Showing posts from January, 2021

Selling During Boycotts, Buy-cotts and Disinformation

Two jobs I really wouldn't want this week.  One, being the manager of the Mar-A-Lago Club and the other is being the sales manager at Goya, the privately held Latino food products company.  Mar-A-Lago for environmental reasons, and Goya because their CEO, Robert Unanue, has a hobby of sharing conspiracy theories and disinformation with all who will listen.  His disinformation campaigns have not only generated threats of violence against the owners, but have also inspired bean "boycotts" from Democrats, and "buy-cotts" from Republicans plus increased calls to fire him.  If you were the bean sales manager at Goya, how would you possibly forecast demand in this chaotic environment? Last week I published an article titled Mixing Business and Politics Requires a Strategy .  In the article I posited that companies should have a strategy and carefully consider their purpose, brand, reputation, board, workforce and market before deciding to possibly share disinformation

The 21 People Who Control the World

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg has appointed twenty members to his new "Oversight Board." This board decides what Facebook's 2.7 billion users can read, watch, listen to and share on the social media platform.  They also decide which world leaders are allowed on the platform and what they can say.   One of the Oversight Board's most significant upcoming decisions is whether to allow former US President Donald Trump, who is currently being impeached and on trial for starting an insurrection, back on Facebook where he can share his views of the world with billions of people. Given the power of social media to alter people's thinking and behaviors, organize agitation and incite insurrection, this is a lot of power to leave in twenty Facebook appointed people's hands.  Have you ever stopped to think about the implications of that power?  These board members were not elected by citizens, but rather appointed by one person, Mark Zuckerberg. Citizens have spent decad

The Utility of Truth

I have the good fortune to meet with and interview many distinguished business and technology leaders in the normal course of my work.  One of the most common subjects of discussion is the increasing importance of data and data analytics.  Everyone needs data and an understanding of what it means to operate today.  Data is captured and analyzed to determine facts, and the facts are weighed and measured to derive the truth.  Without data, facts can’t be supported, truth can’t be determined and effective reasoning cannot be applied. Leonardo Da Vinci was one of the first to see clearly that knowledge of science would have to come from repeated experiments done, not unproven ideas. He was also the first scientist that correlated mathematics and science. Most people recognize the role of truth in reasoning.  Reasoning without truth is like programming without logic.  It doesn’t work.  Computers run on logic as does nearly the entire world as a result of digital transformation. Truth and lo

Mixing Business and Politics Requires a Strategy

Business leaders today are trying to navigate a hyper-politicized environment that can ambush them at any moment.  Everything a business does and says is being scrutinized to reveal political positions to either support or oppose.  Whether intended or not, or true or not, claims made by pundits, politicians and loud social media influencers can instantly lead to market segmentation, swarming or cancel culture that can unexpectedly derail your business and sales targets. Prudent business leaders will think through these issues and have a plan.  They will discuss the most likely sources of trouble and identify the most likely scenarios and their potential business impacts.  The goal of these exercises is to create a playbook on how best to respond not if, but when it happens.  When it does happen the speed at which it materializes can be shockingly fast. Some businesses are content with selling to a subset of the market that closely identifies with a well understood political persona or

Part 2 of My Interview with Mark Bramwell the CIO at Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford

This is part 2 of my in-depth interview with Mark Bramwell the CIO at Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford.  We leave behind our list of prepared questions and take a deep dive into the future of universities and higher education.  For anyone interested in education this is a fascinating discussion.   Watch Part 1 of this interview with Mark Bramwell here . ************************************************************************ Kevin Benedict Partner | Futurist | Leadership Strategies at TCS View my profile on LinkedIn Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict Join the Linkedin Group Digital Intelligence ***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Revealing Mind Manipulation Techniques

In Washington DC, Silicon Valley, Russia, China, New York, Iran and thousands of other locations around the world influencers are developing and implementing strategies that exploit human vulnerabilities to sell products and amass power.  Many of us so called "influencers" and/or "marketers" have studied for years and learned how we can utilize current social and collaborative technologies and databases of followers/contacts/connections to influence people.  We have developed content that appeals to our targeted audiences and collected followers.  Although these technologies and efforts in most cases have been used to distribute useful knowledge and advice, they can also be used for nefarious manipulation.  For the past month I have been working on a project about the future of information, truth and influence .  The violence and insurrection on January 6, 2021 in Washington DC has made me regret I had not started this project and shared it years ago.  I believe it