Reports from the Knowledge Labs about our recent findings, research topics, and interviews with lifestyle leaders who are creating their own futures.

How to stimulate your own powers of foresight. Consider the following thought provokers. Ask yourself, in these categories what are the brand new trends and forces? Which are the ones growing in importance? Which current forces are loosing their steam? Which have peaked or are reversing themselves? Which are the "wildcards" about to disrupt us in the future? POLITICAL AND TECHNICAL thought for food: Electronics, Materials, Energy, Fossil, Nuclear, Alternative, Other, Manufacturing (techniques), Agriculture, Machinery and Equipment, Distribution, Transportation (Urban, Mass, Personal, Surface, Sea, Subsurface, Space), Communication (Printed, Spoken, Interactive, Media), Computers (Information, Knowledge, Storage & Retrieval, Design, Network Resources), Post-Cold War, Third World, Conflict (Local, Regional, Global), Arms Limitation, Undeclared Wars, Terrorism, Nuclear Proliferation, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Governments (More/Less Power and Larger or Smaller Scale), Taxes, Isms: Nationalism, Regionalism, Protectionism, Populism, Cartels, Multinational Corporations, Balance of Trade, Third Party Payments, Regulations (OSHA, etc.) Environmental Impact, U.S. Prestige Abroad. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC Food for thought: Labor Movements, Unemployment / Employment Cycles, Recession, Employment Patterns, Work Hours / Schedules, Fringe Benefits, Management Approaches, Accounting Policies, Productivity, Energy Costs, Balance of Payments, Inflation, Taxes, Rates of Real Growth, Distribution of Wealth, Capital Availability and Costs, Reliability of Forecasts, Raw Materials, Availability and Costs, Global versus National Economy, Market versus Planned Economies, Generations: Y, X, Boomers, Elderly, Urban vs. Rural Lifestyles, Affluent vs. Poor, Neighborhoods and Communities, Planned or Organic Growth. Got Knowledge?

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The Journal of 2020 Foresight
Sunday, October 15, 2006  

“It’s Been a Long Road Behind Me, and It’s a Long Road Ahead”

By Steve Howard, CKO
The Knowledge Labs

The Journal of 2020 Foresight

Since beginning-less time people traveled to the ends of the earth seeking the foresight to know where life will take them.

Today with time running out, 78 million Baby Boomers ask themselves in the wee hours of the night:

  • Who have I become?
  • What will my life add up to?
  • Do I want to be remembered as the person I have been up to now?
  • Is it too late to put more meaning in my life?
  • Where will I be and what will I be doing in the next five years?
  • Will economic cycles support or defeat my plans?
  • Will I be forced to live a lifestyle I didn’t choose or work in a job I hate?
  • Will my energy, vitality and health slowly drain away?

What about you?

As you map out the rest of your journey, which direction will your life take? What kind of legacy do you want to leave?

And, will you finally follow your dreams?

“The painter stood
Before her work

She looked around everywhere

She saw the pictures and she painted them

She picked the colors from the air

Green to green

Red to red

Yellow to yellow

In the light

Black to black

When the evening comes

Blue to blue

In the night

It's a long road

Behind me

It's a long road


If you follow every dream

You might get lost

If you follow every dream

You might


She towed the line
She held her end up
She did the work of too many
But in the end

She fell down

Before she got up again

I keep my friends eternally
We leave our tracks in the sound

Some of them are with me now

Some of them can't be found

It's a long road behind me

And I miss you now

If you follow every dream

You might get lost

If you follow every dream
You might

Neil Young, "The Painter"

Got Knowledge?
Copyright ©2002 - 2006 Aarnaes Howard Associates. All rights reserved worldwide.

7:02 AM

Saturday, October 14, 2006  

Which Direction Will Your Life Take?

Chapter Four: The Tribal Territories

By Steve Howard, CKO
The Knowledge Labs

Table of Contents
Chapter One: Basecamp
Chapter Two: The Ridge
Chapter Three: The Outpost
Chapter Four: The Tribal Territories

“Nothing is more important than the wisdom required to transform customers. Being in the transformation business means charging for the demonstrated outcome. Without wisdom people find aspirations difficult to achieve."

