Mother Mary and What’s Ahead?

Accountability Growth mindset Transformation

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Key Point: My mother Mary is 88 years old and has seen a lot of changes in her life. Yet, relatively speaking, her experience has been mostly linear or incremental over nine decades. The changes in front of us however, will be exponential rather than linear. So what does that mean?

My sweet mom is a hero to me. She had to leave home at the age of 14 because my grandparents could not practically support her and two other children in a one room, log cabin on a ¼ section of scrub and rocks in northern Alberta. She took a train to Camrose, Alberta (which was like going to Mars), and worked as a chambermaid at the Alice hotel. Her room in the hotel was an old closet she cleaned out so she had a place to sleep. She met and married a shy 20-year-old farm boy at 17, and had me at 20. She and Dad lived on a ¼ section and mixed farmed; no power, no running water, outdoor toilet, and no vehicle. My brother arrived three years later and to make ends meet, my dad would try to work in the oil patch in the fall/winter. This meant him being away while my mom single handedly milked eight cows, did all the chores, looked after two infants, lugged water 30 meters from the well to the clapboard house, and navigated brutal winters… All on her own. I can still remember her delight when we moved to the city in 1956, and she walked around our little rented house flicking the light switches on and off. Her story gets even better… We’ll save that for another day. Thank you, Mom!

The startling reality is that the many changes my mom experienced will feel pedestrian compared to what futurists like Peter Diamandis predict. Examine all of Peter’s forecasts by reading his complete newsletter. In the meantime, here’s a dozen that may blow your mind:

“2018:

Quantum Supremacy Achieved: The first demonstration of a quantum computation that can’t be simulated with classical supercomputers is announced.

2020:

Flying car operations take off in a dozen cities in the world.

The 5G Network unleashes 10-100 gigabit connection speeds for mobile phones around the world.

2022:

Robots are commonplace in most middle-income homes, able to reliably read lips and recognize face, mouth and hand gestures.

All toys are ‘smart’ with built-in machine learning.

2024:

The first private human missions have launched for the surface of Mars.

The first ‘one cent per kilowatt-hour’ deals for solar and wind are signed.

2026:

Car ownership is dead and autonomous cars dominate our roadways.

100,000 people commute by VTOL each day in L.A., Tokyo, Sao Paulo and London.

2028:

Solar and wind represent nearly 100 percent of new electricity generation.

Autonomous, electric vehicles account for half of all miles driven in large city centers.

2030:

AI passes the Turing test, meaning it can match (and exceed) human intelligence in every area.

Humanity has achieved ‘Longevity Escape Velocity’ for the wealthiest.

2032:

Medical nanorobots demonstrated in humans are able to extend the immune system.

Avatar Robots become popular, allowing everyone the ability to ‘teleport’ their consciousness to remote locations all over the world.

2034:

Companies like Kernel have made significant, reliable connections between the human cortex and the Cloud.

Robots act as maids, butlers, nurses and nannies, and become full companions. They support extended elderly independence at home.

2036:

Longevity treatments are routinely available and covered by life insurance policies, extending the average human lifespan 30-40 years.

2038:

Everyday life is now unrecognizable – incredibly good and hyper VR and AI augment all parts of the world and every aspect of daily human life.”


Personal Leadership Moves:

  1. Learn how the be adaptive in an exponential world. How might you prepare to live on a planet that in 20 years is “unrecognizable?”
  2. Mother Mary might have lived most of her life in an incremental world. However, her resilience and adaptive DNA like that within your ancestors, belongs to all of us. We will need to source every ounce of it. Tap into it with confidence. How exciting!

Unrecognizable moves in Personal Leadership,

Lorne

One Millennial View: Some of these are crazier than others, but back when us Millennials were playing Snake II on our Nokia phones, who knew we’d one day be annoyed if we didn’t get something called “free wifi?” Robot nannies, Mars colonization, Longevity Escape Velocity, VTOL commuting and AI passing the Turing test sound pretty nuts… But, then again, I just asked Alexa what time the University of Arizona’s NCAA March Madness basketball game was on tonight.

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis



Wednesday Q/A on Personal Leadership

Growth mindset

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To our readers, 

Welcome to our latest installment of a Lorne Rubis Q/A series. We’ve accumulated some popular leadership questions, and below are Lorne’s answers to them. We plan to release these every-other Wednesday. We’d like to encourage you to participate, see below on how to contribute! 

1. “Hey Lorne, is it still relevant to get an MBA?”
 
I am starting to question the investment/return ratio on MBA’s versus participating in transformative offerings available from Singularity University and facsimiles. I think the balance still favors a top notch MBA . However, continuous post secondary learning that increases the ability to drive meaningful transformation, execution, super collaboration, adaptability, impact, inspiration, etc. may be more valuable. One way or another, everyone of us needs to become an evolving combination of futurist, technologist, innovator and humanist. Does an MBA offer all of that? If so, go for it!
 
We hope you enjoyed this Q/A session. We’d like to keep these coming, so if you have any questions, please submit them to CultureCastPodcast@gmail.com, or DM us @CultureCastPod1 on Twitter. We look forward to many more, every other Wednesday.

