“If you don’t set your own plan for the future, someone else will!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
Disruption defined: “That thing that happens to you when you are in full denial of obvious future trends!” I couldn’t decide on which version I liked best, so here’s the other one.
Regardless, the point is made. Maybe you should spend more time studying the future because it’s pretty obvious you are going to spend some time there.
And yet, most people react with shock when the future happens, find themselves surprised by fast-emerging trends, and watch with horror when their business model or entire industry is massively disrupted. Maybe that is why Alvin Tofler wrote Future Shock, one of the first popular books about the importance of comprehending a faster future.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. The most important phrase in my quote today is the bit about ‘obvious future trends.’ While the future might throw at us unexpected surprises and fascinating curveballs (Covid!), much of what is going to come next is already happening all around us, all the time. The future to me is something that is often blindingly obvious, and so I have long been mystified by why so many companies and individuals do such a poor job in preparing for it.
Consider where we know we are headed. We’ve known for a long time that cars are going electric and hi-tech; that medicine is skewing to preventative genomic science and connectivity care; that we’ll soon be farming 24 hours a day instead of just when the sun comes up; that career longevity is imploding as knowledge accelerates; that insurance business models are going to transition from looking back to examining risk in real-time.
We know exactly what is going to happen to a large degree; much more simply depends on timing. With that being the case, why are so many scrambling to react to the future when it happens to them instead of preparing in advance? It’s a great mystery to someone like me!
Study the future. Start here – I’ve tried to cover much of what we can expect next in my post 20 Trends into 2030: Are You Ready for the Transformation of Just About Everything? Read it here.
Need some future-oriented inspiration that puts this into perspective? Watch this clip!