The changing world

the changing worldI have had some very interesting discussions recently with economists, futurists, and experts discussing ‘The Changing World’. We are living in a changing world and where once a company may have survived with its original model, now there are no guarantees that the future is going to systematically be the same.

However, with all this said there is tremendous optimism across such areas like social enterprise, it is estimated that there are 68.000 companies in the UK alone contributing about £24 billion to the economy.


This word is widely used in business today, I prefer to use the terms ‘creativity or collaboration’ in business since it all involves human intervention. This embraces new ideas, processes, products, and business models specifically geared towards solving gaps in the market


In any organisation and in a changing world it is never easy to execute new ideas, products, or transformation. It is about being strategically sustainable to innovate in the next 50 years or even 100 years down the road. Company’s need to engage their stakeholders in decisions that will affect the company’s performance for years to come. One of the answers is for government and company’s to work more integrated to meet a technical solution or the creative new service that is going to revolutionise the next generation.


In summary, ‘The changing world’ is being driven by shifts and advances in technology, demography, globalisation, and social values among others. Depending on how much time we have available, we vary how deep a look we can take at these and other drivers of change.

The changing workforce picks up the theme of demographic shifts and values, and looks at how a new generation of employees is arriving in the world of work with a different set of expectations and values at just the same time that the oldest working generation is deciding to extend their stay in the workplace.

A new workforce in a new world are changing how we work, and will continue to put pressure on traditional notions of the workplace. Important themes in the future will continue to be flexibility in workplace conditions, remote and virtual teams, and all forms of contract working, diversity, complexity, speed and creativity.

Three new leadership imperatives for The Changing World:

  1. Engagement – the ways in which we engage with each other have changed, driven mainly by technology, but also by all the forces outlined above. Leaders need to learn new approaches to engagement, and shift from a control mindset to influence
  2. Agility – Keep growing, keep learning, don’t become rigid. Leaders need to be ready to fail – and learn from it
  3. Transparency – we have never had as much openness as we have now, both inside and outside our organisations. This changes the way a leader leads, requiring more openness, more disclosure and greater accountability.

What are your recommendations?

Culture and Diversity in Business

diverse group of professionalsCulture and Diversity in Business: do you have what it takes to understand your customers, partners and employees?

As a member of the PCC (psychology of culture change group) we often discuss key issues around international business and sustainability, diversity and importantly culture.

I have worked in 160 countries around the world, these learning’s are certainly a key to being successful in business internationally and to understand the role of culture in international business.

Whatever sector you are operating in, cultural differences will have a direct impact on your profitability. Improving your level of knowledge of international cultural difference in business can aid in building international competencies as well as enabling you to gain a competitive advantage.

The values and behaviours that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organisation is a key part in the understanding and communication of culture.

Organisational culture includes an organization’s expectations, experiences, philosophy, and values that hold it together, and is expressed in its self-image, inner workings, interactions with the outside world, and future expectations. It is based on shared attitudes, beliefs, customs, and written and unwritten rules that have been developed over time and are considered valid. Also called corporate culture, and has a major bearing on productivity and employee engagement, it can be shown in the following:

  • the ways the organisation conducts its business, treats its employees, customers, and the wider community,
  • the extent to which freedom is allowed in decision-making, developing new ideas, and personal expression,
  • how power and information flow through its hierarchy, and
  • how committed employees are towards collective objectives.However, on the one hand where it is important to be aware of cultural differences of different countries, on the other, it is also hard to be aware of every single aspect of each country’s organisational culture. Therefore, you should be aware of the key factors that have a direct impact on business.

multiculturalThese are:

  1. Communication is the key to success for any business, whether you are operating nationally or internationally, but when operating internationally it becomes even more important due to language barriers.
  2. Being aware of basic customer needs is an important aspect as this will give the advantage of conveying your message. In simple terms, if you are aware of the customer’s cultural background, then you will be able to adopt better and more suitable advertising methods.
  3. Body language is another key factor in cultural difference. As different countries have different ways to convey or share their message, for instance in Germany people tend to speak loudly when sharing ideas, whereas in Japan people speak softly, it very important to know what your body language should be doing when interacting with people whether it’s your business partner or an interviewer.

Before launching a marketing campaign, always conduct research to become aware of your target audience since customer demand, decision-making, gender views and ideologies greatly vary in cultures.

Culture affects the way people think about business in their own society. An awareness of cultural attitudes toward business will help you communicate efficiently and effectively when working with people from other cultures. For example, Asian cultures, including Japan and China, promote teamwork and cooperation in business environments while Western businesses promote individual action and responsibility. Understanding these values will help you to create an effective communication strategy with partners from these regions.

All of us global minds have been confronted with cultural differences at some point. They often lead to amusing misunderstandings, but can also have a serious impact on your career if you are not aware.

Business in the clouds: risks and advantages

cloud-istock-tumpikuja-100465189-primary.idge Cloud computing, the technology that allows software and data to be shared on the internet, is now being adopted by large companies that say this infrastructure has become their top technology investment this year. So are large companies keen on adoption because of the savings on IT expenditure?

