We start a new series of articles by Michael Bayler on Management-Issues today exploring what Michael calls " The Age of Meaning" – or what it means, and what it feels like, to be connected.
Michael is a strategist and futurist based in London. He specialises in the impact on brands, organisations and individuals of developments and trends in culture, media and technology.
His first book, "Promiscuous Customers: Invisible Brands - Delivering Value in Digital Markets" (Capstone 2002, with David Stoughton) explored the value of information and the implications for brands and strategy in the networked economy.
In this new series, Michael explores the dilemmas facing global business as they spend billions of dollars annually trying to build relationships with consumers, while consumers become correspondingly defensive and elusive in response.
The central argument of the series is that the human race has never been better connected, while - especially in affluent economies - we have never seemed more alone.
The upshot of this dilemma is that the two critical management disciplines from here on are Leadership and Branding. Leadership as the creation and management of meaning and the distribution of energy throughout the organization; branding as the delivery of meaning and the discovery and optimisation of positive stakeholder experience across all key touchpoints and along the entire relationship cycle.
We're running the series in twelve parts. Let us know what you think.