This coming Wednesday, I’ll be in Philadelphia, where I will be speaking at UBM Canon’s Eastern Advanced Manufacturing Expo and Conference on the theme, “What Do World Class Innovators Do That Others Don’t Do?”
This will be a wonderfully fun keynote. It will touch on many of the different topics I have been speaking about lately: intelligent, inter-connected packaging, smart medical packaging that monitors whether patients are properly taking their medicine, and the emergence of intelligent medical device connectivity.
There’s a common belief in the US among average folk that US manufacturing is still in a state of decline. Nothing could be further from the truth; there is a massive renaissance in thinking underway, with new design methodologies, rapid prototyping, fast implementation of new manufacturing methodologies, the concept of 3D printing which has gone from ‘science fiction’ to readily available implementation in just a short period of time.
In the world of manufacturing, the future belongs to those who are fast. This should be a great event!
Here’s the press release which has done out far and wide announcing my participation.
SANTA MONICA, Calif., June 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — UBM Canon’s Eastern Advanced Manufacturing Expo and Conference returns to Philadelphia June 18-20, 2013, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA. With nearly 1,200 exhibiting companies, this event co-locates six tradeshows, along with seminars, industry speakers, industry awards and product teardowns to provide the most comprehensive manufacturing event for visitors and exhibitors on the Atlantic seaboard.
Get ready for interactive packaging! The illustration on this bottle of Bombay Sapphire Gin was produced in electroluminescent ink, and a battery is hidden in the bottom of the packaging. When you pick it up off the shelf, a hidden mechanical switch triggers the electric current. This runs through different paths at different times to create the visual effect, which lasts for 18 seconds before stopping until its activated again.
Pennsylvania is a centrally located hub for U.S. manufacturing, with more than 14,500 establishments, employing 560,000 workers. Manufacturer visitors can see a wide range of product and service offerings under one roof. They will see innovative ideas and meet suppliers with cutting-edge manufacturing technology such as 3D printing, track-and-trace medical packaging.
Paid seminars and workshops include topics such as Lean Manufacturing, Robotics, Motion Control, Manufacturing Plant Security, Medical Design & Prototyping, Regulatory, Risk Control and Validation, Wireless Medical Devices, Implantable Medical Devices, Augmented Reality Packaging.
Here’s a video clip from my opening keynote for ERA Connect 2013. In the audience were a thousand or so real estate brokers and agents — I’m working to encourage them to think as to how quickly their industry might change, by framing what might happen in the not too distant future with the cars that we drive.
Many of my keynotes and leadership meetings in dozens of industries and corporate events involve a good, hard look at serious future trends. It’s a lot of work, takes a lot of research, but is a hugely rewarding “job.”
And then, every once in a while, something completely different comes along. So it was with a major US financial company that was holding the 30th anniversary of their key customer meeting. And since they’re somewhat in the IT business, they wanted a keynote that looked back in time, rather than looking forward. Something fun, engaging, and which would help folks have a good laugh at the unique experiences baby boomers have been through over the last 30 years. As it turns out, they found me, through one of the speakers bureaus that represents me.
The results was a rollicking, hilarious 45 minute keynote based on lots of my material from one of by books from the 1990′s: Surviving the Information Age, but a lot more material that I’ve developed and have used on stage over this 20 year career as a speaker.
Here’s a great clip — where I’m talking about how quickly our world is changing, as things that are a part of our lives have become things from the “olden days” — and it has happened before our very eyes.
The entire keynote was a blast. I’m going to do a few minor edits and will put the entire thing up online over the next few days. Let’s have some fun with it!
So there I am on another flight – a long trip, with 5 1/2 hours from Toronto to San Francisco, a two hour layover, and then a 1 1/2 hr flight into Palm Springs, where I have a keynote today, Tuesday morning.
It’s a bad thing when your power cord dies at 35,000 feet!
After takeoff, I get set to get to work, and take out my Mac and power wire. I plug in the wire. No power. I assume that maybe my seat power hasn’t been turned on, so I ask the flight attendant. I’m told it is on.
I then look at the small wire that connects from the ‘power brick’ to the Mac, and at the ‘brick’ it is completely frayed. I give it a tiny tug, and it comes right off.
Obviously, I have a problem. You can’t easily source a new wire at 36,000 feet!
But maybe you can. When I first go to the airport, I went to the airline lounge. Opposite from me was a young lady using a Mac.
And moments after my awful discovery on the plane, she went up to the front lavatory!
My mind sprang into action, so when she went back to her seat, I took one of my books (“The Future Belongs to Those Who Are Fast”,) asked if she was going beyond San Francisco, and if not, would I be able to buy her power cord for $100.
She needed to use it throughout the flight, she said, but would give it to me near the end. And she did. So I got to Palm Springs, have power, and go on stage in about 1/2 hr.
