I’m doing a lot of interviews these days around the future of agriculture. Maybe that’s because I’m doing a lot of keynotes in this field (pardon the pun), but also because a lot of searches for trends in agriculture hit my site.
“Plants might someday be able to analyze themselves, through genetic coding or embedded computer chips, he says. Do your plants need a nitrogen boost or a drink of water? They’ll send alerts directly to your computer.”
Here’s the latest, from AgWeb / The Farm Journal Technology publication. You can find the original article here.
What will agriculture look like in 2043?
by Ben Potter, Farm Journal Technology, April 2013
Driverless tractors! Weed-zapping robots! Data-transmitting crops! Forecasting what farms will be like 30 years from now might seem an exercise in science fiction, but imagine how alien today’s farms might appear to someone from the early 1980s. Imagine pulling a farmer aside from that era and trying to explain telematics or precision ag technology. Imagine explaining what your smartphone can do.
Making a multi-decade forecast is a challenge, admits David Nicholson, head of research and development at Bayer CropScience.
“I always say we can look 10 years into the future because that’s how long research and development projects take,” he says. “We know what’s going to happen because it’s in our labs and our pipelines today.”
Anything beyond that window is trickier, says Nicholsen, who foresees a more localized precision ag experience.
“It will be precise,” he explains. “That seed in that bit of the field is working well. That same seed in that other bit of the field isn’t. Why? What’s different? We will have the tools to do plant-by-plant analysis.”
Noted futurist Jim Carroll takes the idea a step further. Plants might someday be able to analyze themselves, through genetic coding or embedded computer chips, he says. Do your plants need a nitrogen boost or a drink of water? They’ll send alerts directly to your computer.
“It’s not farfetched to think of intelligent plants with connectivity,” Carroll says. In fact, connectivity is a concept that will drive agricultural advancements as the next generation moves in.
“The farmer of 2043 is five today,” Carroll says. “He or she has never known a world without mobile devices and mass connectivity.”
Another driving force comes down to mathematics, says Ron Restum, vice president of North America sales with Koch Agronomic Services.
The generally accepted equation is a world population of 9 billion people by the year 2050 with a dwindling amount of available arable land. Therefore, Restum says farmers must produce more bushels per acre, or the numbers won’t pencil out.
Technology Driven. ”Progress will have to be tech-driven,” Restum says. “We have to continue to be on the forefront of R&D.” Some technologies that sound far-flung should be staples before 2043, but technology and human concerns must be balanced before a product can be integrated.
The autonomous tractor is a prime example. Several companies have developed prototypes. John Deere has been working on driverless tractors for 5 to 10 years, according to Bob Dyar, a product manager with the company’s Intelligent Solutions Group.
“The real hurdles aren’t technological ones—they’re social ones,” Dyar says. How comfortable would you feel driving down the highway and seeing a driverless car alongside, he asks. A similar comfort level for driverless tractors will take time to develop, he says.
“It’s quite easy to make a tractor autonomous where it can drive itself,” Dyar says. “The challenge is making it perceptive, so you trust it not to hit a tree or the family dog.”
If farming goes “robotic,” will a farmer’s role fundamentally change? The farmer becomes the general, and the office serves as the command center where the troops (remote-controlled tractors, robots armed with lasers that identify and zap weeds and insects) are sent into battle each day.
What the farm of the future will look like is anybody’s guess, says Craig Ratajczyk, Illinois Soybean Association chief executive officer. “Significant changes are inevitable,” he says. “Thirty years from now, farming won’t look anything like it does today.”
I appear online and in the April issue of Growing Produce magazine in Florida, talking about some trends impacting the future of agriculture.
The “robotic tractor of the future isn’t too far away!
The Future Is Now In Agricultural Technologies March 14, 2013 By Frank Giles
If you could look into a crystal ball and see the future of agriculture over the next 25 years, you would be blown away and find some of it hard to imagine. And, you might be surprised that what seems futuristic is already happening on the farm.
When considering the pace of technological advancements, Moore’s Law is constructive. It generally states that computing power doubles every two years (some say 18 months). While the computing power doubles, the price for the technology falls.
Think about Apple’s iPhone. Every year the company introduces two new-and-improved versions of the phone. Each one is a little faster and can do more stuff, while the earlier versions get cheaper in price.
While all these gee-whiz advancements seem to be happening most in consumer electronics, don’t be fooled. It is happening in agriculture, too. Jim Carroll and Jack Uldrich are two popular futurists on the speaking circuit across the U.S. Both say the wave of innovation impacting agriculture will be staggering in the coming years. “We live in tremendous times and tend to overlook the leaps we’ve made particularly in agriculture,” says Uldrich.
Sensors And Bots
The size of computer sensors are getting smaller, but more powerful over time, while the price drops. Imagine a watermelon field with tiny sensors spread thoughout connected to the vines to inform the grower exactly what plants need for water and other inputs. “These sensors are getting so affordable they already are being used in West Coast vineyards and on farms in Israel,” says Urldrich. “That may sound like science fiction, but who would have imagined 25 years ago that today we would have immediate access to the world’s encyclopedia in our pockets via the use of smartphones.”
Carroll says robotics will be having an impact on the farm quicker than people would believe. “The technology for autonomous vehicles is already pretty mature,” he says. “If you have a meeting with Google in San Jose, they’ll pick you up at the airport in an autonomous car. There’s a person inside ‘just in case.’ It will probably be easier to deploy on a farm than on a highway.
Given all the controversy around immigration reform, Uldrich says robots might fill in for harvest in the future.“There are people at MIT who have developed a robot so sophisticated that it can detect when a tomato is ripe and so sensitive it can pick it without damaging the fruit,” he says. “Robotic technology is getting better, faster, and more affordable. It will allow us to do much more in harvesting a wide variety of crops.”
A Whole New World
There is a viral YouTube clip of a 1-year-old girl trying to manipulate a print magazine like an iPad. She moves her fingers around the magazine to no avail — it does nothing. Give her an iPad and she’s delighted flicking through screens with her fingers.
Jack Uldrich marvels that technology is becoming so user-friendly and intuitive that a baby can figure it out. “What will that little girl expect for information as she gets older,” he asks. “She will want to interact with information. She will want to know who grew the oranges she buys. Social media already is providing this opportunity for interaction and the demand for it will only grow in the future.”
Two years ago, I was the keynote speaker for an annual conference of Consumer Goods and Technology Magazine, and from that a great relationship was born, with a few repeat bookings into other conferences and events that they run.
“Pacesetters today can swiftly and suddenly change the pace and structure of an industry, and other competitors have to scramble to keep up” – Grab the full CGT report with the image above!
And for the second year in a row, I’m featured in their 2013 Review & Outlook: The best and brightest minds in consumer goods share predictions and guidance for the coming year ￼publication, with many other luminaries in the industry.
My contribution follows below. You can grab the entire PDF of the report by clicking on the image of the cover. Registration is required.
Jim Carroll, Futurist, Trends & Innovation Expert
The future belongs to those who are fast!
In the world of retail in 2013 and beyond, we will be seeing the more rapid emergence of new ways of doing business, and it’s leading us to a time in which companies have to instantly be able to copy any move made by their competition — or risk falling behind.
For example, think about what is going on in retail, with one major trend defining the future: the Apple Store checkout process, which involves the elimination of the cash register. Apple has such an impact on retail design and consumer behaviour today that many other retailers are now scrambling to duplicate the process, trying to link themselves to the cool Apple cachet.
That’s the new reality in the world of business — pacesetters today can swiftly and suddenly change the pace and structure of an industry, and other competitors have to scramble to keep up.