‘Trickies’ Related to Modern Marketing

Accountability Communication Transformation

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Key Point: The world of marketing is getting turned upside down, yet it remains so much the same. Sellers always look to find ways to emotionally connect so we might purchase products. How do we navigate through it?

I just attended the kick-off of the 2018 SXSW extravaganza in Austin, TX. So many insights are washing over me, that I’m honestly struggling a little to sort through what’s going on and how it’s personally impacting me. Let me give you some examples of this headspace swirl I’m in.

  • I had a chance to hang out in a cool, intimate setting on E. 6th St. (Dirty Sixth, they call it), with people like Michael Loeb (a high impact billionaire), and “Mr. Crush It,” Gary Vaynerchuk. I was heartened by their genuine focus on encouraging and investing in leaders and companies that both advance humankind AND make lots of money. They both talked about generosity and abundance. How cool is that?
  • I also was intrigued to hear 18-year-old entrepreneur, Connor Blakley, founder of YouthLogic, school the audience about how Gen Z thinks and acts. He actively helps brands work with high impact social influencers (Ariana Grande, Pharrell, Kendall Jenner, etc). They have an inordinately big impact on brand performance, (ask Snapchat). And if you don’t understand micro-influencers, you are out of the loop.
  • Then I come to grips with Google owned YouTube’s AI driven business model and realize that when I watch a video, their algorithms will move me to more extreme videos. The sad news is that the algorithms seem to point us towards the more intense or inflammatory information, leveraging our natural tendencies to see “what’s behind the curtain.” YouTube knows we have a natural curiosity to dig deeper, because the more and longer we look at videos, advertisement sales go up (see Professor Zeynep Tufekci’s op-ed from this Sunday’s NYT).
  • And then I learn about new research from MIT, and find out that lies or false stories spread farther and faster than truthful content. To make it more uncomfortable, the research points out that real people, often barely credible ones from a “follow” metric, are capable of spreading falsehoods every bit as much as “bots” or trolls. Geez (see this article by Sinan Aral).

Ok, and just to put all this in perspective, I went to a health fair at SXSW and bought, from a classic “snake oil” salesman, what are essentially punched out metal dog-tags that apparently will change my electrical system and right 60-plus years of abuse to my bod. (Garrett was so disgusted with my naivety that he reminded me that his mother once banned me from watching the shopping network after the arrival of the electronic 6-pack abs maker ☺).

So while social media, macro and micro social influencers, bots, trolls, hucksters, AI, learning algorithms, fake news, conspiracies, etc. will explode and become trickier in attempting to manipulate us, we more than ever need value-based leaders and astute consumers of content.

Personal Leadership Moves:

  1. As a consumer, become more aware than ever that little or nothing shows up by coincidence in our online world. Become more knowledgeable of how big content purveyors like Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc, really work. Nothing is ever truly free. Be aware of the sincerity of influence from people you follow.
  2. Leaders – If you’re not truly advancing humankind in the best way, then ask yourself if your business model is worth selling your soul for. Why, not how, might we make the world better AND make money?

Modern marketing and ethics in personal leadership,

Lorne

One Millennial View: De-monetization, shadow banning, etc, are also new terms that I’ve learned from those trying to navigate the algorithms of giants like YouTube and Twitter within the last couple years. As recently as March 12, popular vlogger and overall positivity-machine Roman Atwood announced that he was going to stop daily vlogs on YouTube and focus his efforts in a separate direction because he believes YouTube has intentions to force daily vloggers to fade out. (He has 14 million subscribers, btw). It’s wild out there, but thanks to awesome information from festivals like SXSW, and ongoing discussions, we can all attempt to navigate these rapids as best as possible. Hopefully world improvement and money making won’t capsize in the “stream.”

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

Let’s Call B.S.!

Accountability Organizational culture Organizational leadership

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Key Point: It’s time to call out companies and organizations that do nothing to advance humankind. And as part of misguided missions, it is also time to scream “B.S” when institutions populate and propagate value statements that are more spin than truth.

“I will work for the hottest company in the world.” That was the statement uttered by a candidate I was trying to recruit in 1999. Unfortunately for him, he chose Enron over us. Before its collapse, Enron marketed electricity and natural gas, delivered energy and other physical commodities, and provided financial/risk management services to customers around the world. In fact, Enron was once ranked the sixth-largest energy company in the world. In 2000, annual revenues reached over $1 billion USD and the stock was trading at more than $90/share. On Dec. 2, 2001, Enron filed for bankruptcy protection in the biggest case of bankruptcy in the United States (up to that point). Roughly 5,600 Enron employees subsequently lost their jobs. Most of the top executives were tried for fraud after it was revealed in Nov. 2001 that Enron’s earnings had been overstated by several hundred million dollars. The jury in the Enron case found both the former CEO, and founder, guilty of conspiracy and fraud. Arthur Andersen, Enron’s accounting firm, and at that time one of the so called “Big Five”, also dissolved.

