owen at owengreaves dot com

Posts Tagged ‘Future of Business’

The Best Way To Predict The Future

The Best Way To Predict The Future, the words from a famous leader are,  “The best way to predict the future is to create it”! The man who said these words was, Abraham Lincoln. Which proves, we….man / women, have been thinking about this for a long, long time.

I was chatting with a friend this morning, about the future, married kids, and our ages, it was fun but bothersome at the same time. I was consumed by the feeling that, I’m running out of time. I may spend hours on end looking into the future, where business is going, and how it will change, but I don’t worry about what MY future looks like, to a small degree.

Creating your future sounds simple enough, but it rely’s on a great many things not in our personal control. You could plan your life, write it all down on paper, then try to live it exactly as you laid it out, but the odds are, you probably got off course along the way, like a boat on water, in a massive storm. You see, I think Abraham Lincoln was talking about something else, he was seeing a bigger picture, as if standing on top of a mountain, and looking out at what could be, watching at what was happening, and how it would have to change, but there was only really one way it would come to fruition.

The only way, the best way to predict the future, is to create it, not by just saying the words, giving lip service, it doesn’t happen unless you take part. That’s the real message from the President, get involved, build, be a member of society, and a creator of the future. Help build a community, be a part of that community, in that you would be living in a future you helped create, where ever you happen to be in this world. The future is not built by one man or women on this earth, it’s built with the help of many. So inspire your tribe to create your preferred future, and bring many along on the journey, you have the power to create the future. The old saying goes, “many hands make light work”, go and make something happen, make the world a better place.

The Future Of Business – The Resume

Why are we still submitting resume’s? Why do we continue to use them? They’re not useful, not in the way they need to be, so why do we keep using a tool that doesn’t work very well? Most resume’s never see the light of day, in fact, the only time they get looked at, is if there is an immediate need. What’s the first thing you look at when you have a résumé put under your nose? Where they live? Their email address? Job / Work history? References?

That’s the most I’ll invest in reviewing a résumé, I tend to skim it, in fact, I rarely look at them. I would prefer you considered less time-consuming methods, give me a picture of who you think you are, and what others say you are. You can’t really do that in a résumé, because the résumé is skewed by the person submitting it.

The location or where a person lives may be important, if you need them in an office, and they live across the country, you either have to pay moving expenses, or find someone local. The email address, if its a Gmail, yahoo or any other kind of free service, that tends to be a negative, but not show stopper. I prefer to see applicants invest in owning their personal domain name, it shows commitment to me. Job / work history gives me some insight about whether they can do what I need done, it’s not that important because every job has a training cycle anyway. References are probably the most important part, but not the one’s the applicant sends me, I want objective views of a person. I don’t want to hear about how hard they work, I want insight as to what kind of person they are.

The résumé of the future will be and is, a more transparent view of the candidate.

If you must send me a resume, just email me your LinkedIn Profile, completed of course. And most importantly, you should have connected with me somewhere before, don’t just blindly send me your info without knowing if I’m looking, or knowing anything about what I do. Having said that, LinkedIn at least will give me some outside context, have they been recommended, when did those recommendations get posted, and by whom. Have the endorsements been tinkered with, most likely, it’s the easiest thing to game. After that, I’ll do my leg work, like skimming FaceBook, Google, and other Social Networks that may show character pro’s and con’s. I will invest my time in doing research online before I ever decide to interview someone face-to-face.

Personally, resume’s do not work well, there are some many ways for me to learn about a candidate, and more effective ways to get picked. I feel the same way about business cards, they too rarely get used, or produce the kind of results one hopes for. Even job banks are terrible, recruiting sites, and they’re digital failures in my humble opinion. The best way to solve this dilemma, once you’ve determined what work you want to do, figure out how to connect with the principle or HR person, and build a relationship be it online or off. Yes, it does take effort, but connecting with those who make the decisions, or influence the hiring, will get you closer to your desired result.

I may sound smug, even arrogant, if someone wants to know about me, I usually tell them to Google my name, that will direct them to my website, which is my personal domain name, and ton more about what I’ve been up to on and offline. The résumé isn’t dead, it’s different, it’s digital, and we must be creative about it, think differently, otherwise….you’ll be last at the food dish, and the last one rarely gets the gig.

What’s Taking So Long?

This question is usually saved for trips with your kids, they’re stuck in the back seat, yelling, “Are we there yet?” or “What’s taking so long”. Those who have traveled with children know exactly what I’m talking about.

Some 20 years ago, many of us thought commerce and the Internet would have a stranglehold on business and it would change how we live. In some way’s it does, but in many, not so much. Those over the age of 30 can’t seem to let go of the Industrial Age, it’s what we know. We got comfortable being told what to do, how to do it, and waited until someone gave us orders. The combination of fear and change keeps us there, we love control, and we like things just as they are, right?

Roughly 3 or 4 years ago I was telling you that 60% of all commerce would be done online, we haven’t hit that number just yet, but it’s getting close. We’ve almost hit 60% in Canada though. I also shared that 70% of the Fortune 1000 companies would either be gone, changed its name, or completely re-invented themselves. That’s true, but there is a long way to go. Why? We don’t know how to change that fast, we have trouble letting go of what we know and trust. We still think the government will look after us, that we don’t have to teach younger generations a new in this connect economy we find ourselves in.

