GIHAN PERERA

Fit for the Future

GIHAN PERERA

Fit for the Future

GIHAN PERERA

Fit for the Future

GIHAN PERERA

Fit for the Future

GIHAN PERERA

Fit for the Future

GIHAN PERERA

Fit for the Future

GIHAN PERERA

Fit for the Future

GIHAN PERERA

Fit for the Future

GIHAN PERERA

Fit for the Future

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Permission to Reprint

Yes, you have my permission to reprint any of these articles in your own publications, provided you:

Permission is also granted for reasonable editing to fit length and house style of your publication.

If you have any questions, please email gihan@gihanperera.com.

Articles

Out of Sight, Top of Mind

Out of Sight, Top of Mind

The coronavirus pandemic forced many organisations to let team members work from home for the first time, and that trend will continue even after offices become completely safe workplaces again. It goes beyond just working from home, though, because the office won’t necessarily be the “standard” workplace. Teams of knowledge ...
10 Ways to Bring Innovation To a Screeching Halt

10 Ways to Bring Innovation To a Screeching Halt

The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic means many people are going through massive disruption right now. The impact is different for everybody (we’re not all in the same boat; we’re in the same storm, each with our own boat!), but there’s never been a more important time to be ...
Think Like a Beginner on the Road to Recovery

Think Like a Beginner on the Road to Recovery

A few weeks ago, I was working with a leadership team, helping them expand their thinking as they set out their new strategic plan. They weren’t as badly affected by the pandemic as others, so they are now turning their attention to their long-term plans. During the session, I showed ...
You Might Not See This Disruption Before It’s Too Late

You Might Not See This Disruption Before It’s Too Late

The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the hospitality industry, with many restaurants, pubs, and hotels experiencing their worst times ever. But rather than letting their rooms remain empty, one Swedish hotel, Stadt, in the town Lidkoping, is offering rooms as private dining rooms. Instead of booking a ...
Stop Calling It “Remote Work”

Stop Calling It “Remote Work”

As many businesses are gradually moving staff back to the office, we’re coming to the end of a huge worldwide “working from home” experiment for office workers. But that doesn’t mean we will all go back to the way things were. The initial research is already clear: Both employees and ...
The Coronavirus Pandemic Will Change This Forever

The Coronavirus Pandemic Will Change This Forever

Early in our response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Australian government fast-tracked the use of “telemedicine” – that is, doctors and other health professionals doing online consultations rather than meeting patients in person. I predict telemedicine will continue even when in-person consultations become as safe as before. This is not ...
Are You Making This Mistake on the Road to Recovery?

Are You Making This Mistake on the Road to Recovery?

During the coronavirus pandemic, you might have heard people say, “We’re all in the same boat”. But that’s not true! We’re all in the same storm, but we’re in different boats, navigating our way through the storm. If you’re a leader, you can’t control the storm and you might be ...
Better Decision-Making in a Fast-Changing World

Better Decision-Making in a Fast-Changing World

Our world is changing so fast now, and we don’t know what next week holds – let alone next month or next year. Good decision-making is one of the most valuable skills now, because we still need to find options, decide wisely, and act promptly. But when the future is ...
Reimagining the Post-Pandemic Workplace

Reimagining the Post-Pandemic Workplace

Around Australia, people who have been working from home for the last two months are starting to make their way back into offices. Because of the ongoing risk of coronavirus, this is happening in stages, and with some changes – for example: better hygiene, re-configuring offices for social distancing, stricter ...
It’s Time to Think The Unthinkable

It’s Time to Think The Unthinkable

On 2nd March, Australia recorded its first death from coronavirus – a 78-year-old Perth man who returned to Australia after contracting the virus on the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Even if that feels like a lifetime ago, it’s been only 10 weeks, and in that time Australia has done an ...
Leverage Your Assets to Solve New Problems

Leverage Your Assets to Solve New Problems

The last decade has seen the growth of “the sharing economy”, with Uber and Airbnb the most famous examples. The fundamental idea driving the sharing economy is that ownership is inefficient. Most assets sit idle most of the time: Most cars spend most of their time parked, houses are left ...
Nine Things Successful People Do Differently, by Heidi Grant Halvorson

Nine Things Successful People Do Differently, by Heidi Grant Halvorson

This wonderful little book is the best practical goal-setting book I have ever read. It outlines a goal-setting strategy that’s backed by solid scientific research, and gives you nine simple things you can do to be more productive and achieve your goals. This book goes far beyond simplistic goal-setting advice ...
Your Future Customer Has Different Priorities

