You’ve heard it. We’ve all heard it.

Countless business books and life books have touted the “10,000 hours to mastery” rule. I think Malcolm Gladwell started it all — or maybe it was a study that he popularized.

The thesis is this: talent isn’t innate. Talent can be created. All you need to do is to practice, practice, practice. In fact, he even went as far as calculating the minimum amount of time you need to practice to get to “mastery,” and that amount of time is 10,000 hours. The justification: look at all of these amazing, talented individuals and…

One of the vital life learnings which many dismiss is that “life is change”. It has been my mission to help people and organizations deeply understand this fact of nature, learn to deal with this fact, and use it to forge their ideal futures. Part of forging your future is being and feeling sufficiently empowered to enable change within your organization.

Let’s do a short exercise. Let’s say you are at the end of your program. You have successfully developed your foresight practice and integrated it into your leadership skills. Now what? Do you feel that you would be able…

What kind of futurist are you? I was actually asked this once at a job interview.

I replied, “Is there more than one kind?”

A futurist should envision a positive future and then actively forge that future.

Unlike most futurists, I’m optimistic about the future.

While many futurists look forward and see only disruption and negativity, I see how we can help all of the human race flourish.

Some futurists will tell you that “autonomous vehicles will destroy 2 million jobs” and show you the numbers to prove it. Showing negative numbers is easy. I can tell you that the…

How can you stay calm when there is one disruptive thing happening after another? This year is shaping up to be just as disruptive, if not more disruptive, than last year. The “new normal” may be us finally realizing that life is change and that there is no such thing as a steady state. How can you continue to innovate as the world churns around you?

People sometimes ask me how to remain calm despite all of this change.

Practice Pyrrhonism, an ancient Greek philosophy.

As a Pyhrronnist, I understand that life is change. No matter what happens, no matter…

One of the most challenging things to convince people is the essential need to “look farther out.”

Most people are so focused on the very near term — looking no more than a year or a quarter out, that they never lift their gaze into the future. They feel that strategic foresight is:

  1. Nice to have but not relevant yet
  2. Dealing in probabilities and not certainties
  3. Diverting attention from a focus on a near term, which seems to be more “realistic” and
  4. Not essential.

When the world is torn with black swans like pandemics, riots, and racial strife, they feel…

Now, more than ever (BTW, don’t you hate that phrase too), we live constrained within our own little realities. Our own little bubbles.

Sometimes we build these realities on our own, and other times we allow these realities to be created around us. Sometimes it feels that we are slowly sinking ever more deeply into our own introspective states, forever connected to our devices, hoping that they can deliver that next Dopamine hit. We are all losing our connection with reality.

We have become a world of electronic drug users, like trained monkeys or dogs, salivating at the sound of…

Try this exercise. First, draw a circle.

Imagine that this circle is all human knowledge. Now, add a wedge to represent what you know. Most people add a visible wedge. I usually add a single line since, by the time I started drawing the line and the time I’ve finished drawing the line, the whole of human knowledge has expanded beyond my ability to keep up with it.

So we know very little. And every second, we know less and less. How can we possibly build a product or service that our customers will love if we don’t know anything?

Many people bemoan the fact that we have to keep moving from platform to platform, as they evolve from person-to-person communications tools to megaphones for big media.

Take podcasting, for example:

I first heard of podcasting back in 2005 from Wired magazine (which I used to read religiously). The cover was very stark and distinctive — it was titled “ The End Of Radio “ — a bullet smashing open an old school AM radio. Reading the article intrigued me — this “new technology,” combining the use of RSS to deliver a series of audio files to a listener was…

Yes, you read that right. This post will be written on December 31st, 2021, but was published on December 31st, 2020.

As a futurist, we are usually right, but at the wrong time. So this is a list of everything that happened in 2021, just in time for your 2021 planning. Since we all live in different realities, the reality that you live in may not quite be the same reality that this post was written in, so minor differences between your experience of 2021 and this post may occur.

ONE: Continuous Disruption Continued

Yes, we didn’t get less disruption…

You’ve heard of Dollar Shave Club?

The scrappy startup which started marketing by putting ironic videos on social media that spoke directly to the burgeoning millennial male who just had to shave every day? Sick and tired of the Gillette/Shick cabal, which comes out with a new razor every few years or so, and charges an arm and a leg for the razor and the blades. What a pain in the ass to keep buying blades when they ran out every few weeks or months?

Dollar Shave Club promised better shaves, and a better price, delivered on a regular basis…

Chris Kalaboukis

the optimistic futurist™

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