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Updated: 15 hours 13 min ago

“Take a leaf from Mr Codrington” – Ramaphosa

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 10:19
South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, quoted our colleague, Graeme Codrington, this week while answering questions in Parliament on land expropriation.

Ramaphosa pointed to the words from a recent Facebook post where Graeme urges his fellow white South Africans to step back for a while “and listen” to the arguments about land reform.

You can read Graeme’s full post below….

My white South African friends who wish to comment on this week’s decision of Parliament to investigate possibly changing the Constitution to expedite land expropriation without compensation, please remember that this is not the first time the South African government has taken land without paying for it. In fact, it’s at least the fifteenth time the government of South Africa has passed laws to take land. I provide a list below for helpful reference – these were the apartheid era land acts.

Please do us a favour: if your ancestors did not comment about the previous fifteen times the government took land (and I am guessing that, like mine, they did not), then right now would be a good time to be quiet for a bit and listen.

Not forever. Just for a bit. And then calmly contribute to the conversation over the next few weeks and months in an attempt to find a solution that helps everyone.

Also, before you comment on the issue, please read the preamble of the motion put to Parliament this week and tell us how you respond to the fact that the government land audit has found that less than 7% of land in South Africa is owned by private black individuals. No, seriously, please start any comments on this issue with your thoughts and feelings on that statistic.

Now, here is that list I was speaking about – white people, let’s own this a bit please; the government of SA has been taking land for a long time; you just don’t like it this time because for the first time its not white skinned people doing the taking:

  • The Glen Grey act of 1894 (Under Cecil John Rhodes)
  • The Native Land Act of 1913 (Act 27)
  • The Transvaal Asiatic Land Tenure of 1930.
  • The Riotous Assemblies Act 19 – 1930.
  • The Asiatic Immigration Amendment Act of 1931.
  • The Native Service Contracts Act of 1932.
  • The Native Trust and Land Act of 1936 (Act 18)
  • The Slums Act of 1934.
  • The Development Trust and Land Act of 1936 (Act 18)
  • The Rural Dealers Licensing Act of 1935.
  • The Representation of Blacks Act 12 of 1936.
  • The Black (Native) Laws Amendment Act 46 of 1937
  • The Pegging Act of 1946- The group areas act of 1950 (Act. 41)

And PS, for those who always moan about “how far back do we have to go”, all but the first two of these Acts were passed in my grandmother’s lifetime. She was born in Feb 1914. And she’s still alive. So, no, this isn’t going back too far.

PPS I suggest reading this as a start (he was referring to people reading this before commenting on his facebook post):…/2018-02-28-parliament-hi…/

Also read this (especially Clause 8):

Here is the final wording of the motion passed in South Africa’s National Assembly on the 27 February 2018 on the Expropriation of land without compensation (as amended)

The House –

(1) notes that South Africa has a unique history of brutal dispossession of land from black people by the settler colonial white minority;
(2) further notes that land dispossession left an indelible mark on the social, political and economic landscape of the country, and has helped design a society based on exploitation of black people and sustenance of white domination;
(3) acknowledges that the African majority was only confined to 13% of the land in South Africa while whites owned 87% at the end of the apartheid regime in 1994;
(4) further acknowledges that the current land reform programme has been fraught with difficulties since its inception in 1994,and that the pace of land reform has been slow with only 8% of the land transferred back to black people since 1994;
(5) acknowledges that the recent land audit claims that black people own less than 2% of rural land, and less than 7% of urban land;
(6) Recognises that the current policy instruments, including the willing buyer willing seller policy, and other provisions of section 25 of the Constitution may be hindering effective land reform.;
[clause 7 removed in amendment]
(8) notes that in his State of the Nation Address , President Cyril Ramaphosa, in recognizing the original sin of land dispossession, made a commitment that Government would continue the land reform programme that entails expropriation of land without compensation, making use of all mechanisms at the disposal of the State, implemented in a manner that increases agricultural production, improves food security and ensures that the land is returned to those from whom it was taken under colonialism and apartheid and undertake a process of consultation to determine the modalities of the governing party resolution.”;
(9) further notes that any amendment to the Constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation must go through a parliamentary process as Parliament is the only institution that can amend the Constitution; and
(10) with the concurrence of the National Council of Provinces instructs the Constitutional Review Committee to –
(a) review section 25 of the Constitution and other clauses where necessary to make it possible for the state to expropriate land in the public interest without compensation, and in the process conduct public hearings to get the views of ordinary South Africans, policy-makers, civil society organisations and academics, about the necessity of, and mechanisms for expropriating land without compensation;
(b) propose the necessary constitutional amendments where applicable with regards to the kind of future land tenure regime needed, and(c) report to the Assembly by no later than 30 August 2018.

Leading Difference Differently

The work that our team at TomorrowToday does on disruptive forces shaping the future of work has focused our attention on the issue of diversity. This is more than a compliance issue, or a social good or something that must be grudgingly done – it is becoming the source of strategic competitive advantage for companies and organisations that get it right. “Getting it right” means a significant mindset shift around diversity as we learn how to lead difference differently.

Chat to us about having one of our team engage with your organisations to prepare for the future!

The post “Take a leaf from Mr Codrington” – Ramaphosa appeared first on Tomorrow Trends.

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The Intelligence to Adapt: A lesson from the Peter Beardsley story

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 10:05
Ian Herbert writing in the Daily Mail said, “The old culture is obstinately hard to remove from coaches who lack the intelligence to adapt”. The context was the stories that had surfaced concerning former professional footballer Peter Beardsley who had been accused of ‘bullying’ in his coaching role at Newcastle United. Beardsley had been brought up in the harsh football culture of yesteryear where ‘bullying’ was the norm and the prevailing behaviour was not construed as such…and if it was, well you simply got on with things. It was simply part of what had to be endured in order to gain the respect (of senior professionals) and become part of the fabric of professional football at the time. The successful Liverpool team that Beardsley played in was renown for the harsh treatment metered out to the younger professionals by the senior players in the squad. It was seen as a ‘rite of passage’ and necessary to see if they (the younger pros) ‘had what it took’ to make the grade. It was an inherent part of the team culture and as such, had to be endured if one was to ‘fit in’.

