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Industry Trend Reports

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



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

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

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

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

 

Give it a watch!

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

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

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

jetsonslunchbox

I so want this item….

Learn more about the making of the video

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

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

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

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

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

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

fintech

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And the fact is, they are not:

gama1

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

gama2

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

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

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

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

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

Not really:

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

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

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

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

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

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

gama3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Will most companies survive? Maybe not. Stay tuned!

Keynotes: A Note on Customization
September 15th, 2016

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

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

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

fintech

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

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

I tweeted about this a week ago:

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

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

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

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

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

People book me because they want real insight .

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

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

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

 

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

How a Futurist Deciphers Trends
By Brandon Fox, January 2016

RD2008Food1.jpg

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

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

WHAT TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY?

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

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

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

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

WHERE DO YOU SEE INFLUENCES COMING FROM SPECIFICALLY?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That kind of freaks me out.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Transformation of healthcare

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

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

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

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

What’s the impact on Millennial physician recruitment?

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

2. Bio-connectiivty and virtualization of healthcare

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

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

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

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

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

HealthVirtualization

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

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

3. The Consumerizaton of Healthcare

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

4. Generational acceleration

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

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

Other key career issues?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1654978_10152997805681039_4147622231242512386_oI had the honor last week of being the opening keynote speaker for the Sporting & Fitness Industry Association Leadership Summit, held in New Orleans. In attendance were CEO’s of several major sporting/fitness companies, as well as retailers in the industry; overall, about 200 very senior level executives representing a vast cross section of a major US industry.

My keynote focused on 5 key themes:

  • The BIG MISS : how companies miss out on market and business model transformation, particularly when fast moving digital technologies completely change customer interaction and the very concept of a ‘product,’ as well as the rapid emergence of new competitors
  • Interaction : embedded technology changes everything!
  • Acceleration: the result is that the pace of innovation in the sporting and fitness industry is rapidly shifting to the speed of innovation of Silicon Valley
  • Reinvention: this results in a need to continually reinvent new products, new sources of revenue, and to generation “chameleon revenue” where revenue has not previously existed
  • Generations: 10 to 15 years out, in changes in even more major ways ; at some point in our lifetime, we’ll see the last kid ever use a baseball bat that doesn’t have some sort of computer chip embedded in it

Much of what I had to cover was the massive impact that digital technologies are having on all apsects of the sports and fitness industries. It ties into an observation by one analyst that “in the next 10 years, it is estimated that 40% of the S&P 500 will no longer exist if these companies fail to keep up with these technology trends.”

I reached out to Derek Sprague, the President of the PGA of America, prior to my talk, for his thoughts on how the game of golf has been transformed by digital technologies in just the last 5 years. He had two brilliant observations:

  • “In the last five years, video software, launch monitors and game tracking devices (like Game Golf) have brought the technology tools of elite professional players to the masses. Understanding how to integrate volumes of performance data into traditional teaching methods has become “commonplace for PGA Professionals.”
  • “Not only that, but yield management and mobile-oriented buying platforms aren’t just for hotels and airlines anymore.  As consumer expectations for technology driven experiences increase exponentially, answering the phone and handwriting tee times onto a paper tee sheet are no longer the norms. ”

It was a great talk with great feedback, with one tweet noting, “@jimcarroll: One of the most fascinating conference speakers I’ve ever heard. #sfialeads”

 

 

I was thrilled to have been invited to address the 2015 Graduating Class at the University of North Carolina School of Government -CGCIO program in Chapel Hill the other day!

IMG_7102It was part of a full day program which led to their graduation ceremony; I was invited in to challenge them to think of the opportunities and challenges they face as they go forward into the future at the start of their day.

Attendees were from a broad spectrum of local and municipal governments, as well as school boards and legal bodies; particularly responsible for information technology and infrastructure.  I’ve previously spoken to many such groups, including a keynote for 3,000 folks at the annual Government Finance Officers Association annual conference in Austin, Texas; 2,000 mayors and civic officials for the Texas Municipal League annual conference in Dallas, Texas; and 500 at the Utah League of Cities and Towns annual event in Salt Lake City (among many other events.)

Certainly the challenge for government today is pretty big;I opened with this quote:

“Increasingly, citizens are demanding that governments provide the same level personalized service that they receive from business organizations.” International Innovations in Public Sector External Service Delivery, 
Brock University, March 2010″

That certainly became evident with the rollout of the Web site for the Health Care Reform Act (aka “Obamacare”); with a failed implementation, it became clear that the expectations of society are that any government should provide the same degree of online service as Amazon, FedEx or others. I spoke of what people expect in terms of online interaction today, using the example of pension benefits:

  • extreme personalization
  • extreme simplification
  • complete interaction history
  • pro-active delivery by new platforms (i.e. instant text messages when pension plan changes occur)
  • Web interaction > call center (i.e. chat / video / Skype/ Google Hangout?)
  • and mobile!

