"I am glad I don't know."

Marc Ross Weekly February.png

"I am glad I don't know."

Marc Ross Weekly
March 3, 2019
Curation and commentary from 
Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

Marc Ross Weekly  = Emerging issues shaping commerce + culture


ROSS RANT

Not knowing is powerful:

I don't really know why Brigadoon Sundance works, and frankly, I am glad I don't know.

All that matters is a diverse group of curious subject matter experts for the seventh time decided to attend, participate, and engage in the Utah mountains.

Brigadoon Sundance is the rare gathering comprised of a cross-section of pros where sharing our diverse talents, having a conversation or three, exchanging insights, and driving creativity are at the top of the agenda.

I will have some more thoughts on the most recent Brigadoon Sundance gathering in next week's weekly email. 

I need to take a few more days to identify the topics, disucssions, and sessions which made the biggest impact on me.

For those that attend this year and those who have participated in the past, thank you - the gathering has made a lot of progress since Brigadoon's modest start in 2013.

In addition to the Sundance gatherings, over the last twelve months, Brigadoon has added a higher level of engagement called Professional, increased consulting services, hosted salon dinners in Annapolis, Detroit, and Cincinnati, launched book and coffee clubs, as well as introduced Brigadoon Radio.

I am humbled by your support and commitment to this idea of creating a platform where entrepreneurs and thought leaders can discuss emerging issues shaping commerce and culture.

In the meantime, please continue to let me know how we can better serve this community and what tools you need to further propel your talents.

Thought leader mindset - a quick fifteen:

I really enjoyed presenting the thought leader mindset at the opening whiteboard session.

In fact, it was the first time I took an active speaking role at any Brigadoon Sundance gathering and it was the first time I executed a flashcard presentation format.

I appreciate Brigadoon Sundance's friendly environment to experiment and try a new presentation format made up of 100 flashcards.

I was pleasantly surprised by the response but would welcome any additional feedback or comments.

To keep the energy flowing about steps you can take to foster a thought leader mindset - here are a quick fifteen to get you going:

  1. Tell > Sell

  2. The audience knows - you can't fake it

  3. What if it works?

  4. Know the business model

  5. There is no perfect time to start

  6. Busy is a decision

  7. Start at the end

  8. Do you want to be a queen or a queen maker?

  9. Form a habit

  10. Be a professional

  11. Surprise yourself

  12. Rational behavior is rare

  13. Be an expert in being curious

  14. SNL is live at 11:30 pm regardless if it is ready or not

  15. Cause > Campaign

If you want - you can send me your response to any of the tidbits listed above and I am happy to critique your answer.

-Marc

Marc A. Ross specializes in thought leader communications and global public policy for public affairs professionals working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics.

FIVE TO READ

In a spin: Brexit spells trouble for UK vinyl industry: DW reports, for vinyl lovers the act of placing the needle on a record and anticipating the crackle before the first bars ring out is a sensory and sensual thrill. A no-deal Brexit could nip that in the (ear)bud. http://bit.ly/2ExZxiH

The importance of letting go of so-called dirty pain: Virginia Heffernan (Brigadoon Sundance 2017 Keynote Speaker) writes, annoyance is a maddeningly complex topic. We all lay claim to being annoyed so often that conversation seems to exist entirely to let us register how bugged we are. The office is too cold. Too humid. My coworker’s flip-flops slap against her soles. It’s gross. In Annoying: The Science of What Bugs Us, Joe Palca and Flora Lichtman propose that an experience of annoyance implicates the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities. http://bit.ly/2EsfOWr

Vivienne Ming: ‘The professional class is about to be blindsided by AI’: Ming creates algorithms that help companies select people more effectively. She has developed bots that trawl the web looking for high-tech programmers who may not even have a degree yet are doing great work. She’s also used AI to tally the “tax on being different”, calculating, for example, that in the technology sector, a Latino worker needs about six years’ more education than a white worker to be considered for the same job — something, given the cost of US tertiary education, that can amount to $500,000 or more. https://on.ft.com/2NRxQoo

Twist and shout: the Rubik’s cube: The Economist reports, there are those who can, with patience, navigate the 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 possible orientations to solve it. Then there are the professionals. They set speed records one-handed (6.88 seconds), or blindfolded (17.33), or only with their bare feet (20.57). The overall world record stands at just 4.22 seconds.http://bit.ly/2EwzgRQ

Ambidextrous: Seth Godin opines, anthropologists have found that we’re very motivated to divide into teams, and once on a team, we’ll work hard to degrade the other team. Over the smallest differences. For the smallest possible stakes. Even when we get no other benefit than thinking that we won something. We spend a lot of time sorting people into buckets. We label them in order to treat them differently and establish expectations for how they’ll respond. Mostly to figure out which team they’re on. http://bit.ly/2EsDDh5

EVENTS

Brigadoon Sundance 2020: February 23-25 | Sundance, Utah

Brigadoon is organizing its eighth gathering of entrepreneurs and thought leaders at Sundance Mountain Resort next winter. 