Consider this scenario, which recently unfolded: Amazon. com announces a same day delivery in some major centers. Google and Walmart almost immediately jump on board. And in just a short time, retailers in every major city are going to have to be able to play the same game!
Then there is in-store promotion. We’re entering the era of constant video bombardment in the retail space. How fast is the trend toward constant interaction evolving? Consider the comments by Ron Boire, the new chief marketing officer for Sears in the United States (and former chief executive of Brookstone Inc.): ”My focus will really be on creating more and better theater in the stores.”
We are going to see a linking of this “in-store theater” with mobile devices and social networking relationships. Our Facebook app for a store brand (or the fact we’ve ‘”liked” the brand) will know we’re in the store, causing a customized commercial to run, offering us a personalized product promo- tion with a hefty discount. This type of scenario will be here faster than you think!
Fast format change, instant business model implementation, rapid-fire strategic moves — that’s the new reality for retail busi- ness, and it’s the innovators who will adapt.
Here’s an interview that was taken after my keynote for Process Excellence Network in Orlando in January.
“Companies have lost control of the future,” says futurist and author Jim Carroll, “And they have to learn to play into that reality.” Mobile devices, intelligent connected technology, and changing demographics are driving vast changes in consumer behaviour and expectations. The rise of technology has also led to an increasing concentration of power in the hands of customers who now have more information about companies than ever before.
In this PEXNetwork.com video interview, Jim Carroll talks about how this means that companies now need the ability to be flexible and continually reinvent themselves – in both products and services – in order to respond to the fast changing habits of consumers. This, he says, means “faster is the new fast” where victory goes to the company that has the ability to adapt and respond, especially in rolling out the right process at the right time to launch a new product or service.
Futurist and retail expert Jim Carroll will take the stage at the CADA Summit on Feb. 13 in Toronto and give dealers a wake up call about how quickly their world is about to change. “The pace of innovation in the automobile or truck that they are selling has shifted from Detroit to Silicon Valley,” says Carroll in an interview with Canadian auto dealer. “That’s a huge and seismic change.”
“The pace of innovation in the automobile or truck that they are selling has shifted from Detroit to Silicon Valley,” says Carroll in an interview with Canadian auto dealer. “That’s a huge and seismic change.”
Carroll is one of the keynote speakers at the one day summit event created by the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association. “Detroit is losing control of its innovation future as it shifts to the technology industry,” he says. “The industry is going to innovate at the speed of Apple, Google and high-tech companies as opposed to the speed of Detroit. There is a massive and sudden acceleration of change that comes with that.”
Shifting customer expectations are driving part of that change as drivers will now expect their vehicles to be as advanced, easy to use and even as “replaceable” as their smartphones and tablet devices that are so central to their lives.
He says dealers need to ensure their staff is ready to adapt to the change. “A car you sell today might be out of date two years from now,” he says. “How do you keep your salesforce and service force up to date with that speed of change?”
“Some people see a trend and see a threat. Real innovative people see the same trend and they see opportunity. That’s what dealers need to ensure they do when they think about this very fast paced future,” says Carroll.
Mobile will also forever change the retail experience and dealers will need to adjust to provide better customer experiences. “I will talk about the changes going on in retail,” says Carroll. “Mobile is the big story.”
He says social media and mobile shopping is having a huge impact on purchasing decisions. “There is a lot of technology that is coming that will link to mobile.” These new technologies will forever change the customer interaction with retailers. “It’s happening very, very quickly,” says Carroll.
Carroll is one of more than 20 speakers and panelists who will be featured at this one day summit aimed at helping Canadian dealers get a glimpse of what lies ahead so they can be better prepared.
After his keynote address, Carroll will join a panel of recognized dealer retail experts for a discussion about these trends. The retail panel is hosted by Canadian auto dealer columnist and industry expert Chuck Seguin. CADA Laureates Christian Chia, Trevor Boquist and Paul Shaw will be on the panel.
Another high profile keynote speaker is Bob Lutz, former vice-chairman of GM, and an auto industry insider who is highly regarded and whose views are much sought after. President Obama’s former Car Czar Steven Rattner is also a featured keynote speaker.
Sessions at the CADA Summit range from updates on economic trends, retail and consumer trends, a panel of manufacturers featuring the Canadian leaders of Ford, VW and Kia, insights from the elite of Canada’s auto dealers — the CADA Laureates, perspectives from media pundits, and more.
Paul Clark, President & CEO, TD Auto Finance will present economic insights as part of the morning session. TD Auto Finance is the exclusive CADA Summit sponsor.
Here’s some of the key trends that I see unfolding through 2013 and beyond.
My unique job allows me the opportunity to see and hear what a lot of CEO’s and senior executives in a lot of organizations are thinking about. The nature of my keynotes and small board / leadership meetings allows me to understand what folks are focused on. The research I do, whether for a major manufacturing conference in Las Vegas or a small corporate meeting with an ice cream company allows me to see the key trends that are unfolding right now.
And so given this unique perch, here’s some of the most important trends which will play out in the year to come.
1. Moore’s law – everywhere!
Going forward, every single industry, from health care to agriculture to insurance and banking, will find out that change will start to come at the speed of Moore’s law — a speed of change that is MUCH faster than they are used too. (Remember, Moore’s law explains that roughly, the processing power of a computer chip doubles every 18 months while its cost cuts in half. It provides for the pretty extreme exponential growth curve we see with a lot of consumer and computer technology today.)
Consider health care. Genomic medicine is moving us from a world in which we fix people after they are sick – to one where we know what they will likely become sick with as a result of DNA testing. And that’s where Moore’s law kicks in, as Silicon Valley takes over the pace of development of the genomic sequencing machines. It took $3 billion to sequence the first genome, which by 2009 had dropped to $100,000. It’s said that by mid-summer, the cost had dropped to under $10,000, and by the end of the year, $1,000. In just a few years, you’ll be able to go to a local Source by Circuit City and buy a little $5 genomic sequencer – and one day, such a device will cost just a few pennies.
The collapsing cost and increasing sophistication of these machines portends a revolution in the world of health care. Similar trends are occurring elsewhere – in every single industry, we know one thing: that Moore’s law rules! Hence, my catchphrase — the future belongs to those who are fast!
2. Loss of the control of the pace of innovation
What happens when Moore’s law appears in every industry? Accelerating change, and massive business model disruption as staid, slow moving organizations struggle to keep up with faster paced technology upstarts.
Consider the world of car insurance — where we soon will see a flood of GPS based driver monitoring technologies that will measure your speed, acceleration and whether you are stopping at all the stop signs. Show good driving behavior, and you’ll get a rebate on your insurance. It’s happening in banking, with the the imminent emergence of the digital wallet and the trend in which your cell phone becomes a credit card.
In both cases, large, stodgy, slow insurance companies and banks that move like molasses will have to struggle to fine tune their ability to innovate and keep up : they’re not used to working at the same fast pace as technology companies. Not only that, while they work to get their innovation agenda on track, they’ll realize with horror that its really hard to compete with companies like Google, PayPal, Facebook, and Apple — all of whom compete at the speed of light.
It should make for lots of fun!
3. ”Follow the leader” business methodologies
We’re also witnessing the more rapid emergence of new ways of doing business, and it’s leading us to a time in which companies have to instantly be able to copy any move by their competition – or risk falling behind.
For example, think about what is going on in retail, with one major trend defining the future: the Apple checkout process. Given what they’ve done, it seems to be all of a sudden, cash registers seem to be obsolete. And if you take a look around, you’ll notice a trend in which a lot of other retailers are scrambling to duplicate the process, trying to link themselves to the cool Apple cachet.