Yet the problem for many government organizations is that they have to try to provide this service within the reality of the existence of a creaky, lumbering, complex back-end information technology platform. I use a simple picture to illustrate the problem (which brought down the house with laughter; they know all too well that the problem is very, very real.)

YourApp

But then I continued : that’s not the biggest challenge; it’s the fact that they very definition of technology and infrastructure — their area of responsibility — will be subject to rapid change.

My intent was to put into perspective that as CIO’s for government organizations, they had better be ready to assume responsibility for a lot more than just citizen facing service systems and other existing infrastructure. It’s the new, rapidly evolving technology and trends which will see them becoming responsible for even more technology — and it could all happen pretty quickly.

There were several themes:

  • Big, disruptive ideas: we all know big change is happening in every industry. How quickly will we see online voting; text message based democracy, and other new forms of technology based citizen democracy? I wrote about this in my “25 Trends for 2025” document — take a look at the trend, “Poll-democracy takes flight“, in which I suggest that “the mobile generation, weaned on the technology of text messaging and social networks, finally convinces a few brave countries to consider the idea of real time 
citizen-voting.” It’s not a question of if it will happen; it’s a question of when it will happen.
  • Infrastructure of 2025: it’s emerging now, and its happening fast. In cities and towns, we’ll see  local business and citizen groups using mobile energy shared insight apps to actively monitor and manage local lighting usage; global community vs. community challenges become common as gaming generation comes to manage their ‘personal energy infrastructure usage’ ; deep analysis capabilities move cities to prognostic maintenance of traffic, electrical, lighting, wastewater and water infrastructure systems. Wow!
  • Moore’s Law everywhere: Of course, the Internet of Things. Opportunities involving the virtualization of health care; seniors community care networks that allow seniors to live in their homes instead of seniors care facilities, supported through vast, interconnected medical devices ; intelligent LED networked streetlights with proximity sensors that indicate open parking spots; payment technology embedded into cars that will link and pay through smart meters.
  • Grand challenges: there are big challenges with civic infrastructure today. 16% of the water supply in the US is lost due to leaky pipes, and goes back in the ground!Put it another way: utilities lose enough water every six days to supply the nation for a day! Only 7% of the communities in the US recycle wastewater. Compare that to Israel: more than 80% of household wastewater is recycled, 1/2 going to irrigation. Of course, someone will solve this challenge with technology — perhaps this company. “Nexus eWater, maker of the world’s first home water and energy recycler, today announced that it is the first company ever to receive certification to the NSF/ANSI 350 global standard for residential grey water treatment for its ‘NEXtreater’ home water recycler. (Nexus eWater is World’s First Company to 
Obtain Certification for Residential Grey Water Treatment 13 March 2015, Business Wire). Their goals? reducing city water into the home by up to 40%; reducing sewage from the home by 70%; reducing water heating energy by 75% ; reducing home energy use by 15-25%; generating total savings of up to $50-$200 per month per home for water, sewer and electric bills. Oh, and harvesting rainwater. Pretty bold goals, but that’s the type of world we live in today
  • The next generation: My sons are now 21 and 20. I pointed out that they have never known a world without the Internet, and have never known a world for the last decade without some type of mobile device. They simply will not expect to deal with a government that is not prepared to service them quickly, efficiently and effectively through mobile.

It was a fun talk; and certainly inspired a lot of thinking, with a solid 1/2 hour of Q&A.

I’m extremely impressed by the level of insight provided by a program such as that at UNC. We should do more to encourage innovators in government to take on and assume more responsibility for some of the grandest opportunities of our time!

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My son and I in front of one of Volvo’s newest trucks. “The typical truck now generates 3 gigabytes of diagnostic and other information every month!”

It was quite a thrill to be the opening speaker a short while ago for the annual Dealers Meeting of Volvo/Mack Trucks North America, in Dallas, Texas.

My role was to talk about the future of transportation and trucking, and put in perspective how the reality today and going forward that for trucks, connectivity is the new horsepower!

My talk focused around several broad themes; the evolution of trucks into a world of predictive diagnostic maintenance; data-driven hyper-connectivity that leads us into future efficiencies and opportunities; the increasing skills challenge that comes with the shift; and the opportunity that this presents to dealers as we move into an era of sophisticated, post-sale, connected service and support. That was a mouthful!

Going in, I already knew I’d be speaking in the exact same conference room where a few years ago, I was the opening keynote speaker for the Texas Municipal League.

In the audience at time I had more than 2,500 mayors and other elected officials of cities and towns large and small from throughout the state of Texas. And it’s just a few days after President Obama swept to his second term in office – and so I needed to move these folks into thinking about the opportunities of the future! Here’s a clip from that talk, in which I was speaking how quickly the intelligent infrastructure of the 21st — including intelligent highway technology — was becoming a big part of our world.

