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  • HOW DID WE
    IMAGINE THE
    FUTURE WORLD
    OF BUSINESS
    Over the past 150 years future views of the world have
    evolved with far-reaching-concepts ahead of the time but
    rooted in the emerging technologies of the day.
    Forecasting business: 1922 view of 1972
  • WHY HAS THE
    FUTURE NOT
    TURNED OUT
    AS IMAGINED
    It rarely does because these future views are myopic
    and fixated on one singular emerging technology
    that will solve everything. It won't. We need a more
    comprehensive view of the past & transition periods.
    Future visioning: 1900 view of 2000
  • WHAT CAN WE
    LEARN FROM PAST
    TRANSITIONAL
    PERIODS
    How the 3 Industrial Revolutions of the past 300 years
    leveraged emerging technologies that reshaped society
    around them at all levels.
  • WHAT CAN WE
    LEARN FROM PAST
    TRANSFORMATIVE
    PROJECTS
    How each Industrial Revolution spawned transformative projects
    (like the US Transcontinental Railroad) that drove emerging
    technologies into existing industries and disrupted them.
  • WHAT WILL THE
    FUTURE WORLD
    OF BUSINESS
    LOOK LIKE?
    Digital [Technology] has transformed the ways in which
    customers discover, explore, buy, and engage with products
    and services, allowing them to transcend traditional channel
    boundaries (Forrester, 2016).
  • HOW WILL YOU
    TAKE A JOURNEY
    TO THE FUTURE?
    You can get there through transition and transformation but
    pay close attention to the lessons of the past to create an
    iterative transformation strategy.
  • YOU NEED TO
    TAKE THIS
    STEP WHILST
    YOU CAN
    Economies of scale, distribution strength, and brand
    don’t work anymore because digital technology has
    changed the dynamics of the markets in which you
    operate and the speed needed to remain competitive
    (Forrester, 2016).
  • WE HAVE
    TAKEN SIMILAR
    JOURNEYS
    BEFORE
    For 300 years we have reimagined the future through
    transformation projects. We can use these historical
    lessons to create a comprehensive transformation strategy.
    Powered flight: steam vs internal combustion

How Did We Imagine The Future Of The Business World To Be?

Over the past 150 years future views evolved of the business world that included far-reaching-concepts ahead of the time. However, these concepts were rooted in the technology of the day and were not achieved in the predicted time frame. The image below is a 1922 view of the future, for 1972, and is rooted in Radio technology.

 1922 Future View

History abounds with future images, speculations, scenarios and so on, of how new technologies will transform society. In retrospect, they often turn out to be wrong.

What Can We Learn From Transitional Periods Of The Past?

How the three Industrial Revolutions of the past 300 years spawned inventions (emerging technologies) that through successful piloting and adaption (by projects) were able to disrupt and mechanize existing industries, accelarate urbanization, and impact society at every possible level.

 Industrial Revolutions started in the UK 1715
 

What Will The Future Of The Business World Look Like?

Digital [Technology] has transformed the ways in which customers discover, explore, buy, and engage with products and services, allowing them to transcend traditional channel boundaries (Forrester, 2016). An organization will become more adaptive (Adaptive Enterprise) in meeting the demands of its customers, by optimizing the use of its resources and ensuring the supply is matched to this and synchronized at all times.

future of business

You Need To Take This Journey Whilst You Have A Choice

Economies of scale, distribution strength, and brand don’t work anymore because digital technology has changed the dynamics of the markets in which you operate and the speed needed to remain competitive (Forrester, 2016). Whilst you still have a choice you need to act before the emerging technology disrupts your industry. The image below exemplifies how the steam engine completely disrupted each industry it entered, although the timespans between entries were measured in decades whereas today these are measured in years.

Disruptive technology steam engine
Innovation is not always about new and fresh ideas but typically starts with an existing emerging technology and then adjusts it and repurposes it for something new.

Why Did The Future Not Turn Out Like This?

The future rarely turns out as imagined. Typically, a future view is myopic and rooted in a singular technology of the day that will solve everything. However, it won't because of the limitations of the technology and how it is adapted. We need to take a more comprehensive view of the past and examine periods of transition. Future views

And From Transformative Projects?

How each Industrial Revolution spawned transformative projects (like the US Transcontinental Railroad, and Panama Canal) that were innovative and drove emerging technologies into existing industries which disrupted and changed them. New business and operating models had to be rapidly developed. These projects also spawned new opportunities, created new industries, and new businesses to dominate (monopolize) them. Transformative projects TCR

How Can You Get To This Future?

Get there through transition and transformation but, pay very close attention to the lessons of the past and their impact at all levels.For example, the modern day equivalent of an Adaptive Enterprise, was created in May 1940 using the emerging technologies of the day. An organization more resilient to rapid and unpredictable change, is a 21st Century issue, and a goal many leaders aspire to today for their organizations.
RoadmapUse these historical lessons to understand the scope of the transformation and changes, and how these were managed. With this understanding create an iterative transformation strategy that includes not just technology but the people (organization), and processes (like decision making).

 

We Have Taken Similar Journeys Before

For 300 years we have been imagining the future and realizing it through transformative projects which delivered solutions incorporating emerging technologies. This transformation journey has been taken before and should not be foreboding to an organization. We can take lessons from these historical periods, projects, and journeys to create a more comprehensive and compelling (iterative) transformation strategy for an organization.

Journeys from the past
For example, the image above highlights the transition of powered flight from steam engine to internal combustion engine. See how we can help you make this transformation journey through LFH Consulting Services.

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Lessons from History

Creating a transformation roadmap from the past to the present to the future

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