You’re in a cafe. You log onto wifi. Connection Successful your screen tells you. Before you begin the work you are there to do, you log onto Twitter. You have likes, and a retweet. A micrococktail of dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins lifts your mood. People who you know approve of your latest post. Someone you don’t know has retweeted it. This is connection, human connection—of a sort. Making true connections—often on a global scale—is how problems are solved. Everything, everyone, is connected today and it is by seeing, or making, the connections…by joining the dots if you like…that a picture emerges. Humans connect through communication. Vice versa, humans communicate through connection. Past, present and fast forwarding to the future Two-way audible and visual technologies designed to overcome the limitations of distance are a hallmark of humankind, invented so coolly by the innovators among us. Drum beating allowed us to speak our messages, even to those too far away to see us. Smoke signalling allowed us to write ‘words’ on the sky. Morse-code allowed us to simply tap and deliver messages, over many horizons, in no time at all. Then came telephones, radio, and walkie talkies. Would the analogue magic ever end? Yep. Just like that. Hello digital. It’s a little like we were teleported from the past to the future, conveniently skipping the present which often had the habit of bogging us down. Unlocking opportunity For businesses, global connection—technological and human—in the digital age presents profound opportunities there for the making. Creating opportunity from the brave now age of global connection requires a deep organisational understanding of every aspect of that connectivity as it relates each to people and to machines, and to the way each connect with each other. Human to human, machine to machine, machine to human, human to machine. Understanding such profound connections can’t reside in a single mind or mechanical device. It demands yet another dimension of connectivity. The connectivity within an organisation itself, those structures and systems of people and of technology which ensure paraphrasing Aristotle, that the whole is greater than the sum of its smarts. To add to this equation, when you build teams of unique individuals, each stimulated by dissimilarity, the essential forces—unblinkered thinking and robust discourse—are given free reign. Providing these diverse individuals have IQs, EQs and—especially—Values in common when they connect Good Things Will Happen. This is Deloitte’s global approach and we like to think our competitive advantages in problem solving. A focus on five More than ever, today’s connection—technological and human—is global. Of all that demands Deloitte deliberation, five imperatives (all overlapping) stand out for the focus being given to them: Smart cities, Future of work, Innovation, Cyber, and Emerging tech: #1 The smart way to create smart cities is to learn from the smartest—in order to go from gridlock to unlocked. While local analysis is vital, ‘invented here’ must always be measured objectively against the best ideas the world has to offer. #2 The future of work can’t, of course, be understood just from the standpoint of the city you are in, no matter how switched on it is. Nearly half of today’s jobs will be gone in 2029 and if 2011 feels like yesterday, 2029 is tomorrow. It’s time to go from fearful to formidable. #3 Innovation, even when it is created in a vacuum, it will likely die there from lack of oxygen. Or from a flawed transformation-to-market process. The real creativity begins after the eureka moment itself as we move from ‘what if?’ to ‘here’s how’. #4 Cyber strategies and cyber security demand world-wide connections. In the time taken to read the rest of this, over 150 million emails will have been sent. Going from cyber stressed to cyber secure is a crucial human endeavour if humans are to not get lost in cyberspace. #5 Emerging technologies are coming to provide answers. And we, being human, are going to keep asking questions as we move from linear to accelerated growth. From Artificial Intelligence to Augmented Reality and more, what role will technology have in driving more informed decision making? Changing is the only constant Hopeful and fearful at the same time is us, the human race. We see the innovation in education and medicine and transportation and entertainment and we are upbeat. We see change moving us out of our comfort zone into places we have never been and where we are decidedly unsettled. Human connection, face to face, will never be bettered because it is how deep relationships happen. The deepest relationship is love. And love is what makes the world go round still today. But empathy, fraternity, energy, synergy, creativity—all these and more are the stuff of business relationships. It’s relationships that make for productivity. And relationships more than ever are reliant on connectivity in its countless forms. Certainly in my role as a CMO, connection will provide our future direction. Trust in it and do your bit, add your byte too, as only with both human and technological connection will we get to where we all need to be. The world is connected… and so are we.