Connected leadership + more

13 minutes estimated reading time

Connected Leadership

Connected Leadership, Powered by Brunswick | Brunswick – worth a read during your lunchtime. 9 out of 10 financial readers cite the importance of social media communications by CEOs during a crisis. There were also findings that equate CEO social presence with employer brand. Reading about connected leadership reminded me of the oft quoted wisdom that history doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes. Connected Leadership had reminded me of research that I remember seeing around the time of the original dot com boom (and bust). I think that the research had been done by Weber Shandwick in the US; and I had heard Larry Weber cite it when he came through Europe every so often.

At that time the connected leadership type content was focused on CEOs with a media profile. The research showed a positive correlation between a highly visible CEO, better stock market performance and greater resilience when the brand was facing challenging times. This was back when Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates courted the business and ‘business of technology’ media. Like any model it can be only taken so far, as Bernie Ebbers at WorldCom, Jeff Skilling at Enron and Steve Case at AOL showed that a high profile won’t stop a terminal decline.

Prior to Oracle’s acquisition of Sun Microsystems, then CEO was criticised for a lack of focus on the business problem. The twice weekly blog posts that marked his connected leadership style were not appreciated by activist shareholders.

A more modern example of connected leadership would be the cult like following that Donald Trump managed to build up over the past five years in politics. A future Democratic president would like appear less on social and in the media, being more focused on the task at hand rather than demonstrating connected leadership.

For businesses, a connected leadership style brings challenges from a regulatory point of view, could their content be sifted for potential class action suit material?

WGSN – Future Drivers 2023 – WGSNAfter the dust settles on the tumult of 2020, companies and consumers will shift to new ways of designing, making, selling and consuming in 2023. In an age of uncertainty, executives can bank on the importance of the four C’s – connection, conservation, communication and community. This report identifies seven global drivers that will reshape the macroeconomic and business landscape in 2023, and provides key strategies that businesses can action today for future success. 

  • Radical Reform: this will be front and centre for 2023. Be prepared to be held accountable for diversity, sustainability and CSR practices 
  • Safety & Security: this will drive innovation in defensive materials, an increase in home and neighbourhood security networks, and make touchless payments and products mainstream 
  • The Tech Paradox: cobots (collaborative robots that interact with humans) and democratised digital literacy will gain ground, but on the flip side, infodemics, influencer fatigue and the politics of global technology will drive a tech reset 
  • Community 3.0: look to the growth of community supply chains, staff who are steps away from the stores, and up-skilling locals to keep community money intact 
  • Environment: From Urgency to Emergency: regenerative businesses are creating a sustainable future, while made-to-order manufacturing and nearshoring are reshaping distribution models 
  • The Recession Generation: unstable job markets and a new gig economy will drive new generational spending and consumption habits 
  • New Alliances: international relations are being reshaped and this is underscoring political tensions, with growing knock-on effects

Lightest 5G smartphone with graphene batteryAppear is launching the lightest and first graphene battery-powered smartphone with innovative water-resistant technology. There is already a lot of interest in this smartphone. Appear has begun receiving orders and projections call for a million units sold in the first six months. The smartphone would be available in stores and major online retailers by March 2021. To meet growing demands, Appear has partnered with Foxconn India for its manufacturing needs

Research specialist Qamcom joins European partners in 6G driveHexa-X research project is EU funded and expected to run for two and a half years with the aim of laying the foundation for next generation 6G networks. Bringing together a number of technologically advanced European partners, the Hexa-X research project aims to develop the next generation of mobile networks, namely 6G or sixth generation. The project, which is EU-funded, is expected to start in January 2021 and last for about two and a half years. The purpose of the project is to lay the foundation for a global standard and to define principles for the 6G system itself – which will serve as a base for the entire telecom industry and its future services and products. On a more philosophical level, the project’s purpose can be described as technology connecting our human and physical world with the digital world. Qamcom’s research will focus on localisation and network optimisation