But times have changed.

What might have ‘worked’ and been acceptable then, is no longer acceptable today. This was something that Beardsley failed to grasp. In trying to prepare young professionals for their profession he drew on what had worked when he was in their position; he tried to imitate the conditions that generated his success and failed to recognise that both the game (well those who play the game) and context has changed.

It is a common mistake and one made by many leaders.

The need to recognise that ‘what got you here’ will ‘not get you to where you need to be’ is easier written (or said) than practised. Smart leaders continually evolve and they recognise that a fundamental part of contemporary leadership is to understand the changing context and adapt accordingly. This is seldom easy and may not be ‘liked’ but it is entirely necessary.

Evolutionary biology teaches us that adapting to changing circumstances requires knowing what to keep from the past that which will be helpful going forward; knowing what to discard – that which will no longer be helpful as we move forward and knowing what needs to be created in order to meet the changing circumstances.

Understanding what to keep, discard and create in times of change and uncertainty is a foundational block in building the capacity to adapt. This holds true at both a personal as well a corporate or collective level. Preparing others to live in the future will most certainly require adaptive mindsets and accompanying skillsets – something that Beardsley failed to appreciate. Times change and with that so do mindsets, values and behaviour. Some of this might not sit well with us but nonetheless, it needs to be understood, appreciated and embraced or suffer the consequences of becoming obsolete, out of touch or worse, as Peter Beardsley has found out to his cost.

It is sad for he was a tremendous player who often saw things on the football field that others couldn’t. He was a clever player with great skill and yet he was incapable of transferring that on-field versatility into his post-playing career scenario; one that is shaped by a different context.

It is a lesson for leaders everywhere.

Download 3 free lessons to develop your Adaptive intelligence, sense-making & problem-solving skills here

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Categories: Our Associates

The value in thinking moonshots

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 15:17
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”Margaret Mead

In a world of exponential change, we are all explorers. Those who are not, risk being trapped by the dogmas of the past. Moonshots are daring exploits into the unknown. They are quests that could someday make the world a radically better place. What is tremendously exciting about the world we live in today is it has never been easier to do remarkable things.

Three reasons why:

  • Unprecedented access to breakthrough technology in the form of cheap hardware and software;
  • The democratisation of knowledge and information in the form of data storage and accessibility anywhere at any time in the cloud; and,
  • The power of social, the ability to reach out and connect millions of people around the world in real-time; means it has never been easier for individuals to do their big bit or small bit to change the world.

I’m going to use Elon Musk to storyboard 5 moonshot steps. With his SpaceX, SolarCity and Tesla ventures, Elon is the quintessential moon shooter and everyone gets him.

Step 1: Define your Purpose

Musk’s purpose is to move the world towards a solar electric economy. He announced his purpose in his master plan (you can read it here). His purpose offered inspiration because if you want people to join you and commit, then you need to let them know about your dream to change the world. So, step one, define and declare your purpose. Make it crazy, inspirational and seemingly impossible. Then shout it out loud.

Step 2: Develop a strategy that will deliver your purpose

Sit down with your team and develop your strategy. Do not make it overly complicated. In fact, simple is better, you should be able to communicate your strategy in a single sentence. Drilling the essence of your strategy into single sentence statements is actually quite difficult, but push your team to dig deep. For example, Musk’s strategy, listed below, is a combination of ultra-clear simple statements of intent leaving no room for ambiguity or misinterpretation:

Tesla’s Strategy

  1. Build sports car
  2. Use that money to build an affordable car
  3. Use that money to build an even more affordable car
  4. While doing above, also provide zero emission electric power generation options

Musk announced his purpose and strategy to the world eleven years ago by bizarrely blogging and posting it on the Tesla website for all to see. When company strategies were closely guarded secrets, this seemed a crazy and counterintuitive thing to do. Why blatantly and openly tell competitors about your plans? The genius in his modus operandi becomes clear in the next step.

Step 3: Use quests to bring your strategies and purpose to life
  • Here’s the magical ingredient in moon shooting: Set your team an inspirational quest. One that breaks your purpose down into manageable and achievable chunks, but at the same time stretches people to do remarkable things, stuff they thought was impossible. It is this part of the equation which competitors will struggle to copy and why you can tell them what you are doing. They just do not have the same belief or passion you have.


  • Once his purpose and strategy was in place, Musk set his team an audacious quest: Build an electric car capable of beating a Ferrari or Porsche from a standing start. Ten years ago, at a time when electric cars were the equivalent of a slow-moving milkman cart, his quest seemed bonkers crazy, impossible. But an inspired Tesla team did it! Imagine working on the Tesla Roadster project with the stated ambition of creating an electric car that can beat the best supercars in the world. What a remarkable thing to wake up, get out of bed and go to work to achieve. Oh, and while you are doing that you are also making the world a better place less reliant on fossil fuel. Double motivational boom. In your face, global warming!


  • So, sit down with your team and develop an emotionally linked quest that will bring your purpose and strategy to life. Of course, we can’t all develop cars that will beat Ferraris or set audacious quests like going to Mars but we can find things in our own world of influence that will have a positive impact and inspire people.


  • Here’s the important bit. If people do not feel emotionally connected to your goals, no amount of planning or coaxing will change things. We’ve seen this with Brexit and Trump. People make decisions based on their emotions not logic or facts. Hillary Clinton learnt this the hard way. Facts, figures and business plans will be used to justify decisions, so they are still important. But facts can be skewed. Connecting with people’s emotions and using the facts to support those emotions is a powerful combination for success. Great leaders get this.
Step 4 – Hold a “What Sucks Workshop”

Remember you are on a moonshot that will change your world and deliver meaningful benefits. You are not seeking a quest that will garner an incremental 10% improvement. No, moonshots demand gains in the region of 100% to a 1000% improvement. You want to aim to transform your customers’ or employees’ lives for the better.