Your Future Customer Has Different Priorities

In 2015, when I spoke at the Australian Private Hospitals Association conference, I spoke about TUG, an autonomous robot that moves around a hospital, carrying food and equipment to wards. In March this year, when I spoke at the ITAC (Innovative Technology in Aged Care) conference, I shared some other ...
How To Prevent Conflict In a Team Working From Home

How To Prevent Conflict In a Team Working From Home

Conflict occurs in all teams, and it’s sometimes healthy, because it creates opportunities to share valuable feedback and constructive criticism. But it also creates problems, so if you can prevent the conflict in the first place, that’s usually better than tackling it when it occurs. This is especially important now, ...
The 7 New Rules of Social Media Engagement (probably not what you’d think)

The 7 New Rules of Social Media Engagement (probably not what you’d think)

Many people don’t know how to use social media well, especially in a business or professional context. This is a genuine and valid concern. After all, your mother might have told you which cutlery goes with which course, but you probably didn’t have anybody telling you the etiquette of communicating ...
Try This 10-Minute Trick To Manage Uncertainty Better

Try This 10-Minute Trick To Manage Uncertainty Better

In their book “Decisive”, brothers Chip and Dan Heath share research-based strategies for making better decisions. One of those strategies is particularly relevant when you’re facing a very uncertain, volatile future (sound familiar?). I use this with my clients when they are facing uncertainty and disruption in their industry, and ...
Working From Home – You’ve Got This!

Working From Home – You’ve Got This!

For many people, working from home is a normal part of their work style. You love the flexibility and convenience, your manager knows how to lead and manage people they can’t see in person, and your team understands how to collaborate and innovate remotely. But many others have never made ...
Coping with Change and Uncertainty in the Time of COVID-19

Coping with Change and Uncertainty in the Time of COVID-19

I often work with people who are facing disruption and massive change in their organisations and industries. Sometimes the change could have been predicted, sometimes it couldn’t. It always causes stress and anxiety. I’ve never seen anything as disruptive as this new coronavirus and the illness it causes, COVID-19. But ...
How Can You Tap Into Peer Mentoring?

How Can You Tap Into Peer Mentoring?

When the term “mentoring” is used in a business context, it is most commonly pictured as the wise, grey-haired senior executive having lunch meetings with an up-and-coming younger employee. There’s nothing wrong with that picture, and it’s probably still the most common form of mentoring in business. But have you ...
The #1 Thing That Breaks Your Digital Transformation Program

The #1 Thing That Breaks Your Digital Transformation Program

For the last three years, KPMG has published an annual report, “Keeping Us Up At Night“, where Australian business leaders rank their top challenges and issues. The same topic has ranked #1 for all three years: digital transformation. No surprise, right? Of course, leaders recognise the importance of being fit ...
Ready for the Flexible Work Revolution?

Ready for the Flexible Work Revolution?

For most of the last 200 years, if you were a knowledge worker, you probably worked in an office, as part of a team of permanent staff working full-time. We’ve come to accept that as the default work environment for knowledge workers. But it wasn’t always this way, and it ...
Three Steps to Power Up Your Team

Three Steps to Power Up Your Team

If you’ve seen some of the recent research about what motivates the best people, you would know it’s about more than just money. This is especially true now that Generation Z – the youngest cohort of employees – is now entering the workforce in significant numbers. And they are not ...
Get the Most Out of Every Book You Read and Every Conference You Attend

Get the Most Out of Every Book You Read and Every Conference You Attend

When you attend a conference, do you make lots of notes to take action later – but most of them don’t get done? Or do you read a great business book and intend to put some of the ideas into action – but never find the time to do them? ...
Be an Authority, Don’t Just Have Authority

Be an Authority, Don’t Just Have Authority

Leadership now is not just about the organisational structure. It’s not even about the organisational structure turned upside down. Modern leadership is much more about facilitation and collaboration, and everyone can be a leader. This is not just some glib motivational statement (“You too can be a leader!”). There really ...
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas – Disrupted!

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas – Disrupted!

(by Gihan Perera, with a nod and a wink to Clement Clarke Moore) ‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse The stockings were hung by the chimney, in time For last-minute express delivery by Amazon Prime. The children ...
Solving Customer Problems? That’s Not Enough Anymore!

Solving Customer Problems? That’s Not Enough Anymore!

