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Dead End Job

 18th January 2018 by gihan

The youngest Millennials (Gen Ys) and their younger siblings, Gen Z, are expected to have up to 17 jobs each across their careers. That means they need high levels of adaptability and a willingness to be self motivated.

Most workplaces still carry over baggage from 200 years ago, when offices were invented. But people are becoming much more entrepreneurial. You no longer
need to be in an office and can work remotely while still being part of a creative and productive team.

Distributed work will become the norm, not the exception, with more offsite workers such as freelancers. The best people for the job will do the work but this doesn’t always happen in the traditional workplace.

The whole concept of diversity expands – even diversity in work patterns. Some people are early‑birds, others are night-owls. There are different countries and time zones, and even differences in people’s motivation.

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This is an extract from an interview published in Edith, the magazine from Edith Cowan Unversity.

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Forever Young

 16th January 2018 by gihan

Our current life expectancy is around 80-90 years. But what if that doubled – or more? How would that affect your personal life, your professional life, your business, and society as a whole? That might sound like science fiction, but life extension science is making that more likely.

You can watch the recording here:

After the webinar, I asked participants “What was the most useful thing you learned today?” Here are some of their answers:

“Ageing trends”

“Potential for even more different generations of people living and working together and how different life and business will be.”

“the uphill/downhill 6 categories of future disruptors”

“Thinking of possibilities for my business to address longer living population”

The Future Proof Webinar Series

The Future Proof webinar series will keep you in touch with our future - what's ahead, what it means for us, and how to stay ahead of the game.

In each webinar, I'll cover an important topic about the future - for example, the shift of power to Asia, the changing workplace, healthcare technology, the shift to customer-centric business, big data, and more. This is not just theory; I'll also give you practical examples and ideas for you to future-proof your organisation, teams, and career.

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Your #1 Threat: Your Own Brain

 15th January 2018 by gihan

Obviously we all use our brains, and one thing we do especially well is pattern matching. We’re great at seeing, recognising and acting on patterns in the world – and that gives us valuable insights, judgement, and wisdom.

A lot of what we call intuition comes from pattern matching – even if it’s subconscious. For example, you get a routine e-mail from a landlord about their property. It looks like a fairly simple e-mail, just reporting on an interaction with one of your team members. But you know she’s upset. There’s nothing obvious in the e-mail, but subconsciously you spot something there that’s different from her normal e-mails – in other words, something that doesn’t match her usual pattern.

Or you’re making a presentation to your team, and you stop for questions. You look around the room, and even before somebody raises their hand, you know they’re going to ask a question. You call on them, and they are amazed – because perhaps they hadn’t even decided yet to ask the question! But you spotted something in their posture, a micro-expression on their face, or a tiny change that crossed your subconscious mind and registered as a pattern.

Pattern matching is valuable because it fast-tracks our decision making. If we drive a different car for the first time, we get the hang of it quickly because most of the features are exactly the same. If we eat at a new restaurant, we broadly recognise most of the items on the menu, even if we’ve never seen exactly those items before. When we get a new client and start managing their property, we have a pretty good idea what they need to know about working with us.

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This is an extract from an article I published in Elite Property Manager, the leading magazine for property managers in Australia.

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The Future of Conferences

 11th January 2018 by gihan

The NSW Government recently announced a trial of in-ground “traffic lights” at key intersections in the CBD, to warn pedestrians on mobile phones who don’t look up while crossing the road. It’s been interesting to see the reactions to this idea on social media. Many people are saying it just discourages bad behaviour, and that pedestrians (or “mobile phone zombies”, as they derisively refer to them) should just look up! In fact, in Idaho in the USA, authorities have the power to fine people $50 for walking and texting at the same time.

I don’t want to start a debate about traffic lights. But I do want to point out what the NSW Centre for Road Safety executive director Bernard Carlon, said, defending the new system, “In our society, things have changed”. In other words, yes, it would be nice if all pedestrians stopped looking at their phones and focussed on their environment, but they don’t! So it makes sense to change the environment to adapt to their new behaviour.

The same principle applies to conferences. Despite the growth of videoconferencing, online meetings, telepresence and virtual reality, in-person conferences still have a place. We still want to get together, face to face, and belly to belly.

But the role of the conference has changed. Good conference organisers adapt to these changes, and great conference organisers embrace them and see them as opportunities.

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This is an extract from an article I published in cim, the magazine for the conference industry in Australia.

