ears, scrolling the headlines, listening to Audible books on tape, and calling to catch up with friends and clients. Then, I head back home to work, as I have over the past 10 months and counting – understanding that so many on the front lines don’t have this option. Just a year ago, all of this would have been unthinkable.

Mindset is a conscious choice—one we make every minute of every day. We need to ask ourselves: What lens are we looking through? Do we resist change? Or, do we embrace it—a chance to expand our perspectives and seek out opportunities to meet new people, learn new things, and have new experiences? Paraphrasing slightly, Aldous Huxley, the philosopher and author, observed: “Experience is not what happens to you; it is what you do with what happens to you.”

Change continually confronts us. There’s no escaping it. That’s not to say change isn’t hard at times. For many, the losses suffered recently have been very difficult, even, excruciating at times. And yet, here we are. It’s good to remind ourselves just how far we’ve come—and how resilient we can be.

With change comes an abundance of opportunity. And that’s how we actually exceed potential. Here are some thoughts:

  • Take a bow. We don’t give ourselves enough credit. We’ve adapted more in the past few months, and at a faster pace, than we have in years. Yet, we’ve been moving so fast, we probably don’t understand, recognize, or appreciate how much has changed in every aspect of our lives. Frustrating and exhausting at times—yes, but also an accomplishment we can all be proud of. The fact is humans are wired to be agile and adaptable. As Charles Darwin observed: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, it is the one that is most adaptable to change.” Having proved just how agile, adaptable, and resilient we are, we know we will not only survive—but thrive. And that’s a very good thing—because in the next two years, we will see more change than we have in the past ten. What that will entail exactly may not be clear just yet. But make no mistake—the seeds of seismic change have been planted.
  • “Comparison is the thief of joy.” These wise words from President Theodore Roosevelt remind us of the danger of measuring today against the nostalgia of yesterday or some idealized vision of tomorrow. It’s a formula for disappointment. We learned this in the early days of the pandemic when we longed for the “normal” of what used to be and tried futilely to replicate it. As Evelyn Orr, Chief Operating Officer of the Korn Ferry Institute, shared, “The more we let go of the past, the more we greet the new. Instead of trying to meet some previous standard, we can create new experiences that are not diminished by comparisons to what we used to do.” As such, that object in the mirror—the one that’s “closer than it appears”—will never pass us by.
  • Appreciating relief, respecting loss. We need to be honest with ourselves: change stirs a multitude of emotions. Even a positive experience—a new job, a new relationship, moving to a new home—is stressful. Rather than judging our experiences as “good” or “bad,” we must simply acknowledge what we’re feeling. For example, people who used to deal with the grind of near-constant business travel might feel relief now that they’re home every day. At the same time, they probably also feel loss over not being able to travel to different places. “Relief and loss are two sides of the exact same coin. We hope that change brings relief, just as we fear loss will come with it, the suggestion is to embrace change.
  • Fail fast, learn faster. The pandemic has made novices of us all. It’s made us humble, which should lead to self-awareness and, ultimately, to learning. But where there’s learning there will be challenges and even failure, especially at the beginning. That’s why, over the years, I’ve encouraged colleagues to “fail fast, fail often”—because if we’re not failing, we’re not learning. Indeed, the only real failure is failing to fail! We should always be a “new beginner” at something. To make the learning process faster and more successful, use an experienced executive coach, to help guide your path forward.

 

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.

Available to join your Board as a Certified Master 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.

Investment:

One-to-One – Individual payment: Strategic Coaching: $295 per month (weekly for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the depth of our conversation Zoom meeting).

One-to-One – Corporate payment:
i. Coaching & Leadership Development: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
ii. One-to-One Executive Coaching and Mentoring: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iii. Increasing Top Team Performance and 1:1 Mentoring Sessions: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iv. Planning New Futures for Senior Executives: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).

Team coaching:
i. Enhancing Boardroom Effectiveness & Executive Impact Group: Starting at $15,250 per annual engagement.
ii. Strategic & Operational Planning/KPI Development: Starting at $25,500 per annual engagement.
iii. Productivity Assessment & Profitability Improvement: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
iv. Sales Channel and Product Development: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
v. Energy and Sustainability Efficiency Initiatives: Starting at $18,500 per annual engagement.

Board of Directors or Board of Advisors:

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

The entire social media marketing market will vanish, hard to believe as Google’s ad campaign revenue totaled $135 billion, while Facebook’s reached nearly $70 billion. Taken together, this is roughly 35% of all global advertising expenditures.

Posted by Cliff Locks On February 3, 2021 at 10:07 am / In: Uncategorized

The entire social media marketing market will vanish, hard to believe as Google’s ad campaign revenue totaled $135 billion, while Facebook’s reached nearly $70 billion. Taken together, this is roughly 35% of all global advertising expenditures.

Today, just a few decades after the arrival of the internet, Google and Facebook together command more advertising dollars than all print media on the planet. Google-and-Facebook-300x169

In 2019, Google’s ad campaign revenue totaled $135 billion, while Facebook’s reached nearly $70 billion. Taken together, this is roughly 35% of all global advertising expenditure.

Fueled by open source e-commerce platforms, mobile devices, and advances in online payment infrastructure, social media marketing has replaced virtually the entire traditional advertising industry. That took fewer than fifteen years.

And the numbers are huge. In 2019, the global advertising industry reached nearly $600 billion, driving Google’s valuation to $1 trillion and Facebook’s above $600 billion.

All this value is fueled by our searches: our likes and dislikes, what we desire, who our friends are, and what we (and they) are clicking on.

But with a blitzkrieg of technologies converging on the industry, advertising will continue to change. First, it’s likely to get a little more invasive and a lot more personal. Yet this won’t last, per contributor: Peter Diamandis, Founder, X Prize Foundation and Chairman of Singularity University. Not long after, the entire social media marketing market will vanish.

How long will that take? We give it ten to twelve years.

Let’s dive in…

Advertising in Our Virtually Enhanced World

Because of the convergence of high-bandwidth 5G connectivity, augmented reality eyewear, our emerging trillion-sensor economy, and powerful AI, we have gained the ability to superimpose digital information atop physical environments—freeing advertising from the tyranny of the screen.

Imagine stepping into a future Apple Store. When you approach the iPhone display, a full-sized AR avatar of Steve Jobs materializes to give you a tour of the product’s latest features. Avatar Jobs is a little too much, so with nothing more than a voice command, he’s replaced with floating text—and a list of phone features hovers in the air in front of you. After you’ve made your selection, eschewing the iPhone for a new pair of AR iGlasses, another voice command is all it takes to execute a smart contract.

Next, glasses on, you head over to a friend’s house. While chatting in her kitchen, you gaze at her new cabinets. Sensors in the glasses track eye motion, so your AI knows your focus has been lingering.

Via your search history, it also knows you’ve been considering remodeling your kitchen. Because your smart recommendation preferences are turned on, cabinet prices, design, and color choices fill your field of vision. It’s a new form of advertising: either an extension of frictionless shopping, or a novel type of spam.

The early version of this reality is already here. Known as “visual search,” the feature is currently available from a range of companies.

For example, a partnership between Snapchat and Amazon, called Visual Search, allows you to point their app-camera at an object, then get a link showing either the product itself or something similar, available for purchase.

Pinterest, meanwhile, has a multitude of visual search tools, such as Shop the Look, which uses machine learning to “dot” every object in a photo. Like the couch? Click the dot. The site will find you similar products for sale. Or take Lens, their real-time visual search tool. Point the app-camera at a scene and the app will generate links to all the products in that scene.

Google takes this one step further. Released in 2017, their Google Lens app is a general visual search engine. It does more than just identify products for sale—it decodes an entire landscape. You can learn anything you want: the botanical breakdown of the plants in a flowerbed, the breeds of dogs romping through a park, the history of the buildings lining a city street.

And IKEA has taken things the farthest. By using their AR app via smartphone, you can map your living room into a digital version with exact dimensions. Need a new coffee table? Their technology lets you try out different styles and sizes. It will even allow you now to preview multiple pieces of furniture at once. Your choice triggers a smart payment, and just like that, an Ikea customized coffee table is delivered at your doorstep. Need help assembling? Their AR app can walk you through it step-by-step.

All this visual search competition has kicked development into overdrive, spiking consumer adoption rates as well. As more people use these systems, more data is fed back to the AI running them. By fall of 2018, this feedback loop had pushed visual searches above a billion queries a month.

Pretty much every global brand is preparing for a world of “point, shoot, and shop.” But it could get even creepier. 

Hyper-Personalized Advertising

You’ve been spotted. You’re just out for a casual stroll through a department store, and their facial recognition system has you in its sights. Your AR glasses light up: “Hi Sarah, great to see you. . .”

You forgot to change your preferences to “Do Not Disturb.” A microsecond later, the store’s TV monitors continue the assault.

Maybe it’s a hologram or the President of the United States calling out your name, “Sarah, just one second. Your pores are a matter of national security. I want to tell you that your genome sequence matches a new line of L’Oréal skincare products.”

When you don’t respond to POTUS, the AI switches tactics. Now it’s Mom. You flinch, involuntarily. Her voice is deeply imprinted on your brain. But you know better, and just keep walking.

Sometimes it’s your favorite movie stars (based on data from your Netflix account), or your favorite sports star (based on internet searches).

Does this sound like a far-off fantasy? Guess again.

The Age of Jarvis & The End of Advertising Itself

From the Mad Men of old to the Madder Men of today, the purpose of advertising hasn’t changed: to sell you stuff. So ads extol benefits: Buy X because it’ll make you Y—sexy, successful, shiny, whatever.

But what happens when you are no longer the one making the buying decisions? That’s when Shopping JARVIS comes to the rescue.

Imagine a future when you simply say: “Hey JARVIS, buy me some toothpaste.”

Does JARVIS watch TV? Did he happen to catch those late-night ads filled with bright-white smiles? Of course not.

In a nanosecond, JARVIS considers the molecular formulations of all available options, their cost, the research that supports their teeth-whitening claims, published client-satisfaction reports, and evaluates your genome to determine the flavor formulation most likely to tingle your taste buds. Then it makes a purchase.

Taking it a step further, in the future, you’ll never actually have to order toothpaste. JARVIS will be monitoring your supply of regularly consumed items—from coffee, tea, and almond milk to toothpaste, deodorant, and all the rest—and will order supplies before you realize what needs restocking.

How about purchasing something new? That drone your son wants for his birthday? Just specify functionality. “Hey JARVIS, could you buy me a drone for under $100 that is easy to fly and takes great photos?”

What about fashion decisions? Will we trust our AIs to choose our clothes? Seems unlikely, until you consider that AIs can track eye movement as we window-shop, listen to our daily conversations to understand our likes and dislikes, and scan our social feeds to understand our fashion preferences as well as those of our friends. With that level of detail, Fashion JARVIS will do a pretty accurate job of selecting our clothing—no advertising required.

Final Thoughts

In the next decade, expect advertising to get far more personalized—learning from an explosion of layered data and expanding into new surfaces of our digitally superimposed world.

Next, we’ll be heading toward a future in which AI will take over the majority of our buying decisions, continually surprising us with products and services we didn’t even know we wanted.

Or, if surprise isn’t your thing, just turn that feature off and opt for boring and staid. Either way, it’s a shift that threatens traditional advertisers, while offering considerable benefits to the consumer.

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.

Available to join your Board as a Certified Master 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.

Investment:

One-to-One – Individual payment: Strategic Coaching: $295 per month (weekly for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the depth of our conversation Zoom meeting).

One-to-One – Corporate payment:
i. Coaching & Leadership Development: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
ii. One-to-One Executive Coaching and Mentoring: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iii. Increasing Top Team Performance and 1:1 Mentoring Sessions: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iv. Planning New Futures for Senior Executives: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).

Team coaching:
i. Enhancing Boardroom Effectiveness & Executive Impact Group: Starting at $15,250 per annual engagement.
ii. Strategic & Operational Planning/KPI Development: Starting at $25,500 per annual engagement.
iii. Productivity Assessment & Profitability Improvement: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
iv. Sales Channel and Product Development: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
v. Energy and Sustainability Efficiency Initiatives: Starting at $18,500 per annual engagement.

Board of Directors or Board of Advisors:

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

Building a Better Board/CEO Partnership: How Boards Can Find the Right Balance

Posted by Cliff Locks On January 27, 2021 at 10:08 am / In: Uncategorized

Building a Better Board/CEO Partnership: How Boards Can Find the Right Balance

The COVID-19 health crisis and accompanying business disruption require boards and CEOs to chart a near-term response and develop a longer-term strategy for accelerating out of the downturn and winning in a post-COVID world. How well a company emerges from the crisis will have much to do with the ability of the board and CEO to align on a future direction and work effectively together on the plan.

 

Board of Directors

Contributors: George Anderson, Claudius Hildebrand, Robert Stark, at Spencer Stuart and Cliff Locks at Investment Capital Growth

 

The crisis only heightens the inherent tension between the board’s responsibility to serve as a supportive partner to the CEO and to hold the CEO accountable for performance. Managing the tension between the two is a difficult balancing act. Boards can be too complacent — ceding too much responsibility for strategy and performance to the CEO — or over-involved, hyper-focused on measures of short-term performance or pushing for too-frequent changes in strategy.

CEOs frequently report feeling isolated and under-supported by their boards. All too often, a relationship with a particular director is the thread that holds things together along with the use of a trusted executive confidant, like Cliff Locks. And with fewer experienced CEOs serving on boards today, sitting CEOs are less likely to have a peer who truly understands what they are dealing with. How can boards strike the right balance between support and accountability so that they work more effectively with the CEO on long-term value creation?

 Spencer Stuart’s research into the CEO Life Cycle — a rigorous analysis of performance data for 750 S&P 500 CEOs, including more than 7,000 data points and interviews with more than 50 CEOs and board directors — shows that boards have a significant impact in shaping company and CEO performance when they encourage transparency and collaboration. Equally, CEOs need to establish and maintain trust by sharing information and engaging the board in meaningful dialogue, so that directors feel like they have sufficient opportunities to share their views and support the CEO. The CEO Life Cycle reveals the importance of the board’s support of the CEO at key moments, including investing time in the new CEO’s transition, creating alignment around realistic expectations throughout the CEO’s tenure, committing to the kind of reinvention and renewal required for future growth, and overseeing a robust, forward-looking succession process.

The CEO Life Cycle

Support the CEO’s transition

CEO selection marks the start — not the end — of a CEO transition. After a long succession process, boards tend to celebrate the wisdom of their decision and move on to the next thing, leaving the transition in the CEO’s hands.

 Spencer Stuart’s research found that when boards and CEOs invested in building trust early, CEOs were less likely to experience a deep Sophomore Slump and were less likely to be ousted. Boards can help set the tone early by expressing their preferences on the ideal cadence and style of communication, the use of meeting time and their role in developing strategy.

“We want to be more engaged in building that strategy, and make sure that we are all owning that together.”

“We have told [the new CEO] that unlike the past, we do not want the CEO to bring to us a fully baked strategy. We want the CEO to bring us ideas. We want to be more engaged in building that strategy, and make sure that we are all owning it together,” one director told us. When the board views itself as a partner in developing strategy, it can help build trust with the CEO. “We’re all in this together. If we determine we’ve made the wrong decision, we’ve made it together. He’s not going to be out there on the limb by himself. That’s a change in tone from how we’ve operated in the past.”

It’s also important to begin building the personal relationships that will sustain the partnership over time. CEOs can feel unsupported when directors don’t seem to fully understand how difficult some big initiatives are to execute. Wise CEOs strive to develop one-to-one relationships with individual directors outside of the boardroom to seek advice and feedback on ideas, and this builds trust over time. Directors can encourage these interactions by hosting informal dinners and activities and making time to meet with the CEO one on one, even when it seems more efficient to plan small group gatherings. One CEO who commits to meeting with directors when traveling learned that meeting even with two directors at a time changes the dynamic significantly and is much less valuable for relationship-building.

Align on realistic expectations

Unrealistic and misaligned expectations are often at the root of adversarial board and CEO relationships. Every CEO journey is unique, but the CEO Life Cycle framework can help the board and CEO understand where they are and what may lie ahead, enabling them to discuss potential risks and opportunities at each stage. With less ambiguity, boards and CEOs can view performance in terms of the larger context and avoid overreacting in moments of doubt or tolerating mediocrity for too long.

 Spencer Stuart’s research found that when CEOs and boards worked to stay aligned, they were more likely to create the conditions for driving long-term change and insulating the management team from unnecessary short-term pressure. During the Sophomore Slump period, for example, most CEOs experience a decline in performance. “In the second year reality often sets in. You’ve already taken advantage of the best opportunities and now have to refine plans and reassess your team,” explained one former CEO. How the CEO responds during this period and the support the board provides can set the stage for high performance or under performance in the succeeding years. “Either you survive,” the director said, or the board determines that “The CEO’s not working.”

Boards have an ongoing responsibility to monitor performance and recognize when it’s time to support, challenge or change the CEO. Amid a major strategic initiative with a longer-term payoff for the business, CEOs are looking for support. “It’s during those really difficult time periods, that’s when good companies have a solid and supportive board for the CEO.” But boards also need to be alert to changes in the CEO’s motivation or energy that could signal a need for a change. “When an individual has been in a role for five, six, seven years, they either get a little tired or they are ambitious and want to do more,” observed one director.

Boards can make sure they use their time with the CEO to check on progress and maintain alignment. A natural time for these conversations is the formal executive session. Reserving that time for a substantive, but intimate discussion of the issues that are on the CEO’s mind can help build a trusting environment and reinforce their mutual responsibilities. “It’s very important that the board handle that in an appropriate way. The board has to be open and appropriately supportive, surrounding the CEO with the resources needed to do what they need to do be successful.”

Boards can make sure they use their time with the CEO to check on progress and maintain alignment. A natural time for these conversations is the formal executive session.

Commit to ongoing renewal and change

A protective mindset can emerge when the strategy is working great and the team is humming. “There’s a tendency to think if the results are all right, the CEO’s doing a good job. Boards must be far more thoughtful about what’s around the corner and whether the CEO can meet those challenges,” one director told us. It is in the late stages of a tailwind period — rather than during headwind periods — when CEOs have freedom to adjust or place new bets on the future. As one board member explained, “By the time you smell the fire in the boardroom, it is often too late.”

Spencer Stuart’s research found that CEOs who are successful over the long term learn to reinvent themselves and their companies at a pace that is as fast as the world is changing, and boards of these companies expect and support reinvention. These leaders were more likely to reinvent their approach to leadership, transform the organization and think in terms of long-term impact or purpose, resisting complacency and incremental thinking.

It’s not just the CEO who has to guard against complacency and seek renewal. Boards also can get comfortable with solid performance and incremental change and stop pressing for the kind of reinvention and bold moves companies need to thrive today. “The world is moving in a certain place, and that’s what we have to compete against — not just our peers.” Boards will be in a better position to ask the right questions for the future when they have the right mix of expertise in the boardroom. “You actually have those discussions in the boardroom. The whole water level starts to go up a little bit.”

Directors also can fight complacency by finding opportunities for ongoing learning. These could include factory visits, meetings with customers or experts, or spending a day with management, which can help directors stay close to the business and understand the pace and intensity of the challenges facing the company, beyond what directors would hear in a boardroom discussion.

It’s not just the CEO who has to guard against complacency and seek renewal. Boards also can get comfortable with solid performance and incremental change and stop pressing for the kind of reinvention and bold moves companies need to thrive today.

Plan for CEO succession

CEO succession planning “is one of the biggest stumbling blocks for many who would otherwise be perceived as great CEOs,” one CEO told us. Ultimately, a CEO won’t be considered great if “at the end of the day, they didn’t instill the confidence in that shareholder base that the person taking their place is going to be able to follow their performance.” A PwC study found a much higher risk that successors of long-serving, high-performing CEOs will significantly under perform and be forced out of office. Our research found that the risk of failure was significantly lower when boards were actively involved in succession planning and the successor’s development.

The risks for boards neglecting succession planning are great. Transitioning CEOs is one of the hardest things a board has to do, and it’s even harder for boards to confront when performance is middling — when there is no burning platform for change. “There’s nothing really forcing you to do it,” said one director, describing the conundrum for boards.

Some CEOs are more willing than others to examine their own performance and motivation. Said one, “I was losing a little bit of my energy. I always say you need to step down when you can’t put on the uniform the way you used to.” But it’s up to the board to ensure that it has regular conversations about long-term value creation and the CEO’s time horizon. Understanding the natural headwinds and tailwinds CEOs will face during their tenure, the board should lead frank conversations about whether or not the CEO has the energy and ability to renew the strategy and organization to unlock value or the company’s next phase.

In addition to these conversations with the CEO, the board should actively manage a succession planning process that’s based on a forward-looking strategy for the company, which will shape the criteria for the next CEO. The process also should include thorough and thoughtful assessments of internal candidates with the goal of helping them get ready for the role within a certain time frame. Directors should get to know members of senior leadership in formal and informal settings.

The lead independent director, in particular, has to be a close partner to the CEO, setting the right expectations and tone from the beginning, closing the loop on questions and board feedback, and checking in periodically. Cliff Locks is available to be your lead independent director.

Embedding renewal in board processes

As part of their annual self-assessment, boards typically consider questions about the relationship between the board and CEO: How effective is the relationship? Does the board strike the right balance between its monitoring role and its advising role? Where does the board add value in the relationship? Where does the board misstep or struggle in that relationship? Our research suggests that boards should go further, not only asking about how effective the relationship is, but also how they can best support the CEO given where he or she is in the CEO Life Cycle.

For many boards, the compensation committee or nominating/governance committee can take the lead in CEO development and ensuring the CEO has the necessary support. An increasing number of compensation committees are expanding their mandate to include leadership development — sometimes changing their name to “management development and compensation committee” to reflect the broader mandate. Those that do are likely to consider a range of people issues, including leadership development, succession planning, CEO tenure and where the CEO is in the Life Cycle. Ideally, these conversations would happen a couple times a year to ensure the board and CEO are partnering on development.

While all directors should build a one-to-one relationship with the CEO early in his or her tenure, certain board leaders are better placed to facilitate board/CEO communication. The lead independent director, in particular, has to be a close partner to the CEO, setting the right expectations and tone from the beginning, closing the loop on questions and board feedback, and checking in periodically. Ideally, this relationship is one of transparency and mutual understanding about what excites and worries the other about leading the organization forward. During our interviews, CEOs and directors often expressed how frameworks like the CEO Life Cycle can help initiate a dialogue and chart a new approach to working together.

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.

Available to join your Board as a Certified Master 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.

Investment:

One-to-One – Individual payment: Strategic Coaching: $295 per month (weekly for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the depth of our conversation Zoom meeting).

One-to-One – Corporate payment:
i. Coaching & Leadership Development: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
ii. One-to-One Executive Coaching and Mentoring: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iii. Increasing Top Team Performance and 1:1 Mentoring Sessions: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iv. Planning New Futures for Senior Executives: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).

Team coaching:
i. Enhancing Boardroom Effectiveness & Executive Impact Group: Starting at $15,250 per annual engagement.
ii. Strategic & Operational Planning/KPI Development: Starting at $25,500 per annual engagement.
iii. Productivity Assessment & Profitability Improvement: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
iv. Sales Channel and Product Development: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
v. Energy and Sustainability Efficiency Initiatives: Starting at $18,500 per annual engagement.

Board of Directors or Board of Advisors:

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

Getting you up to speed for exponential change – Think BIG!

Posted by Cliff Locks On January 20, 2021 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

Getting you up to speed for exponential change – Think BIG!

Highly successful people practice exponential thinking and you can too. Exponential business models aren’t designed to create a better company or product. They’re used to create a vastly different company or product. Think Amazon and Uber. Exponential technologies shape every aspect of our lives. These technologies include artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), data science, digital biology, making hydrogen directly from sea water, digital fabrication, robotics, and autonomous vehicles.

Exponential Change

Contributors: Peter Diamandis and Cliff Locks [Note: This article incorporates  excerpts from Peter Diamandis book The Future Is Faster Than You Think, co-authored with Steven Kotler.]

What’s faster than autonomous vehicles and flying cars?

Try Hyperloop, rocket travel, and robotic avatars. Hyperloop is currently working towards 670 mph (1080 kph) passenger pods, capable of zipping us from Los Angeles to downtown Las Vegas in under 30 minutes. Rocket Travel (think SpaceX’s Starship) promises to deliver you almost anywhere on the planet in under an hour. Think New York to Shanghai in 39 minutes.

But wait, it gets even better…

As 5G connectivity, hyper-realistic virtual reality, and next-gen robotics continue their exponential progress, the emergence of “robotic avatars” will all but nullify the concept of distance, replacing human travel with immediate remote telepresence.

Let’s dive in.

Hyperloop One: LA to SF in 35 Minutes

Did you know that Hyperloop was the brainchild of Elon Musk? Just one in a series of transportation innovations from a man determined to leave his mark on the industry.

In 2013, in an attempt to shorten the long commute between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the California state legislature proposed a $68 billion budget allocation for what appeared to be the slowest and most expensive bullet train in history.

Musk was outraged. The cost was too high, the train too sluggish. Teaming up with a group of engineers from Tesla and SpaceX, he published a 58-page concept paper for “The Hyperloop,” a high-speed transportation network that used magnetic levitation to propel passenger pods down vacuum tubes at speeds of up to 670 mph. If successful, it would zip you across California in 35 minutes—just enough time to watch your favorite sitcom.

In January 2013, venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar, with Musk’s blessing, started Hyperloop One with myself, Jim Messina (former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for President Obama), and tech entrepreneurs Joe Lonsdale and David Sacks as founding board members. A couple of years after that, the Virgin Group invested in this idea, Richard Branson was elected chairman, and Virgin Hyperloop One was born.

“The Hyperloop exists,” says Josh Giegel, co-founder and chief technology officer of Hyperloop One, “because of the rapid acceleration of power electronics, computational modeling, material sciences, and 3D printing.”

Thanks to these convergences, there are now ten major Hyperloop One projects—in various stages of development—spread across the globe. Chicago to DC in 35 minutes. Pune to Mumbai in 25 minutes. According to Giegel, “Hyperloop is targeting certification in 2023. By 2025, the company plans to have multiple projects under construction and running initial passenger testing.”