Participants will come from around the globe to exchange insights and drive creativity as well as discuss emerging issues shaping commerce and culture.

Brigadoon Sundance 2020 is moving to a formal invite-only model, but you may apply for an invitation today. 

Invites are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Apply for access here.

CLUBS

Brigadoon Coffee club.png

Brigadoon Book Club

Brigadoon Book Club.png

Brigadoon Professional

Brigadoon Professional 1.png

COTD

Commercial drones are taking off: Rescue operations, mapping or parcel delivery – there are many applications for commercial drones. Analysts at Tractica are projecting that drones and multicopters will be used at increasing rates in the professional sector. For the current year, they estimate the market volume to be 392,000 drones worth US$1.6 billion. Sales and revenue are set to multiply by 2025. North America is by far the largest market for commercial drones, followed by Asia and Europe.

Drones.jpg




Thought leader mindset - a quick fifteen

Ross Rant March 2018.png

I really enjoyed presenting the thought leader mindset at the opening whiteboard session.

In fact, it was the first time I took an active speaking role at any Brigadoon Sundance gathering and it was the first time I executed a flashcard presentation format.

I appreciate Brigadoon Sundance's friendly environment to experiment and try a new presentation format made up of 100 flashcards.

I was pleasantly surprised by the response but would welcome any additional feedback or comments.

To keep the energy flowing about steps you can take to foster a thought leader mindset - here are a quick fifteen to get you going:

  1. Tell > Sell

  2. The audience knows - you can't fake it

  3. What if it works?

  4. Know the business model

  5. There is no perfect time to start

  6. Busy is a decision

  7. Start at the end

  8. Do you want to be a queen or a queen maker?

  9. Form a habit

  10. Be a professional

  11. Surprise yourself

  12. Rational behavior is rare

  13. Be an expert in being curious

  14. SNL is live at 11:30 pm regardless if it is ready or not

  15. Cause > Campaign

If you want - you can send me your response to any of the tidbits listed above and I am happy to critique your answer.

-Marc

Marc A. Ross specializes in thought leader communications and global public policy for public affairs professionals working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics.

Not knowing is powerful

Brigadoon Sundance 2019 (3).png

I don't really know why Brigadoon Sundance works, and frankly, I am glad I don't know.

All that matters is a diverse group of curious subject matter experts for the seventh time decided to attend, participate, and engage in the Utah mountains.

Brigadoon Sundance is the rare gathering comprised of a cross-section of pros where sharing our diverse talents, having a conversation or three, exchanging insights, and driving creativity are at the top of the agenda.

I will have some more thoughts on the most recent Brigadoon Sundance gathering in next week's weekly email. 

I need to take a few more days to identify the topics, disucssions, and sessions which made the biggest impact on me.

For those that attend this year and those who have participated in the past, thank you - the gathering has made a lot of progress since Brigadoon's modest start in 2013.

In addition to the Sundance gatherings, over the last twelve months, Brigadoon has added a higher level of engagement called Professional, increased consulting services, hosted salon dinners in Annapolis, Detroit, and Cincinnati, launched book and coffee clubs, as well as introduced Brigadoon Radio.

I am humbled by your support and commitment to this idea of creating a platform where entrepreneurs and thought leaders can discuss emerging issues shaping commerce and culture.

In the meantime, please continue to let me know how we can better serve this community and what tools you need to further propel your talents.

-Marc

Marc A. Ross specializes in thought leader communications and global public policy for public affairs professionals working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics.

Sure China is a competitor but it's also a marketplace

China (1).png

Much of the press coverage on the current state of US-China commercial relations is focused on competition, and not enough on the market for American goods and services.

China as a competitor has been dominating press headlines for years. Candidates seeking high office in the United States have been informing voters that China is a competitor and the only solution is tough action. Political columnists use China to score easy points and advance one-sided protectionist remedies.

Years of one-sided opinion is having a negative impact on US-China commercial relations and is fostering a tit-for-tat retaliatory tariff environment.

In the United States, negative views of China have increased by 26 percentage points between 2006 and 2016. And American negativity towards China has been higher than Chinese negativity toward the United States in every year since 2014.

A January 2017 Pew Research survey of Americans found that 65 percent of respondents said China is either an adversary (22 percent) or a serious problem (43 percent), while only about a third (31 percent) said China is not an issue.

And in a separate Spring 2016 survey by Pew Research, a majority (55 percent) of Americans held an unfavorable opinion of what more and more Americans see as their largest Asian rival.

This hostile environment is the public affairs reality that American business is facing right now.

Many now see China, one of America's most significant and most promising markets, as a loser for US business. Unfortunately, this belief is fertile ground for politicians supporting protectionist policies and trade halting tariffs. Actions that if successfully passed would force Beijing to respond with retaliatory trade tactics including increased limits stifling full access to the growing Chinese consumer marketplace for American goods and services.

It is time for those that care about a productive and engaged US-China commercial relationship to take these polls seriously and engage Americans in Main Street coffee shops and at picnic tables for backyard BBQs.

