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Innovators check their speed and focus on corporate agility: they know that to keep up with fast paced trends, it’s their ability to quickly act, react and do that will allow their future success. There’s not a lot of time for debate, studying; inertia is abhorred. They simply DO - and do it fast and right the first time -- Jim Carroll



In the last few months, I’ve had two keynotes where I’ve put in perspective the marriage of the Internet of Things with blockchain as a trend. This is a pretty massive issue yet one with a lot of hype and hysteria. I’ll have lots to post and say in the coming months on it. Here’s a short clip from one of those talks:

The first of these events was a leadership meeting was for Columbus McKinnon, a manufacturer of overhead cranes used in manufacturing, entertaining, shipping and logistics; the second was for the Canadian Finance and Leasing Association. The first group asked me to outline for several hundred of their engineers and sales staff how the essence of what they build and sell will change as they become ‘smart and hypercpnnected;’ the other wanted a talk that put into perspective the fact that the very nature of what they lease will change through such connectivity.

Here’s the thing: most #IOT (Internet of Things) projects today are a complete failure – they are insecure, built on old outdated Linux stacks with mega-security holes, and ill-thought out architectures. My slide on that fact? Simple: a reality which is already happening today. This type of negligence will doom of the future of the products of many of the early pioneers.

So here’s the thing: if organizations are going to build a proper path into the hyperconnected future, they need to understand and follow my “11 Rules of #IoT Architecture.” Read it, print it, learn from it : this is what you need to do as you transition to becoming a tech company. Some of the biggest organizations in the world have had me in for this detailed insight – maybe you should.

My inspiration for how to build the future right comes from Apple’s robust Device Enrolment Program architecture, which lets an organization deploy, manage, upgrade and oversee thousands of corporate iPhones or iPads; and Tesla, which is not really a car company, but a hi-tech company.

And so in both of these talks, I put into perspective how Tesla has (without knowing it, LOL) been following my rules. First, think about what a Tesla really is – here’s my slide….

Going back to my list of the 11 Rules of IOT Architecture, you can see that Tesla has met a number of the conditions …

Go through my IOT architecture list and think about what has been engineered into the computer that is a Tesla.

Upgradeable: any device should have the ability to be upgraded from afar, automatically, either by user choice or centralized management”.

Got that. Consumer Reports didn’t like the braking distance on the Model 3. No problem: that’s a software update.

“Feature addition capable: the design should provide for the addition of future capabilities, some of which might not be imagined yet at the time of development.”

You can do that when you buy your Model 3.

“Prognostic, diagnostic: each device should be able to self-diagnose and report when it is not working correctly.”

Yup, built in.

“Self-repairing: better yet, it should not only know when things are going wrong, but have the capability to fix it once it is aware”.

Let’s fix it at night….

“Programmable: the device should be controllable by users, to the extent that is possible within a predefined robust security and privacy architecture.”

User/driver interactivity is at the heart of operator interaction.

“Self-reporting: the device should be able to report on a wide variety of information pertaining to operations, proximity, location, status, etc.”

Built in. And yes, there’s an app for that (above).

“Swarm data-generating: it should be able to generate types of information that, in concert with other similar devices, is able to be manipulated to provide some unique operational, predictive or maintenance-information data-set (or more)”.

It’s a data gathering machine.

“Intelligence-capable: it should have or be provided capabilities to make its own decisions based on input data.”

As in, a new AI based, neural network…..

“Grid-connectable:  it should be able to exist or participate within a connected series of devices to achieve some original or newly conceived purpose.”

Vehicle-to-grid connectivity is a huge trend!Tesla isn’t participating fully yet, but it will. Your car battery becomes a part of the energy grid….

Here’s the thing: Elon Musk understands the need for a great IOT architecture. Most CEO’s of Fortune 1000 companies don’t, and until they get someone who does, their project will be a fail. They’ll likely put the future of their company at risk through security and privacy failures, product failures and more.

Get with the program, folks!

BathFitter is a Canadian company that specializes in customized bathtub inserts – they’re an extremely successful company with an envious track record of growth.They know they can’t rest on their laurels thought, and so they are having me in this morning to keynote their annual franchise meeting.

The fun thing is that they tried to have me in way back in 2004, but I was already booked for an event. Using some rudimentary video tools, I filmed a clip from my bathtub at the time which they used to open up that event.

This morning, I’ll appear in person, but I’ve put together – with my awesome overseas editor Alex! – a 5 minute intro video that will be used before I come out on stage. It includes footage from my 2004 video.

In addition to this video, we filmed another pre-event video which was loaded into the customized mobile app they are using for their event. It plays into the key theme of my keynote – to get to the future, you need to invest in the future!

Do you want to spice up your event a bit in the same way, with highly customized event videos? Most keynote speakers will show up and give you a canned talk, and run away with your money with little effort. Not to disparage them, but that’s not me.

Get more for your investment, by reading what’s involved with these custom videos!

Probably not.