That means radically stretching and challenging what you think is possible. A great way to do this is to use the eliminate what sucks in the lives of people most important to us (customers, employees, suppliers, etc.)

Nights of darkness suck! So, Thomas Edison gave us incandescent light bulbs. Germs suck! So, Fleming gave us penicillin. Walking, when birds fly, sucks! So, the Wright brothers gave us wings. Automobiles for only the very wealthiest sucks! So, Ford gave us the production line and the livable wage. Inequality sucks! So, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela gave us equal rights. Cancer sucks! So, Marie Curie gave us radiology and X-ray machines.

The great women and men who shaped history began with the question: “This sucks! Can it be made better?” When passion, commitment and energy is expended towards solutions that tackle what sucks most in the world, innovations emerge which no one could have imagined.

That is why this seemingly simple question is so excitingly powerful. The answers to “This sucks! Can it be made better?” have propelled fortunes, crafted successful careers and disrupted industries.

Now most importantly, do not think you have to lead a big team, control a significant budget or be the owner of a tech startup to do moonshots. Anyone anywhere, at any level in any organisation can embark on a moonshot. All you need to do is have the courage to dare to strike out and find new ground. Think through who are the most important people in your world are, and ask what sucks in their world?

Take the example of Paul Cummins a ceramic artist working alone in Derby, England, who went on a quest to create 888,246 handmade ceramic poppies for the art installation surrounding the Tower of London; commemorating the loss of every British and Commonwealth soldier who lost their life in The Great War. His moonshot inspired 25,000 people to volunteer their time and passion to make his dream a reality. Or consider Sam McCracken, a lowly Nike warehouse worker who started off packing shoes into boxes. Sam embarked on a quest to: Make two million Native American’s more active and healthy. His moonshot adventure led to the launch of Nike N7, the first activewear specifically designed for the needs of Native Americans. Sam’s passion and commitment to reducing incidents of diabetes in his tribe and broader community led to him being promoted to the MD of the now iconic N7 brand and more importantly changing the lives of millions of Native Americans. (More on Sam McCracken in the Future of Work Academy – you can sign up here). Benefits abound. According to Forbes Magazine, moonshot intrapreneurs are now the most valuable employees at many companies because they positively impact the bottom line, brand image and staff morale. They achieve this by coupling the power of big business with their own passionate, spirit and entrepreneurial drive.


Step 5 – Build psychological safety zones

Like most executives, leaders at Google believed that the best teams were those that had the best people — the right people, on the right bus — You want to employ the best engineer, the best manager and the best scientist and give them the best resource. Right? This is logical, there you have it, the perfect performing project team. But according to Julia Rozovsky, Google’s people analytics manager, “we were dead wrong.” The best teams, according to the study, have psychological safety nets.

A two-year long study of 180 teams undertaken by Alphabet (Google), a company which has embarked on countless meaningful moonshots, discovered that one trait — psychological safety — stood out and was shared by their most successful teams.

Most meetings and projects are full of a veneer of fear. Fear of failure, fear of seeming incompetent, fear of asking perceived silly or inappropriate questions. These fears can immobilise teams and prevent them from achieving their best. These teams feel like they are working in an environment where everything they say or do is under a microscope.

But imagine a different environment. A situation in which everyone is safe to take risks, voice their opinions, and ask judgment-free questions. A culture where managers provide air cover and create safe zones so employees can let down their guard. That’s psychological safety. What Google discovered is that teams with psychologically safe environments had employees who were less likely to leave, more likely to harness the power of diversity, and ultimately, who were more successful.

Your role as a moon shooter is to provide the air cover, safe houses and corporate politics no-fly zones where your band of moon shooting questers can feel safe to dream, explore and do their best work.


Final Thoughts

Moon shooting quests are no longer the bastion of kings, queens, knights and rich billionaires. Today anyone can embark on a moonshot that makes a meaningful difference in your personal life, your organisation and your world. So, there you have it, 5 steps you can take to embark on a moonshot quest. Go ahead, explore, dream, discover and achieve remarkable things.


Daily Challenge

Every day look at the world, your customers’ world or colleagues’ world and constantly ask the question what sucks?


Suggested Readings and Resources


Articles to Read


Books to Buy


Videos to watch


Chat to our team  if you’d like to schedule a ‘What sucks’ workshop or to have our Achieve Remarkable Things keynote or presentation.

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Categories: Our Associates

Fortune Favors the Bold podcast interview with Graeme Codrington

Thu, 03/01/2018 - 15:15
I recently spent a fascinating hour chatting with an editor at Gimlet media about the future of work. They’ve edited this broad-ranging conversation into a sharp episode for Mastercard’s “Fortune Favors the Bold” podcast.

You can hear the episode here, on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

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Categories: Our Associates

Leading Difference Differently – Podcast

Fri, 02/23/2018 - 11:37
Audio recording of our Leading Difference Differently webinar, hosted by Keith Coats

NB: Audio quality is quite poor!

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Categories: Our Associates

Finding the words that shape your leadership practice -The critical importance of a leadership philosophy

Fri, 02/23/2018 - 08:00
“…they are just words, a Victorian poem but, they helped me to stand when all I wanted to do was lie down.”

These were reportedly the words spoken by the newly elected President of South Africa Nelson Mandela to Springbok captain Francois Pienaar when talking about the importance of a ‘leadership philosophy’. Of course ‘the words’ were the poem Invictus penned by English poet William Ernest Henley in 1875. They were words that inspired Nelson Mandela during his darkest times and shaped his own leadership practice and expression.

Leaders need to have (and be able to articulate) their own leadership philosophy. It is the hidden part of the iceberg that supports that part of the iceberg visible for all to see. Your leadership philosophy

Developing and being able to articulate the ‘why’ that underpins ‘how’ you lead is the most important work that you can do as a leader. Having a ‘why’ to your ‘how’ is the very foundation of intentional leadership. Your ‘why’ is the North Star that guides and directs everything you do as a leader.

