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: AI as Talent Scout. Having a hard time finding good people? Consider using artificial intelligence. It is better than humans at identifying people who have never done a job but who are capable of doing it. (In other words, AI helps find hidden talent.)
Think Twice: Always think twice! Why? The answer is embedded within: Think Twice—you are on Thin Ice! Alibaba’s New Retail Revolution: What Is It, and Is It Genuinely New? If the new retail is “experience center + consumption center + logistics center” are you ready? Or are you on thin ice?
Think Historically: Pearls, Salt, and Aluminum: An Unusual Guide to Understanding the Future. History reminds us that things which were once rare and expensive can become commoditized. What’s next on the list? Diamonds, perhaps?
Think Different: 5 Wild Biotech Products That Will Touch Our Lives in the Near Future. Cow-free milk! Mushroom lamps! Sound silly? Sound ridiculous? The future is going to require you to think differently because these products are already here.
Think Smarter: Five Fantastic Futurists to Follow. Want to think smarter about the future? Follow those who regularly think about the future.
Think Harder: Futurist Jack Uldrich’s Annual Article on Game-Changing Technologies for 2019. As the author of this article, I can guarantee that you need to think harder about at least one of the ten emerging trends identified in this article.
Think Like a Child: UPS Tries Electric Tricycles as Seattle’s Traffic Doom Looms. If UPS can solve a problem by embracing a tool that most of us haven’t used since we were five years old, what old technology, product, or service might you be able to redeploy in your business?
Think in Questions: Why Gen Z is Approaching Money Differently Than Other Generations. How are younger people younger thinking about money? What might this mean for the future of your business?
Think 10X: Ten Predictions for 2019. These 10 “predictions” for the coming year will give you plenty to think about.
Think Bigger: People Are Road Raging Against Waymo’s Self Drivings Cars. Many of the attacks on self-driving cars are coming from people who fear technology is going to destroy jobs. This fear is not necessarily misplaced. If the trend grows larger (10X), it could slow or stop the adoption of autonomous vehicles. Sometimes “thinking bigger” means thinking bigger about how human emotions can negatively affect change.
Think Faster: Why Companies That Wait to Adopt AI May Never Catch up. Being a “fast follower” is a smart strategy except in those cases where you might never be able to catch up with your competitors if you fall behind. The field of artificial intelligence may be one of those areas.
Think Radically: Nike and Boeing Are Using Science Fiction Writers to Predict Their Futures. The gap between science fiction and science fact is getting smaller. One innovative and unconventional way to create the future is to engage the services of science fiction writers. It is not as crazy as it sounds.
Think Sustainably: How a Solar Battery Could Bring Electricity to Rural Areas. It might soon be possible to harvest and store energy from the sun. This is a big deal because if solar power can affordably be stored, it opens up a world of possibilities. Sustainably isn’t only worth thinking about because it is good for the environment, it can help you identify the next great global business opportunity. (Just imagine if millions–and then billions–of people get access to clean, affordable energy.)
Think the Unthinkable: Human 2.0 is Coming Faster Than You Think. Will You Evolve With the Times? The idea of man merging with machines is not a comfortable idea for many people. If you fall into this camp, it is even more important that you read this article. People can’t simply wish away future scenarios because they don’t like the future they represent.
Want to think again? You can always revisit last week’s “Future 15”.
Until next week, remember: Don’t stop thinking about the future!