Agility and flexibility in the retail sector is critical; I’m on stage in Orlando speaking to the issue of speed in retail.

It probably means that you are in pretty big trouble.

Over the last 25 years, I’ve been brought into an extensive number of Fortune 1000  leadership meetings at a senior level in order to speak about future trends an innovation – simply take a look at my client list to get a sense of who I work with. With this, I’ve seen many top-notch CEO’s who know that their organization needs to change – and fast. Often, I will be on the phone with them in advance of the event in order to understand their perspective on the challenges that are in front of them in the era of acceleration.

And on the other hand, I’ve seen situations involving the utmost of CEO hubris – a belief that the industry they are in, the business model they are structured for, and the customer behaviour they are aligned to, won’t be subjected to any sort of dramatic change. Which is, to put it mildly, foolish and dangerous!

Just about a year ago, I was in to talk to the senior leadership team of a major global company that I will leave nameless. There was a belief, expressed during a number of conference calls with various VP’s, that the organization needed to align itself for the challenges it might face in the era of Amazon business model disruption. The company is in essence, a distributor – a middleman between various manufacturers and the end customers. Amazon could step into and carve out some of the business; this is such a potential threat that numerous organizations engage me for my keynote on the challenge: Disrupting Amazon : Accelerating Strategies for Success in the Era of Industry Transformation.

And indeed, that was the topic for which I was booked!

Moments before I went on stage, the CEO spoke, immediately dismissing the idea that Amazon or other ‘upstarts’ might ever be a threat. Let’s just say it made for an interesting, if awkward, keynote. The folks who had booked me to come in with palpable with their discomfort.

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While I often speak to audiences of 500 to 7,000, including large scale Las Vegas events, I also spend a *lot* of time with CEO’s and other senior management teams in small, leadership oriented events, providing a key message on the necessity for innovation in the high velocity economy.

In fact, it’s long been one of the fastest growing areas of my business: my clients include events for companies seen in the list below!

These are highly customized events : by way of example, I’ve gone in and done a talk for Whirlpool/Maytag on the future of home appliances in the era of IoT (Internet of Things); Disney on the future of consumer behaviour; the BBC on the future of broadcasting; and New York Life on the future of insurance in the era of business model disruption.

There are well over 100’s more with very customized industry talks.

Recently I’ve been filming some videos in advance of these corporate offsite events; these are distributed to attendees in advance to get their creative juices flowing! Here are 3 recent ones.

Great companies establish a culture of high velocity leadership, so they are prepared for the rapid economic, market and industry change that surrounds them.  In that vein, I’m often retained by the CEO or other senior management representatives in order to provide a presentation that will help to shape the strategic direction of the organization.

In a nutshell, these talks cover very specific industry trends, challenges and opportunities, based on highly original research, and can often include an interactive discussion that addresses a variety of issues, including:

  • establishing forward-oriented leadership skills
  • shifting your culture from fearing threat to capitalizing on opportunity
  • promoting innovation, flexibility and adaptability
  • establishing an innovation culture based on creativity, curiosity, courage, collaboration and change-awareness
  • encouraging a certainty culture in the presence of rapid change.


Want to learn more? Inquire into Jim’s Availability

Send some details, and he will get back to you in person as quickly as possible!

Do you want to book the same old boring speaker who will show up and deliver a canned message – or do you want to book someone who truly cares, and goes the extra mile? If you are like most people, you’ll do what you’ve alway done, and will end up with the same old boring, predictable, uninspiring leadership event. That’s sad.

The Admiral Beverage Group in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has booked me to come in for an upcoming leadership meeting that will focus on the future of retail, consumer behaviour and more. They join good company – organizations like Disney, The GAP and Godiva Chocolates have had me in for similar events.

To get the leadership team thinking in advance about the event, I went and filmed this little video clip about the event, trends and more. Give it a watch!

Then ask yourself – are you going to go out and book the same old boring speakers like you always do – or do you want to kick up your event a notch?

“Inaction in the face of opportunity is but an excuse!” – #Futurist Jim Carroll

Part of the role of a futurist is to provide people insight into the trends that will be a part of their future, but also to put into perspective the opportunities these trends present. A lot of people get excited when they see what I can offer in that regard.

But people are funny – and here’s a good story you can think about to see if you are suffering from a culture of inaction.

I recently had a call from a senior VP of a major company in the retail industry. She thought that it would be extremely helpful to bring me in to their upcoming corporate leadership meeting – with so much change in retail they need to be challenged in their thinking. With clients like Disney, The GAP, Pepsi, Godiva, and more, I certainly have a track record for doing just that – I spend a lot of time speaking to the massive and fast trends sweeping the world of retail. I even have separate keynote topics on retail and the Amazon effect.

Fast forward. She wrote back last week, indicating that their CEO didn’t think it was a good time to be doing this. As in, stay the course. Stick with the status quo. They didn’t need to be challenged right now ; they had a strategy and needed to see it through. They might think about doing a deep-dive future session next year. Something like that.

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What are the drivers of disruption in your industry? Where is all the fast change coming from?  Edge thinking, iterative design, small beats big, rapid prototyping, devices change and more.

Watch my 2nd 2018 Outlook video – “The Seeds of Disruption: The Impact of Edge Thinking and More!”

You asked, we listened. I’ve got one client in 2018 who is bringing me in to demystify what is quickly becoming one of the most disruptive issues today.

Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, Bitcoin and the End of Money: Understanding The Ultimate Disruption”

In as little as ten years, the very concept of money will have been forever changed. And the fact is, it’s happening now in real time. But it isn’t just money that is being disrupted: the blockchain concept promises to unleash a wave of innovation that parallels and exceeds the impact that came with the arrival of the Internet economy.

Making sense of the trends and the reality of what it represents can be a challenge. A new vocabulary has emerged that involves radical new concepts, the decentralization of authority, and rapid hyper-innovation : blockchain, Ethereum, ASIC and currency miners, hard forks and smart contracts! At the same time, headlines speak of the ongoing rise in the value of grandfather of all crypto-currencies, Bitcoin, while other news outlets and experts label it a bubble.  Merely interpreting all of the components of this new world can be a fascinating journey.

Yet the voyage becomes even more challenging when faced with opinions that are all over the map. What does it meaan when when Jamie Dymon, the head of  JPMorgan Chase calls Bitcoin a fraud and the people who buy it “stupid,” and yet at the same time, the head of the IMF says that Bitcoin could give existing currencies and monetary policy a run for their money? When a cryptocurrency goes from a valuation of a few hundred dollars to over $10,000 in a matter of months? When 2018 will be defined by an acceleration of the acceptance of distributed ledger concepts at the same time that a horde of fraud artists invade this fascinating new world? When some countries state they will abandon long held concepts of a national currency in favour of digital cash?

But wait, there’s more! The impact doesn’t stop with the arrival of the first wave of concetps as found in ‘money’ such as Bitcoin. What is emerging is the infrastructure and a foundation for the next economy: one that is reliant on distributed, digital trust, the elimination of the middleman from many business interactions, and fundamental, disruptive concepts that run up against most of the economic models of the last 100 years. These are challenging times, and difficult questions are being presented.

What does this complex new world mean to your business and your business model? Is it a fraud, or is it a bubble? What’s real, and what’s not? Are we in the midst of the latest Tulip and dot.com phrase, or is there substantial change underway?

In this keynote, futurist and technology expert Jim Carroll peels away the layers of the world of cryptocurrency, outlining the challenges and opportnities that come with the end of the concept of money as we know it. These are truly transformative times – for the realty of blockchain goes far beyond the current hype surrounding Bitcoin. The concept of distributed ledgers will change entire industries, challenge the very nature of the legal concept of offer and acceptance, and unleash a torrent of hyper-innovation around business models.

I just wrote this one up for the brochure copy for an upcoming 2018 event.

The issue of Amazon isn’t just about retail — it is about any industry with a middleman. Insurance, wealth management, finance, medical or dental care, home services and renovations. You name it. And the big question is – what are you going to do about it?

Disrupting Amazon : Accelerating Strategies for Success in the Era of Industry Transformation

Amazon is the elephant in every industry room. They will challenge and disrupt your business model, and shake your belief in the future to the core.

Why not change that before it changes you? Don’t wait for Amazon to disrupt you – disrupt yourself and disrupt Amazon first! As we witness the Amazonification of industries, deep insight into this massive-but-cheetah-like-elephant is critical, a fast strategy is required.

Futurist Jim Carroll has a key message: Don’t compete — transform! When Amazonian scale disruption occurs, you can’t hope to complete on price, the sophistication of the online interaction, or the other areas in which Amazon (and similar disruptors) clearly excel. You need a different proposition, different ideas and a different strategy. In many cases, this will come about through an implicit decision to compete based on the unique value you can bring to the relationship – service, support, personal interaction and other factors. In doing so, you specifically choose to not compete based on a race to the bottom and price.

Futurist Jim Carroll has headlined ‘Amazonificaiton strategies’ at a wide variety of corporate leadership meetings and association events in the medical, dental and veterinary industries; in the global optometric industry; in the agricultural dealer market, in the home renovation sector, and many more. He has provided deep insight on the transformative strategies and mindset that needs to be pursued.

The acceleration of disintermediation via Amazon is a cruel reality of our modern day world. Think about the business model of a a group of agricultural dealers who sell products to farmers. The simplistic view is that they buy products from the manufacturer, and then sell them to the farmer, with an obvious markup in price. Amazon could do this (and will) with a more sophisticated online system, and avoid the cost of the markup, thereby offering a lower cost alternative. How to compete? Become an invaluable partner to the farmer in terms of advice, expertise and personal support for new initiatives, products and ideas.

In the era of Amazon, you can’t hope to compete on price — because you will watch your business disappear! Futurist and innovation expert Jim Carroll outlines the key trends, strategies and opportunities to be pursued in the ear of Amazonian acceleration!

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