That’s the new reality in the world of business — pacesetters today can swiftly and suddenly change the pace and structure of an industry, and other competitors have to scramble to keep up. Consider this scenario: Amazon announces a same day delivery in some major centers. Google and Walmart almost immediately jump on board. And in just a short time, retailers in every major city are going to have be able to play the same game!
Fast format change, instant business model implementation, rapid fire strategic moves. That’s the new reality for business, and it’s the innovators who will adapt.
4. All interaction — all the time!
If there is one other major trend that is defining the world of retail and shopping, take a look at all the big television screens scattered all over the store! We’re entering the era of constant video bombardment in the retail space. How fast is the trend towards constant interaction evolving? Consider the comments by Ron Boire, the new Chief Marketing Officer for Sears in the US (and former chief executive of Brookstone Inc.): ”My focus will really be on creating more and better theater in the stores.”
We are going to see a linking of this ‘in-store theater’ with our mobile devices and our social networking relationships. Our Facebook app for a store brand (or the fact we’ve ‘liked’ the brand) will know we’re in the store, causing a a customized commercial to run, offering us a personalized product promotion with a hefty discount. This type of scenario will be here faster than you think!
5. Products reinvented
Smart entrepreneurs have long realized something that few others have clued into : the future of products is all about enhancement through intelligence and connectivity. Nail those two aspects, and you suddenly sell an old product at significantly higher new prices.
Consider the NEST Learning Thermostat. It’s design is uber-cutting edge, and was in fact dreamed up by one of the key designers of the iPad. It looks cool, it’s smart, connected, and there’s an App for that! Then there is a Phillips Hue Smart LED Lightbulb, a $69 light bulb that is uber-smart, connected, and can be controlled from your mobile device. Both are sold at the Apple store!
Or take a look at the Withings Wi-Fi Body Scale – I’ve got one at home. Splash a bit of design onto the concept of a home weigh scale, build it with connectivity, link it to some cool online graohis and you’ve got a device that will take your daily weight, BMI and body-fat-mass tracking into a real motivational tool. Where is it sold? Why, at the Apple store too!
Do you notice a trend here?
6. Careers reinvented
For those who think that the economy in North America sucks, here’s an open secret: there’s been an economic recovery underway for quite some time, as companies in every sector ranging from manufacturing to agriculture work hard to reinvent themselves. It just doesn’t involve a lot of new jobs, because the knowledge required to do a new job in today’s economy is pretty complex. We’ve moved quickly from the economy of menial, brute force jobs to new careers that require a lot of high level skill. The trend has been underway for a long, long time.
Consider the North American manufacturing sector, a true renaissance industry if there ever was one! Smart engineers at a wide variety of manufacturing organizations have transformed process to such a degree, and involved the use of such sophisticated robotic technology, that the economic recovery in this sector involves workers who have to master a lot of new knowledge. One client observed of their manufacturing staff: “The education level of our workforce has increased so much….The machinists in this industry do trigonometry in their heads.”
Similar skills transitions are underway in a wide variety of other industries….
7. The Rise of the Small over Incumbents
You’ve likely see the commercials for Square, the small little device that lets your iPhone become a credit card. Once again, small little upstarts are causing turmoil, disruption and competitive challenge in larger industries — and often times, the incumbents are too slow to react.
Anyone who has ever tried to get a Merchant Account from Visa, MasterCard or American Express in order to accept credit cards knows that it is likely trying to pull teeth from a pen – many folks just give up in exasperation. Square, on the other hand, will send you this little device for free (or you can pick one up at the Apple Store.) Link it to your bank account, and you’re in business.
So while credit card companies have been trying to figure out the complexities of the future of their industry, a small little company comes along and just does something magical! No complexities, no challenges, no problems.
8. The Energy-Driven Economic Rebirth!
What is occurring in the US right now in terms of advanced energy discovery techniques – whether with shale gas, horizontal drilling, new subsea mapping technologies or other new discovery, exploration and production techniques — is probably one of the most significant trends of this decade. And in North America, the next economic recovery is happening now because of of this. We are going to witness a resurgence of industry in North America.
Consider this : PriceWaterhouseCoopers has suggested that high rates of shale gas recovery could result in a million new manufacturing jobs by 2025 in the US, and the fact that revived natural gas industry “has the potential to spark a manufacturing renaissance in the U.S., including billions in cost savings, a significant number of new jobs and a greater investment in U.S. plants.”
9. The revolution that is mobile health and fitness.
Every industry in the world today finds itself in the midst of dramatic change, as mobile smartphone technology comes to change business models, consumer behaviour, and entire professions. No where is this more evident today than what is happening in the world of health care, wellness and fitness, as a flood of new apps and technologies emerge that will forever change this world. There is an absolute revolution going on involving the “consumerization of fitness and wellness.” At this moment in time, we are witnessing the perfect confluence of several major trends:
the first signs of the reality of the massive scope of the health care crisis (both disease, lifestyle and funding related) as baby boomers begin to flood the health care system with requirements for extra care
a renewed and significant focus on “preventative” health care concepts” ;
structural change aimed at wellness programs so that people work harder to avoid or reduce the impact of lifestyle disease;
and the rapid emergence of new technologies — many involving the smart-phones that have become a ubiquitous part of our lifestyle – that can motivate consumers to do so much more with their personal fitness and wellness.
Companies are recognizing there is a big opportunity to be innovative with managing health care costs through a proactive approach that involves wellness. It’s a good example of the deep, transformative thinking that is occurring with many organizations in the health care system worldwide . Organizations are moving beyond the endless political debate, and are instead, putting in place practical, innovative programs that can help organizations manage health care costs, and employees can actively work at improving their overall health and fitness.
10. Thinking big means winning big!
“There are people who are making big bold bets, big bold decisions, we are going to change the world and we are going to do things differently.” That phrase was from my opening keynote for the 2012 Accenture International Utilities and Energy Conference last week in San Francisco. It’s a good sentiment, and a good video clip to close out this post!
Where do you stand? In a company that is focused on small, incremental nothingness, or one that is set out to change the world?
I had the opportunity to meet, and briefly chat with Steve Wozniak yesterday.
You might understand that in my job, in which I’m opening and closing conferences all over the place, that I meet a lot of people. I certainly do!
But this was a personal thrill. I started out in the world of technology in 1982, with a Radio Shack Model III computer. It had 64k of memory, and a 128K disk drive. The Apple I and the Apple II were still to come a few years later.
I watched it all unfold as I found my life and career immersed into the world of technology. (The astute observers among you will note I am wearing my Slashdot shirt. If you don’t understand that, don’t worry. Others will!)
I must say about what I saw yesterday — Steve Wozniak chatted with as many people as he could. He shook hands. He posed for pictures. He smiled an incessant smile. He just told stories with enthusiasm and passion.
What a wonderful fellow. The world would do well with more like him!
So I’ve been running around for years, preaching my mantra to many global organizations that a key chance for innovation success will come from the ability to align yourself to fast paced future trends…
We’re in the era of the end of incumbency, in which small dominates big, fast trumps ponderous, and indecision spawns failure.
So I was thrilled when I was discovered by, and eventually booked, by the Toronto Agile community, for the 2012 Agile Tour Toronto conference, being held next Monday morning in Toronto.
As with all clients, I’ve spent some time to understand who these folks are, what they do, and what they think. One evening, over some refreshments, I had a wonderful discussion with their team that helped me to realize that my theme, and the spirit of Agile (yes, it’s capitalized) are perfectly aligned.
