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Traveling FromMassachusetts, USA
Thomas M. Koulopoulos is President and founder of Delphi Group, a Boston-based think tank and advisory firm. Delphi was founded in 1989 and has served nearly 20,000 clients across all industries, federal and state government agencies around the world.
Since launching Delphi Group in 1989, Mr. Koulopoulos propelled Delphi to its position as an Inc. 500 company (one of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in the USA) with global offices, a trusted brand, and a leading independent advisor on business and technology trends to large enterprise and government.
Tom is also a columnist for Inc.com; an Executive in Residence at Bentley University, where he teaches graduate courses on Innovation; a Board member of the Kaplan School for Information Technology; and a faculty member of Harvard University’s School of Public Health. Tom has also been an adjunct professor at the Boston College Wallace E. Carroll Graduate School of Management and a guest lecturer at the Boston University Graduate School of Management. He is the past Founding Executive Director of the Babson College Research Center for Advanced Business Innovation, where he oversaw some of the world’s leading research and thought leadership on the topic of Business Innovation.
Named one of the industry’s “Killer Consultants” and most influential management consultant by InformationWeek magazine, he has delivered consulting services as a senior level advisor to hundreds of global organizations, including: Apple, IBM, Hewlett Packard, Oracle, USGS, FBI, Secret Service, DuPont, UBS, BAA, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Digital Equipment Corp., NYSE, NY Port Authority, Pepsi, Washington Mutual, SAP, Intel, Library of Congress, Department of Justice, NY Life, Air France, British Airways, LG CNS, Microsoft, California Federal, Lawrence Livermore Labs, National Life, Revenue Canada, Canadian Government, USAF, Kimberly Clark, Las Vegas Water Authority, Dow Corning, Tennessee Valley Authority, CitiCorp, Arthur Andersen, Exxon Mobil, GD Searl, Warner Lambert, Mayo, Kellogg’s, Nomura, Intel, and Microsoft.
Mr. Koulopoulos’ ten books include his most recent, The Gen Z Effect; Cloud Surfing; The Innovation Zone; and Corporate Instinct. During the past two decades, Mr. Koulopoulos’ works have introduced core industry concepts, frameworks and vernacular such as Innovation Zones, Smartsourcing, Single Point of Access, Touch Points, Digital Control Rooms, Business Operating Systems and Corporate IQ, that are widely used today in describing the impact of technology on business. His insights have received accolades from luminaries such as Peter Drucker, Dee Hock, and Tom Peters who called his writing “a brilliant vision of where we must take our enterprises to survive and thrive.” According to Peter Drucker, Tom’s writing “makes you question not only the way you run your business but the way you run yourself.”
Mr. Koulopoulos’ philanthropic interests include being an early advisor to the non-profit Tech Foundation, which makes technology accessible to the non-profit sector in an attempt to bridge the widening digital divide and an Advisor/Donor/Team Manager for Destination Imagination, a global K-12 program with more than 200,000 participants in 20 countries, which focuses on developing creative problem solving and team-building skills in children to better prepare them for an innovation-based economy.
Revealing The Invisible: Building Business With Consumers at the Center
Based on Tom’s June 2018, book Revealing The Invisible: How Our Hidden Behaviors Became The Most Valuable Commodity of the 21st Century
The most significant consumer trend for the 21st Century will be the shift towards loyal brands that are part of massive digital ecosystems which provide hyper-personalized experiences for consumers.
The industrial age mass-production model of consumerism that worked so well to scale the 19th and 20th Centuries is crumbling under the burden of its own complexity. Consumers no longer expect or accept being anonymous members of broad demographic categories. Instead they demand transparency, personalization, and frictionless transactions. In short, if you expect brand loyalty your brand must first be loyal to the consumer.
The companies that will succeed and prosper in this new era are the ones that own and have the greatest insight into the behavioral data of consumers, not as faceless mass markets but as individuals with very specific needs, desires, and personal objectives. These companies will turn the 20th Century concept of Brand Loyalty on its head, creating Loyal Brands that understand and respect each consumer at unimagined levels of detail and intimacy. The result will be an entirely new category of value that has the power to profoundly transform our lives, our economy, and our businesses—from personalized experiences in real time, to individualized medicine and autonomous healthcare advocates, to the development and protection of the consumer’s digital-self, to hyper-personalized products that know what you need before you know to ask for it.
Companies which have the greatest insights and understanding of consumer behaviors (such as Equifax) will be among the most critical and valuable players in vast digital ecosystems that revolve entirely around the consumer; think of it as a Copernican shift from the brand at the center to the consumer at the center of every ecosystem. In this model of commerce the consumer drives the success of the entire ecosystems—B2C as well as B2B—by demanding frictionless and individualized experiences, processes, and transactions. In 21st Century business whichever ecosystem delivers the least friction will win.
Far-fetched? Only if you discount the enormous power of new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and behavioral business models which will use the invisible patterns in all of our behaviors to develop an intimate understanding of what drives, us, where we see value, and how we want to experience the world.
Fascinating, engaging, and incredibly timely, Revealing the Invisible provides a front row seat to the future of business and our lives in the 21st Century.