As a futurist, I’m often asked by business leaders how to stay ahead of their competition in a fast-changing world. Many of these leaders think it’s about embracing some new technology, understanding some future trend before anybody else in their industry, or creating an innovative product. Those might all be ...
The Hedonist’s Guide To Getting Things Done: Goal Setting Made Easy

The Hedonist’s Guide To Getting Things Done: Goal Setting Made Easy

Most goal-setting programs are hard. The system might sound easy, but achieving the goals is difficult. It usually takes discipline, willpower, a strong mindset, hard work, sacrifice and struggle. No wonder most people fail at their goals or New Year’s Resolutions! I’ve got a different approach to goal setting: This ...
The Do’s and Don’ts of Introducing AI Into Your Organisation

The Do’s and Don’ts of Introducing AI Into Your Organisation

Every new technology appears with a lot of hype, but there’s one where a lot of the hype is matched by reality: artificial intelligence, or AI. Here’s some of the solid evidence supporting the adoption of AI: Respected technology adviser Gartner predicts that by 2021, 80% of emerging technologies will ...
The #1 Habit That Boosts Innovation

The #1 Habit That Boosts Innovation

Just as most plants don’t grow in an arid space but flourish in a fertile environment, if you want to build a culture of innovation, you must create the right environment for it. You don’t need special rooms with bean bags and coloured walls to inspire creativity. But you must ...
When it Comes to Innovation, Habit Trumps Discipline

When it Comes to Innovation, Habit Trumps Discipline

What are the habits in your personal life? Things like brushing your teeth twice a day, getting dressed, a glass of red wine with dinner, washing up the dirty dishes in the sink, putting on your seat-belt when you get in the car, going to the gym, eating everything on ...
Look Beyond Your Hierarchy

Look Beyond Your Hierarchy

New York City, like many other large cities, is the home to many cyclists – about 200,000 a day, according to the city’s research. Most of those cyclists take their bicycles home safely every day, but a small percentage of those bicycles are abandoned, tied to cycle racks, fences, and ...
Artificial Intelligence In The Workplace: What Most Leaders Don’t Understand

Artificial Intelligence In The Workplace: What Most Leaders Don’t Understand

What do these three things have in common? When I want to drive at a constant speed, I can set the cruise control in my car. When I want to hear music in my lounge room, I say to my Google Home assistant, “Hey Google, play some music” – and ...
The First Step to Using AI in Your Workplace

The First Step to Using AI in Your Workplace

The most extreme – and most limited – mindset is to see AI completely replacing a human’s role. But that’s not the only way to think. Broadly, you can think of any new technology at four levels: When you integrate this into your workplace, you can do it at any ...
The #1 Daily Habit That Makes You More Productive

The #1 Daily Habit That Makes You More Productive

There’s a story (possibly apocryphal) about Charles Schwab, the head of Bethlehem Steel in the 1930s, seeking help to become more effective. Management consultant I. V. Lee gave him a simple piece of advice, with a request that Schwab try it and then pay him whatever he thought it was ...
Kick Start Your Online Authority – Share and Share Alike

Kick Start Your Online Authority – Share and Share Alike

Paradoxically, one of the best ways to position yourself as an authority is to share insights and wisdom from others. Your audience will appreciate you taking the time to selectively share what’s relevant to them. The Internet makes it easier than ever before, and if you know where to look, ...
Fan the Flames of Innovation

Fan the Flames of Innovation

Creativity is about generating ideas, and innovation is about putting them into action. To make a difference, it’s not enough to just generate the ideas. Acting on an idea not only creates real change from the idea itself, but creates a positive feedback loop for your team members to create ...
The Troublemakers Will Inherit The Earth

The Troublemakers Will Inherit The Earth

We used to say “There’s no ‘I’ in ‘Team\'”. But that’s no longer the case. Your team members have unique talents, individual goals, and innovative ideas. They want you to be their mentor, not just their manager. They want work that gives them meaning, not just money. They want to ...
15 Instant Innovation Questions to Future-Proof Your Business

15 Instant Innovation Questions to Future-Proof Your Business

In the past, when most organisations could rely on a few innovations a year, innovation was considered to be only the role of a Research & Development department. Now, when your organisation is more complex, employees have more ideas, and the external environment is changing so fast, innovation is everybody’s ...
Open the Door To Greater Experience

Open the Door To Greater Experience

Good leaders give their team members more information and knowledge than they need just to do their job. They know what’s happening in the rest of the team, the rest of the organisation, and even the outside world. But it’s not enough to just sit on the sidelines and watch. ...
Resilience Is Not Enough

Resilience Is Not Enough

I sometimes go out to breakfast or lunch with my 20-year-old stepdaughter, Abbey. As soon as the food arrives, she – like many others of her generation – pulls out her smartphone, takes a photo, and shares it with her friends on social media (And, to her credit, she then ...
Will You Lead The Change?

Will You Lead The Change?

