– Ann and Gary Ralston
Watercolor ¬© 2015 Ann Ralston
(click on image for larger version)
We are excited to introduce you to Yuri van Geest, member of Singularity University and the co-author of the ground-breaking book,¬†Exponential Organizations, published in the fall of 2014. (The book is now required reading for all practitioners at the prestigious consulting firm, McKinsey and Company.)
Yuri hosted a webinar focused on the real cases and experiences he has seen over the past year and the challenges companies have overcome.¬†Ann and I¬†just¬†completed the webinar, and we were BLOWN AWAY at the rate of innovation reported, worldwide, especially in China!¬†Yuri, who tracks¬†emerging technological breakthroughs for a living, reports,¬†(11:01) “In the last six to twelve¬†months since the launch of the book, the pace of change of technology is accelerating more than ever before.”
Recent innovations include:
- Solutions for¬†Cancer, Alzheimers Disease (your lost memories come back!!) and Type 2 Diabetes.
- A quantum computer of mind-boggling processing power to be released December 8, 2015 that will disrupt existing solutions.
- Artificial Intelligence more advanced than Deep Mind and IBM Watson that can ask and answer its own questions.
On the rate and number and variety of technological breakthroughs in the last 12 months, Yuri¬†says:¬†“These quantum¬†leaps I have never seen in the last 10 years – this is a new phenomenon…” “…and all these technologies are converging for the first time.” (Self-teaching AI + powerful quantum computer = Skynet??)
Ann and I are registered for (and anticipating) the Exponential Organizations (ExO) Master Practitioner course starting next week. The 10-week hybrid program includes video, workbook, live group sessions with Yuri and his co-author, Salim Ismail, and discussion forums for participants. We¬†will be exploring and applying¬†new ways to help our clients in both business and social sectors accelerate growth where it matters to them, be that in profits, social impact or both.
This course is really important to us – truly a framework for ventures and social causes in the 21st century.¬†We think the Exponential Organizations work is a match for many of you in our extended community of changemakers. We hope you will join us!
Enough said. We have a world to change…
– Ann and Gary Ralston
¬© 2015 Ralston Consulting Inc.
Wind over fresh snowfall yields¬†a field full of ¬†‘snow logs’.
photo: Ann Ralston
(click image for larger version)
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Is this new music video a comedy¬†or a tragic cautionary tale to corporate leaders, strategists and consultants?
Music parody master, Weird “Al” Yankovic, has loosed¬†his incisive wit on¬†corporate-buzz-speak, in a video from his just-released¬†album, Mandatory Fun.
Mission Statement, is composed in the style of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, playing¬†against¬†an RSA-like whiteboard animation (which apparently took 10 months to produce!). The production quality is brilliant, and I found myself smiling and wincing in equal parts.
WARNING: This video is NOT recommended for anyone who has written¬†a mission statement¬†in the past decade. Showing this to your¬†CEO or board chair may shorten your career.
But seriously, Ann and I¬†are not¬†fans of mission and purpose statements, even though we’ve had a hand in creating more than one in our day.
Our friend, colleague and mentor, Robert Fritz, writes:
“Which would we rather work for, a company that had a purpose statement but didn‚Äôt have a purpose, or a company that had a purpose but didn‚Äôt have a purpose statement?
Of course we would all choose the real thing over the propaganda. But even an organization that has a true purpose can rob that purpose of its power by reducing it to a slogan.” *
So please, enjoy the video, and then commit yourselves to eradicating corporate-buzz-speak wherever you can – we promise to do the same!
‚Äď Gary Ralston
¬© 2014 Ralston Consulting Inc.
¬†A special thanks to Jerry Marselle at our client, SMBH, for turning us on to this gem!
*¬†Fritz, Robert (2011-01-04). The Path of Least Resistance for Managers. Newfane Press. Kindle Edition.
More Weird “Al”:
- Great background info in this¬†post on the Wall Street Journal¬†
- Video: Word Crimes – a cry against bad spelling and grammar.¬†(I liked this video even more, but then, my mom is an english teacher and editor -G)
‘Brewing Up a Business‘ by Sam Calagione, the owner of DogFish Head Brewery, was recommended by one of my sons, so I downloaded the audiobook. He¬†brews his own¬†beer as a hobby, and I thought – at best – I was getting into a book about craft beer¬†counter-culture¬†and start ups.
- about dedication and belief in what you are creating,
- of commitment to your people,
- of how the personality of an individual can shape a culture of¬†innovation.
The company was built on creating innovative (and sometimes bizarre) products – which with craft beer means a combination of distinctive taste and ingredients, an evocative name, and a great story. (Liquid Breadfruit Ale, anyone?).
They maintain a¬†constant awareness (and openness to) ideas that may be the germ of a new offering – and in some cases, rescue offerings in trouble.¬†¬†Sales for the then-failing¬†DFH Beer Shampoo Bar¬†only turned around¬†after¬†they discovered that¬†professional dog groomers loved it, and so repositioned it as a pet care product!
I think the thing that most struck me was their¬†connection to and understanding of their¬†customers. We all talk about knowing our customer, but how does that translate to action throughout a company? Calagione sets a great example, and I could see and feel his¬†commitment to this principle, woven through every story he tells.
If you are looking for a down-to-earth¬†and delightfully “off-centered” point of view on leadership, you are in for a great¬†read (or listen!)!
– Ann Ralston
¬© 2014¬†Ralston Consulting Inc.
We believe this message is bigger than a single faith.
It speaks across cultures and creeds and diverse communities everywhere.
We are filled with gratitude for all of you in our circle – that you are in our lives.
May this fervent wish be realized for you, your family and your caring community.
In warmth and love and peace,
Ann and Gary
December 24, 2013
photo: Ann Ralston.