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
Tuesday, September 12, 2006  

Opening Gates to New Ideas, Technologies and Best Practices for Prosperity

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

"What all these leaders confronted was the irrefutable fact that more open and competitive markets are the only sustainable vehicle for growing a nation out of poverty, because they are the only guarantee that new ideas, technologies, and best practices are easily flowing into your country and that private enterprises, and even government, have the competitive incentive and flexibility to adopt those new ideas and turn them into jobs and products. This is why the nonglobalizing countries, those that refused to do any reform wholesale -- North Korea, for instance -- actually saw their per capita GDP growth shrink in the 1990s, while countries that moved from a more socialist model to a globalizing model saw their per capita GDP grow in the 1990s."

Thomas Friedman, “The World is Flat”

DOUBLE NICKEL RANCH. Harry S. Dent, Jr. says businesses will succeed, prosper and ride the last great economic boom by targeting wealthy Baby Boomers and by offering greater customization.

Journal of 2020 Foresight: Dent agrees with Pine and Gilmore about the best way to build a high margin and profitable business is to reduce customer sacrifice by personalizing your offerings to wealthy customers.

Explorer: I believe you are referring to what Dent calls his Power Wave Principles – the numbers of peak earning boomers who occupy leadership positions in corporations.

Eagle: At a time in their career when they invest in timeshares, vacation and second homes.

J2020F: And, yet his prescriptions don’t work in your typical top-down organization?

Explorer: That’s right. I call it going horizontal -- instead of organizing by hierarchy organize from the customer back.

J2020F: And shift your offering from mass customization to staging experiences using the design principles of escape, education, aesthetics and entertainment?

Explorer: He hasn’t gone there yet, but he says you do need to design your business around the needs, costs and priorities of your best customers.

J2020F: In what way?

Explorer: Treat every significant customer segment as a business – with its own customer satisfaction metrics and profit-and-loss statements.

J2020F: So he’s focusing on the 20% of customers who generate 80% of the revenue by breaking out their care and feeding as if it was a separate entrepreneurial business?

Explorer: And he advocates the practice of empowering frontline “concierge people” to coordinate and integrate back office products and services -- automate backline decisions with real-time response capabilities.

J2020F: Which dovetails nicely with Pine and Gilmore’s collaborative, adaptive, cosmetic, or transparent customizations – but with an emphasis on procedures and technologies to make it a reality?

Explorer: Yes. The feeling of exclusivity is the key, as in memberships with special privileges.

J2020F: Membership has its rewards.

Explorer: Yes. Think of pre-set Airline profiles for meal-choices, seating preferences and choice of first or second-class service. The sacrifice addressed is a repeat-again with predictable process characteristics.

J2020F: So, if I decide to fly from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California to Fort Myers International in Florida, my profile spares me the hassle of choosing from a long list of options.

Explorer: The approach is a tailored offering without the customer’s knowledge that the product or service is customized just for them.

J2020F: Eliminate my hassles and I’m a happy tourist or business traveler. So, the nature of the value is indiscernibly fulfilled.

Explorer: Yes. The nature of the offering is not packaged, like the cosmetic method of customizing. Instead it is pack-able, your profile can be taken with you wherever you go.

J2020F: So Dent advocates targeting the well-off Boomers with premium services and experiences?

Explorer: Yes. He says your focus must be on your customer's highest value added solutions -- in the best interests of your end customer (integrity and transparency to build trust and long-term loyalty).

J2020F: How does he say to take advantage of globalization or technology solutions?

Explorer: You need to focus only on what you do best and what adds the highest value.

J2020F: And, outsource the rest to those best and most efficient in their supplier field?

Explorer: Exactly. Provide total solutions with ongoing service and recurring fees -- rather than one-time products in re-selling relationships.

J2020F: So he hints at staging experiences to appeal to the senses – figuring out ways to eliminate customer sacrifice while injecting surprise and suspense?

Explorer: Well, he’s moving in the right direction when he recommends that you need to anticipate your customers' needs even before they do, certainly before your competitors do.

J2020F: Doesn’t he also recommend ways to take advantage of technology by automating to free up high-value-added human service, allow customization and improve quality?

Explorer: He’s a big believer in the efficiencies of technology to create real-time production and service systems for on-demand responsiveness -- eliminate waste, inventories, time delays, obsolete products or environmental impacts.

J2020F: We should use technology to link everyone as necessary in real-time communication to cut down on bureaucracy and speed real-time decisions, right?

Explorer: Or, as a commoditization strategy.

J2020F: How?

Explorer: By becoming the source for outsourcing to you -- making the practice more feasible and sustainable to your best customers.

J2020F: And, if I plan to relocate to a premier resort I can customize my offerings to wealthy customers, right?

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

6:18 AM

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