Some people see a trend & see threat. Innovators see the same trend & see opportunity

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Innovation Stories

When you’ve got 4,000 people in the audience, you can suggest small ideas, big ideas or whacky ideas - but they're still ideas. Check out some of the stories Jim has used on stage to help set the tone for innovative thinking and change!



(Yes, it’s safe for work!”)

From a recent keynote for Volvo / Mack Trucks North America leadership meeting.

A dinner talk, so you have to build some tremendous fun into it. I had the crowd in stitches! But the clip makes a point — autonomous technology is coming quickly, but we’ll go through the Gartner Hypecycle before we get there….

So here we go: why is autonomous vehicle technology a lot like teenage sex?

  • no one is sure what it is, but they hear that its great
  • everyone thinks that everyone else is doing it
  • those who say they are doing it are probably lying
  • the few who are doing it aren’t doing it very well
  • everyone hopes it will be great when they finally do it
  • once they start doing it, they’ll discover that it is going to take a
  • while to figure out how to get really good at it
  • and they’ll realize that they’ll have to try to discover a whole bunch of new methods of doing it to really figure it all out

A clip from my keynote for the PGA, challenging the audience to think about innovation in a different way. Innovation isn’t just about the invention of new products and services — it’s also about focusing as a leader on how to “run the business better, grow the business, and transform the business!


As you can see, I ran a live interactive text message poll in the room — we had responses from 200+ people in a matter of two minutes. I was then able to use the nature of the response through the rest of the talk. For this group, innovation is really about ‘growing and transforming the business’.

Welcome to the folks from FarmSecure – Great to see you here!

Over the last fifteen years as a futurist and innovation expert, I’ve spoken to a tremendous number of agricultural groups. This has often included large groups of farmers, attending an event where I’ve been asked to speak at a community economic development event.

These talks have long involved a lot of research into key agricultural trends. And one thing I’ve come to appreciate is that farmers can be some of the most innovative people on the planet. Here’s a video clip from a keynote to a US Military conference in Dallas — yes, the military — and I’m describing to them the unique innovation insight that can be learned from farmers.


What are the trends they are innovating with? Take a look at 10 Key Trends for Agriculture.

At the recent Consumer Electronics Association CEO summit in Ojai, CA, I focused on how social networks are coming to have a huge impact on brand perception.

But aside from that main thread, I also concentrated on my message of innovation in an era in which “faster is the new fast.” Here’s an older clip that looks at what’s happening in the world of product innovation.


I pointed out to the crowd – which included the CEO’s of some of the largest digital technology companies in the world — that some product lifecycles are collpasing to ZERO. Case in point — Lenovo announced a tablet computer at the CES show in January. They dropped it after the iPad came to market, perhaps because it was bound to be a dud compared to the feature set of the iPad.

But maybe if they got it out sooner, it could have established a beachhead.

What do you do in a world in which a product is dead before you can get it to market? Innovate faster. Focus on fast. Do fast. Be fast. In the high velocity economy, speed and agility are everything.

Kids today spend some 7.5 hours a day engaged with some type of media; with with multitasking, that’s 11 hours of screen time per day, or almost  53 hours a week, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation!

That’s more than a full time job, and more time than their parents spend at work.

Here’s a video clip where Jim was the opening keynote speaker for the 2010 US Navy, Air Force & Marine Child Youth Program Conference in Dallas, Texas, putting these numbers into perspective and speaking to the new realities in providing support services today.

How do you master innovation? Through the powerful story in this video clip, I point out the challenges that organizations face with the different generations in the workplace — and introduce the concept of “generational collaborative capability” as being a key component of succcesful innovation.

When you’ve got 4,000 people from large cities and small towns across America, thinking about how to solve some of the big problems faced by society, you can suggest small ideas, or whacky ideas. Here I am on stage, with a suggestion involving the latter.

  • PacManHatten

Here I am speaking to an audience of 4,000 at the National Recreation and Parks Association Congress in Salt Lake City – a keynote in which I challenge recreation professionals to think about the future!


This was the keynote in which I received an email thanking me for “changing lives.” It was a powerful day, a powerful talk, and I’ve got lots more video to share in the days to come!

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