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As mainstream media declines in its authority and reach, communications and marketing professionals are realizing that getting their messaging delivered and understood is becoming exceedingly difficult. Not only is it challenging to manage a new environment where everyone is a media channel, but news is able to spread at an unprecedented pace. How do you manage your brand and voice, when you, and all the employees of your company are also part of the media ecosystem itself?
Everyone fails. The world’s most recognized leaders, celebrities and business people have setbacks both large and small on a daily basis. Yet, when it happens to you, it is instinctual to feel alone and embarrassed. The truth is that failure is a fundamental part of our society and is an important step toward success. The problem is that most people don’t have the skills to get past the hurdle and drive it through to its destined completion. Every organization suffers deeply when it’s members fail and have no means to overcome it. It manifests itself in many forms of paralysis in the workplace. Learn how navigate any setback (personal or professional) towards innovation and growth.
The Myth of Generations
Science and pundits have been pre-occupied with dissecting, analyzing and dividing us into generational buckets. Gen Y, Gen X, Baby Boomers, Zoomers, Millenials – its hard enough to keep track of who belongs where, let alone trying to understand their idiosyncrasies. It’s hard not to feel like we have turned ourselves into a kennel club for human beings where we each belong to a breed with certain characteristics. The truth is, that there are certainly differences between age groups and much of the discussion around this is very valid. However, it misses a very important point. For many reasons, for as much as we have dividing us by generation, there is even more uniting us – particularly a shifting sense of values which seem to be shared across generational lines. While Gen Yers may be more likely to manifest their values differently than Boomers, the underlying foundation is actually very similar. We have moved sharply away from the paradigm of top down leadership. Across all age groups, people are looking for leadership that fundamentally involves them. This was the great leave behind of Web 2.0. People see themselves as part of the chain of command, not a rung on it. Almost all facets of life have changed because of it, but particularly, that of work. Money is not the main driver of why people show up to the office every day. People want their professional lives to be connected to their values, to the things that matter to them. This isn’t a world that wants to be led anymore. That doesn’t mean that we don’t need leaders, it simply translates into the reality that we are all leaders now. The question is how we will handle the task when called upon.
730 Days From Now
We are standing at one of the most challenging crossroads in human history. One that may not enable our past to predict our future. Technological evolution has, in less than a decade, connecting every human being on the planet at the touch of button. Matched by demographic growth at both ends of the age continuum, we are fundamentally different people than we were only a few years ago. Combine this with the earth receding around us and the very foundations of our financial markets decaying and it is easy to feel disoriented, if not dismayed. Futurists are going to continuously be challenged by the pace of this metamorphosis thereby struggling in being able to predict where we are headed. Ten year, and even five year plans, are almost impossible. There are three drivers in this maelstrom that, if properly understood, can help one prosper in this chaos – mastering the concepts of the compression of time, the plentitude of access and the removal of value economics. This talk will help you put a plan together to master these concepts, to navigate the world around you and, most importantly, to be prepared for the next 730 days of your life.
The Monumental Shift: An In-Depth Look into the Future of Canada, Technology and the Changing Workforce
Over the last five years, our personal and professional worlds have gone through more dramatic change than any other period in history. The Industrial Revolution was a blip on the radar compared to where we are now. This monumental shift has been so anticipated and talked about that we have overlooked the fact that it has actually arrived. We are not the same people we were a decade ago. We don't communicate in the same way and our concept of self and work has entirely changed. Those that do not understand these underpinnings will simply be left behind. Technology and the Web in particular, has left us completely exposed as human beings. We have learned more about ourselves as a species because of the connectivity of the Web than anything known before it. It has taught us a lot about ourselves. Some of it is good news, some of it is bad. We have entered an era of a true global dialogue. Participation is no longer optional. Not joining the conversation will mean difficulty in hiring and retaining talent. More importantly, it will create massive dissonance between an enterprise and its customers. Do you know the new rules and trends to watch for?
Unrecognizable - The New Us: How The Web And Social Media Have Fundamentally Changed Our Behaviours
We are living through one of the most complicated and transformative times in human history; a period in time which will be seen to be a magnitude more significant than any other period before it. We have experienced more change in the previous 17 years than we saw in the critical 195 years from industrialization to the end of World War II. There is no doubt technology is a big part of the metamorphosis we have gone through. But it is not the complete explanation. What is important is not the technology (social media, the web, etc.) itself, but what it has done to us as people. Technology platforms have unlocked layers of human desire and behaviours that were previously dormant or thought unattainable. We are simply not the same people we were a decade ago. Many of the structures developed around institutions like Government, Education, HR and Marketing were fundamentally designed hundreds of years ago and no longer reflect the needs of the people they were intended to serve.
There are lots of people that offer their services around the ‘how’ of social media and the web. The much more pressing question is ‘why’ engage in the first place. The answer has nothing to do with concepts like reach or efficacy or volume. It has simply to do with one fact: social media and the web are as a medium, a collective reflection of who we have become as people. As a two-time Emmy nominated entrepreneur that has been building companies in the space for over a decade, Leonard will teach you not only some of the fundamentals of the genre and tricks of the trade, but more importantly enlighten you about the intricacies and changes of the most important currency in social media – human beings.
Leonard Brody has been called “a controversial leader of the new world order” and was recently named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40. He is a highly respected entrepreneur, venture capitalist, best- selling author and a 2 time Emmy nominated media visionary. He has helped in raising millions of dollars for startup companies, been through one of the largest internet IPOs in history and has been involved in the building, financing and/or sale of five companies to date.
Much critical acclaim has followed him in his endeavours. At Onvia (where he was part of the initial executive), the company was voted Canada’s number one startup in 2000 and subsequently closed a $240 Million IPO on NASDAQ.
In 2004, Leonard co-founded, and was CEO of, NowPublic.com which is a pioneer in the field of citizen journalism. The company was named by Time Magazine as one of the top 50 websites in the world, was inducted into the Newseum in Washington and was recently acquired by the Anschutz Corporation. Currently Leonard sits as the President of the Clarity Digital Group responsible for overseeing one of the largest online news conglomerates in the world including Examiner.com and NowPublic, which between them, share over 25 million unique visitors a month and over 300,000 contributors. He is also one of the proud owners of Coventry City Football Club in England.
Leonard also acts as an advisor to venture capital funds in the US, Europe and Asia. Throughout his career, has also advised several companies including, the Associated Press, Alliance Atlantis and MTV Enterprises. In addition, he was the Senior Technology Advisor to the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Trade.
A highly sought-after public speaker, Leonard has lectured at institutions such as Stanford, the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai, the G8 and the United Nations. His insight has been requested by companies such as Forbes, The Financial Times, Warner Music, as well as, the governments of countries such as India, Israel, Ireland and South Africa. He has spoken at conferences throughout the world and his work has been featured in such publications as Fortune, the Wall Street Journal, the BBC and the New York Times. He is co-author of the best selling books, “Innovation Nation: Canadian Leadership from Jurassic Park to Java” and “Everything I Needed to Know About Business...I Learned from a Canadian” both published by John Wiley and Sons.
Leonard holds an Honors Bachelor of Arts from Queens University, a law degree from Osgoode Hall and is a graduate of the Private Equity Program at the Harvard Business School.