Insight 2020: Leadership Strategies for the Era of Acceleration #12 – Jump Forward


In the era of acceleration, one thing is certain : what worked for you in the past likely won’t work for you tomorrow. And all too often, that very thing you do might doom you in the future. That’s because all the assumptions that you might make as to how tomorrow will unfold are based on what you did yesterday – and they are faulty, out of date, and pretty much a path to guaranteed failure.

That’s the theme found in today’s key leadership strategy for the era of acceleation: jump forward. The key concept is found in two of the most popular quotes/observations that I run near the end of my keynotes: “Companies that do not yet exist will build products not yet conceived using materials not yet invented, with methodologies not yet in existence.” Closely followed by “Change your future, before the future changes you.” That pretty much summarizes your furuter, and to get ahead, you must constantly jump forward.

The essence of the situation is found in this video: it’s from the closing moments of my recent keynote in Morocco for a global conference for the World Bank – International Finance Corporation. I can guarantee you that everyone in the room was writing these quotes down as I spoke – or using their smartphones to grab screen shots! The idea resonates!

Here’s what’s interesting – in my slide deck for the keynote above, I’m actually using two of the daily quotes that I’ve put out on my blog and social networks in the past:

Sadly, history is littered with the failures of complacency:

Why do companies fall into the trap of complacency, relying on past success and past glories?I tell the story on stage of the time that Motorola had me in for a global leadership meeting. Complacent ruled the room – give a listen as I talk about the issue of #MotoFail:

How do you get out fo this trap? Challenge yourself to do something different – watch and learn from my “Whats’ Your Tin Can?” business parable – I’m on stage in London, England, a global meeting for Godiva / Pladis / McVitie’s.

There are many reasons for this state of affairs: Often, the sin of aggressive indecision drives the agenda: a clip from a keynote in New Orleans on the cultural leadership attitude that drives this sin of complancency.

In many other cases, it’s the presence of the innovation killers – an attitude that provides an organizational sclerosis that clogs up the ability to adapt and align to tomorrow.

So what do you do to get through this challenge? Jump forward – align to tomorrow! I provide guidance to a few hundred business executives at a keynote for the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce.


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.