‘Philosophy’ is ‘a theory or attitude that acts as a guiding principle for behaviour’. Forming, integrating and then living one’s leadership philosophy is what guides leadership practice.

So what then is your leadership philosophy?

If you haven’t really thought about it then sifting through what guides your leadership practice and motivation will be surprisingly rewarding work. It also might be harder than you first imagine. To be able to articulate in a few choice words ‘why you lead’ is like a distilling process that will take time and reflection before you finally settle on something that will not need further revision.

In a leadership development programme in which I am involved, the pinnacle of the year-long programme is to be able to articulate one’s leadership philosophy. The content, the experiential learning, the coaching / mentoring, the reflection and group activities are all designed to help participants formulate and shape their leadership philosophy which is then shared with the Executive team at a gala dinner to cap the programme and celebrate this journey. The obvious benefit is that the company has released into it clearly focused leaders who have thought deeply about what it means to leads and who it is that leads. The impact is almost immediate and is certainly obvious.

Here would be some helpful reminders for you as you work on your own leadership philosophy:

  • Your leadership philosophy is work done by you, for you in the service of others.
  • It comprises of some simple words or phrases that when spoken, come from within – words that may have started in the head but that have made their way to the heart. These are words that reside in and are spoken from the heart.
  • Your leadership philosophy should be able to be ‘seen’ by others in how you choose to engage, relate and lead.
  • Your leadership philosophy should not change (much) once set; that is why forming it is a long, slow, deliberate and thoughtful process.
  • Once formed and articulated, your leadership philosophy is something that you draw on, lean on and rely on every day (as a leader) and especially in making those tough decisions.
  • Your leadership philosophy helps answer the question: why should anyone be lead by you?

So then, what is your leadership philosophy?

Invictus (by William Ernest Henley)

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

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O2’s Futurist Forecast update 2018

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 05:29
Early in 2017, I was engaged by O2, one of the UK’s top telecoms providers, to do some predictions for the industry. They approached me again last month to do an update for them. This follows an O2 “open door” event I spoke at, where I highlighted some key technologies we should be keeping an eye on to a small group of O2’s top clients.

You can watch a video summary of my thoughts on driverless cars here:

You can read the 2018 Futurist Update by downloading a PDF version here.

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TomorrowTrends Podcast: Episode 13

Sun, 02/18/2018 - 21:52

In this Podcast – Lose your job in the future if you don’t do these three things now

This episode of the TomorrowTrends Podcast is from a recording of a webinar Graeme Codrington presented last month, looking at the three habits that have helped him to develop the skills required to be successful in a fast-changing world of work. To get the most out of this episode you should download the slides that went along with the original webinar. These are available as a PDF here, or on Slideshare here: Here’s the link we mention in the podcast to the Future of Work Academy:


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Your Culture: More Important Than Marketing

Fri, 02/16/2018 - 11:21
Creating a winning culture is a secret weapon that successful organisations utilize to gain a competitive advantage in the market.

Creating a conducive environment for people to grow, bring the best of themselves and excel at what they do, results in greater and sustained success.

Marketing is an ongoing exercise of spending money to get customers attention, repetitive and costly exercise. I am not advocating for organizations to abandon marketing, but sustained success cannot be driven by marketing alone.

Now consider a company that spends as many resources on improving the quality of its culture, employees and results as it does on activities like marketing. This company doesn’t run adverts on why their customer service is the best in the market, they simply live it every day because the employees understand why it is important to maintain a certain standard and they are proud of their work. This company keeps its existing clients, while the reputation of the quality of the service they provide earns them new ones. While the other company is negotiating on ad spend and positioning of their slots, the winning culture company has clients that are willing to pass on other offers just to get theirs.

Creating a winning culture is about creating an environment that makes winning easy by laying down foundations for continuous growth:

  • Distinction: a blueprint that’s hard for competitors to imitate.
  • Values: clear values that shape individual and collective behaviour.
  • Standards: measurable excellence expectations across the organisation.
  • Belonging: a deep personal ownership and a sense of togetherness.

Each of these is not achieved overnight but are critical to sustained success going forward. More and more leaders are catching on to the importance of crafting a unique culture. These leaders have come to understand that ‘the way we do things around here’ is more important than merely ‘what‘ we are doing.

“Once organizational health is properly understood and placed into the right context, it will surpass all other disciplines in business as the greatest opportunity for improvement and competitive advantage. Really” – Patrick Lencioni, The Advantage.

The greatest opportunity for improvement and competitive advantage!

A winning culture is no longer a nice to have or the preserve of the few organizations with deep pockets. It is the game changer today and into the future of work.

Contact the TomorrowToday Global team to discuss how to Create a Winning Culture, and Leading Difference Differently.

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Categories: Our Associates

Buhle Dlamini

Sun, 02/11/2018 - 22:16



• Keynote Speaker, Facilitator, Author and Entrepreneur.
• Organisational Culture & Diversity Expert.

South African speaker based in Canada and South Africa and an award-winning entrepreneur, Buhle helps his clients make the most of diversity in ‘the new world of work’ and creating effective organisational cultures that result in exponential growth.

As a member of the Tomorrow Today Global team, he brings a wealth of international experience and expertise having consulted in dozens of countries and speaking to audiences worldwide.

He met and worked with leaders such as former SA president Nelson Mandela and received an award from Archbishop Desmond Tutu for Nation Building and is an author of six books. He holds a certificate in Fundamentals of Strategy from Harvard University and is an associate with the Cultural Intelligence Centre in Michigan. A regular speaker at International Universities including having spoken at Yale University and others.

Buhle’s delivery style is personal, entertaining, laced with humour, story-telling and engaging multimedia experience. He puts focus on the practical application of his sessions by helping clients find ways to implement learnings in real life situations to have a real impact on business outcomes.

