“The future is fast. Are you?” – Futurist Jim Carroll
I began focusing on the issue of speed many, many years ago, realizing that it was the leading cause of disruption to so many industries and companies. Even my 2003 book, What I Learned from Frogs in Texas, featured a business parable about amphibians that didn’t respond quickly enough to the changes around them.
But years ago, I also came to realize that it is the defining issue for many senior executives of global organizations as well. I’m often preceded on stage by the CEO or some other CxO of my client organization, and get a first-hand view of what is on their mind. Often, I’ll often get that peek during a private preparatory call.
And so the big issue on the table yesterday for my keynote in Buffalo, NY? Speed – the CEO of my client could not have emphasized that issue enough.
The bottom line is – we are in a world in which change is coming at us from so many different directions. Disruption is occurring at such a pace that every single organization worldwide is trying to figure out – “what do we do to align ourselves to these trends?”
And that’s why organizations around the world are focused on a world of relentless, incessant change. My job as a futurist is to put in perspective the fast-paced trends – and how so many of those trends are of coming together all at once. Virtual reality, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, self-driving cars, big data and analytics, and the Internet of Things – any one of these trends can take on sudden velocity and have a profound impact on our world. In the context of those trends, we are also in a situation in which every single industry is becoming a software industry. Technology defines our future. What happens in this world, is that companies become technology companies. The speed of Moore’s Law defines their future – which adds even more velocity into the mix.
My global client list consists of organizations that are struggling with the issue of speed in a world in which the future belongs to those who are fast – trends are going to unfold. Business models are going to be disruptive. Change is going to happen. Skills are going to accelerate.
Things are going to speed up, and you have a simple choice in front of you: some people see the future and see a threat, while innovators see the same future and see an opportunity. I plead with you to change your future before the future changes you. And how do you do that?
One simple piece of advice.
You think big, you start small, and you scale fast.