10 Things That Are True About the Future
(It's fast and instant, big and transformative, unexpected and disrupted)
It’s incredibly fast: It’s the era of acceleration
It’s full of surprises: It hits you most when you don’t expect it
It’s very innovative: It’s being defined by renegades and rebels
It’s incredibly rapid: It involves innovation intensity
It’s here before you know it: It has a huge instantaneity
The rate of change — whether with business models, product life cycles, the rapid emergence of new competitors, business model disruption, skills and knowledge and more! — is speeding up. With such change, there’s a lot of uncertainty within many industries as to what to do next. Jim Carroll often tells the story of a senior executive at one client who put this into perspective, “….entities are engaged in survival tactics because they don’t know what to do next ….”
Here’s a simple reality: Innovation is all about adapting to the future — and if the future is coming at you faster, then you need to innovate faster.
Given that, innovation shouldn’t be about trying to survive the future — it should be about thriving. To thrive, you need to understand the realities of today’s future.
It’s incredibly fast
Product life cycles are collapsing.
It’s said that half of what students learn in their freshman year about science and technology is obsolete or revised by their senior year.
There are furious rates of new scientific discovery.
Time is being compressed.
It hits you most when you don’t expect it.
Every organization must deal with two realities: the rapid emergence of new technologies, and the sudden adoption of new ideas.
If you want to understand what comes next, study Gartner’s concept of “hype-cycles” – it puts into perspective the whole issues of timing.
It involves intensity
80% of the revenue from the typical video game is earned within 4 to 5 days of release. That’s becoming the norm in many industries — although not in days, but perhaps months.
Companies are discovering their new reality involves short, sharp shocks of revenue, followed by a need to constantly re-asses and reinvent.
We must learn to run our business at video-game intensity: in fast paced markets, we need fast paced business capabilities!
It’s being defined by renegades and rebels
Increasingly, the future of many an industry is being defined by industry expatriates. When a real innovator can’t innovate within a company, they step outside, form a startup, and spark massive industry change on their own.
Before you know, they’ve reinvented you, whether you like it or not.
It involves partnership
Old business models involved asking, “what can we do to run our business better?”
The new business model is this: “What can we do to run our customers, suppliers and partners business better?”
Innovators are redefining the concept, making it collaborative and cooperative.
It comes from experiential capital
With a fast future, you must learn and relearn.
Corporate equity isn’t just money: it’s the cumulative experience and knowledge of the team.
Real innovators invest in every new idea, uncertain as to the return of timing, knowing that one day their investment will eventually pay off.
It’s bigger than you think
At one time, people who spoke about an era in which Silicon Valley would become the new centre of the automotive universe were laughed at. And yet today, with self-driving cars and other efforts, it’s not a joke anymore.
Every industry is witnessing similar levels of disruption and acceleration. Complacency is a dangerous thing, particular when every organization is faced with constant, relentless external innovation from unexpected competitors.
It involves innovation inclusivity
With rapid change, everyone in an organization must innovate. It’s no longer a world of “innovation elitists” who seem to believe that only special people can “do” innovation.
It involves a huge adaptability gap
Earlier generations — boomers — have had participated in countless “change management workshops,” reflecting the reality that many of them have long struggled with change.
Gen-Connect — today’s 35 and under — will never think of change management issue.
They just change.
It has a huge instantaneity
The average consumer scans 12 feet of shelf space per second. Most news becomes old hat within 36 hours of emerging.
Rapid prototyping, 3D printing and the maker community mean that a product can go from conception to reality in a matter of weeks – if not days.
We live in the era of the rapid idea-cycle.
It’s more diverse than ever!
Thriving in the future has a leadership that involves everyone involved in innovation.
No idea is too dumb, no opportunity is too small. In an era of fast change, organizations must be relentlessly innovative, and that requires drawing on the skills and creativity of everyone