“What worked for us in our past could be exactly what holds us back in our future!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
My first version of todays’ quote originally took a different direction.
Then, I watched the short video I filmed on-site where I gave my talk 3 years ago, to a group of family-owned businesses in a wonderful car museum in Chicago! This was just before I hit the stage – and my key message was right in there.
There is no doubt that we live in a time of massive challenges and opportunities. Every industry is impacted by business model disruption, the emergence of new competitors, the impact of technology, the collapse of the product lifecycle, political volatility, and customers that continue to challenge businesses with their increasingly complex needs.
With this reality, the very things that have worked for us in the past could be the anchors that hold us back as the future rushes at us with ever-increasing speed!
That was the message that I brought to this group, with a talk that focused on the key trends and issues that affect medium-sized businesses, family-run organizations. The EFBC (Enterprise Family Business Council) program, established by DePaul University, provides multiple opportunities for these companies to keep up with the trends and opportunities that impact them – and they invited me in to headline the largest event in their annual calendar.
Small and medium-sized organizations often don’t have the opportunity to define the future – they often need to align to and ride the trends that are disrupting the larger context of the industry in which they operate. Automotive is the perfect example – the future is electric, autonomous, batteries, and tech. If you are a small tier provider, you have no choice but to align to these trends – and you need to do it fast.
Otherwise, the legacy of what you’ve done in the past will clearly hold back your future!