B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore, “The Experience Economy”

DOUBLE NICKEL RANCH. Here’s what they’re saying about The Journal of 2020 Foresight.

“A must read for every savvy Baby Boomer male and female. Assists Baby Boomers in a world where traditional expectations have been obliterated by lightening fast realities of the economy”

“It’s a goldmine of valuable advice and knowledge.”

“Original insight into the marketplace changes that affect the U.S. workplace in this new fast-changing economy.”

“A candid assessment of the trials and tribulations facing the Boomer family – from their elderly parents to their graying spouses, brothers and sisters to their coming of age children in their 30s and 20s and to their grandchildren.”

New life strategies for a flattening world you won’t find anywhere else. How do you:
  • Become a master of your own fate?
  • Locate your possibilities for growth and change?
  • Discover what is missing and forge new directions for an engaging new life?
  • Find new passion and purpose?
  • Convert a job change or downsizing into previously unheard of opportunities?
  • Redirect your life to leave the kind of inspiring legacy you want?
  • Reinvent your life and renew your relationships with those most important to you?
“Discover new maps for a generation journeying through life at the same time. Confront the major issues of each life stage. Customize your own life cycle.”

“The Journal of 2020 Foresight is grounded in the career, business and life realities that make being a Boomer so complex today. Laid out in journal entry fashion are the facts, trends, myths and fears.”

“A work of revelation as an entire generation embarks into uncharted territories – from Gail Sheehy’s ‘Fearless 50s’ to the ‘Age of Integrity and Influence.’”

“The Knowledge Labs delivers insights borne out by extensive original research and application in the real world. Fresh findings that allow us to make sense of our own lives by understanding others like us.”

“Uncommon wisdom and guide to self-renewal.”

And in the end Grey Owl asks which direction will your journey take?

"After Wakan Tanka, the Great Spirit, arranged the other six directions -- East, South, West, North, Above, and Below -- one direction was still left to be placed. But since that Seventh Direction was the most powerful of all, the one containing the greatest wisdom and strength, Wakan Tanka, the Great Spirit, wished to place it somewhere where it would not easily be found. So it was finally hidden in the last place humans usually think to look -- in each person's heart.”

Got Knowledge?
Copyright ©2002 - 2006 Aarnaes Howard Associates. All rights reserved worldwide.

5:55 AM

Friday, September 29, 2006  

New Lenses for 2020 Vision: Insights Turning Hindsight into Foresight

Chapter Four: The Tribal Territories

By Steve Howard, CKO
The Knowledge Labs

Table of Contents
Chapter One: Basecamp
Chapter Two: The Ridge
Chapter Three: The Outpost
Chapter Four: The Tribal Territories

"The individual buyer of the transformation essentially says, 'Change me.’ Elicitors may use any one of the four realms of experience for a transformation. When the offering becomes more intangible the value becomes more tangible.”

B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore, “The Experience Economy”

DOUBLE NICKEL RANCH. We’re bombarded with what seems like a 24-hour surround sound of noise – especially if you still live with teenagers. “CrackBerries” addict us to constant distractions.

We’ve become a society of barely functioning Attention Deficit Disorder multi-taskers. The half-life of an engineer’s knowledge -- to stay current without becoming totally commoditized and obsolesced in the marketplace – may soon be measured in months instead of years.

It takes uncommon sense to keep your wits about you.

Journal of 2020 Foresight: We’ve covered a lot of territory since we started this journey -- and this journal recording it -- barely seven months after our whole world was turned upside down on September 11, 2001.

It’s only fitting that we end it with more direct links to context, concepts, resources, tips and tools to help you find the right combination as you take your life out for an authentic SPIN.

Look for news about our Field Guide and up coming Book. Until then, share a FREE link with a Boomer, or someone who knows one!


