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 simple, 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: The Hybrid Skills That Tomorrow’s Job Will Require. To compete in the future, you will need the right employees. Those employees will need the right skills. The time to think about upgrading your employees’ skills is today.
Think Twice: The easiest way to be wrong is to be certain you are right. If you want to become better at dealing with uncertainty — and you should because it can improve decision-making, foster empathy, and increase creativity — read this article, How to Be Better at Uncertainty. Always Think Twice—you could be on Thin Ice!
Think Historically: Best Futurists Ever: 10 Things John Elfreth Watkins Accurately Predicted in 1900. This article, written by fellow futurist Ross Dawson, highlights the benefits of thinking about the future.
Think Different: Rethinking Education. Think a college education is absolutely necessary? You may think differently after reading this article.
Think Smarter: 5G: If you build it, we will fill it. The transition from 4G to 5G will not be quick, easy or smooth but soon new ways of doing business will become possible. The time to begin thinking about these new “things” is now.
Think Harder: 6 Trends to Impact the Food Industry in 2019. A good list to be sure but there is no mention of blockchain or advances in urban agriculture. Leaders in the food industry might want to spend 15 minutes thinking harder about other trends not on this list. Why? Because it is often what you don’t know that gets you in trouble.
Think Like a Child: Uber is Working on Autonomous Bikes and Scooters. Why not? If these mobile platforms can drive and park themselves they won’t clutter up city sidewalks and could become more palatable to the general public.
Think in Questions: Does Your Business Need an AI-Powered “Whisper Agent”? Advances in AI are getting better. Is it time to begin asking some new questions about how your employees can utilize AI do their jobs more effectively?
Think 10X: Amazon’s Experimental, Six-Wheel Deliver Robot is Taking to the Street. If this trend grows 10X and then 100X and then 1000X, it will transform the retail industry and cities alike.
Think Bigger: The Microsoft/Walgreens Deal Could Kick Off Big Changes to Healthcare. New business models — focused more on preventative healthcare — are coming. There is a big opportunity for those who are ready.
Think Faster: The 6 Hottest Industries of 2019: Payments, content, advertising, mobility, healthcare, and retail. Things are moving fast. To thrive, you will need to think faster!
Think Radically: Will People Ditch Cash for Cryptocurrency? Japan is About to Find Out. The future may play out in unexpected and, perhaps, radical ways. If you are in the banking or finance industry this article will give you something to think about.
Think Anew: The Slow Death of Open Offices. Open offices are good for brainstorming but not so good for getting things done. It might be time to think anew about your open office plan.
Think Sustainably: Let’s Keep the New Green Deal Grounded in Science. Renewable energy is great and necessary but can it deliver all of our energy needs? Thinking “sustainably” may also require that we think about the role of nuclear power.
Think the Unthinkable: Why Your New Heart May Be Grown in Space Some Day. Gravity keeps us grounded but it can also be limiting. This article explains why space may be the ideal location to grow your future replacement organs. (Who knows these replacement parts might just keep you live long enough to travel to space someday.)
Want to think again? You can always revisit last week’s “Future 15”.
Until next week, remember: Don’t stop thinking about the future!