So here’s the thing: if you want to understand how your organization will survive and thrive in a world in the future belongs to those who are fast, you should understand and learn about Agile. It’s pretty darned important. Here’s a good starting point – the session description for my keynote on Monday below. But more important, you want to take a look at the Manifesto for Agile Software Development, and the Principles behind the Agile Manifesto.
And then dig deeper from there. Talk to some of these folks. Discover if you’ve got them on your software team, internally or externally. If you don’t, find out why not — because it’s probably a key indicator that you aren’t positioned to keep up with the change that is occurring with your company and the industry that you compete in.
Oh — and if you want to come on Monday, you can’t. The event sold out months ago. Agile is that important!
Aligning Acceleration and Agility: The Business Case for Fast!
To say that we live in a fast world would be an understatement. Small, quick upstarts like Square are challenging the global credit card industry, at the same that GPS based driver monitoring devices are rewriting the rules of the auto insurance industry. The NEST Learning Thermostat morphs from a quiet startup to a worthy challenger to industrial energy device powerhouses. Autonomous vehicle technology leads us to road trains and a more rapid emergence of intelligent highway infrastructure. We’re in the era of the end of incumbency, in which small dominates big, fast trumps ponderous, and indecision spawns failure. Everywhere we look, we can see acceleration, speed, and velocity: and in times like these, time isn’t a luxury.
For any software professional, these trends matter — because we are at the dawn of a time in which “software is poised to take over the world.” That’s not an understatement – it’s a reality. And with that trend, the role of Agile is shifting, from a means of bringing reproducibility, consistency and sanity to the software development process — to a foundation for “what comes next.” It’s clear that the values and practices behind Agile, such as the focus on testing, tight feedback cycles and accelerated learning, continuous or frequent releases, responding to fast change, serve as the backbone of what you need to be a fast organization. Today, companies like Google can succeed because of their ability to get new functionality out to end users quickly, in order to test the market, or to respond to accelerating trends.
Agile is a great facilitator to help you be fast. Join us as Jim Carroll takes us on a voyage into how the new rules of business and technology are providing for a reality in which the spirit of agility isn’t just an option – it’s the new normal.
I spend a lot of time speaking to global financial organizations —some of the world’s largest institutions — helping them understand what they need to do from an innovation perspective to stay ahead offast paced change.
These talks are often aimed at the idea of “how do we need to transition our advisory services — as financial planners,investment advisors, wealth managers — to keep up with fast paced change?” No where is that question more important than when thinking about the impact of technology and social networks on investing. Think about the change that the investment industry faces. We are witnessing the early stages of a massive transition of wealth from one generation to another. The numbers are staggering: we’ll see $12 to $18 trillion in intergenerational wealth transfer In the next12 years (US GDP is $12 trillion) in North America; and by 2053, some $130 trillion will have moved from one generation to another.
When it comes to financial services, adopt change as a mantra and prepare yourself to reach, support and interact with Gen-Connect in new and different ways.
That’s a lot of money sloshing around — and much of it is going to a new, tech-savvy financial consumer.
This next generation — I call them Gen-Connect — continue to aggressively integrate technology into their lives; they’re busy researching health care, insurance, retirement planning and investment advice online, on Facebook and through other social channels.
So what do you do? Adopt change as a mantra and prepare yourself to reach, support and interact with Gen-Connect in new and different ways.
Here’s a list of innovation strategies I provided in a recent keynote for a major global financial institution
1. Focus on growth
With so much volatility in the financial sector, it’s all too easy to take your eye off of the “opportunity ball.”
Yet there are huge opportunities that surround us ; probably the biggest is that we are going to witness a massive intergenerational transfer of wealth from the baby boomer generation to their uber-wiredGen-Connect children. In every area of the world this is going to involve a requirement for a lot of financial advice. As I noted in my remarks for a recent keynote to a group of senior bankers: “Never before has the need for financial advice for Australians been greater;only 20% of Australians are currently getting professional advice.”The same holds true for North America.
That means there are tremendous opportunities for growth! For many, access to financial advice is still too hard and complicated – that’s why it’s a great time to innovate, in order to build market share!!!!
2. Structure for fast paced change
There are several certainties in the financial sector as a result of the impact of technology.
We will see more business model change as companies leverage technology to change relationships in the world of wealth management; we will see more sophisticated competition as a result, and continuous business model disruption with new, young upstarts that really know how to leverage technology and social network relationships. Combine this with continual shifts in consumer behaviour as we manage more of our money and investments using online tools — and speed things up with even faster technology-driven fast change, such as with the impact of mobile technologies.
What happens when ‘there’s an App for everything’in wealth management? That’s what you need to keep up with!
3. Reshape brand messages faster
Clearly there’s a lot of fast-paced change in financial services , and it’s critical that financial institutions continue to reshape their brand at the pace of rapidly changing consumer perception.
Part of this has to do with how quickly volatility comes and goes. Noted Jim Buchanan, Senior VP of Consumer Marketing at the Bank of America in an article in Advertising Age, October 2009: “Six months ago, we were trying to re-assure the market and consumers that we are safe and secure….now consumers are telling us they’re not worried about those things anymore…..What they are interested in is ‘How can you help me manage my finances?‘”
Innovative organizations ensure that the brand message evolves at the pace of a world in which volatility is the new normal. As a financial manager, you must make sure that your brand and image are seen to be modern, up to date, and in tune with the brand expectations of Gen-Connect. You can’t be “your grandfathers’ wealth manager” anymore.
4. Adapt to momentum of financial consumer change
Quite simply, the new financial client is online in a big way, and smart financial organizations will evolve their service and support message to these platforms.
The numbers are staggering; in the case one recent keynote I provided for a major financial institution, I emphasized that:
147 million people interact globally on social networks via their mobile phones – we can expect 1 billion within five years!
usage of Twitter continues to grow at a staggering pace — and people spend more time on Facebook each week than they do on watching television.
they spend far less time reading newspapers and magazines in paper fashion — and in fact, some don’t look at such products at all!
The result of this i that they are increasingly influenced by advertising, marketing and branding messages that they see online. Ifyou are still trying to reach out to them through traditional media,you might be missing them altogether.
It’s not just about marketing — it’s also about customer support. The entire world of customer support has gone online, and you need to be able to support them in the world to which they are accustomed.
The bottom line for financial and investment advisors is that social networks are an extremely effective tool to keep core clients in the loop; as an outreach tool, they’re fast, effective, unique, quirky,and certainly the story of the day. Financial advisors have to go where the client is going, and should be thinking about how to become socially-networked oriented advisers. Given regulatory issues, that can be a big challenge!
5. Adjust platforms to this changing behaviour
I continue to emphasize with my global financial clients that the impact of mobile technologies on financial services is absolutely massive. Think about Wizzit, a South African service that is essentially a text message based banking system.The reality is that the new financial consumer expects to be served on new platforms: as noted by Thomas Kunz, Senior VP at PNC Financial: “Gen-Y does not reconcile checkbooks, and they don’t believe in float. For them, their balance is their balance.”
That’s why PNC has released a “virtual wallet app” available for iPhones. They’re reaching out to this new financial consumer in a big way. That’s why every organization is scrambling to keep up with “Appworld” particularly considering that Apple sold 3 million iPad 3′ within the first 3 days of release.
Aggressive change with business platforms provides big opportunity for business model disruption. A key factor here has to do with new client acquisition: what’s happening is the point of origination of the relationship might change as people transition their banking to mobile devices. Opportunity can come from continuing to build the advisor and distribution channel into these new platforms.