That’s part of the approach I took for the Volvo / Mac Trucks event as well, opening with a quote from their CEO which really summarizes the connectivity being built into the next generation of transportation technology: “We are rapidly approaching the point at which no trucks will ever really be ‘offline.’ ”

Part of the big focus of the meeting, and the focus on my keynote, was the opportunities that come from building predictive maintenance technology into a truck. This provides for fascinating reductions in overall fleet downtime — we’ll know when a vehicle is going to have a problem, and can call it in for preventative maintenance before it gets worse. Volvo already has 80,000 trucks on the road with remote diagnistics buit in.  The typical truck now generates 3 gigabytes of diagnostic and other information every month! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

This is just one trend that is underway with all kinds of vehicle technology. We’ve also got an acceleration in all kinds of trends that is leading us to vehicle autonomy — that is, self-driving cars.

Already, we are seeing rapid advancements with :

  • collision avoidance
  • pedestrian and object detection
  • spatial awareness and GPS
  • V2V (Vehicle to Vehicle) communications for lane, distance, time compression
  • remote vehicle control
  • predictive fuel efficiency routing
  • intelligent highway technology
  • lane, distance, time compression

Noted Volvo, “We think that a few years from now the vehicle will have a 360-degree ‘awareness’ of what’s going on around it, and will even be able to predict what the moving entities it is scanning might do next.”

Of course, all of this leads into a fascinating new skill set requirement throughout the dealer support network as well for trucking/automative companies. This includes:

  • engineering and technology staff that can predict & prevent failure
  • marketing that can optimize the customer experience in terms of new opportunity
  • maintenance and warranty staff who can work with the new prognostic capabilities and realign their efforts
  • …. and the leadership who makes it go

How quickly will this come about? Pretty fast: consider this observation”

 “It is early spring in 2018. Most major fleets have become such sophisticated users of data to do prognostics or predictive maintenance these days that they don’t even use the predictive word anymore. It is just part and parcel of routine maintenance—business as usual” Maintenance in the cloud, 16 March 2015, Fleet Owner

The potential impact for truck dealers could be significant; according to Frost & Sullivan’s Fleet Dealer Magazine

  • parts, servicing and maintenance will grow as the “pillar” of successful dealerships
  • profit margins of 40-50% growing an additional 5-10% by 2020 (do the math!)
  • telematics, prognostics and remote diagnostics represents a new potential revenue stream of 10-15% of profits by 2020
  • (and as I noted on stage, anyone asking about, um, loyalty?)

Through the years, I’ve done a tremendous number of talks within the insurance industry, both the life and P&C (property and casualty) sides of the business.

For years, it’s been a pretty slow industry. That’s all about to change — in a big way! Indeed, we might soon see Google, or Amazon, or some other company with big technology, lots of data, and new methods of reaching potential customers that will forever disrupt and change the industry. Some folks have been talking to this potential for a few years, as seen in this article.

GoogleInsurance

I just did a talk for the CEO and senior executive team of one of the largest life insurance organizations in the U.S.

The main thrust of my talk was that the opportunity for big,  disruptive transformation in the life insurance industry is now accelerating, as three major trends come together.

  • bio-connectivity drives medical care, with opt-in for performance oriented life policies based on real time reduction of morbidity stats. People are using health and fitness monitors on their iPhones. If they can show good results from their health and wellness goals, an insurer would be far more likely to take a risk on them
  • we’re moving into a world of real time analytical community healthcare status updates that feed into actuarial tables; think about Apple’s recent initiative with it’s HealthKit (first to be used for medical research). It’s only a matter of time before real time healthcare dashboards are part of the health system in the Western world. I wrote about that before, in my post: “Trend: The Emergence of Real Time Analytical Predictive Healthcare Dashboards.”
  • every industry is being disrupted, as big, bold thinkers take over the agenda of an industry. Maybe in just a few years, we’ll see the Amazon Prime “No Hassles, Real Time, No Questions” Life Policy.

Some people in the life insurance industry see this trend, and see a threat.

The most amazing thing is that this is happening in the context of an industry that, if it is not dead yet, is certainly in the triage department:

MetLife’s premiums on policies sold to individuals last year totaled $409 million, a decline of 26% from $553 million in 2005. Industrywide sales of individual life-insurance policies are down 45% since the mid-1980s, according to industry-funded research firm Limra. About 30% of American households have no life insurance at all, up from 19% about 30 years ago. People of Wal-Mart: Struggling Life Insurers Seek A Middle-Class Revival, 25 July 2014, The Wall Street Journal

Those are staggering numbers.

Real innovators see the same trends, and see nothing but opportunity. The industry is totally up for grabs.