Think: As long-time readers know, I advocate that business leaders regularly take one week every year just to think about the future. This new report by the National Intelligence Council, Global Trends: 2040, is too long to be read in 15 minutes (although you can read the executive summary in that time) but it is the ideal companion for a “Think Week.” [P.S. If a week sounds like too much time to spend thinking about the future, try reframing it this way: It is only 2 percent of your time on an annual basis!]
Think Harder: The field of synthetic biology brings together multiple disciplines–the biological sciences, computer science, and engineering–to design useful things with the basic building blocks of life. It is poised to transform agriculture, healthcare, and manufacturing. Leaders in these industries are encouraged to begin thinking harder about synthetic biology. This article from the World Economic Forum can help: Realizing the potential of synthetic biology to help people and the planet.
Think Smarter: Disappointed you didn’t jump into digital crypto-currencies sooner? Perhaps, you are concerned that they might still crash. This short primer from Bloomberg is sure to give you a few things to think about: Bloomberg Crypto Outlook–Rising Bitcoin Outlook
Think Sustainably: Patagonia will no longer add corporate/brand logos to its apparel for environmental reasons. This is because non-removable logos reduce the lifespan of a piece of clothing for a lot of trivial reasons. For example, people change jobs and no longer wish to wear the item, and logos often make regifting otherwise nice clothing an unsuitable or awkward option. Furthermore, all this excess clothing creates a huge carbon footprint. If you or your industry association typically provide logo-ed “swag” for your corporate events or at industry-wide conferences, it is an activity you may want to think about stopping.
Think Less: Humans struggle with subtractive thinking, but as this wonderful article–Why People Forget that Less is Often More–spells out why adding more isn’t always the best policy in business or life.
Thought of the week: “The correct lesson to learn from surprises is that the world is surprising.”–Morgan Housel
Until next week: Don’t stop thinking about the future! But also never forget “It is easier to act your way into a new way of thinking than think your way into a new way of acting!”