“Go BIG, or don’t bother!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
Today’s quote is directly related to trend # of my ‘23 Trends for 2023” – Transformation, Not Innovation.
I was going to base the motivation on that phrase exactly, but needed something with more oomph! So this was my first go at today’s quote.
The trend is directly related to something I’ve noticed in the last few years but really became noticeable in 2023 – and that is it’s now the CEO who realizes that the future is accelerating and that everything, going forward, will be fundamentally different. Shouldn’t that always have been the case? Not really, as I describe in trend #2: Inevitable Inevitability! For a long time, many senior executives have been in denial about the changes occurring in their industry. That is no longer the case, and to adapt to it, fundamental transformation is required.
I’m noticing this trend directly within my own business – in that the folks who are requesting insight on aligning to the future aren’t just mid-level staff anymore – it’s the CEO. And the topic isn’t just how to achieve an innovation mindset within the organization – it’s how to undertake a complete transformation of the organization. It’s no longer ‘how can we innovate to keep up with the future?‘ It’s ‘how do we completely change who we are, what we do, and what we pursue to align to a future that will be fundamentally different?‘
That’s why I’ve put together a topic page specifically aligned with the thinking of this crowd – go where the clients are!
Maybe you can find some personal inspiration in this idea of transformation – why should you continue to just make small changes in your life, when a significant change (or transformation) might be what is really necessary? Why do you continue to take small steps in your personal reinvention rather than pursuing some sort of big, bold leap? Why would you defer the big decision that will impact your trajectory for the next decade and instead make a bunch of meaningless small decisions and actions?
Back to the corporate world. The idea of complete transformation at the organizational level was hammed home to me in late August when the CEOs of two global companies were busy trying to book me for events they were holding for their leadership team around the same date. Due to logistics, I couldn’t take on both, but after having long exploratory calls with both of them, I realized they were of a similar mindset: they needed to go big with their alignment to obvious disruptive future trends (transformation) rather than just nibbling around the edges with continuous small steps (innovation.)
it’s pretty clear that in their mindset, they know what needs to happen in terms of organizational transformation. Everything needs to change: the markets they are operating in are undergoing a fundamental change and so too must their product or service. To get there, they must shake up how they operate, and this involves everything from the skills they have and how they organize access to them; the collaboration that currently exists with the organization and what it needs to go forward; the strategies being pursued vs. the strategies in place. EVERYTHING needs to change, and that’s transformation.
What is transformation? It’s aligning with the fact that just about everything around you is set to change. I document that on this page: “20 Trends into 2030: Are You Ready for the Massive Transformation of Just About Everything?” It’s actually the most heavily trafficked page on my site, bar none!
When you examine the trends into 2030 as outlined on that page, you come to realize the essence of virtually every single industry is set to change. You can no longer just innovate your way into the future – you need full and complete transformation.
I’ve always described innovation on stage by suggesting that it is an organization that is challenging itself continuously with three key questions; how can we run the business better? How can we grow the business? And more important, how can we transform the business? Question 3 has now taken on a new sense of urgency and importance, and so that is my trend #5 of ’23 Trends for 2023!’
And so you need to come to a decision – you either go BIG or don’t bother at all.
The outcome should be obvious!