With all the media speculation and reality across cyber-crime, hacking and phishing, is the technology also fraught with challenges and privacy risks?

In a survey of 4,500 high-level IT professionals in 83 countries, ISACA (the Information Systems Audit and Control Association) discovered that organisations fear the risks of using public cloud services.

69% of North American respondents believed that the risks of using the cloud outweigh the benefits. In all regions, data security was the most widely cited risk—with European respondents also being wary of the specific dangers that surround breaches of their customers’ and employees’ privacy.

One of the biggest impediments to public cloud computing adoption is the calculation of additional risk from all the dangers associated with online internet crime.

Analysing all the risks, here’s a list of five risks any business faces as a customer of a public cloud service:

  • Shared access
  • Virtual exploits
  • Authentication, authorisation and access control
  • Availability
  • Ownership

The mobility of smart phones, netbooks, tablet PCs and other portable devices has fundamentally changed the when, where and how of our computing lives. And with cloud services, the source for data and applications used by these devices can be anywhere, too. The flexibility of cloud to scale bandwidth up or down at will, and its affordability as a pay-as-you-go service, have resulted in an interconnected, intelligent approach to smarter computing.

The benefits of cloud computing are well-recognised. In fact, cloud computing ranks among the most popular new IT initiatives, with 66 percent of midsize companies implementing cloud strategies, according to IBM’s study, “Inside the Midmarket: A 2011 Perspective.” Yet the excitement about leveraging cloud’s economies of scale to lower total IT costs and improve agility is often tempered by concern that this external delivery of services could compromise security.

​Cloud may seem new, but the fact is companies have outsourced services and technology for years. Providers already deliver hosted technology offerings that are located offsite with client access via the Internet. This is a common scenario for services such as remote storage or hosted email and other software as a service (SaaS) solutions. And just because companies may give up some control to the provider when they move to a cloud-based environment (just as they give up some control in any outsourced arrangement), it doesn’t mean they have to compromise on security.

cloud_computing_security_enigmaAlthough there are additional variations, let’s consider the three main types of cloud service and deployment models: software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS).

Each version has its own level of control for the provider and the company purchasing services, but all cloud services can help companies increase agility and boost efficiency by removing the burden of managing all of their own IT. This frees up organizations to do more with less and stay focused on their core competencies.

Software as a service (SaaS) puts most of the responsibility for security management with the cloud provider and is commonly used for services such as customer relationship management and accounting. This popular option is considered low-risk because it primarily deals only with software and not hardware or storage. With SaaS, companies are able to control who has access to these cloud services and how the applications are configured. The complexity of software installation, maintenance, upgrades and patches, meanwhile, is automated and handled by the provider.

In a smarter business world—the when, where and how of living and working is more instrumented, data-driven and interconnected than ever before-cloud computing can be a powerful way for companies to be more agile, effective and efficient.

How tech-savvy should you be as an entrepreneur?

how tech-savy must you be?Starting a business from the ground up is an exciting and daunting challenge for both first-time and experienced entrepreneurs.

Running a company is a complex undertaking with many requirements, one of which is building a technology infrastructure that supports both connectivity and flexibility.

Money can be tight in the early stages of business development, so entrepreneurs sometimes have to be creative, especially when it comes to investing in pricey technology.  What many business owners don’t know is that it is possible to build an integrated office, accessible from anywhere, without building a complicated and expensive network.  Using the latest wireless technology, it is easier now more than ever to maximize productivity and speedy access to data with a minimal investment of capital.

Some entrepreneurs are naturally tech-savvy. For the rest of us, technology seems like just one more daunting task to master. Even choosing the right cell phone or PDA, such as a BlackBerry, has become a complex and time-consuming effort. But when you’re running a business, you need to keep up a certain level of professionalism from the start-up, especially when it comes to tech basics like e-mail, websites, and communications. Fortunately, there are countless programs you can tap into for help on tasks ranging from e-mail blasts to telephone conference calling to website add-ons, even with limited technical know-how.

I will share 10 tips for building a connected business:

1. Don’t miss important calls

2. Don’t limit yourself to desktop Internet access

3. Never get lost when handling business

4. Leave e-mail management to the experts

5.  Don’t attempt to be a network administration professional

6. Connect directly with your wireless phone

7. Have a backup plan for your communications system

8. Stay connected to industry news from just about anywhere

9. Save money by making unlimited calls to your office landline number

10. Secure your mobile phone

fast track Of course, these are just a few tips that you can adopt. Communication and technology are fundamental in today’s business world. Fortunately, advances in wireless technology can really help small business owners stay connected and coördinate with clients and employees while simultaneously growing the business to help you communicate via e-mail, the web and the phone with professionalism; even if your company is just one or two employees strong.

Talk to fellow business owners, search the internet, and ask for recommendations when other business requirements arise along the way; chances are there’s a company that will cater to your needs. And remember, perception is everything. Retailers and customers will take you more seriously if you already look like an established, profitable business they can rely on!