Entering or Leaving Transformational Adult Passages

Welcome to the emerging demand for transformational coaches. The last wave of Baby Boomers in Gail Sheehy’s “Flourishing 40s” are navigating an “Early Midlife Crisis” on the way to their “Age of Mastery.”

The middle and advanced wave of Baby Boomers well into their second adulthood -- the “Fearless 50s” or “Flaming 50s” are journeying from “Mortality Crisis” and “Meaning Crisis” to their “Age of Integrity.”

Roughly 78 million Boomers over the next two decades will be asking – What will my life add up to? Is it too late to put more meaning in my life? Do I want to be remembered as the person I have been up to now?

You Are Not Alone

Here’s the paradox. In your life, you have to figure it out for yourself and, yet while highly personal, the struggle with meaning and mortality is itself a universal story that has been told throughout the ages. It is now experienced simultaneously by millions.

Lifework and Worklife

Today we live in a smaller and a more dynamically interdependent world.

While our spiritual and life experiences occupy the center of our own life, we are surrounded by forces that impact our home, work and community relationships.

The trick is to work through our “crises” at each life stage, extract some meaning from the experience and then apply what we’ve learned to mastering the challenges ahead.


Now more than any other time before, the opportunities available to us for doing what we love in a community we prefer have never been better.

And, we now have a better understanding of the types of organizations the future will demand and how we can target them as employers, clients, customers, partners and alliances.

The UnInterview

Which means we can increase the probability of fit between our passions, values and experiences and their vision, mission, challenges and culture.

If you choose the employment route to do what you love, we’ve uncovered an intelligent approach we call the Uninterview.

It can be followed to create your own job – which is the most rewarding conclusion to your hard work -- even where no job existed before.

One critical way to demonstrate your value is to propose how a commoditized product or service can be reinvented to increase revenue and margins – especially in a destination resort of your dreams.

High Premium, High Value Offerings

By shifting the conversation away from the costs and your fees or the salary you command, you are better able to negotiate a better deal as a function of the value you bring.

How do you do that? You can spark creative ways to “experientialize” stale and underperforming components of your offerings.

And you can determine ways to increase customer experience on the front-end while streamlining ways of supporting those delivering the experiences by streamlining the back end operations.

Criteria for Choosing Your Ideal Community

Likewise, you can narrow down potential ideal communities you might want to relocate to by considering our list of factors.

But, remember every ideal location comes with trade-offs that don’t show up on the realtor or chambers of commerce websites.

Some become obvious when you visit or begin tracking news from and about the communities you’re investigating.

Others can be detected through inference by considering how outside forces will increase or decrease the attractiveness factor in the short-term and long-term.

Best Return on Resort Investment

In the western United States you might consider any one of a number of communities uncovered on our journey.

Depending upon your preferences for the best fit, you might consider communities in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico or California.

Worklife Demand for CROs -- Chief Reinvention Officers

The need for CROs in mature companies to reverse the slide driven by Flat Earth commoditization into a declining spiral will become more obvious.

CROs lead an eclectic team of competing tribes to reinvent products, service and experiences.

Developing Organizational Capacity to Trigger Competitive Breakpoints

CROs advocate knowledge creation, innovation and organizational learning as core competencies to guarantee ROI on its reinvention process – realignment, resilience and radical innovation.

Taking Advantage of Reversing Cycles

How do you lead the reinvention initiatives? By evaluating the market and industry indicators, diagnosing the current and next stage challenges and adapting leadership and management strategies.

78 Million 46-63 year olds at the Cross Roads

What's their secret for finding the right opportunities? By choosing among 3 sets of career options (11 total) and future-proofing 4 Personal and 4 Organizational Talent Scenarios using an 8-step methodology.

Which one fits you: 20 different Baby Boomer Lifestyles describing 46 to 63 years olds.

What do we have in common? Boomer family profiles living through an unraveling cycle followed by a crisis.

How do we select ideal communities for the right investment fit -- by the trend-setting lifestyle profiles they keep.