What appeared to be a locomotive running out of control, was merely a bright light, but make no mistake, that locomotive is getting closer, and moving faster and faster. As the younger generations re-write the business rules, those hanging on to old practices and set in your ways thinking, will more likely conform to the connection economy, just you did with the Industrial Age way of working. Eventually, we adapt…..or we die.

The question shouldn’t be, what’s taking so long? The question should be, what am I going to do to make sure I’m still in business when that day comes, when what’s taking so long arrives.

 

Which Twelve

When I was a boy, I noticed my Father worked hard, long hours at his day job, and then he would come home and stay up til midnight working on his side business. He was a machine, he would work for hours and think nothing of it. Due to his working so much, we never got to have much Dad time, but when we did, it was great fun. For years I took my Father’s advice, and for years I struggled, until I realized he was stuck in the Industrial Age Program, he lived to work.

I never believed that we were to work so hard we would forget to live our lives, that we would trade that life money, like we just sold our souls to the devil. I’m not suggesting there’s anything wrong with a good hard days work, but why are you doing it. Many would stand up and say, “I’m doing this to support my family, so they can have a good life”. While that may be true, I have a hunch, most of us didn’t really believe it when we said it.

If helping people is important, how can you help anyone if you’re working 60 -70 hours a week, your time is eaten by your day job. Maybe your day job helps people, it’s possible that you have traded your life for that day job that helps people. It’s not all bad though, we do however have to step back and ask ourselves why we have traded our time for dollars.

In the end, my Father worked his entire life believing everything would be OK when retirement knocked on his door. It was a lie, and was angry, because he truly thought he was doing was for his family, trading his life so we could have a better life when his working years were finished. He used to tell me, “son, you have a choice, you have to decide which 12 your were going to work. You can work the first 12 hours of a day, or the second twelve, it’s your choice”. I hated it when he said it, because he had already proved his theory, his belief didn’t work.

My Father retired at age 55, he lived to be 70, so he struggled far more in those retirement years than he did when he worked the day job. Because what he was told wasn’t true, he believed what he was told by his employer and by the government. Do this, and do that, and you’ll be just fine come retirement time. So now what do we do with that knowledge?

If you haven’t noticed, most so-called careers have a shelf life, they don’t care how long you’ve devoted your life to it, it doesn’t care how old you are, it flat-out doesn’t care, it will spit you out regardless of the life you traded to make sure it survived. The bottom-line, protectionism, and control is what big business is mostly about, the music industry, newspapers, politicians, they are all doing everything they can to keeps under their thumb. They want you to make that decision of which twelve you’re going to trade you life for a pay cheque.

Some how life has gotten so complicated we’re not sure who to believe, how to undo, and how to unlearn much of what we believe to be true. As I said before, YOU are the secret weapon, only YOU can make a difference, only YOU can decide what, and for how long. Surround yourself with smarter people than yourself, because if you think you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.

Security Is A Dream Stealer

It’s easy to look back, to remember what it was like when you were a teenager, wishing somethings never changed. It’s easy to wish and wonder, but it’s much harder to look ahead and see what you must do to prepare, I know it’s harder, because most of us didn’t give the future a second thought when we were 17 – 20 years old. We might have thought, I wonder what I’ll be like when I’m 30, 40 or 50 years old, but that’s about it. I know, because I did it. The numbers are low for those who knew what they wanted to be when they grow up, and the numbers are even lower for those who aren’t in the profession they went to school to learn how to do. So it’s comfortable to look back, to reminisce about what might have been, or what you miss as a fully grown adult years removed from your youth.

One thing I’ve discovered about looking back, it has yet to move me forward, and it has yet to solve anything but bring about a sadness within. So why do we do it? It goes back to our collective human behavior, we love to be comfortable, where everything feels good, and is in its proper place. We say, I remember when…and it takes us back to a warm feeling, and puts a smile on our faces. I’m generalizing, but that’s most of us, some revert to unhappy places, but most of us want to remember happier times.

Looking ahead is much harder work, because we have trouble seeing the world in front of us, what it’s really like, and what it will be like 10, 20,30 years from now. Most of us can’t see next week let alone 30 years down the road. When looking ahead, it gets uncomfortable, and then it begins, the resistance, and the reason why we tend to get ready to get ready and never actually do anything. Because we are addicted to being comfortable, we can’t see, we can’t look ahead because what we fear is the unknown, and that makes us very uncomfortable.

You’ve heard of people being called change agents, they love change, they love making new things happen. The majority don’t like these people, because they set fear into their hearts of the comfortable, because they know something uncomfortable is coming. To embrace change agents, or the future, takes courage, and we all have courage, we tend use it when it’s safe to do so. When looking into the future, we tend to look with the wrong filter, we look for a preferred future over the one we don’t have control over. Control is the root issue. If we can’t control our future’s, we don’t want to think about it, we don’t want to open our eyes.

Building a business that will be a legacy, requires giving up control at some point on the journey. We have to see the world differently to design this business that last 30 years or more. Maybe you’re not building a lifetime long business, but if you are, you need to use the right filter, and see the world differently. The comfort zone we love holds us back, it prevents us from creating, differentiating, and delivering. Embrace the unknown future, and break the comfort zone pattern.

The comfort zone was built by the Industrial Age work  and school system, it conditioned us into believing it feels like security, and we are seriously addicted to the feeling of being secure. That security is wrapped in money, which misleads us and takes us off course when our journey’s get difficult. That security immobilizes us, and it’s a dream stealer to.