Digital Transformation and Business Ecosystems
The single most significant shift in business is underway – Digital Business Ecosystems. Simply put, Digital Business Ecosystems are at the heart of successful high growth companies such as Uber, Airbnb, Tesla, Google, Amazon, Netflix, MoDe, Alibaba, Samsung, Nest, Climate Corporation, GE, Discovery Health, Oculus, and Oracle.
Digital Ecosystems create entirely new business models that drive out all of the friction in an industry and use data and technology to create an entirely new user experience that provides an integrated and nearly effortless customer experience.
In this leading-edge keynote, Tom looks at how Digital Transformation and Business Ecosystems, from insurance to healthcare to education to manufacturing and retail, will be critical to the success of every business in every industry over the decades to come.
One of the most profound changes in business and society is the emergence of the post-millennial generation, Gen Z.
While every new generation has faced its share of disruption in technology, economics, politics and society, no other generation in the history of mankind has had the ability to make sure that every human being on the planet is connected to each other, fully educated, and economically engaged. What might this mean for the way in which we build our business, markets, and institutions for education in the future?
In this revolutionary keynote, drawing from his book, The Gen Z Effect, Tom delves into a vision of the future that will not only disrupt but also reinvent almost every aspect of how we work, live and play. From radical new approaches to marketing and manufacturing to the potential obliteration of intellectual property and the shift to mass innovation, Tom provides a mind-bending view of why we will need to embrace Gen Z as the last best hope for taking on the world’s biggest challenges and opportunities, and how you can prepare yourself and your business for the greatest era of prosperity and advance the world has ever experienced.
Living in the Cloud
The Cloud is the hottest topic since the advent of the Internet. And nobody can speak to it with more insight, energy, and humor than Tom. It’s why HP, Microsoft, Gartner, Intel, Cisco and many others have asked Tom to keynote their organizations’ cloud events. Drawing on his latest e-book, Cloud Surfing, Tom paints a powerful picture of how The Cloud will change the way we live, work and play.
How will The Cloud define your job? Social Media, open models for education, the ongoing debate about classroom vs. virtual learning, mining online conversations, and identifying needs for education.
What is The Cloud? It’s a framework for the disruption of structure. A place where we will all learn, live, work and play in the 21st Century. It’s where nearly 35 million people already work. It’s where your kids are when they dive into online play. It’s a classroom without walls, instructors, or curriculums. It’s where you meet and make friends in social networks and where conversations are turned into communities. It’s where companies go to find the next big idea. It’s where political campaigns are won and lost. It’s where the future will outweigh the All that may seem radical, but it doesn’t even come close to defining how disruptive The Cloud will be.
In its simplest terms, The Cloud is the new context for innovating business and society.
However, the Cloud is NOT just about technology. In fact, technology is only a small part of The Cloud. Just as important is the way The Cloud changes the way we collaborate, work, how we are influenced and how we influence, and how we experience the world.
Join Tom as he takes you into the cloud to better understand how we can respond to this massive change in order to transform ourselves and our industry!
The Innovation Zone
In this lightning-paced, tour-de-force session Tom looks at how companies are radically changing their approach to innovation by learning how to fail fast, embrace uncertainty, build for the unknown, abandon the success of the past, focus on their core competencies, and challenge conventional wisdom. Tom uses examples from some of the pioneering innovators from Sony to Apple and 3M to NASA to illustrate some of the best and brightest success stories of innovation at work. His views will provide a prescription for change in how you approach innovation, in a way that is straightforward, comprehensive, and, above all else, incredibly practical. You’ll identify the ways in which you can drive your own organization’s efforts to increase innovation and better leverage the latent creativity in every organization.
Come prepared for an enlightening and life-changing discussion about the importance of innovation and get ready to take a hard look at how issues of culture, generations, and leadership impact the way we innovate. Tom’s approach is insightful and cutting but be forewarned, at times unorthodox. It’s the reason Forbes.com called him Business Visionary with an incisive view of world trade and why, in the words of his longtime mentor Peter Drucker, “Tom makes you rethink not only your business but yourself.
You’ll leave this session with a roadmap and a context for your conference experience and with specific insights, methods, and tools to help you quantify your organization’s innovative ability as well as a solid foundation for the decisions you will need to make in the months and years ahead.
It’s hard to go for more than a few hours without coming across some mention of the impact that cybersecurity is having on today’s world. From the recent presidential elections in the US to the growing threat of global cyber terrorism, we are surrounded by the ever-present discussion of cybersecurity.
As a leading expert on the topic, Tom teaches graduate courses on cybersecurity at Boston University and works with organizations to create cultures of security which can mitigate the risk of attacks by addressing the human element of security. Tom’s keynote covers the spectrum of cybersecurity threats, from “influence hacks” such as WikiLeaks, meant to change opinions about brands, to the malevolent attacks that can potentially destroy a brand.
Big Data is one of the hottest business and tech topics to come along in years, and nobody can better speak to the impact that Big Data will have on our organizations and our lives than Tom Koulopoulos.
