“You should develop the audacity to create the unimaginable!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
My job is to encourage people to think big and bold, take big steps, and accomplish big things. To be audacious in everything they do!
That was the undercurrent of my keynote for a global packaging company that brought its leadership team to Prague six years ago to reimagine its future. Mondi is a large-scale European / Middle East / Africa / Asia packaging and paper company, and like any forward-thinking organization, they need to ensure they can disrupt their business before it is disrupted. After an exhaustive global search to find a speaker for this event, they arranged to bring me to the Czech Republic. The goal was a rock-paper-scissors solid talk on the trends that would define not just the future of their industry, but the industries of the customers they serve.
And what a future I presented – looking at the slide deck is like a voyage into the world of 2021 retail, manufacturing, and logistics! I spent a lot of time focusing on such trends as pick-and-pack curbside grocery pickup, direct-to-consumer business models, e-commerce, and online retail! I suggested to them a future world that would see a lot more innovation in the execution of retail as more consumers migrated their spending to the online world, and that this would present massive future potential in terms of packaging innovation. My path led them into a world in which they led their customer – major global retailers – into a world of relentless innovation, where the ‘package is the brand,’ and it’s no longer just a box or a bag, but an integral part of the product.
And of course, here we are today! We had no idea of just how significant the world of online retail would become through Covid-19!
Even so, the message was and is an important one – to thrive in the future, you need to reimagine every single aspect of your industry, marketplace, customer relationship, and product – and when doing so, don’t be timid!