So think about this timetable: Autonomous car rollouts by 2020. Hyperloop certification and aerial ridesharing by 2023. By 2025—going on vacation might have a totally different meaning. Going to work most definitely will.

But what’s faster than Hyperloop?

Rocket Travel

As if autonomous vehicles, flying cars, and Hyperloop weren’t enough, in September of 2017, speaking at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia, Musk promised that for the price of an economy airline ticket, his rockets will fly you “anywhere on Earth in under an hour.”

Musk wants to use SpaceX’s megarocket, Starship, which was designed to take humans to Mars, for terrestrial passenger delivery. The Starship travels at 17,500 mph. It’s an order of magnitude faster than the supersonic jet Concorde.

Think about what this actually means: New York to Shanghai in 39 minutes. London to Dubai in 29 minutes. Hong Kong to Singapore in 22 minutes.

So how real is the Starship?

“We could probably demonstrate this [technology] in three years,” Musk explained, “but it’s going to take a while to get the safety right. It’s a high bar. Aviation is incredibly safe. You’re safer on an airplane than you are at home.”

That demonstration is proceeding as planned. In September 2017, Musk announced his intentions to retire his current rocket fleet, both the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, and replace them with the Starships in the 2020s.

Less than a year later, LA mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted that SpaceX was planning to break ground on an 18-acre rocket production facility near the port of Los Angeles. And April of this year marked an even bigger milestone: the very first test flights of the rocket.

Thus, sometime in the next decade or so, “off to Europe for lunch” may become a standard part of our lexicon.

Avatars

Wait, wait, there’s one more thing.

While the technologies we’ve discussed will decimate the traditional transportation industry, there’s something on the horizon that will disrupt travel itself. What if, to get from A to B, you didn’t have to move your body? What if you could quote Captain Kirk and just say “Beam me up, Scotty”?

Well, shy of the Star Trek transporter, there’s the world of avatars.

An avatar is a second self, typically in one of two forms. The digital version has been around for a couple of decades. It emerged from the video game industry and was popularized by virtual world sites like Second Life and books-turned-blockbusters like Ready Player One.

A VR headset teleports your eyes and ears to another location, while a set of haptic sensors shifts your sense of touch. Suddenly, you’re inside an avatar inside a virtual world. As you move in the real world, your avatar moves in the virtual.

Use this technology to give a lecture and you can do it from the comfort of your living room, skipping the trip to the airport, the cross-country flight, and the ride to the conference center.

Robots are the second form of avatars. Imagine a humanoid robot that you can occupy at will. Maybe, in a city far from home, you’ve rented the bot by the minute—via a different kind of ridesharing company—or maybe you have spare robot avatars located around the country.

Either way, put on VR goggles and a haptic suit, and you can teleport your senses into that robot. This allows you to walk around, shake hands, and take action—all without leaving your home.

And like the rest of the tech we’ve been talking about, even this future isn’t far away.

In 2018, entrepreneur Dr. Harry Kloor recommended to All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan’s largest airline, the design of an Avatar XPRIZE. ANA then funded this vision to the tune of $10 million to speed the development of robotic avatars. Why? Because ANA knows this is one of the technologies likely to disrupt their own airline industry, and they want to be ready.

ANA recently announced its “newme” robot that humans can use to virtually explore new places. The colorful robots have Roomba-like wheeled bases and cameras mounted around eye-level, which capture surroundings viewable through VR headsets.

If the robot was stationed in your parents’ home, you could cruise around the rooms and chat with your family at any time of day. After revealing the technology at Tokyo’s Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies in October, ANA plans to deploy 1,000 newme robots by 2020.

With virtual avatars like newme, geography, distance, and cost will no longer limit our travel choices. From attractions like the Eiffel Tower or the pyramids of Egypt to unreachable destinations like the moon or deep sea, we will be able to transcend our own physical limits, explore the world and outer space, and access nearly any experience imaginable.

Final Thoughts

Individual car ownership has enjoyed over a century of ascendancy and dominance.

The first real threat it faced—today’s ride-sharing model—only showed up in the last decade. But that ridesharing model won’t even get ten years to dominate. Already, it’s on the brink of autonomous car displacement, which is on the brink of flying car disruption, which is on the brink of Hyperloop and rockets-to-anywhere decimation. Plus, avatars.

The most important part: All of this change will happen over the next ten years. Welcome to a future of human presence where the only constant is rapid change.

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.

Available to join your Board as a Certified Master Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

* (Pricing is shown at the bottom of this blog post)

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.

* Investment:

One-to-One – Individual payment: Strategic Coaching: $295 per month (weekly for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the depth of our conversation Zoom meeting).

One-to-One – Corporate payment:
i. Coaching & Leadership Development: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
ii. One-to-One Executive Coaching and Mentoring: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iii. Increasing Top Team Performance and 1:1 Mentoring Sessions: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iv. Planning New Futures for Senior Executives: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).

Team coaching:
i. Enhancing Boardroom Effectiveness & Executive Impact Group: Starting at $15,250 per annual engagement.
ii. Strategic & Operational Planning/KPI Development: Starting at $25,500 per annual engagement.
iii. Productivity Assessment & Profitability Improvement: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
iv. Sales Channel and Product Development: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
v. Energy and Sustainability Efficiency Initiatives: Starting at $18,500 per annual engagement.

Board of Directors or Board of Advisors:

 

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

What’s coming in retail is astounding, a transformation of shopping on every dimension

Posted by Cliff Locks On January 13, 2021 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

What’s coming in retail is astounding, a transformation of shopping on every dimension

AI and broadband were already eating retail for breakfast. In the first half of 2019, we saw 19 retailer bankruptcies. And with the COVID-19 pandemic, the retail apocalypse is only accelerating.

S&P Global Market Intelligence has now tallied over 49 bankruptcies in 2020, the highest in over a decade.

What’s coming in this retail era is astounding, per contributor Peter Diamandis.

Shopping Transformation

For example, why drive when you can speak? Revenue from products purchased via voice commands is expected to quadruple from roughly US$2 billion today to more than US$8 billion by 2023.

VR, AR and 3D Printing are converging with AI, drones and 5G to transform shopping on every dimension. And as a result, shopping is becoming dematerialized, demonetized, democratized, and delocalized… a top-to-bottom transformation of the retail world.

In today’s blog, we’ll discuss the future of retail, including a deep-dive into AI and its far-reaching implications for the industry.

Let’s dive in…

A Day in the Life of 2029

Welcome to April 21, 2029, a sunny day in Dallas. You’ve got a fundraising luncheon tomorrow, but nothing to wear. The last thing you want to do is spend the day at the mall. No sweat. Your body image data is still current, as you were scanned only a week ago. Put on your VR headset and have a conversation with your AI. “It’s time to buy a dress for tomorrow’s event” is all you have to say. In a moment, you’re teleported to a virtual clothing store. Zero travel time. No freeway traffic, parking hassles, or angry hordes wielding baby strollers. Instead, you’ve entered your own personal clothing store. Everything is in your exact size… And I mean everything. The store has access to nearly every designer and style on the planet. Ask your AI to show you what’s hot in Shanghai, and presto—instant fashion show. Every model strutting down the runway looks exactly like you, only dressed in Shanghai’s latest. When you’re done selecting an outfit, your AI pays the bill. And as your new clothes are being 3D-printed at a warehouse—before speeding your way via drone delivery—a digital version has been added to your personal inventory for use at future virtual events. The cost? Thanks to an era of no middlemen, less than half of what you pay in stores today. Yet this future is not all that far off…

Digital Assistants

Let’s begin with the basics: the act of turning desire into purchase. Most of us navigate shopping malls or online marketplaces alone, hoping to stumble across the right item and fit. But if you’re lucky enough to employ a personal assistant, you have the luxury of describing what you want to someone who knows you well enough to buy that exact right thing most of the time. For most of us who don’t, enter the digital assistant. Right now, the four horsemen of the retail apocalypse are waging war for our wallets. Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant, Apple’s Siri, and Alibaba’s Tmall Genie are going head-to-head in a battle to become the platform du jour for voice-activated, AI-assisted commerce. For baby boomers who grew up watching Captain Kirk talk to the Enterprise’s computer on Star Trek, digital assistants seem a little like science fiction. But for millennials, it’s just the next logical step in a world that is auto-magical. And as those millennials enter their consumer prime, revenue from products purchased via voice-driven commands is projected to leap to US$8 billion by 2023. We are already seeing a major change in purchasing habits. On average, consumers using Amazon Echo spent more than standard Amazon Prime customers: US$1,700 versus US$1,300. And as far as an AI fashion advisor goes, those too are here, courtesy of both Alibaba and Amazon. During its annual Singles’ Day (November 11) shopping festival, Alibaba’s FashionAI concept store uses deep learning to make suggestions based on advice from human fashion experts and store inventory, driving a significant portion of the day’s US$75 billion in sales. Similarly, Amazon’s shopping algorithm makes personalized clothing recommendations based on user preferences and social media behavior.

Customer Service

But AI is disrupting more than just personalized fashion and e-commerce. Its next big break will take place in the customer service arena. According to a recent Zendesk study, good customer service increases the possibility of a purchase by 42%, while bad customer service translates into a 52% chance of losing that sale forever. This means more than half of us will stop shopping at a store due to a single disappointing customer service interaction. These are significant financial stakes. They’re also problems perfectly suited for an AI solution. During the 2018 Google I/O conference, CEO Sundar Pichai demoed the Google Duplex, their next generation digital assistant. Pichai played the audience a series of pre-recorded phone calls made by Google Duplex. The first call made a reservation at a restaurant, the second one booked a haircut appointment, amusing the audience with a long “hmmm” mid-call. In neither case did the person on the other end of the phone have any idea they were talking to an AI. The system’s success speaks to how seamlessly AI can blend into our retail lives and how convenient it will continue to make them. The same technology Pichai demonstrated that can make phone calls for consumers can also answer phones for retailers—a development that’s unfolding in two different ways: (1) Customer service coaches: First, for organizations interested in keeping humans involved there’s Cogito, a startup founded by MIT alumni that has built an AI customer service coach. Based on the founders’ own research at MIT, the company can analyze customer voice intonation, using it to tell whether the person on the phone is about to blow a gasket, is genuinely excited, or anything in between. The AI then delivers behavior recommendations or “nudges” to facilitate more productive interactions. Cogito has been used in more than three dozen call centers, helping human sales agents understand and react to customer emotions, ultimately making those calls more pleasant and more profitable. For example, managers at insurance giant MetLife say that the program has improved customer satisfaction by 13%. It also helped agents, who take an average of 700 calls a week, become more efficient. One employee remarked that Cogito helped her cut her average call time nearly in half. (2) Replacing customer service agents: Second, companies like New Zealand’s Soul Machines (which raised $40 million earlier this year) are working to replace human customer service agents altogether. Powered by IBM’s Watson, Soul Machines builds lifelike customer service avatars designed for empathy, making them one of many helping to pioneer the field of emotionally intelligent computing. With their technology, 40% of all customer service interactions are now resolved with a high degree of satisfaction, no human intervention needed. And because the system is built using neural nets, it’s continuously learning from every interaction—meaning that percentage will continue to improve. The number of these interactions continues to grow as well. Soul Machines’ customers include Google, Sony, the Royal Bank of Scotland, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Autodesk, and Procter & Gamble, among others. And customers continue to prefer AIs over humans. More than 81% of customers say that they would chat with the company’s avatars again. And nearly 90% say they achieved their goals through engaging with the avatars. For Daimler Financial Services, Soul Machines built an avatar named Sarah, who helps customers with arguably three of modernity’s most annoying tasks: financing, leasing, and insuring a car. This isn’t just about AI—it’s about AI converging with additional exponentials. Add networks and sensors to the story and it raises the scale of disruption, upping the FQ—the frictionless quotient—in our frictionless shopping adventure.

Final Thoughts

AI makes retail cheaper, faster, and more efficient, touching everything from customer service to product delivery. It also redefines the shopping experience, making it frictionless and—once we allow AI to make purchases for us—ultimately invisible. Prepare for a future in which shopping is dematerialized, demonetized, democratized, and delocalized—otherwise known as “the end of malls.” Of course, if you wait a few more years, you’ll be able to take an autonomous flying taxi to Westfield’s Destination 2028—so perhaps today’s converging exponentials are not so much spelling the end of malls, but rather the beginning of an experience economy far smarter, more immersive and whimsically imaginative than today’s shopping centers. Either way, it’s a top-to-bottom transformation of the retail world.

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 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

A New Year’s resolution to help your team to flourish

Posted by Cliff Locks On January 6, 2021 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

A New Year’s resolution to help your team to flourish

The ripple of empathetic leadership that spread across organizations last year needs to become a tidal wave in 2021.

Our mantra for the New Year—whether we lead a team of 5, 5,000 or 50,000—should be the relentless pursuit of providing opportunity, mentoring and sponsoring others. Opportunity is the gateway for each of us to discover our potential.  

Leadership is all about inspiring others to believe and enabling that belief to become reality. However, this requires a shift in mindset because, unfortunately, it’s simply not human nature for most people to focus first on developing others. Yet, indeed, that’s exactly what we need to do.

Leadership

Contributing writer: Gary Burnison, CEO Korn Ferry and Cliff Locks, Managing Director of ICG

Ken Blanchard, the leadership guru with whom I’ve had great discussions, often tells a story about his early days as a college professor. His approach was radical. On the first day of class, he gave his students the answers to the final exam. Ken often found himself in trouble with other faculty members, but he defended his decision by explaining his main job was to teach students the content they needed to learn—not to evaluate them along some distribution curve. It’s a concept Ken calls “Helping People Get an A.”

Now contrast that with an experience in my son’s class, a few years ago. On the first day, the professor proudly announced, “Nobody gets an A in my class.” In his first year College Engineering, a different professor shared, “Look to your right and then look to your left, those students will have left the Engineering program, by the Senior year.” Having high standards is one thing, but to say that no one can excel is completely demotivating!

We need a radically human approach to leadership and a set of leadership resolutions for 2021. Let’s commit to them heart, mind, and soul. Here are some thoughts:

It starts with you. Awareness awakens. Before we do anything else, we resolve to take a look in the mirror at our values, motivations, strengths, and blind spots. By knowing ourselves we can manage ourselves first, so we can positively impact others.

But it’s not about you. We’re not sculptors working alone in a studio, chipping marble or molding clay. We aren’t solo performers. We work with and through others. Quite simply, our success is measured in what others achieve.

Purpose. At some point, we need to stop trying to make sense of 2020. Instead, we need to create a sense of purpose for 2021—an overarching “why” that will take us out of the wilderness and into a new light—and a new beginning. Purpose always precedes the first step.

Empathy. Given all that people have gone through, empathy rules the day. It’s all about meeting others where they are, to understand their experience. We used to say, “How are you?”; now it’s “how are you feeling?” But that’s not all. The more empathetic we are, the more we broaden our view. We see beyond our own perspective—through the lens of others.

Empower. 2020 tripped the circuit breakers; 2021 is the big reset. Change must bubble up from within the organization, not merely cascade down—because the next two years we’ll see more change than we’ve seen in the last 10. To paint tomorrow, people throughout the organization must be empowered to think. I’ll never forget the advice I received from a board member many years ago, when I was a new CEO: “As the leader, don’t tell people what to do—instead, tell them what to think about.”

Collective genius. It’s been said that the strength of a team is each individual member—and the strength of each individual member is the team. When teams are inclusive, and differences are not just tolerated but celebrated, they become more creative and innovative—and collective genius is born. Let’s create an ethos of inclusiveness in the New Year.

Shepherd. I’ve met a number of military leaders who led during periods of conflict, and many confided in me, “I’ve never lost a soldier”—revealing a deep mindset of humility and accountability. While most of us won’t face such life-or-death scenarios, we also need to make sure we don’t lose anyone. Think shepherd: occasionally in front, sometimes beside, but mostly behind.

Own the moment. When most people think about accountability, they immediately think about how accountable others are to them. But first, we need to examine 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.” That’s how we truly own the moment.

Be the message. Throughout 2020, we just tried to help people get through—one day to the next—by seeing the blue sky through a tiny opening in the clouds. Now it’s time for the clouds to part—and for people to believe they can punch right through the sky. That comes from inspiration—and it’s best done with stories. As Peter Guber, the Academy Award–winning producer and co-owner of four professional sports teams, once told me, “Leadership is storytelling in a way that becomes memorable and actionable.” And the leader IS the message.

In this New Year, may we stay resolute—to our resolutions. As positive trusted leaders, we enable others to exceed their potential and, in doing so, we all will collectively rise. I wish you and your family a Happy and Healthy New Year!

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 Master 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 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

The robots are coming! Managers should work to incorporate skills training for the vibrancy of our organization

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 30, 2020 at 10:45 am / In: Uncategorized

The robots are coming! Managers should work to incorporate skills training for the vibrancy of our organization

The robots are coming! On our sidewalks, in our skies, in our every store… Over the next decade, robots will enter the mainstream of retail. And the numbers back it up: in a mere 8 years, the global retail robotics market is projected to grow by an order of magnitude, from US$4.78 billion in 2018 to US$41.67 billion in 2026. As countless robots work behind the scenes to stock shelves, serve customers, and deliver products to our doorstep, the speed of retail will continue to increase. These changes were already underway, and the pandemic has accelerated them.

    

Reskill and Retrain

Manufacturers considering purchasing a robot should also consider investing in the training and upskilling of their existing employees. Reskilling existing workers will reduce the likelihood of redundancies and therefore improve the company’s reputation as an employer — a common problem when reducing the number of employees but increasing automation.

Deploying robots, or any automation machinery for that matter, will create a new requirement for engineers with programming and maintenance skills. As opposed to employing a new programmer, manufacturers should consider training an existing production operative to take on this role — perhaps a worker whose role the robot will replace or reduce.

Several industrial robot manufacturers and suppliers will provide free training on how to correctly program and maintain their machinery, so it is worth looking into this before investing in external courses.  

It is also important to reiterate to existing workers that deploying robots will eliminate tedious and manual tasks. By nature, humans want to create, invent and solve problems — not complete repetitive movements such as box opening, bin-picking or basic assembly processes. This is particularly prevalent for workers with engineering backgrounds.

Communicating this benefit with staff is essential. Manufacturers need to be clear that, rather than engineering humans out of a job, robots can be used to allow operators to take on more challenging opportunities. But only of course, if plant managers allow it.

Robot Delivery

On August 3rd, 2016, Domino’s Pizza introduced the Domino’s Robotic Unit, or “DRU” for short. The first home delivery pizza robot, the DRU looks like a cross between R2-D2 and an oversized microwave. LIDAR and GPS sensors help it navigate, while temperature sensors keep hot food hot and cold food cold. Now called “DOM” (which is also the name of Domino’s chatbot for placing orders), the robot has been undergoing trial runs in ten countries, including New Zealand, France, and Germany, but its August 2016 debut was critical, as it was the first time we’d seen robotic home delivery. And it won’t be the last. A dozen or so different delivery bots are fast entering the market. Starship Technologies, for instance, a startup created by Skype founders Janus Friis and Ahti Heinla, has a general-purpose home delivery robot. Right now, the system is an array of cameras and GPS sensors, but upcoming models will include microphones, speakers, and even the ability—via AI-driven natural language processing—to communicate with customers. Since 2016, Starship has already carried out 500,000 deliveries across more than 20 countries. Along similar lines, Nuro—co-founded by Jiajun Zhu, one of the engineers who helped develop Google’s self-driving car—has a miniature self-driving car of its own. Half the size of a sedan, the Nuro looks like a toaster on wheels, except with a mission. This toaster was designed to carry cargo—originally about 12 bags of groceries — which it has been doing for select Kroger stores since 2018. Two years later, the company has a new second-generation vehicle with a range of new features, including improved capacity, battery life, and safety measures. Concurrently, Nuro has partnered with large chains such as CVS Pharmacy and Walmart. As these delivery bots take to our streets, others are streaking across the sky. Back in 2016, Amazon came first, announcing Prime Air—the e-commerce giant’s promise of drone delivery in 30 minutes or less. Almost immediately, companies ranging from 7-Eleven and Walmart to Google and Alibaba jumped on the bandwagon. Fast forward to today, and the FAA has granted approvals for drone delivery to Amazon, Alphabet-owned Wing, and UPS. Prime Air Vice President David Carbon has emphasized that “this certification is an important step forward for Prime Air and indicates the FAA’s confidence… for an autonomous drone delivery service.”

In-Store Robots

While delivery bots start to spare us trips to the store, those who prefer shopping the old-fashioned way (i.e., in person) also have plenty of human-robot interaction in-store. In fact, these robotics solutions have been around for a while. In 2010, SoftBank introduced Pepper, a humanoid robot capable of understanding human emotion. Pepper’s cute: 4 feet tall, with a white plastic body, two black eyes, a dark slash of a mouth, and a base shaped like a mermaid’s tail. Across her chest is a touch screen to aid in communication. And there’s been a lot of communication. Pepper’s cuteness is intentional, as it matches its mission: help humans enjoy life as much as possible. Over 12,000 Peppers have been sold and over 2,000 companies globally have adopted Pepper as an assistant. She serves ice cream in Japan, greets eaters at a Pizza Hut in Singapore, and interacts with customers at a Palo Alto electronics store. And with the COVID-19 pandemic, Pepper has been used to prepare food, greet customers, and ease loneliness caused by social distancing. More importantly, Pepper’s got company. Walmart uses shelf-stocking robots for inventory control. Best Buy uses a robo-cashier, allowing select locations to operate 24-7. And Lowe’s Home Improvement employs the LoweBot—a giant iPad on wheels—to help customers find the items they need while tracking inventory along the way.

Warehouse Bots

Yet the biggest benefit robots provide might be in warehouse logistics. In 2012, when Amazon dished out $775 million for Kiva Systems, few could predict that just eight years later, over 200,000 Kiva robots would be deployed at the company’s fulfillment centers, helping to process hundreds of items per second. And many other retailers are following suit. Order jeans from the Gap, and soon they’ll be sorted, packed, and shipped with the help of a Kindred robot. Remember the old arcade game where you picked up teddy bears with a giant claw? That’s Kindred, only her claw picks up T-shirts, pants, and the like, placing them in designated drop-off zones that resemble tiny mailboxes (for further sorting or shipping). The big deal here is democratization. Kindred’s robot is cheap and easy to deploy, allowing smaller companies to compete with giants like Amazon.

Final Thoughts

For retailers interested in staying in business, there doesn’t appear to be much choice in the way of robotics. It’s going to become increasingly difficult for store owners to justify human workers who call in sick, show up late, and can easily get injured. Robots work 24-7. They never take a day off, never need a bathroom break, health insurance, or parental leave. Going forward, this spells a growing challenge of technological unemployment (a blog topic I will cover in the coming month). But in retail, robotics usher in tremendous benefits for companies and customers alike. And while professional re-tooling initiatives and the transition of human capital from retail logistics to a booming experience economy take hold, robotic retail interaction and last-mile delivery will fundamentally transform our relationship with commerce.

Contributor: Peter Diamandis and Clifford Locks

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 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

Resiliency – It’s about being the light for others and letting others be the light for us.

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 23, 2020 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

Resiliency – It’s about being the light for others and letting others be the light for us.

“It’s beginning to look a lot unlike Christmas and Hanukkah…”

 

Resilience

Contributor: Gary Burnison, Korn Ferry CEO

 

This year, we might be tempted to change the lyrics of this nearly 70-year-old holiday classic to fit the mood of the times. But not so fast. Sure, this year the holidays do look and feel different—smaller for one, minus the parties and traveling for another. But there are certain times of the year that are steeped in tradition—this is one of those times. While we can deeply honor tradition, we must also pivot forward, with meaning that is both timeless and timelier than ever: It’s about being the light for others— and letting others be the light for us. Holiday cards were a big tradition when I was growing up. My mom would set up a couple of folding tables in the living room where she wrote and addressed more than 500 cards by hand. Not just a few lines—full-blown notes! In those days, everyone’s mailbox was full of cards. They were displayed everywhere—bookshelves, in the slats of louver doors, and taped to the woodwork around doorways. For our family, it was all about that refrigerator door where we displayed the most cherished cards. So barren all year and then suddenly—little by little—filled with life, color, pictures, the annual update letters from family and friends, and invitations to holiday gatherings. The refrigerator transformed into the light of our home during the holidays. We couldn’t walk past it without opening a card, re-reading greetings, rekindling fond memories, and feeling sparks of love and connection. When our company was smaller, I tried to continue this tradition. Starting in the middle of October, I carried around a tote bag full of cards that I wrote out to hundreds of colleagues. Whenever I had a spare moment, I wrote out a few. If ever there was a year to go old school with a box of cards, some handwritten notes, and a sheet of stamps, this is it. But it doesn’t take hundreds of cards, and there’s no need to be the Hemingway of holiday greetings. A few cards with a simple, sincere message can make all the difference in another person’s life. Unfortunately, what we all need the most—is probably what we’ll do the least. Yet, now more than ever, we need to create that refrigerator door for ourselves and others by sharing authentic expressions of our love and connection. But probably not simply on the bottom of an email. Like the one I received the other day: “Have a wonderful holiday season.” As I read it through the lens of 2020, I reflected on what that means this year. And so, I asked family, friends, and colleagues how they felt about wishing someone “happy holidays.” Not surprisingly, their answers were all over the map: I don’t know if it feels right to say that. I actually do want people to be happy. Does someone really mean it—or are they just saying it? At least ‘holidays’ is a more appropriate word than assuming everyone celebrates the same way. Maybe it’s the Midwest in me, but I really mean it this year. We bought a tree and decorated early. We are so ready for this. Are you kidding me? You can’t say that to people without knowing what’s going on in their lives. These candid replies remind me that we can’t assume anything, especially what people are feeling right now. The Emotion Curve swings to higher highs and lower lows at this time of year. We used to look forward to presents—and now we yearn for others to be present. This year, personal losses run deep. Our colleague Doug Charles, President of our Americas region, told me this week that his family will be celebrating their first holiday without Doug’s father. “For many in my family, having one less present to give makes it difficult to get excited,” Doug confided. And yet, as he told me, “It’s also the first Christmas with my granddaughter.” In my own life, I have experienced both ends of the spectrum. I remember one long-ago, eating by myself at a diner. Then, many years later, we brought our newborn son, Jack, home from the hospital at during the holiday season. Having known the bitter, we can truly savor the sweet. It’s like that lyric in a George Strait song, “There’s always lost in the found, and darkness in the I-saw-the-light.” That’s the calling card of 2020, the ups and downs of a very different holiday season. Even in the mist, we can be the light—and find illumination. Here are some thoughts:
  • Three gifts of the season. This year, when our holidays feel completely upended, we can still reap the blessings of three key gifts. The first is connectivity—authentic and heart-to-heart, even if we cannot physically be with others. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s the importance of feeling connected to others—with gratitude. Gratitude doesn’t belong to any one culture, tradition, or philosophy—it runs through them all. Second, adaptability, which helps us look beyond what used to be normal and accept that this is normal! Third, receptivity, knowing that our hearts must be open to receive, as well as to give.
  • Looking back, wishing forward. During a town hall last week with thousands of global colleagues, I was asked two questions that prompted me to look back on 2020—and ahead to 2021. First, I was asked to pick one word that, to me, describes this year and our firm. Without hesitation I said, “Resiliency.” I’m sure that many people feel the same way. At a time when we’ve faced so many challenges, personal and professional, we have no doubt surprised ourselves with how resilient we can be. Second, I was asked to imagine it was this time, next year. What should we hope for? I paused and searched, then offered a non-CEO answer, but one that was in my heart: “I hope that we’re all happy—truly. That would be the best outcome of all.” Hope is the ultimate light in the darkness, with the deep-seated belief that tomorrow will, indeed, be better than today.
  • Old traditions, new again. The holidays used to be simpler, rooted in traditions. At some point, though, we let these things get away from us. I can remember, years ago, being at Disneyland during the holidays. While my children enjoyed the rides, I searched on my phone for last-minute deals to someplace warmer. As I look back, to be honest, I’m embarrassed. Why wasn’t it enough just to be in that moment, together as a family? This holiday season, amid spiking numbers and lockdowns, wouldn’t all of us give anything to be able to gather with our entire family to appreciate these precious, fleeting moments?
Whatever we celebrate, however we celebrate, let us remember why we celebrate. When we connect our hearts with others, we spark hope, we kindle joy, we become the light. And when we pick up a pen to write a holiday card, if we don’t know what to say, three words will do: I love you. Indeed, that should be our hallmark for 2020. Let’s be Resilient in 2021 together.  