And that’s not a threat – that’s a huge opportunity!
6. Leverage off of new peer-to-peer behaviour trends
The new financial consumer relies more than ever before for advice from their social networks. Peer-to-peer social driven advice through sites such as TradeKing is coming to the forefront: it’s a service that allows people to share stock tips and research through extended social networks.
Does this diminish the role of advisory services — not at all, if you drive in and become a part of the peer-to-peer conversation!
7. Re-orient distribution channels
Here’s another key point: I’ve emphasized to my insurance and other financial clients that the next-generation advisor/broker/agent expects ever more sophisticated technology platforms to help support their role.You’ve got to make sure you are keeping up with their needs.
In one survey in the insurance sector, 80% of brokers indicated that the sophistication of the technology platform of the provider would influence who they would choose to do business with.
According to Kevin Murray, EVP and CIO at New York-based AXA Equitable: “The younger generation of financial professional will almost demand online self-service….they will want to text any questions they have into the service centre or self-service from their mobile device. We’re going to have to be able to provide that capability. It’s how they will operate.”
8. Build your own peer-to-peer collaborative knowledge networks
The new financial advisor is also thinking socially, and is actively looking for peer-to-peer collaborative knowledge. Imagine building a financial advisory team that is collaborative for ideas, share insight on market wins, constantly leverages insight from new branding campaigns that work in unique ways, and constantly shares great idea son new methods of converting leads into clients — that’s how this next generation works!
Back to Kevin Murray: “They will also want an online collaboration tool to …find answers concerning product or questions from their customers. The X and Ygenerations are going to demand a different way of selling and servicing their customers.”
What’s it really all about? Freeing up their time to build opportunity, make sales, close deals.
9. Reduce churn through electronic relationships
Here’s something else to think about according to Chief Marketer (October 2009), “The average brand saw one third of highly loyal consumers in 2007completely defect to another brand in 2008“.
People are far less loyal, and far more likely to jump ship at the drop of a hat. That’s why continuous innovation in terms of the relationship is critical — and that’s maybe why continually transitioning to new technology platforms such as an iPhone app might reduce that churn
10. Better, more focused niche marketing
We’re in the new era of analytics and analysis, which provides new opportunities for advisors to reach out to markets previously unattainable. As noted by Money Management Executive in October 2009: “Financial advisers generally prefer to manage a small number of high-net-worth clients rather than a large number of small accounts,but recent advances in automation technology could change this dynamic.”
11. Evolve the approach
Insurance and financial advisory services are products that are always sold based on fear — they aren’t bought.
This reality doesn’t go away because of new technologies. What does change is that technology is a powerful enabler that frees advisors forum having to focus on the mundane, routine, time wasting stuff, in order to focus on providing the advice & guidance that advisors can provide. Focus on the core role!
12. Enact change
Many advisors will be in comfortable, established routines. Change is not easy. That’s why organizations in the financial sector that are trying to be innovative need to help existing advisors focus on the opportunity and the benefits that come with rapid change, rather than being fearful of the change that technology is bringing to the industry.
Bottom line? As I sum up in many of my keynotes — “Innovative organizations make bold leaps, in order to keep up — and stay ahead —of a faster future.”
Every industry in the world today finds itself in the midst of dramatic change, as mobile smartphone technology comes to change business models, consumer behaviour, and entire professions.
No where is this more evident today than what is happening in the world of healthcare, wellness and fitness, as a flood of new apps and technologies emerge that will forever change this world.
Back in late September, I was the opening keynote speaker for the 2012 Chronic Disease Fund annual conference in Dallas, Texas. Here’s a video clip in which I’m talking about the significance of the change that is occurring … compelling to watch!
As for me? I just bought a FitBit this morning — it would be fascinating to see how much territory I cover during one single keynote!
I haven’t done of these posts in a while — it’s a semi-regular summary of 10 of the most recent search phrases that resulted in people discovering information in my blog through the last week.
It’s a useful way to see what people around the world might be thinking about, or some of the issues that are top of mind. It’s also a great way to discover some of the unique blog posts throughout my site — with well over 1,000, there’s a lot of useful content in here that you might not find.
I use some fabulous Web site tracking software — notably Woopra and OpenTracker — both of which give me *real time* insight into what people are discovering on my site, so it’s pretty easy to pull this information together. Here we go:
a search for “what trends are driving today’s consumer” led to the Consumer & food category of my blog; it leads to a whole series of blog posts that focus on these issues
from South Africa, a search for “futuristic trends in agriculture” led to “10 Big Trends for Agriculture” — a post I wrote many years ago but which continues to be one of the most popular pages on my Web site. And even though it was written in 2005, it still remains powerfully relevant today. I do a LOT of keynotes in the agricultural sector
from Cincinatti, a search for “latest trends in the property and casualty insurance industry” led to “The insurance industry in 2015” , a concise overview of how this industry is undergoing dramatic and fast paced change
If only I had a dollar for each search done where people from the US end up on my site for information on future healthcare trends. A search from a major US pharma company for “key trends business us healthcare market led to “10 major health care / pharmaceutical trends“, a really concise summary of the scientific, technological and other trends that are transforming the sector
and from the Philippines, a search for the phrase “Leaders are innovative and future – oriented. They focus on getting the job done” led to my blog post, “How future ready is your organization?” It provides some good insight on whether your organization is clearly aligned for what comes next — or is simply stuck in the here and now.
That’s 10 search phrases — and a simple summary of some great insight. Stayed tuned — more “What’s Hot” posts to come!
If you want to track analytics on your own Web site, I highly recommend both Woopra and OpenTracker. Fascinating insight!
Next Monday morning, I’ll deliver the opening address for WEFTEC 2012 New Orleans, LA; it will be the kickoff for the Water Environment Federation’s (WEF) 85th annual technical exhibition and conference, a five-day event that is expected to draw thousands of water quality professionals and exhibitors to the New Orleans Convention Center.
It’s going to be an interesting talk – there’s a tremendous amount of potential for innovation the sector, and I’ll be speaking to the theme of a “new direction.”
Last week, I ran a blog post for the WEF ; it’s on their site via that link, and also reprinted below!
Water’s Worth It – and So Is Initiative! by Jim Carroll
To many, it could seem that the phrase “Water is the oil of the 21st century” is one of the most common phrases in use today. After all, there does seem to be a widespread recognition both in industrialized countries and emerging economies that going forward into the future, water is certainly going to be one of our most important resources.
That’s why, when I walk up on stage to keynote the 2012 Water Environment Federation’s annual conference, I’m hoping to see a sea of faces, each bearing a look of confidence that echoes a bright future for abundant and sustainable water resources worldwide!
After all, if water IS the new oil, then it’s the folks in the room at WEFTEC 2012 who have the potential to take us to a world in which water REALLY is worth it. It is those folks in the room who will play a huge role in pursuing the opportunity for deep transformative change that is possible in the industry. It is the folks in the room who will be able to undertake the big ideas, the big strategies, the big initiatives — and the big risks — to ensure that society can best preserve, protect, recycle, and reuse water.
Should they choose to!
Even with my limited exposure to the industry so far, it is clear that with accelerating science, the rapid emergence of a new slew of water treatment methodologies, potential for chemical and metallurgical extraction and more– that there are all kinds of new opportunities for innovative thinking in the industry of water. That’s what I encounter in many industries today — the world is full of opportunities – if we choose to pursue them.
