“Timing is everything, especially when you’re running out of time!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
Over the last few years, I found that many of my presentations about the future increasingly focused on the issue of timing. It became such an important part of what I do – and I noticed that the timing of trends was accelerating – that it became Trend #12 in my ’19 Trends for 2019,’ wherein I wrote this:
As they say, timing is everything, particularly when it comes to the issue of getting involved in any particular trend. In the era of acceleration, it becomes even more critical. You’d better make sure you are ready with any trend of importance and relevance, because the future might happen before you know it.
The issue of timing was important before Covid-19. Now? Every trend is now significantly faster, making the issue of timing far more important than ever before! I’ve started to use this observation in many of my online talks, as it captures perfectly how our world has changed:
“COVID-19 is not a disruption. It’s an accelerant. It has magnified and accelerated everything that is good and everything that is bad.” Greg Petro, CEO First Insight
Think about that in terms of your online shopping – you now expect every retailer to operate at the same level of sophistication as Amazon. You expect every teacher to be as good at distance education as you are! You expect your doctor to respond to your telehealth query in but an instance. Expectations have changed, as have business models, forms of interaction, demands for a response, attention spans, and so much more. Companies and people that don’t align to the new speed of these trends are increasingly left behind.
What does this mean for you? It has become increasingly important for you not only to understand your future – but to become deadly accurate in gauging which aspects of it are going to happen and when! As I wrote in my timing trend:
The future is staggered and uneven – it doesn’t happen everywhere all at once. It’s phased by location, sector, and other discrete perspectives.
I go on to say:
That’s why my mantra to “think big, start small, scale fast” gives a key shoutout to timing. “Start small” implies that you should be on board with any particular trend, despite the potential immaturity it might have, because you want to make sure that you understand it, have experience with it, know how to work with it – and are ready to go when it “goes supernova!”
Here’s the thing about our world post-Covid: any trend can now go supernova in a flash! Scale fast no longer works – you need to scale faster!