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 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

Recalibrating everything from our emotions to our expectations – we are winners!

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 16, 2020 at 10:10 am / In: Uncategorized

Recalibrating everything from our emotions to our expectations – we are winners!

All of my children are hoping for something right now. For my youngest, it’s about getting into a “good” college (whatever that means). My college-age daughter’s hopes are for a good job next year. My son longs for an end to the lockdown so he can enjoy some normalcy before he is deployed. For my oldest daughter, it’s about a relationship working out. And, for the next daughter, her hopes are much more intense as she focuses all her thoughts on two dear friends—newlyweds, one of whom was severely injured in an auto accident.

Contributor: Gary Burnison, Korn Ferry CEO

We are all hoping for something, but hoping alone is not a strategy. When we’re caught up in hoping, we’re focused on the future, which means we may not accurately perceive nor fully cherish today. Every day, we reset to zero—recalibrating everything from our emotions to our expectations. Along the way, we also redefine hope. We’ve come to realize that hope is not a rescue—magically transforming our lives. Rather, hope is a recharge—an infusion of resiliency. The other day, as I walked on the beach, I watched the sunset. As the sun sank lower to the horizon, the sky changed from pink to orange to red. The light dimmed to darkness, and then it was gone. I could practically time it—like a curtain quickly closing on that waning day. How different is sunrise. We don’t perceive the exact moment of the sun rising because all we see is the growing intensity of light. Then, we have no choice but to turn our attention from the horizon to the day ahead. As we seize the day, do we want to waste our time clinging to the false hope of recreating what once was? Or do we invest our time resetting hope, grounded in what is and what will be? It is human nature to want to go back in time—to when we were young, our children were still growing up, loved ones were still with us. We tell ourselves we would make different choices—play more, enjoy more, be more present. We’d give anything to go back to those days, but none of us get that extra lap around the track, to rewind Father Time. It is this moment—right here, right now. If we want to be hopeful about tomorrow, we need to reset how we show up today. Hope requires hustle to turn possibilities into opportunities. That’s why, throughout this pandemic, our hope has not just been in the science. Nor have those scientists diligently working on vaccines and treatments relied on hope. The saving grace has been the resilience of the human spirit, even through the most difficult of times. As our colleague Felicia Cash, an administrative assistant in our Dallas office, wrote to me the other day: “What comes in this life may not be what I would choose, but…even in the midst of pain and confusion, I can find joy and peace knowing that ultimately…my world will be OK. The heart of the matter is that it’s a matter of the heart!” What truly hopeful words. Hope is not just a noun—it’s a verb. Hope is not a wish or a want—it is willpower. Hope is not a promise—it is a purpose. Hope is not merely our lifeline—it is our life raft. Here are some thoughts:

 

  • H.O.P.E. It can be a gamechanger—Harvesting Opportunities and Possibilities Every day. Every day, we have to dream about the possibilities for a different tomorrow and, at the same time, pursue opportunities that emerge from the choices we make—that is, if we’re willing to empower ourselves and others. Opportunity and potential are inextricably linked. Without opportunity, none of us know our potential. Hope means being in the opportunity business. Harvesting those opportunities is about making decisions on the things we can control. The fact is, there are those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who ask, “What happened?”
  • Where there’s hope, there’s hustle. If we want to manifest hope, it takes hustle. That’s why the most important qualities I look for in new employees are hunger and hustle. Over the years, I’ve noticed that hunger starves complacency and hustle quashes pedigree every time. We commit to a say/do ratio of 1-to-1—saying what we mean and doing what we say. That’s the best way to give others hope—through trust in our words and belief in our actions. It’s not enough to talk about it—we have to be about it.
  • Hope…and second chances. It started out as a routine business meeting when Linda Hyman, our firm’s Executive Vice President, Global Human Resources, traveled to Boston in January 2019. Then, suddenly and inexplicably, Linda dropped her papers. Alarmed by what they were witnessing, our colleagues, Doug Charles and Jonathan Kuai, asked, “Linda, are you all right?” Their concern became more urgent when she replied in a slurred voice, “I’m fine.” Linda later learned that everyone rushed into action: calling 9-1-1 and getting her to one of a few hospitals that had the expertise and technology to save her life. Within an hour Linda was undergoing a new procedure known as thrombectomy to extract a 2-inch clot from her mid-cerebral artery. She had a complete recovery, but Linda was changed in different ways. As she told me this week, “I just feel like the universe conspired to give me hope—by bringing together the most magical array of people to recognize, then treat, and ultimately save me. I feel hopeful every day that I am here, doing something meaningful to honor that.

Over the centuries, humans have conquered so much—not through false hope or wishful thinking, but with science and innovation. This perspective is good for recalibrating our thinking—to remember that rockets didn’t take us to the moon; the dreamers and engineers did. The internet didn’t create a globally networked economy; it was the innovators and creators. In the same way, a vaccine in a vial won’t end the pandemic; the researchers, scientists, and everyone on the front lines will. That, indeed, is a reason to reset hope.  

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 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

Exponential growth is happening all around us, but it can be hard to see.

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 9, 2020 at 10:12 am / In: Uncategorized

Exponential growth is happening all around us, but it can be hard to see.

Given the restrictions of our linear thinking minds, it’s difficult for us to grasp how something that starts off deceptively small can…
  • Double 10 times, resulting in 1,000x growth, and
  • Double 30 times and get you to 1,000,000,000x growth.

    Contributor: Peter Diamandis

Part of overcoming this evolutionary bias is actively working to develop an Exponential Mindset. Today, I’m going to share and explore the overwhelming “proof of exponentials.” Proof ranging from accelerating computing power and internet access, to the digitization of retail and the rapidly falling costs of sequencing the human genome. Proof that offers all of us “data-driven optimism.” Let’s dive in…

Moore’s Law Continues…

Almost all of our exponential tech trends discussed in this blog are being built on top of ever-increasing computational power. For the past ~70+ years, Moore’s Law, the exponential growth of computing power has continued non-stop. The chart below, plotted on a log-scale, demonstrates this trend.

Computers are also becoming much more efficient. Processing efficiency is measured as the number of watts needed per million instructions per second (watts per MIPS). As you can see in the below chart, processing efficiency has increased by a factor of 100,000 since 1990.

With continued advances in quantum computing, we’ll see an explosion of information-processing capability. By 2023, IBM expects to reach 1,121 qubits with their processor codenamed Condor. As you can see in the below chart, this would be a 17-fold increase from today. IBM sees 2023 as the inflection point for the commercialization of quantum technology.

One key effect of continued improvements in computation is an explosion of the total amount of information produced. Between now and 2025, we will produce 3x the amount of information and data globally.

The Internet Continues its Explosive Growth

Since 2010, the number of internet users worldwide has doubled while global internet traffic has grown twelvefold. At the same time, rapid improvements in energy efficiency have helped to limit energy demand growth from data centers and data transmission networks, which combined accounted for just 1% of global electricity use in 2019.

Today, nearly 60% of the world’s population has access to the internet. We passed the 50% milestone in 2018 and this trend is only accelerating. As I’ve written previously, with such progress, internet access may soon become a universal human right.

Another way to appreciate just how much and how quickly the internet has grown is to look at the number of internet searches conducted. For example, as you can see in the below chart the number of Google searches alone has increased by 2,000x during the last 20 years.

One factor that has made such a dramatic increase in internet searches possible is the increasing speed of an end user’s connection, which is measured in megabits per second (Mbps). As you can see below, end user connection speed has jumped 10x in the last decade alone.

Mobile Devices, Smartphones & 5G Growing Rapidly

After an extended period of exponential growth, the number of mobile subscriptions globally is greater than the number of all people on Earth. Given the total number of mobile subscriptions in the world, as of 2019 global mobile penetration was 108%.

In the US, the share of Americans who own a smartphone is 81%. According to the Pew Research Center, this is a 50% increase from when the organization first started collecting this data in 2011.

The advancement of 5G networks and technology will both accelerate and enhance mobile and smartphone adoption. Ericsson projects that there will be 80 million 5G mobile subscriptions by the end of 2020. That number will then balloon to 2.8 billion in 2025.

We’ll also see an explosion of all sorts of connected devices. Cisco estimates that by 2022 (just a few years away), we’ll have over 1 billion total connected wearable devices in the world.

Some of the most dramatic growth in devices and hardware will come from VR & AR headsets. Research firm IDC estimates that between now and 2024 we will see a 10x growth in global VR & AR headset shipments worldwide.

Dramatic Growth in Battery Technology We’ll need a significant increase in battery storage to power all of these devices. According to McKinsey, by 2024 we will see a 17x increase in battery demand.

Growth of Digital Memory Storage

DRAM (dynamic random-access memory) is a type of memory chip used in most desktop and laptop computers. Demand for DRAM chips has been increasing for years, and over the next three years we’ll see at least an additional 100 billion 1 GB equivalent modules shipped globally.

Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Solar Energy With rapid growth in electric car sales over the past decade, electric cars now make up about 1% of the global car fleet.

Solar generation is one of humanity’s major renewable energy sources. We saw massive growth of solar during the last decade, increasing by a factor of twenty from 2010 to 2019.

The Digitization of Retail

Global retail e-commerce sales more than doubled from $1.5 trillion in 2015 to $3.5 trillion in 2019. That trend will only continue. By 2023, global e-commerce sales are projected to be almost $7 trillion.

Growth of Industrial Robots

The market for industrial robots has been growing at record rates of 19% per year since 2013, and is expected to continue double-digit growth at least through 2021.

3D Printing Adoption

In 2018, the global additive manufacturing market grew to over $10.4 billion, crossing the pivotal double-digit billion threshold for the first time in its decades-long history.

Exponential Growth in Biotech The below chart shows the progress we have made in reducing the cost of sequencing the human genome. In 2008, that progress began to exceed Moore’s Law. This rapid growth continues and direct-to-consumer genome sequencing is now widely available.

NIH funding for CRISPR-related research grew from $5 million in 2011 to $1.1 billion in 2018. During that time, the number of CRISPR-related scientific publications increased by a factor of 45x.

 

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 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

Privacy in the Age of Facial Recognition: Everything You Need to Know

Posted by Cliff Locks On November 25, 2020 at 10:08 am / In: Uncategorized

Privacy in the Age of Facial Recognition: Everything You Need to Know

Privacy in the Age of Facial Recognition: Everything You Need to Know

Facial recognition is a biometric technology primarily used to identify an individual or verify their identity using their face. Facial recognition software can capture, analyse, and compare patterns based on a person’s facial features. The use of the AI-powered technology is expected to become more commonplace in the new decade. Today, facial recognition is considered the most natural of all biometric technologies.

Facial Recognition

Facial recognition has been increasingly gaining popularity in the last few years. The technology is used everywhere from shopping malls, airports, venues, and is now heavily relied upon in a broad range of commercial applications. In 2019, the facial recognition market was valued at $5.07 billion. This figure is projected to rise to $10.07 billion by 2025. Keep reading to learn more about facial recognition tech including recent trends, benefits, and controversies surrounding this technology.  

Recent Facial Recognition Trends The benefits of facial recognition technology are expanding into new end-user applications rapidly. For instance, the technology is gaining a lot of traction in the hospitality sector and the healthcare industry. The application of facial recognition technology is also extending to retail and banking, which is made possible by tech giants such as Apple offering facial recognition features in their latest releases. Here are some of the most recent facial recognition trends.  

Healthcare in the Covid-19 Era Facial recognition software is becoming prominent in the healthcare sector. In the last few years, we’ve seen an increase in the use of facial recognition tech in hospitals, clinics, and healthcare organizations. The technology can replace devices or passwords to allow medical professionals quick access to records. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, health experts are deploying facial recognition technologies in digital healthcare and disease outbreak prevention. For instance, the technology can be used to identify people with protective masks.  

Security The success and popularity of facial recognition technology is largely attributed to its potential in security. The primary role of facial recognition technology is to identify human faces. Law enforcement agencies in various parts of the world are using the tech to identify and track criminals and terrorists. Airlines are increasingly implementing face authentication technologies in airports to improve security. Passengers will be able to use face detection tech to check-in, check their luggage, and board a plane.  

Digital Banking and Ecommerce Identity and authentication have always been a challenge in the world of digital services. Trusting someone who is not physically present can be risky. There is a need for a fool proof security method to replace email, passwords, and other verification methods that are susceptible to hacking. Facial recognition could be the much-needed solution, and many digital banking and eCommerce platforms are turning to the technology to mitigate digital fraud. Using facial recognition in online transactions is quickly becoming commonplace.  

Benefits of Facial Recognition Technology Facial recognition is a very powerful technology. The AI-based technology is becoming more popular every year. Here are some of the benefits that facial recognition technology affords governments, companies, and individuals.

  Digital Facial Recognition

Enhanced Security As stated earlier in the article, facial recognition technology can be used to improve security. Individuals can use facial recognition technology to unlock their mobile devices and set up a home security system. Security agencies can use the technology to identify terrorists and any other criminals just by scanning faces. Law enforcement groups can easily identify and track down thieves, burglars, and other criminals using face recognition technology.  

Faster Identification/Authentication Facial recognition technology has greatly improved the process of identifying individuals in different settings. For instance, companies had to use actual people to make sure that only employees and authorized individuals access their premises. With facial recognition tech, you don’t need a guard to perform manual identification at the entrance. Companies only need to set up a face-scanning system at the gate, which is faster and more accurate.  

Disadvantages of Facial Recognition Technology Like any other technology, facial recognition presents some drawbacks. Here are some of the concerns raised with respect to the widespread adoption and integration of facial recognition technology.  

Privacy Privacy is a major concern when it comes to facial recognition technology. Government agencies and law enforcement groups can use facial recognition technology to identify and track anybody, any time using Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) systems. People have expressed concerns about the potential of facial recognition technology in mass surveillance. Suddenly, we feel like we are being watched, and these fears aren’t unwarranted. The government can use facial recognition technology to track down people without consent in the same way it tracks criminals and terrorists.  

Bias and Inaccuracy Facial recognition systems can be way off when it comes to identifying individuals, especially in situations where they have to identify in low light or use poor quality videos and images. These systems are often inaccurate, often misidentifying people, especially persons of colour and are generally unreliable. This creates the problem of racial bias. With the use of the technology quickly becoming commonplace in law enforcement, errors can cause a lot of damage in society. Misidentification can easily implicate innocent people and leave the real criminals to roam free.  

How to Protect Yourself Against Facial Recognition Technology Facial recognition technology has a lot of potential. It can enhance security, streamline identification and authentication, but it also comes with some drawbacks. Privacy in public spaces is the biggest concern when it comes to the use of facial recognition technology by government agencies and law enforcement. Out in public, you can protect yourself from this intrusive technology wearing a face mask or anti-facial recognition glasses. You also need to protect yourself online on social media by turning off Facebook’s face detection feature, for instance.   Government agencies are also known for spying on individuals on the internet, and there are ways to defend against that. You can secure your traffic with a VPN to protect yourself from other forms of online spying by the government and other malicious actors. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a service designed to help you establish a secure internet connection and maintain internet privacy. VPN hides your IP address and encrypts your internet traffic, allowing you to maintain complete anonymity on the world wide web.    

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

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

Exponential technological advancements let’s get educated on the 20 “Metatrends” you can harness for your life and business

Posted by Cliff Locks On November 18, 2020 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

Exponential technological advancements let’s get educated on the 20 “Metatrends” you can harness for your life and business

Over the next decade, waves of exponential technological advancements are stacking atop one another, eclipsing decades of breakthroughs in scale and impact.

Welcome to a new era of runaway technological booms, and extraordinary abundance. Emerging from these waves are 20 “Metatrends,” likely to revolutionize entire industries (old and new), redefine tomorrow’s generation of businesses and contemporary challenges, and transform our livelihoods from the bottom up.

These Metatrends include augmented human longevity, the surging smart economy, AI-human collaboration, urbanized cellular agriculture, and high-bandwidth brain-computer interfaces… just to name a few.

20 Metatrends for the 2020s, per one of my mentors Peter Diamandis:

(1) Continued increase in global abundance: The number of individuals in extreme poverty continues to drop, as the middle-income population continues to rise. This Metatrend is driven by the convergence of high-bandwidth and low-cost communication, ubiquitous AI on the cloud, growing access to AI-aided education and AI-driven healthcare. Everyday goods and services (finance, insurance, education and entertainment) are being digitized and becoming fully demonetized, available to the rising billion on mobile devices.

(2) Global gigabit connectivity will connect everyone and everything, everywhere, at ultra-low cost: The deployment of both licensed and unlicensed 5G, plus the launch of a multitude of global satellite networks (OneWeb, Starlink, etc.), allow for ubiquitous, low-cost communications for everyone, everywhere–– not to mention the connection of trillions of devices. And today’s skyrocketing connectivity is bringing online an additional 3 billion individuals, driving tens of trillions of dollars into the global economy. This Metatrend is driven by the convergence of: low-cost space launches, hardware advancements, 5G networks, artificial intelligence, materials science, and surging computing power.

(3) The average human healthspan will increase by 10+ years: A dozen game-changing biotech and pharmaceutical solutions (currently in Phase 1, 2, or 3 clinical trials) will reach consumers this decade, adding an additional decade to the human healthspan. Technologies include stem cell supply restoration, wnt pathway manipulation, Senolytic Medicines, a new generation of Endo-Vaccines, GDF-11, supplementation of NMD/NAD+, among several others. And as machine learning continues to mature, AI is set to unleash countless new drug candidates, ready for clinical trials. This Metatrend is driven by the convergence of: genome sequencing, CRISPR technologies, AI, quantum computing, and cellular medicine.

(4) An age of capital abundance will see increasing access to capital everywhere: Over the past few years, humanity hit all-time highs in the global flow of seed capital, venture capital and sovereign wealth fund investments. While this trend will witness some ups and downs in the wake of future recessions, it is expected to continue its overall upward trajectory. Capital abundance leads to the funding and testing of ‘crazy’ entrepreneurial ideas, which in turn accelerate innovation. Already, $300 billion in crowdfunding is anticipated by 2025, democratizing capital access for entrepreneurs worldwide. This Metatrend is driven by the convergence of: global connectivity, dematerialization, demonetization, and democratization.

(5) Augmented Reality and the Spatial Web will achieve ubiquitous deployment: The combination of Augmented Reality (yielding Web 3.0, or the Spatial Web) and 5G networks (offering 100Mb/s – 10Gb/s connection speeds) will transform how we live our everyday lives, impacting every industry from retail and advertising, to education and entertainment. Consumers will play, learn and shop throughout the day in a newly intelligent, virtually overlaid world. This Metatrend will be driven by the convergence of: hardware advancements, 5G networks, artificial intelligence, materials science, and surging computing power.

(6) Everything is smart, embedded with intelligence: The price of specialized machine learning chips is dropping rapidly with a rise in global demand. Combined with the explosion of low-cost microscopic sensors and the deployment of high-bandwidth networks, we’re heading into a decade wherein every device becomes intelligent. Your child’s toy remembers her face and name. Your kids’ drone safely and diligently follows and videos all the children at the birthday party. Appliances respond to voice commands and anticipate your needs.

(7) AI will achieve human-level intelligence: As predicted by technologist and futurist Ray Kurzweil, artificial intelligence will reach human-level performance this decade (by 2030). Through the 2020s, AI algorithms and machine learning tools will be increasingly made open source, available on the cloud, allowing any individual with an internet connection to supplement their cognitive ability, augment their problem-solving capacity, and build new ventures at a fraction of the current cost. This Metatrend will be driven by the convergence of: global high-bandwidth connectivity, neural networks, and cloud computing. Every industry, spanning industrial design, healthcare, education, and entertainment, will be impacted.

(8) AI-Human Collaboration will skyrocket across all professions: The rise of “AI as a Service” (AIaaS) platforms will enable humans to partner with AI in every aspect of their work, at every level, in every industry. AIs will become entrenched in everyday business operations, serving as cognitive collaborators to employees — supporting creative tasks, generating new ideas, and tackling previously unattainable innovations. In some fields, partnership with AI will even become a requirement. For example: in the future, making certain diagnoses without the consultation of AI may be deemed malpractice.

(9) Most individuals adapt a JARVIS-like “software shell” to improve their quality of life: As services like Alexa, Google Home and Apple Homepod expand in functionality, such services will eventually travel beyond the home and become your cognitive prosthetic 24/7. Imagine a secure JARVIS-like software shell that you give permission to listen to all your conversations, read your email, monitor your blood chemistry, etc. With access to such data, these AI-enabled software shells will learn your preferences, anticipate your needs and behavior, shop for you, monitor your health, and help you problem-solve in support of your mid- and long-term goals.

(10) Globally abundant, cheap renewable energy: Continued advancements in solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, nuclear and localized grids will drive humanity towards cheap, abundant, and ubiquitous renewable energy. The price per kilowatt-hour will drop below 1 cent per kilowatt-hour for renewables, just as storage drops below a mere 3 cents per kilowatt-hour, resulting in the majority displacement of fossil fuels globally. And as the world’s poorest countries are also the world’s sunniest, the democratization of both new and traditional storage technologies will grant energy abundance to those already bathed in sunlight.

(11) The insurance industry transforms from “recovery after risk” to “prevention of risk:” Today, fire insurance pays you after your house burns down; life insurance pays your next-of-kin after you die; and health insurance (which is really sick insurance) pays only after you get sick. This next decade, a new generation of insurance providers will leverage the convergence of machine learning, ubiquitous sensors, low-cost genome sequencing and robotics to detect risk, prevent disaster, and guarantee safety before any costs are incurred.

(12) Autonomous vehicles and flying cars will redefine human travel (soon to be far faster and cheaper): Fully autonomous vehicles, car-as-a-service fleets, and aerial ride-sharing (flying cars) will be fully operational in most major metropolitan cities in the coming decade. The cost of transportation will plummet 3-4X, transforming real estate, finance, insurance, the materials economy, and urban planning. Where you live and work, and how you spend your time, will all be fundamentally reshaped by this future of human travel. Your kids and elderly parents will never drive. This Metatrend will be driven by the convergence of: machine learning, sensors, materials science, battery storage improvements, and ubiquitous gigabit connections.

(13) On-demand production and on-demand delivery will birth an “instant economy of things:” Urban dwellers will learn to expect “instant fulfillment” of their retail orders as drone and robotic last-mile delivery services carry products from local supply depots directly to your doorstep. Further riding the deployment of regional on-demand digital manufacturing (3D printing farms), individualized products can be obtained within hours, anywhere, anytime. This Metatrend is driven by the convergence of: networks, 3D printing, robotics, and artificial intelligence.

(14) Ability to sense and know anything, anytime, anywhere: We’re rapidly approaching the era wherein 100 billion sensors (the Internet of Everything) is monitoring and sensing (imaging, listening, measuring) every facet of our environments, all the time. Global imaging satellites, drones, autonomous car LIDARs, and forward-looking augmented reality (AR) headset cameras are all part of a global sensor matrix, together allowing us to know anything, anytime, anywhere. This Metatrend is driven by the convergence of: terrestrial, atmospheric and space-based sensors, vast data networks, and machine learning. In this future, it’s not “what you know,” but rather “the quality of the questions you ask” that will be most important.

(15) Disruption of advertising: As AI becomes increasingly embedded in everyday life, your custom AI will soon understand what you want better than you do. In turn, we will begin to both trust and rely upon our AIs to make most of our buying decisions, turning over shopping to AI-enabled personal assistants. Your AI might make purchases based upon your past desires, current shortages, conversations you’ve allowed your AI to listen to, or by tracking where your pupils focus on a virtual interface (i.e. what catches your attention). As a result, the advertising industry—which normally competes for your attention (whether at the Superbowl or through search engines)—will have a hard time influencing your AI. This Metatrend is driven by the convergence of: machine learning, sensors, augmented reality, and 5G/networks.

