Oiling the Gears of Change

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“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” This quote is credited to both Abraham Lincoln and Peter Drucker, two people known for their word of wisdom and lessons to live by. The next best thing is knowing how to navigate it, especially in a world that’s described as VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) and market gyrations of close to 1000 points.

To anticipate and creatively respond to the changes, you might find Robert Tucker’s“13 Guidelines for Navigating the New Decade Ahead” very useful. Here are some of them:

1. Create your own early warning system. “Managing the future” combines the tools of technology scouting, forward thinking, competitive intelligence, strategic thinking, and scenario planning.

2. Think like a futurist. Systematically explore predictions and possibilities about the future and how they can emerge from the present. Include the driving forces of change and mega-trends: workplace, demographic, social, regulatory, environmental, geopolitical and technological. 

3. Audit your information diet. Read voraciously and widely, and audit your information intake periodically. Move from passively “getting informed” to actively “being informed. By looking at what’s new, what’s incongruous, and what’s intriguing to you.

4. Connect the dots. Make connections between information that requires that you to adopt an open mind as you consume information. Challenge your own assumptions about where emerging trends are headed, and on how you and your organization might best respond. Don’t be blindsided!

5. Turn emerging trends into new solutions.  Innovation means seizing the opportunities, taking calculated risks, and translating hindsight, insight and foresight into strategic action. 

6. Practice getting better at predicting.  Demographic, automation and AI, and job flexibility trends can be predicted. By 2035, there will be 78 million people over the age of 65 years vs. 76 million under the age of 18. As more people live past 90, fewer will “retire from work” at age 55-65, preferring a new life-balance for their 70-80 years of adult life. 

Now is the time to disrupt yourself. Challenge your personal value proposition. Learn to navigate the future so you always will be relevant. Take charge by getting information, inspiration and support. Join the AgeBrilliantly.org community to navigate your life as you and your children age in a future quite different from that of our parents.