I won’t mention the young lady by name, but she works for Facebook as an account manager in Toronto, and she is my new hero.
Some months back, the folks at DeVry University interviewed me as part of a series of articles they were doing to focus on the new careers of tomorrow.
The future of long-distance trucking might look more like these “road trains,” as Carroll calls them. These are autonomous vehicles that can navigate long distances without direct operation, with a team of skilled technicians operating them from afar
Their article arrived online today; you can read the original article here, or below.
Fueling America’s Future: New Energy Solutions, New Careers
As U.S. energy independence looms on the horizon, Americans need to start rethinking and transitioning our own energy usage.
Big changes are afoot for U.S. energy. And when energy changes, we all change with it.
American manufacturing, transportation, and technological infrastructures are all deeply affected by, and entangled with, how smartly we produce and consume energy.
According to the International Energy Association, we’re entering an energy renaissance: Its 2012 World Energy Report concludes that the United States will become self-sustaining, in terms of net energy produced, by 2035. Part of that will mean an emergence of new career opportunities for people in the energy sector.
When we try to imagine what U.S. energy may look like in 2035, Jim Carroll, a futurist and energy expert, points to a few clues from very real energy trends emerging right now, changes which include new ways of transporting goods around the country, and new ways in which we think about energy infrastructure and workforces.
Whether we’re talking about renewable or natural energy, efficiency of use is approaching faster because of the acceleration of science, says Carroll, whose many books on innovation include “The Future Belongs to Those Who Are Fast.”
“Scientific knowledge happens and emerges faster than ever before because all of these scientists are plugged together,” he says. “Which means the new scientific discoveries in all these fields are faster, which again leads to higher levels of production in renewables, natural gas and oils.”
On the Road
The American long haul trucking industry has been dependent on traditional and diesel gasoline for decades. But not for much longer, according to Carroll.
“Energy companies are working to retrofit long-distance trucks for natural gas,” Carroll says. But that might be just an interim step toward a brand new paradigm for this industry. Carroll says that technologists are already asking questions like: “How do we use robotics, radar and GPS to link together seven or 10 trucks in a unit that can self drive down the road in a way that is energy efficient?”
The future of long-distance trucking might look more like these “road trains,” as Carroll calls them. These are autonomous vehicles that can navigate long distances without direct operation, with a team of skilled technicians operating them from afar.
A change like this requires us to think about reskilling the American workforce. Truck-driving jobs could potentially disappear, but the need for skilled technicians is growing considerably.
These emerging jobs will be in the management of what Jim Carroll calls “highly sophisticated highway control infrastructure systems,” which will arise from the need to redesign highways for smarter fueled vehicles with better efficiency.
And with smarter infrastructure for highways, there will be greater opportunities for innovating how personal cars are fueled. Many analysts have decried that the electric car is dead, but perhaps it just needs to be rethought. According to Carroll, the renewable battery model, which could take up to eight hours to charge, is outdated.
“Instead, let’s build a battery station that you drive your car into,” Carroll says. “A hydraulic arm reaches in and opens the underneath of your car, takes your battery and places in a brand new fresh one. Thirty seconds and you’re completely refueled and ready to go.”
Reshaping American Infrastructure
The same development is already occurring in many American industries: Think about how manufacturing jobs have shifted from assembly lines to technologically advanced robotics. Or how advanced oil drilling methodologies—hydraulic fracturing or horizontal drilling—have increased domestic oil production due to the efficiency of the processes. These process shifts require rethinking whole infrastructures, and with that, a need for a workforce with new skills.
These are major shifts, but small changes in energy consumption can also showcase how Americans are rethinking their energy consumption. Carroll mentions the Nest Learning Thermostat—a smart thermostat that adjusts the temperature in your house depending on whether you’re home, the time of day, and the outside weather.
A smart thermostat would just be part of the future of smart and energy-efficient homes, where frozen smoke—an expensive but very efficient form of matter—could be used in home insulation. Or, in a concept by the New York architects Cook + Fox, the walls of the home may be biomorphic—practically lizard-like—and able to better absorb sunlight and retain energy depending on the weather.
But, again, the future of energy depends as much on such refinements as bigger innovations that are already being conceived. Some analysts predict that homes will be equipped with hydrogen fuel cells that will create low-emission electricity via a chemical process that combines hydrogen and oxygen.
While there are many different views on when the United States may achieve energy independence, the prevailing opinion is that it will happen—and soon. But independence depends not only from producing more and consuming less energy: The next round of American energy innovation is also linked to scientific and technological advances as well as perhaps the most important feature—a highly skilled workforce.
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.”
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.
Read my Foreword for this report on the new era of customer interaction
Next week in Orlando, I’m set to be the opening speaker for the 14th Annual Process Excellence Week 2013 in Orlando – with folks from most global Fortune 1,000 organizations in the room.