(16) Cellular agriculture moves from the lab into inner cities, providing high-quality protein that is cheaper and healthier: This next decade will witness the birth of the most ethical, nutritious, and environmentally sustainable protein production system devised by humankind. Stem cell-based ‘cellular agriculture’ will allow the production of beef, chicken and fish anywhere, on-demand, with far higher nutritional content, and a vastly lower environmental footprint than traditional livestock options. This Metatrend is enabled by the convergence of: biotechnology, materials science, machine learning, and AgTech.

(17) High-bandwidth Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI) will come online for public use: Technologist and futurist Ray Kurzweil has predicted that in the mid-2030s, we will begin connecting the human neocortex to the cloud. This next decade will see tremendous progress in that direction, first serving those with spinal cord injuries, whereby patients will regain both sensory capacity and motor control. Yet beyond assisting those with motor function loss, several BCI pioneers are now attempting to supplement their baseline cognitive abilities, a pursuit with the potential to increase their sensorium, memory and even intelligence. This Metatrend is fueled by the convergence of: materials science, machine learning, and robotics.

(18) High-resolution VR will transform both retail and real estate shopping: High-resolution, lightweight virtual reality headsets will allow individuals at home to shop for everything from clothing to real estate from the convenience of their living room. Need a new outfit? Your AI knows your detailed body measurements and can whip up a fashion show featuring your avatar wearing the latest 20 designs on a runway. Want to see how your furniture might look inside a house you’re viewing online? No problem! Your AI can populate the property with your virtualized inventory and give you a guided tour. This Metatrend is enabled by the convergence of: VR, machine learning, and high-bandwidth networks.

(19) Increased focus on sustainability and the environment: An increase in global environmental awareness and concern over global warming will drive companies to invest in sustainability, both from a necessity standpoint and for marketing purposes. Breakthroughs in materials science, enabled by AI, will allow companies to drive tremendous reductions in waste and environmental contamination. One company’s waste will become another company’s profit center. This Metatrend is enabled by the convergence of: materials science, artificial intelligence, and broadband networks.

(20) CRISPR and gene therapies will minimize disease: A vast range of infectious diseases, ranging from AIDS to Ebola, are now curable. In addition, gene-editing technologies continue to advance in precision and ease of use, allowing families to treat and ultimately cure hundreds of inheritable genetic diseases. This Metatrend is driven by the convergence of: various biotechnologies (CRISPR, Gene Therapy), genome sequencing, and artificial intelligence.

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 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

Magic happens whenever there are engagement and genuine connection; let’s expanded on this winning strategy.

Posted by Cliff Locks On November 11, 2020 at 10:10 am / In: Uncategorized

Magic happens whenever there are engagement and genuine connection; let’s expanded on this winning strategy.

Another year has passed me by… And I’m still in the dark ‘Cause I can’t seem to find the light alone – “Man in the Wilderness,” by Styx

We’re at the 11th hour of the 11th month of a year like no other. From time to time, the sentiment for all of us has been, “What else could 2020 possibly bring?” During those times, we are like that person in the wilderness—wandering along, never quite knowing why—trying to make sense of it all.

Yesterday, my wife, and I took a long walk on a local beach, stepping away to find meaning amid today’s unsettled waters. Never would we have suspected that the perspective we sought was right around the next cove—where we came upon a young couple standing at the shore. At their feet, etched in sand, were the couple’s names and “4ever Together,” surrounded by a heart. The woman held up her left hand so that her ring caught the sun’s rays just at the right angle and sparkled, as she snapped selfies.

They were newly engaged, as it turned out. Watching them, we were transported to a different time when we had our whole future ahead of us and everything seemed possible—even though we had no idea what that could be. Leslie turned to me and said, “See that sparkle between them? I know they’re going to make it.”

That’s the magic that happens whenever there is engagement and genuine connection. It’s the light that can’t be extinguished no matter what life throws at us.

For all of us, coming together is ultimately all about transforming finite self-interest into infinite shared interest. How does this happen? First and foremost, through purpose and then much more. Most people want to be connected to something bigger than themselves. They want to be loved; they want to know that what they do matters to someone else. They want to grow; they want to be recognized. They want to be seen and heard—and, yes, they want to belong.

Whether personally or professionally, we all search for the same basic things: purpose, love, and happiness. Here are some thoughts: 

  • Catching people doing things right. We have a choice: critique or construct; divide or unite. I received a call this week from someone who was being reprimanded because, ironically, he was not handing out enough reprimands to others. It was quite simple for him. As he told me, “It’s 2020. This is not the time to dampen spirits. It’s the time to enlighten, to elevate, to inspire.” It’s like what management guru Ken Blanchard has said: we need to catch people doing something right.
  • Finding our why. For some of us, in different ways and at different times, we need to stop trying to make sense of 2020. Instead, we need to have a sense of purpose for 2021—an overarching “why.” Purpose brings us out of the wilderness and into a new light, a new beginning. But it does take some effort. The late John McKissick, America’s winningest football coach, shared with us the wise words of his father: “As my daddy used to say, ‘Son, if you don’t put something in the bucket, how are you going to get anything out of it?’” With a sense of purpose, we need to ask ourselves: What are we willing to put in the bucket today to help ourselves and others?
  • Showing love… I can still remember that phone call. It was about three years ago, while my family and I were living in London for a few months. I had just flown to Ireland to visit our team there, and I was in a cab. The person calling me out of the blue was Richard Ferry, one of the two pioneering founders of our firm; we had not spoken in some time. I can’t even recall exactly what he told me, but I remember vividly the love in his voice as Richard expressed his pride for how far our firm had come. It wasn’t about him; it wasn’t about me—it was all about our 10,000 colleagues around the world. Even today, the memory of that call lifts me up. All of us want to belong—we all want to be loved. It’s a timeless truth that resonates more deeply in challenging times. When we tell people, “We couldn’t have done it without you,” what we’re really saying is, “You are loved.”
  • …And pursuing happiness. It is the ultimate pursuit. In the United States, it is our inalienable right, as the Declaration of Independence promises us. And so, we chase after what we believe will make us happy, usually things like money, possessions, leisure time, adventure, even a job title. We tell ourselves that when we get this, can afford that, arrive there, we will be happy. Yet, it often doesn’t turn out that way. This year, we know all too well that everything we cherish can be gone, in seconds. A colleague recently shared a heartbreaking story about a child’s drug addiction—“losing a child who is still alive”—and then, after much worry and sadness, the almost indescribable joy of that child’s return. Can anything else compare?

After all, happiness is not given to us; it is recognized by us. It’s not about chasing tomorrow’s promise, but rather comes from savoring today.

Contributing writer: Gary Burnison, CEO, 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.

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  

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

You Move, What Should Be The Impact on Pay?

Posted by Cliff Locks On October 28, 2020 at 10:07 am / In: Uncategorized

You Move, What Should Be The Impact on Pay?

Remote workers fleeing to cheaper towns may see their pay cut. Why firms think this is necessary.

Silicon Valley made Julia feel claustrophobic, and she didn’t like living far away from her elderly parents. So after moving back home to Austin because of the pandemic, she decided to stay there. Her company was fine with the decision, provided she would agree to a 15% salary reduction.

Julia is fictional, but the circumstance is becoming all too real for workers at a handful of large tech firms. In yet another new pandemic reality, organizations trying to set level salaries for a geographically dispersed workforce are taking back pay from workers who elect to permanently work remotely away from office locations. Naturally, the reductions aren’t winning any fans.

For their part, these companies argue that they are already paying cost-of-living premiums to staffers in expensive locations. That premium shouldn’t apply to those who move away, they say. “But this isn’t as straightforward as it appears,” says Don Lowman, a Korn Ferry senior client partner and global leader of the firm’s Rewards and Benefits practice. Most companies don’t mention this premium when hiring talent, he says, so adjusting pay now will seem like a “significant takeaway.”

There are other factors, as well. Experts say the idea of putting people first by not forcing them to come back to the office is undermined by cutting the pay of those who elect not to. The end result could be a morale buster that leads to lost productivity and higher turnover, says Tom McMullen, a Korn Ferry senior client partner and a leader of the firm’s Total Rewards practice. “In an increasingly competitive environment, these kinds of changes may prompt talent to look elsewhere, particularly since geography may no longer be a constraint,” he says.

To be sure, Jamen Graves, a Korn Ferry senior partner who specializes in leadership and talent consulting for tech firms, says it’s important for both organizations and talent to look at potential salary changes as a result of relocation through the context of job performance. “While newly hired candidates will generally accept wages that are adjusted for location, those already employed will not respond well to lower wages as a result of moving,” Graves says. He adds that the pandemic has proven employees’ claims that where and when they work doesn’t impact their ability to get the job done.

Experts say there are other ways to balance pay with a change in location that don’t involve reducing salaries. At least one company, for instance, is offering a relocation stipend to employees who move to lower-cost areas to offset pay cuts imposed by the move. Another option is to decrease salaries only for those employees who exceed the maximum range for the role. McMullen says companies can also employ a two-tiered system, with non-location-based differences used for employees hired pre-COVID and location-based wage scales for those hired post-COVID.

Even more simply, “organizations can freeze pay at the current level for two to three years until the cost-of-living difference is eliminated,” Lowman says.

Contributing Authors: Don Lowman, Global Leader, Rewards & Benefits, Tom McMullen Senior Client Partner, and James Graves, Senior Partner

Contributing Authors: 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

Learn about Exponential Medicine that is available today

Posted by Cliff Locks On October 15, 2020 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

Learn about Exponential Medicine that is available today

There is a medical revolution happening right now.

Where is quantified health heading? A growing array of technology sensors are becoming available: 

Wearables:  Our wrist-based devices can now go well beyond steps, some fit on our fingers (‘Ringables’ like the Oura ring)  to measure heart rate and heart rate variability, now an EKG on Apple Watches… to this August,  the first FDA cleared cuffless Blood Pressure device.

Inside’Ables:  Beyond the wrist we can now fit health related sensors into contact lenses.

While RFID chips beneath the skin (as Peter Diamandis has done) have been used to store data , unlock doors, we how have on the market Profusa Lumee, a subcutaneous chip that can sense various body chemistries.

Breathables:  Quantifying the molecules in your breath can be useful when going on a date,  but are now being utilized as a means to detect disease.  Just as dogs noses have been trained to sniff out cancer, nano-nose technology is in clinical trials to detect via ‘breath biopsy’ the molecular content and patterns that can indicate early detection of lung and other cancers as well as variety of metabolic diseases.   As ketogenic diets, breathables can also quantify ketones in the breath to help individuals get and stay in target metabolic states.

Underwearables:  As sensors have become more capable, less expensive, with a pack of  Spire Health Tag you can now purchase sensors for each pair of your underwear, that measure respiratory rate, activity, heartrate and sleep.   Spire, like many other quantified health sensor companies, began as a consumer and wellness focused, measuring breath, stress and helping optimize mindfulness sessions.  Now that reimbursement is becoming available for ‘remote patient monitoring’.

Trainables: It is  one thing to measure and even understand data about behavior and activity…  feedback can help provide nudges.  The Upright sensor worn on the back, measures posture, and if persistent slouching is detected ,buzzes, like a ‘digital mother’ reminding the wearer to ‘sit up straight’… several days of hour long upright sessions reportedly improved posture, and symptoms in many with lower back pain.

Invisibles: Ditch the wearable, requiring synching and charging… we are entering a time where our digital health exhaust can be measured by the ubiquitous sensors.  Cameras can now pick up heart and respiratory rate (Cocoon Health has a baby monitor on the market), and also behaviors (Kepler)…  WiFi has been modified by MIT engineers to detect the vital signs, movement and even the sleep patterns of several people in the same room. Voice can serve as a biomarker for health and disease (From detecting mental health changes, to neurologic issues and even heart disease). 

Making Sense of All the Data: As millions wear devices and billions of data points are collected daily we can start to understand the real world digital measures of health, and disease.  FitBit has demonstrated.  With crowd-sourced studies like Verily’s Project-Baseline, individuals can gain insights from their sleep patterns (and how it compares to others of their age and sex), to potentially new digital biomarkers indicating impeding medical issues. While privacy and data ownership issues are significant challenges, the sharing, crowd-sourced insights can improve healthcare, lower costs and democratize access to improved healthcare across the planet.

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

Concentrate on what’s important – not what’s new

Posted by Cliff Locks On May 22, 2019 at 10:08 am / In: Uncategorized

Concentrate on what’s important – not what’s new

How to thrive in today’s dynamic world.

Our only sustainable competitive advantage is our ability to learn faster than our competitors.

In his 1997 Harvard Business Review article, “The Living Company” Arie de Geuss asserted that sustainable competitive advantage cannot be achieved through particular products or strategies. These are soon overtaken by fast-moving events. Instead, he argued, an organization’s survival depends on its ability to build an adaptive enterprise – one that constantly learns and renews its strategies as the environment changes.

The Darwinian logic of this idea is inescapable. Learning must be imbued in the culture of every organization for it to sustain itself as a “living company.”

Organizational learning, however, does not happen by itself. It must be ignited, sustained and directed through a deliberate company-wide process. There is no greater leadership responsibility than this.

To contend with today’s dynamic world, this must be a dynamic process – a learning cycle that guides organizations continuously from the discovery of fresh insights to the implementation of innovative actions. This requires an essential shift of gear from strategy as planning to strategy as learning.

Consider the Fire Service and the US military’s technique of action-learning. After every engagement it applies its famed Fire Service “Post-incident critique and post-incident analysis”, and the US military’s “After Action Review” to examine what worked and what didn’t, to ensure that every subsequent engagement will be an improvement over the prior one. This makes a huge difference to its prospects of winning.

Success means putting the customer at the center of business decisions 

I was reading an article from Willie Pietersen, a professor of the Practice of Management at Columbia Business School and a former CEO of multibillion-dollar businesses such as Lever Foods, Seagram USA, and Tropicana. As a young brand manager, at Unilever, Willie became fixated on emphasizing the distinctive product attributes of his brand and presented his strategy to his boss accordingly. His boss gave him a chilly reception. “Your thinking is back to front,” he said. “Customers don’t buy attributes. They are looking for solutions to their needs. You must learn to think outside-in, not inside-out.” With that, his boss handed him Theodore Levitt’s 1960 masterpiece, (2 minute video) “Marketing Myopia.” Levitt’s ideas have influenced his thinking ever since.

Products, Levitt argues, are a means to an end, not an end in themselves. Their job is to satisfy customer needs. As a result, a product-centered, rather than a customer-driven, orientation can destroy a company’s ability to survive change. The railroads failed, according to Levitt, “because they assumed themselves to be in the railroad business rather than in the transportation business.”

Levitt’s underlying idea is that companies don’t sell products. They sell benefits. Competition expresses itself through the provision of benefits that transcend the product itself.

Take Hallmark Cards’ statement of purpose: “We help people connect with one another and give voice to their feelings.” The cards themselves are simply a vehicle. Human connection is the value they provide.

This means there is no such thing as a commodity. There are human beings at either end of any transaction and the service model – the way the transaction is conducted – is the key benefit.

In the burgeoning “tech revolution” we see dangerous signs that product centricity is beginning to eclipse customer centricity. Customers are too often offered acronyms or buzzwords – Al, IoT, Cloud Computing, Big Data – rather than the benefits they confer. To compete successfully, claims Levitt, companies must build “a customer-satisfying process, not a goods-producing process.”

Strategy is about achieving differentiation by making choices

Strategy is plagued by greater confusion than any other business discipline. Ask five companies to explain their strategy and you will get five very different notions of what a strategy looks like.

Strategy was born in the military, then co-opted by business. Businesses, however, court failure by neglecting to apply the key concepts of this essential leadership domain.

Michael Porter, in a 1996 article titled “What is Strategy?” and in a subsequent interview with Fast Company magazine, defines strategy’s essentials as follows:

1) Strategy is a process of making choices on where to compete, what to offer, and how to differentiate your business by creating greater value for customers than competing alternatives.

2) Such choice-making requires balancing trade-offs. The essence of strategy is deciding what not to do.

3) Operational effectiveness is not a strategy. It is necessary, but not sufficient.

There is a dangerous notion that in a world of rapid change, strategy is no longer necessary. This, Porter calls “ridiculous” and “a deeply flawed view of competition.” While strategies may need to be updated more frequently, without a clear direction, no company can succeed for long.

Customers have choices. To succeed, companies must have what I call a “winning proposition”, a compelling reason why customers should choose their offering over their competitors.

Amazon provides a striking example: “We make it easy for people to buy things by offering a wide range of products at great prices with fast delivery.” This statement not only explains the benefit to the customer, it tells employees what (and what not) to concentrate on every hour of every day to enhance that benefit.

Leaders must be able to simplify a complex world 

In the mid-90s the United States Army War College introduced a new acronym to describe the confusing world order left behind in the wake of the Cold War: VUCA. Today the business world, no less than the military one, is beset by the same forces of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity.

It is the responsibility of leaders to create clarity from a bewildering world. Effective leadership is impossible without the ability to distill an organization’s challenges and its strategic focus.

Simplicity is not a short cut: it is hard, messy work. Blaise Pascal, the seventeenth-century French mathematician and philosopher, captured this aptly when he said: “I am sorry to write you this long letter, but I didn’t have time to write you a short one.”

No organization’s strategy should be longer than 10 pages. Boiling it down in this way is in itself an exercise in clarity of thought which can then be shared by the entire organization.

Sam Palmisano, the former CEO of IBM, insisted on this clarity of thought, requiring that every executive in IBM be able to answer these 4 questions in a concise and compelling way:

1)  Why should customers choose to do business with us?

2)  Why should investors choose to give us their money?

3)  Why should employees choose to work for us?

4)  Why should communities welcome us in their midst?

By laying out these simple, yet profound questions, Palmisano forced his executives to address the needs of all the company’s key stakeholders and to understand how they fit together.

To move people at the deepest level, you need compelling stories

The final deliverable of a strategy is not simply a document.

People don’t follow documents, they follow leaders and ideas. Of course, it is important to record your strategy for easy reference, but that is only where the main task begins. The ultimate aim of leadership is to win the hearts and minds of your employees in support of your strategy.

Howard Gardner, the developmental psychologist, in an interview in Strategy + Business, emphasized the importance of story-telling as a way to engage and motivate employees. “People have a real thirst for stories that give them a better sense of how they belong” he said. He emphasized that effective leadership involves the creation of powerful narratives, and that the greater the change you aim to make, the more important the story becomes.

3M has embraced this concept by transforming business planning from a list of bullet points into a narrative that not only tells everyone what the goals are, but also how to reach them.

The crucial task is to translate the strategy document into a compelling leadership message, then to convey that message repeatedly with impact and sincerity. Leaders must return to one of our oldest human traditions, that of story-telling. As the poet Muriel Rukeyser observed, “the universe is made of stories, not atoms.”

What are the elements of an effective story? I suggest they contain the following essentials:

–  They simplify complexity

–  They engage people emotionally through vivid metaphors and examples and pictures

–  They raise – and resolve – an important issue

–  They clearly frame a “call to action”

–  They are embodied by their tellers

Stories arise from our universal search for causes and effects, for purposes and ideals. Stories create meaning. Increasingly, this desire for meaning and authenticity is being subjugated to the deadening dominance of PowerPoint presentations.

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.

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

The Future of Work in the Age of Web 3.0

Posted by Cliff Locks On January 9, 2019 at 10:20 am / In: Uncategorized

The Future of Work in the Age of Web 3.0

What is the future of work?

Is our future one of ‘technological socialism’ (where technology is taking care of our needs)?

Or is our future workplace completely virtualized, whereby we hang out at home in our PJ’s while walking about our VR Corporate HQ?

This blog will look at the Future of Work during the age of Web 3.0… Examining scenarios in which AI, VR and the spatial web converge to transform every element of our career, from training, to execution, to free time.

 In the past weeks,I explored the vast implications of Web 3.0 on news, media, smart advertising and personalized retail. You can see the blogs here: https://www.investmentcapitalgrowth.com/icg-blog/

A Quick Recap on Web 3.0: 

While Web 1.0 consisted of static documents and read-only data (static web pages), Web 2.0 introduced multimedia content, interactive web applications, and participatorysocial media, all of these mediated by two-dimensional screens.

But over the next 2 to 5 years, the convergence of 5G, artificial intelligence, VR/AR, and a trillion-sensor economy will enable us to both map our physical world into virtual space and superimpose a digital data layer onto our physical environments.

Suddenly, all our information will be manipulated, stored, understood and experienced in spatial ways. 

In this third installment of the Web 3.0 series, I’ll be discussing the Spatial Web’s vast implications for:

  1. Professional Training
  2. Delocalized Business & the Virtual Workplace
  3. Smart Permissions & Data Security

Let’s get started…

Virtual Training, Real-World Results….

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 200Academy training centers, running over 45 modules and simulating everything from unusual customer requests to a Black Friday shopping rush.

Then in September 2018, Walmart committed to a 17,000-headsetorder 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 6-year aircraft design process into the course of 6 months, turning physical mock-ups 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 Fly Inside 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.

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 Target Solutions. 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 urgent, Web 3.0and its VR interface will offer an immediate solution for 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 be an electric,autonomous vehicle mechanic at age 15? 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 enter a new industry.

But beyond professional training and virtually enriched, real-world work scenarios, Web 3.0 promises entirely virtual workplaces and blockchain-secured authorization systems.

Rise of the Virtual Workplace & Digital Data Integrity

 In addition to enabling an annual $52 billion Virtual Goods marketplace, the Spatial Web is also giving way to “virtual company headquarters” and completely virtualized companies, where employees can work from home or any place on the planet.

Too good to be true? Check out an incredible publicly listed company called eXp Realty.

Launched on the heels of the 2008 financial crisis, eXp Realty beat the odds, going public this past May and surpassing a $1B market cap on day one of trading.

But how? Opting for a demonetized virtual model, eXp’s founder Glenn Sanford decided to ditch brick and mortar from the get-go, instead building out an online virtual campus for employees,contractors and thousands of agents.

And after years of hosting team meetings, training seminars, and even agent discussions with potential buyers through 2D digital interfaces, eXp’s virtual headquarters went spatial.

What is eXp’s primary corporate value? FUN! And Glenn Sanford’s employees love their jobs.

In a bid to transition from 2Dinterfaces to immersive, 3D work experiences, virtual platform VirBELA built out the company’s office space in VR, unlocking indefinite scaling potential and an extraordinary new precedent:

Foregoing any physical locations for a centralized VR campus, eXp Realty has essentially thrown out all overhead and entered a lucrative market with barely any upfront costs.

Delocalize with VR, and you can now hire anyone with Internet access (right next door or on the other side of the planet), redesign your corporate office every month, throw in an ocean-view office or impromptu conference room for client meetings, and forget about guzzled-up hours in traffic.

Throw in the Spatial Web’s fundamental blockchain-based data layer, and now cryptographically secured virtual IDs will let you validate colleagues’ identities or any of the virtual avatars we will soon inhabit.

This becomes critically important for spatial information logs — keeping incorruptible records of who’s present at a meeting, which data each person has access to and AI-translated reports of everything discussed and contracts agreed to.

But as I discussed in a previous Spatial Web blog, not only will Web 3.0 and VR advancements allow us to build out virtual worlds, but we’ll soon be able to digitally map our real-world physical offices or entire commercial high rises too.

As data gets added and linked to any given employee’s office, conference room or security system, we might then access online-merge-offline environments and information through augmented reality.

Imaging showing up at your building’s concierge and your AR glasses automatically check you into the building, authenticating your identity and pulling up any reminders you’ve linked to that specific location.

You stop by a friend’s office,and his smart security system lets you know he’ll arrive in an hour. Need to book a public conference room that’s already been scheduled by another firm’s marketing team? Offer to pay them a fee and, once accepted, a smart transaction will automatically deliver a payment to their company account.

With blockchain-verified digital identities, spatially logged data and virtually manifest information, business logistics take a fraction of the time, operations grow seamless and corporate data will be safer than ever.

Final Thoughts

 While converging technologies slash the lifespan of Fortune 500 companies, bring on the rise of vast new industries and transform the job market, Web 3.0 is changing the way we work, where we work and who we work with.

 Life-like virtual modules are already unlocking countless professional training camps, modifiable in real-time and easily updated, including Peter Diamandis’ Singularity University.

Virtual programming and blockchain-based authentication are enabling smart data logging, identity protection and on-demand smart asset trading.

And VR/AR-accessible worlds (and corporate campuses) not only demonetize, dematerialize, and delocalize our everyday workplaces, but enrich our physical worlds with AI-driven, context-specific data.

Welcome to the Spatial Web workplace.

Please keep me in mind as your life coach, openings for senior executive engagements, and board 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. Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

Staying in touch with family and friends for Thanksgiving in 2028 is going to be more immersive.

Posted by Cliff Locks On November 28, 2018 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

Staying in touch with family and friends for Thanksgiving in 2028 is going to be more immersive.

I hope you had a very pleasant Thanksgiving with your family. Yes, it was very enjoyable with our growing family (NY, CT and MD) getting together for a wonderful meal and catching up with life’s happenings. My Thanksgiving was also filled with texting, Skyping, Zooming, Tweeting, FaceTime, Beam robots and ringing phones. Some people HATE the way technology impacts their family at gatherings — people on digital devices rather than having conversations — ‘making us more alone, even when we’re together.’ But is that really true? This blog is about perspective on the impact of digital devices, and the bigger picture of what’s going on: an accelerating trend whereby our connection with people is independent of our physical location. It turns out that we’ve ALWAYS said that new technology isolates us… “Back in my day, we didn’t have all these distractions” – Millions of disgruntled grandparents around the world. “Yeah, in your day, life was pretty boring and disconnected.” – Millions of millennials today. We’ve always preferred to get what we want, when we want. Every new communication technology has moved us closer to “immediate,” “faster,” “cheaper,” “higher quality” and “instant” communications with whomever we want, whenever we want. And that trend is accelerating. The fact is we tend to romanticize the past. And we like to complain about the present. And we are resistant to change. Check out the two photos below that clearly tell that story.

