[Infographic] Anticipating the Ripple Effects of Change (Part 2): Driverless Cars

Last week I posted a fascinating video which illustrated the need to anticipate the ripple effects of change (see Cats in Borneo). The sidebar below provides you with a quick summary of the video. It reminds us how our decisions impact, and are impacted by, the complex systems that we live within.

Systems Thinking Summary

Today we are continuing that theme by illustrating some of the anticipated ripple effects of future change from driverless cars. As a futurist, I am wired to look to the future in order to help businesses anticipate changes which will impact their organizations. The impending changes that driverless cars will bring reveal significant changes in the next decade.

Graham Winfrey provides an insightful list of five industries which will change as a result of driverless cars:

  1. Fast Food. Believe it or not, 70 percent of sales at McDonald’s come from drive-thru customers (Bloomberg). When people enter their destination into a driverless car and press “go,” they’ll be less likely to change course mid-route to grab fast food. Why? When it’s just as convenient to go anywhere for food as it is to go to McDonald’s or Burger King, people will likely choose fast food less (CB Insights). On top of this change, fast food locations near gas stations are also likely to attract fewer customers, as driverless cars will probably refuel when they’re not transporting passengers.
  2. Entertainment. Freeing up people from operating motor vehicles will present consumers with new blocks of time to read the news or enjoy entertainment. This will create opportunities for broadcasters to send video content to screens inside driverless cars and for advertisers to serve location-specific ads about products and services passengers will be near on their trip.
  3. Hotels that derive a significant amount of business from single-night customers during road trips are set to lose a lot of business. Why? It’s likely that many travelers will simply decide to sleep in their cars rather pay for an overnight stay. To be sure, it may take 20 years or more for this to become commonplace, but the roadside motel seems like a less viable business proposition as driverless cars take over.
  4. Property Values. When commuting substantial distances to work in a car becomes less of an inconvenience, property values will likely shift. Instead of the highest values concentrated in urban areas, home values will likely spread out more evenly across cities and into suburban areas. Parking garages and other spaces built around human drivers may also be converted to serve other purposes, as autonomous driving technology gradually reshapes city planning.
  5. Short-haul flights: Though most people prefer flying to driving due to the quicker travel time, shorter flights will likely see a drop in customers. The convenience and lower cost of sitting in a driverless car will begin to appeal more to people who don’t want to go through the hassle of waiting in line at the airport, going through security, and paying for ground transportation once they’ve arrived at their destination (Winfrey).

The following infographic addresses the same topic but provides some fresh insights (Owyang).

Autonomus-world_F2_HighRes_RGB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While there are many news stories which focus on driverless cars we are still in the early changes of thinking about the ripple effects of the changes they will cause in other industries. Successful companies and leaders will learn to anticipate changes such as the ones noted above. The ability to move more quickly than your competition is a key ingredient to strategic agility and  future-readiness.

In the past month our oldest child received his drivers license. I cannot help but wonder if this traditional adulthood right-of-passage is on the verge of becoming obsolete. Perhaps the DMV is yet another ripple in the pond of changes that driverless cars will bring.


Head ShotJeff Suderman is a futurist, consultant and professor who works in the field of organizational development. He partners with clients to improve culture, leadership, teamwork, organizational alignment, strategy and organizational future-readiness. He resides in Palm Desert, California. Twitter: @jlsuderman Email: jeff@jeffsuderman.com

Sources

Jeremiah Owyang (Feb. 10, 2016). Chart: Autonomous Cars Change Every Industry, Even Yours.

Graham Winfrey (Feb. 2, 2016). 5 Surprising Industries That Will Be Transformed By Driverless Cars. Inc. on-line.

Image Credit: PBS

The Millennial Way: Beyond Live-to-Work or Work-to-Live

In the classic comedy movie What About Bob, Bill Murray tells his therapist, “There are two kinds of people in the world: those who love Neil Diamond and those who don’t”.

Many of us use this same ‘either/or’ principle to assess the behaviors or others. We label others as creative or concrete thinkers. People like the big picture or are detail oriented. They are individualistic or they are group-oriented. They are wired as introverts or extroverts.