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Global Challenges become Business Opportunities

Thu, 02/08/2018 - 19:18
FastCompany today featured a superb article by one of their NY staff writers, Ben Schiller, looking at a report entitled The Global Opportunity Report by the United Nations, DNV GL and Sustainia (Scandinavian think tanks). This is all spot on the money: I have nothing to add – just read it at the FastCompany website, or an extract below:

4 Of Our Biggest Global Problems Are Big Business Opportunities

As the world falls behind on some of the Sustainable Development Goals–inequality, consumption, climate change, and clean oceans–there are also places for aspiring social entrepreneurs to find a niche.

When the United Nations set out its Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, it was detailing not only an agenda for government and aid groups, but also one for business. Covering everything from global hunger to gender equality, the SDGs are a rich diet of opportunity. They show ways for companies to make money and to become engines of progress in the world.

new report reframes the 17 SDGs along these lines, helping companies that say they want to enact an SDG agenda…. The report focuses on four SDGs that need most attention and some of the boldest action: inequality, responsible consumption, climate change, and oceans management.

Key to the report is the idea that companies can do more than be responsible actors. They can actually create solutions that improve lives and develop new markets. In other words, being responsible isn’t some moral choice, but rather it’s smart strategic planning. “Responsible and sustainable business is no longer a small niche industry. Rather, these markets have the potential to be the key drivers of business growth in the coming decades,” the report says.

Below are a few business ideas in each category, with some example startups already operating and showing the way.


The global wealthiest 1% controls more than three-quarters of the world’s wealth, while half the world’s population owns just 1% of its wealth. Inequality is on the increase across the globe, not only in the United States, but notably in countries like South Africa, Brazil, the Middle East, India, China, and parts of Africa.

One big idea for improving the lives of the poor is to help them prove ownership of what they have. In many developing countries, registries of land titling are either sparse or open to abuse. Blockchain ledgers create inviolable, distributed records ownership and are currently being employed everywhere from the Republic of Georgia to Ghana, where a startup called BenBen has developed a blockchain-based property management system.

Land titling sounds boring, but better registries have numerous spillover effects, including opening up access to credit. “Blockchain technology has the potential to eliminate many barriers around trust and the transparency of assets that marginalize these groups,” says BenBen’s CEO Emmanuel Buetey Noah, in the report.

Another blockchain idea: improving transparency in supply chains. When farmers can prove their harvests are premium quality and come from a specific place–as is possible with these in-field coffee bean-counters–they can win higher prices and form more direct relationships with end-consumers.


Companies have traditionally thrived by getting consumers to buy more stuff. Linear models of consumption have ruled the world but had a horrific impact on the environment. The future opportunities are in circularity: closed-loop systems of consumption and recycling, and designing products so they can be broken down at end of life and reassembled in new combinations. Turning products into services is one promising concept for the circular economy.

The report lays out three areas of possible exploitation: alternative food sources (like businesses built around insect production that require less water and energy than traditional meat production); construction; and what it calls “reuse to repower.” Construction ideas: WinSun, a Chinese company that 3D-prints buildings from solid industrial waste; Kokoboard, a Thai startup that makes building materials from coconut husks, peanut shells, and rice straw; and Blue Planet, which converts industrial CO2 into a building aggregate.

As for re-powering, how about taking old car batteries that would normally be thrown away and creating backup power plants?


The gap between where the world needs to go on climate emissions and where it is currently moving remains enormous. Emissions need to peak in 2020 and start falling by 2030, and that’s not very likely at present (that the U.S. has re-embraced coal doesn’t help).

The report lays out some climate opportunities for business, including “upcycling” (taking CO2 and making it into something useful, like building materials), district cooling systems as an alternative to ruinous air-conditioning units, and more sustainable shipping–an transport mode that doesn’t get enough attention from climate hawks. Electrifying and automating ports and ships, using alternative fuels, and even sails can improve efficiency (and therefore carbon emissions) by 40% by midcentury, the report says.


At current rates, there may be more plastic in the oceans than fish by 2050. But nothing is inevitable: There are plenty of promising ideas for reinventing plastics, from marine-degradable compounds to multifunctional plastics that are easier to recycle, that could mean less plastic going in the oceans.

The report also looks at alternative forms of aquaculture that reduce reliance on traditional (over)fishing. FarmInABox is a flat-packed modular fish farm from South Africa. FeedKind is a fish feed produced from naturally occurring soil microbes. GreenWave is vertical farming for high-end edible seaweed.

Sustainia, in fact, is a wealth of SDG-focused business ideas. See here for more at its Global Opportunity Explorer website.

Source: FastCompany, by Ben Schiller, 8 February 2018

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Categories: Our Associates

Leading in a Changing World

Tue, 01/30/2018 - 12:04

Leading has never been tougher and knowing how to build your team / organisation’s capacity to be adaptively intelligent is of primary concern.

Thriving in the uncertain and volatile future demands that adaptive intelligence is both understood and is part of the leadership and organisational ‘DNA’.

Leading in a Changing World is a powerful and motivating presentation designed to frame the leadership agenda as well as provide a practical overview as to what it takes to be a ‘future-fit’ leader. This presentation frames the shifting global context – what is changing and why, before uncovering what leaders need to know, do and be in order to lead confidently and effectively in this ever-changing context.

Leading in a Changing World embraces the adaptive leadership framework. It highlights ground-breaking research as to what adaptive intelligence is and how best to develop it at both a personal and organisational level.

The framework and content have been tested throughout the world and across multiple sectors. This vast global experience, wisdom and sensitivity have become an integral and embedded part of Leading in a Changing World.

Leading in a Changing World positions the importance and role of hope in leadership – ending with a powerful and compelling message positioning the leader as a ‘broker of hope’.

Leading in a Changing World can be presented as both a bespoke keynote and / or a fully interactive workshop.

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Leading Difference: Your Most Important Challenge of 2018

Thu, 01/25/2018 - 22:33
There is an inescapable and increasingly frenetic cacophony around the issue of diversity or ‘difference’. Issues around race, gender, age, sexuality, class and many other ‘categories’ dominate the news and media. The ‘issues’ are surfacing everywhere, from politics to the corporate world, from communities to every-day mundane interactions. The dramas both real and imagined are noisy, newsworthy and impossible to ignore. They are systemic of a deeper and pervasive issue running through our contemporary societies that are inextricably interwoven by the threads of social media.

