I’m killing some time waiting for my flight in Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport, and with a little bit of jet-lag, needed to keep myself awake.

With that in mind, here’s a tongue-in-cheek rant, based on what I’ve learned over a 25-year career as a futurist advising companies worldwide on what they must do to deal with the reality of a fast-changing, disruptive world.

(Note: I’ve seen ALL of these circumstances. My mind boggles!)

(ps. I don’t write this post because I need to drum up business. I actually tend to get overbooked! It’s for you to think about the reality of what you are doing with your event and leadership meetings.)

Many organizations prefer to keep a blind eye towards the future. Complacency rules; the status quo is the only objective. A mindset that the boat should not be rocked drives the mindset forward! People are on autopilot, doing the same thing over and over again. An organizational sclerosis settles in, smothering any potential for success.

Is that you?

Probably. If so, I have a simple message for you.

DON’T BOOK ME!!!!!!!

Don’t book me for your event or leadership meeting, if :

  • you don’t want to talk about the reality of the disruptive change that you are faced with
  • you don’t want to challenge your team to think about the big, bold steps they need to be thinking about to get ahead in the era of acceleration
  • you don’t want to acknowledge the new competition and new challenges that surround you

Don’t book me if:

  • you don’t think it is important to wake people out of their complacent slumber, thinking that tomorrow is going to be exactly like it is today
  • you don’t want to talk about what you need to do to reinvent your product or service lines to keep up with the fact that what you currently sell is becoming old and obsolete
  • you don’t want to talk about the opportunities that come from building an effective, collaborative, globally cooperative team

Don’t book me if :

  • you don’t want to think about why agility, flexibility, and fast response are critical success factors to survive and thrive tomorrow
  • you don’t want to focus on why customer-oriented innovation is redefining your markets and redefining your product, and you don’t want to know why it is a critical wellspring for success

Don’t book me if:

  • you prefer to keep your staff and leadership team in the dark about the business model change occurring all around you
  • you prefer not to acknowledge that maybe your current strategies might not work so well going forward into this fast, disruptive future

Don’t book me if:

  • you prefer to keep booking the same old type of speaker, year after year, delivering the same old tired motivational message, one that ends up landing with your team like a warmed-over meal of Chinese food
  • you think it’s ok to pick a safe inspirational message that might excite your people for a moment but will do little to get them to confront the reality of what is occurring around them

Don’t book me if :

  • you prefer to have the same old message delivered by someone who has delivered the exact same message to an entirely different company in a different industry, with exactly no customization
  • you prefer not to receive in-depth, customized insight based on extensive, original research

Don’t book me if:

  • you’d prefer not to have substantive, in-depth conversations with your chosen speaker to ensure that the message they will deliver is closely aligned to your goals, objectives, and issues
  • you prefer useless, meaningless, motivational pap.

Don’t book me if :

  • you don’t want to understand how the pace of technological change now defines the future of your industry, and why your ability to align to Silicon Valley velocity is critical
  • you don’t want to know what other companies are doing to ensure that IT is not just an infrastructure for transactions. but the lifeblood of your future

Don’t book me if :

  • you don’t want an in-depth appreciation of why your ability to access critical skills through innovation partnerships will become an increasingly important focus for success
  • you don’t want to understand why your ability to form fast, cross-functional teams might just be the most important thing you can do

Don’t book me if:

  • you’ve spent upwards of a $1/2 million to bring together your most important people for a critical meeting but want to skimp on speaker fees

Don’t book me if:

  • you have a committee making the decisions on the topic and content you need for your leadership event, and you are willing to let the decision sink to the lowest common denominator of the least controversial topic

Don’t book me if:

  • you prefer to have a critical opening keynote message for your critical, important leadership meeting, delivered by a speaker with just a few years of experience under their belt, who are still learning the ropes as to how to deliver an important message
  • you aren’t convinced that a 25-year track advising the world’s largest organizations means something.

Don’t book me if:

  • you think that mediocrity is OK, a race to the bottom is a good race to be in, and it’s better to keep your people feeling comfortable and complacent rather than being somewhat scared and deadly motivated

Don’t book me if:

  • you think that Kodak, Blackberry, Blockbuster, Sears, Motorola had awesome, sustainable world-class business strategies
  • you prefer not to know what world-class innovators are doing to keep up with the era of acceleration.


Just keep doing what you are doing.

Go back to sleep.

Seriously, don’t book me.


THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO ARE FAST features the best of the insight from Jim Carroll’s blog, in which he
covers issues related to creativity, innovation and future trends.