Fit: Sweet Spot of Overlapping Life, Community, Organizational, Economic and Generational Cycles

Finding your sweet spot by integrating lifecycles -- anyone can zero in on opportunities to do what they love in a business, social, and quality of life climate that they’ll thrive in.

Of course, shifting economic cycles, bursting bubbles and political events help or hinder our ability to capitalize on those opportunities.

In the 16 lifestyle neighborhoods, how do you evaluate six types of real estate opportunities -- when to buy, how long to hold, and when to sell?

Transplant your business, practice or knowledge company after evaluating seven market cycle indicators. Now, unlike in the past, you can develop multiple income streams that are not dependent upon the local economy.

Take the Mark Twain approach to escaping the Trapped and Permanently Temporary box for 50 and 60 year olds.


The Big Blue Marble’s Deep Past

Ultimately you come to appreciate that you’re just a particle of sand on a beach in the great expanse of time on planet earth.

Or, all you need do is to gaze at Hoodoos in Bryce Canyon-- the pillar of rocks beginning to form 10 million years ago when the earth was created to shift your everyday perspective.

Or, visit the Grand Canyon as many tourists do and reflect just on the layers of rocks demarking the Earth's history dating as far back as 2 billion years ago and to a more recent era nearly 250 million years ago.

Or read a report during a moment of reflection that scientists discovered 40,000 year old footprints in Mexico on Yahoo!

The Locals: 1200 B.C. to 12th or 13th Century

In “Four Corners Region” while Native American people were present in the region about 12,000 years ago, little remains to describe what they experienced, how they lived or what had happened to them.

The Anasazi lived for roughly 700 years in Mesa Verde, having migrated from the Four Corners region, but in the 12th or 13th century, over a period of one or two generations, the Anasazi vanished from this Mesa Verde region entirely.

First Illegal Immigrants: European Trade Routes, Voyages and Explorations

Maps show where the Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, English, and French staked claims to what today is the United States between 1513 to 1776. Native American maps show where tribes east of the Mississippi River lived before and during American colonization.

Following the conquistadors’ search for the cities of gold, Father Escalente in Colorado and Father Serra in California did their level best to spread Christianity to the heathens.

But, roughly 100,000 Native Americans early inhabitants were nearly obliterated by European diseases, colonization, settlers and prospectors over the 350 years of Western expansion across North America.

The Opening and Closing of the Wild West in One Lifetime 1803 to 1890s

Lewis & Clark launch the Corps of Discovery Expedition. "In 1802, Thomas Jefferson had read Alexander Mackenzie's published account of his journey across Canada to the Pacific in 1792-1793” which jolted the third president into action.

He put in motion the “training of (Meriwether) Lewis in the scientific and medical arts of the day and made a January 1803 request to Congress to provide $2,500 for the expedition.”

Between 1804 and 1811 competing fur companies follow the Missouri River and branched out into new (to them) territories bringing back lucrative furs, tall tales and maps and journals detailing their adventures.

Network of Trading Outposts Starting and Ending in St. Louis

For about 100 years, St. Louis, Missouri evolved from trading post for the early fur trappers to a launching pad for the river-based expeditions to a gateway for wagon trains, pony express and stagecoaches migrating to the Rocky Mountains.

Almost a decade after and Hunt's adventures and Henry's expeditions, on behalf of the competing fur companies roughly from 1820 to 1830, Jedediah Smith was the first to open the coastal trade route from California to Fort Vancouver on the Columbia River.

The golden age of expeditions in the 1830s to 1840s made American heroes out of John Fremont and Kit Carson. Less well known, Charles Wilkes also published his sea adventures, the “Great United States Exploring Expeditions”

In 1843, the Great Migration, a party of one thousand pioneers headed west from Independence, Missouri, on the Oregon Trail, guided by Dr. Marcus Whitman, who was returning to his mission on the Columbia River.