However, these tidy boxes don’t always work and sometimes events come along which shake our thinking. For example, the term ‘ambiverts‘ has recently emerged to create a third category of people who are a mix of introvert/extrovert. As I work with clients and speak to them about their challenges, I often hear the behaviors and expectations of Millennials are breaking many of the ‘either/or’ categories that we like to use.

More specifically, many people are asking me what motivates Millennials in their work. In the past, my ‘either/or’ thinking has answered this question in two ways;

  1. People work-to-live. Work is just something they do and is not highly important. It means that they punch-out at 5:00!
  2. People live-to-work. Those who are oriented this way don’t watch the clock because they are driven to perform. Work is their life.

However, I don’t think Millennials fit into these two categories as cleanly as previous generations have. So I tried to think of some alternate Millennial options….and I didn’t come up with anything! So instead, I have asked three qualified people to answer the following question:

If employees from previous generations tended to fall into these categories – they worked to live or they lived to work – what new category does the majority of Millennials fall into?

Here are their replies:

Paul Sohn: Millennials work to make a difference. An overwhelming reason why Millennials work is simply because they seek to make a difference. The fact that their creative talents can be harnessed for a higher purpose energizes Millennials to wake up every day, knowing that their work matters and that they can make a dent in the universe. The fastest way to disengage a Millennial is simply give them a routine and transaction work that barely uses their talents and passions. On the other hand, the fastest way to engage a Millennial is to paint a lofty picture of a compelling vision and get them to be an integral part of it.

Matt NixonMillennials live to do worthwhile work. We have grown up watching our parents commute to a job they did not enjoy or feel passionate about. We understand that we need to make money, but we are willing to take a lower salary or work more hours if it is for a cause we believe in. While job security and financial peace were our parents’ motives for working (and those are great motives), we are concerned with making the world a better place and will move from job to job until we see this happen.

Jane BoyleLife First, Salary Optional. Millennials do not like to be boxed into any category or much less stereotyped–be it at work or home.  They are loyal to their employer so long as the job suits their needs and ties in with their requirement for flexibility and work-life balance. They want the freedom to focus on meaningful relationships and experiences.  Flexibility means being able to work in a way that suits them best—be it at home, on the beach, or in the coffee shop on the corner.  They prefer not be constrained by when they work (e.g. skipping the traditional 9 to 5 shift in order to break a 40-hour week into segments at different times of the day).  Having greater autonomy over their work schedule (that rewards results over hours worked), generates a diverse and engaging environment, and creates a stimulating atmosphere that offers work-life balance is the key to a Millennial’s heart.

Do these insights align with yours? If not, what would you add?

 


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Jeff Suderman is a futurist, consultant, Gen X’er and professor who works in the field of organizational development. He partners with clients to improve culture, leadership, teamwork, organizational alignment, strategy and organizational future-readiness. He resides in Palm Desert, California. Twitter: @jlsuderman Email: jeff@jeffsuderman.com

With thanks to my guest contributors!

Matt Nixon is a Millennial, Enrollment Professional, MA student and husband. He lives and works in Costa Mesa, CA.

Paul Sohn is a Millennial, author, blogger and MA student. He lives and consults from his base in San Diego, CA.

Jane Boyle is an X’er, recently minted MA graduate and wife who lives in Virginia. She recently completed her thesis on creating organizational opportunities for Millennials.

The Ripple Effects of Change (Part 1): Cats in Borneo

Have you ever made a decision that led to an unintended consequence? America’s Funniest Home Video’s has built a franchise on this premise. Trampolines, piñatas and grandparents on skateboards remind us that we have all been victims of this principle.

Effective leaders acquire skills which help them minimize the surprise of unintended consequences. In technical terms, we can do this through something called ‘systems thinking’. In layman’s language, this is simply a fancy term for becoming good at consequence consideration. This principle is wonderfully illustrated in this three minute video.

So in summary:

Systems Thinking Summary

Stay tuned next week to see how this ripple effect from driverless cars will have far-reaching impact!

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Jeff Suderman is a futurist, consultant and professor who works in the field of organizational development. He partners with clients to improve culture, leadership, teamwork, organizational alignment, strategy and organizational future-readiness. He resides in Palm Desert, California. Twitter: @jlsuderman Email: jeff@jeffsuderman.com

Sources

Systems thinking: a cautionary tale (cats in Borneo)

3 Trends in College & University Recruitment

For many years I worked in administration overseeing college and university recruitment and retention efforts. Our household currently has Junior and Freshman boys and I am enjoying watching this process from the other side of the desk! As we embark on this journey I wanted to share three recruitment trends that I am observing as a parent of teens.