Of course this is hardly a ‘new’ issue. Prejudice and discrimination is as old as human history. The once distant compass points pointing to far-away Neverlands have increasing converged; what was once an imaginative stretch is now within a short reach as societies, and all that is inherent within them, collide with jarring frequency. A prejudice once hidden by distance and /or ignorance is now simply being made more explicit. What was once avoidable or could be justified and rationalised in some distorted way, is now simply an ever-present reality that refuses to be placated by the old and defunct explanations. The subject demands our attention; it is both a foundational stone as well as a capstone to all of our futures.

What should be of deep concern though is the alarming failure of the many past interventions to make a difference in this area. There has been a battery of attempts to highlight and deal with this concern, a concerted bombardment that seems to have yielded little return and in some cases may even have made things worse! Our best efforts have resulted in a ‘political correctness’ that straightjackets conversations and limits meaningful and authentic engagement. It is a constraint that we don’t seem to know how to free ourselves from and any attempts to do so appear clumsy and often yield deeper offence and hurt. “I simply don’t ask anymore” one frustrated senior executive said to me when it came to dealing with difference within his work environment, “because if I do it invariably just leads to trouble”.

In many instances within the corporate world, ‘diversity and inclusiveness’ training – as it has been tagged, is met with a resigned sigh and a numbing participation as something that ‘needs to be done’ with an unspoken acceptance that nothing will really change as a result of our efforts. Our initiatives merely add to the veneer covering the subject, glossing over it without us having to actually deal with it but at least we can tick if off as ‘done’. Somehow the irony is that our best efforts have made engaging with diversity (or what I prefer to simply call ‘difference’) even more inaccessible. The topic is fast reaching a point of burnout and fatigue that has rendered our well-intended efforts counter-productive.

Why is this?

I think it is because we have failed to understand the real core of the problem: ourselves. We have looked at addressing the subject from entirely the wrong standpoint and our approach, whilst good ‘on paper’ has failed to impact the real ‘on field’ behaviour. We have looked to put in place stringent rules to govern the on-field behaviour but failed to recognise that something more, something more fundamental and something deeper needs to be addressed.

To meaningfully engage with difference is to start with ‘Me’. Before looking at those ‘out there’ we first need to confront the person ‘in here’. The starting point for dealing with difference is to acknowledge my own biases and prejudices. It is to start with identifying and understanding the lenses through which I see and interpret the world around me. The reality is that we don’t see the world as it is but rather as we are. Allow me to use myself to illustrate this point: I am a white, male, South African, Baby Boomer. These are merely four (of many) ‘lenses’ through which I try to ‘make sense’ of the world and each, in their own way, radically impacts on ‘what it is I see’. To believe any different would be naive at best and intentionally stupid at worse. If I am to begin to see differently then I have to first ask how these inherent biases impact what I look at notwithstanding other powerful undertows such as religion, education, socialization and context.

In dealing with difference we have started at the wrong place. Whilst there is evidence of some progress, by and large, we have not got to where it is we intended.

This is and always has been, personal work; inner landscaping if you like and this type of work is largely alien to our formal learning structures and pedagogies. To do this essential work we need authentic processes not stand-alone programmes; we need time and space not the clipped and formatted schedules; we need subtle guides and givers of context not tick-box managers and ‘experts’; we need qualitative descriptors and not meaningless metrics; we need community and interdependence where we all understand what is at stake and what is the endgame rather than mere efficiencies and ‘functional teams’. In short, we need to rethink much of our entire approach to this subject if that is, we want a different outcome.

It will require both massive revisions and bold and courageous individuals (and organisations) to call “bullshit” on our current endeavours. We know this but someone has to be willing to take the lead and pioneer what really needs to be done, even if they don’t fully know how best to do that work or where exactly it may lead. Our society is fragmented, angry and in disarray. To some extent this reality gets muted when ‘society’ walks into our respective ‘places of work’ as a different set of rules get observed but this only serves to dull the noise and deflect the inescapable issues that remain.

So let me come back to the place we started and make some clear and bold statements for your consideration and hopefully action.

  1. The challenge of leading difference will be the predominant leadership challenge of the immediate future. It is work that needs to be done in order to unlock the real and obvious benefits of harnessing difference.
  2. This essential work is, at another level, work we all have to do. The leader’s responsibility is to create an environment where this work is permissible, possible and you (as a leader) need to be willing to demonstratively lead the way in doing the work necessary.
  3. We need to acknowledge that our best efforts to this point in time simply haven’t worked. In many respects dealing with difference is an adaptive challenge that has been treated and approached with a technical mind-set. A fundamental revision is needed by those tasked with the wonderful responsibility of educating, developing and training. It will take bold and courageous educators to challenge the current status quo and modus operandi of educational institutions tasked with preparing people to lead. Until we develop formal programmes and processes to engage this work in a meaningful way, we will have more of the same without making any real progress. Some of this will entail ‘giving permission’ to experiment with the design and metrics of current programmes; we will need to know what to keep, discard and create in order to develop leaders capable of leading difference effectively. (As an aside I know for a fact that there are many good and capable people within these institutions eager to engage in this work and contribute towards something more meaningful and sustainable. The obstacles blocking their way are not insurmountable.)
  4. Engaging in difference is to engage with oneself. This is where the work starts and perhaps never ends.
  5. This is a business or corporate issue. As such, it has to be addressed. Of course there are realities and constraints governing this environment but these shouldn’t prevent a meaningful and authentic engagement with is all-important issue.

There can be no more important task facing those in leadership. This matter goes to the very heart of what it means to lead people and invite their best in our business endeavours.

