Guest: Paul Tero
Presenter: Wayne Bucklar
Segment Overview: Paul Tero, Principal Consultant of Dellium Advisory, joins host Wayne Bucklar in a conversation where he talks about the unique nature of his consulting practice and shares his insights on the importance of information technology in business.
Guest Bio: Paul Tero has quite a depth of experience as an IT professional, an educator and as a futurist. His career spans a number of industry sectors at various organisational levels, with over 30 years in information technology, consulting and education. He consults, speaks and teaches in the areas of IT, leadership, strategic thinking and the future. He holds a Master of Business Administration (Technology Management), a Master of International Business, and a Master of Strategic Foresight.
Paul is also a member of the Australian Computer Society, the Association of Professional Futurists, Economic Development Australia and the Professional Speakers Association. He is currently pursuing a PhD focused on the industries of the future.
Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Business Radio Talkers.FM. My name is Wayne Bucklar and joining me in conversation today is Paul Tero. Now Paul is a Principal Consultant with Dellium Advisory. Paul sometimes, I speak to people where the company name is Fred’s Real Estate or Bob’s Used Cars and I know exactly what they do. But Dellium Advisory doesn’t give me a good idea so fill me in what is it that you do and who do you do it for?
Paul Tero: So Dellium Advisory, the main object is people’s organizations and people’s long-term success. So Dellium was this ancient Greece place where there was a siege and things happened and victories were won. But there’s a whole story behind that that the strategies that were put in place at this Dellium location were never put in place before. Up until that time with two opposing armies, “My army is more powerful than your army,” they meet in the middle and smash and crash. Well what changed there was this bloke who said, “Okay, what I’ll, do I’ll split the army in half. I’ll have a smaller unit face-off against the large unit and then at the back, I’ll have these little mobile units.” And so what happened as this half size came against the full size, half of the full-size collapsed in around the half-size if you will, they try to encircle and then these mobile units at the back came and did the big mob in. That strategy was then taken on a little bit further to the military colleges and it was taken on by Alexander the Great, and Greek democracy, and architecture and everything that we have. And so it’s almost like you can almost paint a direct line if you’ve got new thinking, if you can put in new strategies, if you can come up with new ways of doing things, more than likely it’s going to have a long-term effect. Here we are sitting in democratic, the free world, all that sort of stuff as the result of some people’s original thinking all those centuries ago. So what Dellium Advisory is about is what are these situations you face? Are you actually thinking of doing something different? So that’s where I come in step in at that point and say, “Okay, let’s think about the future and how can we actually create a better future for you.” Doing that basically in two ways – multiple delivery methods, teaching public speaking workshops, research reports and so on. So it’s what the customer wants but they have to be prepared. The fellow field, the field that’s just left to, it hasn’t been plowed, seeds have not been put in. So if your organizational culture is fellow, if your mindset is fellow, it’s the way things always will be, nothing will change, I’m not your guy. But if you’re looking for new, if you’re looking for innovation, well I can help you think about the future and we can start to move forward.
Wayne: Now Paul when you present it that way, it sounds irresistible. But being a cynical old businessman, you say “Well what we’ve always done has worked okay. New strategies are dangerous, I don’t want to be on the bleeding edge where I’ve got to educate the market and it’s always the guy who comes 5 years later who harvests my work and collects the money for it.” How do you address those people who see the risk rather than the opportunity?
Paul: Well it’s not a hard sale, it’s just like you’ve got to use me, you’ve got to use me, it’s that prepared mind. There might be a general conversation telling a story about, I was a president of a business association for a while. There was a bloke there who 10 years prior, he could name his price in developing websites, tens of thousands of dollars to develop a website, something which we can do now for free or relatively free. But he was bemoaning the fact that the situation that the market had changed and he wasn’t prepared for that. So really, once I tell that story and some other stories like that, if then people can see the value, “Oh yes, I actually do need to be better prepared, I do need to actually work on my business” and then we can move forward.
Wayne: I started myself as a digital storyteller because I do this for a living but I am always impressed with the power of stories.
Paul: Yes. And there is something about it. Why is Hollywood successful? You look at video games, it’s actually larger than Hollywood. They’re telling stories, interactive stories if you will but there is something about stories that resonate with us, there is something about stories that, “Hey, I can see myself in that or it’s used to illustrate a point or whatever it is.” Yes, absolutely.
Wayne: Now Paul, I know you do a bit of public speaking and appear at conferences and do keynotes. For those people who are listening to us who are conference organizers and they’ve won the lucky raffle at the staff meeting and been told they’re accountable for next year’s speakers, what do you offer to those people?