The Mother Lode and The Comstock Lode

Captain John Sutter received a large land grant along the Sacramento River and set up his outpost known as Sutter’s Fort. On January 24, 1848, one of Sutter’s foremen noticed a few shiny yellow flakes at the bottom of the South Fork of the American River.
In 1849 the gold fever spread to ship crews, farmers, and everyone else who dreamed of abandoning their mundane life in pursuit of their own “El Dorado.”

Roughing It Through the Tribal Territories

A decade before the coming of the railroad, Mark Twain chronicles his stage coach journey from St. Louis to Carson City Nevada and the Comstock Lode in his novel, “Roughing It”

Manifest Destiny: Native American Extermination Wars

In the mid-1840s, it became an "obvious (or undeniable) fate." Thanks to John O'Sullivan, a wave of propaganda described it as a “divinely-inspired mission to expand itself and its system of government from ocean to ocean and to the western frontier.”

As the Civil War winds down, military attention under “The Great Warrior” (as he was known to Native Americans) William Tecumseh Sherman turned to the “Indian Issue.” In 1862 General (“Star Chief”) James Carleton declares war on the Navajos as an overreaction to events that unfolded in the two previous years.

In Colorado, according to Dee Brown, “Through political pressures they persuaded the Indian Bureau that the Utes were a constant nuisance -- wandering everywhere, visiting towns and mining camps, and stealing livestock from settlers. They said they wanted the Ute placed on a reservation with well-defined lines, but what they truly wanted was more Ute land."

Utes Must Go! Agrarian-Based Union Colony Must Stay!

After the end of the Sioux wars in 1877 Governor Federick Pitkin and William B. Vickers, a Denver editor-politician who despised all Indians, especially Utes, began drumming up a propaganda campaign to have all Utes exiled to Indian Territory, thus leaving an immense amount of valuable land free for the taking. Nathan Meeker, seeking to convert Chief Ouray to Christianity took them up on it.

The Utes jumped the reservation to hunt in eastern Colorado. In response, the governor, then Alva Adams, sent the Colorado militia to punish the Utes. Even though Colorow's band returned to Utah, the militia wanted to finish what they had started. The only thing standing in the way of an attack on the reservation was the badly outnumbered Buffalo Soldiers, who managed to stop the militia.

The Ghost Dance Ends the Wild West, But the Show Goes On

In October of 1890 after nearly three decades of Indian Wars, after Sitting Bull's return from Canada, after his infamous speech cursing all whites in his native tongue in 1883 for the Northern Pacific Railroad's celebration commemorating the driving of the last spike in its transcontinental track, and after his triumphant theatrical tour with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, he receives Kicking Bear, a Miniconjou from the Cheyenne River agency and sets in motion a chain of events leading to his death.

Meanwhile, 500 Years of War Reveal Generational Cycles

William Strauss and Neil Howe detected a pattern tied to four generational personalities -- Prophet (or Idealist), Nomad (or Reactive), Hero (or Civic) and Artist (or Adaptive). Each responds differently to passages between an Awakening and a Crisis. They describe a High as an era between a Crisis and an Awakening. An Unraveling is an era between an Awakening and a Crisis.

Western heroes – Kit Carson, Jedediah Smith and John Freemont – and before them Benjamin Franklin of the Founding Fathers were the "first Boomers." However, the current 80-year cycle began in 1943.

American Archetypical Preference for Heroic Breakthroughs

The Western archetype formulated within the context of this history operates almost on a “DNA” level in our society today. Without consciously thinking about the premise, most people are in agreement about the common superiority of the United States. We want to make the big leap, to achieve the big breakthrough, to chase the impossible dream. It’s the stuff of heroes. You know – shoot-first-ask-questions-later.

Recent Past: 20th Century – Triumph of Second Wave Industrial Revolution

When a new technology is being used to do something more easily or efficiently or better than what is already being done without it is called classic use of the technology.

The alternative is to use the capacities of the new technology to do previously impossible things, and this second use can be called expressive. A truly new technology refuses to stay classic.

Even if it was first created for a classic function, it eventually becomes expressive and reshapes the function. The success of the automobile created so many new conditions that society had to be reshaped to accommodate them.