In TomorrowToday we have a somewhat unique vantage point given the scope of our work – both geographical and sector and the many credible institutions and insightful and forward-thinking people with whom we collaborate. We are convinced that the subject of leading difference differently will come to dominate the leadership agenda and curriculum in much the same way that innovation has done for the past few decades. For us, 2018 will see the fruition of years of intentional work done in both understanding and meaningfully engaging in this subject. We are excited to be positioned to undertake this work in a way that invites collaboration, on-going learning and that ultimately, ‘moves the dial’!

Don’t hesitate to connect with us if you’d like more information on our keynote presentations or workshops in this space!

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Categories: Our Associates

New Cabinet positions every government will need by 2030

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 13:16
Dubai recently appointed a minister of AI – read about it here. Sweden became the first country in 2015 to appoint a Minister of the Future to their government – other countries, including New Zealand and South Korea, are seriously considering this too.

This got me thinking. What new Cabinet and Ministerial level positions will governments need in the next few years? Here are some suggestions:

  • Minister of the Future – to remain competitive tomorrow, governments will no doubt have to take unpopular steps today, but politics is often driven by immediate needs and the next election cycle. This ministry must focus on future issues, disruptive change, complexity and involve multiple stakeholders in envisioning different futures. In Sweden, the ministry is organized in three strategic groups: (1) the future of work; (2) green transition and competitiveness, and (3) global cooperation. Each strategic group brings together people with different backgrounds, including from the business community, civil society, trade unions, and academia.
  • Minister of Digital Technology – many governments have ministries focused on industrial development; some have ministries focused on innovation and technology in general; and, a few have ministries focused on technology that enables future development (The UK has a ministry for “Business, energy and industrial strategy”). But our governments will need specific and focused resources allocated to the area of digital infrastructure and competitiveness. This ministry could also ensure that e-government services are rolled out across the board.
  • Minister of Cyber security – possibly related to the previous suggestion, cyber security is so important and so specialised, and is becoming an increasingly important issue for national government, that it deserves it’s own department, much like Homeland Security is a separate government function in the USA to Defence.
  • Minister of Food and Water Security – talking of securing national assets, I was tempted to suggest a Minister of Climate Change. That may not be a bad idea. But most countries will feel the effects of climate change first in their food and water security. A real life example playing out right now is the most devastating drought in recorded history in Cape Town, alongside major weather conditions affecting Australia (highest ever recorded temperatures), Canada (lowest ever recorded temperatures) and elsewhere. Of course, there is travel disruption, weather damage and other issues that need to be covered by existing government rapid response teams, but it’s likely that governments will need to augment their existing Agriculture ministries with something a little more focused on ensuring their citizens can eat and drink.
  • Minister of the Elderly – with more and more people living well past 80 – and even 100 – years old, governments will need a focused ministry to deal with the needs of the elderly.
  • Minister of Robotics – there will probably be enough robots in the world by 2030 that we will need a complete department to manage them. This will be much more important if these robots are becoming sentient.
  • Minister of Space – outer space, that is. This is probably not needed by 2030, although it looks like China, India and America are gearing up for another exciting space race to colonise the Moon and Mars.

What other ministries do you think government will need in the near future?

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Categories: Our Associates

Gatehouse Advisory’s Review of 2017

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 12:26
Our friends at Gatehouse Advisory Partners have released their annual review. They provide ongoing commentary on global political and economic issues, and selected their “best of” insights from 2017 for a review. It’s available as a free download at

The Chairman of Gatehouse, Sir Jeremy Greenstock sums last year up like this: “2017 is ending without any clear sign that leaders of major countries
understand the dangers. The compulsion to seek and hold on to power dominates, within a weaker overall structure of institutionalised behaviour. Events have a momentum of their own if the means of controlling them are decaying. Organisations need to recognise that the environment is becoming less stable and invest in adaptability and contingency planning.”

We agree.

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Categories: Our Associates

VR Lab Technology can help train thousands of new scientists

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 08:45
The world needs more scientists, and we need to encourage young people around the world to study STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) subjects. So, I was thrilled to stumble across an excerpt from a TEDx talk at CERN on a technology called Labster. It uses Virtual Reality to transport you into a science lab, making many very expensive pieces of lab equipment accessible in VR. Students can experiment without risk and at minimal cost, and can repeat procedures as many times as they like.

Watch the promo video:

Of course, the downside is that this isn’t “real” science, in the sense that all the responses in the simulated lab are simulated. Real science will involve doing things that haven’t been done before, and also making mistakes and stumbling onto discoveries through trial and error (mainly error). But that’s not a criticism of Labster, which is most definitely a wonderful tool to fast track young scientists through the early stages of their education and development.

VR is definitely going to revolutionise education in the next five years. We need to embrace it, and be prepared to find the money to create VR labs in schools and universities around the world. Singularity U wrote about this late last year, saying the following:

    “…Education has long been talked about as a promising application for immersive virtual reality, but much of the focus has centered on what might be called ‘exposure education’ — VR experiences that merely show you stuff. … [But now] VR can help us actually learn how to do stuff. With VR, users can learn by doing. And that’s a big deal. Learning in this way may be far more effective than anything else out there.

    At its core, virtual reality is a powerful interface because it leverages three-dimensional space. That means navigating a computational environment can now involve using our hands in an intuitive way, just like we might in the real world. The e-learning platforms of today often involve two-dimensional videos and mouse cursors navigated over diagrams on a flat screen. … Using VR to train, as opposed to heads-up instructions from an augmented reality system, has the added benefit of providing access to resources most people would never have. …

    Imagine learning to cook your favorite dish in VR without having to go to the grocery store or worry about cleaning up a mess, and you can practice over and over until you think you have it ready. Cookbooks are themselves a $4 billion global industry, and VR could eat into the market for cooking schools and begin replacing the countless how-to videos on YouTube.

    As more VR companies like Labster and Tribe experiment in this area, expect VR to unlock the human capacity for learning by doing.”

PS, 2018 is going to be a BIG year for VR, with many of the top VR companies already announcing major new releases and upgrades to their existing systems. Read more about this here, in this excellent Fast Company analysis of what to expect in 2018.

