Daily Inspiration: “World class innovators? They’re built for speed, structured for acceleration!”


“World class innovators? They’re built for speed, structured for acceleration!” – Futurist Jim Carroll

This message from 2019 looks very predictive today in light of what organizations had to do to align to the speed of change demanded by the global pandemic. And yet, that’s been the essence of my message for well over a decade – prepare for faster change, or die.

HMG Strategy provides a collaborative forum for CIOs – Chief Information Officers – of major national and global companies to network with their peers on the important issues of the day. As part of this, they run a series of executive-level forums across the country to provide a full day of relevant content; this particular event was in Stamford, CT, a hotbed of IT innovation as well as being home to many global Fortune 1000’s. Those were the folks in the room.

They invited me to headline this particular event, selecting my keynote theme on World Class Innovation, with the undercurrent being that it is those who are fast, agile, flexible, and adept will be those who win the future. That’s more of a fact than ever as products change, bound up in hyperconnectivity. Cars have become computers, medical devices have become chip-based connected sensor machines, farms are learning how to operate 24-hours a day with robotic technology. If you don’t have a good technology platform and innovation mind to deal with this reality, you’re a spineless jellyfish in the face of a need for a strong backbone.

Before hitting the stage, I hit the studio and filmed some short video clips for sharing on social media, e-mail campaigns, and other methods. This will give you a sense of the issues I covered.

On the day of the event, I was interviewed by local media to talk about why IT has moved beyond “IT”.

Why? Because technology is now fundamental oxygen for every organization – organizations are being built on new business models in which the IT behind the scenes is the lifeblood of the product or service. If you don’t get it right, well, it won’t go so great! Just ask the auto companies – right now, they are years behind Tesla in terms of hyperconnected car infrastructure, not to mention user-interface design.

The reference to world-class innovation? Here’s the keynote description.

Business model disruption. The rapid emergence of new competitors. The challenging impact of social media. Rapid prototyping and the global idea machine. The digitization of everything and the impact of hyper-connectivity. Rapid technological change. 3D printing, self-driving cars, the acceleration of green energy technologies. All of these trends — and more — require that organizations pick up the pace when it comes to their innovation efforts! Because in this fast paced world, the future belongs to those who are fast!

For over 25 years, Jim Carroll has had the opportunity to study what makes some organizations excel at the concept of innovation while others do not. He has carefully catalogued their approaches, attitudes, leadership styles and strategies into a concise overview that is the secret-sauce of innovative thinking.

World class innovators possess a relentless focus on growth, continually transitioning their revenue source, and solving customer problems before the customer knows it’s a problem. They focus on upside down innovation by sourcing innovation ideas through their customers or through the acceleration of R&D on global collaborative networks. They concentrate on ingesting fast ideas; checking their speed and focusing on corporate agility; and focusing on long term wins through constant incremental improvements. They know that skills partnerships are a key success factor. Most importantly, world class innovators aren’t afraid to back away from big ideas. They know that right now is a great time to made bold decisions, and to take decisive advantage to forge aggressive new paths against their competitors.

While everyone else wallows in aggressive indecision and organizational sclerosis, world class innovators know that it is a great time to do great things!

In this keynote, Jim Carroll will provide you with unique insight into what these world-class organizations and high-caliber leaders are doing, to position themselves for a future in which the velocity of change is the new normal, acceleration is the reality, agility is the core, and adaptation is the necessity!

Continuing on the theme – here’s the message I filmed seconds before I hit the stage (and moments before the power went out, which caused a brief delay!)


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.