The Upside of Technology

This Thanksgiving, I was in constant contact with relatives scattered around the world: Brothers in Florida, and friends around the world including Australia, Greece, and India by Skype, Zoom, FaceTime and Beam. 100 Years Ago… holiday contact with distant relatives either didn’t happen, happened through infrequent snail mail, or rarely through a long trek by horse and buggy. Ultimately, you were stuck with the locals — which is fine — unless the people you loved were a world apart… 50 Years Ago… a long-distance phone call served as the high-tech mode of ‘connectedness.’ The telephone offered reasonably immediate communications, except on holidays (for those of you who remember) when you couldn’t actually get a line out (“All lines to that country are currently busy, please hang up and try later”). And, oh, by the way, it was really expensive. Today… we’ve got instant, global, free, wireless communication capabilities in full-color, high-definition video, and even telepresence robots. The bottom line is that technology allows us to more intimately connect with friends and family who are geographically distant, and this, in my opinion, is a really good thing. So, what’s the problem? Why concerns over “distraction” and “isolation”?

It’s Not Only the Technology, It’s Also Your Boring Uncle and Brainless Conversation

We (humans) tend to prioritize spending time with those people who bring us the most enjoyment or satisfaction. We can blame the technology all we want… BUT this means messaging our best friends rather than having conversations at a dinner table with distant relatives with whom we have little in common. which seems like a better way to spend our time. We can force it and try really hard — be polite, do the right thing. But when the barrier to connection drops so low that we can ditch the uncle and chat with the buddy, it’s a tough thing to avoid. The point here is that the quality of our connection is skyrocketing, and the barrier to connection is plummeting.

Thanksgiving – November 2028

What does Thanksgiving look like in November 2028, just 10 years from now? I imagine much of it will look a lot like it does today. Except that augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will account for half of the people around the dinner table. On the augmented reality front, technologies from companies like HTC, Magic Leap, Microsoft and Apple will allow distant family members and friends to join in the conversation in a multitude of different fashions. Some may beam in from the other side of the planet, showing up as full-sized participants virtually sitting in the chair across the table, while others may be one-tenth-sized figures standing on the tabletop. Or… in the case of virtual reality (or High Fidelity), we could imagine an hour-long pre-dinner reunion taking place in a completely virtual world with 100 distant family members joining from a dozen corners of the globe to exchange stories and catch up. We are entering a period of rapid societal transformation. An era in which traditions will morph and limitations of decades past will lift, allowing us to recreate our social networks and celebrations.

What does the future look like, with Sensors, IoT, AI, Blockchain and Connectivity.

Posted by Cliff Locks On November 21, 2018 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

What does the future look like, with Sensors, IoT, AI, Blockchain and Connectivity.

We profit from it, we fear it, and we find it impossibly hard to quantify… risk.

While not the sexiest of industries, insurance can be a life-saving protector, pooling everyone’s premiums to safeguard against some of our greatest, most unexpected losses.

One of the most profitable in the world, the insurance industry exceeded $1.2 trillion in annual revenue since 2011 in the U.S. alone.

But risk is becoming predictable. And insurance is getting disrupted fast.

By 2025, we’ll be living in a trillion-sensor economy, according to Stanford research. And as we enter a world where everything is measured all the time, we’ll start to transition from protecting against damages to preventing them in the first place.

But what happens to health insurance when Big Brother is always watching? Do rates go up when you sneak a cigarette? Do they go down when you eat your vegetables?

And what happens to auto insurance when most cars are autonomous? Or life insurance when the human lifespan doubles?

For that matter, what happens to insurance brokers when blockchain makes them irrelevant?

In this blog, I’ll be discussing four key transformations:

  1. Sensors and AI replacing your traditional broker
  2. Blockchain
  3. The ecosystem approach
  4. IoT and insurance connectivity

Let’s dive in.

AI and the Trillion-Sensor Economy

As sensors continue to proliferate across every context — from smart infrastructure to millions of connected home devices to medicine — smart environments will allow us to ask any question, anytime, anywhere.

And as I often explain, once your AI has access to this treasure trove of ubiquitous sensor data in real time, it will be the quality of your questions that make or break your business.

But perhaps the most exciting insurance application of AI’s convergence with sensors is in healthcare.

Tremendous advances in genetic screening are empowering us with predictive knowledge about our long-term health risks.

Leading the charge in genome sequencing, Illumina predicts that in a matter of years, decoding the full human genome will drop to $100, taking merely one hour to complete. Other companies are racing to get you sequences faster and cheaper.

Adopting an ecosystem approach, incumbent insurers and insurtech firms will soon be able to collaborate to provide risk-minimizing services in the health sector.

Using sensor data and AI-driven personalized recommendations, insurance partnerships could keep consumers healthy, dramatically reducing the cost of healthcare.

Some fear that information asymmetry will allow consumers to learn of their health risks and leave insurers in the dark. However, both parties could benefit if insurers become part of the screening process.

A remarkable example of this is Gilad Meiri’s company, Neura AI. Aiming to predict health patterns, Neura has developed machine learning algorithms that analyze data from all of a user’s connected devices (sometimes from up to 54 apps!).

Neura predicts a user’s behavior and draws staggering insights about consumers’ health risks. Meiri soon began selling his personal risk assessment tool to insurers, who could then help insured customers mitigate long-term health risks.

But artificial intelligence will impact far more than just health insurance.

In October of 2016, a claim was submitted to Lemonade, the world’s first peer-to-peer insurance company. Rather than being processed by a human, every step in this claim resolution chain — from initial triage through fraud mitigation through final payment — was handled by an AI.

This transaction marks the first time an AI has processed an insurance claim. And it won’t be the last. A traditional human-processed claim takes 40 days to pay out. In Lemonade’s case, payment was transferred within three seconds.

However, Lemonade’s achievement only marks a starting point. Over the course of the next decade, nearly every facet of the insurance industry will undergo a similarly massive transformation.

New business models like peer-to-peer insurance are replacing traditional brokerage relationships, while AI and blockchain pairings significantly reduce the layers of bureaucracy required (with each layer getting a cut) for traditional insurance.

Consider Juniper, a startup that scrapes social media to build your risk assessment, subsequently asking you 12 questions via an iPhone app. Geared with advanced analytics, the platform can generate a million-dollar life insurance policy, approved in less than five minutes.

But what’s keeping all your data from unwanted hands?

Blockchain Building Trust

Current distrust in centralized financial services has led to staggering rates of underinsurance. Add to this fear of poor data and privacy protection, particularly in the wake of 2017’s widespread cybercriminal hacks.

Enabling secure storage and transfer of personal data, blockchain holds remarkable promise against the fraudulent activity that often plagues insurance firms.

As explained by Peter Diamandis and Symbiont’s President Caitlyn Long, “The centralized database model of insurance companies and other organizations is becoming redundant.” Developing blockchain-based solutions for capital markets, Symbiont develops smart contracts to execute payments with little to no human involvement.

But distributed ledger technology (DLT) is enabling far more than just smart contracts.

Also targeting insurance is Tradle, leveraging blockchain for its proclaimed goal of “building a trust provisioning network.” Built around “know-your-customer” (KYC) data, Tradle aims to verify KYC data so that it can be securely forwarded to other firms without any further verification.

By requiring a certain number of parties to reuse pre-verified data, the platform makes your data much less vulnerable to hacking and allows you to keep it on a personal device. Only its verification — let’s say of a transaction or medical exam — is registered in the blockchain.

As insurance data grow increasingly decentralized, key insurance players will experience more and more pressure to adopt an ecosystem approach.

The Ecosystem Approach

Just as exponential technologies converge to provide new services, exponential businesses must combine the strengths of different sectors to expand traditional product lines.

By partnering with platform-based insurtech firms, forward-thinking insurers will no longer serve only as reactive policy-providers, but provide risk-mitigating services as well.

Especially as digital technologies demonetize security services — think autonomous vehicles — insurers must create new value chains and span more product categories.

For instance, France’s multinational AXA recently partnered with Alibaba and Ant Financial Services to sell a varied range of insurance products on Alibaba’s global e-commerce platform at the click of a button.

Building another ecosystem, Alibaba has also collaborated with Ping An Insurance and Tencent to create ZhongAn Online Property and Casualty Insurance — China’s first Internet-only insurer, offering over 300 products. Now with a multibillion-dollar valuation, Zhong An has generated about half its business from selling shipping return insurance to Alibaba consumers.

But it doesn’t stop there. Insurers that participate in digital ecosystems can now sell risk-mitigating services that prevent damage before it occurs.

Imagine a corporate manufacturer whose sensors collect data on environmental factors affecting crop yield in an agricultural community. With the backing of investors and advanced risk analytics, such a manufacturer could sell crop insurance to farmers. By implementing an automated, AI-driven UI, they could automatically make payments when sensors detect weather damage to crops.

Now let’s apply this concept to your house, your car, your health insurance.

What’s stopping insurers from partnering with third-party IoT platforms to predict fires, collisions, chronic heart disease—and then empowering the consumer with preventive services?

This brings us to the powerful field of IoT.

Internet of Things and Insurance Connectivity

Leap ahead a few years. With a centralized hub like Echo, your smart home protects itself with a network of sensors. While gone, you’ve left on a gas burner and your Internet-connected stove notifies you via a home app.

Better yet, home sensors monitoring heat and humidity levels run this data through an AI, which then remotely controls heating, humidity levels, and other connected devices based on historical data patterns and fire risk factors.

Several firms are already working toward this reality.

AXA plans to one day cooperate with a centralized home hub whereby remote monitoring will collect data for future analysis and detect abnormalities.

With remote monitoring and app-centralized control for users, MonAXA is aimed at customizing insurance bundles. These would reflect exact security features embedded in smart homes.

MonAXA connects homes to homeowners’ smartphones via IoT. Source: MonAXA

Wouldn’t you prefer not to have to rely on insurance after a burglary? With digital ecosystems, insurers may soon prevent break-ins from the start.

By gathering sensor data from third parties on neighborhood conditions, historical theft data, suspicious activity and other risk factors, an insurtech firm might automatically put your smart home on high alert, activating alarms and specialized locks in advance of an attack.

Insurance policy premiums are predicted to vastly reduce with lessened likelihood of insured losses. But insurers moving into preventive insurtech will likely turn a profit from other areas of their business. PricewaterhouseCoopers predicts that the connected home market will reach $149 billion USD by 2020.

Let’s look at car insurance.

Car insurance premiums are currently calculated according to the driver and traits of the car. But as more autonomous vehicles take to the roads, not only does liability shift to manufacturers and software engineers, but the risk of collision falls dramatically.

But let’s take this a step further.

In a future of autonomous cars, you will no longer own your car, instead subscribing to Transport as a Service (TaaS) and giving up the purchase of automotive insurance altogether.

This paradigm shift has already begun with Waymo, which automatically provides passengers with insurance every time they step into a Waymo vehicle.

And with the rise of smart traffic systems, sensor-embedded roads, and skyrocketing autonomous vehicle technology, the risks involved in transit only continue to plummet.

Final Thoughts

Insurtech firms are hitting the market fast. IoT, autonomous vehicles and genetic screening are rapidly making us invulnerable to risk. And AI-driven services are quickly pushing conventional insurers out of the market.

In 2017, there were 3.8 billion digitally connected people on the planet.

By 2024, roll-out of 5G on the ground, as well as OneWeb and Starlink in orbit are bringing 4.2 billion new consumers to the web — most of whom will need insurance.

Yet, because of the changes afoot in the industry, none of them will buy policies from a human broker.

While today’s largest insurance companies continue to ignore this fact at their peril (and this segment of the market), thousands of entrepreneurs see it more clearly: as one of the largest opportunities ahead.

Please keep me in mind as your life coach, openings for senior executive engagements, and board 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. Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

Machine Learning Confronts the Elephant in the Room – A visual prank exposes an Achilles’ heel of computer vision systems: Unlike humans, they can’t do a double take.

Posted by Cliff Locks On October 31, 2018 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

Machine Learning Confronts the Elephant in the Room – A visual prank exposes an Achilles’ heel of computer vision systems: Unlike humans, they can’t do a double take.

Score one for the human brain. In a new study, computer scientists found that artificial intelligence systems fail a vision test a child could accomplish with ease.

“It’s a clever and important study that reminds us that ‘deep learning’ isn’t really that deep,” said Gary Marcus, a neuroscientist at New York University who was not affiliated with the work.

The result takes place in the field of computer vision, where artificial intelligence systems attempt to detect and categorize objects. They might try to find all the pedestrians in a street scene, or just distinguish a bird from a bicycle (which is a notoriously difficult task). The stakes are high: As computers take over critical tasks like automated surveillance and autonomous driving, we’ll want their visual processing to be at least as good as the human eyes they’re replacing.

It won’t be easy. The new work accentuates the sophistication of human vision — and the challenge of building systems that mimic it. In the study, the researchers presented a computer vision system with a living room scene. The system processed it well. It correctly identified a chair, a person, books on a shelf. Then the researchers introduced an anomalous object into the scene — an image of an elephant. The elephant’s mere presence caused the system to forget itself: Suddenly it started calling a chair a couch and the elephant a chair, while turning completely blind to other objects it had previously seen.

“There are all sorts of weird things happening that show how brittle current object detection systems are,” said Amir Rosenfeld, a researcher at York University in Toronto and co-author of the study along with his York colleague John Tsotsos and Richard Zemel of the University of Toronto.

Researchers are still trying to understand exactly why computer vision systems get tripped up so easily, but they have a good guess. It has to do with an ability humans have that AI lacks: the ability to understand when a scene is confusing and thus go back for a second glance.

The Elephant in the Room

Eyes wide open, we take in staggering amounts of visual information. The human brain processes it in stride. “We open our eyes and everything happens,” said Tsotsos.

Artificial intelligence, by contrast, creates visual impressions laboriously, as if it were reading a description in Braille. It runs its algorithmic fingertips over pixels, which it shapes into increasingly complex representations. The specific type of AI system that performs this process is called a neural network. It sends an image through a series of “layers.” At each layer, the details of the image — the colors and brightnesses of individual pixels — give way to increasingly abstracted descriptions of what the image portrays. At the end of the process, the neural network produces a best-guess prediction about what it’s looking at.

“It’s all moving from one layer to the next by taking the output of the previous layer, processing it and passing it along to the next layer, like a pipeline,” said Tsotsos.

Neural networks are adept at specific visual chores. They can outperform humans in narrow tasks like sorting objects into best-fit categories — labeling dogs with their breed, for example. These successes have raised expectations that computer vision systems might soon be good enough to steer a car through crowded city streets.

They’ve also provoked researchers to probe their vulnerabilities. In recent years there have been a slew of attempts, known as “adversarial attacks,” in which researchers contrive scenes to make neural networks fail. In one experiment, computer scientists tricked a neural network into mistaking a turtle for a rifle. In another, researchers waylaid a neural network by placing an image of a psychedelically colored toaster alongside ordinary objects like a banana.

This new study has the same spirit. The three researchers fed a neural network a living room scene: A man seated on the edge of a shabby chair leans forward as he plays a video game. After chewing on this scene, a neural network correctly detected a number of objects with high confidence: a person, a couch, a television, a chair, some books.

In the unmodified image at left, the neural network correctly identifies many items in a cluttered living room scene with high probability. Add an elephant, as in the image at right, and problems arise. The chair in the lower-left corner becomes a couch, the nearby cup disappears, and the elephant gets misidentified as a chair.

Amir Rosenfeld

Then the researchers introduced something incongruous into the scene: an image of an elephant in semiprofile. The neural network started getting its pixels crossed. In some trials, the elephant led the neural network to misidentify the chair as a couch. In others, the system overlooked objects, like a row of books, that it had correctly detected in earlier trials. These errors occurred even when the elephant was far from the mistaken objects.

Snafus like those extrapolate in unsettling ways to autonomous driving. A computer can’t drive a car if it might go blind to a pedestrian just because a second earlier it passed a turkey on the side of the road.

And as for the elephant itself, the neural network was all over the place: Sometimes the system identified it correctly, sometimes it called the elephant a sheep, and sometimes it overlooked the elephant completely.

“If there is actually an elephant in the room, you as a human would likely notice it,” said Rosenfeld. “The system didn’t even detect its presence.”

Everything Connected to Everything

When human beings see something unexpected, we do a double take. It’s a common phrase with real cognitive implications — and it explains why neural networks fail when scenes get weird.

Today’s best neural networks for object detection work in a “feed forward” manner. This means that information flows through them in only one direction. They start with an input of fine-grained pixels, then move to curves, shapes, and scenes, with the network making its best guess about what it’s seeing at each step along the way. As a consequence, errant observations early in the process end up contaminating the end of the process, when the neural network pools together everything it thinks it knows in order to make a guess about what it’s looking at.

“By the top of the neural network you have everything connected to everything, so you have the potential to have every feature in every location interfering with every possible output,” said Tsotsos.

The human way is better. Imagine you’re given a very brief glimpse of an image containing a circle and a square, with one of them colored blue and the other red. Afterward you’re asked to name the color of the square. With only a single glance to go on, you’re likely to confuse the colors of the two shapes. But you’re also likely to recognize that you’re confused and to ask for another look. And, critically, when you take that second look, you know to focus your attention on just the color of the square.

“The human visual system says, ‘I don’t have right answer yet, so I have to go backwards to see where I might have made an error,’” explained Tsotsos, who has been developing a theory called selective tuning that explains this feature of visual cognition.

Most neural networks lack this ability to go backward. It’s a hard trait to engineer. One advantage of feed-forward networks is that they’re relatively straightforward to train — process an image through these six layers and get an answer. But if neural networks are to have license to do a double take, they’ll need a sophisticated understanding of when to draw on this new capacity (when to look twice) and when to plow ahead in a feed-forward way. Human brains switch between these different processes seamlessly; neural networks will need a new theoretical framework before they can do the same.

Leading researchers in the world are working on it, though, and they’re calling for backup. Earlier this month, Google AI announced a contest to crowdsource image classifiers that can see their way through adversarial attacks. The winning entry will need to unambiguously distinguish between an image of a bird and an image of a bicycle. It would be a modest first step — but also a necessary one.

Please keep me in mind as your life coach, openings for senior executive engagements, and board 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. Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

How Good Money is Redefining Banking

Posted by Cliff Locks On September 26, 2018 at 10:02 am / In: Uncategorized

How Good Money is Redefining Banking

The CIA estimates over $90 trillion of global value is stored in cash, banknotes, money markets, and bank accounts. In 2018, a mere 8 percent (about $5 trillion) of this $90 trillion is in the form of cold, hard cash. In this two-part blog series, we’ll cover how the internet, mobile devices, sensors, blockchain and AI are driving a revolution in the financial world and dramatically changing how we move money across the globe. In this blog, I will cover:
  1. How a company called Good Money is redefining banking
  2. The mobile money revolution
  3. Cross-border payments
Let’s dive in.

How Good Money is Redefining Banking

Right now, most people store their money in a bank account. A person pays a fee (on average $400 per year) to put money in her bank account, and the bank then further profits on the client’s money by investing in other projects. The kicker: these projects do not necessarily align well with the customer’s values, or provide any benefits or major returns… In fact, the average interest rates are effectively zero — currently on the order of 0.01 percent for checking accounts. These large, centralized, intermediary institutions are ripe for disruption — and that is exactly the vision of platforms like Good Money. Good Money is a mobile-first banking wallet that allows users to hold all of their assets, both fiat and cryptocurrencies, in one place. The wallet has no annual fee ($0 per year vs. the average $400 per year of consumer checking accounts) and allows for full fiat and cryptocurrency interoperability. Further, Good Money offers a 1.8 percent interest rate — over 100 times greater than interest rates offered by traditional checking accounts. Beyond interest rates, a second failure of traditional consumer banking is that customers do not control how their stored money is invested by banks. Meaning that your money could well be invested in the petroleum industry when you are in fact a die-hard environmentalist. As the name implies, Good Money enables you as the user to choose how your stored money is invested, aligning it with your vision for humanity. Fundamentally, we think of banks like Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Citibank as necessary and very basic — places for us to store our money so that we have easy access without carrying around wads of cash. Good Money’s vision adds a number of important features ranging from interoperability between Fiat and Crypto Currencies, as well as reasonable check-interest rates and most importantly, control of where your hard-earned cash gets invested. Beyond Good Money, Mobile-first banking platforms are rising around the world. Let’s take a deeper look.

The Mobile Money Revolution

As we’ve discussed in past blogs, the number of humans being connected to the web in the next six years is breathtaking. Over the next 5 years, as global 5G network coverage and space-based systems come online, we will soon connect the entire planet. In 2010, about a quarter of humanity was connected (1.8 billion people). By 2017, that number had risen to half of the planet’s population (3.8 billion). And now, we are on track to connect the entire human race — 8 billion people — by 2024. This translates to four billion new consumers, soon to upload and download on the internet for the first time in years ahead. In terms of finance, all four billion of these new users are going to want access to the same banking services that each of us has come to expect. At the low end, it is estimated that 2 billion people around the world today lack the ability to securely save money, transfer money, and make payments. Beyond the basic benefits of banking, we forget that banking also translates to health and education — allowing us to save money for future emergency medical fees or borrow money to pay for our children’s schooling. So why is it that 2 billion people don’t yet have access to banking? The short answer is that the tremendous cost of building and maintaining traditional banks, bank tellers, cash- and location-based bank branches and ATMs doesn’t make economic sense in poorer countries. What if we skip the buildings and the people and go straight to all-digital, all-mobile operations? Mobile phones are rapidly permeating the developing world; it’s estimated that Africa surpassed 1 billion mobile phones in 2017. In 2016, 61 percent (or 100 million) of the 163 million people in Bangladesh, had mobile phones. This rapid rise in mobile phones is providing an avenue for entrepreneurs, investors, and particularly Telecom companies to bring banking services to the 2 billion unbanked people across the globe. One brilliant example is the Bangladesh-based, Gates Foundation-backed start-up bKash. bKash started in 2011 with $5 million and a vision of providing mobile financial services to the unbanked in Bangladesh. Since their arrival on the Bangladeshi financial scene, bKash has gained 17 million users and over $20 million in donations and investments. With a low 1.85 percent fee (only on withdrawals), Bangladeshis are paying salaries through bKash, storing their money in bKash, and using bKash for their day-to-day shopping. And with growing profits, bKash plans to roll out other foundational financial services like loans and insurance. Ant Financial (formerly Alipay, a subsidiary of Alibaba) recently purchased a 20 percent stake in bKash, in part to help enhance bKash’s services with lessons learned from deploying Alipay in China. Ant Financial is at the forefront of the fintech revolution, facilitating $8 trillion of transactions in online payments last year alone. To further illustrate just how massive Ant Financial is, its most recent $14 billion funding round sets it up for a $150 billion valuation — nearly twice Goldman Sachs’ $87 billion valuation. In South Africa and parts of Southern Asia, telecom provider Vodafone’s M-Pesa (‘pesa’ = ‘money’ in Swahili) brings mobile payments and banking to 30 million customers in 10 different countries. M-Pesa’s initial use-case was transferring money across long distances, serving workers who face the major problem of physically transporting cash to support their families from afar. Now, even the Indian government is using M-Pesa to pay pensions to retirees who live in rural areas, eliminating the former delays and crimes associated with shipping cash across the country. Without bank branches or ATMs, how do M-Pesa mobile banking customers withdraw and deposit cash?
  1. M-Pesa embeds agents — sole individuals who sell cellphone airtime — in various shops around their service areas.
  2. These agents then exchange airtime minutes with customers for cash and vice versa.
  3. M-Pesa customers load the airtime to their SIM card.
  4. Customers use the mobile phone minutes as mobile money, by text message, through the M-Pesa platform to transfer money and make payments.
This system has penetrated more than 96 percent of households in Kenya. A 2016 MIT paper shows the impact of mobile payment capabilities: M-Pesa lifted 2 percent of Kenyan Households (196,000 families) out of extreme poverty between 2008 and 2016. To conclude the above, we’re seeing developing countries use mobile phones to leapfrog the antiquated centralized banking model of finance, creating wealth and lifting people out of poverty. Still, with this explosion of mobile banking in developing nations, there is a massive economic opportunity to further improve security, reliability, connectivity, and user control. As we saw above, traditional banks are lagging behind more nimble technology companies (Alibaba, Vodafone, etc.) in implementing these transformative platforms.

Cross-Border Payments

With mobile payment and banking infrastructure in place across the globe, you would imagine that moving money from country to country would be relatively straightforward. Here’s an interesting question — if you wanted to move $9,999 from New York to London, what is the fastest way to do it? Some would argue that physically carrying the money in cash on an airplane would be the fastest route (you need to declare more than $10,000 with US Customs). You could also opt to make the payment through your bank. Your bank would then use a network called SWIFT to move your money to a London bank. SWIFT currently sits at the center of most cross-border payment technology. Transactions on the SWIFT network can take 3-5 days to process; the network processes 24 million transactions per day (about 277 transactions per second). In addition to bank-varying fees, during the 3-5 day transfer time, exchange rates can vary by over 5%, a large tax for businesses making international payments. Because of these relatively long transfer times, unpredictable fees (due to exchange rate variability), and a slew of security issues, banks and other fintech players are investigating alternatives. With the coming innovation in cross-border payment infrastructure, Accenture forecasts that global cross-border payments will rise by 5.6 percent per year through 2022. One exciting attempt to redefine international remittance is Stellar.org. In partnership with IBM, Stellar promotes its mission to move money quickly across borders, and “to expand access to low-cost financial services to fight poverty and maximize individual potential.” The Stellar network can process over 1,000 transactions per day — more than 3x the number of transactions on the SWIFT network, on an immutable and decentralized blockchain. Rather than waiting 3-5 days for the SWIFT network to process your transaction, Stellar processes transactions in 3-5 seconds. In addition to bypassing day-to-day exchange rate variability, Stellar’s low fee of about $0.01 per 600,000 transactions makes the network highly competitive with existing infrastructure. Platforms like Stellar also offer cross-border, mobile-to-mobile money lending services, which we’ll cover in our next blog.

