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Welcome to my new Web site. We went live about 330PM EST today.

There are still a few kinks to work out, but overall, this promises to be a wonderful experience. I’ll be able to draw comments into my blog posts; have more flexibility with blogging and sharing of my insight, and many other capabilities. It was a long overdue move; my last new design rolled out around 2004 or so! (This will be the 6 or 7th major redesign over a 17 year period!)

Kudos to my friends at Echo Factory, a California based agency that has laboured to bring the new site together. They are really cool folks, and I would highly recommend them. In particular, a fellow named Andrew Hoehn for hanging in with tenacity to get the project to its launch.

That intro banner from their Web site just about says it all. I think they’ve done a tremendous job in launching a new Jim Carroll brand.

Let me know what you think! Comments are open.

09FocusonGrowth.jpgMy news tracker picked up this small interview that appeared in Food Processing Magazine a few months ago.

In a tough economy like this, it’s time to hold the line on spending and to be especially cautious of leading-edge technology. Right?

History’s full of companies that leapt ahead of competitors by increasing spending, especially on innovation, during down times. Jim Carroll, author and innovation consultant, recalled a speaking engagement in which he followed the CEO of a global restaurant chain, who spoke for a brief but powerful 20 minutes.

“For the first minute, he spoke about the global economy and the meltdown. He then spent the next 19 minutes identifying eight growth opportunities and how this organization could do great things if they relentlessly obsessed over them.

“How cool is that?” asks Carroll. “All these other companies are retrenching, pulling back, and here’s a guy who’s saying to his team, ‘Let’s focus on growth.’ ”

He says growth plans and strategic if judicious spending is mandatory for managing during a downturn. Companies that aren’t paralyzed by total spending freezes can get the jump on those competitors who are. And when the economy is back on track a year or whatever from now, Carroll says only then will we be able to point to companies and say which ones lagged and failed and which ones “took risks and did great things.”


  • Read the original article

images-3.jpegAlmost fifteen years ago, when I first got onto the speaking circuit, I registered the domain name. Often, that drew me many visitors looking for the “other” Jim Carroll.

Sadly, that other Jim Carroll is no longer with us.

Jim Carroll, poet, punk rocker, Pulitzer Prize winner, and best known as author of the Basketball Diaries, died of a heart attack in New York at the age of 60.

When I was in my 20’s, I bought all his albums, and several of his books. I was a fan. I am sad to see him go. I did meet him in person once.

For more information on Jim Carroll, visit the CatholicBoy.Com Web site, which has been meticulously maintained by a fan through the years.

Jim Carroll, futurist, trends & innovation expert

I’m off till the end of the month, but with a bit of an update: we’ve been through a tornado.

This is a photo just about 1/2 mile from our place ; we saw it from a window as it passed by. If you look at the 2nd, lower funnel, we were just about below that to the east.

Quite the experience!

The great news is: everyone in the area is ok, the damage was significant but restricted; the swathe was just about 100 feet wide!

There are more photos at my twitter feed,

100Days5.jpgOver the last few weeks, I’ve had a variety of conference calls with CEO’s or senior executives for a variety of clients in the retail, food, industrial manufacturing and consumer product industries.

All of these calls have been related to upcoming keynotes. For example, in May, I’ll be the opening keynote speaker for 3,500 people for a massive global food company in Las Vegas.

The sentiment that comes through from many of these calls is that “the organization needs to move faster” in adapting to rapid market, consumer, brand and competitive change. They realize that in order to do that, they need to change how their organization can scale, collaborate, and share insight on trends, opportunities, challenges and threats.

There’s a critical innovation tip there. Innovative organizations EXCEL at forming fast teams. They’ve realized that their future success comes from scaling — scaling means pulling together key skills at an instant to tackle a new issue. Executing scale is critical — indeed, this is likely a critical success factor for all organizations in the future.

There are still many organizations out there who don’t have this capability. They’re based on decades of hierarchical structure; they’ve been slow and ponderous in their ability to deal with a world in which faster is the new fast. Yet they now know, given the speed of change within the last six months, that the concept of corporate agility is critical, and that increasing, agility is defined by the ability to form fast teams.

100Days2.jpgWhen thinking about new product or service development, don’t do it in isolation. Seek advice and guidance from your business partners — or, even let them drive the innovation agenda.

This is the lesson I learned from a large company in the consumer goods/entertainment space. They had traditionally been responsible for an innovation plan that went like this:

  • Get the assortment right, i.e. in terms of new product
  • Figure out the merchandising plan
  • Then do the marketing

They then realized that trends and consumer choice was evolving so fast, that they no longer had a truly good grasp on the innovation agenda that they should be pursuing. They also came to realize they were taking product to retailers — but the depth of insight from retailers meant that they saw entirely different product and market opportunities.

So what did they do? They went outside — and learned how to work with the retailers, by having the retailers do much of the product innovation. Soon, the innovation pipeline worked like this:

  • Figure out the marketing plan, what unique ideas could be pursued in terms of consumer choice, attitude, brands
  • From that, determine what merchandise, packaging and products to produce
  • And then get the assortment right

Going upside-down is a powerful innovation concept — it challenges you to do things differently. More important, it pushes you into a mindset where you are pursuing partnership oriented innovation, with the result that have better, fresh, unique, external insight.

