Updated: Jan 21
“The future is here, it’s just not evenly distributed yet.” - William Gibson
I think 2015 is going to be a big year. Economically, we will be into the 6th year of the bull market in US stock, irrationally low interest rates and the jobless recovery in the US. The situation in Canada is better, however declining oil prices, declining Canadian dollar and a slowing resource sector is damping growth in the west. Demographically, baby boomers are well into retirement in 2015 while the percentage of Millennials (age 18 – 30) continue to swell. This will continue to put pressure on the job market as Millennials want to grab on, but the boomers don’t want to let go. Innovation will be the big story in 2015, particularly the massive acceleration of information technology in the area of machine-to-machine communications (the Internet of Things), as well as significant advances as robotics technology becomes mainstream. If you have any doubt in your mind about the impact of information technology, then take a look at the Live Internet Stats for a moment. There are more than 3 million smartphone sold each day and 9 billion YouTube video views per day. There are even more Iphones sold each day than there are babies born each day. Massive change is coming.
The beginning the year is the time to think clearly, and differently, about your business, finances, career, job and family. We need to remind ourselves that our external world is changing, and then change our approach to it. With the increase in innovation, the status quo is rapidly becoming a place of higher risk for you, your family and business. Not only because it is threatened, but because of the opportunity cost associated with missing the big trends developing in society. While innovations like mobile commerce (M-commerce) are causing significant disruptions to the way we do business, they are also creating new and incredible opportunities. According to the on-line retail data leader comScore, mobile digital commerce in 2014 grew 25% over 2013 levels, and is growing at TWICE the rate of E-commerce. The overall digital commerce world is expected to grow by 16% to reach $61 billion in 2015. Are you ready?
Take some time while the year is still early to determine what you need to do differently this year, and then take action. If you are not comfortable with technology, turn 2015 into the year that you become more tech savvy. Start by becoming a learner, and commit to increasing your awareness and ultimately your knowledge. Get to know your blind spot and find someone to compensate for this weakness. Upgrade your skills and training with respect to technology. Get to know the way millennials think and work, and make changes to your business to be more accommodating. Embrace this change and learn the language. Try new technology with gusto, getting rid of preconceived notions that you may hold. Finally, and most importantly, prepare your business for the coming onslaught of disruption being caused by innovation and technological change. Embrace technology and a service mindset, since your customer likely already have, and your best competitors most certainly will.
Do more in 2015. Find the people in your life that bring light not darkness, set big goals and make sure you have the right team to get you there. In 2015, make sure you have the environment, mindset and focus that inspires you to new heights, and fills you with optimism, energy and hope for the future. Now is not the time to settle for anything else.