Paul: Sometimes and it’s quite legitimate, there are some futurists who come in and with all the shiny bells and whistles and this is all the latest technology and this is what’s happening in digital, or this is what’s happening in health or this is what’s happening in pipes or agricultural – I go beyond that. Yes, I talk about that. Let me help you to think about that and better prepare for that. So that conference organizer, if you think about it this way that you’ve got Charles, Captain Cook, you’ve got Christopher Columbus, all that stuff, they were navigating into uncharted territories. Though they might have had their compass and a bit of a map, and those were the tools that they used to navigate into an uncertain future. And so what I offer the conference organizer is similar sort of tools to help the people in their organization, whatever that scenario is, that situation is to better navigate into an uncertain future.
Wayne: Yes. I like the quote that says, “The future is going to happen whether you’re ready for it or not.”
Paul: Absolutely. And the trouble is that people see the future as just a straight line, business as usual. One of the party tricks, one of the conversations I have sometimes with people is “I can tell you your future.” I’m a prophet if you will. Well but really but there are four paths that any organization, any individual, any team, any not for profit, any government, nation, whatever can go down, there’s the business as usual. This is the way things are and it will unfold, business as usual. But there’s another three, another part is transformation. Something good, something extraordinary happens and the quintessential thing there is people winning the lottery or a business person wins a major contract. A third trajectory, a third path is discipline, a tightening, more rules and regulations. One of those things is since 9/11, all the insurances and there was all these new insurances, if you wanted to hold a street party, there’s all these HR and there’s all these other types of insurances. So there’s more in your industry, in your organization, whatever market you’re placing. So a third path is there are more restrictions and then the fourth is anarchy, the rules fall off, you don’t recognize it. And in part, that’s what’s happening with universities and higher education. It’s like what do you mean people don’t need to come to a university, they can learn from YouTube? Or they can pick up a book easily on Kindle, or just tune into a podcast or something like this to actually get the information which the gatekeepers of information, the universities formerly had. So there’s four pathways there and it’s how being aware of each of those four paths and actually putting in the work and putting in the energy to think, “Okay, what are the different paths that we might be going down or might be open to us?” It’s akin to and go to the website and notice the stuff, and YouTube and a few videos there but it’s that over the horizon thinking, what’s coming over the horizon? So one of the risks I need to prepare for, one of the opportunities which are coming over. As you will know with what you’re doing with your podcasts, and your talk radio and all that stuff, what are the potential opportunities that I can exploit that are coming over the horizon and what I offer for those conference organizers, what I offer when I do the consulting for businesses, whatever it is “Here is some navigational tools to help you be successful into the future.”
Wayne: Now Paul, I’m sure they’ll be people listening who have won that lottery to organize a speaker for their event thinking, “This Paul Tero fellow is pretty clever, we need a bit more of him and we want to know what his tools are.” How can those people reach out to you?
Paul: So primarily they can go to the website delliumadvisory.com or they can search for Tero P on Twitter, I’ve also got on LinkedIn Paul Tero and also just search for Paul Tero on YouTube as well and there’s things about 40 videos I’ve got up on YouTube, there’s quite a bit of stuff I put out on LinkedIn and Twitter and there’s also some blogs. But primarily, if you go to the website if you search my name on LinkedIn or YouTube, they can find me. And it’s not just a black box, “Here it is this is what you want.” It’s the conference organizer, they have something in mind or there might be for example I’ve been recently working with some adult educators and things are changing, work is changing and so what are the units that they need to develop for next year or the year after. So I give them the tools, help them to think through that so that they can better develop courses which are more applicable to their students. Then they can actually better guide their students and also better professional development options. I can talk on and on, it is quite an area of interest.
Wayne: And the problem with talking on and on is the clock is against us Paul. We’ve run out of time. I appreciate you’re making yourself available to us today.
Paul: That’s fine, I appreciate it. Thanks very much and I do appreciate the opportunity. Please feel free for those who are listening to get in touch with me and to keep on with the Talkers radio.
Wayne: Now I’ve been in conversation with Paul Tero, Principal Consultant with Dellium Advisory. And if you’ve been listening to us and you’ve heard a fascinating chat about his work with I guess strategy and looking into the future. If you haven’t been listening, well then the good news is on our website, we have a transcript where you can read the whole interview. But if you prefer to listen rather than read and given this is radio I assume you do, then we have an audio archive on Soundcloud, YouTube and iTunes that you can treat like a little mini podcast and download and listen to it at your leisure. If you’re listening to us on social media, please remember all those buttons at the bottom of the box – the likes, the smiles, the shares, the subscribes. We have egos too here at the station and we like to know you’re listening. We even like to know if you don’t like us. And if you got questions either for Paul or myself, please pop into any of the chat channels, the commentary on social media, we monitor them all and we’ll either pass it onto Paul or if it’s for us at the station, we’ll get back to you ourselves. This is Business Radio Talkers.FM, my name is Wayne Bucklar.