Business leaders must spend more time thinking about the future. To help make this a habit, I have developed the “Future 15”–a policy of taking 15 minutes once a week to think about the future. To make the habit simple, I encourage business leaders to follow the 6 “F’s”: Every Friday at Four Forty-Five (4:45 pm) set aside Fifteen minutes to Focus on the Future. To make the habit even more straightforward, posted below are Fifteen articles. Select one article and think about what it means for you, your business, your business model, or your customers.
Think: What is a Quantum Computer (A Primer). IBM now offers quantum computing as a service. You might want to begin thinking about this technology. Quantum computing is real.
Think Twice: Google, Amazon Seek Foothold in Electricity as Home Automation Grows. If you are in the utility industry, you need to think twice! Why? The answer is embedded within: You are on Thin Ice! This is just one quote from this article: “In 10 or 20 years, the dominant retail electric provider in the United States is going to be Amazon or Google,” said David Crane, the former chief executive of NRG Energy Inc.”
Think Historically: Technology changes geopolitics. AI is now refining political power. This is something to think about and this article is a good place to start: The Geopolitics of Artificial Intelligence.
Think Different: Magical Technologies. If the public doesn’t understand an emerging technology, it might not gain acceptance–no matter how good it is.
Think Smarter: Competitive Intelligence vs. Strategic Foresight. The former is an “inside-out” approach, while the latter is “outside-in.” Both are important but never confuse competitive intelligence with strategic foresight.
Think Harder: The Hidden Automation Agenda of the Davos Elite. If 40 percent of all jobs are automated in 15 years (and I am not saying they be will, but the possibility exists), we all need to spend time thinking about what we want society to look like in the not-to-distant future.
Think Like a Child: What a Mechanical Shark Can Teach Us About Innovation. Did you know that the shark in Jaws doesn’t appear until the 81st minute of the movie? This was because the mechanical shark wasn’t working and Steven Spielberg had to innovate. He had to think differently, and he succeeded by getting his audience to use their imagination.
Think in Questions: 40 Thought Provoking Questions You’ll Enjoy Thinking About.
Think 10X: Aetna’s New App and Personalized Wellness Program Could Pay for Your Apple Watch. Wearable technology is changing both customer behavior and business models. If you are in the insurance or health/wellness sectors, you need to think about this trend.
Think Bigger: From Strawberries to Apples, a New Wave of Robotics May Ease the Farm Labor Crunch. This trend is only going to get bigger.
Think Faster: Walgreens Tests New Smart Coolers: Now Your Groceries See You. Facial recognition technology is impressive, but it’s all about the data being collected. Innovative retailers are now using data to optimize product placement as well as test the effectiveness of ads.
Think Radically: Listen to a Gadget That Translates Thought into Speech.
Think Anew: Businesses Will Not Be Able to Hide: Spy Satellites Give Edge From Above. Information is power. Satellite information is increasingly powerful and affordable. Think anew about how you can employ satellite information today.
Think Sustainably: EU Proposes Ban on 90 Percent of Microplastic Pollutants. If this legislation passes, businesses in the agriculture, chemical, and energy sectors will have to make some big changes.
Think the Unthinkable: Finally, Fusion Power is About to Become Reality. Fusion power could be here sooner than expected. If you are in the energy industry, now is the time to think about the unthinkable.
Want to think again? You can always revisit last week’s “Future 15”.
Until next week, remember: Don’t stop thinking about the future!