All too often an organization loses its ability to innovate because it becomes very internally focused — it can’t see beyond its own walls. People become narrow in their focus, and fail to see big opportunities.

Going upside-down changes this, in so many ways, and it’s one of the most important innovation ideas that you can pursue.

  • Can we talk – upside-down innovation?

Recent keynote titles
June 1st, 2008

Jim Carroll has been on stage for 20 years, and has spoken to hundreds of thousands of people. There’s a certain degree of insight that comes from such experience. It’s not just the deep industry insight that Jim has into countless industries — it’s the way he manages to get across the message.

Jim Carroll speaks to a huge range of topics related to future trends and innovation – he’s been booked by NASA, the Walt Disney Corporation, the PGA of America, Johnson & Johnson and the Swiss Innovation Forum, among others.

Recent keynote titles – General topics

  • The Jetsons Have Arrived 50 Years Early: What Are YOU Going to Do About It? 
  • What Do World Class Innovators Do That Others Don’t Do? 
  • Think Big, Start Small, Scale Fast: Innovating in the Age of Disruption 
  • Driving the Future – Linking the Acceleration of Golf to The Speed of Business
  • The Masters in Business Imagination: Motivational Guidance for the Era of Fast 
  • The Lessons of Powerful Optimism: Rethinking the Future Right Now! 
  • Innovating in The Era of Accelerated Uncertainty: How to Adapt to the New World of Volatility 

Potential topic descriptions – Industry specific topics

  • The Disruption, Transformation & Reinvention of Manufacturing
  • Accelerating the Auto Industry in the Era of Self-Driving Vehicles 
  • Insurance in the era of Disruption: The Challenge of Change with Fintech, Accelerated Risk and More
  • The Internet of Things: Disruption and Opportunity in an Era of Pervasive Connectivity 
  • Healthcare 2025: The Transformative Trends That Will REALLY Define Our Future 
  • The Future of Education: Rethinking Opportunity in the Era of Knowledge Velocity 
  • Big Trends in Agriculture: What Will the World’s Oldest Profession Look Like in 2045? 

Through the years, he has spoken on stage to a wide variety of trends and issues. Here are other keynote titles used by various clients:

  • 7 Things You Should Do Right Now If Your Strategy for Tomorrow is Already Today’s Yesterday
  • Where’s the Growth? What’s Hot and Not When Volatility Rocks!
  • 7 Things You Need to Do Right Now: Aligning The Fast Future to Your Current Strategy
  • Game Changers: The 8 Big Trends That Will Rock Your World
  • What Do Innovative Companies Do? How to Unlock Your Potential in the High Velocity Economy
  • OMG! What to Do If Your Strategy for Tomorrow is So Yesterday
  • Where’s the Growth? What’s Hot When Volatility Rocks!
  • What’s Happening with Your Workforce: Making Generations Work!
  • What Comes Next? Leadership Insight for the High-Velocity Economy
  • Agility, Insight & Execution: Establishing High Performance Teams in the Multi-Second Economy
  • Leading the Future: Leadership in an Era of Innovation and Change
  • The New 2.0: Staying Ahead When Everything Today is Already So “Yesterday!”
Recent topic areas
January 1st, 2008

jim-topics.jpgJim Carroll covers dozens of concise issues in a huge number of different industries, including

  • life sciences
  • health care
  • insurance
  • automotive
  • manufacturing
  • agriculture
  • technology
  • education
  • consumer goods
  • marketing and advertising
  • government
  • retail
  • banking ….

Some of the recent topics covered include

  • hyper-innovation and rapid time to market
  • Gen-Connect
  • career obsolescence
  • competing in a post-flat world
  • just-in-time knowledge
  • global economic trends
  • de-commoditization strategies
  • high-velocity marketing
  • global health care issues
  • the global innovation idea loop
  • corporate agility
  • the rapid emergence of big-markets
  • the science-driven skills crisis
  • bio-connectivity
  • marketing to Gen-Y / Gen-Connect
  • nomadic workers
  • experiential knowledge
My Dad
November 11th, 2007

It’s Veteran’s Day in the US, and Remembrance Day in Canada.

Every year as November 11 approaches and we remember wars past, I put up a TV clip featuring my dad. Al Carroll was a World War II veteran, and was proud of the service he gave to his country.

He never really talked about the war too much — but certainly made sure that young people understood what it was about.

He was involved in a junior high school program just before he died 9 years ago ….. doing just that. It’s worth a watch.

Watch the video clip

Ready, set, DONE!
July 6th, 2007

summertime.jpgJust about thirty seconds ago, I finished off the final chapter of my next book. We’ll fire up the editing process next week. It should be out mid-fall.

I’ve even finalized on a title, after coming up with about a half a dozen: Ready, Set, Done: How to Innovate When Faster is the New Fast.

It was certainly a project — there’s so much going on, that it’s been hard to get the exact idea down on paper. But this was a huge milestone. And now it’s summertime, with only a few upcoming keynotes …. and lots of time in the pool!

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