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The Future of Medicine – It’s the Patient … err, Customer

 8th January 2018 by gihan

Last year, my parents moved house after 40 years. When searching for a new local GP, my 80-year-old father’s first source of information was online reviews he found on Google. Although he’s intelligent and computer-savvy, he’s hardly the stereotype of the typical social-media-obsessed Internet user. And yet even he knew – and used – the power of the tools at his fingertips.

The last few years have seen dramatic changes in healthcare technology – such as 3-D printed organs, smartphone ECG devices, predictive analytics and Big Data, and nanotechnology robotic surgery. But the biggest change in healthcare is the profoundly different relationship between patients and providers.

It’s become a cliché to say healthcare is becoming like a business and patients are acting more like customers. And yet, many healthcare providers don’t understand this profound change in their profession.

Siemens highlighted this in their “Picture the Future” report about healthcare in Australia in 2020: We’re changing focus from cure to prevention, from sickness to wellness, from acute events to chronic diseases, and – most importantly – from patients to customers.

Healthcare consumers are customers first and patients second, and expect to be treated that way. They expect instant access to information, communication via e-mail and SMS, ownership of their private data, fast response times, and the right to review poor service (and praise exceptional service). They don’t want to sit for hours in germ-filled waiting rooms, no longer automatically trust a white coat and stethoscope, and won’t rely on an opinion from just one healthcare professional.

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This is an extract from an article I published in Medical Forum WA, the magazine for WA health professionals.

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Find Your Disruption Pressure Points

 4th January 2018 by gihan

You might be sick of hearing about “disruption” in every industry. And that’s no surprise, because examples abound: Uber disrupting the taxi industry, Netflix disrupting movie rentals and cinemas, Apple disrupting the music industry, and so on. In fact, Accenture’s Technology Vision 2016 report suggested most Australian business leaders expected their biggest threats would come from outside their industry.

How do you prepare for this uncertain future, where the rug could be pulled out from under you at any moment?

Of course, it’s impossible to predict exactly what will happen, but you can prepare for the future by knowing the weaknesses and vulnerabilities – the disruption pressure points – in your business.

Broadly, the world is becoming “Fast, Flat and Free”:

  • Everything is moving faster than ever before
  • We’ve broken down hierarchies and barriers
  • Things that used to cost a lot now cost a lot less

If you want to know what could disrupt your business, look at the opposite of Fast, Flat and Free: Slow, Bumpy and Expensive. If you do anything that’s slow, bumpy or expensive, beware!

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This is an extract from an article I published in Proctor, the magazine of the Queensland Law Society.

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Offshore Safety Forum – Innovations From Outside Your Industry

 2nd January 2018 by gihan

Every business needs to innovate, but sometimes the best ideas come from an unexpected place: from outside your own industry. People from other fields think differently and don’t have the same unconscious biases that you do, so they might suggest unexpectedly useful ideas.

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The #1 Skill to Future Proof Your Business

 28th December 2017 by gihan

I have TPD insurance with AIA. That’s no big deal, of course – thousands of Australians are insured with AIA. But an interesting feature of my AIA insurance is that I get a 10% discount on all my Qantas domestic flights. As a professional speaker who travels a lot, that is a big deal!

This is a win-win partnership: I get cheaper flights and AIA gets a loyal customer. But is there a loser? Yes! Think about the travel industry, where most travel agents struggle on margins far lower than 10%. And now they face competition not just from inside their industry, but from a completely unexpected sector.

More and more businesses are facing similar scenarios: Their biggest competitors (the “disrupters”, if you like) aren’t the traditional big players in their industry, but come from completely outside their industry.

Accenture’s Technology Vision 2016 survey of Australian CEOs reported that 86% of Australian businesses expect rapid or unprecedented technology change in the next three years. That’s not surprising, but it might surprise you that only 30% of them think the greatest risk comes from established competitors. Most expect – in fact, they know – the biggest changes will come from new players, including unexpected disruptions from other industries.

How can we possibly stay ahead of the changes that affect us?

The solution is to develop the skill of “transdisciplinarity” – one of the ten skills the Institute for the Future identified as key skills for the future workforce. In brief, transdisciplinarity involves applying ideas, knowledge and expertise across different disciplines and industries. In practical terms, it means you regularly look up from the narrow, highly-specialised focus of your day-to-day work and take a broader perspective.

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This is an extract from an article I published in Financial Planning, the magazine of the FPA.

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