The pictures above are of a plastic cube with Enron’s values stamped on it. This swag was circulated to all Enron’s employees. I’m sure it sat prominently on the CEO Jeff Skilling’s desk prior to his jail sentence. You will note that one side of the cube promises INTEGRITY with a commitment of honesty and openness to customers. Another side espouses RESPECT, where amongst other things, it emphases that arrogance and callousness don’t belong. I won’t even bother to tell you about the other sides of the cube. If you wonder why employees become suspicious, if not cynical, when value statements are created and published, be reminded of Enron and other phony organizations that say one thing but do another. All too often, published values are well-intended wishes that bear little resemblance to what people actually experience. At their worst, they are hollow statements (or even lies), written by PR or HR departments, printed on coffee mugs, posters, annual reports and yes… cubes, that make stakeholders want to vomit!

Declaring and living by meaningful value statements in organizations is hard work, requiring considerable thought and relentless application. They can never be “one and done.” To be real and materially impactful, they have to be soaked into and transparently visible in every part of the institutional fabric. When they live they are celebrated, and when contravened there are consequences. When they really guide ALL people in an organization, they genuinely become magical and mythical. They power the institution by binding diverse thought and behavior into true ONENESS.

Personal Leadership Moves:

  1. If you declare value statements, compel everyone to relentlessly commit. And when values are contravened (because we are imperfect human beings, they surely will be), insist the entire organization learns from the mistake. Then, recommit to the importance of the value.
  2. Call B.S. if values become empty promises. Do not let them become sad and broken statements relegated to coffee cups or cubes. Remind yourself how easy and slippery the slope is to have values compromised and culture permanently damaged. In Enron’s case, the bankruptcy started the day respect and integrity went out the window, and became ones that eventually had bars in front of them.

No value prisoners in Personal Leadership,

Lorne

One Millennial View: The classic talking the talk without walking the walk. I would consider myself a trusting person, and it’s frustrating to know that I have to be wary of employer’s mission statements and values. I hope the hand-shake deal isn’t dead, but in 2018, you do need an antenna up. Millennial core values and truths are still extremely significant, and if they aren’t represented at your place of work, then you might want to rethink why you’re there. 

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

Culture Cast: What’s Missing in Today’s Leadership Systems?

Organizational leadership Podcast

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Hey Culture Cast fans! In Season 2, episode 8, Lorne and Lynette discuss the issue with the Forbes survey that found 65 percent of employees are willing to forego a pay raise if it meant they would see their bosses fired. What’s missing in today’s leadership systems? What can leaders start doing to improve the psychological safety that employees feel? 

Please listen on Soundcloud and iTunes, and don’t forget to rate and review.

If listeners have any questions or thoughts, feel free to email the podcast at CultureCastPodcast@gmail.com. As you can see, we’ve started a Q/A series that will be posted every other Wednesday, and will likely be addressed in future podcasts as well. Please feel free to contribute. 

Also, please follow the podcast @CultureCastPod1 on Twitter, and advance the conversation.

Mundare, Alberta & Self-Efficacy

Accountability Contribution Growth mindset

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Key Point: The story you tell yourself about you is vital. You ARE the author, and like any good tale it usually has a plot with many ups and downs. How will it end?

Mundare, Alberta, has a population of about 800 folks and is the consummate small, prairie town (and as seen above, renowned for producing celebrated Ukrainian sausage). It has also produced one of the world’s most influential psychologists, Albert Bandura. Two teachers taught Albert every course from grade one to 12. Rather than viewing this as a handicap, Albert framed it as an advantage: He reportedly said, “It enabled me to learn to take responsibility for my own educational development.” In 1977, Bandura published a paper on self-efficacy which changed the way much of the world viewed success and motivation. His work sprung the notion that people with high self-assurance approach difficult tasks as challenges, rather than threats to be avoided. If you believe with every ounce of your being, then you’ll go a long way towards achieving your personal objectives.

People with high self-efficacy are very self-accountable and take steps to make things they want to happen. They do not procrastinate. They start NOW. They raise their hands more, practice more, get it wrong, and try it again. They worry much less about who’s watching or judging. What they DO NOT do is equally important. They do not tear themselves down with self-blame, do not quickly lose confidence, and do not avoid risks. They are resilient and realize it’s never too late to start.

Personal Leadership Moves:

  1. We are all storytellers and YOUR OWN story, the one you tell yourself, is THE most important one.
  2. Great storytellers are made not born. Believe in YOUR story. Write it out! Put it down on paper. Think big and start small… Most importantly, start today.
  3. Work on developing high self-efficacy by being confident and humble. Accept failure and resistance as just experiences that build more confidence, rather than self-defeat. You write a page in your story every day. What will fill yours?

Your story in personal leadership,

Lorne

One Millennial View: I’d like to think I naturally lean towards a self-efficacy lifestyle, but that part of my story would be a bit of a fib. I want to, but for me, it’s a challenge and does not come easy. I have to make an effort to concentrate on these steps. That said, I know it’s worth it. After all, it’s tough to tell your story if you try to fill your pages by tapping your pen on a piece of paper. 

– Garrett