Conclusion

The fintech sector disrupts far more than “business as usual” on Wall Street. How we transact and move money also transforms the day-to-day lives of people all over the world. The convergences of technology such as IoT, Blockchain and AI will transform all aspects of Fintech (and insurance), challenging the long-dominant infrastructure of Wall Street. In Part Two next week Peter Diamandis and I will cover the Future of Finance and Banking, we’ll explore how exponential technologies are impacting investing and lending, AI financial advisory services (e.g. Robo-Traders), new stores of value (e.g. Bitcoin and Stable Coins), and a discussion on how we might ensure that FinTech can be trusted in our rapidly accelerating future. With the dematerialization, demonetization and democratization of financial resources, today is the greatest time in human history to be an entrepreneur — no matter where you live on planet Earth. Please keep me in mind as your life coach, openings for senior executive engagements, and board 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. Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com

Five Challenges with Today’s Elementary Schools and Five Guiding Principles for Future Education

Posted by Cliff Locks On September 19, 2018 at 10:07 am / In: Uncategorized

Five Challenges with Today’s Elementary Schools and Five Guiding Principles for Future Education

As kids worldwide head back to school, I’d like to share some thoughts on the future of education. Without question, the #1 driver for Education = Inspiration.

This blog covers five subjects related to elementary school education:

  1. Five Issues with Today’s Elementary Schools
  2. Five Guiding Principles for Future Education
  3. An Elementary School Curriculum for the Future
  4. Exponential Technologies in our Classroom
  5. Mindsets for the 21st Century

Excuse the length of this blog, but if you have kids, the details might be meaningful. If you don’t, then next week’s blog will return to normal length and another fun subject.

OKAY, let’s dive in…

Five Issues with Today’s Elementary Schools

There are probably lots of issues with today’s traditional elementary schools, but I’ll just choose a few that bother me most.

  1. Grading: In the traditional education system, you start at an “A,” and every time you get something wrong, your score gets lower and lower. At best it’s demotivating, and at worst it has nothing to do with the world you occupy as an adult. In the gaming world (e.g. Angry Birds), it’s just the opposite. You start with zero and every time you come up with something right, your score gets higher and higher.
  2. Sage on the Stage: Most classrooms have a teacher up in front of class lecturing to a classroom of students, half of whom are bored and half of whom are lost. The one-teacher-fits-all model comes from an era of scarcity where great teachers and schools were rare.
  3. Relevance: When I think back to elementary and secondary school, I realize how much of what I learned was never actually useful later in life, and how many of my critical lessons for success I had to pick up on my own. (I don’t know about you, but I haven’t ever actually had to factor a polynomial in my adult life.)
  4. Imagination – Coloring inside the Lines: Probably of greatest concern to me is the factory-worker, industrial-era origin of today’s schools — programs so structured with rote memorization that it squashes the originality from most children. I’m reminded that “the day before something is truly a breakthrough, it’s a crazy idea.” Where do we pursue crazy ideas in our schools? Where do we foster imagination?
  5. Boring: If learning in school is a chore, boring or emotionless, then the most important driver of human learning, passion, is disengaged. Having our children memorize facts and figures, sit passively in class and take mundane standardized tests completely defeats the purpose.

An average of 7,200 students drop out of high school each day, totaling 1.3 million each year. This means only 69% of students who start high school finish four years later. And over 50% of these high school dropouts name boredom as the No. 1 reason they left.

Five Guiding Principles for Future Education:

I imagine a relatively near-term future in which robotics and artificial intelligence will allow any of us, from ages 8 to 108, to easily and quickly find answers, create products or accomplish tasks, all simply by expressing our desires.

From ‘mind to manufactured in moments.’ In short, we’ll be able to do and create almost whatever we want.

In this future, what attributes will be most critical for our children to learn to become successful in their adult lives? What’s most important for educating our children today?

For me it’s about passion, curiosity, imagination, critical thinking and grit.

  1. Passion: You’d be amazed at how many people don’t have a mission in life… A calling… something to jolt them out of bed every morning. The most valuable resource for humanity is the persistent and passionate human mind, so creating a future of passionate kids is so very important. For my 7-year-old boys, I want to support them in finding their passion or purpose… something that is uniquely theirs. In the same way that the Apollo program and Star Trek drove my early love for all things space, and that passion drove me to learn and do.
  2. Curiosity: Curiosity is something innate in kids, yet something lost by most adults during the course of their life. Why? In a world of Google, robots and AI, raising a kid that is constantly asking questions and running “what if” experiments can be extremely valuable. In an age of machine learning, massive data and a trillion sensors, it will be the quality of your questions that will be most important.
  3. Imagination: Entrepreneurs and visionaries imagine the world (and the future) they want to live in, and then they create it. Kids happen to be some of the most imaginative humans around… it’s critical that they know how important and liberating imagination can be.
  4. Critical Thinking: In a world flooded with often-conflicting ideas, baseless claims, misleading headlines, negative news and misinformation, learning the skill of critical thinking helps find the signal in the noise. This principle is perhaps the most difficult to teach kids.
  5. Grit/Persistence: Grit is defined as “passion and perseverance in pursuit of long-term goals,” and it has recently been widely acknowledged as one of the most important predictors of and contributors to success.

Teaching your kids not to give up, to keep trying, and to keep trying new ideas for something that they are truly passionate about achieving is extremely critical. Much of my personal success has come from such stubbornness. I joke that both XPRIZE and the Zero Gravity Corporation were “overnight successes after 10 years of hard work.”

So given those five basic principles, what would an elementary school curriculum look like? Let’s take a look…

An Elementary School Curriculum for the Future

For the purpose of illustration, I’ll speak about ‘courses’ or ‘modules,’ but in reality these are just elements that would ultimately be woven together throughout the course of K-6 education.

Module 1: Storytelling/Communications

When I think about the skill that has served me best in life, it’s been my ability to present my ideas in the most compelling fashion possible, to get others onboard, and support birth and growth in an innovative direction. In my adult life, as an entrepreneur and a CEO, it’s been my ability to communicate clearly and tell compelling stories that has allowed me to create the future. I don’t think this lesson can start too early in life. So imagine a module, year after year, where our kids learn the art and practice of formulating and pitching their ideas. The best of oration and storytelling. Perhaps children in this class would watch TED presentations, or maybe they’d put together their own TEDx for kids. Ultimately, it’s about practice and getting comfortable with putting yourself and your ideas out there and overcoming any fears of public speaking.

Module 2: Passions

A modern school should help our children find and explore their passion(s). Passion is the greatest gift of self-discovery. It is a source of interest and excitement, and is unique to each child.

The key to finding passion is exposure. Allowing kids to experience as many adventures, careers and passionate adults as possible. Historically, this was limited by the reality of geography and cost, implemented by having local moms and dads presenting in class about their careers. “Hi, I’m Alan, Billy’s dad, and I’m an accountant. Accountants are people who…”

But in a world of YouTube and virtual reality, the ability for our children to explore 500 different possible careers or passions during their K-6 education becomes not only possible but compelling. I imagine a module where children share their newest passion each month, sharing videos (or VR experiences) and explaining what they love and what they’ve learned.

Module 3: Curiosity & Experimentation

Einstein famously said, “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” Curiosity is innate in children, and many times lost later in life. Arguably, it can be said that curiosity is responsible for all major scientific and technological advances — the desire of an individual to know the truth.

Coupled with curiosity is the process of experimentation and discovery. The process of asking questions, creating and testing a hypothesis, and repeated experimentation until the truth is found. As I’ve studied the most successful entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial companies, from Google and Amazon to Uber, their success is significantly due to their relentless use of experimentation to define their products and services.

Here I imagine a module which instills in children the importance of curiosity and gives them permission to say, “I don’t know, let’s find out.”

Further, a monthly module that teaches children how to design and execute valid and meaningful experiments. Imagine children who learn the skill of asking a question, proposing a hypothesis, designing an experiment, gathering the data and then reaching a conclusion.

Module 4: Persistence/Grit

Doing anything big, bold and significant in life is hard work. You can’t just give up when the going gets rough. The mindset of persistence, of grit, is a learned behavior and I believe can be taught at an early age, especially when it’s tied to pursuing a child’s passion.

I imagine a curriculum that, each week, studies the career of a great entrepreneur and highlights their story of persistence. It would highlight the individuals and companies that stuck with it, iterated and ultimately succeeded.

Further, I imagine a module that combines persistence and experimentation in gameplay such as that found in Dean Kamen’s FIRST LEGO league, where 4th graders (and up) research a real-world problem such as food safety, recycling, energy and so on, and are challenged to develop a solution. They also must design, build and program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS®, then compete on a tabletop playing field.

Module 5: Technology Exposure

In a world of rapidly accelerating technology, understanding how technologies work, what they do and their potential for benefiting society is, in my humble opinion, critical to a child’s future. Technology and coding (more on this below) are the new “lingua franca” of tomorrow.

In this module, I imagine teaching (age appropriate) kids through play and demonstration. Giving them an overview of exponential technologies such as computation, sensors, networks, artificial intelligence, digital manufacturing, genetic engineering, augmented/virtual reality and robotics, to name a few. This module is not about making a child an expert in any technology, it’s more about giving them the language of these new tools, and conceptually an overview of how they might use such a technology in the future. The goal here is to get them excited, give them demonstrations that make the concepts stick, and then to let their imaginations run.

Module 6: Empathy

Empathy, defined as “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another,” has been recognized as one of the most critical skills for our children today. And while there has been much written, and great practices for instilling this at home and in school, today’s new tools accelerate this.

Virtual reality isn’t just about video games anymore. Artists, activists and journalists now see the technology’s potential to be an empathy engine, one that can shine spotlights on everything from the Ebola epidemic to what it’s like to live in Gaza. And Jeremy Bailenson has been at the vanguard of investigating VR’s power for good.

For more than a decade, Bailenson’s lab at Stanford has been studying how VR can make us better people. Through the power of VR, volunteers at the lab have felt what it is like to be Superman (to see if it makes them more helpful), a cow (to reduce meat consumption) and even a coral (to learn about ocean acidification).

Silly as they might seem, these sorts of VR scenarios could be more effective than the traditional public service ad at making people behave. Afterwards, they waste less paper. They save more money for retirement. They’re nicer to the people around them. And this could have consequences in terms of how we teach and train everyone from cliquey teenagers to high court judges.

Module 7: Ethics/Moral Dilemmas

Related to empathy, and equally important, is the goal of infusing kids with a moral compass. Over a year ago, I toured a special school created by Elon Musk (the Ad Astra school) for his five boys (age 9 to 14). One element that is persistent in that small school of under 40 kids is the conversation about ethics and morals, a conversation manifested by debating real-world scenarios that our kids may one day face.

Here’s an example of the sort of gameplay/roleplay that I heard about at Ad Astra, that might be implemented in a module on morals and ethics. Imagine a small town on a lake, in which the majority of the town is employed by a single factory. But that factory has been polluting the lake and killing all the life. What do you do? It’s posed that shutting down the factory would mean that everyone loses their jobs. On the other hand, keeping the factory open means the lake is destroyed and the lake dies. This kind of regular and routine conversation/gameplay allows the children to see the world in a critically important fashion.

Module 8: The 3R Basics (Reading, wRiting & aRithmetic)

There’s no question that young children entering kindergarten need the basics of reading, writing and math. The only question is what’s the best way for them to get it? We all grew up in the classic mode of a teacher at the chalkboard, books and homework at night. But I would argue that such teaching approaches are long outdated, now replaced with apps, gameplay and the concept of the flip classroom.

Pioneered by high school teachers Jonathan Bergman and Aaron Sams in 2007, the flipped classroom reverses the sequence of events from that of the traditional classroom.

Students view lecture materials, usually in the form of video lectures, as homework prior to coming to class. In-class time is reserved for activities such as interactive discussions or collaborative work — all performed under the guidance of the teacher.

The benefits are clear:

  1. Students can consume lectures at their own pace, viewing the video again and again until they get the concept, or fast-forwarding if the information is obvious.
  2. The teacher is present while students apply new knowledge. Doing the homework into class time gives teachers insight into which concepts, if any, that their students are struggling with and helps them adjust the class accordingly.
  3. The flipped classroom produces tangible results: 71% of teachers who flipped their classes noticed improved grades, and 80% reported improved student attitudes as a result.

Module 9: Creative Expression & Improvisation

Every single one of us is creative. It’s human nature to be creative… the thing is that we each might have different ways of expressing our creativity.

We must encourage kids to discover and to develop their creative outlets early. In this module, imagine showing kids the many different ways creativity is expressed — from art to engineering to music to math — and then guiding them as they choose the area (or areas) they are most interested in. Critically, teachers (or parents) can then develop unique lessons for each child based on their interests, thanks to open education resources like YouTube and the Khan Academy. If my child is interested in painting and robots, a teacher or AI could scour the Web and put together a custom lesson set from videos/articles where the best painters and roboticists in the world share their skills.

Adapting to change is critical for success, especially in our constantly changing world today. Improvisation is a skill that can be learned, and we need to be teaching it early.

In most collegiate “improv” classes, the core of great improvisation is the “Yes, And…” mindset. When acting out a scene, one actor might introduce a new character or idea, completely changing the context of the scene. It’s critical that the other actors in the scene say “Yes, and…” accept the new reality, then add something new of their own.

Imagine playing similar role-play games in elementary schools, where a teacher gives the students a scene/context and constantly changes variables, forcing them to adapt and play.

Module 10: Coding

Computer science opens more doors for students than any other discipline in today’s world. Learning even the basics will help students in virtually any career, from architecture to zoology.

Coding is an important tool for computer science, in the way that arithmetic is a tool for doing mathematics and words are a tool for English. Coding creates software, but computer science is a broad field encompassing deep concepts that go well beyond coding.

Every 21st century student should also have a chance to learn about algorithms, how to make an app or how the Internet works. Computational thinking allows preschoolers to grasp concepts like algorithms, recursion and heuristics — even if they don’t understand the terms, they’ll learn the basic concepts.

There are more than 500,000 open jobs in computing right now, representing the No. 1 source of new wages in the United States, and these jobs are projected to grow at twice the rate of all other jobs.

Coding is fun! Beyond the practical reasons for learning how to code, there’s the fact that creating a game or animation can be really fun for kids.

Module 11: Entrepreneurship & Sales

At its core, entrepreneurship is about identifying a problem (an opportunity), developing a vision on how to solve it, and working with a team to turn that vision into reality. I mentioned Elon’s school, Ad Astra: here, again, entrepreneurship is a core discipline where students create and actually sell products and services to each other and the school community.

You could recreate this basic exercise with a group of kids in lots of fun ways to teach them the basic lessons of entrepreneurship.

Related to entrepreneurship is sales. In my opinion, we need to be teaching sales to every child at an early age. Being able to “sell” an idea (again related to storytelling) has been a critical skill in my career, and it is a competency that many people simply never learned.

The lemonade stand has been a classic, though somewhat meager, lesson in sales from past generations, where a child sits on a street corner and tries to sell homemade lemonade for $0.50 to people passing by. I’d suggest we step the game up and take a more active approach in gamifying sales, and maybe having the classroom create a Kickstarter, Indiegogo or GoFundMe campaign. The experience of creating a product or service and successfully selling it will create an indelible memory and give students the tools to change the world.

Module 12: Language

A little over a year ago, I spent a week in China meeting with parents whose focus on kids’ education is extraordinary. One of the areas I found fascinating is how some of the most advanced parents are teaching their kids new languages: through games. On the tablet, the kids are allowed to play games, but only in French. A child’s desire to win fully engages them and drives their learning rapidly.

Beyond games, there’s virtual reality. We know that full immersion is what it takes to become fluent (at least later in life). A semester abroad in France or Italy, and you’ve got a great handle on the language and the culture. But what about for an 8-year-old?

Imagine a module where for an hour each day, the children spend their time walking around Italy in a VR world, hanging out with AI-driven game characters who teach them, engage them, and share the culture and the language in the most personalized and compelling fashion possible.

Bottom line, how we educate our kids needs to radically change given the massive potential of exponential tech (e.g. artificial intelligence and Virtual Reality), per Peter Diamandis and he is right!

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

AI Superpowers USA vs. China

Posted by Cliff Locks On at 10:02 am / In: Uncategorized

AI Superpowers USA vs. China

Kai-Fu Lee is one of the most plugged-in AI investors on the planet, heading management of over $2 billion AUM between six funds, and over 300 portfolio companies in the U.S. and China.

Drawing from his pioneering work in AI, executive leadership at Microsoft, Apple and Google (where he served as founding president of Google China), and his founding of VC fund Sinovation Ventures, Lee shares invaluable insights about:

  1. The four factors driving today’s AI ecosystems;
  2. China’s extraordinary inroads in AI implementation;
  3. Where autonomous systems are headed;
  4. How we’ll need to adapt.

With a foothold in both Beijing and Silicon Valley, Lee looks at the power balance between Chinese and U.S. tech behemoths — each turbocharging new applications of deep learning and sweeping up global markets in the process.

In this blog, I’ll be discussing Lee’s ‘Four Waves of AI,’ an excellent framework for discussing where AI is today and where it’s going. I’ll also be featuring some of the hottest Chinese tech companies leading the charge, worth watching right now.

With Sino-U.S. competition heating up, who will own the future of technology?

Let’s dive in.

The First Wave: Internet AI

In this first stage of AI deployment, we’re dealing primarily with recommendation engines — algorithmic systems that learn from masses of user data to curate online content personalized to each one of us.

Think Amazon’s spot-on product recommendations, or that “Up Next” YouTube video you just have to watch before getting back to work, or Facebook ads that seem to know what you’ll buy before you do.

Powered by the data flowing through our networks, Internet AI leverages the fact that users automatically label data as we browse. Clicking vs. not clicking; lingering on a webpage longer than we did on another; hovering over a Facebook video to see what happens at the end.

These cascades of labeled data build a detailed picture of our personalities, habits, demands and desires: the perfect recipe for more tailored content to keep us on a given platform.

Currently, Lee estimates that Chinese and American companies stand head-to-head when it comes to deployment of Internet AI. But given China’s data advantage, he predicts that Chinese tech giants will have a slight lead (60-40) over their U.S. counterparts in the next five years.

While you’ve most definitely heard of Alibaba and Baidu, you’ve probably never stumbled upon Toutiao.

Starting out as a ‘copycat’ of America’s wildly popular Buzzfeed, Toutiao reached a valuation of $20 billion by 2017, dwarfing Buzzfeed’s valuation by more than a factor of 10. But with almost 80 million daily active users, Toutiao doesn’t just stop at creating viral content.

Equipped with natural-language processing and computer vision, Toutiao’s AI engines survey a vast network of different sites and contributors, rewriting headlines to optimize for user engagement, and processing each user’s online behavior — clicks, comments, engagement time — to curate individualized news feeds for millions of consumers.

And as users grow more engaged with Toutiao’s content, the company’s algorithms get better and better at recommending content, optimizing headlines, and delivering a truly personalized feed.

It’s this kind of positive feedback loop that fuels today’s AI giants surfing the wave of Internet AI.

The Second Wave: Business AI

While Internet AI takes advantage of the fact that netizens are constantly labeling data via clicks and other engagement metrics, business AI jumps on the data that traditional companies have already labeled in the past.

Think: banks issuing loans and recording repayment rates; hospitals archiving diagnoses, imaging data and subsequent health outcomes; or courts noting conviction history, recidivism and flight.

While we humans make predictions based on obvious root causes (strong features), AI algorithms can process thousands of weakly correlated variables (weak features) that may have much more to do with a given outcome than the usual suspects.

By scouting out hidden correlations that escape our linear cause-and-effect logic, Business AI leverages labeled data to train algorithms that outperform even the most veteran of experts.

Apply these data-trained AI engines to banking, insurance and legal sentencing, and you get minimized default rates, optimized premiums, and plummeting recidivism rates.

While Lee confidently places America in the lead (90-10) for Business AI, China’s substantial lag in structured industry data could actually work in its favor going forward.

In industries where Chinese startups can leapfrog over legacy systems, China has a major advantage.

Take Chinese app Smart Finance, for instance.

While Americans embraced credit and debit cards in the 1970s, China was still in the throes of its Cultural Revolution, largely missing the bus on this cutting-edge technology.

Fast forward to 2017, and China’s mobile payment spending outnumbered that of Americans’ by a ratio of 50 to 1. Without the competition of deeply entrenched credit cards, mobile payments were an obvious upgrade to China’s cash-heavy economy, embraced by 70 percent of China’s 753 million smartphone users by the end of 2017.

But by leapfrogging over credit cards and into mobile payments, China largely left behind the notion of credit.

And here’s where Smart Finance comes in.

An AI-powered app for micro-finance, Smart Finance depends almost exclusively on its algorithms to make millions of micro loans. For each potential borrower, the app simply requests access to a portion of the user’s phone data.

On the basis of variables as subtle as your typing speed and battery percentage, Smart Finance can predict with astounding accuracy your likelihood of repaying a $300 loan.

Such deployments of Business AI and Internet AI are already revolutionizing our industries and individual lifestyles. But still on the horizon lie two even more monumental waves — perception AI and autonomous AI.

The Third Wave: Perception AI

In this wave, AI gets an upgrade with eyes, ears and myriad other senses, merging the digital world with our physical environments.

As sensors and smart devices proliferate through our homes and cities, we are on the verge of entering a trillion-sensor economy.

Companies like China’s Xiaomi are putting out millions of IoT-connected devices, and teams of researchers have already begun prototyping smart dust — solar cell- and sensor-geared particulates that can store and communicate troves of data anywhere, anytime.

As Kai-Fu explains, Perception AI “will bring the convenience and abundance of the online world into our offline reality.” Sensor-enabled hardware devices will turn everything from hospitals to cars to schools into online-merge-offline (OMO) environments.

Imagine walking into a grocery store, scanning your face to pull up your most common purchases, and then picking up a virtual assistant (VA) shopping cart. Having pre-loaded your data, the cart adjusts your usual grocery list with voice input, reminds you to get your spouse’s favorite wine for an upcoming anniversary, and guides you through a personalized store route.

While we haven’t yet leveraged the full potential of perception AI, China and the U.S. are already making incredible strides. Given China’s hardware advantage, Lee predicts China currently has a 60-40 edge over its American tech counterparts.

Now the go-to city for startups building robots, drones, wearable technology, and IoT infrastructure, Shenzhen has turned into a powerhouse for intelligent hardware, as I discussed last week. Turbocharging output of sensors and electronic parts via thousands of factories, Shenzhen’s skilled engineers can prototype and iterate new products at unprecedented scale and speed.

With the added fuel of Chinese government support and a relaxed Chinese attitude toward data privacy, China’s lead may even reach 80-20 in the next five years.

Jumping on this wave are companies like Xiaomi, which aims to turn bathrooms, kitchens, and living rooms into smart OMO environments. Having invested in 220 companies and incubated 29 startups that produce its products, Xiaomi surpassed 85 million intelligent home devices by the end of 2017, making it the world’s largest network of these connected products.

One KFC restaurant in China has even teamed up with Alipay (Alibaba’s mobile payments platform) to pioneer a ‘pay-with-your-face’ feature. Forget cash, cards and cell phones, and let OMO do the work.

The Fourth Wave: Autonomous AI

But the most monumental — and unpredictable — wave is the fourth and final: autonomous AI.

Integrating all previous waves, autonomous AI gives machines the ability to sense and respond to the world around them, enabling AI to move and act productively.

While today’s machines can outperform us on repetitive tasks in structured and even unstructured environments (think Boston Dynamics’ humanoid Atlas or oncoming autonomous vehicles), machines with the power to see, hear, touch and optimize data will be a whole new ballgame.

Think: swarms of drones that can selectively spray and harvest entire farms with computer vision and remarkable dexterity, heat-resistant drones that can put out forest fires 100X more efficiently, or Level 5 autonomous vehicles that navigate smart roads and traffic systems all on their own.

While autonomous AI will first involve robots that create direct economic value — automating tasks on a one-to-one replacement basis — these intelligent machines will ultimately revamp entire industries from the ground-up.

Kai-Fu Lee currently puts America in a commanding lead of 90-10 in autonomous AI, especially when it comes to self-driving vehicles. But Chinese government efforts are quickly ramping up the competition.

Already in China’s Zhejiang province, highway regulators and government officials have plans to build China’s first intelligent superhighway, outfitted with sensors, road-embedded solar panels and wireless communication between cars, roads and drivers.

Aimed at increasing transit efficiency by up to 30 percent while minimizing fatalities, the project may one day allow autonomous electric vehicles to continuously charge as they drive.

A similar government-fueled project involves Beijing’s new neighbor Xiong’an. Projected to take in over $580 billion in infrastructure spending over the next 20 years, Xiong’an New Area could one day become the world’s first city built around autonomous vehicles.

Baidu is already working with Xiong’an’s local government to build out this AI City with an environmental focus. Possibilities include sensor-geared cement, computer vision-enabled traffic lights, intersections with facial recognition and parking lots-turned parks.

Lastly, Lee predicts China will almost certainly lead the charge in autonomous drones. Already, Shenzhen is home to premier drone maker DJI. Named “the best company I have ever encountered” by Chris Anderson, DJI owns an estimated 50 percent of the North American drone market, supercharged by Shenzhen’s extraordinary maker movement.

While the long-term Sino-U.S. competitive balance in fourth wave AI remains to be seen, one thing is certain: in a matter of decades, we will witness the rise of AI-embedded cityscapes and autonomous machines that can interact with the real world and Peter Diamandis says it will help solve today’s most pressing grand challenges.