Yet it can be difficult to do so. An environment of municipal, state and federal government cutbacks makes the pursuit of big ideas ever more difficult. Many days it is simply important to get through with what you have in terms of resources, funding and ideas, rather than taking big, bold steps into the future. Ever increasing complexity of the technology and science around water makes it more difficult to source and access the right skills often necessary to pursue bold new initiatives
It’s easy to fall into a state of inertia when it comes to pursuing the future. Yet water’s worth it now and even more for the future. It’s the folks at WEFTEC 2012 who can and I hope will use the conference as a spark to turn their innovation engines on, and align themselves to the opportunities of the future rather than the challenges of the past.
From my keynote earlier this year at the International Dairy, Deli and Bakery Association, a clip that outlines faster change — in consumer taste trends, societal change, technology — drives the need for speed being the new success factor in the food industry in terms of retail.
The clip certainly ties in to what is one of the most popular pages on my Web site: “Food Industry Trends 2011: Report from a a keynote.” Watch the above, and then read the post – you’ll find the link below.
As I wrote in one of my columns last year (“Smartphones are changing everything,” August 2011), when I give a keynote I like to use a service called Poll Everywhere — the same technology at the heart of the American Idol voting process. I put a poll on the front screen and audience members can reply by text or online with their smartphones, laptops or tablets. The results start to appear on the screen instantly — it’s a very powerful tool.
American manufacturing executives have proven to the most optimistic group of audiences I have been dealing with through the last two years.
There’s one question I pose at the start of every talk: “when do you think we will see an economic recovery?” After running more than 200 polls over four years based on this question, I can tell you the majority of North Americans and Europeans I’ve encountered think the economic recovery is at least six months to two years away, or more than two years away. Few offer up the answer “It’s happening right now.” (And of course, I always have a few who go for the option, “Run for the hills! It’s all over!” I figure they might have been up late at the bar the night before.)
So the majority of my audiences — which represent virtually every type of industry and region from the heartland of the US to major global cities — are still skeptical about the future and economic recovery.
Except for one distinct group: North American manufacturers.
In the past year I’ve addressed 1,000 manufactures at major conferences in Orlando and Las Vegas, and at both events an overwhelming 70% indicated the recovery is happening now. At a February 2011 event in Ohio, 200 executives in the sector — one of the hardest hit during the downturn — indicated a similar positive outlook. As did executives at advanced robotics manufacturer Genesis Systems in Davenport, Iowa, where I spoke in April.
What’s driving this optimism? Manufacturers have been innovating like mad for the past decade, and are more likely than any other sector to bring the North American economy roaring back. We’ve seen them focus on agility-based manufacturing, which allows them to change their product faster so they can deal with a higher rate of change at the consumer level. They’ve completely automated the design process with powerful tools such as AutoCAD (which now even runs on an iPad) to such a degree that they’ve mastered the skills of rapid concept generation, rapid concept development and rapid prototyping. They’ve become experts at mass customization and rapid time to market. Not to mention learning to win the battle against offshore competition by mastering the one key advantage they have: time.
The sophistication of the machinery North American manufacturers use places them ahead of the pack. As one executive told me, “The education level of our workforce has increased so much — the machinists in this industry do trigonometry in their heads.”
That’s why a comment in the San Francisco Herald in July 2009 was so bang on: “We don’t have to give up on manufacturing — it will be a different type of manufacturing.”
That’s what’s happening now. There’s also a lot of experimentation with new manufacturing business models. One of the most fascinating involves micro-factories, where the average Joe can design a product and have it built to spec.
Take a look at Ponoko for some fascinating insight on the future of manufacturing, where the average Joe can design a product and have it built to spec. And then think about the rapidly emerging concept of 3D printing, 3D printers and the inevitable shift to “additive manufacturing” (laying down additional quantities of material to create a product) from “subtractive manufacturing” (based on cutting, drilling and bashing metal) which has been used for more than 100 years
Who’d a thunk it? While most people are still skeptical about the pace of the future, it’s the manufacturing folks who are most positive of all.
A press release has gone out about an event I’ll be doing in Chicago later this month.
The essence of the issue is the extremely rapid change coming to the retail sector. I spoke about this years ago, in a video clip called “Cardboard People, Plasma People.” And indeed, this very theme became the opening chapter in my book, Ready, Set, Done: How to Innovate When Faster is the New Fast.
See below to watch the video and read the blog post — and read the chapter from the book!
Gilbarco announces Jim Carroll as Keynote at Upcoming Digital Forecourt Marketing Summit, Thu, 2012-05-31 World-leading futurist will help c-store retailers compete and win in rapidly evolving retail landscape
GREENSBORO, N.C. – May 31, 2012 – The world-leading international futurist, Jim Carroll, will deliver the keynote address at Gilbarco Veeder-Root’s Digital Forecourt Marketing Summit in Chicago, IL on June 26-27th, 2012. As a trends and innovation expert, Jim Carroll helps growth-oriented organizations transform into high-velocity innovation heroes. His clients range from Northrop Grumman to Johnson & Johnson, the Swiss Innovation Forum to the National Australia Bank; the Walt Disney Organization to NASA. Some of his recent speaking engagements include the 2012 Southwest Gas Association Conference, the 2011 Consumer Goods Technology Business & Technology Leadership Conference, and the 2011 Multi-Unit Franchise Conference Las Vegas.
Hosted by Gilbarco Veeder-Root and Outcast, this exclusive, invitation-only technology event will focus on the emergence of Digital Media and its implications on consumer marketing and behaviors. Industry expert led sessions will cover digital media outlook and trends, best practices from retailers, loyalty program integration and more.
“We are thrilled to announce Jim Carroll as keynote speaker for our Digital Forecourt Marketing Summit,” said Mike Schulte, President of Gilbarco Veeder-Root North America. “With his unique storytelling approach Jim will challenge our retailers to think about their business and industry in an unconventional way and help them link future trends to innovation.”
“I’m excited to participate in the Digital Forecourt Marketing Summit,” said Jim Carroll. “It’s a changing time for the convenience store industry and for retail more broadly. There is so much opportunity to innovate — be it in operations, partnership structures, forecourt merchandising or taking advantage of the rapid evolution of mobile payment technologies. I’ll challenge attendees to concentrate on the core activities that will help them focus on the opportunities of the future, rather than the challenges of the past.”
This article ran last week after I did a talk for one of the world’s leading heart research / hospital institutions, the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.
Health care is the most complex issue that our society faces in our time. We really need some big and bold and very innovative thinking to deal with the scope of the challenges.
Health care’s best bet: technology Ottawa Citizen, May 16, 2012
AT&T is developing clothing with built-in sensors that monitor blood pressure, perspiration rates and other health indicators. One smartphone app tracks every mouthful of food you eat. Another links to a device that monitors blood glucose levels in diabetic children as they sleep, and notifies parents through an alarm if they spike in the night.
As Jim Carroll would say, this is real stuff. This isn’t science fiction.
Carroll, a 53-year-old resident of Mississauga, is one of the world’s leading futurists. And as he told a room full of nurses at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute last week, technology is driving rapid changes in the way we treat the sick and care for our own health.
That’s a good thing, he said, given the health-care challenges we face. Chronic disease caused by poor lifestyles is driving massive future demands on the system. Society won’t be able to afford nursing home care for all the boomers who will need it. The number of people with Alzheimers and dementia is rising exponentially.
And because longevity is increasing — a baby girl born today can expect to live to 100, Carroll said — the elderly will need costly care for more years than in the past.
“Health care is the most complex issue that our society faces in our time,” said Carroll. “We really need some big and bold and very innovative thinking to deal with the scope of the challenges.”