The focus – aligning fast paced change to a customer centric world, and the need to align business process to market, customer, technology, business model change.
There’s a lot to cover and a lot to talk about — and I’ve got 45 minutes to get these folks fired up about the fascinating opportunities unfolding in their future as we devolve to a world in which the future belongs to those who are fast!
The folks at PEX have just released their seminal 2013 white paper, “Transforming customer feedback into opportunity.”
And they were kind enough to ask me to consider writing a Foreword for the report — to which I responded with an unequivocal yes. I pride myself as a speaker on the obvious need to go above and beyond client expectations — it’s not just about the keynote, it’s about an opportunity for transformation of a profession! And turning customer feedback into opportunity!
You can read my Foreword from the report by hitting the image.
You can also request a full copy of the report here — you will need to register.
Three of my favorite comments from my Foreword:
Fix things fast
When things go wrong with a customer relationship fix them fast. Have a communications plan.Be prepared to reassure the customer quickly. In this new era of hyper-information feedback, don’t let the customer sit and stew for a moment — proactive information and proactive action is the only weapon you have, and you have to use it.
Admit that mistakes will happen
It’s ok. It’s the 21st century. Bad things go wrong all the time. Accept that, and use that as a go- forward strategy.
“Things will go wrong and we will work to fix them fast” is a better strategy than “we plan on rolling it out and holding our breath that things don’t get messed up.”
Empower people with niceness
Customer-centricity and the instant-age demands that the customer be made happy — quickly.
Give staff who have not previously had the authority, the authority to do things to the customer that are nice. That will help to ease the early part of the “pain process.”
Every company in every industry is in a situation in which the customer is more empowered than ever before. Accept that — work with it — learn from it — and use it as the base for innovation!
Future of ag is focused on growth
By Zoe Martin Iowa Farmer Today | Posted: Thursday, December 27, 2012
Jim Carroll knows a lot about camping, urban renewal, golf and agriculture. Above all, the author, speaker and consultant knows change.
“It’s hard to explain what I do,” said Carroll, a “futurist.” “I walk into virtually every kind of organization and talk to them about trends — recently KOA Campgrounds on the future of camping and travel.”
Carroll has spoken at national meetings for mayors, PGA of America and the Walt Disney Co. He has also spoken at meetings for Syngenta, the USDA, Farm Credit Cooperative and the Texas Cattle Feeders Association predicting future trends in agriculture. Fittingly, No. 1 is growth.
“Ag is a huge growth industry,” Carroll said. “I always start with the basic premise production has to double. That’s the long-term reality.”
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, farmers will need to produce 70 percent more food for an additional 2.3 billion people by 2050. Carroll said this calls for “a continuing ramp-up in efficiency.”
The quest for efficiency leads Carroll to his next main trend in ag, something he calls “hyper-science.”
“Certainly, acceleration of science, with pesticides, plant genomics, precision ag,” Carroll said. “There’s certain key trends that are common to all industries: Science is evolving faster. The next generation of kids who’ve grown up with computers think and act faster.”
Carroll’s work is based on intensive research of the industry he’s targeting along with these universal trends.
His third focus when speaking to ag audiences is on generational transformation.
“The third big thing is younger kids taking over family farms,” Carroll said. “Give me a 25-year-old farmer with a Mac in his combine and iPhone connected to his hip — he’s willing to try what ever tech John Deere will put out there.”
Carroll also points out more specific changes in agriculture in the last 10 years that will affect the industry during the next 10.
There is the “energy opportunity.” There will be an expected $1.2 billion in new income for farmers and rural landowners involved with new energy sources required under Department of Energy mandates, Carroll said.
Convenience and health will take center stage, Carroll predicted in 2005, and that has proven true as consumer tastes and expectations change. These expectations are also driving innovations in packaging and labeling for more traceability.
Carroll is optimistic about the future of agriculture—it’s one of the prerequisites of a job as a futurist.
“It’s all upside,” he said, though some farmers will complain about current volatility or the rate of change in the industry.
“There’s a quote I often use on stage, ‘Some people see future trends and see a threat, innovative people see that and see opportunity,’” Carroll said. “There will be people who prefer to see world slow down.”
In agriculture, that’s not an option, and Carroll pushes this in his speaking engagements
“Innovation defines success,” he has said, and “adopting new methodologies, products, partnerships and ideas” will help farmers thrive.
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?
It’s always a thrill when you come away from a keynote with fabulous feedback. So it was with my keynote for KOA – Kampgrounds of America — in Orlando in November!
I had an awesome stage, morning slot, and was primed for a great talk. I had done a *lot* of research on camping and outdoor hospitality trends, and was ready to pump up the crowd with a message around growth, change and branding.
