Here’s a video clip from a few years back — in which I outline “10 Things That are True About the Future.” A useful reminder on how to conduct your own type of trend thinking.
Archives for November 2015
Video from my keynote for APICS 2015 in Las Vegas. Simply stated.
Ask yourself this question: do you work in an organization that just simply doesn’t get it? Who is oblivious, blind, completely unaware of just how much business model change is occurring out there?
Here’s the thing — there are three types of people in the world:
- those who make things happen
- those who watch things happen
- and those who say, “what happened?”
I’ve often pointed this out on stage, and have emphasized the point, by suggesting that the folks who find themselves last on the list sit back and say, “whoah, dude, what happened? Where’d that come from?”
In other words, they’ve been completely blind to the trend which would cause massive upheaval within their industry, or refuse to accept the significant business model disruptions which are already occurring.
Guess what — it’s happening right now as a lot of financial institutions don’t realize just how quickly mobile technology is going to change everything in the consumer financial services industry! Or in countless other industries where the blindness of current market leaders is leading them to their own “whoah, dude” moment.
So let’s make it simple: when it comes to innovation, make sure that you are in the first camp!
What should you do if you make that conscious decision, and are trying to steer your organization into the future?
- turn forward! establish an overall organizational culture in which everyone is firmly focused on the future while managing the present.
- change the focus: make sure that you link the corporate mission of today to the major trends and developments that will influence the organization through the coming years;
- pursue speed: use a leadership style that encourages a culture of agility and allows for a rapid response to sudden change in products, markets, competitive challenges and other business, technological and workplace trends;
- watch more stuff: establish and encourage an organization-wide “trends radar” in which all staff keep a keen eye on the developments that will affect the organization in the future;
- share more: make sure that you’ve got a culture of collaboration in which everyone is prepared to share their insight, observations and recommendations with respect to future trends, threats and opportunities;
- change responsibilities: ensure that staff are regularly encouraged to not only deal with the unique and ongoing challenges of today, but are open and responsive to the new challenges yet to come;
- take risks: you won’t get anywhere if you don’t make sure that are encouraged to turn future challenges into opportunities, rather than viewing change as a threat to be feared.
I continue to be stunned by how many organizations today continue to be caught flat-footed by the pace of rapid trends that impact them. It seems like it should be so simple to avoid this. Yet there likely still lots of “whoah, dude” dudes out there.]]>
I’m honored to be one of the keynote speakers at the 2016 Mosaic AgCollege in Orlando in January.
It’s an annual event held by the Mosaic Company, the world’s leading producer of concentrated phosphate and potash, nitrogen fertilizers and feed ingredients for the agriculture industry, for their key clients.
My focus? The future of agriculture!
Big Trends In Agriculture: What Ag Will Look Like In 2045
Jim Carroll, an agriculture futurist and innovation expert, will look into his crystal ball and predict what agriculture will be like in 2045. Whether it’s driverless tractors, weed-zapping robots or data-transmitting crops, Jim will forecast what farms might be like 30 years from now, and encourage the industry to embrace high-velocity innovation. Jim is recognized worldwide as a “thought leader” and authority on global trends, rapid business model change, business transformation in a period of economic uncertainty, and the necessity for fast-paced innovation. You will not want to miss his predictions.
I do numerous keynotes throughout the agriculture industry, with a lot of detailed insight — so much so that after one talk, an audience member asked how long I had been a farmer!
Just this weekend, I was the closing keynote speaker for a dealer meeting for Reinke, the manufacturer of those large irrigation systems you see on farms all over North America.
As in every sector and industry, agriculture is an industry that is ripe for massive change and disruption — and the year 2045 might happen by 2025, if not sooner. We will certainly see a lot of autonomous vehicles, region specific plant varietals based on genomic science, rapid advances in precision farming, irrigation and big data technology, and more.
Spend some time in the agriculture section of my Web site for more insight — and stay tuned! I’ll report on my Mosaic AgCollege keynote in January!]]>
I had a long conversation with a potential client in the manufacturing sector the other day; they’re looking to bring me in for a keynote in 2016. I’ve developed a reputation in the industry for some cutting edge insight into the key trends that are redefining every single aspect of the sector at an extremely furious, fast pace. I’ve headlined events for tens of thousands at major manufacturing conferences in Las Vegas, Chicago, Orlando and Detroit.
What’s going on? Here’s a quick snapshot:
- collapsing product life cycles – simply put, products don’t have as long a lifespan in terms of relevance, consumer attention, rapid escalation of design ideas — whatever the case may be, with shorter life spans, manufacturing organizations are having to pick up the pace!
