Note from Mark: Randy Gage is a long time friend and respected colleague in the speaking profession. He is the author of nine books on success and is a deep thinker. He’s just released a provocative new book I recommend: Risky is the New Safe. For information, click here.
The New Religion of Ideas
We all have defining moments. Moments that change our lives forever. Mine just happened to involve an adorable puppy…
It was in San Francisco, in an airline lounge, on my way back from Thailand. A couple had an adorable puppy in a carrier and I went over to play with it.
The puppy was a clone.
Now I could tell you the whole story and while it’s quite remarkable, that doesn’t really matter. What matters in that the puppy really was a clone. And it really was as adorable, playful, and lovable as any puppy you have ever seen.
And that changed everything for me…
I’m a Sci-Fi geek and loved Star Wars. The clone armies in the film got my imagination running, but it was still just an abstract concept. I’d heard the news about cloning sheep and camels successfully too, but again it was abstract. When you hold a puppy, he licks your face and he’s a clone – your whole world goes upside down.
Usually in this space, Mark is talking about some facet of leadership: What leaders do, how to be a better one, and how leaders can grow their business. Always a fascinating subject. And about to become more so…
Because when you factor in cloning…biogenetic engineering…mobile…the cloud…and the economic upheaval around the world – things start to get really zesty. Because when you’re talking about leadership, what you’re really talking about is ideas.
From monkeys replacing human laborers to cloning, ocean-floor real estate development to asteroid mining, virtual-reality holo-suites to currency collapses – the ideas we think about will have to become bigger, bolder and more imaginative.
More than ever today, what’s required to be a leader is the critical thinking that fosters fresh and creative ideas. In fact, the most valuable, sought-after currency in the new economy will be ideas.
Savvy employees will create their own critical thinking curriculum that incorporates a mélange of problem solving, lateral thinking, logical thinking, and creativity. People who do this will become idea generators and declare themselves free agents. Just like superstar athletes, they’ll be able to entertain a variety of offers and choose the most lucrative long-term deal.
For companies, the most important resource in which to invest will become people. Of course many companies claim that they already do this today – but that’s simply window dressing for most. This investment will need to become deeply integrated in the corporate culture. For HR departments, the focus will shift to creating the best free-agent acquisition packages.
Because the release date for my new book, “Risky Is the New Safe” is coming up, I’ve been doing non-stop interviews for the last couple weeks. And here’s the most frequented asked question I get:
Where in the world did you get all these wild ideas?
And the answer is that puppy. Because that begets the question: When will human cloning begin? And we can debate the ethical and moral dilemmas that poses for decades (and probably will), but that won’t change the fact it’s coming.
So when Jones & Sons hardware on Main Street needs more employees, why hire them when they could just clone more sons? What does cloning do to the economy, the job market, relationships, families, and society as a whole? How long before some renegade nation does produce a clone army? What happens when someone starts cloning sex workers?
These questions are just the tip of the iceberg for leaders in the area of technology. Social media blows up branding forever. Mobile apps may make websites and email obsolete. At the very least, they change marketing forever.
And tech is just one of many areas that cataclysmic change is about to happen. Which leads me to the whole premise of my new book…
Cataclysmic change will create catastrophic challenges, which will offer breathtaking opportunities for those who lead.
When was the last time you looked at your business as an outsider would? What decisions would you make if investments or processes you already had in place didn’t bias you?
Eighty-eight million baby boomers are entering their retirement years. People are living longer and retiring later. What challenges will that create, and what opportunities will this present?
The hectic pace of work and life will continue to accelerate. What challenges will that create, and what are the opportunities will it present?
That hectic pace means that fake foods, fast foods, frozen foods, and microwaved foods will continue to increase as a percentage of our diets – which in turn means high cholesterol, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes will continue to increase. What challenges will that create, and what opportunities will it present?
Those health challenges and explosion of pharmaceuticals and medical care will likely cause a backlash and drive a renaissance toward natural foods and healthy living at some point. What challenges will that create, and what opportunities will it present?
At some point, all this technology and being electronically connected and stimulated 24 hours a day will get old, and people will hunger for an unplugged lifestyle. What challenges will that create, and what opportunities will it present?
We will continue to mix marriages and blend races, eventually getting to a standardized brown race across the globe. What challenges will that create, and what opportunities will it present?
Some day soon, another planet that supports human life will be within distance through space travel, and people will start migrating there. What challenges will that create, and what opportunities will it present?
These are the kind of questions leaders must ask today. And then they must ask, ‘and if that does happen, what happens next. And if that happens next, what happens then?
All this takes us back to the formula…
Look at where the trends are going. What are the challenges that will be created by those changes? And how can you help solve those challenges. Those are the ideas that will develop the next generation of leaders!