For far too long American business has overly relied on a model dependent on high-level government relationships and support from the White House and corresponding federal agencies to manage the US-China relationship.

This model to manage the US-China relationship is exhausted and broken.

US companies exported $135 billion in goods to China in 2017, and it is still the third-largest US goods export market behind Canada and Mexico, our neighbors and NAFTA partners.

Thirty states experienced at least triple-digit goods export growth to China since 2006, and four states saw growth of more than 500 percent over the same period: Alabama, Montana, North Dakota, and South Carolina. Every US state had triple-digit services export growth to China since 2006, 16 states had export growth of more than 400 percent.

At a grassroots level, it is critical to remind Americans US goods and services exported to China come from a wide range of industries. Goods such as transportation equipment, agriculture products, computers and electronics, and chemicals. These exports also sustain logistics jobs in America’s ports and warehouses throughout the country.  Also, US services exports come from the travel, education, and transportation sectors as well as professional business and financial services.

Leaders of American business needs to play a decisive role in reversing this trend and ensuring American goods and services reach the ever-expanding Chinese marketplace. Sitting on the sidelines will be too detrimental for America's economic security. 

- Marc A. Ross

Marc A. Ross is the founder of Caracal Global and specializes in global communications, thought leader management, and event production at the intersection of international politics, policy, and profits. Working with senior executives from multinational corporations, trade associations, and disruptive startups, Marc helps business leaders navigate globalization, disruption, and politics.
 

Managing globalization to meet your business destiny

“This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.”
– Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent
that the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.”
– George Orwell


Globalization has significantly changed the nature of American politics forging a new generational paradigm. 

How business proceeds in this new public affairs environment is a challenge that few are ready to engage.

The election of Donald Trump has uniquely changed the Republican Party into something entirely different than it was just two years ago. Bernie Sanders, who forced Hillary Clinton to tack left in the primaries, has done the same to the Democratic Party.  

For Election 2018 and Election 2020, American politics will see a tremendous amount of shifting and movement between the two parties as they redefine themselves and or break into four rioting parties operating as two parties.

With an endless news cycle, a continuous flow of global commerce, politicians advancing protectionist laws globally, and committed geopolitical powers looking to reset the landscape, American politics is being shaped from many directions and far beyond America's shores. Decisions made in Beijing now impact events in Brussels which in turn compels policy in Washington, DC.

The ability to manage this dynamic, globalized political environment, particularly at the intersection of business and public policy, coupled with an underlying cultural phenomenon rejecting the establishment, this new environment is more challenging for American government officials, policymakers, voters, and companies.

The pace involved in addressing political challenges has increased as well as the scale of the problems due to a globally diverse network of stakeholders. American voters have spoken and demanded a more significant share of the profits. The traditional capitalist ideal of being responsible solely to shareholders in under threat and business going forward will involve numerous stakeholders, including governments, media, bloggers, consumers, non-governmental organizations, investors, employees, and citizens. For leaders, simply put, there are a lot more people that will hold you accountable and want a say in the process.

For global business leaders to be successful going forward, they must have the dispassionate skill to understand and engage global problems, foster economic development and opportunities, and manage a globally interconnected communications marketplace all influencing and disrupting American politics like never before.

Is your business prepared to handle and understand America's next generation and rendezvous with destiny?

-Marc A. Ross

Marc A. Ross specializes in global communications, thought leader management, and event production at the intersection of politics, policy, and profits. Working with senior executives from multinational corporations, trade associations, and entrepreneurial startups, Marc helps international business leaders navigate globalization, disruption, and politics.

Ross Rant: The gig is 9 to 5 and is the employment is formal

Ross Rant March 2018.png

Last Thursday the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found less than 4 percent of workers--5.9 million persons--held contingent jobs.

Contingent jobs are those assignments which are temporary in nature.

In addition to contingent workers, the BLS survey also identified workers who have various alternative work arrangements or what many of us refer to as gigs. 

In May 2017 the BLS data found there were 10.6 million independent contractors (less than 7 percent of total employment), 2.6 million on-call workers (1.7 percent of total employment), 1.4 million temporary help agency workers (0.9 percent of total employment), and 933,000 workers provided by contract firms (0.6 percent of total employment).

So roughly 10 percent of American workers in 2017 were employed in some form of what the government calls “alternative work arrangements." 

This broad category includes Lyft drivers, freelance designers, and people employed through temporary-help agencies — essentially anyone whose primary source of work comes outside a traditional employment relationship. 

As reported by the New York Times, this is far from a boom in gig work and goes against conventional wisdom when to comes to employment.

“I think everybody’s narrative got blown up,” said Michael R. Strain, director of economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute.

The largest category of alternative workers, independent contractors, are disproportionately in their mid-40s or older and familiar in sectors like construction that have not been disrupted by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. They earn about as much, on average, as standard employees, and are relatively happy with their arrangements: Nearly eight in 10 say they prefer being an independent contractor to being an employee.

Outside of plumbers, roofers, and general contractors, most Americans work 9 to 5 in a formal work environment.

Don't believe the gig economy hype.