- the Internet of Things and product redefinition – every device becomes connected, intelligent, aware… this has major implications in terms of how devices are designed and manufactured. Suddenly, many manufacturers are finding that they must integrate sophisticated user interface capabilities into their products, not to mention advanced computer and connectivity technology.
- rapid design and rapid prototyping. We’ve seen incredible advances in the ability to conceive, design and develop new products faster than ever before. There is a constantly rising bar in terms of capabilities, and if you can’t pick up on this, you can be sure that your competitors will. The first to market with a new idea is often the winner.
- the influence of crowdfunding on product design. There is no doubt that the global connectivity that the crowdfunding business model provides is resulting in a change in product conception. Suddenly, anyone can have an idea, fund it, design it, and bring it to market. What I’ve witnessed are situations where these small scale projects are light years ahead of what we’ve seen with established industry players. Crowdfunding is the new garage in many industries.
- build to demand vs. build to inventory business models. Big auto companies build hundreds of thousands of vehicles, and shove them out to dealers hoping they sell. Tesla Motors takes an order, and builds the vehicle to send to the customer. Big difference — and this model is driving fundamental business model change across every aspect of the manufacturing sector.
- agility and flexibility. The impact of build-to-demand models is that manufacturers must provide for a lot more change-capability throughout every aspect of the process, from supply chain to assembly to quality control. The ultimate in agility? The Magna factory in Graz, Austria, which can custom build a wide variety of automobiles from completely different car companies.
- post-flat strategies. What happens when the world gets flat? Put a ripple in it! That’s been the focus of a few of my keynotes for several manufacturing clients. I’ve spoken about organizations who have evolved from having to compete with low-cost producers by focusing on price, to a new product lineup that is based on quality, consumer perception, brand identity, or IoT connectivity.
- faster time to market. Consumers today have perilously short attention spans. In some sectors, such as fashion, high-tech (smartphones!), food and others, you’ve got to get your product to market in an instant — otherwise, you lose your opportunity.
- rapidly emerging consumer demand. Closely related to time to market is the fact that new fashion, taste trends or other concepts now emerge faster given the impact of social networks. Think about the impact of food trucks — people can now experiment with new taste trends at an extremely low price point. The result is that new taste trends emerge faster — and food companies must scramble to get new products out to the customer faster. Long, luxurious product development lead times are from ‘the olden days.’ If you can’t speed up, you won’t be able to compete.
- the fast emergence of same day delivery business models. Amazon, WalMart, Google and others are quickly building big infrastructure that provides for same day shipping. This has a ripple impact on demand, inventory, logistics …. a massive change from the old world of stockpiled inventory.
- the arrival of 3D, additive manufacturing 3D printers and the inevitable shift to “additive manufacturing” from “subtractive manufacturing based on cutting, drilling and bashing metal.. probably the biggest change the industry will witness in coming years.
- the acceleration of education requirements. Robotics, advanced manufacturing methodologies, machinining-in-the-cloud, advanced ERP processes : you name it, the skill of 10 years or even 5 years ago doesn’t cut it today. I had one client in the robotics sector observe that “the education level of our workforce has increased so much….The machinists in this industry do trigonometry in their heads.” That’s the new reality going forward!
That’s a lot of change, and there’s even more underway.
At the end of last year, I wrote a little document, 25 Trends for 2025. It’s a good read — and might provide you some insight into some of the unique trends that might provide opportunity and challenge going forward.
The 24th trend I wrote said this, predicting that by 2025:
Apple is Delisted
Once one of the world’s most innovative, cash-rich, highly valued company, Apple enters a new phase in 2025 when it is delisted from most global stock markets.
Most industry leaders never survive; there is always someone with a better idea.
It’s the age old rule of business: incumbency is not a guarantee!
I was thinking about this post last night, when I packed up my new 4th Generation Apple TV to send it back to Apple.
What a failure of a device. Without the ability to link to it via a Bluetooth keyboard or App as with prior generations, it just became a madly infuriating failure.
It’s the first Apple device I’ve ever returned — and my family and I probably have some 50-75+ Apple devices in our lives through the last decade.
I don’t know what the Apple Engineers were thinking with this decision, but to me, it just seems like such an obvious failure that perhaps they are losing touch with their customers and the evolution of their products.
Do they care? Are they complacent? Perhaps, probably. Will they even both to respond to one small customer in a customer base of hundreds of millions? Probably not. Could they engineer themselves into extreme failure in the future? Perhaps. History has taught us that no organization is guaranteed success into the future!