“The show has jumped the shark. Volatility is your new normal!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
Hey, we’re gonna have a recession! I’m ready – I’ve got my material from 2008-2010 all fired up and ready to go! “19 Trends for 2019” – #16 Innovating in the face of relentless volatility
It was always a pretty shitty show anyways. Thin plot line, a really deranged main character, a small core audience. The rest of us tried to change the channel a long time ago.
A futurist must always be a relentless optimist, particularly on stage. We’ve been engaged to provide a tour of the future that provides a sense of hope and opportunity.
As I will often joke, I can’t go in front of a 1,000 people and start out by saying, “Guess what! Your future sucks!” Unless it does. Then you spin the message in a different way. So here’s the thing: in 2019, you’ll see lots of volatility rock your world. We’re in the tail end of one of the longest economic expansions of history, and it won’t last.
With that, you need to be in a mindset as to how you can innovate as this new era of uncertainty envelopes your life. Fortunately, history provides us a path and guidance.
That’s what I found myself doing 10 years ago this month. I found myself speaking at a small, private event for a global consulting firm. In the room were the Chief Operating and Chief Information Officers for 15 global insurance companies. The biggest in the world.
Theirs was a world of doom and gloom – big organizations were disappearing, financial structures were collapsing, layoffs were accelerating, initiative was dying.
There really was a sense within the room that the future was over; that the economic malaise was so bad that much of the future would be put on hold for an extended period of time.
I vividly remember taking them on a tour of the scientific, technological, disruptive and other trends that would provide massive opportunity. My message was laser like: “you can choose to freeze and stop, or you can innovate with the trends.” What will, be your choice?