Bubbles and Economic Depressions

Post “bubble” recoveries in the past -- ending in 1901, 1929, and 1966 -- to the most recent bubble at the end of 1990s shaped the values and perspective of generations.

Automobiles were much cheaper and better in 1920 than they had been in 1905. The boom in 1929 gave way to very high government deficits, deflation and the great depression period of the 1930s.

Against that backdrop, the Bob Hope generation formed their values and adult perspectives. They fought and won World War II and birthed a generation beginning in the mid- 1940s and lasting until the 1960s.

After a depression that lasted a decade and a five-year war, the US economy enjoyed significant productivity gains from the late 1940s through the early 1970s

'70s & '80s Economy

Coming into the early ‘70s, US companies faced little foreign competition at home. The industrial revolution hit on all cylinders producing great quantities of products destined for the mass market. But supply outstripped demand, so prices fell with increasing competition.

The recession in 1970 didn’t help. It was a classic over-reaction to the over valuation of stocks. Not too long after the US encountered the first oil shocks when OPEC decided to control the flow of oil to the West.

And that period was followed by a long downturn--from 1973 to roughly the mid-1990s -- in profit and productivity in the US.

Trend Reversal of the Great Westward Migration

From the beginning of the 1800s when Lewis and Clark explored and charted the West, a broad migration pattern headed as far as it could go -- to California.

For the last 60 years, since officials started tracking the statistics, more people each year acted on their “California Dreaming” impulses.

This isn’t just a trend reversal, but as a scenario indicator, it signals something else is going on. Since the mid- 1990s most of the demographers – experts who track this kind of thing – had predicted outflows, but just assumed they would taper off.

But, more California signed up to join the other 22 million U.S. citizens who moved from one state to another.

Why should I care?

Will it continue?


The Future in 10 Sets of 10 Trends and Predictions

What are the brand new trends and forces? Which are the ones growing in importance? Which current forces are loosing their steam? Which have peaked or are reversing themselves? Which are the "wildcards" about to disrupt us in the future? From future work and social and economic drivers to the demographic migration shift to warm resort destinations.

Boomers Past, Present, Future – Spending Waves, Disruptions

Marketers have tracked the legendary Boomers as they redefined every age segment they passed through. The current stage for the boomers is the transition into the power structure of business and industry between ages 40 and 60. All the workplace rules and structure change to fit their tastes and values -- roughly a 20-year spread in age and a 20-year time frame for the last segment of the generation to exit the peak spending and earning stage.

Monitoring Indicators, Big Bang Decisions

Will the second half of this decade follow the same pattern as previous decades? Which sets up the projections for the next five-year period between 2009 and 2014. Will the pattern of growth and good times be followed by a recession? If so, will the recession last for only five years?

Arie De Geus' Scenario Approach at Royal Dutch Shell with 350 Year Old Company Case Studies

We can use the same decision making and scenario learning techniques adopted by companies that had been in business for 100 years or more. “As wars, depressions, technologies, and political changes surged and ebbed around them, they always seemed to excel at keeping their feelers out, tuned to whatever was going on around them.”

Short-, Medium- and Long-Term Scenarios: Track the Indicators

The current 5-year plan, for 2003 to 2008, is to acquire wealth and to figure out how to protect your nest egg for a decade, while you take advantage of buying opportunities in a prolonged recession lasting for at least the last two of our 5-year time frames: 2009 – 2014 and 2015 to 2020.

The terrain ahead isn’t smooth like on paper or in plans and in models. It’s more three-dimensional. Over the next two decades from 2003 to 2020, just in terms of an economic climate, we anticipate a correction, boom, bubble, burst, bust, correction, and that long bear / depression. More like another roller coaster ride. Taking us uphill, then screaming downward again for quite a ride, until 2020.

Got Knowledge?
Copyright ©2002 - 2006 Aarnaes Howard Associates. All rights reserved worldwide.

5:37 PM

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