Daily Inspiration: “Visionaries define the future – long before the future defines them!”


“Visionaries define the future – long before the future defines them!” – Futurist Jim Carroll

It takes a lot of fortitude to walk into oil country and tell them that oil is over!

But that’s one of the things I did when I was invited in, on this day in 2017, for a luncheon keynote for the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. With over 700 local executives from throughout the city attending, I covered a vast range of the disruptive trends that would determine their future – and challenged them to think about what they would do to align to those trends rather than deny their reality.

Get ahead of the future – because if you don’t, it usually wins! In my talk, I looked at over 20 trends that are providing opportunities in the global economy. The trends covered eventually formed the basis of my post, “The Reality of Disruption  (24 Reasons Why Your Company Might Die Before You Get Old)” – give it a read, and ask yourself about your alignment to what comes next!

The Drivers of Disruption

Here’s the thing about those (now 24) trends – individually, any trend is disruptive. Combine them together, and they’re transformative. In that context, legacy is death: agility and speed are the new metrics for success, and your ability to accept your reality will really define your future.

This is particularly true given the fact that as an industry, oil is over. What do I mean when I say that? Not that it will disappear from our lives anytime soon – we’ll still be reliant on it for a time. But the fact is, it is a sunset industry, forever in decline, forever moving down from its peak as an opportunity. Let me repeat it – oil is over. Carbon is done. Natural gas is but an insurance policy. Coal? Laughable.

The facts are this – we’re moving rapidly to a world dominated by renewables, micro-grids, local battery storage technology, all combined into intelligent home systems dependent upon distributed energy resources, a prevalence of electric vehicles, and so much more. The Tesla is my driveway is as much a part of the future world of energy utility business models as is the natural gas power generation plant near me.

Oil is over? That’s not just guys like me talking – Bloomberg notes that the simple fact is that 90% of the energy investment between now and 2050 will go into this new world, and not the old.

That’s the message I carried into oil country in Oklahoma City. How did it go? They loved me – the feedback was pretty astounding, as was my courage to tell them the truth! Here’s a highlight clip from the stage.


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.