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Categories: Our Associates

Be prepared to lose your job in the future, if you don’t do these three things this year

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 11:53

As we start a new year, we know for sure that 2018 is going to be a rollercoaster year. You don’t need any special futurist skills to work that one out. The world is moving faster than ever before, changing more dramatically now than ever, and it’s not getting easier either. If we’re going to be successful in 2018, and in the years to come, there are at least three key skills we need to learn as quickly as possible.

Join Graeme Codrington, futurist, author and speaker on the future of work, for a one-hour webinar to kickstart 2018.

What you’ll learn:

The three skills Graeme will focus your attention on are:

1. Understanding what’s changing – and what’s not
Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Elon Musk all ask themselves this one question regularly: “What’s going to change in the next 10 years?”  But more importantly, they also ask: “what’s NOT going to change?” Knowing how – and why – the world around us is changing is vital to our success. Graeme will share key insights from the team of futurists he works with, explaining how they keep ahead of trends and showing you how you can do this too.

2. Focus on developing skills for the future of work – not the past
Are you sure you know which skills will be in demand in 2020 and 2025, and do you know how to develop these skills for yourself? If robots and algorithms are going to replace many of the jobs that people do today, how can you ensure you’re not one of casualties in the future of work?

3. Create daily habits that set you apart
Graeme will share some really practical ideas of how to restructure your working day and week in 2018, so that you future-proof yourself. We’re not talking new year resolutions, but rather suggesting a number of small practical changes that anyone can make throughout the year. Small changes that add up to big results ensuring you really get the most out of 2018 and beyond.

The webinar will be an hour, with a chance for live interaction and Q&A with Graeme.

Date: Wednesday, 10 January
Time: 3pm SA / 1pm UK / 8am New York
If you can’t make it live, register anyway and you’ll get access to a recording afterwards.

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Categories: Our Associates

Podcasts for 2018 – for a smarter, more knowledgable and future-focused you

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 08:52
Our team is often asked to make recommendations of books, websites, blogs and podcasts for others to follow. These are good questions, which we’re always happy to answer, as we help people to access the resources that will help them develop and grow.

Our team is a fan of podcasts, preferring to listen to reasoned analysis, insightful commentary and in-depth insights, rather than waste time on the 24-hour news and click-bait driven “documentary” TV channels.

Podcasts are also good because you can listen to them in spaces that might otherwise be dead time, like during your daily commute, on your lunch break or while having a coffee, while doing your exercises or just as a way to wind down after a long day. You should also chat to your boss about this, and get permission to allocate some time during your work day to listening to a podcast – and discussing it with your colleagues. Many of our team also enjoy podcasts, because most podcast apps allow you to speed up the playback, and we can get through the content at 1.5 or even 2X speed.

Some of our favourite podcasts about the future, science and the world around us are:

  • TED Talks Daily – a great TED talk in audio format each day. Enough said.

  • Flash Forward, by Rose Eveleth – future scenarios, presenting possible futures and getting us to think about their impact on the world. Train your brain to think this way.
  • The Future of Work Podcast with Jacob Morgan – one of our favourite future of work experts, mainly interviews with business leaders focused on how we need to adapt to a changing world.
  • How I Built This with Guy Raz – Interviews with founders of the companies changing our world.
  • Future Tense, by ABC Radio National – a look at new technologies and approaches, with an emphasis on what could go wrong and what we should be doing now.
  • The Infinite Monkey Cage, by BBC Radio 4, hosted by Robin Ince and Prof Brian Cox. A really clever and fun way to look at science.
  • Intelligence Squared – audio recordings of various Intelligence2 debates – some of the world’s sharpest minds debating the world’s most important issues
  • More or Less; Behind the Stats, by BBC, with Tim Harford – an economist unpicks some big issues by looking at the actual numbers. Really good social and political commentary, in short episodes that get you thinking.
  • Science Friday – a weekly round up and analysis of the top news stories in science.
  • Revisionist History, by Malcolm Gladwell. It’s by Malcolm Gladwell – what more do I need to say?
  • Curiosity Podcast, by – a weekly discussion with experts in their fields – eclectic and fascinating.
  • Curious Minds: Innovation in Life and Work by Gayle Allen – interviews with people shaping the future of work.

You obviously can’t listen to all the episodes of all of these podcasts. Some will connect with you, others won’t. Listen to a few episodes of each, and don’t be scared to delete it if it’s not for you. Hopefully some of these will help you raise your game in 2018.

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Categories: Our Associates

Futurism’s review of 2017: Seven reasons we’re already living in the future

Fri, 12/22/2017 - 10:24
One of the channels our team follows religiously is Futurism. And their review of technology breakthroughs we’ve seen in 2017 is stunning. Well worth a read, and also watch the videos they provide and follow the links. See their full article here, or a brief summary below.

Top 7 Breakthroughs of 2017 That Prove We’re Living in the Future

In 2017, researchers turned science fiction into science fact – from developments in gene editing technologies, to improvements in artificial intelligence and quantum computing – this has certainly been a year full of breakthroughs. To that end, we’ve compiled a list of the most impactful developments this year that are pushing boundaries toward a brighter future.

1. Lamb in a bag: an artificial womb sustains life

2. Gene editing – an embryo has been edited


4. The LHC’s five new particles

5. Securing the future of quantum communication

6. SpaceX and an era of reusable rockets

7. Star system TRAPPIST-1 and finding Earth 2.0

Source: Futurism

By the way, just to prove their point, I created this entire blog post through voice recognition, without using a keyboard. Tomorrow’s world is here today.

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Categories: Our Associates

Moonshot Thinking According to Elon Musk

Mon, 12/18/2017 - 13:08
The power of moonshot thinking according to Elon Musk, explores the benefit of thinking big, using the power of business and embarking on quests to make a meaningful difference in the world. This short video reveals what it takes to be an exponential leader in a rapidly changing world.

To discover how you can become an exponential innovator leveraging the power of Moonshot Thinking contact

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Categories: Our Associates