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Trust is a non-negotiable in today’s economy. For obvious reasons, businesses that are trusted are more lucrative and more loved than their competitors. However, time has told that trusted brands also outlast their competition. Trust consistently emerges as the common denominator between the world’s longest lasting companies, proving to keep them afloat through every new fad, wave and trend.

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have been popular gimmicks in recent years, used by futuristic companies to exhibit the potentials of technology. However, events of recent weeks and months are seeing what was once considered technological potential become a fast-approaching reality from the retail sector to health to the real world itself.

To clarify the distinction between these two technology applications, AR overlays digital information on real-world objects by using the camera on a mobile device, while VR obscures the real world and the user is immersed in a fully digital experience.

In a marketplace increasingly concerned with climate change and environmental sustainability, the call to action for companies rings loud and clear. With Millennials and Gen Z consistently willing to pay more for products with purpose and boycott the companies that fall short, businesses and brands can no longer ignore the demands of the environment, or the market.

In this climate, it is tempting for some businesses to engage in ‘greenwashing’, making statements or taking actions that may seem impressive but in reality do little to mitigate environmental impacts. Other companies well and truly practice what they preach, and it comes as no surprise that these are the ones that reap the rewards.

Looking back over the last two years quickly reveals a narrative of fear. In all the frenzies of panic-buying, the conspiracy theories and the misinformation that fed our anxiety, we have consistently been driven to hysteria by a very primal sense of fear.

While this kind of fear has led to some unfortunate consequences, the reality of fear in general is that it is our greatest mechanism for safety and survival – it is designed to keep us alive. In fact, while confidence may be attractive, it is simply dangerous when it reaches the level of arrogance – consider the cars full of over-confident young men in situations that have so often led to disaster.

This principle applies as much to business as it does to life. A healthy sense of paranoia in business is a crucial mechanism for remaining relevant. More often than not, the businesses that crash the hardest are those that were so distracted by their own success that they failed to read the signs and take seriously how quickly the competition was catching up.

Blockchain has steadily grown in popularity over the last couple of years. Bitcoin’s value soared over 70% in 2020 and is projected to reach a price of US$66,000 by the end of this year. With low transaction fees, limited institutional involvement, and ease of use, blockchain presents an attractive opportunity for spenders across the world. But what will this new currency mean for the future of our notes and coins?

Any of us who are familiar with the process of writing will no doubt know the critical importance of fresh perspectives. You can write the work, edit it, proofread it, reread it, and still miss the most glaringly obvious of mistakes. Within seconds, a set of new eyes picks up errors that had simply disappeared into the rest of the writing.

The power and importance of outsiders’ perspectives cannot be overlooked across all works, not least of which our businesses. Falling into comfortable patterns, familiar rhythms and efficient systems is an impulse that is hard to avoid in organisations, but nothing will kill agility, creativity and innovation faster than these.

When did you last truly look at your organization from an outsider’s perspective?

Flying cars and driverless vehicles have almost become a cliché of futurism since the early days of sci-fi. Today’s transport, however, reveals a cliché that is quickly proving itself to be true. With autonomous technology invading both our automotive and aerospace industries, accelerated by the demands of COVID, our transport is moving faster than we thought.

The value of values in today’s world is hard to overstate. In an era of moral upheaval, ethical missteps and depleted trust, people need to know what we stand for – and even more so, they need to see us stand for it.

While the message of corporate values has been drummed into companies for decades, many companies lack a real framework for finding them. Boardrooms filled with executives have watched hours waste away as they attempt to wordsmith lists of abstract values with no clear path through the process. Sadly, the result is often a tokenistic corporate statement that is ultimately inconsequential in the everyday life of the company.

Here are 3 characteristics of effective values to consider in your next corporate values meeting.

Almost every business wants to be known for being innovative, but in a world saturated with systems and bureaucracy, not all businesses have the mindset that will get them there.  When it comes to innovation, I often recall a quote by former business professor of the University of San Francisco Oren Harari, ‘The electric light did not come from the continuous improvement of candles.’

Years ago, I visited an acupuncturist following the recommendation of a friend, interested to see how the experience would differ from the dozens of chiropractors and physiotherapists I had seen. It did not disappoint. Where I would have expected him to examine my posture, ask about medical history and order X-rays, this acupuncturist asked to examine my tongue and somehow read with complete accuracy the state of my stress levels, diet and sleeping patterns.

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