Vanishing Point

Hans Davies

As Organizational Development Director, Hans leads the development of associates to ensure that skills and services match the ongoing needs of clients. Hans has an MA in International Relations and International Economics from John Hopkins University, and a BA in History from Williams College. He was a Robert Bosch Foundation fellow and received a meritorious honor award from the Department of State.

Recent Posts

The Timeless Philosophies of Disruption and Innovation

Posted by Hans Davies

May 16, 2019 8:28:57 AM

A few years ago, I wrote a piece articulating what lessons consultants could take from bartending. Recently, I was reflecting on that article and considering how, at Toffler Associates, we encourage our clients to look outside their company and their industry for answers to complex questions. As I thought about the Tofflers and our legacy as a firm, that timeless search for meaning struck me as one of the most critical aspects of understanding change. That seemingly simple realization prompted me to reflect on the art and science of philosophy in our contemporary context of change, disruption, innovation, and changing leadership.

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The Infrastructure We Need to Secure Future Innovation

Posted by Hans Davies

Jun 6, 2018 10:00:00 AM

 

 

A complex and vulnerable infrastructure ecosystem can be constrained by regulatory, financial, and human factors that impede innovation, economic growth, and social prosperity. Adversaries can exploit the vulnerabilities these constraints create, presenting an existential risk to the infrastructure itself, your organization, and even your country.

 

In September, following the response to Hurricane Harvey, we considered the questions of what and how to protect necessary infrastructure – whether people, pipes, or petabytes. In that context, we noted that “More people and vulnerable infrastructure exposed to more frequent and intense hazards equals even greater risk for us in the future.” We proposed that any infrastructure threat protection program must be Consistent, Insistent, and Persistent.

 

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Shifting from Security to Risk in the New Geopolitical Reality

Posted by Hans Davies

May 16, 2018 10:00:00 AM

 

I have been doing a lot of thinking about risk lately. As I engage with leaders at various commercial and government organizations, I hear them talk about threats and vulnerabilities; about what they need to protect and from whom. What struck me recently, however, is that, despite all this discussion of risk, most organizations still have a Chief Security Officer, a Security Department, or something similar. Are organizations limiting their thinking when they simply refer to security?

 

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Optimism is the Most Potent Tool Your Organization Can Possess

Posted by Hans Davies

Nov 16, 2017 8:45:00 AM

“We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.”

- Dr. Maya Angelou

 

In general, the world is in a relatively grim mood. Over cable news airwaves, on social media, in the local coffee shop, at the dinner table – everywhere people gather, there seems to be an undercurrent of pessimism. This sense that the world is worse than before isn’t without reason. There is turmoil in the Middle East and Asia, refugee crises, geopolitical tensions, an economic crisis in South America, and more. But the fact is, things aren’t worse; the world is continuing to improve.

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This is the Only Reliable Means of Protecting Critical Infrastructure

Posted by Hans Davies

Sep 7, 2017 8:30:00 AM

More people and vulnerable infrastructure exposed to more frequent and intense hazards equals even greater risk for us in the future. The time to rethink the equation is now.[1]

 

When organizations consider the approach to protection, they naturally gravitate to questions, such as “what do I need to protect?” and “how can I protect those things?” The question of what to protect is difficult. It takes a degree of perspective, prioritization, and foresight that is difficult for most individuals and 

nearly impossible for groups seeking consensus. Once protection needs are clear, organizations need to address the question of how to protect those priorities. This consideration is even more complicated, especially for those tasked with protecting our critical infrastructure.

 

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The Three Secrets to Great Bartending and Successful Consulting

Posted by Hans Davies

Apr 12, 2017 1:00:00 PM

I recently took advantage of an opportunity to participate in a two-week bartending class. The course was a chance to learn a new skill I could use at parties and a way to meet some different people. While I expected to learn a few tricks and a few new drinks, I did not expect to learn three valuable lessons about the business of consulting. By the end of the course, however, the similarities between the two were apparent. Both are ‘people’ businesses that rely on a team of individual purveyors (bartender or consultant) to act with intellect, methodology, and care for the best interests of each customer.


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This is Why Your Organizational Transformation Demands Humanity

Posted by Hans Davies

Nov 2, 2016 12:03:55 PM

In March 2016, my wife and I welcomed our first child. Needless to say, it was a big change for us. As I enjoyed time off with my new family, I had ample time to reflect on transformation and the significance of change for individuals, organizations, and societies.

 

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These People Can Lead Your Innovation and Transformation

Posted by Hans Davies

Aug 10, 2016 9:30:00 AM

Most discussions of strong leaders read like a Who’s Who of our time – Franklin Delano Roosevelt (and his wife, Eleanor, for that matter), Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela. The impact of these brilliant and self-sacrificing individuals is not up for dispute. But in the Knowledge Age, when change is the norm and organizational transformations are common, it’s short-sighted to look only to those who have played a starring role in world affairs.

 

Leaders of all kinds continue to shape our future. In fact, our increasing state of hyperconnectedness and constant pursuit of innovation means that an individual focused on achieving an outcome has the necessary capacity to be the right leader for an organization undergoing a transformation.

 

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Innovation Never Happens in a Void – Valuing Collaboration

Posted by Hans Davies

Feb 24, 2016 9:43:39 AM

Collaboration fosters innovation. Innovation drives a Future Proof® organization that can generate continuous value. Leaders need to actively support an environment for collaboration.

 

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Change Fatigue is Inevitable. What To Do About It.

Posted by Hans Davies

Jan 13, 2016 9:30:00 AM

Vital businesses are in a state of continual reinvention and flux. In fact, remaining Future Proof®in this era of rapid, constant innovation requires keeping your organization agile enough to adapt almost constantly to a shifting business environment. And while change may be driven by the market or other outside factors, its execution – and its success or failure – ultimately depends on the abilities and commitment of the human beings within the organization. 

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