Why minimalists are maximally important » strategythe minimalist demo are predominantly suburbanites, more than half of whom (59%) are married couples with kids, with moderate household incomes. While they haven’t previously been majorly digitally inclined, the group has been making its first major foray into online shopping. Minimalist shopping activity on mobile phones and tablets was up 31% among this audience segment, with gaming activity increasing by 19% and 43% on mobile devices and consoles, respectively. Minimalists’ propensity to order online food has almost doubled since lockdown began, and marketers should be mindful that QSRs could really benefit from attracting this segment

Boots UK sales struggle despite better than expected results for parent company | Cosmetics Business 

The Chinese ski market: how China is going crazy for snow with the upcoming Winter Olympics 

Banning Trump from digital platforms sets a dangerous precedent | ProMarketI find them a dangerous precedent, which concentrates power irreversibly in the hands of a few private firms. Everybody, but especially people from the Left, should be worried: soon, this power will be used against them.  If Trump violated the law with his tweets, he should be prosecuted according to the law. Why did Twitter and Facebook take the law into their own hands as self-appointed vigilantes? If his tweets did not violate the law, why did Twitter and Facebook kick him out? Twitter and Facebook, many would object, are private companies, which can create their own rules of engagement. This is certainly true. But these rules should be consistently enforced and here they are not. According to Twitter’s own statement, Trump was permanently suspended because of the following two tweets, sent on January 8:   “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!” “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.” “These two Tweets,” writes Twitter, “must be read in the context of broader events in the country and the ways in which the President’s statements can be mobilized by different audiences, including to incite violence.” The context Twitter is referring to are the potential plans for a secondary attack on January 17—even though Trump’s tweets did not mention such plans

Pennies to Dollars: The Problems With Amazon’s Plans for Detroit – Amazon Chronicles – sketchy property deals and minimum wage jobs

A bit reactionary but it’s still worthwhile watching Chris Chappell interview with Winston Sterzel and Matthew Tye. Sterzel and Tye’s observations are spot on and tally with my own experience in China and Hong Kong.

Escapist retail – Wunderman Thompson Intelligence – Digital fashion and virtual spaces are getting dreamy, engaging shoppers’ imaginations—and dissolving the traditional boundaries of retail. All of which is fine if you’re on the ‘upper leg’ of the K-shaped economic recovery. Not so great if you’re Primark. More retailing related content here.

Well worth a read: Beatie Wolfe, digital artist and musician – Wunderman Thompson Intelligence 

Why going global has proved so hard for the big banks | Financial Times – despite gains from globalisation in the lead-up to the financial crisis, the overall international record of the industry is poor. Just last week came a reminder of the challenges of a global bank: Deutsche Bank agreeing to pay US regulators $125m to resolve allegations that it paid bribes to win clients in the Middle East. Its not an isolated example, though Deutsche Bank does have a higher appetite for risk than many of its peers. Other examples, Goldman Sachs had to pay $3.9bn to settle the 1MDB bribery scandal in Malaysia. JPMorgan agreed to pay $264m to settle a US probe into its practice of hiring scions of the Chinese elite as its new business strategy. Its not like these bank failings are a new phenomenon. HSBC was able to buy the Midland Bank because it had been so weakened by its majority stake holding in Crocker National of California. At the time of purchase in 1980, Crocker was the tenth largest bank in the US. It has been one of the first banks in the US to use ATMs. Eventually it was sold due to the losses that Midland endured while owning it. Crocker had a large amount of bad loans on its books.

