Nasdaq Reads: Allen Adamson, "Shift Ahead"

Nasdaq's Vice President of Communications, Allan Schoenberg spend time talking with Allen Adamson for a Facebook Live event. Their conversation focused on Adamson's latest book, "Shift Ahead: How the Best Companies Stay Relevant in a Fast-Changing World". Adamson co-wrote the book with Joel Steckel.

Some of the questions that were discussed in the video interview included:

  • In your new book Shift Ahead you and Joel Steckel interview more than 100 executives. This is not just another book about branding. It’s really a book about doing business and you refer to the importance of companies finding their “True North” and the importance of connecting with their organizational DNA. Tell us about why this matters as companies deal with change.

  • You use a quote from Tom Friedman early on: “When change is happening at five miles per hour, if you get off track it’s not that big a deal. But when change is happening at 500 miles per hour, a small error in navigation can have a huge effect.” Can you elaborate?

  • You outline seven red flags and within these flags you weave in the perils of data, math and analytics. What did you learn from companies when it comes to how they look at and use data?

  • You and Joel use a number of examples of companies throughout your book. Can you give us an example of an organization that evolved to meet the times and the marketplace, and one that didn't

  • You outline five lessons learned on leadership and one is on the vision. We hear today so much about having vision and the importance of seeing into the future. One of your quotes from the book is that you say leaders not only have vision, they have peripheral vision. Why is that so important?

  • The title of your last chapter is great: Success is Never Final. How do some businesses recognize the right moment to shift, and others, ruefully, only after it’s too late?

You can watch the interview on Facebook or below:

Allen Adamson is a noted industry expert in all disciplines of branding. He has worked with a broad spectrum of consumer and corporate businesses in industries ranging from packaged goods and technology, to health care and financial services, to hospitality and entertainment.

Allen is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Metaforce (, a disruptive marketing and product consultancy which, unlike traditional firms, takes a multi-disciplinary channel-agnostic approach to marketing challenges. It was created to help leaders understand all the forces at work inside and outside their businesses in order to identify strategies yielding the highest returns.

Joel Steckel is a professor of marketing and also the vice dean of doctoral education at NYU Stern School of Business. Professor Joel Steckel has been with New York University’s Stern School of Business for more than 20 years. His primary research areas of interest include marketing research, marketing and branding strategy, approaches for one-to-one marketing, managerial decision processes and methodologies for measuring consumer performance and behavior.

Joel has published numerous articles in academic publications. He was the founding president of the INFORMS Society for Marketing Science. Prior to joining NYU Stern, Professor Steckel held positions at the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Pennsylvania. Currently, he is a Co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal Marketing Letters.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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