The feedback has just come in, and the clients comments are just absolutely thrilling:
“Jim Carroll’s session with our franchisees was extremely timely and exactly what we were looking for. Based on where we are in our system and the changes and innovations we are implementing, we could not have selected a better speaker. One of the things that made Jim’s message so powerful for our franchisees was the amazing detail and customization Jim included in his session. We’ve gotten a great reaction from our franchisees and I’d highly recommend Jim to any franchisee system looking for a message of change and innovation delivered with a lot of great energy and humor. He was great!” Mike Booth, Assistant VP, Franchising, KOA Franchise Services
“Jim Carroll was fantastic! He was funny, well organized, and communicative. The effort and detail he put into finding out about our industry and our franchise system made it possible for him to connect immediately with our franchisees. He was by far the easiest speaker we have ever worked with and anticipated our needs every step of the way. I’d recommend Jim to anyone looking for a futurist who delivers an outstanding presentation – in both relevant content and a dynamic and fun delivery style. We loved him!” Jenny McCullough, Director of Training and Events,KOA Franchise Services
I think the thing which really makes me stand out in the market is the effort, research and customization I put into my keynotes. You can read about this: I wrote a blog post some time back, “What Goes Into Building a Great Keynote?”
From a speaking perspective, 2012 was a great year with a lot of fabulous events! I’m looking forward to 2013!
Back in April, I was the opening keynote speaker for the 2012 Accenture Global International Utilities and Energy Conference, speaking to the future of the energy and utility industry. Accenture’s run a report on the conference, including a synopsis of my talk. You can read their full report here.
“Do organizations envision and plan for what an industry will look like in 2022? Winners are bold and unafraid to push innovations that break ‘the organizational sclerosis’ that often keeps organizations from trying new ideas.”
Rethinking Innovation – Jim Carroll
The message is clear: it’s survival of the fastest. The future depends on how quickly companies adapt to change, according to Jim Carroll, who BusinessWeek named one of the world’s leading sources for insights on innovation.
The only real constant is how quickly knowledge, science, innovation and markets evolve.
With 65 percent of today’s preschoolers expected to work in careers that do not exist yet today, “learning is what most of us must now do for a living,” noted Carroll.
And what is it that world-class innovators do? To start, innovators are relentless in their pursuit of the future, yet many executives have become “aggressively indecisive”, killing their organization’s ability to innovate.
He cited a GE study, which shows only about 10 percent of companies in a market typically position themselves to take advantage of emerging opportunities in times of economic uncertainty. Winners decide “now is the time to innovate, now is the time to invest, and now is the time to experiment,” said Carroll.
World-class innovators also remain relentlessly focused on the big picture, despite failures or regulatory and market pushback. He recalled an observation from Bill Gates that most people overestimate the rate of change on a two-year period,
but underestimate the rate of change for a 10-year period. Do organizations envision and plan for what an industry will look like in 2022?
Winners are bold and unafraid to push innovations that break “the organizational sclerosis” that often keeps organizations from trying new ideas.
And because we are immersed in a world where knowledge is generated faster than ever before, Carroll predicts we will witness “furious rates of innovation” in renewable energy—including geothermal, nuclear, off- grid power and solar. For example, he noted how MIT scientists have figured out how to print solar cells onto paper.
World-class innovators have open minds; they think big, and they take advantage opportunities to connect with everyone and everything— right now.
So I was on the phone today with the CEO of a major global organization headquartered in Canada. I’ll be opening a leadership meeting for the company in early 2013, and this was a call to begin planning for the structure of my talk.
During the call, comments by Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada about the US economic relationship came up. Clearly, this is a country that is seeing it’s share of challenge due to fast-paced challenges in it’s “special relationship” with the US.
I mentioned to the CEO that as far back as 2009, I was already predicting that Canada would likely have challenges in selling it’s oil in the future into the US market. And many other challenges! And that it would have to re-orient its economy further away from the US and take on much more of a global view!
This was plainly evident to me back then — and look where things are today. What are serious people and politicians and everyday folk in Canada suddenly talking about that no one really took seriously just a year ago?“…a Pacific energy pipeline….” “…. aligning more natural resources and commodities with long term Asian contracts….” “…… a serious free trade relationship with Europe that goes beyond NAFTA.”
With that in mind, I just dug out an old post I wrote way back in 2009 that was written as a bit of a joke at the time — surmising that Canada would see many reasons to reorient it’s global economy in the future. It’s a press release written very much tongue-in-cheek. It was briefly posted to my blog. (I removed it after a short time, since I thought that many people might find it offensive. But back then, it was covered in Bourque.org and a few other breaking-Canadian-news blogs….)
I now find it remarkably prescient, though some of it is still very clearly written for fun. For example, the border wall!
