Co-founder, Futureproofing : Next / Managing Director – Wikibrands /
“The Five-Tool Innovation Chanpion”
Sean is the co-founder of Futureproofing : Next, a hybrid practice of corporate innovation, business model development and future foresight . He balances out broad expertise in five areas: business transformation & digitalization, vision & strategy, brand & customer, talent & culture, and marketplace trends & applied innovation to help deliver “innovation you can take to the bank”.
As a former Fortune 500 executive and CMO and four -time startup founder, Sean bridges large, scaling and entrepreneurial culture & company gaps. He is a well-recognized thought leader in company innovation, brand leadership, business transformation and emerging technologies. In leading consulting firms & agencies, he has spearheaded growth and transformation of over 200+ clients around the world with companies like TD, Unilever, BNP Paribas, Aviva, Rogers, Canada Post, YMCA, MaRSDD and many governments & associations.
Since 2010, as an answer to business’ fast-accelerating future, Sean founded Toronto-based Wikibrands, to help executive teams, companies with ambition, and SaaS firms and startups navigate the oceans of change and disruption and help plan and commercialize their activity.
Sean has a strong pedigree of marketplace impact, new media exploration and online community building. He’s led the brand & innovation direction of some of the world’s best known brands (Molson, P&G, Guinness) He’s brought global experts together into his ventures & movements (e.g. the Wikibrands collective, CSW2 Crowd Economy initiatives) . To support this effort, he also curates 4+ foresight studies annually including:: The Digital Periscope™, The Customer Zeitgeist™, The Blockchain Benchmark™, The Corporate Innovation Playbook™, Changemaker Labs™ and Metatrends™.
Sean is a current advisor to a number of incubator and startup initiatives and serves on a number of executive boards and steering committees. He has been a featured speaker, webcast host, thought leader and media commentator in more than 30+ countries. Sean has also authored a globally-published book “Wikibrands – Reinventing Your Company in a Customer-Driven Marketplace “ (McGraw-Hill).
“IT’s NOT THAT COMPANIES DON”T WORK HARD, THEY SIMPLY MISS THE FUTURE.”
- Business Reinvention and Digital Transformation
- Brand, Customer & Employee Experience
- Marketplace Trends & Cultural Foresight
- Emerging Technologies & Digital Media
- Corporate Innovation & Commercialization
- Business Models & Applied Innovation Practices
- Open, Crowd-based and Sharing Economies
I’m on a mission to bring the future forward for clients, and have them embrace it until it becomes habit.
Whenever I see an industry that is under-serviced or failing to deliver returns, I see a big opportunity. The “innovation industry” is one of those of those opportunities. The gap between large company growth ambitions and realization is far too great to stick with the status quo. By being able to pinpoint and credibly address the 15 chronic areas that companies get wrong and confidently apply some of the 50+ futureproofing tools we have successfully used in the past — we know that we can help clients deliver tangible progress and results.
We’d love to apply our fusion of tools, experience, passion & network against your biggest challenges and provocative opportunities. Nothing gets me more excited than helping predict scenarios and translate trends into scale & growth projects, ventures and new businesses. Right now, we’re working across some of the most disrupted sectors – health care, education, financial, retail, media, transportation, consumer goods, public service, energy and professional services, either with ankle-deep special projects or head-deep futureguiding.
Sean's Point-of-View - Why FUTUREPROOFING : NEXT IS NEEDED? EXCITING? TIMELY? CREDIBLE?
Futureproofing : Next’s time has come, as a need to combat the now obvious realities of the marketplace.
Three distnct facts sharpen the need for scaling and corporate-sized companies to consider different ways to shepherd their growth vs. using incumbent thinking and suppliers:
– the world is geting faster (7.7x faster than it was a generation ago) – business as usual is not something that can be tolerated anymore
– the time between being insulated from change to being displaced is as low as three years – an action bias needs to exist throughout a company’s operations
– most corporate innovation and transformations fail – (70-90% of it depending on your source) – there is something very broken on how companies put their innobation pants on currently
This future-savvy F;N venture, in association with Andrea Kates, is an attempt to push back on thinking that only startups can thrive in change.
In reviewing 70+ vendors that support company innovation, it has become clear to us that what was missing was a non-academic, non-purist, non-dreamy, non-billing hours hungry, and non-“hero-who-saves-the-day” approach to collaborating with corporate change agents and CXOs.
Andrea, our network and myself not only live, breathe and sleep this world but we have also been there before in executive and client shoes. We think that matters to clients.
In Futureproofing : Next, we are bringing together a treasure chest of benefits not easily found in other firms – a deep understanding of technology, a collaborative approach, a large bank of tools, a fresh library of foresight and an approach that knits it all of it together to make our clients smarter, clearer and bolder in how they approach the future.
Sean's Analysis- How can F:N Uniquely Improve the way coMPANIES INNOVATE
Everyday I wake up and digest as much as i can about what is changing in the world and how companies react to it.
Unfortunately, when I was a client executive,. I didn’t have that advantage. Between meetings, emails, texts and racing after the current quarter, my innovation bandwidth got very narrow.
Until we are able to clone our staff, how do companies extend their growth and future capability?
Consider Futureproofing : Next a partnered extension of innovation bandwidth and futureproofing footprint for companies who recoignize the world has shifted but are paralyzed to do something about it. We’ll gladly be your designated brains, eyes & ears, and arms & legs when it comes to your next horizans of innovation.
That’s what we do. And that’s what we do better than most consultancies, boutiques and tech firms. We’ll demonstrate how.
Sean's Foresight - A View of a Better, Bolder, Simpler Future in an Era of Disruption
Whether we like the future in store for us or not, we’re going to spend most of the rest of our time there, so I say ” let’s embrace it”.
At Futureproofing : Next, we operate 1-4 years ahead of current marketplace thinking. We think that is the sweetspot between what will likely happen and what your company can start working on to benefit. Any shorter, and it is fashion and fads. Any longer, and it is wasteful loonshots and fanciful thinking.
We believe that the future is now, and that our job is to ensure companies understand how to take advantage of it before their threats and competition.
We have balanced the three principal ways to do that:
Futureproofing – being able to drink through the firehose of change, and crystallize the right foresight, ideas and action steps for your business
“Getting to” Innovation – through Andrea’s deep pedigree of lean, agile & design process, being able to learn (relearn and unlearn), decide and valiidate a portfolio of opportunities with objectivity, alignment and speed
“Next” Commercialization – helping lead. champion and monitor the right options, mi and commitment of your organiziation to the cause.
We’ve seen the kaleidoscope of the future, and it will be friendly to those who act on it. Let’s help you build some of it.
“Sean deciphered big data and was a brilliant Sherpa for top leaders representing multiple fast-moving industries. He introduced the concept of shifting from insight to foresight as the killer app for today’s business leaders. Charismatic and visionary.”
“Sean’s counsel and tools were clear – “to stay at the top of our game, our company needed to get a grasp on emerging trends and technologies”. Sean helped us review and lead through the dramatic impacts of technology and customer movements without the associated gloom, but rather focusing our company on tangible ways to take advantage. VCs have entrepreneurs-in-residence, companies would be wise to hire Sean as an innovator-in-residence.”
Get to Know Us. Say Hello. 你好. Hola. مرحبا. Guten Tag. Bonjour.
We’re hungry to do work with passionate, driven people. The future is unwritten, let’s bring some future chapters to life.
San Francisco – Toronto – Global