A few weeks ago, I was the opening keynote speaker for the annual Ameriquest Symposium. It’s always fun to look and see how people have reacted.
In this case, I came across a blog post by Anita Alvaré of Alvaré Associates.
I thought it was a great and fun little post, and I hope she doesn’t mind, so I’ve reposted it here in entirety. You can read the original post on her blog here.
The Future Belongs to Those Who Are Fast
by Anita Alvaré
I’m pretty fast on my feet. I think fast, walk fast, talk fast, and sometimes even eat fast. I have a (bad) reputation for finishing people’s sentences for them, and 20 minutes into a movie, I have the plot line pretty much wrapped up. But after listening to the machine-gun delivery and predictions about the workplace-of-the-future by Jim Carroll – Author, Global Futurist, Trends and Innovation Expert – I’m afraid I may need to pick up the tempo a bit.
When someone starts their presentation by saying, “No one understands what’s going on anymore,” you know you’re in for a wild ride.
At the AmeriQuest Symposium in Florida, Carroll told the invited audience what all of us already know and feel: change is happening faster than ever before.
- Sixty-five percent of today’s pre-school age children will work in jobs and careers that don’t yet exist.
- Your social standing with your peers will depend upon the cell technology you are carrying around (let’s talk shallow).
- Half of what students are learning in college is obsolete before they graduate (time to write that worthless tuition check).
- Digital camera manufacturers have 3-6 months to sell their “new” products before they become obsolete (click!).
- And by the way, success for your business will have nothing to do with legacy, history or size but will be defined by your ability to change. Fast.
The future belongs to those who are fast.
Carroll predicted that smart phones are about to become credit cards in our wallets.
Many science fiction movie and TV scenarios that we’ve seen or are watching now will become reality.
To illustrate this point, Carroll showed a cartoon of George Jetson video conferencing (Skyping) with Mr. Spacely, his boss at Spacely Sprockets.
The animated sitcom, The Jetson’s, was set in the year 2062 “in a futuristic utopia.” It premiered back in “the olden days” (1962) of television. And believe it or not, it was the first program ever broadcast in color by ABC-TV.
Carroll’s breathless delivery focused on what world-class innovators will be doing that others won’t to keep pace with this runaway train known as “the future.”
1) They will put speed of change in perspective.
If your cell phone is older than three months, you’d better run (not walk) to the nearest phone store for an upgrade.
2) They won’t be afraid of thinking boldly.
The rules of automotive design, manufacturing and distribution will be re-written, new forms of business partnerships will be created.
3) They will align their businesses to Silicon Valley velocity.
Say “hello” to a world where facial recognition technology will anticipate your every need, where everything, everywhere is connected.
4) They will check their speed.
In the next five years there will be more changes in the retail sector than in the last 100 years.
5) They will ride generational acceleration.
Half of the global generation is under 25 (!). They are coming into industry “wired, connected, change oriented.”
I can’t speak for anyone else, but while Carroll was talking, the thought bubble coming out of my head was of a shack on a beach in Cuba. I’m not sure if I am (1) able and (2) willing to race through what’s left of my life at the pace he describes.
And after years of listening to futurists’ predictions at professional conferences, I’ve come to find that they are usually right.
So with that in mind, here’s Carroll’s advice for getting warmed up for the inevitable:
- Think BIG.
- Start SMALL.
- Scale FAST.