Canada announces end of economic relationship with US, & a bold new strategy to 2020
Ottawa, May 14, 2009
The country of Canada today announced the end of its centuries long relationship with the United States, and a bold new seven-point “Canada Transformed!” strategy that will re-orient its economic, cultural, societal values and innovation engine towards the world economy of 2020.
“It has come to the point that we can no longer rely on the United States as a reliable economic partner,” stated Canada at a news conference. “It is time that we adopt a bold new strategy that will align our economy away from the US, and towards the growth economies of the 21st century in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. As well, we will immediately begin working to enhance our long standing relationships with reliable partner nations in Europe.”
The massive scope of the plan was not lost on Canada in the emotional conference. “We aim to reduce our role of being the largest trading partner with the United States, to becoming a marginal partner at best. We believe that this is the only right way forward.”
Bold new thinking is required Canada spoke bluntly at the news conference of the need for bold new thinking. “Our relationship with the US is one that has become, through no fault of our own, increasingly abusive. We’re honest, faithful, and do our part to provide to the relationship. We have been the largest trading partner to the United States for over a century. And yet, in return, we find ourselves taking on an increasing amount of abuse, neglect, and ever more hostile actions. We’re sad that it must come to an end, but we believe that it is time.”
Canada cited a long list of complaints and grievances, ranging from ongoing trade disputes, “downright hostile treatment” of Canadian citizens by US border guards, and increasingly aggressive use of a “Buy America” policy by state and local governments in the US — despite a promise in Ottawa by President Barak Obama that he did not believe protectionism was the right way forward.
At the press conference, Canada announced a significant 10 year, 7 point plan, branded “Canada Transformed!”, that will re-orient it’s economy away from the United States to the AEA (Asia, Europe and Africa) markets, by the 2020, with a number of key goals:
Energy & oil: Canada will invest in a massive infrastructure project that will allow it to deliver the bulk of it’s significant energy/oil resources to Asia, Europe and Africa within 5-7 years. The infrastructure project will consist of a number of significant pipeline projects that will direct Canadian oil, natural gas and other energy sources to east and west coast ports, as well as shipping and marine infrastructure, that will provide for a “ocean railway of energy” destined to the AEA countries.”Today, Canada is the largest supplier of energy to the United States. By 2020, Canada aims to provide almost no energy to the US,” noted Canada at the news conference. “We wish them well in their efforts to solve their energy crisis. We do not intend to help them any further.”
Food & agriculture: Global food production must double to meet world population growth, and Canadian grain, beef, pork and other producers will work to achieve an AEA target market of 90% by 2020. “Quite simply, the rest of the world beyond the US needs a stable, reliable food supplier, and Canada intends to become the leading global brand in that regard.”
Resources: Canada will seek investment from major Asian and mid-East sovereign wealth funds in an ambitious effort to re-orient the target markets for at least 80% of Canadian mineral commodities to AEA nations by 2015.”Quite simply, Canada has the natural resources — iron, nickel, copper, uranium and just every other type of metal — that the newly industrialized world in Asia needs. As we witness a continued declined in US economic power, particularly in the manufacturing sector, we must ensure that we pursue growth opportunities elsewhere in the world. As China re-industrializes with the economic recovery, we intend to be their partner of choice.“
Manufacturing: Since the advent of the US-Canada free-trade agreement in 1994, Canada has shared in one of the modern world’s greatest economic successes — the highly integrated Canadian-US manufacturing network supply chain. However, the collapse of the US manufacturing sector, as well as continuous suffocation of the border flow of goods, it is clear that Canada must re-orient itself to the new realities of the 21st century.”A nation does not move forward suffering from the ongoing implementation of economic choke points,” noted Canada. “We will re-align ourselves to economies that believe the way forward is through intelligent, smart-border policies that encourage the free flow of goods and people; not a nation that has a border policy that is driven by politics. We will immediately provide strong incentives for Canadian manufacturers to re-focus on Canadian markets, as well as the establishment of significant new markets in AEA countries. There are over 2 billion people in these markets, and but 280 million in the US.”"Clearly, our future lies outside of North America, and we will align our manufacturing sector to this reality.“
Immigration-based knowledge factories: Canada is the envy of other nations throughout the world for its’ open, welcoming culture towards new immigrants. It plans to build on this reputation by establishing itself as the world’s dominant source for high-level, specialized knowledge expertise in almost every single professional field.”We believe that we are entering the second era of off-shoring,” noted Canada, “with the next wave going far beyond customer support call centers. Nations around the world will need access to high level talent in the fields of medicine and health care, scientific research, agricultural and architectural skills, legal and professional services — and will seek to access that knowledge through the global communications networks that will dominate the economy of the 21st century” said Canada. “We will welcome global knowledge experts in every field of human endeavor to relocate to Canada, enjoy all the attributes that our nation has to offer, and provide their skills to a massive offshore groups of clients in AEA nations. In doing so, we will establish Canada as the global hub for the knowledge economy of the 21st century. Quite simply, Brand Canada will become the most widely recognized phase when it comes to the need for access to knowledge.”