Over the past few weeks, I’ve spoken at events in Sydney, Melbourne, Wellington, Auckland, and Perth – and for clients in diverse industries, including banking, human resources, local government, sport, commercial property, and retail. Despite their differences, one thing these organisations all have in common is they are all going through ...
Want Them to Succeed? 4 Magic Words to Empower Your People

Want Them to Succeed? 4 Magic Words to Empower Your People

This week, I’m speaking to a group of secondary school principals in Melbourne, and then travelling to New Zealand to deliver a presentation at the HRNZ (Human Resources Institute of New Zealand) conference. Both presentations are about leadership – in particular, about how to get the best out of your ...
How To Get Things Done When Everybody Keeps Interrupting You

How To Get Things Done When Everybody Keeps Interrupting You

In our fast-paced, always-on world, interruptions and distractions are a fact of life. You’ll find plenty of advice about how to “manage” other people who interrupt you, but you’ll always be fighting a losing battle that way. Instead of trying to control others, here are some practical ideas to take ...
10 Ways to Bring Innovation to a Screeching Halt

10 Ways to Bring Innovation to a Screeching Halt

Last week, I spoke at an innovation breakfast for the forward-thinking team at Landgate, the State government authority responsible for property and land information in WA. In my keynote presentation, “The New Rules For High Performance”, I made the point that innovation is everybody’s business. It’s not just for a ...
Wise Leadership in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Wise Leadership in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Are the robots coming for your job? Yes and no. According to a Dell Technologies survey, 82% of leaders expect their employees and machines to work as “integrated teams”. And many employees look forward to artificial intelligence (AI) that can help them do their job better. But not everybody has ...
Make Better Decisions With This One Move

Make Better Decisions With This One Move

I’ve been doing a lot of work recently helping clients with their strategic planning. Obviously, I don’t have a crystal ball and they don’t expect me to predict the future. But they want to know some possible, plausible and probable future scenarios. Some things are easier to plan for because you can ...
Stop Trying to Predict the Future

Stop Trying to Predict the Future

In 1965, the oil company Royal Dutch Shell started its department of Long-Term Studies in its London headquarters. The term “department” is an exaggeration, because Ted Newland, who was given the lead role in this area, said, “I was placed in a little cubicle on the 18th floor and told ...
Don’t Ignore the Live Dragons

Don’t Ignore the Live Dragons

The world is changing fast, and there are some things that are difficult to predict in our future. But that doesn’t mean you can’t foresee anything. Leaders look further into the future and see what’s lying ahead. “It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you ...
Read This If You’re Worried About Disruption

Read This If You’re Worried About Disruption

If I asked you to name a disruptive company – quick! – I reckon there’s a pretty good chance you would name Uber. And that’s fair enough. There’s no doubt Uber has disrupted the taxi industry – a long-established, entrenched industry that’s completely been turned upside-down by Uber (and now many ...
How Disruptable Is Your Business?

How Disruptable Is Your Business?

Disruption seems to come from out of the blue, catching everybody in an industry by surprise. It’s often the strongest, most stable, most well-established businesses that are the first to fall. The bad news is you can’t predict where the disruption is going to come from — that’s outside your ...
Disruption By Design

Disruption By Design

In the past, when the world wasn’t changing as quickly, you had time to adapt, adjust, and evolve your organisation to solve new problems. Now, you need to move much faster – and disrupt yourself or be disrupted. Discover some of the tools you can use to innovate now – ...
Why We’re Hard-Wired to Resist Change

Why We’re Hard-Wired to Resist Change

What if I told you of a new technology that could improve the lives of millions of people, but would kill 1,000 people a year. Would you support it? Most people would say No, because a thousand deaths a year is unacceptable, regardless of the benefits. But we do already ...
Make This Weakness Your Superpower

Make This Weakness Your Superpower

Last week, I was in Fiji speaking at the Fiji Institute of Accountants annual conference. Their theme was “Prioritising Humanity”, and I was speaking in the Innovation section of the event. An important part of my role was to explain global megatrends, describe Fiji’s position in the world, and highlight ...
Thriving on Difference – How to Increase Diversity in Your Workplace

Thriving on Difference – How to Increase Diversity in Your Workplace

Diversity and inclusion drive innovation, revenue, and profits. According to EY, diverse companies are 35% more likely to have higher financial returns. And according to Deloitte, two-thirds of executives rated diversity as an important issue. Here are 10 ways to increase diversity in your workplace … Embrace diversity – don’t ...
Your Survival Secret For The Future: Time Travel (Yes, Really!)

Your Survival Secret For The Future: Time Travel (Yes, Really!)

