I’ve carefully been watching the crowds in my keynote presentations over the years, and have come to realize that there is a direct relationship between the nature of the audience, and the way that they react to my observations on the future.
Call it Carroll’s law, because what I’ve learned is this — those doomed to extinction and other severe career implications as a result of rapid change, are usually the least receptive to a message as to the reality of their impending doom. They would prefer to escape rather than adapt to reality.
Looking out into the audience, it sometimes seems like I’ve got a bunch of deer in the headlights — they seem so shocked by the change that is occurring around them that they don’t know how to take the next steps of figuring out what to do about it. This is particularly true when I discuss the reality of outsourcing/offshoring, or when I focus in on how rapid innovation, fuelled by scientific advance, will continue to cause havoc and turmoil in every industry.
I wrote an article yesterday, How Science Will Change Careers — And Associations — that looks at the theme of impending, rapid career extinction. Read the article (PDF)