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Over the years, I’ve done many talks within the manufacturing industry, putting into perspective the real trends and opportunities for innovation that will allow for reinvention of this sector. Lots of CEOs are bringing me in for a leadership meeting, knowing that their future will come from aligning to fast paced trends (as opposed to wishful thinking as found in the current political environment). Much of the opportunity for innovation in the  sector involves advanced technologies, digitization, new manufacturing methodologies and process — and of course, 3D printing or additive manufacturing.

I’ve been speaking on stage about 3D printing for well over ten years. The concept of having a printer that can ‘print’ physical things is a fascinating one, and is evolving at a furious pace. Earlier this week, I did a talk for a manufacturing organization in New Haven, CT, that included a detailed overview of who is doing innovative work in this area. I’ll blog about that later.

For now, though, a lot of the opportunity from 3D printing comes from the ability for rapid prototyping and design. It unshackles organizations from having to commit to a full production run upon finalizing a product design; instead, it leads to an iterative process in which the product design can be continually changed. In addition, there is quite a bit of ‘grassroots’, tinkering innovation around 3D printing, with folks fooling around in their garage or home workshop to developing fascinating new products. They can then use contract 3D printing manufacturers to turn their ideas into a physical product.

To that end, here’s a great story! Last year, when I was the opening keynote speaker for the annual PGA Merchandise show, I spoke to the Professional Golfers Association as to how quickly 3D printed golf clubs will become an opportunity for innovation within the game. Watch the clip.

Imagine my surprise the other day when I’m out for a round at my home golf club, Credit Valley Golf and Country Club, and meet a fellow member named Gary Woolgar. He’s actually 3D printing his own custom wedges, using his first prototype on that day. (I’m not quite sure I understand the design concept, but then again, my golf game is a bit of a shambles right now).

It’s such a fascinating story that I told it on stage last week when I headlined a session on manufacturing innovation for a global, $2 billion company. Watch this clip too!

This is one of the most exciting aspects of 3DPrinting — the world around is changing at a furious pace, and sometimes, its driven by engineers who have an idea, the tools to test the idea, and the initiative to make it work. Organizations need to embrace the same type of thinking: grassroots innovation, tinkering, and trying out new ideas, methodologies and technologies.

If you are in the manufacturing sector, you need to empower your team to do the types of things that Gary is doing. It’s only be experimenting with the tools of the fast pace future that you can discover the opportunities they will present. In other words, you need more guys like Gary around!

 

The PGA of America (Professional Golfers Association) invited me back! I previously was the opening keynote speaker for the 2010 Annual General Meeting.

They brought me into the massive PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando last week; I was invited to provide a keynote on the main stage on the future impact of technology on golf, how this might provide opportunities to grow the game, and provide insight into what golf professionals should be doing to adapt to a world in which a greater number of players will be using GPS tracking devices, launch monitors and maybe even flyover drones!

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After  my keynote, I had the chance to interview some of the leading technology companies in the world of golf, including TopGolf, NextGenGolf, GolfTec, GameGolf and ClubCar.

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And backstage in the green room while waiting and preparing, I was able to meet both Lee Trevino and Bubba Watson. Truly a thrill.

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I’ll blog more on my keynote, including video, in the weeks to come, but must say it was certainly a thrill!

Health, wellness and food are set to become even more linked than ever before in 2012 and beyond.

That’s a significant trend that I’m witnessing right now through the various keynotes and consultations that I do with a large range of food / restaurant / consumer product companies, as well as the keynotes I do for major health care groups worldwide. I get to see what food companies are focused on; I get to see what healthcare groups and governments are worried about…..

Jim Carroll helps global organizations interpret how the trends of today will impact them tomorrow. His food and health care clients include H.J. Heinz, Nestle, the World Healthcare Innovation & Technology Summit, and just recently, as the opening keynote speaker for the 2011 World Pharma Innovation Congress in London, England

In a nutshell, here’s what’s happening:

  • the importance of health and wellbeing on a global national, political and healthcare system perspective is accelerating. We’ve got a big global problem, and nations and governments are racing to deal with it.
  • the result is that there is a very significant effort by food companies to speed up their innovation engine with respect to their health and wellness product line – it’s being done to mitigate potential political risk down the road
  • it’s also being done because it makes increasing business sense — as consumers worldwide begin to adjust their lifestyle, including their food intake, revenues of the health/wellness product line soars. One report suggests, the sale of heath and wellness oriented foods is expected to quadruple through the next five years.
  • to help accomplish that, food and consumer product companies are make an increasing number of BIG BETS involving product development, and through even more vigorous M&A activities, that enhance their health and wellness product lines

Making BIG BETS involves establishing big goals. Consider just two examples of “BIG BET thinking”:

  • “Frito-Lay, the biggest U.S. seller of salty snacks, is embarking on an audacious plan. By the end of the year, it intends to make half its snacks sold in the U.S. with only natural ingredients” You Put What in This Chip? 24 March 2011, The Wall Street Journal
  •  Pepsi intends to grow a $10 billion health and wellness portfolio to $30 billion by 2020

Savvy food companies know that globally, they face increasing national financial, political and healthcare risk. Quite simply, the world is getting fat, people are getting sick, and countries are not going to be able to afford the care for those suffering from the resultant lifestyle disease.

Here’s a clip in which I’m speaking to the annual general meeting of the Professional Golfers Association of America — the PGA! — on the depth of the obesity / lifestyle crisis.

Given this reality, and the economic volatility in Europe, the US, Japan and elsewhere as government revenue declines and spending soars, in 2012 and beyond we are going to see far more aggressive efforts by politicians and governments to reign in health care spending, including that related to lifestyle-disease. Nations simply can’t afford what is set to come in terms of spending.