Last week, I was back in one of my favourite countries – Singapore – attending a conference. This was part of my ongoing professional development, so I had the rare opportunity to not be one of the speakers, but had time to just be an audience member, absorbing the ideas. ...
Scan the Environment using PESTLE Analysis

Scan the Environment using PESTLE Analysis

When you’re planning for your future, it pays to know what might affect it from outside. You won’t be able to predict everything, but at least you will have some idea of the external pressures you might face. Scan the environment to consider the impact of external factors. One of ...
Survival of the Fittest: What It Means For You and Your Business

Survival of the Fittest: What It Means For You and Your Business

Unless you’re an evolutionary biologist, you probably aren’t an expert in the theory of evolution. For most people, all they know about it is the name Darwin, the occasional debate about whether it’s true (spoiler alert: it is), and some vague idea about “survival of the fittest”. But let’s look ...
No Worker Left Behind: The Change Management Idea Every Leader Should Follow (and Share)

No Worker Left Behind: The Change Management Idea Every Leader Should Follow (and Share)

A few months ago, I was working with a group of CEOs in the healthcare industry, and we were talking about what it takes to attract and keep the best talent in their workplaces. Most of our discussion was about the top talent – smart, passionate, driven, and highly motivated ...
The #1 Thing That Gets in the Way of Flexible Work

The #1 Thing That Gets in the Way of Flexible Work

LinkedIn recently published its “2019 Global Talent Trends” report, which identified what it calls “the 4 trends transforming your workplace”. They compiled this report based on surveying over 5,000 talent professionals across 35 countries, and also incorporated vast amounts of data from the online behaviour of LinkedIn members. Given their ...

Top 10 Healthcare Trends in Australia in 2019

By 2050, a quarter of the population will be aged 60+ everywhere except Africa (EY) AI uses patient data to improve clinical decision-making and personalize care (World Economic Forum) Wearable and portable devices empower patients to self-manage their care (Deloitte) The always-connected patient changes how healthcare providers engage with consumers ...
Are You Ready for Generation Z In Your Workplace?

Are You Ready for Generation Z In Your Workplace?

Generation Z – the “dot com kids” – are people born between 1995 and 2009. They are the largest generation ever, make up 20% of Australia’s population, and 2 billion people worldwide. By 2025, they will make up 27% of our workforce. Are YOU ready for them in your workplace? ...
People and Machines: Better Together – Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace

People and Machines: Better Together – Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace

There’s a lot of talk now about Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the workplace. But as much as we hear about “robots coming for your jobs”, the reality is that the best workplaces will have people and machines working together. Employer demand for AI in the workplace has more than doubled ...
Are You Flexible Enough for Flexible Work?

Are You Flexible Enough for Flexible Work?

The best people want more flexibility in their working hours – as research shows: 81% of employees want to be trusted when, where and how they work (Sage People) 35% of people are choosing freelance work (Forbes) 47% of Australian workers would accept a pay cut for more flexible working ...
Understand the Future Customer Journey

Understand the Future Customer Journey

A few weeks ago, I was in Brisbane speaking to the CEOs of private hospitals in Queensland about the future of healthcare. These are smart, savvy, experienced people who know healthcare is changing, know they need to change as well, but don’t know exactly what to do. But I know ...

What Will the City of the Future Look Like?

By 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities. What will the city of the future look like? Here are 10 things we’ll see in the not-too-distant future … Most buildings source their power from renewable energy sources. Vertical farming uses land efficiently to feed larger, more dense, ...
Talent Magnet: 4 Trends To Future-Proof Your Workplace

Talent Magnet: 4 Trends To Future-Proof Your Workplace

As a futurist, I’m always looking at the trends affecting workplaces and organisations, and I’ve noticed an interesting trend over the last 8-10 years. A decade ago, we were in the early stages of the technology explosion – with social media, smartphones, and the first discussions around practical uses for ...
The Future of Private Hospitals and Private Healthcare in Australia

The Future of Private Hospitals and Private Healthcare in Australia

Young people are deserting private hospital insurance – with 49,000 fewer Generation Z’s and Generation Y’s with private insurance than in 2017 (APRA) Health insurance reform will start taking effect from April 2019 with premium rises and falls for different categories (Deloitte) Digitisation of the healthcare system has pros and ...
An Important Lesson For Us All From The Royal Commission

An Important Lesson For Us All From The Royal Commission

Last week, Kenneth Haynes, commissioner of Australia’s Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, handed in his final report, which included 76 recommendations for reform. It’s a wide-ranging report, affecting many businesses offering financial services, and it has caused much debate and discussion over the ...

Ten Trends for the Airport of the Future

Forget the endless queues and delays – the airport of the future will be a destination in itself. Airports around the world are reinventing themselves to cater to the new model of treating passengers as customers.