Digital Transformation Is Seriously Misnamed

Digital Transformation Is Seriously Misnamed 1280 720 Steve Palmer

Our main business is helping business, regardless of size, with their “digital transformation” journeys. This is an super way to spend your day. We get to work with super-smart people who are being forced to adapt their organisations to the accelerating pace of exponential change. The process is generally known as “digital transformation.” But that is a misnomer. There’s no such thing as analog transformation, or quantum transformation. By definition, all current technological transformations are digital. It is also important to point out that technology is ephemeral – the only successful path to digital transformation is through sociological transformation – so we need a new name!

The Process Is the Product

Back in film school (NYU TSOA ’79), the legendary Haig Manoogian mentored the likes of Martin Scorsese, Chris Columbus, and Marty Brest, to name a few. Haig taught that “the process is the product.” To him, the best directors were benevolent dictators with a clear vision for the desired outcome and, most importantly, the leadership skills to create a process and an environment where everyone working on the project, from the production assistants to the actor playing the leading role, was incentivised to deliver that outcome.

To do this, Haig loved to put his students into impossible sociological situations with classmates as he forced them to create short films in three-day sprints. He’d pair them with a fellow student who was to be their camera operator (even though that person was known to be terrible at it). Students would be assigned to work with another student whose role was to produce their film. By the second semester, it was clear that Haig looked at their filmmaking talent as table stakes for being in his class – he was teaching them to figure out the sociology (and the psychology) of their peers, co-workers, and subordinates and create a process that was so positive, the product created from it would be a reflection of it.

Culture vs. Technology

The enduring battle between the “middle management mafia” and technology is not new. Sabotage (the ‎etymology of which will surprise you; it’s not the story you know) probably predates the Gilded Age. But this ancient sentiment echoes in the halls of modern corporate life. People fear what they don’t understand. And what they fear, they seek to destroy. This is a broad generalisation, and you may not personally feel that it reflects your attitude, but almost any group, cluster, or cohort of humans you take a minute to study will, as a group, behave this way.

So, the first step to digital transformation (for which we really need a new name) is to share a clear vision and goal. “We’re going to make it faster for people to get across the river.” Then, and only then, should you begin the decision-making process to determine whether you will build a bridge, a tunnel, a tram, a people mover, a ferry fleet, a barge fleet, a transporter from Star Trek, or something else. The technology that enables the “how” is evolving exponentially fast, and the pace of that evolution is accelerating, which makes starting with technology (the “how”) a very bad idea. While the “why” may change (a competitor could disrupt your plans with a better idea that is executed in advance of yours), it is always the “why” or simply the goal that drives the cultural evolution that enables what we are calling digital transformation.

This unfortunate reality is exacerbated by an observation made by Upton Sinclair: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” Which is a long way of saying that digital transformation has nothing to do with digital and is only superficially related to transformation. It is about creating a corporate culture where people are incentivised to deliver a shared vision. If that vision happens to require some new technology, so be it. But digital transformation starts and ends in the hearts and minds of the workforce. “Technology” is just another word for “tool.”

By Shelly Palmer

8 Expert Predictions for the Future of Drone Photography

8 Expert Predictions for the Future of Drone Photography 1920 1080 SRP

What does the future hold for drone photography? These 8 pro photographers share their expectations and hopes for the growing art form.

Drone photography is here to stay. Whether it’s in the real estate sector or the Instagram community, drone pilots continue to dominate the industry. In 2016, the Shutterstock Creative Trends Report indicated a huge uptick in searches for the word “drone,” and drone registrations in the United States alone broke 770,000 last year. The hashtag #drone on Instagram currently has well over 7 million posts. Other popular hashtags include #dronestagram, #dronefly, and #droneoftheday.

Drones have forever changed the landscape of aerial photography. The field has become more democratic; photographers no longer need to afford a helicopter to get a taste of the sky. Drones were also among the most popular holiday gifts this past season, appealing to professionals, hobbyists, and everyone in between. We asked eight drone pilots from the Shutterstock and Offset collections to predict the future of the genre.

The verdict? Drones will get better in terms of the technology, but it will be harder to fly as more policies and restrictions are imposed. Read on to learn why.

1. Piotr Krzeslak

“World governments see that the number of drones is increasing rapidly, and for this reason, they must control it carefully.”

2. Karolis Janulis

“In the near future, I think the gear will become even more reliable, and the quality will also increase.”