Fortunately, there’s lots of that going on, it seems, largely driven by lightening-fast advances in technology. The cost of mapping the human genome has fallen from $3 million to $10,000 and is expected to fall to just $1,000 by year’s end.
“Five years out,” Carroll said, “we’ll be able to buy genomic sequencing machines for $5 at Circuit City. This is a staggering transformation.” That means increasingly, doctors will be able to shift from treating illnesses to preventing them, Carroll said.
Another key trend is “pervasive connectivity” — the notion that everything we own will be able to plug into everything else. In health care, that’s called bioconnectivity, Carroll said. And among other things, it can be used to monitor patients from afar.
One example is Medcottage, a 12-by-24-foot modular building that offers an alternative to institutional care for the sick or elderly in their family’s back yard. The unit provides round-the-clock medical monitoring while giving occupants some privacy and independence.
Ottawa’s heart institute already is using technology to monitor the health of about 150 elderly patients in their homes. Patients use the devices to record their blood pressure, heart rate and blood glucose levels, then plug them into their phones to download the information to the hospital.
The results have been impressive, said Heather Sherrard, the heart institute’s vice-president of clinical services. “The group that gets the home monitoring has anywhere between a 30 and 40 per cent reduction in the amount of times they have to come back to the hospital,” she said. Thanks to the remote devices, “we can see them every day and tweak them.”
The heart institute also uses automated phone calls to check up on patients who’ve had a heart attack. “You can’t financially afford to call everybody,” said Sherrard. “So the system does all the calling, it gives them a series of questions we know are based on evidence, and that allows us to just go ahead and deal with the 10 per cent who are the problem.”
One thing the hospital discovered is that about 40 per cent of patients were substituting Tylenol for their prescribed Aspirin, because they liked Tylenol more. But unlike Tylenol, Aspirin is an anticoagulant, which helps reduce the risk of another attack. “When you’ve had a heart attack, you cannot substitute Tylenol for Aspirin,” Sherrard said.
Canada still has a long way to go to catch up with the United States when it comes to innovative health-care thinking, Carroll said. He credited insurance companies with driving much of the innovation south of the border.
“I get insurance companies that are actively talking about rolling out wellness apps to employee groups,” he said. “It’s not going to happen in Canada, because they don’t control what we spend.”
That’s part of the debate we need to have in Canada, Carroll said. “We all love the Canadian system in terms of the structure and the fact that we don’t become bankrupt if we have a serious medical condition.
“But given the rapid rate of change and opportunity that is happening, we need to somehow figure out how to speed up innovation in the context of health care. Instead of just talking about wait times, we need to think really big.”
Here’s the text for a keynote I’m doing in Calgary tomorrow at noon for a group of IT executives.
Lots to think about here – the future belongs to those who are fast!
“The new business model for everyone will increasingly use speed as a metric, and fast-innovation is a core capability”
Certainly the last forty years have seen technology play a huge impact on business.
Name any industry – auto, health care, manufacturing, energy, banking — and it’s clear that we are witnessing a fundamental and distinct shift of the innovation agenda to one which is driven by the speed of Silicon Valley, and by a generation of people in the computing world who think fundamentally differently about the source of innovation in an industry.
As this occurs, we will see massive business model disruption as new, faster, more nimble competitors who understand technology based disruption, cast aside their slower, ingrained counterparts who are stuck with old, ingrained ideas.
The future belongs, in other words, to those who are fast. Tech companies and tech based innovators certainly understand that logic. Their entire DNA is bound up in the ability to move fast.
That’s why financial organizations are finding themselves plunged into a whirlwind of change as our mobile devices become our credit cards. As slow-to-change insurance companies find that driver-performance oriented insurance policies, linked to in-dash GPS monitoring technologies, wreak havoc on old-line insurance assumptions. As the world of health care adjusts to the reality of a less than $1,000 genomic sequence machine — something that would have cost over $1 million just ten years ago, leading us much quicker to a world of personalized medicine. And an oil and gas industry which is witnessing hyper-innovation in terms of extraction techniques, driven by deep data analysis and other capabilities, which are leading to year over year yield increases which were unmanageable years ago.
The new business model for everyone will increasingly use speed as a metric, and fast-innovation is a core capability.
That’s why you should join iON Secured Networks and Check Point Security Technologies, as we bring you the unique insight of Jim Carroll, who has emerged as one of the world’s leading international futurists, trends and innovation experts, with a client list that ranges from Northrop Grumman to Rockwell Collins; the SouthWest Gas Association to RGA Reinsurance; the Walt Disney Organization to NASA. Jim has had the opportunity to study what world-class innovators have been doing to keep up with a world in which the future belongs to the fast. He will share with us the new role of leading edge technologies involving cloud networks, agile computing, just-in-time development and other key strategies that will help organizations to deploy the right technologies at the right time for the right purpose — a strategy that will be increasingly important as all industries come to innovate at the speed of Silicon Valley.
I was the keynote speaker for the 14th Annual KIRA Technology Innovation Awards Show in New Brunswick, Canada last week.
I think it went well, based on this article.
KIRA – Looking to the future
By Colin McPhail
The Daily Gleaner, Fredericton & Region, Friday, May 4, 2012
The spotlight was on Jim Carroll as he aggressively paced the stage at the Fredericton Convention Centre, gesturing emphatically while citing statistics and quotes in a dazzling manner. The renowned futurist, however, spun the metaphorical spotlight on the audience.
“You need to think bigger,” he said.
There was no rest for the weary in a night that celebrated innovators from New Brunswick’s information technology sector. The best minds in the industry were challenged to continue to build on their success in a world where the rapid pace of change can’t be overstated. There’s no stopping or you’ll be left behind.
Carroll spoke to a crowd of more than 300 Thursday night during a keynote address at the 14th annual KIRA awards. He offered three simple words to help demonstrate the current climate of innovation: speed, scope, opportunity.
Waiting for the right time to move forward could be fatal, he said, adding the market demands creativity at a level never seen before.
“The future belongs to those who are fast,” Carroll said.
“The time to be focused on innovation is right now.”
Emphasizing the need for speed, Carroll said that 60 per cent of Apple’s revenue comes from products that weren’t in production four years ago. Half of what is taught in the ﬁrst year of any science degree will be obsolete when the student graduates, while 65 per cent of young children will grow up and get jobs that don’t exist today. The list goes on, and IT is at the forefront.
“Silicon Valley controls the speed of innovation,” he said.
“The speed in which this is evolving is staggering.”
Seemingly timeless industries are already being revolutionized, he said, and the pace in which it occurs will only increase.
Need to think a bit more about opportunities from innovation? Read my “Masters in Business Imagination Manifesto!”
The conference is attended by senior executives of credit unions from throughout the US.
My keynote, built in close consultation with the client, focused on key three points related to the overall theme of innovation:
it’s urgent that credit unions focus on innovation right now
it’s important that as they do so, they re-evaluate the concept of what they believe innovation to be
it’s critical that they take on a large number of experimental projects oriented towards innovative thinking, and that they do it now
Putting each of this issues into perspective explains my thinking:
Do it now: The world of financial services is faced with unprecedented change — the impact of mobile banking, the transfer of wealth to a new generation who thinks about financial management in entirely different ways, the emergence of new competitors. The list goes on and on. That’s why it important that credit unions establish a culture in which innovation is a priority, in order to keep up with and take advantage of the trends swirling around them
Reframe the concept: Many organizations fail at innovation because they don’t really understand what it could be. For many people, they think innovation is for cool people who design cool products that change the world: call it the “Apple effect.” But for years, I’ve been reframing innovation from another perspective that helps to open up the minds of people as to its opportunity.
