Roughly two million years ago, our Stone Age ancestors discovered how to control fire. Ever since, progress and innovation have defined human culture. We invented the crossbow, printing press, stream engine, electricity, internal combustion engine, air travel, atomic power, digital information technology and space travel. Each invention rocked our world and moved us further into an unknown future. Despite our uncertainty, we keep moving forward.
Think of the amazing visionaries who have shaped our modern world: Newton, Watt, Curie, Einstein, Edison, Ford, Gates, Jobs and Musk. They saw the future and remade the universe. They are the role models and the avatars of meaningful progress and transformation.
Today, the pace of innovation is accelerating at a rate that would have been simply unimaginable ten years ago. By 2030, the world will be a completely different place than the world our parents knew.
Artificial intelligence, bioengineering, ubiquitous computing, advanced manufacturing, driverless cars, drones, nanobots and new financial technologies (fintech) will fundamentally and profoundly transform every aspect of our lives.
So here’s my question: Are you ready for 2030? Are you making the right investments and focusing on the right strategies for a world that does not resemble anything we could have imagined in the past? Are you preparing for a future of unprecedented change and transformation, at every level of society and across all industries?
If you’re not, you and company will not survive. You will be swept away by a flood of competitors who have learned how to innovate more quickly and more effectively. You will face a deluge of competition from companies that are more nimble, more agile and more able to capitalize on new ideas quicker than you can.
This isn’t idle speculation. This is both a challenge and a warning: Innovate or die. Yes, it’s difficult to predict the future. But it’s not difficult to predict that the success of your enterprise will depend on your ability to prepare for future scenarios that are wildly different from anything we are experiencing today.
Are you ready for that kind of change and transformation? Do you have the infrastructure, the talent and the resources necessary to move swiftly and take advantage of opportunities at the moment they arise? Do you have the courage, expertise and experience necessary to create new markets for new kinds of products and services? Are you ready to lead the revolution, and not just follow the herd?
From my perspective, the greatest and most effective leaders are also the most visionary leaders. So I’ll leave you with this final question: What’s your vision for 2030?