If a lifelong attraction to fortune tellers has taught me anything, it’s that the future never turns out according to plan. And a planner I’ve always been.
So I was fascinated when Dr. Liz Alexander posed the question: Can we adapt predictively? That is, can we read trends wisely enough to see what will be required for a future that’s still around the corner?
Liz, who among other things, guides thought leaders through the process of articulating and packaging their theories, pointed out that if:
- The past is a predictor of the future
- Corporate shelf life continues to drop (it’s now in the low double digits)
- We remain flexible professionally, accepting that each of us will have multiple professions during our working life
- Then, if we pay attention to mega trends, we can determine where our professional strengths can best be applied
So much depends on seeing opportunity when it presents itself. I pulled myself away from watching the Democratic National Convention to write this. Al Franken, former comedian, current U.S. senator spoke, and I was struck by Gail Collins’ oped piece pointing out that Hillary Clinton is running for president at a time when most women are thinking about gardening, grandchildren and the occasional cruise.
These are remarkable people, obviously, but they are also tips of an iceberg of change, reminding us to stay flexible, pay attention and don’t be afraid of opportunity. Maybe that in itself is predictive adaptation.