Immediate border construction: Finally, Canada announced that it would immediately begin construction of border that would prevent unauthorized entry into Canada by US citizens. “We will immediately begin planning construction of a 4,500 mile physical border along our common frontier with the US,” noted Canada. “We increasingly view the US health care system to be in peril — within a decade, some US states will be devoting more than 60% of their GDP to health care. Clearly, many US citizens will plan to flee to Canada to take advantage of our world-class universal health care system. We must prevent this mass migration of Americans into Canada, and believe that significantly enhanced border structures are the only means of doing so.”
At the close of the news conference, Canada stated that it was taking these actions with reluctance, but with conviction that it was the right thing to do.
“Nations have always achieved continued economic success by making bold leaps. We believe, given the continuing deterioration in our relationship with the US, and the ongoing and continued lack of respect that they provide to us, that it is time to move on.”
“Canada is the most resource rich, tolerant, energy abundant, agriculturally advanced, second largest country in the world, with a massive base of skills, energy, commodities, food, and capabilities. We intend to assert our place in the economy of the 21st century with a sense of pride, purpose, and clear direction,” said Canada at the conclusion of the press conference.
“Besides that, we’re just plain nice,” said Canada, blushing, in a closing comment.
“We are excited about our future, and believe that we have made the right decision at the right time for the right purpose. Canada Transformed! will see our nation emerge as one of the leading economies on the world stage by 2020, and we embark on this voyage with a sense of courage, enthusiasm, and certainty as to its’ impact.”
The United States was not immediately available for comment.
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.”
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!
Here’s an exciting option for those who are looking to book for a keynote, and want to provide something special to their attendees.
Scott Blanchard wrote a custom Foreword for my book, The Future Belongs To Those Who Are Fast, and provided all 180 attendees with a copy. I can easily prepare a similar custom edition for your next conference, meeting or event.
I can now offer a custom print run of my book The Future Belongs to Those Who Are Fast. You get:
prominent mention on the cover
four custom pages bound inside the book which you can use as your own custom Foreword for the book
We can do this for print runs of as small as 100 books, at a very attractive cost. Contact me for details.
Here’s an example of how it works: I recently keynoted the 2012 Blanchard Summit, hosted by Ken Blanchard, author of the One Minute Manager.
In this case, his son and business partner Scott, wrote the Foreword for the book. As you can see on the cover, this fact is prominently mentioned.
Then, right after the introductory page and table of contents, Scott provided a four page Foreword that spoke about the key theme of the 2012 conference, and how this book and my keynote would provide the necessary content and direction to that theme. (In this case, their theme was “Fast Forward: Lead, Innovate and Cultivate.”)
You might find this to be an interesting option if you would like an additional way to hammer home your key agenda and points from your conference, event or meeting.
Or, you might find this to be a powerful tool to draw in sponsorship dollars — your sponsor has the opportunity to have a custom book with a key message that is provided in hard form to every single attendee.
If you are interested in exploring this option, please contact me. I can send to you a sample copy of the book so that you can see what it looks like.
Essentially, all we need to make it work is advance notice, and receiving the text for the custom 4 pages from you at least 8 weeks in advance.
We’re very excited as we think this provides event organizers with an additional new method of emphasizing a key conference theme.
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.
I keep advising my personal trainer that she needs to get an iPhone. She shrugs, noting that there is a queue in the family for the next mobile upgrade, and her 14 year old daughter might have more of a claim in the line than she does.
Hogwash! There is an absolute revolution going on involving the “consumerization of fitness and wellness” — and this super long blog post will put into perspective why. And maybe this will help to sort out some of her family politics over the ‘next phone.’ The fact is, the very nature of the future fitness opportunity is changing ….
Update: After I wrote this blog post, Adweek ran the article, “Nike+ Officially Turns Your Workout Into a Video Game” – you want to read it.
Here’s the main gist of this post — In May and June, I spoke at a tremendous number of corporate, association and private events; it was a busy couple of months, and hence the lack of regular postings to the blog.
Three of these were events related to the issue of corporate wellness programs.
It was the perfect timing for such a keynote; through the last year and I half, I’ve been following what I believe to be a fairly aggressive personal fitness regime, with the help of my personal trainer, as well as personally exploring the wealth of new fitness and wellness mobile applications that are flooding the market.
The entire premise of my keynote? 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 smartphones that have become a ubiquitous part of our lifestyle – that can motivate consumers to do so much more with their personal fitness and wellness.