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

LOSE THE VOLUNTEER BLUES

Posted by Cliff Locks On August 29, 2018 at 11:05 am / In: Uncategorized

LOSE THE VOLUNTEER BLUES

Just like most business executives, I am passionate about helping our youths; consequently, I registered to provide STEM learning resources to the Scouting community. Please consider reaching out to your local Scouting Council and offer to be a Merit Badge Council and a Board Member. Here is a comprehensive list of Councils in the USA by State and County: http://bit.ly/2PcTV1d I just learned of another great group, I came across, Pencil. This is a non-profit firm that promotes a volunteer opportunity. You can be a pro-bono professional Advisor and Board Member to a School Principal, and create other student educational opportunities. There are many groups around the country that provide similar resources, just Google your County and Not for Profit, here is an example in New Jersey: http://www.njnonprofits.org/NPEducation.html. Pencil is serving the New York City area. Pencil serves over 500 public school students (ages 16-22) annually through a competitive career readiness training program that culminates in a paid six-week summer internship at a company in New York City. Volunteers are a critical component of this program, serving as mentors, supervisors, and instructors. Michael Haberman; is the CEO of Pencil. The Pencil is a voluntary organization, which is working hard to assist in fixing one of the greatest challenges fronting our nation; which happens to be the education tragedy. For instance, in New York City, 74.3% of the 1.1 million public school kids will finish. Additionally, even though a higher percentage of students are graduating citywide, less than half of city high school graduates are determined to be “college ready.”, and we reckon that everybody can be involved in helping with the solutions. The group creates a perfect fit, they take individuals with amazing enterprise abilities, attach them with a community school head and assist them to fix a couple of the difficulties that will eventually lead to students attaining success. In 2017 Pencil worked with 1,224 business volunteers to directly serve 2,500 public school students across all five boroughs of New York. Volunteers sign up with the Pencil organization, and are matched with one of the 500 schools, and there are various ways through which volunteers operate to provide assistance and encouragement. For instance, there is the A rap international engineering, this group has already started working with a high school in Brooklyn, and right there, they are assisting to link scientific and mathematical curriculum to real-life issues. As a result of this, the student has learned how bridges are constructed, they have been taught a lot about wind generators and, a year ago, they built their dance studio, and they have started making use of it. And there is also the international marketing company Ogilvy, Ogilvy is in partnership with several students to train them about the field of advertising and marketing, and in the course of the year, they set up their 360-degree marketing campaign with radio, Television, outside the office, and online; definitely motivating the students to realize that, when they are educated, there is practically nothing they cannot accomplish.  I think this is awesome. Here are two photos of American Airlines providing student learning opportunities through Pencil. The Pencil program is so wonderful that virtually any professional businessman or woman with talent will be a fantastic volunteer and partner with schools. If you happen to be a professional administrator, talented in marketing or even if you’re merely enthusiastic about speaking with students on how you achieved your goals, we’re the specialists at assisting you to understand how you can genuinely influence a public school. For anyone who is enthusiastic and is interested in volunteering for Pencil, kindly visit www.pencil.org; News: https://pencil.org/pencil-news-clips/ There is still one thing which is common for good leaders and parents, and that is they both look for experts for professional support. Please keep me in mind as your life coach, openings for senior executive engagements, and board 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. Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com

Cliff Locks Host Angel Investors Network Podcast with Zvi Band is the CEO and Founder Contactually, one of the fastest growing companies on the INC 5000 list, listed at 513; raised $17.8 million in investors’ funds.

Posted by Cliff Locks On August 8, 2018 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

Cliff Locks Host Angel Investors Network Podcast with Zvi Band is the CEO and Founder Contactually, one of the fastest growing companies on the INC 5000 list, listed at 513; raised $17.8 million in investors’ funds.

Contactually is a leader in business software, Zvi, and his team early on recognized software is something, people are forced to use, not enjoy using. This is a challenge. Zvi knew that needed to change. So, his team doesn’t design its software products to fit into an existing mold; they design it to help people with their work. Contactually software identifies past clients and others in the users’ contact sphere of influence and prioritizes relationships with them. Their customers are seeing a 42% increase in Gross Income. That’s huge.   Podcast  

Visionary Analysis – Are You Ready for the Fastest Internet Connection in the World

Posted by Cliff Locks On July 25, 2018 at 10:16 am / In: Uncategorized

Visionary Analysis – Are You Ready for the Fastest Internet Connection in the World

In the next 6 years, 4 billion “New Consumers” are about to be connected to the World Wide Web, at Gigabit connection speeds, at near zero-cost.

 

 

By 2024, we are connecting every person on Earth to the web with bandwidths far beyond what Fortune 500 CEOs and heads of nations had daily access to just a couple of decades back.

This revolution will ignite a renaissance of innovation, and once again transform our planet.

In the next 4 to 7 years, every person on Earth will gain access to the world’s information.

What will these 4.2 billion new consumers discover? What will they consume? What new companies will they build? What industries will they disrupt?

We’ve already seen unprecedented acceleration of network growth and connectivity. But as the other half of our planet plugs into the web, this acceleration will only accelerate.

So where are we going and how are we getting there?

Networks are currently being deployed in 3 different areas:

  1. 5G, ushering in a wireless world
  2. Balloons connecting all 8 billion of us from the atmosphere
  3. Space-based networks

Let’s dive in…

5G for Gigabit Connection Speeds, Worldwide

The jump from 3G to 4G brought you the revolutionary era of smartphones, mobile banking and e-commerce.

But if you thought that was big, think again.

With plans for wide-scale deployment in 2020, 5G will be 100X faster than 4G, and 10X faster than your average broadband connection.

To get a sense of what that actually means, imagine downloading a movie on your phone in a matter of seconds —or better yet, having your autonomous vehicle communicate with smart city sensors in real time.

With 1 to 10 Gbps connection speeds, 5G is at the core of tomorrow’s trillion-sensor economy.

Powering autonomous vehicles, smart factories (IIoT), remotely controlled drones, VR and AR, in-home IoT, and the world’s first smart cities, 5G is about to allow every person on the planet to tap into data from billions of sensors around the globe.

It’s the promise of on-demand knowledge for anyone, anywhere, anytime.

As Peter Diamandis and his friend and former Qualcomm CTO Matt Grob explains, “5G networks will allow you to measure 100,000 sensors in a city block.”

Imagine the extraordinary possibilities that such a smart world could unlock. No question about your environment is unanswerable, and answers are less than a split second away.

With companies like Qualcomm and Intel leading the charge, some estimates put 5G infrastructure spending at over $326 billion by 2025.

And while major players are linking the world’s devices and sensors at gigabit connection speeds on the ground, others are working from the atmosphere.

As Google places high-altitude balloons in the stratosphere, SpaceX is beginning to populate space with constellations of Internet-transmitting satellites.

Balloons Blanketing the Earth

With balloons and drones hovering about 20 to 50 kilometers off the ground, companies like Google are working to connect 4 billion people to the web at unprecedented speeds.

Coming out of Google’s X — commonly known as the ‘Moonshot Factory’ — Google Loon is building out balloons that can direct themselves up and down the stratosphere, creating an aerial wireless network with up to 4G LTE connection capacities.

Project Loon has essentially redesigned the key components of a cell tower to be light and durable enough for a 15x12m balloon navigating 20 kilometers above the Earth’s surface.

Powered by solar panels that charge their batteries, Loon’s balloons are guided using predictive models of wind patterns and decision-making algorithms. Depending on where coverage is needed, balloons are quickly navigated into the right wind stream for directed migration.

Each with a coverage area of 5,000 square kilometers, balloons can be deployed in no time. Using custom-built Autolaunchers, Project Loon can now fill and launch a new balloon into its network every 30 minutes, per crane.

And by August of last year, Google had shown data transmission between balloons over 100 kilometers apart (in the stratosphere) and back down to Earth with connection speeds of up to 10 Mbps, directly to LTE phones on the ground.

Having successfully provided connectivity to over 100,000 Puerto Ricans after Hurricane Maria in 2017, Loon aims to put thousands of balloons in the stratosphere, giving you connectivity anywhere on the planet.

But Alphabet isn’t alone. Travel out another several thousand kilometers, and companies from OneWeb to SpaceX are powering satellite networks in the thousands.

Space-Based Networks

Imagine a swarm of thousands of satellites, migrating across the horizon, delivering a constant stream of broadband to the most remote corners of the globe.

Now imagine this as early as 2020. With OneWeb and SpaceX deploying satellite constellations in low Earth orbit, science fiction is only years away.

Backed by billions in funding from Qualcomm, Richard Branson and SoftBank, among other investors, OneWeb is working on a constellation of about 1,980 satellites in total.

Aiming to be fully operational by the mid-2020s, OneWeb’s initial constellation is set to offer download speeds of up to 50 Mbps worldwide.

In the meantime, OneWeb founder Greg Wyler has projected that customers will start receiving 500 Mbps of bandwidth in 2019 as OneWeb’s second generation satellites aim for 2.5 Gbps by 2021.

And just this past June, the satellite broadband company received Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval to serve U.S. customers with a constellation of 720 satellites.

But OneWeb isn’t stopping there. Using Amazon’s Blue Origin rockets to launch their satellites into space, OneWeb is gearing up for Round 2, recently requesting FCC approval of another 1,260 satellites, aiming for global, high-speed broadband.

With targets of “connecting every unconnected school” by 2022, OneWeb hopes to entirely “bridge the digital divide” by 2027.

And beyond OneWeb, we’ve already seen SpaceX launch numerous satellites into orbit aboard its Falcon 9 this year.

Charging full speed ahead with its ambitious project Starlink, SpaceX has unveiled plans for a 4,425 satellite constellation in low Earth orbit to cover the globe with megabit and gigabit speeds.

Finally granted a license from the FCC in March 2018 to operate an array of broadband internet satellites, SpaceX has been predicted to gain over 40 million subscribers for Starlink by 2025, translating to about $30 billion in revenue.

But while revenue potential and connection speeds skyrocket, one primary challenge to satellite internet is latency.

Even with strong broadband, it takes much more time for communications to travel to a satellite and back than via terrestrial connections.

But as OneWeb and Starlink jump onto the scene, their low Earth orbit constellations are predicted to offer broadband speeds with unprecedentedly low latency. As of 2016, OneWeb’s constellation was designed to have just 30 milliseconds of latency — a remarkable leap for satellites.

And with satellites placed closer to Earth, Starlink shows promise for much lower latency in the long-term. In addition to its initial 4,425 satellite constellation at about 1,150 kilometers above Earth, Starlink plans to place another 7,500+ satellites even closer at 340 kilometers in altitude.

As tweeted by Musk, the two experimental satellites deployed from one of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets, “TinTin A [and TinTin B] are both closing the link to ground with phased array at high bandwidth, low latency (25ms).”

And with SpaceX’s intended proximity to Earth, latency delays would only continue to plummet, one day reaching comparability to current cable and fiber response times. As explained by SpaceX VP Patricia Cooper to the U.S. Senate Chamber of Commerce, Starlink’s network would provide 25ms latency and 1 Gbps speeds.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Zoom out another several thousand kilometers and you’ve reached O3b’s fleet.

Working at an altitude about 8,000 kilometers above the Earth, O3b — or “Other 3 Billion” — has already built out an initial fleet of 16 satellites, including 4 new ones launched just this past spring.

It’s already provided connectivity to multiple small island nations, but O3b is only getting started. Partnering with Boeing, O3b plans to launch an upgraded network in 2021, an ‘mPower network’ set to become the first ‘multi-terabit’ satellite constellation in space.

(As of September 2017, Boeing Satellite Systems International agreed to build a fleet of seven superpowered satellites to provide connectivity from medium Earth orbit for SES’ O3b network.)

Ushering in a new era, SES promises the “most powerful, flexible, and scalable satellite-based network ever, [delivering] multiple terabits of throughput to connect exponentially more people.”

Having contracted its first O3b mPower partner, Boeing Satellite Systems, SES’s constellation is planned to have 30,000 fully shapeable and steerable beams, which can be shifted in real time to align with consumers’ changing needs and connectivity demands.

Offering coverage to almost 400 million square kilometers — four-fifths of the Earth’s surface — O3b mPower could become the most bandwidth-efficient system ever.

Combined, these privately run fleets could one day meet the internet traffic needs of entire countries, far-flung islands smattering the Earth, and the most remote of peoples, now accessing a trillion-sensor economy on-demand, and at historic speeds.

The Big Picture

With 5G on the ground, balloons in the air and private satellites blanketing the Earth from space, we are on the verge of connecting every person on the planet with gigabit connection speeds at de minimis cost.

As 5G electrifies a world of trillions of sensors and devices, we’re about to live in a world where anyone anywhere can have access to the world’s knowledge, crowdfund ready capital across 8 billion potential investors, and 3D print on the cloud.

And as the population of online users doubles, we’re about to witness perhaps the most historic acceleration of progress and technological innovation known to man. Thank you Peter Diamandis for sharing your wisdom!

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

LEARN HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR BRAIN FOR HIGH PERFORMANCE

Posted by Cliff Locks On May 9, 2018 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

LEARN HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR BRAIN FOR HIGH PERFORMANCE

Let’s start with some biology, out of the total energy content of our body; our brains make use of about 20%. The end product of energy is waste. Fortunately, our brain is self-cleansing. Therefore, it easily removes all the accumulated wastes. The cleaning is carried out by the brain while we are sleeping. Amazing right? However, there is a little bit problem. Scientist recommends that an adult should have at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night. However, not many of us are getting up to 7 hours of sleep per night. About 80% of us are deprived of sleep. The implication of this is that 80% of us deny our brains the sufficient time it needs for self-cleaning. On the negative end, this can cause neurodegenerative ailments such as Alzheimer’s disease. On the not so negative end, the implication is that we are damaging our concentration ability, our ability to solve problems and our ability for creative imagination. Here are some simple strategies to improve your sleep and thereby to enhance your brain in the process. Developed a bedtime routine that assists you to unwind, I follow advice from Matthew Walker, an expert on sleep. Choose any activity you need to reduce every evening. For many of us, that means we have to disconnect ourselves from technological devices. Have a constant hour for bedtime and stay committed to it. For me, I always endeavor to get to bed by 11:30 pm and get up at the same time every day, for me it’s 7:30 am. The first 5 to 10 minutes, I mentally run through my day and have excellent creative solutions, which I capture by writing them down or entering them into my smartphone’s calendar. And if there’s one thing that you take away from this, it would be going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time, no matter whether it’s the weekday or the weekend. Even if you’ve had a bad night of sleep, still wake up at the same time of day and reset. The second thing is that we are a dark-deprived society in this modern era and we need darkness in the evening to allow the release of a hormone called melatonin. And melatonin helps the healthy timing of our sleep. So try to dim down half the lights in your home in the hour before bed. Stay away from screens, especially those LED screens — they emit blue light that puts the breaks on melatonin. And those blue-light emitting devices fool your brain into thinking that it’s still daytime, even though it’s nighttime and you want to get to sleep. The third key ingredient is to keep it cool. Many of us have a bedroom that’s too warm regarding temperature. So an optimal temperature is about 68 degrees Fahrenheit or about 18 and a half degrees Celsius. And the reason is that your brain and your body need to drop their core temperature by about two or three degrees Fahrenheit to initiate good sleep. And that’s the reason why you’ll always find it easier to fall asleep in a room that’s too cold than too hot. So having a cool room takes your brain and body in the right temperature direction to get good sleep. The fourth critical factor is avoiding alcohol and caffeine. Unfortunately, this makes me deeply unpopular, but alcohol is perhaps the most misunderstood drug when it comes to sleep. People think that it helps them fall asleep. That’s not true. Alcohol is a class of drugs that we call, “the sedatives.” And what you’re doing is just knocking your brain out. You’re not putting it into a natural sleep. We also know that alcohol will fragment your sleep. So you’ll wake up many more times throughout the night. And alcohol is also a very potent chemical for blocking your dream sleep or your rapid eye movement sleep. Caffeine is also a problem. Many of us know that caffeine can keep us awake. It’s an alerting chemical; it’s a stimulant regarding a class of drugs. But few people know that even if you can have a cup of coffee after dinner, and you fall asleep fine, and maybe you stay asleep, the depth of the deep sleep that you have when there is caffeine within your brain isn’t as deep as when you’ve abstained from that cup of coffee after dinner. So as a consequence, you wake up the next morning, you feel unrefreshed, and you don’t remember waking up or having a difficult time falling asleep, but now you find yourself reaching for two or three cups of coffee in the morning, and you develop this dependency, this addiction cycle. The fifth and final tip for better sleep is to not stay in bed awake. So if you haven’t fallen asleep within 20 or so minutes or you’ve woken up, and you’re finding it difficult to fall back asleep, don’t stay in bed awake. The reason is that your brain very quickly starts to learn the association between your bed being about the place that you’re awake rather than your bed is about sleep. So the advice is to get up, go to another room and in dim light, just read a book. No screens, no email checking, no food. And only when you feel sleepy should you return to bed and that way you can then actually re-learn the association between your bedroom being about the place of sleep rather than being awake. I should also note that some people don’t like the idea of getting up and going out to a different room if it’s dark and they’re warm in bed. But, it works! Many thanks for viewing this blog. Please share with your friends and colleagues. I look forward to being your professional Advisor and Board Member and would enjoy working with you to enhance your leadership skills. Please click on the chat app on the lower right or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities for you and your company to achieve its goals.

EXACTLY WHY VACATION IS GREAT FOR THE BOTTOM-LINE

Posted by Cliff Locks On March 21, 2018 at 10:01 am / In: Uncategorized

EXACTLY WHY VACATION IS GREAT FOR THE BOTTOM-LINE

Going on vacation can really make a great influence on your team and your wellness. As a matter of fact, in one research, it was discovered that for each extra 10 hours of vacation time spent, their performance and profitability at the end of the year was discovered to have increased by 8%. It was the start of Spring yesterday March 20th and it’s undoubtedly the time to plan your vacations. I wish you a wonderful vacation and well-deserved rejuvenation and tranquility. During one of my vacations, I MindMap a new division for my company, AutoExpo which is now http://www.motortrend.com/auto-shows/, this added millions of dollars of value to my company, increasing EBITDA and the profitable exit. Many thanks for viewing this blog. Please share with your friends and colleagues. I look forward to being your professional Advisor and Board Member and would enjoy working with you to enhance your leadership skills. Please click on the chat app on the lower right or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities for you and your company to achieve its goals.

Elon Musk’s entrepreneurial success, exponential entrepreneur you can emulate

Posted by Cliff Locks On February 14, 2018 at 3:18 pm / In: Uncategorized

Elon Musk’s entrepreneurial success, exponential entrepreneur you can emulate

A good friend, Peter Diamandis did an interview recently where he was asked to deconstruct Elon Musk’s entrepreneurial success.

Having known Musk for 17 years, we’ve had the chance to watch his meteoric rise into someone who is arguably the greatest entrepreneur of our age.

In this blog, I’ll share what we’ve learned from Musk — lessons that I believe every exponential entrepreneur must emulate.

We’ve broken these lessons into 3 sections:

  1. Deep-rooted passion
  2. A crystal-clear massively transformative purpose
  3. First-principles thinking

Let’s dive in.

Deep-Rooted Passion

“I didn’t go into the rocket business, the car business, or the solar business thinking, ‘This is a great opportunity.’ I just thought, in order to make a difference, something needed to be done. I wanted to create something substantially better than what came before.” – Elon Musk

Musk only tackles those problems where he has deep rooted passion and conviction.

After selling PayPal, with $165M in his pocket, Musk set out to pursue three Moonshots, and subsequently built three multibillion-dollar companies: SolarCity, Tesla and SpaceX.

This passion allowed him to push forward through extraordinarily difficult times and take big risks.

You might think it was always easy for Musk, but back in 2008 he was at a lowest low: SpaceX had just experienced its third consecutive failure of the Falcon-1 launch vehicle, Tesla was out of money, SolarCity was not getting financed, and Musk was going through a divorce. Musk borrowed money for basic living. Traumatic times.

Despite the 2008 economic crisis at the time, he bet every penny he had, and eventually everything turned around.

Ultimately, it was his passion, refusal to give up, and grit/drive that allowed him to ultimately succeed and begin to impact the world at a significant scale.

A “Crystal Clear” Massively Transformative Purpose

Part of Musk’s ability to motivate his team to do great things is his crystal-clear Massively Transformative Purpose, which drives each of his companies.

As I always say, social movements, rapidly growing organizations, and remarkable breakthroughs in science and technology are all backed by a powerful MTP.

Musk’s MTP for Tesla and SolarCity is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

To this end, every product Tesla brings to market is focused on this vision and backed by a Master Plan Musk wrote over 10 years ago.

Elon’s MTP for SpaceX is to backup the biosphere by making humanity a multiplanet species.

Elon has been preaching this since the founding of SpaceX back in 2002 even when he was experiencing numerous rocket failures.

“I think fundamentally the future is vastly more exciting and interesting if we’re a spacefaring civilization and a multiplanet species than if we’re or not. You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. And that’s what being a spacefaring civilization is all about.” – Elon Musk

These MTPs are like a north star for Elon and his employees.

They keep all efforts focused and aligned, which helps his organizations grow cohesively even in times of chaos.

First Principles Thinking

First principles thinking is a mode of inquiry stolen from physics designed to relentlessly pursue the foundations of any given problem from fundamental truths.

Elon has deployed this thinking strategy to give himself an unfair advantage when developing new batteries, a key component for both Tesla and SolarCity.

Here is Elon describing first principles thinking in this 2012 interview with Kevin Rose:

“I think it is important to reason from first principles rather than by analogy. The normal way we conduct our lives is we reason by analogy. [When reasoning by analogy] we are doing this because it’s like something else that was done or it is like what other people are doing — slight iterations on a theme.

First principles is kind of a physics way of looking at the world. You boil things down to the most fundamental truths and say, “What are we sure is true?” … and then reason up from there.

Somebody could say, “Battery packs are really expensive and that’s just the way they will always be… Historically, it has cost $600 per kilowatt hour. It’s not going to be much better than that in the future.”

With first principles, you say, “What are the material constituents of the batteries? What is the stock market value of the material constituents?”

It’s got cobalt, nickel, aluminum, carbon, some polymers for separation and a sealed can. Break that down on a material basis and say, “If we bought that on the London Metal Exchange what would each of those things cost?”

It’s like $80 per kilowatt hour. So clearly you just need to think of clever ways to take those materials and combine them into the shape of a battery cell and you can have batteries that are much, much cheaper than anyone realizes.”

First principle thinking works so well because it gives us a proven strategy for editing out complexity, while also allowing entrepreneurs to sidestep the tide of popular opinion.

Closing Thoughts

These 3 tactics from Elon I believe have contributed to his massive success as an exponential entrepreneur. Ultimately, for you to make a difference in your business, if you’re not absolutely passionate and driven by that purpose, you will not take risks when you need to, and you will not keep going in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. As you build your own companies keep this in mind and be sure to go after something you believe in with all your heart and soul. My Personal Executive Advising Program can help you, it gives you the big breath of fresh air and ideas you need to jump-start your career and your business. I help you tackle business challenges or personal ones. The choice is yours. This is a completely personalized one-on-one experience that will be perfectly tailored to your needs and desires.

The Personal Executive Advising Program Includes:

* Goal setting to help you move steadily forward

* Leadership Development for being an inspired & effective manager

* Personal Development to give you a better work/home balance

* Change Implementation to start the changes needed to help you reach your full potential

* Millionaire’s mindset; Yes, I’ve guided my clients to be successful Multi-Millionaires. I’ve done it myself and you deserve this level of success in your life, if you want it.

Advising sessions are weekly for 60 minutes by phone or Skype. We have an open, free-flowing conversation that goes wherever your interests and needs take us. These conversations take place over a one, three or six-month, or one-year period depending on your specific needs and schedule.

Click on this link to get started: popl.ink/WeMXTp

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

Ditch Your 2018 Smart Goals

Posted by Cliff Locks On January 17, 2018 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

Ditch Your 2018 Smart Goals

I’m going to commit a corporate profanation right now in this blog and this is it, I really hate the word “smart goals”. You might have got to know about it probably from one of the professional development trainers in your office. They often tell you to have smart goals, what does that mean? S means Specific M means Measurable, A means Accountable R means Relevant or Reliable, T means timely or Time bound. In all honesty, how many of you have tried out these five criteria in a different environment apart from a corporate setting? It is really intricate. Let’s stick with the basics and concentrate on achieving our goals and not just setting them. It is the moment to enhance your goal. First step: Consider the numbers. What is the number in regards to new clients acquisition and reduced churn? How much will this equate into increased revenue? Second step: Note it down, have it written down and post it in a place that you can easily see it every day. Third Step: Be responsible and seek assistance from your team, advisors and your board. When you are focused and approach things simply, you will get your goals accomplished. Many thanks for taking time to read this blog, if you enjoyed it, I highly recommend you share with your loved ones and colleagues, by kindly forwarding it, posting it on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, and tweeting it. I’m Cliff Locks, a professional executive advisor and Board of Director. As I say, be passionate in everything you do, model great leadership for others, understand your strengths and use them, set positive goals, make definitive plans based on them – and execute, it’s ok to admit when you fail and move on, and always motivate others. Let’s work together to enhance your leadership skills potential, visit www.InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com and click on the chat app on the lower right, or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks so we can schedule time together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities help your company achieve its goals.  

An Easier Way To Succeed In 2018

Posted by Cliff Locks On January 10, 2018 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

An Easier Way To Succeed In 2018

Achieving more success usually seems like a great deal of work. On a daily basis, there is always a new book I come across having a three-point approach, a five-point approach, or ten proven ways to make progress at work. Now if you resemble me in any manner, number one, you are way behind in your reading and number two, you are very much still enthusiastic for additional success this year. I’ve uncovered a lazy approach to be successful and supported by research, no books, and no tricks. You will really like just how simple it truly is to be successful this year. All of us take great pride in ourselves on how special we are, however research reveals that we are who we are mainly because of the type of people around us . Those around us impact our actions beyond what we can even imagine. Consider it in this way; if you want to drop 10 lbs. this year, do you suppose you’re very likely to shed it if you are associating with your best pal who also wishes to shake off 10 lbs. or with a new guy that has actually succeeded in losing 10, and possibly 15 lbs. Research reveals that the biggest impact on our conduct and our professional achievements is people we associated with. So, what exactly is the lazy approach to transform your life this year? It’s easy, spend time with the people you wish to become like. Below are 3 suggestions to assist you achieving that. 1) Pick a senior colleague to have lunch with; somebody at the workplace that you esteem. 2) Create a new friend from somebody, an individual you’ve been appreciating from a distance for some time. 3) Be part of a group that is already doing something you want to do as participating in a group will certainly make things simpler to accomplish. And when you’re being lazy and creating positive transformations in your life this year, realize that any decision you make; regardless if it’s on working smarter, becoming more fit or voting intelligently will have a ripple and influence hundreds and possibly thousands of people. Many thanks for taking time to read this blog, if you enjoyed it, I highly recommend you share with your loved ones and colleagues, by kindly forwarding it, posting it on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, and tweeting it. I’m Cliff Locks, a professional executive advisor and Board of Director. As I say, be passionate in everything you do, model great leadership for others, understand your strengths and use them, set positive goals, make definitive plans based on them – and execute, it’s ok to admit when you fail and move on, and always motivate others. Let’s work together to enhance your leadership skills potential, visit www.InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com and click on the chat app on the lower right, or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks so we can schedule time together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities help your company achieve its goals.

