“If you can’t handle the truth you can’t handle the future!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
Each and every keynote I do involves a tremendous amount of careful presentation, detailed and extensive research, and numerous preparatory conference calls with the client. The latter takes a look at the areas I should focus on, and in some cases, the issues I should avoid.
And with that, I’ve come to laugh at the number of events where I’ve been asked not to talk about Stripe, Tesla, Apple, Amazon, or other massively disruptive innovations and companies, because, well, I’ve never been quite sure! In other cases, I’ve actually been asked to change a slide referring to one of these companies to a more ‘neutral’ picture. Or, In many other situations, it’s been ‘suggested’ that I take ut the logo out of my slide deck of one of my clients who happens to be a competitor to this client.
I’m not quite sure.
But I do know that some companies prefer not to acknowledge the trends, individuals, and organizations who are setting the pace for their future It’s kind of bizarre, really – they’ve brought me in to bring their leadership team up to speed with the future, but don’t want me to talk about some of those who are setting the velocity. And so with that mind, I’ve to give you the famous scene from A Few Good Men.
Here’s the thing – if you can’t handle the truth, how are you going to handle the future? Your potentially brutal truth is this:
- your business model might be doomed
- your product line might be out of date and your product development pipeline is empty
- your skills base might not match the relevant skills required
- you might be structured for slow in the era of fast
- you might not have a plan to disrupt your disruptors
- your industry is becoming a technology-driven industry but you don’t have the technology
- your organizational structure prevents you from hearing what the grassroots are telling you about your future
- your customers are not happy with your service and support but you are blind to this reality
- your corporate culture is such that committees are the place where all your good ideas go to die
- your CEO is suffering from hubris, complacency, arrogance, and blindness
I could go on. The fact is, good organizations die when bad denial takes hold.
The same thing happens with individuals – you might be a personal mess, your lifestyle driving you into the abyss of failure. You might not acknowledge that you need to learn new things because the old things you know have become irrelevant. You might prefer to keep doing what you were doing yesterday when it is already tomorrow. You might not be prepared to take the first step necessary to begin a new voyage because you insist on walking yesterday’s path.
You might not be prepared to accept the truth.
That has BIG implications for your ability to align to your future!