Why a keynote on wellness? Because companies are recognizing there is a big opportunity to be innovative with managing healthcare 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 healthcare system worldwide . Organizations are moving beyond the endless political debate, and are instead, putting in place practical, innovative programs that can help organizations manage healthcare costs, and employees can actively work at improving their overall health and fitness.
Let’s consider the trends which are all coming together.
1. It’s crisis time!
Throughout the western worldwide, the obesity, diabetes and lifestyle health care crisis is really making itself felt with massive demands being placed on the system. The future is stark ; if something is not done, we will continue to see:
a continued rapid increase in lifestyle disease, resulting in even more massive future demands on the system
a bigger demographic challenge – more boomers placing demand on the system, with fewer workers to support the massive uptick in spending that results
a resultant massive supply / demand imbalance
and an expectation gap likely to increase scope of challenge : a trend I wrote about in my “Trending in 2011: 10 Major Trends to Start Thinking About Now.” It’s worth a read — check the first big trend in the list.
Clearly, something needs to be done. Hence, a lot of innovative thinking!
2. A massive shift to preventative medical concepts
Given that the Western world has such a big problem, it’s also fascinating to note that there is a huge amount of innovation occurring in the health care system now – and it has absolutely nothing to do with the raging (and now seemingly pointless) political debate occurring in the US.
What is happening is this: we are in the midst of a long term trend in which “preventative medical care” will come to exceed what we spend on “reactive medical care.” Preventative care takes many forms, from genetic testing (to determine what conditions people are likely to develop in their lifetime) to wellness and other preventative programs. Simply put, let’s fix people before they are sick, rather than treating them after they’ve developed a condition.
We’ve got a heck of a long way to go with this trend: according to a PriceWaterhouseCoopers report, “a mere 3% of spending goes towards prevention of chronic disease among industrialized countries.”
But what is happening is an acceleration of the trends that take us to a world of preventative healthcare. Consider the trend line with genomic medicine:
it took $3 billion to sequence the first human genome
by 2009, that was down to $100,000
it’s now under $10,000
and it is estimated by the end of 2012, $1,000
Give it a few years, and you’ll be able to go out and buy a $5 genomic sequencing machine at Radio Shack! That might seem like a joke, and it is. But the significance of a cost curve such as this is that it accelerates a significant shift in spending.
It isn’t occurring with genomic medicine — its happening everywhere throughout the world of healthcare. Last year, when I keynoted one of the largest seniors care conferences in the US, I noted the same type of focus on preventative thinking was becoming routine:
“Identifying dementia early can cut the cost of care by nearly 30 percent … routine screening that identified patients with early signs of dementia helped cut average healthcare costs by nearly $2,000 per patient in the first year, often by eliminating money spent on unnecessary tests and treatments. Early diagnosis can cut Alzheimer’s costs, Reuters Health E-Line, July 2010
The health and wellness theme fits into this agenda as well, which have undergone very much a sea-change in the last, in terms of perception, importance and approach:
“In businesses across the nation, workplace wellness has morphed from a “nice-to-have” fringe benefit to a “must-have” cost-containment strategy.” 23 April 2012, GlobeNewswire
Employers determined to contain medical costs must focus on creating a culture that supports healthy behaviors. If they can do that, they can enhance not only their bottom lines but also transform the lives of their workers. 28 April 2012, Obesity, Fitness & Wellness Week
“In businesses across the nation, workplace wellness has morphed from a “nice-to-have” fringe benefit to a “must-have” cost-containment strategy.” 23 April 2012, GlobeNewswire
“64 percent of employers surveyed indicated that wellness initiatives are among the top three most effective tactics for controlling health care costs” 2012 Annual Plan Design Survey, National Business Group on Health
Studies show that for every $1 spent on a wellness program, medical expenses fall by at least $3.
Part 3: Time for some more aggressive action!
What is interesting is that in corporate organizations throughout the Western world, wellness programs are rapidly shifting : they’re going from a “nice-to-have” type of program, to a “we really need to see some results!” approach. Consider the trends; certainly many more organizations are putting such programs in place:
A recent study by Willis North America’s Human Capital Practice found about 60 percent of the companies surveyed have wellness programs, an increase of 13 percent from 2010. Companies encourage wellness, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 22 April 2012
But not only are more organizations adopting wellness programs: they are working to put in place structures, methodologies and measurement technologies that can help to ensure that employees are benefitting from such programs:
One of the fastest-growing categories of new insurance includes significant penalties for those who don’t participate or backslide on targets – penalties that may include deductible spikes or loss of health-savings accounts. Workers’ wellness can turn a profit Insurers offer incentives for health and penalize workers who can’t meet goals, The Denver Post , 25 December 2011
A national survey of large employers by the National Business Group on Health found that 80 percent plan to offer financial rewards for health in 2012, up from 54 percent this year. Workers’ wellness can turn a profit Insurers offer incentives for health and penalize workers who can’t meet goals, The Denver Post , 25 December 2011
And this is where tech comes along at the perfect time!
