Jerry Michalski

  • Futurist & Thought Leader on Transformative Business Models
  • Corporate Consultant and Technology Advisor
  • Founder, REX (Relationship Economy eXpedition)
  • Globetrotter and Adventurer

Jerry Michalski helps people see the future differently. He was a key tech industry analyst in the middle of the dot-com vortex, shaping how entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and journalists saw the early Internet; shining a spotlight on specific trends and startups; and making important introductions. He advises organizations large and small on how to navigate the waves of technological and social change that are transforming their industries and our world. Briefly put, producers could once mostly ignore consumers, telling them what was on offer and what they should want. Now the playing field is much more level. People are not mere consumers. Companies are realizing this, which is leading to a humanization of capitalism. The problem is, most companies don’t know how to be human, strange as that may seem. Jerry helps organizations become more human by offering unique perspectives on innovation, automation, big data, reputation, trust, authenticity, intent, purpose and other words that frighten the lawyers. He does this by guiding conversations into deep waters, framing issues crisply and clearly, and opening new possibilities.

 
  

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Rave Reviews About Jerry Michalski
I never fail to learn new insights from his talks. First he intrigues, then he unfolds his insights and then he suggests new pathways ahead that enable me to act on the insights. By the end of his talks I feel like I own his ideas in a way that they become part of me. Yes he has a great knack for telling compelling stories and letting me fill in the conclusions. And his use of presentational materials — his mind maps — always excites and illuminated. Why didn’t I think of that?? Well, once you see his visionary and far reaching mind maps you say to yourself, wow — not only does this guy have great and compelling ideas but he has a unique tool set to help accelerate sense making and communication. So by the end of his talks I realize he is a true maestro orchestrating ideas, tools and concepts that stuns and excites me to action.”

A Sample of the Groups That Have Hosted Jerry Michalski
  • Gottfried Duttweiler Institute
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Exosphere Boot Camp
  • University of Alabama
  • LIFT14
  • Point Zero
  • TEDxCopenhagen
  • Public Affairs Council
  • Xerox PARC
TEDXCopenhagen: What If Our Institutions Trusted Us? - Get Sharable Link
TEDXCopenhagen: What If Our Institutions Trusted Us?
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Jerry Michalski: Lessons from 15 years using TheBrain
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The Future of the Customer

Not too long ago, the world of retail seemed pretty simple: there were producers and consumers. Producers made things and consumers bought them. But that world has changed: those consumers are transformed. They are much more than consumers; they are customers, members, users and active participants ...

Not too long ago, the world of retail seemed pretty simple: there were producers and consumers. Producers made things and consumers bought them.

But that world has changed: those consumers are transformed. They are much more than consumers; they are customers, members, users and active participants in business. They can design, improve, manufacture, fund, review, recommend, translate, sell and troubleshoot almost anything. Items that seem improbable one day are available the next. Crowdsourced movies? Done. A car? Also done.

How can companies remain relevant in this new world order? How should they treat their former consumers? Where are the new sources of value? What is the basis of credibility? What is the company’s new role and structure?

Technology, Business and Society

These days, technologies can spread almost instantly. From one day to the next, people are pouring the intimate details of their lives into social media platforms such as Facebook. Or walking everywhere with smartphones and personal fitness monitors that report back every heartbeat and footstep. The ...

These days, technologies can spread almost instantly. From one day to the next, people are pouring the intimate details of their lives into social media platforms such as Facebook. Or walking everywhere with smartphones and personal fitness monitors that report back every heartbeat and footstep.

The speed of change is so swift that we seldom get to slow down to consider the implications, such as:

  • How are modern technologies affecting my industry?
  • Is artificial intelligence (AI) a benefit or a danger?
  • Are we automating all the jobs away?
  • Is the Internet of Things bringing us a world we want to live in?
  • What moral choices are we perhaps ignoring?
  • What skills will our company need to thrive in the future?

Audiences for this presentation include:

  • Corporate strategists care about future-proofing their companies and choosing wise strategies.
  • HR cares about whom to hire and what to train everyone for.
  • Marketing cares about being heard and being trusted.
  • IT cares about their legacy, even though they have no time to think about it.
  • Urban planners care about how these technologies will affect livelihoods and privacy.
  • Association members are facing all these dilemmas. The associations need to offer them guidance.
  • Corporate board meetings need to understand and mitigate technological risk. They’ll appreciate a balanced opinion rather than a cheerleader.

Invisible Value

Companies are leaving value on the table. Value that would make them indispensable to clients and customers. Value that would make them more welcome as virtual citizens worldwide. Value that adds to the bottom line, but not in traditional ways. The problem is that they can’t see this value. The lens ...

Companies are leaving value on the table. Value that would make them indispensable to clients and customers. Value that would make them more welcome as virtual citizens worldwide. Value that adds to the bottom line, but not in traditional ways.

The problem is that they can’t see this value. The lenses they’ve been taught to see through don’t let these kinds of value shine through.

This isn’t about “valuing intangibles” or otherwise monetizing things that have little physical form. It’s almost the opposite: it’s about the value in things we haven’t monetized, or shouldn’t have monetized, or whose financial value shows up in new ways, like loyalty, credibility and trust.

Audiences for this presentation include:

  • Corporate strategists will learn to see value through a different lens.
  • Marketers want to know how their companies might be trusted more than other companies.
  • Associations need to show their members more value, and want their members to deliver more value.

Trust is the New Differentiator

Trust is central to so many things in business and civic life, yet we don’t fully understand it. On the one hand, we often take trust for granted. On the other hand, we’ve built most of society on the assumption that neither individuals nor institutions can be trusted. As the marginal cost of provid ...

