I spent the majority of my adult life managing media businesses in the Eastern Europe. Although I was operating in some of the most challenging environments in the world — at one point I found myself leading a major news organization in the middle of a revolution — I learned how to parachute into a new market, learn the culture, the language and figure out how to build a business
I was able to do so because I built up systems and processes for every aspect of the business, from sales and marketing to editorial operations and web development, there were best practices that worked the same pretty much anywhere. However, there was one area which I could never identify standard practices for: Innovation
As a manager, I always felt incredible pressure to innovate, but could find little guidance on how to go about it. Most of the advice I saw and read was confusing and contradictory. If I would followed one “surefire” model, I’d be violating another one. It was incredibly confusing.
So I spent years seeking out and talking to organizations of all shapes and sizes, from startups to top companies like Google and IBM to world class laboratories such as MD Anderson Cancer Center and Argonne National Laboratory to find out how the world’s best innovators were able to succeed where so many others have failed.
What I found is great innovators are able to outperform others not because they have a one superior strategy, but because of the way that they match solutions to problems. This research led to my upcoming book, Mapping Innovation.
If you would like to learn how you can put the insights gleaned from the world’s most effective innovators to work for your business, feel free to contact me at hire (at) digitaltonto (dot) com
Speaking and Workshops
Popular speaking topics include:
– What Great Innovators Do Differently
– How To Create A Movement Within Your Organization
– Why Content Marketing Is Broken And How To Fix It (5 Content Myths)
To book me for your next event, send an e-mail to hire (at) digitaltonto (dot) com
Another aspect of my consulting practice is teaching brands how to operate as publishers, based on my years of running successful media operations. My approach is, much like the businesses I ran Eastern Europe, is to help marketers implement strong operational practices.
The process starts with a Brand Publishing Audit and Editorial Assessment, which evaluates where your brand publishing operation stands with respect to best practices in each area. From there, we can identify specific needs.
To set up an audit, editorial workshop or other engagement, feel free to contact me at hire (at) digitaltonto (dot) com
What people are saying about Greg Satell…
Greg is a superb blend of integrity, creativity and professionalism. Insightful, responsive and diligent, he always makes sure he gets the facts straight. In my field, where life and death hang in the balance, that’s really important and I appreciate it immensely.
President, MD Anderson Cancer Center
“For every decent source of real insight into the ways of the web there are a thousand pretenders. Digital Tonto is one of the rare few with a bit of substance in all that ether. More than the digispeak, Greg knows his stuff from first hand, upstream business experience. For me that’s key. Precedence in the cut and thrust of sales and marketing offline – because the online stuff is still a great idea waiting for long-term substantiation. We know full well it’s taken off – we just don’t really understand the mathematics of sustained flight – or how to steer the ship. Greg Satell points the way.”
Chief Strategist, Member of Directoire + Publicis Groupe
Greg’s expertise into strategy, insights and technology brings unique and innovative perspectives into digital business along with a hands-on approach that comes with extensive practical experience.
Global Head of Digital, Infosys
“We’ve had the pleasure to retain Greg’s services as we explored the future of the media industry with clients. His work was excellent, incisive, and to the point. He brings an acute understanding of industry trends combined with a practical approach and concrete references. It will be an honor to collaborate with him again in the future.”
Board Member, Ubisoft
President and Founder, Competia
I would like to thank you for the Strategic Alignment Workshop you led for the Havas Media North America leadership team. They found your experience and perspectives very valuable and especially liked your message about small groups, loosely connected and united by shared content. This is a great way to emphasize the power of networking and social media.
Partner, Trinitas Advisors
Greg was our keynote speaker for an American Advertising Federation, Memphis luncheon, where he shared the Five Myths of Content Marketing. He came to us highly recommended by one of our company members and agency principals, and he did not disappoint. Not only did provide thought generation and inspiration to our event attendees, he also took the time to visit our sponsoring agency for a private workshop.
President, American Advertising Federation Memphis
“Greg is a guy who actually knows what he’s talking about, because he’s done it, and he’s done it successfully under incredibly adverse conditions. Where evangelists espouse the next great thing by using weighty marketing speak, Greg talks brass tacks, offering deep, enriched perspective around the “why” and the “how”.
By building bridges between tech and business, the conceptual and the operational, innovation and concrete business strategy, Greg can get you to think about what’s really important, and actually do something about it. Think of Greg as someone who can start up a business unit in an emerging domain, operationalize it, and have the foresight to socialize the learnings. You can’t get that kind of firsthand knowledge reading the wide swath of social media marketing blogs out there. Greg is one of us — he walks the walk, and isn’t afraid to challenge the status quo.”
Founder, Heardable Inc.
Founder, K5 Venture Partners
“Greg is an amazing person – hugely knowledgeable about just about anything. He challenges business and marketing received wisdom, questions everything worth questioning, and looks for how to better the status quo. He also editor of one of the best and most popular digital blogs in the world – Digital Tonto.”
Strategic Resources Director, Worldwide, ZenithOptimedia
“Createasphere had the pleasure of Greg’s keynote presentation at our Digital Asset Management Conference in Los Angeles. His expertise in mapping and forecasting trends in digital innovation kept our delegates highly engaged. They clamored to get his one on one expertise after the keynote…
Greg’s knowledge and global understanding of technology innovation and the opportunities and insights we all face with the digital disruption is unsurpassed. He is truly an expert.”
Kristin Petrovich Kennedy
“At the UnleashWD conference, Greg stood out among a crowded field that included bestselling authors, top CEO’s and even a 6 time Ironman champion! His thinking on innovation, the digital movement, and what business leaders must do to remain relevant is fresh and unique. Take for example his story about being in the middle of the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine. In today’s connected world, you helped us see that viral ideas lead to a revolution and as leaders of business we have a mandate to set free the ideas within our own organizations. He helped us start a movement to change an entire industry for the better. We will bury mediocrity.”
President, 4th Generation Systems
Kurt Lewin said “There is nothing quite as practical as a good theory.” While this is true, it is still very challenging to link theory to practice. Greg Satell is one of the best I’ve run across at doing this. He has a deep understanding of what makes business work, based on years of practical experience. But in his work and writing, you can still detect his background in philosophy. Greg’s mix of theory and practice is a tremendous combination.
One of my areas of research is network analysis. In this field there are arcane arguments over what creates influence within a network – which becomes a very practical problem when you apply the ideas to business. Greg understands the theory very well, and his applications of it are outstanding. His tent city approach to change is a great distillation of theory to practice, and one that is useful in a wide range of applications.
I’ve enjoyed collaborating with Greg on a couple of small projects, and I look forward to doing more work with him in the future.
Senior Lecturer, University of Queensland Business School