2021 and the Conspiracies of ‘Johnny Mnemonic’ | WIREDGibson’s cyberspace was always bound up with the body. Data can be wet-wired; manipulating files requires Power Gloves and an “Eyephone.” When Johnny jacks in, it kind of hurts. Such meat-meets-metal has, in the quarter-century since Johnny Mnemonic came out, been called a failure of prediction. Our internet ended up disembodied, virtualized, socially distanced, our iPhones more of a figurative prosthesis. Yet, this last year, we sat slack at our desks, muscles atrophying, nerves attenuating, as we doomscrolled our way to new aches, new anxieties, new ailments. Some wild-eyes went so far as to claim that 5G triggered the pandemic, which is the most Gibson-sounding conspiracy of all. In Johnny’s world, the black shakes are caused not by a virus but by a signal. Epidemic through technic. There’s something in the air, no matter what you do. You’re already sick, you’re already dying. Connectivity is killing you

Don’t Toss It, Fix It! Europe Is Guaranteeing Citizens the “Right to Repair” – expect a wide range of protests from auto manufacturers (like Tesla), to gadget makers (Apple) and agriculture titan John Deere

Solar power – How governments spurred the rise of solar power | Technology Quarterly | The Economist – like other developments before it, solar demonstrates the need for government to play a role in innovation

China consumer prices rise but worries persist over core inflation | Financial Times 

Twitter vs Trump: has Big Tech gone too far? | Financial Times – Mr Trump has been barred from Facebook and Twitter due to events in the US last week. Apple, Google and Amazon have all taken steps to clamp down on Parler, the right wing social network.  This has set up a fierce debate about where the balance lies between a tech company’s right to censor users who breach their content policies versus an individual’s right to freedom of expression. A second aspect is the right for governments to regulate services versus the US approach of laissez faire – Angela Merkel attacks Twitter over Trump ban | Financial Times and a more US perspective – Superspreader Down: How Trump’s Exile from Social Media Alters the Future of Politics, Security, and Public Health – Defense One 

Taiwan manufacturers quit China over trade tensions and rising costs | Financial Times – really interesting article. Taiwan’s biggest weakness seems to be the small and medium sized manufacturers with operations in China.

I’ve chosen to not get drawn into the events at the Capitol in Washington DC. It is interesting that Arnold Schwarzenegger is far more articulate and coherent than the politicians in office.

Quantum science leaps forward in China under Xi’s support: report | Apple Daily 

Announcement for the connection problem faced by Hong Kong users|HKChroniclesFrom the evening of 6th January, 2021 (Hong Kong Time), the chief editor of HKChronicles, Naomi Chan, has received numerous reports from users located in Hong Kong. They noticed that the website was inaccessible when using the Internet service provided by some ISPs in Hong Kong. After looking into the analytics, we also found that the number of visitors from Hong Kong decreased drastically. Because of the scenario, there are some rumors on the Internet regarding to the status of service on our website – Hong Kong ISPs blocking the site. It has lots of good information on organised crime affiliated police, business people and political extremists. More Hong Kong related content here.

Sex workers say ‘defunding Pornhub’ puts their livelihoods at risk – BBC News 

Bitcoin Mining and Its Environmental Effects by Şerif DİLEK* & Yunus FURUNCU – an academic paper that show just how bad bitcoin is for the environment. It isn’t just bitcoin mining, but even blockchain and wallet management. TL;DR here is the money quote: Bitcoin’s energy consumption causes serious damage to the environment and faces us as one of the most significant obstacles in the development of Bitcoin.

Concerns raised about cameras at self-service supermarket checkouts | Irish Examiner – not terribly surprising that Tesco loss prevention techniques give people the privacy creeps. But then they wouldn’t need to if the tills were manned….

How PewDiePie is trying to dodge his taxes | Input magazine – clickbait headline, the real point is that top level influencers now are big enough to give effective tax management serious consideration

Telegram: Contact @durov – Telegram laying into WhatsApp. But a little something to think about from seven years ago to consider before you move to Telegram: Cryptography Dispatches: The Most Backdoor-Looking Bug I’ve Ever Seen • Buttondown 

Mark Ritson’s marketing effectiveness lessons

  • Qualitative and quantitative diagnosis
  • Clear strategic objectives
  • Long, mass-marketing brand building
  • Shorter, targeted performance
  • Tight, differentiated position
  • Heavily, consistently codified
  • Investing more than competitors
  • Astonishing creativity