“The opposite of imagination? It’s stagnation!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
Over the years, I’ve spent time exploring the future, trends & innovation with many leading global organizations.
And as a futurist, I also spend my time looking back. I’ve seen many of them that are stuck, blinded by the speed that surrounds them in the era of acceleration. They’ve failed to move when the opportunities of the future have been so clear.
To this point: I’m often called in by a senior executive to deliver message that emphasizes the need for action over inaction; for creative thinking; for breaking out of an innovation funk.
I’ve learned that in many of these situations what has happened is a failure of the imagination, and because of that, the organization fails to pursue potentially big opportunities.
Sometimes I will look back at a client to see how they have made out with the future we talked about.
Consider a construction industry client of a few years ago. The trends in the industry are massive in terms of imaginative opportunities: robotic and other new methodologies, 3D printing of construction materials including concrete, intelligent building technology and renewable energy opportunities, the acceleration of new design methodologies!
Looking back, I can see that this particular organization has failed to grab onto the obvious trends for innovation that were clearly defined in our session. Since our time together, I’ve regularly seen news articles that indicates massive change in the construction sector; yet this organization seems to be stuck.
Why? Actually, when I returned home, I wrote my original “Jetsons and Flintstones post”, noting that “over the years, I have come to realize that while the majority of my audience appreciates a whirlwind ride into the future, there are others who just wish the future would go away.”
Go and take a look at the results of the live polling in the room and then read my closing comments. Mindset matters!