Much of this activity will come to involve far more aggressive efforts concerning preventative health care programs, including wellness and lifestyle management. We can expect governments and politicians to become far more aggressive with food companies when it comes to their food offerings.

There is a big political risk here on a global scale.

The result? Smart food companies are making BIG BETS right now to grow their health and wellness product lines. It makes great sense from a business sense; it’s critical in order to stay one step ahead of government trends in order to mitigate risk.

So how will food companies grow their health and wellness line of business? By accelerating internal innovation into health and wellness product lines, but also through some pretty aggressive M&A activity

  • A report by Deloitte suggests that this will include increased M&A activity involving dairy, juice, health snacks and functional foods.
  • Gerald Abelson, president of Canadian corporate finance group MNC Multinational Consultants recently observed that “health and wellness is definitely where you want to be in the next three to five years” in a discussion about global M&A activity in the food and consumer product sector in 2012 and beyond.

Big Goals – Big Bets.

That’s the focus for 2012 and beyond for most companies in the food and restaurant sector.

Background:

If you check the Health Trends section of this blog, you’ll find a post in which I write about the ongoing and significant challenges that the world faces with the rapid emergence of lifestyle disease and other challenges. Notes one comment in that post (“Trend – Confronting the Global Health Care Crisis”):

It’s the lifestyle disease that provides the biggest challenge in terms of scope: according to the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, “1.6 billion adults are overweight or obese worldwide and over 50 per cent of adults in the US and Europe fit into this category.”

 with the resultant impact:

  • “The number of adults with diabetes worldwide has more than doubled since 1980 to 347 million, a far larger number than previously thought and one that suggests costs of treating the disease will also balloon.” Global diabetes epidemic balloons to 350 million, Reuters Health E-Line, June 27, 2011

Lest we think that this is a problem only in the Western world, I also note that:

The challenge with lifestyle disease isn’t restricted to the Western world; the statin (cholesterol) drug market in China, India other “BRIC”countries is set to grow at rates of up to 25% compounded per year. In other words, developing nations are soon to see the same lifestyle diseases which are currently sweeping through North America and Europe.

 

The folks at PollEverywhere — the service that I use to conduct live text message polling while on stage — have just run an interview with me over on their blog as to how I utilize the tool.

I’m reposting it here since it does provide a good overview of just how wonderful and interactive their service is.


Jim Carroll is recognized one of the world’s leading international futurist, trends & innovation experts — and he’s got the client list to prove it, having provided his insight to such organizations as NASA; Lockheed Martin; National Australian Bank; Pfizer; Diners Club; HJ Heinz; and PPG.

And he’s a raving fan of Poll Everywhere — using the service in a huge range of global Fortune 1000 and other organizations as well as countless association events, such as being the opening keynote speaker for 4,000 people at the annual National Recreation and Parks Association annual conference in Salt Lake City.

“I’ve been using [Poll Everywhere] on stage as part of my keynote for at least two years, and the service has truly helped in building a live, rich interactive experience with my audience. I’ve used it in small CEO level sessions with just 20 people, and in large scale Las Vegas events where you’ve got to be a top-notch performer to keep a crowd engaged – particularly if they are in rough shape after a night out on the town!”

One of Jim’s most thrilling moments came when he found himself on stage in front of 500 golf pros for the 94th Annual General Meeting of the Professional Golfers Association of America. “The management team at PGA invited me in to speak to their members on the need for innovative thinking. They never had an outside speaker in before, in their entire history. And so starting out by having them pull out their cell phones in order to gauge some of their opinions about change, the future and challenges facing the game — it certainly made them think! The reaction was powerful and pretty astounding, because I was able to quickly shape my talk to respond to their concerns.”

While Jim can speak to audiences of 7,000 in Las Vegas or Orlando, he recently found himself on stage in front of 250 kids at his son’s high school. “My son knows that I’ve had a strange job for the last 20 years – flying around all over the world to speak at events — and his teachers thought it would be great if I could come in and talk about the future of their careers.”

Jim’s opening comments, as found in his blog post “What happens when high school students are told to text” (www.jimcarroll.com/2011/04/what-happens-when-high-school-students-are-told-to-text) captures the fascinating dynamics that occur on the big screen when PollEverywhere grabs the minds and attention of the ultimately wired generation. “That was a pretty cool moment,” says Jim. “And it really should get anyone thinking about the future of education, corporate and association meetings, and conferences.”

 

 

 

Jim’s method of audience interaction has proven to be a big selling point with his client base —  so much so that he devotes a Web page to what he does. www.jimcarroll.com/keynotes-workshops/interaction-from-the-stage

 

Not only that, but his blog offers a sometimes fascinating look into his client base – consider the opinions offered up by a group of manufacturers from Ohio: “Report from the heartland: Is there life in manufacturing in Ohio? You bet!” http://jimcarroll.com/2011/02/report-from-the-heartland-is-there-life-in-…

“People want to interact and be engaged with a speaker. This tool lets me reach out to their minds and hearts, and make them immediately part of the talk. And it has certainly provided me with a very unique tool in getting across some of the key trends which are impacting the future and opportunity for innovation.”

My recent post about using a live text message poll while speaking to a group of high school students drew a fair bit of attention as an example of the novel use of a social networking tool.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been using this type of tool on stage — I’ve been doing this for close to four years, and it always provides for an amazing amount of interaction with the audience.

Here I am opening the 94th Annual General Meeting of the Professional Golfers Association of America, immediately diving into a poll with the audience in order to gauge their thoughts on when we would see an economic recovery. While running the poll, I challenge the PGA to think about the impact of mobile technology out on the golf course!


Pretty darned effective, isn’t it!

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