3. Alison Etcheverry

“I think that as the industry continues to grow and evolve, more drones will be used for artistic photography, commercial work, and other fields.”

4. Radu Bercan

“Although the sensors are not all that great right now, they could match the sensor of a DSLR in a few years.”

5. Dewald Kirsten

“Soon, we will be able to shoot long-exposure night shots at high ISO and get usable images from it.”

6. Amund Meier (invisiblepower)

“…I think that we will see better and better cameras with the option of using different lenses, along with better battery life for professional drones.”

7. Kevin Krautgartner

“In terms of drone technology, the next step will be making them smarter and stronger.”

8. Maxim Zabarovsky (mzabarovsky)

“Within five years, I believe, there will be a kind of revolution when it comes to flight time and drone batteries.”

What is your prediction for the future of drone photography?

By Feature Shoot

What type of photos drawn out emotions?

What type of photos drawn out emotions? 500 334 Steve Palmer

As with all forms of art, our preference for images tends to be highly subjective, with personal tastes differing from one person to the next. Having said that, science would suggest that there are certain categories of images that are more likely to elicit strong emotional responses than others.

6 images that make you feel…

To explore the point, consumer psychologist Leah Tierney put together a collection based entirely around these psychological theories, with each category aimed at evoking positive emotional responses in the viewer. In addition to brightening your day, we hope that these theories – and corresponding images – provide inspiration for approaching your next marketing project or campaign.

1. Portraits









From the moment we’re born, we’re hard-wired to focus our attention on human faces. In a classic study by Robert Franz, newborn babies spent twice as long looking at an image of a human face as they did at an image of a bulls-eye. From an evolutionary perspective, this makes perfect sense; babies will be at an advantage if they can both recognize and bond with the face that provides them with all their basic needs.

2. Babies

Babies evoke some of our strongest emotional responses, instantly engaging and then maintaining our attention. These instinctual responses are inclined to be universal across cultures, and are thought to be triggered by “baby schema” – a specific set of characteristics that include: large, wide eyes; high foreheads; small noses; round, chubby cheeks; and soft, small bodies. When we are presented with these cute characteristics, the nucleus accumbens is activated, and a huge surge of the pleasure hormone dopamine is released — leaving us feeling happier and completely enthralled by these tiny creatures.

3. Animals

As most of us can attest, the “cute appeal” certainly doesn’t end with human babies. Evolutionary psychologists propose some possible explanations for this. One theory argues that our response might be an evolutionary glitch; that our hard-wired response to babies is so powerful that it transfers over to other baby mammals that share similar “baby schema” characteristics. The second idea is that our fixation with baby animals allows us to better bond with them. In the past, forming such bonds, or feeling fondness toward animals, may have been evolutionarily advantageous and helped us to survive. Whatever the reason, it’s clear that our emotional response to animals is a strong one, and that our fixation isn’t going to end any time soon.

4. Inspiration

Images that evoke feelings of inspiration can have a powerful psychological impact. As something that most of us seek on a daily basis, inspiration plays an important role in our lives. It can help us to envision overcoming our current limitations, and in doing so, motivate us to achieve our goals, increase our productivity, and improve our well-being. When this inspiration comes from others, it brings the sentiment, “If they can do it, I can do it” – sometimes the greatest motivation of all.

5. Nostalgia

The power of an image to evoke past memories can be surprisingly moving. We can be transported right back to a particular time or place and remember everything that we felt at the time. And while triggers for nostalgia are highly individual, research shows that we tend to feel nostalgic for past events that 1) were personally meaningful, and that 2) involved significant people in our lives, like family, partners, and friends.

If we’re reminiscing on happy memories, experiencing nostalgia will have lots of psychological benefits. For example, if we’re feeling lonely or facing difficult challenges, nostalgia can act as a powerful reminder of happier times, re-instilling the notion that we’re part of a larger scheme and helping to place our problems in perspective.

6. Expressions of Happiness

Body language is one of the most talked-about topics in social psychology, and with good reason. The ability to convey emotions and attitudes through our stance and expressions can have a powerful effect on ourselves and the people around us. Most impressive, perhaps, is our natural tendency to mimic the emotional gestures of the people we’re interacting with, which research has shown can actually lead to feeling the emotions of the other person. Social psychologists call this emotional contagion.

Which type of image evoked the strongest response for you?