Keeping up with the information revolution is an exhausting exercise - but taking advantage of five forces will put smart operators at the head of the communications pack.
Never before have there been so many ways to communicate and never has it been so complex - lots of social media platforms, tools, apps and methods to send you bonkers.
Whether you're a business or a personal brand, cutting through the claptrap requires a simple, strategic and sustainable approach. Couple that with the right intel about the communications battlefront, and you're on your way.
Be it with our work with big media undergoing transformation or with small companies seeking to establish a DIY newsroom approach, some common themes are apparent.
Here's five of them - forces we believe will drive content success into 2017:
Muhammad Ali's passing should remind us that not only did he redefine boxing, but he was the consummate innovator - a man who provides lessons to anyone who wants to survive and thrive in a dog-eat-dog world.
Ali teaches us that innovation is not about iteration - it's about blazing trails.
"I don't have to be what you want me to be, " Ali told reporters after the bout against Sonny Liston in 1964 that launched his career. "I'm free to be what I want."
Publishers, who have suffered an unprecedented pummelling in recent years, could do with some of that self-belief.
One media organisation that is displaying its own brand of magic is Fairfax Media New Zealand. Like a young Cassius Clay, the Fairfax team is willing to do things its own way.
For the past 18 months, Flame Tree Media has helped design and implement the company's signature editorial transformation program News Rewired.
In May, Fairfax NZ won the award for corporate innovation at the International News Media Association (INMA) awards in London - along with best in show for Asia/Pacific. In all, Fairfax NZ won four first places - more than any media brand. In the world.
So, what are the Kiwis doing that others aren't?
Five traits are common to those who become world beaters.
He looked me in the eye, held out his arm and slowly motioned his hand towards the floor.
Here, one of the captains of the publishing world - a Prince of Print - was explaining to me in unequivocal terms where he saw newspapers going.
“Down, down, down. It’s just too late for many of them,” he said.
Most would agree. As the way society connects has screamed ahead online, the newspaper industry has been left behind. Newspapers are now emblematic of life pre-Apple.
But is the show really over? Are newspapers as we know them doomed? Is it too late to save print?
Plummeting circulations across much of the western world would indicate so.
In Australia, total audience measurements paint a rosy picture of how big media groups are faring across platforms. In isolation, print numbers make for depressing reading.
As a former editor of daily newspapers, I was generally confident that hard work in the newsroom could bring a circulation dividend. That was not long ago. But, today, not even Moses could put a dent in the sea of red circ numbers.
This was never going to end well.
"I don't care what you tell me, what you show me, I don't believe this is going to work." And with that one statement, Houston, we had a problem.
The subject matter was a major editorial transformation project. It was bold, innovative and high risk. It was also absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, this senior executive wasn't having a bar of it. Deep down it rattled her values.
In the end, she stepped out of the way of the juggernaut of change that was bearing down on her and her newsroom. She was an editor with deep experience, wide respect - an honourable person. But without her leadership, without her belief in the project, it was destined to fail.
This tale is sadly a typical one of why editorial change programs fail - captured here in what I refer to as the Seven Deadly Sins of Transformation.
Stuart Howie is a communications and media consultant. He runs Flame Tree Media and is the author of The DIY Newsroom. Stuart has worked in media and publishing for more than 30 years as an executive, editor and strategist.