Ditch The Resolutions

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 27, 2017 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

Ditch The Resolutions

This past year, did you make any New Year’s decision or resolution? Were you able to fulfill it? I mean seriously stand by it for the full year? If you were able to keep your resolution, well done, since you succeeded in defying a very difficult reality as far as making resolutions is concerned. New Year’s resolutions have relatively great chances for failure and it’s not surprising, we have a tendency to make these huge hairy audacious resolutions and we neglect to prepare the required support we need to stick to them constantly for the whole year. This year, dump the resolutions; rather take action that research shows will make you happier in 2017. Studies have discovered little things that we could accomplish conveniently. Things that truly illuminate the happiness centers in our brain, I’m going to break the rules, in respect of 2018, I have chosen 16 things that you could pick from to ensure a satisfaction boost. I decided on that many because I want to ensure there is one or more that resounds with you individually. Don’t be anxious; I will go through every one of them in a moment and just, so you understand, I have selected number 9 as the most important that will make me happier in 2017. I want to know which one you choose to make you happier. Here we go 16 modest things that will cause you to be happier in 2018. Number 1: be inquisitive. Ask many questions. It is the first skill to improve your network. Number 2: be on your own. Everybody requires some periods of tranquility, Create out some me moment to experience happiness and become effective. Number 3: clean up your desk. Get rid of the piles, put something attractive on your desk, and allow it to become a spot in which you delight in spending time. Number 4: give assistance to somebody. Give your assistance to a person that really needs it but may not have asked you. Number 5: eat healthier. Take a Greek yogurt rather than a donut, a fruit rather than a cookie, water rather than soda. Number 6: be a student. Discover a new challenge, it is going to rejuvenate your brain and make you feel even more proficient. Number 7: show appreciation openly. Say it many times daily and allow other people hear. Number 8: say your thanks silently. Each day take a peaceful time to be grateful for a good thing in your life. Number 9: communicate with your family. Give a call to your folks or siblings or somebody important in your life that requires your attention. Number 10: take a chance. Attempt something new or maybe something even frightening. Number 11: move around more, look for excuses to escape from your desk, use the stairs rather than the elevator. Number 12: do little acts of kindness; help someone with a cup of coffee, help someone open the elevator door; assist someone with a suitcase on the subway staircases. Number 13: endorse someone on LinkedIn. You don’t have to wait until you are asked, do it your own volition. Number 14: donate your money to a good cause. If there is a cause that is really important to you, spend your money on it. Number 15: give someone a gift. According to psychologists, we are often happier when we give someone a gift than we are mainly concerned about ourselves. And number 16: Laugh; the more you laugh, the happier you will become. Wishing you a wonderful holidays and a great year ahead! Many thanks for taking time to read this blog, if you enjoyed it, I highly recommend you share with your loved ones and colleagues, by kindly forwarding it, posting it on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, and tweeting it. I’m Cliff Locks, a professional executive advisor and Board of Director. As I say, be passionate in everything you do, model great leadership for others, understand your strengths and use them, set positive goals, make definitive plans based on them – and execute, it’s ok to admit when you fail and move on, and always motivate others. Let’s work together to enhance your leadership skills potential, visit www.InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com and click on the chat app on the lower right, or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks so we can schedule time together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities help your company achieve its goals.

Executive Testing Overdose

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 20, 2017 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

Executive Testing Overdose

  Every one of us concur that it is extremely vital to have an idea of what others think of us in our place of work, and this is the more reason why evaluations, often known as multi-raters or 360 have grown widespread as well as commercialized. However, my question is; can taking numerous 360 or multi meter evaluations hamper, instead of assistance the executives? I was in this executive office the other day when he opened this file drawer, and right inside were about 15 or probably 20 evaluations. These include but not limited to DISK, EQ, MBTI, leadership efficacy, competencies, strengths, half brain, whole brain, social status and whatever you can imagine, everything was there. I’m quite familiar with the majority of these tools. As a professional Advisor and Board Member. However, the problem is that you can’t find any multi rater evaluation online that really links to a professional accomplishment. I will be discussing 3 factors that make evaluations harmful in this blog, pay attention to the third factor; it is the most important of all. Our executives might not be achieving any success with multi rater evaluation. What could be the reason? The number factor is that it doesn’t have any objective or goal, so then what’s the need? If you visit your physician for your annual checkup, if your doctor decides to conduct extensive tests including a sonogram and an MRI, of course you will be wondering what the doctor is up to. Same is applicable to evaluations in the office. Most of the times, evaluations are conducted without any specific objective or aim. And without objective, it is definitely the wrong evaluation for the executive. Secondly, multi rater evaluations are demanding on your company. Let’s briefly consider the time cost; whenever one executive conducts an evaluation, at least 12 people spend about half an hour to conclude it. Now just 12 multiply individuals by 30 minutes, multiply by their hourly charges multiply every professional in the organization that have been involved in a leadership program, multiply by the number of leadership training just one professional will have to attend in in his lifetime and we will be dealing with a huge cost that is not in any way commensurate with the gains. Finally, evaluations have a brief lifespan. Usually following an evaluation, there is no or little feedback and in any case there isn’t any follow-up. Though there could be about a 20-minute somewhat discussion of the outcome, but then, the evaluation is put in the drawer, there it stays permanently with its colleagues and hardly surfaces again. What then is my recommendation? As a professional Advisor and Board Member, I have a feasible and extremely effective strategy to assist my clients to become conscious of how people perceive them in the workplace. To start with, I will never make use of a web based broad based multi rater evaluation except feedback is required in certain sections and I’m able to get an evaluation that matches the specific section for consideration. For instance, I could utilize an executive availability index or a private branding evaluation. Then I carried out an interview based, directed 360 where I can directly know more about the strengths of my client, the opportunities and also from their seniors, colleagues, and direct subordinates. All my questions are always kept open ended, allowing the team member to fully express him/herself. My clients always appreciate the unique and personal feedback I generate using this method. In conclusion, I utilize the information to assist my client generate a useful goal that can improve their leadership influence. Thereafter we can work jointly to develop an action plan that commensurate with enduring success. Of course, it is extremely important to learn all that I can about my client; however, evaluations must be utilized intelligently to get the best results. Many thanks for taking time to read this blog, if you enjoyed it, I highly recommend you share with your loved ones and colleagues, by kindly forwarding it, posting it on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, and tweeting it. I’m Cliff Locks, a professional executive advisor and Board of Director. As I say, be passionate in everything you do, model great leadership for others, understand your strengths and use them, set positive goals, make definitive plans based on them – and execute, it’s ok to admit when you fail and move on, and always motivate others. Let’s work together to enhance your leadership skills potential, visit www.InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com and click on the chat app on the lower right, or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks so we can schedule time together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities help your company achieve its goals.

Lessons From The Empty Nest

Posted by Cliff Locks On at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

Lessons From The Empty Nest

Certainly, my nest has become empty. It provides me lots of moment for reflection. I’ve invested the past 20 years, accomplishing mainly two things; nurturing children and guiding executive leaders. And I’ve discovered that raising children and management both possess similar characteristics. Today I will share with you my four best lessons from nurturing 3 wonderful children. This advice is effective for parents and managers alike and ensure you view it until the very end where share a very personal matter. Below are my best advices for nurturing wonderful children or dealing with fabulous team members. Advice number one, always be happy on your own. Being parents that we are, most times, we are so focused on the happiness of our children, however if you desire happy children, you need to be happy on your own. Children do not need moms and dads who are burned out and distressed or dull and neither do your co-workers. Therefore, look after yourself, have adequate sleep, eat healthy and balanced, exercise regularly and ensure to find the time to go after your own passions and hobbies. Advice number 2, grant freedom. Allow your children to have a voice, while they are still small allow them to choose their own interests and guide develop their routines and as they mature assign duties to them, whether it’s for carrying out washing or making lunches or emptying the dish washing machine. It will not take much time before they will carry out activities like scheduling their own doctor sessions and taking care of their personal finances. And when you are in your place of work, apply the same rules, learn to let go and assign duties in order to develop your skills. Advice numbers 3, express your thoughts. Communicate with your children, have dinners or maybe take a walk and think about having a family time set apart for “no technology”. Allow your children to express themselves, more importantly; ask for what they think about some issues. When it comes to the place of work, the same is applicable. Advice numbers 4, love, on daily basis show love and be affectionate with your children. Obviously, at your place of work, we exchange public display of affection (PDA) with – public displays of appreciation (PDA) therefore involve, love and empower. Many thanks for taking time to read this blog, if you enjoyed it, I highly recommend you share with your loved ones and colleagues, by kindly forwarding it, posting it on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, and tweeting it. I’m Cliff Locks, a professional executive advisor and Board of Director. As I say, be passionate in everything you do, model great leadership for others, understand your strengths and use them, set positive goals, make definitive plans based on them – and execute, it’s ok to admit when you fail and move on, and always motivate others. Let’s work together to enhance your leadership skills potential, visit www.InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com and click on the chat app on the lower right, or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks so we can schedule time together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities help your company achieve its goals.

Everybody Wants More Of It

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 13, 2017 at 10:03 am / In: Uncategorized

Everybody Wants More Of It

What exactly is the topmost thing that all CEO desires? The most important thing that every executive I have met desires is time. A longer time to work; extra time to sleep; a longer time to exercise; and more time to spend with loved ones. Nowadays work is 24/7 activity, it’s so tiresome and usually there’s no end in view. If your to-do list is unmanageable or is dominating your life, I have some helpful suggestions for you. Time is not just a precious resource; it is also a scarce resource. Therefore, similar to any scarce resource, you simply cannot misuse it, you need to manage it. Scheduling how your time need to be used enhances the possibility that you’ll use it wisely, in this area, it’s your calendar that’s your greatest companion. Accordingly I have three solid calendar suggestions for you. Calendar suggestion number 1: Plan valuable time. Valuable time indicates something which you cherish, it might be moment with your loved ones, your time to exercise, time to ponder and study. Begin by marking out important time on your calendar. Then fill it in with your best color and never allow anybody play with it. Calendar suggestion number 2: Plan your energy consuming work during times of high energy and low-energy consuming work during times of low energy. It appears so clear, doesn’t it? However it’s remarkable how often we misuse time, performing mindless works when our brains are prepared for serious work. Finally, my lowest effective clients, they look at their message the entire day and they become fully distracted. My most productive clients, they begin their day with the 30 minute e-mail check, and then they log off. They shut it down for some hours when they perform brain challenging work. I also have clients that use their talented Admin to handle their inbox, make time to meet during the day for items needing clarity. Calendar suggestion number 3: Each morning I first ask, what exactly are the three major things I need to do today? Jot them down, I love to jot them on a little yellowish paper and place it on my laptop. After that look at your calendar, in the event that these three items are not present on your calendar, plan them right away prior to you even beginning your day. If you end up complaining about getting so occupied you may need to have a look at your calendar and ask, does my calendar represent my values and personal preferences? Am I controlling my most scarce resource, time, as efficiently as possible? If you are not satisfied with the response, not to worry worries; it’s actually time to calendar more purposefully. I’m a professional Advisor and Board Member; let’s work together and enhance your leadership potential. Many thanks for taking time to read this blog, if you enjoyed it, I highly recommend you share with your loved ones and colleagues, by kindly forwarding it, posting it on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, and tweeting it. I’m Cliff Locks, a professional executive advisor and Board of Director. As I say, be passionate in everything you do, model great leadership for others, understand your strengths and use them, set positive goals, make definitive plans based on them – and execute, it’s ok to admit when you fail and move on, and always motivate others. Let’s work together to enhance your leadership skills potential, visit www.InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com and click on the chat app on the lower right, or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks so we can schedule time together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities help your company achieve its goals.

Creating Exponential Growth At Your Company

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 6, 2017 at 7:04 pm / In: Uncategorized

Creating Exponential Growth At Your Company

 

We are local and linear thinkers in a global and exponential world.

Our biggest challenge as executives and entrepreneurs is to retrain our linear brains and project exponentially.

This isn’t easy… but it directly affects your ability to do big, bold things.

You are probably asking, what exponential growth actually looks like, and the radical power it can have.

Here’s the overview…

Our brain is excellent at extrapolating linearly.

It’s easy to predict where you’ll end up after 30 linear steps (30 meters away).

But if I asked you to predict where you’ll be in 30 exponential steps — where an exponential is a simple doubling… 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and so on — it gets harder.

In 30 exponential steps you’ll be a billion meters away – put differently, you’ll circumnavigate the Earth 26 times!

Predicting exponential growth is not intuitive.

It’s probably worth memorizing the following:

  • Double something 10 times, you get ~1,000x
  • Double something 20 times, you get ~1 million-fold increase
  • Double something 30 times, you get ~1 billion-fold increase

Entrepreneurs who understand the power of exponential growth, and can hop onto an exponential growth curve, can benefit significantly where others do not.

Let’s close with a fun experiment… Ask a friend or colleague, consider giving them the following choice:

Option #1: Offer them $1 a day for the next 30 days.

Option #2: Offer them a penny on the first day, two cents on the second day, four cents on the third day, and so on.

Chances are, they take the first option.

$30 isn’t bad for zero work.

But if they took the second offer, what started out with a penny would result in $10 million on the final day.

Now we’re talking!

Remember these numbers and how vital it is to recognize exponential growth.

The same forces that enabled the fall of Kodak and the rise of Facebook can also lead to your next 100 Million Dollar opportunity.

I am interested in serving you as Board Member or work with you as an Advisor. I am a professional, easy to work with, always understanding of your vision and the big picture, and ready to pitch in to help you in ways that are appropriate.

Contact me for your no-obligation discussion. Schedule a call at: www.calendly.com/clifflocks.

Please buy Bold – How to Go Big, Make Bank, and Better the World By: Peter H. Diamandis (Audio), we can work on this together. http://adbl.co/2kjPS97

 

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

Three Ways To In Inspire Yourself

Posted by Cliff Locks On November 28, 2017 at 9:16 am / In: Uncategorized

Three Ways To In Inspire Yourself

What exactly inspires you? What really inspires the people under your supervision? The number one thing that one will think about is money or positions. They are what we refer to as extrinsic rewards. The trouble with extrinsic rewards is; they are completely not within our control; therefore, we cannot rely on them for inspiration. There can be something different that inspires us. It is that idea we get all energized about, it’s the thing that is important within us; an intrinsic reward. In this brief blog post, I will let you know about three intrinsic rewards and ways you can take advantage of them to inspire not just yourself but other people under your control as well as every other person you manage. In his well-known book “Drive” the writer Daniel Pink identifies the major three intrinsic inspiration; autonomy, mastery, and purpose or simply put AMP. Let’s begin with autonomy. Autonomy is an opportunity to get things done the way you want; nobody likes an interfering boss. When you’re responsible for something, you become inspired. Therefore, seek for places in which you will have the privilege of being in charge, to get it done the way you want. In case you supervise other people, seek the chance to allow them to have some freedom The following one is mastery; mastery is a chance to make improvements in something. While you’re developing, you become inspired. Therefore, if your job is not very interesting, seek an opportunity somewhere else to gain knowledge or experience something different at the job. You may think about volunteering for a team or enrolling some form of training. The third idea that inspires us is purpose. Having purpose signifies you feel you are making contributions in a useful manner. However, it’s this third one purpose that appears to confuse most of us. Since many of us have different jobs and we’re not saving the world daily. To identify a purpose that inspires you, take some moment to analyze both of these two relevant questions. 1. What type of association do you discover to be satisfying and essential to your success? 2. When do you make an influence that is actually important to you? Thinking about these questions can assist you to uncover your purpose. Once you’re encouraged, occupied and contented, you will become inspired and in similar manner, once you empower, involve and please your team members, they likewise will become inspired. Therefore, AMP it up, autonomy, mastery, and purpose in your life as well as in everyday life of everyone close to you. Many thanks for taking time to read this blog, if you enjoyed it, I highly recommend you share with your loved ones and colleagues, by kindly posting it on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, and tweeting it. I’m Cliff Locks, a professional executive advisor and Board of Director. As I say, be passionate in everything you do, model great leadership for others, understand your strengths and use them, set positive goals, make definitive plans based on them – and execute, it’s ok to admit when you fail and move on, and always motivate others. Let’s work together to enhance your leadership skills potential, visit www.InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com and click on the chat app on the lower right, or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks so we can schedule time together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities help your company achieve its goals.

Asking Questions Will Allow You To Become A Better Executive To Your Team

Posted by Cliff Locks On November 21, 2017 at 2:58 pm / In: Uncategorized

Asking Questions Will Allow You To Become A Better Executive To Your Team

Learn the questions to ask that will ensure you’ll be a better business coach to your team. I can help you to become a better mentor to your employees, in terms of helping people deal with strategic issues. Watch this video prior to your annual employee reviews. You’ll find positive improvements! Visit: www.InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com Schedule a Call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

#1 HABIT OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE

Posted by Cliff Locks On November 11, 2017 at 10:53 pm / In: Uncategorized

#1 HABIT OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE

When it gets to certain stage in your career, it is not uncommon for you to hear about the kinds of habits displayed by successful people. Generally, these kinds of habits are many and comprise the newest ranging from the best attitudes in networking to focus. The best ten are generally clever in all honesty, and they are really lot more difficult than they seemed and many people have not been able to gain a mastery of them. Today I will be revealing just one and the best habit of the extremely successful leaders. As a matter of fact, it could well be something you have been doing and stopped along the line because you have so many other tasks taking your time.  It’s pretty easy and it what we all can achieve. The topmost habit is known as lunchtime. Extremely successful individual don’t work round the clock. It is not in their habit to munched their sandwiches when they are on a conference call, what they do is go for real vacation to rejuvenate and revitalize. They apply wisdom while spending their vacation. You can apply the following strategies to put your lunch hour to wise use. To start with, move around. Being stationary for the whole day will cause harm to your body, therefore, move away from your table and if there is no time for you to go to the gym just take a stroll instead. The next habit you must inculcate is eating together with other people. Make use of the lunch hour to network with fresh colleagues or to develop current relationships. Have you been making use of your lunch hour wastefully, turn your lunch hour to a great habit and pretty soon you will realize just how really efficient you can become. An additional resource: Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

The Importance of Selling Yourself

Posted by Cliff Locks On October 18, 2017 at 5:16 pm / In: Uncategorized

The Importance of Selling Yourself

If I mention the word “self-promotion or probably “marketing yourself” what exactly crops up in your mind? Several people believe that self- promotion is not a good term; selling yourself has some negative meaning. Though this channel of selling can be utilized for bad purposes, it can as well be utilized for good. Moreover, when there is no selling, we won’t have the opportunity to have several amazing things since virtually everything we have and uses were sold to us. The clothes we are putting on, our mobile phones, jewelry, etc. if you really have something tangible to offer in your place of work, then it is about time to conquer your hatred for selling. I will reveal 3 strategies to overcome your hatred for selling today, in order to be able to offer your wonderful service and talents to a whole lot more people. Listed below are three strategies to take out the not so good that is associated with selling and include the good. To start with, repackage selling; begin to see selling in a different light. Have a change of orientation. Begin to realize that selling involves giving or offering service, when other people realize the different ways through which you can be of service, they would like to patronize your services Next to that is the need to concentrate on making a difference. Whenever you talk about the services you render, concentrate on the influence you can make, the results you can achieve, the advantages you offer. People love to purchase things that are useful to them. In conclusion, be enthusiastic; people love to make their purchases from those that are genuinely passionate about the service they render. If you talk with passion, vigor and enthusiastically about your services, many people will easily buy into your ideas and invest in your passion. If you render your services with the right attitude, for the right purpose and to the right folks, selling won’t have any inkling of evil. As a matter of fact, selling your special abilities and priceless contributions can really make a big difference in the world. Many thanks for taking time to read this blog post, if you enjoyed it, I consider sharing it with your loved ones and colleagues, by kindly posting it on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, and tweeting it.  I’m Cliff Locks, a professional executive advisor and Board of Director.  As I say, be passionate in everything you do, model great leadership for others, understand your strengths and use them, set positive goals, make definitive plans based on them – and execute, it’s ok to admit when you fail and move on, and always motivate others. Let’s work together to enhance your leadership skills potential, visit Investment Capital Growth.com and click on the chat app on the lower right, so we can schedule time together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities help your company achieve its goals.

How To Negotiate With Colleagues

Posted by Cliff Locks On at 4:08 pm / In: Uncategorized

How To Negotiate With Colleagues

Making deals in the place of work is every task. We all wish that our suggestion to be accepted, we fight for scarce resources, we wish to have access to those who call the shots, therefore we naturally have to make deals. Making negotiation at the place of work is worlds apart from negotiating the cost of a condo or car. At our place of work, we make negotiations with our colleagues and supervisors and at times our buddies- we have a long-term relationship with these folks. Today I will be revealing 3 strategies for making negotiation with your colleagues in the workplace and thereby maintaining your relationship as well. You can apply the 3 strategies discussed here to maintain your relationship while making negotiations. The first one is that you need to concentrate on a collective future. Generally, people are more inclined to be a bit fairer if they are aware that you are together with them for the long haul. Always reiterate collective interest that will be beneficial to both of you down the road. You could say something such as I’m quite aware that both of us are devoted to effecting changes that will enhance our performance in the long-term. The second strategy is that you must steer clear of anything that will make them angry. It is totally unreasonable to say something that will make them angry when you are to develop a long-term relationship. Keep away from those topics that will get them worked up. Never say something such as all you are interested in is your final profit. The third strategy is that you must always maintain your calmness. Behavior is infectious; hence if you speak quietly and with calmness, the person you are making negotiation with will be more inclined to accept. If your partner becomes a bit angry or tempers start flaring, slow the conversation down and speak in a reduce tone. This will go a long way in calming the flaring nerves. Allow everywhere to become quiet and then tell your partner that you love to resolve the problem with them. We are all aware that careers thrive on relationships, there when making deals with your colleagues, always to maintain and even enhance your relationship with them. In future, you might have forgotten what the negotiation is all about, but how you treated the feelings of the partner you negotiated with will never be forgotten. Many thanks for taking time to read this blog post, if you enjoyed it, I consider sharing it with your loved ones and colleagues, by kindly posting it on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, and tweeting it. I’m Cliff Locks, a professional executive advisor and Board of Director. As I say, be passionate in everything you do, model great leadership for others, understand your strengths and use them, set positive goals, make definitive plans based on them – and execute, it’s ok to admit when you fail and move on, and always motivate others. Let’s work together to enhance your leadership skills potential, visit Investment Capital Growth.com and click on the chat app on the lower right, so we can schedule time together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities help your company achieve its goals.

Achieving Your Goals

Posted by Cliff Locks On October 5, 2017 at 10:18 pm / In: Uncategorized

Achieving Your Goals

As a society, we are often obsessed with setting goals. It is not even impossible that you are not happy with yourself because you haven’t made sufficient progress on your list of goals for the year, or in your case, maybe you have too many goals that you don’t even have the faintest idea of where to take off and what you should be concentrating on. From one year to another, we are constantly falling short because of the goal trapped we set for ourselves. Rather than following this pattern, let’s have something different this year; let’s replace our vast goals with just one or two goals that can really make a real difference in our choices. Start by relaxing and two-part exercise to work through during the fourth quarter and the upcoming end of year holiday period. Exercise one: select two words to define this last year. As an individual, 2017 was exciting and a little disconcerting. Exercise two: select two words to explain how the New Year will be for you. As an individual, 2018 will be amazing and impactful. How many goals do you currently work on? Is it working for you? If you need help in accomplishing your goals, let’s talk. schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

There’s Just One Key To Happiness

Posted by Cliff Locks On September 29, 2017 at 1:48 pm / In: Uncategorized

There’s Just One Key To Happiness

You’ve possibly heard may be on too many occasions on how you can achieve happiness. As a matter of fact, it seems to be the latest Holy Grail. You already know that the quest for fame or wealth does not lead to happiness. But it is not impossible that you are pondering if it is really necessary to have deep reflections and keep a thankfulness diary in order to attain that much desired happy state. Well, due to a Harvard research that has been closely monitoring the lifestyles of over 700 for almost ten decades, we currently understand that there actually exists just one big key to happiness, do you have an idea of what that is? There is no other big key to happiness other than interpersonal relationships. In the research, it was discovered that the individuals who have the most robust working relationships were not just happier, they were also healthier. Now these kinds of relationships were not just with spouses and family members but also with best friends and colleagues. Do you ever spend quality time with your friends?  23% percent of Americans admitted to not having anyone to discuss with; how terrible. We   all can do something about this ugly situation. Let’s spend lesser time with television and spend more qualitative time with people. Obviously, internet relationships have not done to make us happier. Let’s become more familiar with our neighbors. One of the most important achievements to my personal life this year has been a book society as well as spending time with my neighbors down in the hallway. Let’s welcome our co-workers to have coffee breaks with us. Relationships in the workplace bring a lot of considerable transformation to our happiness and this is awesome. Study shows that having a high five, fist bump or handshake with friends in the workplace will make the friendship bonds even stronger. Attaining happiness is actually not too complex. It’s about one basic thing, opening ourselves to others and equally allowing others to open themselves to us. Thanks for taking time to read this blog post, if you enjoyed it, I highly recommend you share with your loved ones. I’m a professional mentor; enhance up your leadership potential by making an appointment to talk. I look forward to helping you define your vision of success and achieving it. Schedule a Call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks