65% of the kids in preschool today will work in a job or career that doesn’t yet exist

Home > Archives

Industry Trends

Jim Carroll regularly writes reports on the key trends he sees impacting the future of various industries. Read this section for some fascinating insight about the future!



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the thing: most #IOT (Internet of Things) projects today are a complete failure – they are insecure, built on old outdated Linux stacks with mega-security holes, and ill-thought out architectures.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!

I’ve had several keynotes recently where companies in the manufacturing, transportation, automative and financial industry have asked me to come in and help them sort of what is going on with Bitcoin, Blockchain, the Internet of Things, and business model disruption.

That’s typical of the type of highly customized keynote that I take on. What caught the attention of these clients, leading to keynote bookings in Las Vegas, Montreal, Vail and elsewhere, was my keynote topic, “Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, Bitcoin and the End of Money: Understanding the Ultimate Disruption“. Learn about the that topic here.

With that, here are two clips that give you the essence of what you need to know.

First, BitCoin. Seriously, it’s just funny.

Second, Blockchain and the Internet of Things? Massive. 10 years from now, we’ll look back and go, “Whoah!”

If you are in any industry, you need to understand how the Internet of Things and blockchain are coming together, and what it means. As I state at the end, “you don’t need to understand how it works – but you need to understand what it does” in terms of disruption of your industry.

Despite the fact that I’m a futurist with a relentless focus on innovative thinking, I’m probably as guilty as the next person in making quick  judgement on people and companies – particularly with respect to the scope of what they do today compared to yesterday.

So it was when I saw that a company named Lewis Tree Services wrote a blog post about my recent keynote for the annual National Rural Electrical Cooperative Technology Show in Nashville. Read their post here; you’ll also find it below.

Hmm, I thought – what is a tree company doing at an energy conference, and why would they blog about my keynote with an observation on the future of that industry? After all, what do these people do – trim and cut trees?

Continue Reading

I’m off to New York, where tomorrow I will be the closing speaker at Nasscom’s inaugaural C-summit

The National Association of Software and Services Companies is a trade association representing the major players in the Indian IT and business process outsourcing industry. The event is taking a look at future trends and opportunities for innovation, and features a wide variety of other fascinating speakers, such as the CIO’s for Johnson and Johnson (also a client of mine), Praxair and Schneider Electric.

Of course, everyone knows that we live in interesting times, and that like many nations and organizations in the world, Nasscom is working hard to align folks to a new world order of crazy twists and turns, often illogical policy directions and massive uncertainty. Such is the world today!

Here’s what I know: every business in every industry is faced with unprecedented change through the next 5 to 10 years as disruption takes hold. Read my 10 Drivers for Disruption, and ask yourself how you will be affected.

Then ask yourself : will you have the skills, agility, strategy and capability to align yourself to a faster future? That’s what I will be covering in my keynote! A key part of that equation involves the skills equation. While there might be wishful thinking in parts of the world as to how to deal with a challenging skills issue, the reality is that having a great skills strategy is a crucial factor for success in the era of disruption.

With that thinking, here’s my keynote description!

Think Big, Start Small, Scale Fast: Innovating in the Era of Disruption

We live in a time of massive challenge, and yet one of fascinating opportunity, as every business, and every industry is  being redefined at blinding speed by technology, globalization, the rapid emergence of new competitors, new forms of collaborative global R&D, and countless other trends.

In this keynote, futurist Jim Carroll outlines the key drivers of disruption, but offers a path forward. Undeniably, we must align ourselves to the realty of multiple trends: hyper-connectivity, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, robotics, neural networks, deep analytics, autonomous technologies, self-learning systems. All of these trends and more are merging together,  leading to a massively new, connected, intelligent machine that will transform, change, challenge and disrupt every industry. As this happens….every company becomes a software company, and speed defines success. That’s why the New York Times recently indicated that the methodologies of agile software development are increasingly becoming a key general leadership requirement.

In this new world in which the future belongs to those who are fast, experience is oxygen. There’s no time to learn, to study, to plan. It’s time to figure out what you don’t know, and do the things that are necessary to begin to know about it. Experiential capital is the new capital for the 21st century.

How to cope with accelerating change? In this keynote, Jim outlines his simple but transformative structure : Think big, start small and scale fast! Jim has been working with and studying what makes organizations survive in a fast paced world. His clients include NASA, the PGA of America, the Swiss Innovation, the National Australia Bank, the Wall Street Journal, Disney, and many, many more.

So … I regularly get approached to speak at a lot of corporate leadership meetings …. and have done so for organizations like Johnson & Johnson, The GAP, Dupont, BASF, Siemens, Lockheed Martin. I frame for them the issue that the future is arriving faster than they think, and offer concise guidance on key trends that they need to align themselves to…..

To help emphasize the issue of the era of acceleration I’ve been using the story of the Jetson’s over the last 5 years while on stage. Remember it? It’s that cartoon show from 1962, purporting to show what the world will look like in 2062. Remember George Jetson? Remember the fact that there were autonomous vehicles, robot assistants, drones, and Skype and FaceTime seemed to be everywhere?

Now consider this! About a month ago, I was approached by Arconic to headline a leadership meeting for them in Phoenix; this is a newly spun-off entity from Alcoa that is focused on advanced technologies. I’ll be the opening kickoff – outlining and reaffirming the trends that will provide massive opportunity in the future.

Great minds think alike! They think the world of the Jetson’s is going to arrive here soon too — and are planning to play a major role in helping to make it happen. So much so, that they engaged Hollywood filmmaker Justin Lin of Star Trek Beyond fame, to do  a live-action re-imagination of the world of “The Jetsons!

 

Give it a watch!

Check their tagline: “Arconic: A Company Where the Future Takes Shape.” And my talk for them? I’m thinking this: “A keynote with the motivation that can help to make it happen!”

Do you need to accelerate your team into the future? Do it now, and read my keynote topic, The Jetson’s Have Arrived Fifty Years Early: What Are You Going to Do About It?

This is all just too much fun — just yesterday, while in Washington, I had some time to kill before a meeting, so I visited the Smithsonian Institution. What did I find, but a Jetsons lunchbox!

jetsonslunchbox

I so want this item….

Learn more about the making of the video

Here I am on stage in front of 2,000 in Chicago on the Jetsons!

So … in an exploratory conference call with a client today, who is looking at me to keynote an upcoming professional services conference, the question was stated:

“We’ve spoken to quite a few futurists and speakers, and all of them say they customize. And you said that too. So how do we know you’re the right guy?”

I love this type of question, because it gives me a real opportunity to speak to the passion that I bring to my work.

And that is, when you bring me in for a keynote, leadership or customer event, you are getting real insight based on 25 years as a trend observer. As well, if you look at my client list, you’ll understand that I get to talk with a lot of CEO’s, senior executives, associations leaders and thought leaders. I’ve had the opportunity to study up close what real organizations are doing to deal with real challenges. That type of unique insight comes into the room….

But wait, there’s more! Let’s not to forget my secret sauce: detailed, specific, real, specific, concrete research, based on real information. That sort of matters!

fintech

Here’s my ‘secret sauce’ for your keynote, leadership meeting or customer/client event. It’s called research. Pretty intense research, actually!

Wait, you say, doesn’t every speaker or topic expert do that? No comment….

What’s the source of much of my material? It’s this : I use a pretty intensive information research service that allows me to hit the right articles, industry reports, scientific publications, research journals and other information sources that help me zoom in on important trends, issues, statistics and observations. With that, I’m bring =ing information  into the room. It’s a well-honed skill – I’ve been doing this for a long time — 30 years, in fact. (Indeed, for a time in the early 1990’s, before the Internet came along, I was already doing what was known as “competitive intelligence research” utilizing similar online research databases. I go back with that industry to about 1986…..)

When you engage me on a very customized topic area, I take delight in taking on the challenge of finding out what’s going on with the issues, trends and topic areas that you worry about.

Here are some examples: take some time to read through what I read. They are all in PDF format. A few hundred articles… which I carefully read, analyzed, and extracted the relevant bits, and boiled down into concise keynotes and trend reports for my keynotes. (Not all of the articles are represented in the subset below) Then tead the blog post which resulted after my keynote, some of which was covered in my talk.

Some speakers will give you a really cool future-oriented talk based on really cool future trends, but not much more.

And not to be rude, but they will probably deliver the same talk for your group that they did for an entirely different industry and audience the week before. Which, at the end of the day, leaves you with a really fun and exciting keynote. But no real depth of insight.

Interested in real insight? Give me a call. I pick up the phone!

Last week, I was the opening keynote speaker for a small insurance industry group — and had senior executives of quite a few major property & casualty and life insurance companies in the room.

As always, I undertook an extensive amount of detailed research on the latest status of innovation within the industry. In addition, I looked back on my research and interview notes for previous keynotes for CEOs and other executives for the largest insurance companies in the world.

(Last December, I was the opening keynote for the annual Insurance Executive Conference in New York City; in the room was the CEO for Transamerica Life, among others; this is typical of many talks I’ve done within the industry over the course of 20 years)

"Kicking off Executive Leadership Council meeting with our friends @GAMAIntl  & keynote @jimcarroll in Amelia Island"

@IntellectSEEC – “Kicking off Executive Leadership Council meeting with our friends @GAMAIntl & keynote @jimcarroll in Amelia Island”

Let’s face it: the trends are real. The industry will be disrupted by tech companies. Existing brokerage and distribution networks will be obliterated as more people buy insurance direct. Predictive analytics will shift the industry away from actuarial based historical assessment to real-time coverage. Policy niches, micro-insurance and just-in-time insurance will drive an increasing number of revenue models. The Internet of Things (iOt) and healthcare connectivity will provide for massive market and business model disruption. I could go on for hours!

To gauge the current thinking within the industry as to “how to deal with what comes next,” my session included some hands-on, live interactive text-message polling.

Right out of the bat, I asked the participants if they felt ready for the massive disruption now underway in the insurance sector.

And the fact is, they are not:

gama1

Having said that, they know that they are in the midst of some pretty significant change — the majority indicated that they believe that the insurance industry will not look anything in 10 years like it looks today.

gama2

The reaction in the room parallels that of a recent Accenture study that I referenced in my keynote:

  • CSO’s at global companies and 94% of CSO’s at insurance companies agree that tech will “rapidly change their industry in 5 years”
  • fewer than 1 in 5 CSOs in insurance believe their companies are prepared
  • fewer than 1 in 10 believe their companies are “high value achievers”

A similar observation was found in a recent PWC study on the insurance industry:

  • “Nine in 10 insurance executives polled by consultant PwC reckon at least part of their business is at risk over the next five years – a greater proportion than in any other area of finance”

Clearly, these executives know that something needs to be done to deal with the potential for business model disruption in the industry. Yet is the industry prepared to deal with it?

Not really:

  • “Fewer than 50 per cent of respondents in the life and general insurance sectors said they would increase IT spending to help them access new customers.” Fintech is booming – but where are 
the insurance tech startups? 
29 September 2015, City AM

Here’s the current problem: there is tremendous potential for complacency to seep into the industry, particularly as Google has pulled back from its’ Google Compare initiative. (This service let people use a Google tool to do comparison shopping for insurance policies from major carriers; the CEO of Google Compare also spoke at the New York event last December).

  • “Google’s initial failure shows technology firms won’t necessarily have “an easy road” to success in the new sector.” Beating Silicon Valley to the Punch; Digitizing Insurance, 11 March 2016

Is the complacency warranted? Not in my view — I think most tech companies, when disrupting an industry and suffer an initial setback, come back in a bigger and more significant way. It’s most likely that when Google, Amazon, Apple and other tech companies  come back in to disrupt insurance, they won’t be working with major carriers to do it!

  • “Expect that when the megatechs enter the insurance space, they will insist on taking control of a much bigger portion of the sales journey, positioning themselves as an alternative end-to-end solution provider, not just a lead generator.” Life Insurance Disruption, Asia Insurance Review, June 2016

Does the insurance industry have the innovation culture necessary to deal with the potential for what comes next? My next poll gave me a pretty stark response — the industry continues to be bound up in some pretty significant organizational sclerosis.

gama3

Is there a way out of this mess? Can the industry fix the clear strategic mismatch which exists?

In my keynote,  I suggested that disruption in such a significant issue that it really needs to be dealt with at the level of the Board; strategy needs to be kicked up a notch; clear responses and actions are warranted.

Quite clearly, specific responsibility needs to be put in place to implement a  disruption-strategy. Back to the Accenture report:

  • “Companies that have put in place chief digital officers and chief innovation officers and who report directly to the CEO tend to have a dedicated focus on technology-focused initiatives …. That’s a sign that they and C-level peers are taking technology-disruption seriously.”

Industry insight also clearly shows that insurance companies must “partner-up” to deal with the fact they simply don’t have the technology expertise to compete with Google, Amazon and others.

  • “an overarching theme …. not least among them insurers .. is that they cannot face technology driven innovation by themselves” – “How to disrupt the high-tech disruptors”
National Underwriter & Health
September 2016

Are many insurance companies following the path to partner up? Sadly, no:

  • “Only 28% of the respondents said they explored partnerships with fintech companies and less than 14% actively participated in ventures or incubator programmes.” Insurance Companies Slow in 
Bridging Fintch Gap, Mint, July 2016

I’ve been providing strategic level guidance to senior executives in the global insurance industry for over 20 years.

The issues, challenges and opportunities are stark. They’re real. They’re not going away.

Will most companies survive? Maybe not. Stay tuned!

Keynotes: A Note on Customization
September 15th, 2016

I’m about to head out the door to Amelia Island, Florida, where tomorrow morning I will do a talk for a small group of senior executives from the insurance industry — both property & casualty as well as life insurance companies.

I’m thinking its going to be a great talk — built around the theme, “10 Realities and Opportunities with Fintech Disruption.”

As with most talks, there’s been an extensive amount of research — conference calls with the client, not to forget 479 highly-specific articles on trends impacting the insurance industry.

fintech

What’s involved in building a great keynote? Detailed research, such as these articles on the future I’ve insurance that I’m reading through. If you want real insight on future trends and opportunities for innovation that are specific to your industry, give me a call.

On the flight down, I’ll fine tune my presentation, and wade through these articles once again.

I tweeted about this a week ago:

479 articles on the future of #fintech #insurance that I’m reading today – for my keynote in Florida next week for major insurance CEO’s/CxO’s. Some speakers offer pap. Others *customize*. ”Creating a great keynote” -> /keynotes-workshops/creating-a-great-keynote/

This type of research helps me build a keynote that has detailed, industry specific information, such as these nuggets:

  • 2/3 of insurance CEOs see tech as both opportunity & threat” -from a PWC study. (Of course, it makes me wonder — are the rest asleep?
  • nearly 70% of insurance CEOs see the speed of technological change as a threat to growth and more than 60% are concerned about shifts in consumer spending and behaviour

This ties in with other specific, detailed research I’ve undertaken, not to forget the fact that in the last few years, my keynotes have involved audiences that have included the CEO’s of most major North American and global insurance companies.

My keynote includes observations from a  session I did in Philadelphia that included a private one-on-one with the CEO’s of the top 10 P&C companies in North America. 10 years ago, I had the CIO’s for the top 15 P&C/life companies in for a private meeting that went on for two hours.

People book me because they want real insight .

And that’s the reputation I’ve built in the industry — specific, detailed, information and statistic rich presentations that don’t offer motivational pap — but real concrete guidance on strategies, opportunities, challenges and innovation.

If you want real insight on future trends and opportunities for innovation that are specific to your industry, give me a call.

We can talk about the specific ways in which I can help.

 

I was recently interviewed by the folks at the Speciality Foods Association, for my thoughts on what is happening in their sector.

How a Futurist Deciphers Trends
By Brandon Fox, January 2016

RD2008Food1.jpg

Fads have a shorter lifespan, trends have a shorter lifespan, consumers have a shorter attention span.

Author, speaker, and consultant Jim Carroll offers global trend analysis and strategies for change to companies as varied as Johnson & Johnson, the Walt Disney Corporation, and Yum! Brands. Here, he discusses why trends are more complicated than “what’s hot or what’s not,” the lightning speed of consumer influencers, and why experimentation is necessary to build shopper relationships.

WHAT TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY?

Boy, where do we start? I take a different approach—it’s not “what’s hot or what’s not,” but how are things changing and how quickly can specialty food come to market

People are influenced faster than say, five or 10 years ago—or even a year ago—and a lot of that has to do with social networks, but also with just the way new concepts and new ideas are put in front of them.

I spoke to a group of beverage executives a couple of years ago about what was happening with food and alcohol. I told them to think about “Mad Men.” All of sudden, 1960s retro drinks were all the rage. It happened quickly because people are influenced in new and different ways. It’s not, “what are the new taste sensations?” but “where are those new taste sensations coming from?”

[As for what’s emerging now,] consider how hummus grew as a trend—and then consider what comes next: more quinoa, buckwheat, and rice [products] as people seek similar healthy snack and meal options. And there are fascinating new developments like fruit sushi, chocolate-flavored soda, and even bacon-flavored vodka.”

WHERE DO YOU SEE INFLUENCES COMING FROM SPECIFICALLY?

One example I use all the time is bacon. I traced it back from an article that appeared in the Associated Press newswire in March 2011. The article was called “How Bacon Sizzled and People Got Sweet on Cupcakes.” [The author] followed the trend back to a wine distributor in Southern California who, about six years ago, paired a Syrah with peppered bacon at a tasting. That somehow got out onto the blogs of the time and all of a sudden, boom! Bacon became hot. Everyone talks about Facebook and Twitter all the time, but it’s a new kind of connectivity in terms of how we eat and drink and how we share and talk about it.

DO YOU THINK CELEBRITY CHEFS’ INFLUENCE HAS BEEN STRONG ENOUGH TO DRIVE THIS INDUSTRY?

Huge impact. It used to take a new taste trend from a high-end restaurant five years [to filter down] and now it takes six months or three months or less because there is so much exposure. And another thing is food trucks. People can’t meet the high capital cost of a new restaurant, so they roll out a truck. They’re everywhere. You have people with obvious skills. They can now do what they want and get in front of an audience. And with television shows like the Cooking Channel’s “Eat Street,” it’s a supernova that’s moving faster than ever before.

HOW DO YOU DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN SOMETHING THAT’S GOING TO BE SUSTAINED VERSUS A BLIP ON THE RADAR? YOU’VE TALKED ABOUT BEING NIMBLE, BUT IS THERE A DANGER TO JUMPING TOO QUICKLY?

Too fast or too slow? When the low-fat and low-carb trends came along, by the time [companies] got a product to market, the trend had come and gone. One fascinating experience was when I was doing a talk for Reader’s Digest’s food and entertainment magazines on the same day Lehman Brothers went down and the stock market crashed. The focus of the conference quickly became the economic downturn, comfort food, and the fact that people would focus on more grocery shopping and less time in restaurants. That was the day that Campbell’s Soup was the only stock that went up in value. The buzz around the room was that we, as a food industry, are not very fast or agile to respond to these fast-paced trends.

THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN IN 2008—HOW HAVE YOU SEEN THINGS CHANGE SINCE THEN?

I still worry. How far has the industry come along? Well, a little bit. To a large degree, many consumer food companies still have not made much progress. Fads have a shorter lifespan, trends have a shorter lifespan, consumers have a shorter attention span. While you might have had longevity of three to six to 12 months with a particular type of food, is that collapsing now? We’re no longer in a world in which we can sit back and have a one-year planning cycle.

YOU TALK A LOT ABOUT MOBILE TECHNOLOGY. EVERYONE SEEMS TO BE DOING EVERYTHING WITH THEIR PHONES, BUT HOW CAN A COMPANY REALLY LEVERAGE MOBILE?

Think big, start small, scale fast. If you think big and look five years out—you’re, say, an olive oil company—the bottle is going to be intelligent. It’s probably going to have a chip built into it. You’ll 
probably have some type of relationship, either direct or indirect, with the consumer. That’s a given.

HOW WILL A CHIP ON A LABEL OR BOTTLE HELP THE 
COMPANY GET TO KNOW THE CONSUMER?

The consumer might have liked the company on Facebook—maybe there was a very effective ad on Facebook and they have agreed to share their information. That establishes the relationship. When [the consumer] walks into the store, their mobile device has that 
relationship embedded in it and the product with the active 
packaging chip in it recognizes that they’re near and starts running a commercial on an LED screen while they’re walking into the store. It might say something such as, “You’ve liked this before, so here’s a coupon that we’ll zip to your mobile device.”

That kind of freaks me out.

I’m 56 and that kind of freaks me out, too. My son—he’s 20—is in a different world. He views contractual relationships in a very 
different way. Five years, 10 years from now, he’s going to have more of a budget for spending, and will he accept that idea of zipping a coupon to him? I think he will.

There’s a stat I dragged out years ago—the average consumer scans 12 feet of shelf space per second. Think about that. You have very little time to grab their attention, so you’ve got to experiment quickly with new ways of putting [your product] in front of them.

Brandon Fox is the food and drink editor of Style Weekly in Richmond, Virginia. Her work has also appeared in The Local Palate and the Washington Post.

My reputation as a speaker has been built on my ability to take on a very diverse range of very customized topics.PracticeMatch

So it was with my keynote this week for the 2015 PracticeMatch Recruitment Conference — an event geared towards physician recruiters for majors healthcare organization.

I was asked if I could provide a talk that would outline the unique challenges that these folks might face in recruiting the newly graduating Millennial physician. Most certainly — it’s a topic I cover frequently in my keynote, “What’s Happening with Our Workforce: Making Generations Work” (more).

Certainly everyone knows that the Millennial generation is different when it comes to work, career and life; there’s a wealth of statistics such as these:

  • 75% of the workforce will be dominated by Millennials by 2025
  • only 1/3 say that their current job is their career
  • 60% feel they don’t make enough money
  • 69% want more freedom at work
  • 91% expect to stay at their job < 3 years

Yet my talk went beyond such basic observations, and worked into the theme that involved a fundamental presumption: “to recruit Millennial physicians requires understanding the context of the medical system that they will working within — say, the world of healthcare in 2020 that is rapidly evolving today!”

With that, I neatly tied my “Workforce” keynote theme into my healthcare keynote theme “Healthcare 2020: The Transformative Trends That Will Really Define our Future” (more info) (health care clients and blog posts). I took a look at the scientific, technological and other trends that are providing opportunities for innovation in health care, and then put into perspective how those trends would provide for new opportunities and challenges in the recruitment of the next generation physician for hospitals. This was broken down into 4 key themes:

  • transformation
  • bio-connectivity and virtualization
  • the consumerization of healthcare
  • managing the generational disconnect

1. Transformation of healthcare

Spend some time on the healthcare section of my blog, and you’ll understand that my fundamental presumption is this: “By 2020, we will had successfully transitioned the health care system from one which ‘fixed people after they were sick’ to one of preventative, diagnostic medicine. Treating them for the conditions we know they were likely to develop.” That’s a pretty big change, and it is coming about as a result of genomic medicine, an increasing focus on wellness, rapid advances in medical device technology and other trends. Watch this video for the acceleration of genomic medicine.

My key point for the audience was that the new generation of doctors are well attuned to these trends, and would be seeking opportunities at the cutting edge of healthcare solutions. Two key quotes put into perspective their attitudes:

“Young oncologists are often more up to date in molecular genetics and other scientific advances. In addition, they are often looked to for their experience with new drugs.” Generational Difference Among Oncologists: 
Journal of Oncology Practice

Young doctors feel far less loyalty to their employer than Boomer doctors do. A new position for them may not be the start of their lifetime career as much as it is a means for building a personal – and portable – portfolio of career aspects.” Solving Problems in Medical Practice, Journal of Medical Practice Management, August 2013

What’s the impact on Millennial physician recruitment?

  • they will be seeking cutting edge research, experience and opportunities for innovative healthcare solutions
  • they’ll have a greater focus on wellness, patient consultation, and new business models
  • and maybe it is evolving into a situation in which the “Uber” generation meets healthcare!

2. Bio-connectiivty and virtualization of healthcare

The hospital as we know it is going to disappear; it is going virtual through the extension of sophisticated medical device technology. Watch this video for my thoughts on this massive trend.

I’ve been talking about the concept of bio-connectivity for almost 20 years. Consider this blog post. This trend is rapidly unfolding now.

By applying biosensors to the body, we can measure any physiologic metric—blood pressure, glucose, oxygen concentration in the blood—and send the data wirelessly through smartphones to doctors. The Wireless Revolution Hits Medicine Wall Street Journal, February 2013

“Imagine a far more extreme transformation, in which advances in IT, biology and engineering allow us to move much of health care out of hospitals, clinics and doctors offices, and into our everyday lives.” Our high-tech health care future New York Times, 10 Nov 2011

The real impact is simple, as I outlined in this chart:

HealthVirtualization

Quite simply, we’re moving at an accelerating pace towards the virtualization of healthcare, and this has a big impact on recruitment of the next generation physician:

  • they’ll choose hospitals that are at the cutting edge of implementation of new technologies and methodologies
  • the result is that ‘innovation in healthcare’ will be a key recruitment attribute – health institutions that are real innovators will have the greatest potential for success
  • given that, this is not just a recruitment issue – it’s an institution culture/leadership issue!

3. The Consumerizaton of Healthcare

The centuries old relationship between doctor and patient is changing” – that’s also a key phrase that I’ve been using for close to 20 years. Quite obviously, people have been getting more involved with their health over the last two decades, particularly as a result of technology. The trend is now accelerating at a furious pace as a result of mobile devices linked to health care apps, and healthcare devices such as the Withings WiFi blood pressure monitor.

“The trend towards self-quantification, enabled by wearable devices and health apps, has also transformed the ability of patients to monitor and improve their own health” How Millennials are Reshaping Health & Wellness
Quirks Marketing Research, Sept 2015

In that context, the next generation doctor will have a new relationship with a patient:

“While man’s best fired has always been the dog, the millennials best friend is the mobile phone”
Using Technology to Recruit Medical Millennials, Medsource Consultants, Sept. 2015

The impact on recruitment? New, consultative business models, such as :

  • shared medical appointments or “group visits”
  • “open notes” – shared medical records / consultations
  • shared decision making – evaluating multiple treatment options and consulting on best course of action

 

  • they will adopt new methodologies and technologies as fast as their patients do
    R&D budgets, freedom to push the boundaries, new-frontier oriented projects are critical
    promise of a consultative patient relationship critical

4. Generational acceleration

And of course, the simple fact is that this next generation is just fundamentally different when it comes to careers. A few key bullets from my presentation:

  • they want to move quickly up the ranks — little patience for ‘putting in the hours’ or paying the dues (XBOX generation!)
  • they have little patience for administrative clogging and paperwork — an instant, Amazon type of recruitment experience necessary
  • connectivity is critical to their professional skills base — access to shared collaborative physician social networks is a good example of what this social network generation of medical professional will see
  • not only that, faster patient handoff is part of their culture – it’s the multitasking generation!

Other key career issues?

  • mentorship is crucial
  • work-life balance (60% top rated in one survey)\
  • teamwork and collaborative structure using new career partners (hospitalists, nurse practitioners, etc)
  • part time positions (impact of gender demographic shift – 25% of female physicians 30-40 work part time, compared to 2% for males)

And herein lies the challenge: there is a massive cultural gap in hospitals and health care institutions, wherein Baby Boomers in charge look down on the attitudes of this younger generation. I dug out this key example during my research:

Roger Lyons, MD, a managing partner of a 28-physician oncology group in San Antonio, Texas, graduated from medical school in 1967. He paints this picture of his generation of physicians: “In my era people went into medicine for the love of it. Most people had a passion for taking care of patients—that’s what they lived for. Whatever else was going on was always secondary.”

Yet His description of many young physicians is in stark contrast: “What we see now are people whose first interest is how many days off they get in a week, how many weekends they have to cover, how much vacation they get, and whether they have to take call in the evening.”

I asked the audience, how can you possibly hope to recruit the Millennial physician with such attitudes in place? I pointed out that:

  • there is a massive organizational cultural issue that needs to be solved (boomers extreme frustration with Millennials attitude!)
  • cross generational collaboration will drive successful recruitment efforts (“you can’t dismiss them and recruit them”)

Overall, it was a great, fun keynote with a lot of great feedback. I look forward to doing my similar customized events in the future.

Send this to a friend