4. In comes technology – and the new consumerization of health care!
Technology is going to provide for more creative disruption in the world of healthcare than we’ve ever seen. Simply put, it changes everything.
“Imagine a far more extreme transformation, in which advances in IT, biology and engineering allow us to move much of health care out of hospitals, clinics and doctors offices, and into our everyday lives.” Our high-tech health care future, New York Times, 10 Nov 2011
The Withings Wi-FI Body Scale measures weight, BMI and fat mass, and transmits the info to a password protected site. I’ve got one and love it. They sell them at the Apple Store!
Cast your mind out 5 years or more, and we will see significant change in everything we do in the world of health care:
“…. you’ll be sitting in front of a big multitouch screen actually watching what’s going on in your body in a very intuitive, fun kind of animation. When you leave, the doctor will download prescriptions and treatments onto your cellphone – which not only remind you, but encourage you to follow the medicine’s or other lifestyle procedures. [You'll see] a periodic video message from the doctor to encourage you if you’re doing well or maybe to encourage you if you’re not. It’ll be continuous care rather than the episodic, periodic care that occurs today.” Better living with technology, The Boston Globe, 21 November 2011
Extend that type of thinking, and we are headed to a future in which we literally have a dashboard for the human body…..
And it is starting to happen now — with a flood of new mobile and other healthcare technologies that help consumers to take more of an active role in their level of wellness and fitness. Consider the current trends:
78% of consumers are interested in mobile health wellness fitness solutions
medical fitness health care apps are 3rd fast growing category for iPhone and Android phones
the Apple App store now has 17,000 health care related apps, 60% of which are aimed at the consumer
sports, fitness and wellness apps will grow from 154 million downloads in 2010 to 908 million by 2016
the number of wearable wireless “gadgets” will grow from 8 million to 72 million over the same period
I’m using a number of mobile wellness and fitness apps — for example, MapMyWalk, which I use to track the pace and timing of the five mile — or more — walk that I do while at home or travelling. I’ve also got a Withings Wi-Fi Body Scale — which tracks weight, BMI and body-fat mass, transmitting those details to a personally-password protected Web site. Utilize such technology, and all of a sudden you’ve got the opportunity to be more involved in your own well being.
Or, as I commented in New York at the keynote the impact of consumer fitness, wellness and healthcare technologies is that “...they increase how often individuals think about their health…”
And clearly, it’s a pretty big trend:
“500 million mobile users, or about 30% of an estimated 1.4 billion smartphone subscribers worldwide, will be using health/fitness apps by 2015. Healthcare in your hands International Herald Tribune, March 2011
The Withings Blood Pressure Monitor works with your iPhone. It’s an example of the start of the trend I call “bio-connectivity.”
It isn’t just consumers who are rapidly adopting such technology — so are doctors and other professionals throughout the healthcare system.
By the end of the year 90 percent of physicians will have smart phones. Health apps soon will get an incubator, The San Francisco Chronicle, 11 April 2011
We are only beginning to scratch the surface of the innovations that will occur here. I’ve been suggesting that one of the biggest trends to sweep the world of healthcare and medicine will be that of ‘bio-connectivity,’ a phrase I coined well over a decade ago. Consider this post which I wrote before keynoting the World Healthcare Innovation & Technology Congress in Washington.
Bio-connectivity provides huge opportunity for innovation in the space of healthcare. The same company – Withings — has brought out the Withings iPhone Blood Pressure Monitor — seen on the right. All of a sudden, someone working to manage their blood pressure doesn’t need to rely on pencils and paper to track their progress — it’s automatically captured through the smartphone which is becoming an integral, everyday part of their life.
Not only that, but they can transmit their blood pressure readings and charts to their doctor or other health care provider via email. This provides for the virtualization of healthcare ; no longer are hospital or doctor visits restricted to actual physical locations known as hospitals or doctors offices — instead, it becomes a part of the global Internet. If you think about what is happening here: there is a change in the centuries old relationship between doctor and patient!
Did you know that researchers have already figured out how to make an ultra-thin heart monitor that goes on like a tattoo? Talk about a trend that is going to drive a lot of change!
Link all of these trends together, and the simple fact is this: we are going to witness more change in the world of healthcare, wellness and fitness in the next five years, than we have seen in the previous one hundred years.
And if you follow that path down the road of wellness and fitness — the very nature of fitness is changing. Ten years out, most folks going to the gym will have a smartphone attached to their hip, and will be working with their trainer on a regimen that includes this type of personal fitness tracking.
Sure, it sounds odd, but ten years ago, we didn’t have Facebook, Twitter, Youtube or many other of today’s life changing technologies.
My personal trainer really needs to get an iPhone!
"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