Trust is central to so many things in business and civic life, yet we don’t fully understand it. On the one hand, we often take trust for granted. On the other hand, we’ve built most of society on the assumption that neither individuals nor institutions can be trusted.

As the marginal cost of providing services has fallen near zero and global competition has commoditized market after market, companies have lost their basis for differentiation. Moving forward, people will be loyal to companies they genuinely trust — a level of trust very few companies offer today.

How might we apply a deeper understanding of trust to take business to this higher level? For example:

  • Trust unlocks the genius in people; mistrust shuts it down.
  • Deep trust means you’re on the same side of the rope, pulling together.
  • Trust is social. It’s not guaranteed. Once earned, it creates amazing loyalty.
  • There is an unfilled role to be our customers’ trusted allies, making their lives better.

To apply these ideas, you have to go deep into the territory of trust, understanding the landmarks and plate tectonics that most people miss — and which spell the difference between success and failure in the next decades.

Audiences for this presentation include:

  • Organizational Developers/Designers are always trying to crack the code on what makes organizations take off.
  • Marketers are trying to figure that out for product or service offers.
  • In Healthcare and Finance, strategists want their organizations to be the trusted players in their industries.

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<p>Rave reviews for a presentation that will make you “think differently">

Rave reviews for a presentation that will make you “think differently"

Relationship economy expert JERRY MICHALKSI recently spoke before a rapt 2,000+ audience at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Medellin, Colombia. The event gathers global leaders, policy makers, investors, scholars and entrepreneurs who want to get inspired by talks from international trendsetters and innovative thought leaders and gain skills to “think differently,” and Jerry delivered in spades. Addressing the issue of how we have “consumerized everything” Jerry gave a provocative talk on how we have to stop treating customers as “targets” and stop “bombarding” them with our messaging. We need to focus on gaining trust and that is done by creating a relationship with our customers. Interestingly enough, many companies are still struggling with this concept of becoming more “human” and Jerry helps guide them by taking the conversation into deep waters, framing issues crisply and clearly, and opening new possibilities.

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<p>What is the relationship economy?</p>

What is the relationship economy?

JERRY MICHALSKI offers companies insights on how to manage the shift from consumer mass marketing to what he terms the "relationship economy." People aren't mere consumers. They have been transformed and companies need a different skill set and mindset to effectively reach them. People are much more than consumers: they are customers, members, users and active participants in business. They can repair, design, improve, manufacture, fund, review, recommend, translate, sell and troubleshoot almost anything. Jerry helps companies and organizations understand the value and opportunity of creating deeper relationships with their customers, and provides unique insights on the best way to accomplish these goals.

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Biography

Jerry Michalski is a futurist with a practical, humanist bent. He is also a Gladwellian connector, guide and pattern finder. Since 1987, he has been helping organizations large and small navigate the turbulent changes at the messy juncture of hyperconnectivity and outdated world views.

Practically, this means delivering speeches with insights that help organizations: be authentic — and therefore more trustworthy — in a mass-media world; innovate, working with the world’s new forces, not against them; design from trust; re-imagine their relationships to those people formerly known as consumers; see where value is going as markets flip and citizens stop acting as mere consumers; and understand and leverage the effects of automation on their various stakeholders.

Through a dozen years’ experience as a leading technology industry analyst, Jerry developed his perspective. As an analyst, he helped shape technology markets and in particular introduced the Internet to investors, entrepreneurs, corporate users, civic entities and nonprofits. For example, in the June 1993 issue of Release 1.0 (then the leading tech newsletter), he wrote about online community — then an obscure concept — illustrating how much more was already happening online than commerce.

In the middle of that period, just as the Internet started warming up in the mid-90s, Jerry noticed that the word “consumer” didn’t sit right. Paying attention to that word and its implications helped him realize that we are in the early stages of making capitalism more human — and more humane. He calls this new era the “Relationship Economy,” in contrast to the fragmenting and problematic consumer mass-marketing economy.

Speeches ignite imaginations, but it is often what you do right afterward that catalyzes change. Conversations about large-scale change can be difficult, especially if they challenge long-held views or corporate taboos. Over the years, Jerry has developed facilitation skills that let him guide conversations that are safe yet deep, diving into uncomfortable waters and expanding perspectives.

In 2010, Jerry turned the Relationship Economy insights into a think-and-do tank called REX (the Relationship Economy eXpedition). REX members come from Kaiser Permanente, Deloitte, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, the United Nations Foundation, the Institute for the Future, Intuit and many more. Together they explore the implications of this shift to a focus on relationships. In particular, how can organizations still thrive in this new world order?

Along the way, Jerry has advised numerous startups, from Pyra, which became Blogger and then got acquired by Google, to Evernote and CoTweet, which is now part of Salesforce.com.

Although he’s not in the Guinness Book of World Records, Jerry does have a clear claim to uniqueness: the world’s largest published Brain. (TheBrain is a concept-mapping application Jerry adopted on its first press tour, back in 1998.) To get a feeling for Jerry’s Brain, search for “Jerry’s Brain” in the Apple app store. Now imaging tracking everything you care about for 18 years and curating it with care, accumulating a quarter million nodes connected by nearly half a million links — all put in by hand.

Jerry earned a B.A. in Economics from the University of California at Irvine, and an M.B.A. in International Business from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Jerry’s parents met in Bolivia; they raised him in Peru and Argentina, with a year in Berlin after that. As a result, he can deliver speeches in fluent Spanish and German, as well as English, of course — all like a local. His French is also good enough for public speaking.