What is Big Data? It’s the incredible new value being created through the ability to hyperconnect all of the data being collected about how businesses and people behave. In short – it’s the future of business; the way we market, sell, service, and build relationships will all be impacted by the advent of Big Data.
If you use social networks, smartphones, or surf the web, your behaviors are being tracked and connected in ways that allow companies such as Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple to know you better than your best friend. That’s Big Data.
In business to business interactions, the change is even more dramatic. Companies such as E2Open are collecting data about the way supply chains and markets behave in real-time and automating the innovation process by predicting future trends, products, and services! Companies such as Retail Next are collecting nearly 10 million data points for a single shopping visit to a retail store. That’s Big Data.
If you’re a government intelligence agency, the torrent of data being collected and connected in real-time across myriad sources that were never meant to work together is critical in order to respond to threats. That’s Big Data.
In this keynote, tailored to your audience’s background and role, Tom puts Big Data in context, providing a clear view of the implications for innovation, new business models, and a fundamental shift in the way we work, live and play.
The Internet of Everything (IoE)
The Internet of Everything (IoE) is one of the hottest business and tech topics to come along in years, and nobody can better speak to the impact that IoE will have on our organizations and our lives than Tom Koulopoulos.
What is IoE? It’s the incredible new value being created through the ability to hyperconnect all of the devices, sensors, people, and data being collected about how businesses and people behave. 100 billion devices by 2020 and more devices than grains of sand on all the world’s beaches by 2100! In short – it’s the future of business and society.
If your clients have not yet begun to ask for a presentation on the IoE, they will. Be assured, as always, Tom is on the cutting edge of current trends in business and technology. If you would like to discuss the focus of this keynote, so that you may present it to your clients, we are happy to arrange a conversation!
- “Thank you, Tom, for a great closing keynote at our recent summit; your presentation was a perfect way for us to finish the event. The presentation was relevant, thought-provoking, inspiring and very entertaining. The audience feedback was outstanding. I hope to see you again at future Gartner events.” Shane O’Rourke Director, Program Management, Gartner Events
- “It was nothing short of incredible. The manner in which he was able to work in our core values and Navigating Life program was masterful. His presentation set the tone for the rest of the day and to a person, we felt he was spectacular.” Gregory Morris Vice President of Marketing and Communications, NuPath, Inc.
- "Tom's provocative insight into how emerging technology will impact our industry and how leaders can better connect with their customers and employees for sustained growth was one of the highlights of the Forum. Additionally, Tom moderated a stimulating conversation with retail CEOs about their glimpse of the future and then led all attendees in a fabulous discussion about finding pathways to success. Tom engaged with the attendees well before his presentation and then joined us at dinner so that all attendees had the ability to be inspired by his breadth of knowledge and his passion for making us all better!" Stephanie Fischer President & Chief Executive Officer, Global Retail Marketing Association
- “AIIM is a community of leaders focused on information-driven innovation, so it is a difficult group to impress when talking about technology issues. But that is exactly what Tom did at AIIM15; he left everyone speechless. His combination of deep insight, a great sense of humor, and an incredible personal connection with the audience was exactly the right recipe for our event." John Mancini President and CEO, AIIM
- “In contrast to other keynote speakers, your willingness to engage with us prior to our conference to insure that your keynote was relevant to our diverse audience of university faculty, students, non-university partners and rural community representatives was greatly appreciated. The focus of our conference was on stepping beyond boundaries, dealing with the complexities faced in creating positive futures for rural people and places. Your high energy keynote and interactive session on the rapidity of change and generational differences of engaging and working through complexities were relevant and well received by the audience, setting a great tone for the conference. It was great working with you. Thanks.” Mark R. Gustafson Ph.D. Interim Director, University of Nebraska Rural Futures Institute
- “Tom spoke on 2 different occasions during the 2013 Partnerships in Clinical Trials conference – once in front of our senior-most decision makers and the 2nd time in front of our core audience as our closing keynote presenter. Attendees raved about Tom in both sessions and we got wonderful feedback via our post-event surveys. From an organizational point of view, Tom was easy to work with, prepared, knowledgeable and went above and beyond in what we asked him to do! On behalf of the Institute of International Research, I’d like to thank Tom for his dedication, insights & flexibility and would highly recommend him to other organizations.“ Marina Adamsky Program Director, Institute for International Research
- “I want to sincerely thank you for taking the time to join us on Monday and delivering an awesome presentation on Tuesday morning. Everyone who attended was inspired\ and elevated by your talk. You were the highlight of the event, and I am very appreciative.” Ron Dupler CEO, GreenPages
- “I wanted to pass along our thanks to Tom for a wonderful presentation last week at our Wabash Valley Power Annual Meeting. The feedback from Tom’s sessions were tremendous and I know he really helped our leaders think about problems and solutions in a different way. Tom was punctual, friendly, engaging and a delight to work with. Thank you again!” Kara Baker Communications & Co-op Relations Coordinator, Wabash Valley Power Association
- “Your talk was engaging and inspiring! The insights you offered encouraged and motivated our guests to persevere in their support of successful business operations which must be delivered in today's environment." Dennis Wisnosky Chief Technical Officer, US Department of Defense