Innovation is a culture in which the leadership and the entire team continually challenges themselves with three questions: what can I do to run the business, grow the business, or transform the business?
There’s a good video clip that you can watch on that theme, “Rethinking Innovation”
Profit: So Jim, one of the frustrating things that I find with the term innovation is that people often equate it with only product development. So what’s your definition of innovation?
Jim Carroll: It’s absolutely true. I Call it the Steve Jobs iphone innovation problem. Everybody hears innovation, they think of the iphone, they think about iPod, they think about Apple and they think that’s all that innovation is, you know, coming up with cool products. To me, it’s about much more. It starts out with a fundamental presumption, it doesn’t matter what your business is or what industry you compete in, you’re going to be faced with more competition, more challenging customers, your business model is probably going to be subjected to greater changes. You’ve got issues in terms of cost input, you probably finding your top line, your revenue line is being subject to the pressure. You’ve got all kinds of challenges being thrown at you. And from my perspective, innovation is coming up with a lot of unique ideas, whether it’s around your business model, whether it is around the manner by which you compete, whether it’s around your structure, whether it’s around, you know, the methods that you use to compete in your market place, whether, you know, nothing to do with your skills, I mean, it’s everything. It’s simply, you know, taking the mindset that that my world is going to change on a continuous basis and I am going to make sure that I have a constant stream of ideas as to how I can keep up and how I can deal with those trends.
Experiment – a lot: There is so much changing the world of banking and credit unions. Technology, social networks, new competitors, the emergence of the digital wallet — you name it, and there is an absolute flood of ‘new stuff.’ World class innovators continually establish a regular series of projects by which they can build up their experience with the stuff that comes from the idea-flood. The more experience they build up, the more “experiential capital” they create. I’ve argued that going into the high velocity 21st century economy, “experiential capital” will become as critical if not more important than financial capital.
I actually spoke about the concept of “experiential capital” when I was the opening keynote speaker for the annual general meeting of the PGA of America – it’s worth a watch.
Suffice it to say, if you rethink innovation in terms of these three basic concepts, it will help you deal with a world in which the future belongs to those who are fast!
The Canadian Society of Association Executives “Association Magazine” has just released their latest edition, which included my article with the title above.
"We will see massive business model disruption as new, faster, more nimble competitors who understand technology based disruption cast aside their slower, ingrained counterparts who are stuck with old, ingrained ideas."
You can grab the PDF of the article at the right on the image. Note that it is English and French.
The article is based on the blog post I wrote back in November last year, shortly after my keynote for the 2011 T. Rowe Price Investment Symposium, where I played into the theme in a big way.
You can read that post here, although the PDF of the article expands on the concepts in a bit more detail.
I’m finding a huge degree of interest in this theme as a speaking topic; actually, quite a few recent keynotes are being entirely built around the theme, since it is such a significant transformative trend.
Essentially, industries used to control their destiny. They could drive the pace of innovation.
That’s not true anymore, and as I have described on stage in the last few weeks to companies in the insurance, banking, credit union, agricultural and other industries — “What happens to you when the pace of innovation begins to occur at the same speed that Apple innovates. Because that is pretty well what is beginning to happen now.”
Read the article. Think about what is happening here.
"An outstanding presentation for an industry and association that falls on its traditions so often. We learned that our tradition should not be something that holds us back, but rather the launching pad for innovation for the future. Thanks Jim for your thought provoking presentation!"
- 94th PGA of America Annual General Meeting
"We were extremely pleased with Jim’s presentation... the content was bang-on and would hopefully prompt people to think about the rapidity of change going on in our world!. Jim’s storytelling approach really helps to get his points across! He did a great job!"
- Walt Disney Company
"We thought Jim was amazing - just the positive message we wanted to leave folks with.
- T. Rowe Price
"Jim Carroll recently presented at Lockheed Martin’s Executive HR Leadership conference. His content was very provocative, fascinating, and relevant. I’ve embedded a couple of his nuggets into my operating model
- Lockheed Martin
"Many thanks for your presentation, “7 Things You Need to Do Right Now: Aligning the Fast Future to Your Current Strategy” It couldn't have been more energy filled and dynamic to start the conference out on the right foot. It was exactly what the audience wanted and needed to hear. The feedback from all attendees was excellent."
- VIBE Conference 2010, Las Vegas
"Bringing Jim into our MLC Sales Conference in Sydney through a fibre optic line was truly incredible. The key note session Jim delivered was on the money, he exceeded my expectations."
- MLC National Australia Bank
"Jim is one of the best speakers we had. He had excellent information that our attendees could take home and incorporate it into their plans immediately. He also incorporated our messages into his presentation that helped localize the information for our group. Highly recommended!"
- Illinois Bureau of Tourism.
"After seeing Jim speak at another conference, I was so motivated by his presentation, I invited Jim to speak at a conference for my organization. Another home run! Powerful, articulate, thought provoking and energetic! Jim's delivery on the importance of staying abreast of rapidly changing trends truly can assist in changing the way we do business!"
- US Navy, Air Force, Marine Child Youth Program Conference
"... your talk hit just the right note.....I did have several people ask me if they could get a copy of your presentation as well as many who noted that the programming was fantastic and gave them a lot to think about."
-Consumer Electronics Association 2010 CEO Summit
"Thank you for an outstanding opening keynote for the 10th Anniversary Opportunities Conference: you received a 100% approval rating which has only been achieved 2 other times in our 10 year history!"
-Opportunities 2009 Conference Organizer
“We were extremely pleased with Jim’s presentation….. the content was great and would hopefully prompt people to think about the rapidity of change going on in our world!”
You were superb! As we make changes your message could not have come at a better time. This group likes tradition but unfortunately that often gets in the way of moving forward. Thank you again for reminding us that our greater responsibility is to the future!"
- US National Recreation and Parks Association
“I have been working with Jim for the past four years, and, without question, he is one of the most dynamic speakers and professional partners I’ve ever come across. Our audiences (internal and external) love him, and he works wonderfully with our customers. ….I’m willing to bet your first experience will lead to many, many more, as it has with SAP. I wish you the best with him….book him before someone else does!”
Great presentation by Jim! Key words and explanations were enlightening and relevant to us all!
- International Society of Medical Publication Professionals
Healthcare in 2021? What will we be doing in 10 years time? Well, according to Jim Carroll, keynote speaker for the opening session, definitely not what we're doing today! He presented an invigorating view of what our healthcare systems could be looking like and it's up to us to decide how we get there. We'll be accepting his challenge to take three scary ideas away and think about how we can make them work, rather than the reasons why they won't. The poll4 system was fun and it was definitely the first time we'd been asked to turn our phones on during a presentation!
- International Society of Medical Publication Professionals
Sample of recent and upcoming speaking engagements
PGA - Professional Golf Association
94th Annual General Meeting
Goddard Space Flight Center
Innovation Thought Leadership Event
Computer Science Corporation
CSC Executive Exchange
St Andrews, Scotland
Computer Science Corporation
CSC Executive Exchange
St Andrews, Scotland
Southern Gas Association
Annual Executive Conference
ERA Real Estate
ERA Connect 2013
T. Rowe Price
Client Investment Symposium
International Dairy, Deli & Bakery Association
New Orleans, Louisiana
Global Payments Conference
Texas Municipal League
100th Annual Conference and Exhibition
Genesis Systems Group
Robotic Automation Conference
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
5th Annual Program / Project Leadership Kickoff