  1. Micro-Collaboration. In the past, events like large College Fairs have been a key way that colleges cut travel costs and save time. By having colleges and universities meet in one location, students can access dozens of options in just a few hours. However, a new iteration of this macro-collaborative effort is now occurring and it is something I call micro-collaboration. We were recently invited to a micro-recruitment event. Operating under the moniker 8ofthebestcolleges.org, eight different liberal arts colleges are running five collaborative events in large US cities. These colleges all offer highly selective residential liberal arts education. Not by coincidence, they are located in eight distinct regions in the US which stretches from California, to Colorado to Connecticut. This type of collaboration demonstrates both a fresh approach to college fairs for students and the emerging necessity for competitors to collaborate,
  2. Personalization. My oldest son has received several publications that are addressed directly to him. You probably assumed that this refers to the mailing label but it doesn’t! He is receiving publications and brochures printed with his first and last names in the text of the materials he is reading. In an era of mass-marketing, instant-printing is allowing universities to personalize their content in new ways. Only time will tell if this generation – one which is suspect of hyper-marketing – will respond positively to this tactic or not.
  3. Service 3.0. During the past 20 years colleges and universities have moved from being gatekeepers to providers of customer service. Over this time the mentality shifted from “apply and we’ll call you if you are accepted” to “I’m calling you to see if you would like to apply”. This marketing pendulum has continued to shift and colleges are now offering prospective students incentives prior to application. A university in our region recently offered our family an expenses paid trip to visit campus (a 4 hour drive away). In addition, the recruiter for this university lives full-time in our city and provided my son with local expertise and insights about attending her school. As the number of high school graduates in the US flattens, schools are becoming very competitive in marketing and communication!

These are only three of many shifts which are occurring within the higher education landscape. What changes are you experiencing?


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Jeff Suderman is a futurist, consultant and professor who works in the field of organizational development. He partners with clients to improve culture, leadership, teamwork, organizational alignment, strategy and organizational future-readiness. He resides in Palm Desert, California. Twitter: @jlsuderman Email: jeff@jeffsuderman.com

The B-Word: What Busy Really Means

Today’s content is a repost of one of my favorite blogs of all time. It continues to challenge me and I trust it will do the same for you!

How often do you say the word ‘busy’ each day? Over the past year, I have been pondering what we really mean when we say that we are busy. The word has crept into our vernacular and is so common that we likely do not realize how many times we say or hear it each week. The problem with this simple word is that it is used as a euphemism. Underneath this four letter B-word, masquerades a definition.

Here are six things that I believe the B-word really means.

1. I cannot prioritize. Therefore, I feel compelled to do everything and that makes me feel busy.

2. I need to feel important. Our culture places a high value on busyness. Therefore, if I tell people that I am busy, it must mean that I am important. Can you feel good about yourself if you are not busy?

3. I cannot say “no”. Of the many demands on my life, I feel compelled to do them all, or at the least, as many as possible.

4. I’m too busy for you. By stating that I am busy, I am really saying that I don’t want to spend time with you.

5. I don’t know how to be still. Keeping busy can be a way of suppressing things that we do not want to deal with (if I’m busy, I don’t have time to think about it). Alternately, sometimes we haven’t learned how to embrace a non-busy environment (our media rich-culture makes it difficult to be undistributed).

The last reason is really a positive use of the B-word, but it still requires you to rethink how you use of it:

6. I really love my life…and my schedule is full of things I love to do. If this is the case, you are in a good place! However, you may want to consider the different ways people interpret your use of the word. Is there a more effective way to express a full life without it being misinterpreted?

As leaders, we need to assess how often we use the word busy. If we use it often, then we need to assess why. When we have schedules full of things that we love to do, we’re not busy. Instead, I believe that we are fulfilled.


 

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Jeff Suderman is a futurist, consultant and professor who works in the field of organizational development. He partners with clients to improve culture, leadership, teamwork, organizational alignment, strategy and organizational future-readiness. He resides in Palm Desert, California. Twitter: @jlsuderman Email: jeff@jeffsuderman.com