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.
The Journal of 2020 Foresight
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Will Boomer Nest Eggs Survive the Economy’s Big Bang Crack Up?
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
“Her favorite wilderness area is Alaska, so she’s focusing on the State of Alaska in her essay. Sun wants to be an artist, maybe a performance artist. She’s working on something out in the field she wants a lot of people to see someday. She’s working in hay. She carries bales of hay on the back of a flatbed truck out into the middle of the field on a green hillside and that’s her canvas.“
Neil Young & Crazy Horse “Greendale”
DOUBLE NICKEL RANCH: The Baby Boomer extended family living in the Millennial Saeculum (stretching from 1943 to 2026) faces extraordinary first time pressures that threaten to disrupt their personal and work lives – and yet there’s something vaguely familiar to their life trajectories -- according to Howe and Strauss
Journal of 2020 Foresight: I asked Pathfinder what I’m asking you. What did you take away from our western journey? Although I think I already know based on your two workshops at the Double Nickel Rendezvous.
Trailblazer: Well, where Pathfinder specializes in opening the minds of his clients and customers with the creative thinking necessary to tap into their purpose, dreams and aspirations …
J2020F: Starting with their big picture …
Trailblazer: And, from the view of the past to the present – capitalizing on lessons learned and hindsight – I guess I’d say I’m coming to the present from the future.
J2020F: You’re being modest. You’ve been tracking the macro picture – the convergence and divergence of economics, politics, religion, technology, and demographic forces – over the 17-year span from 2003 to 2020.
Trailblazer: Guilty as charged. Pathfinder and I compliment each other. When he sees Baby Boomer clients he challenges them to recall the past events --representing both highs and lows outside of their control -- that forced choices or influenced major decisions in their lives and careers.
J2020F: So, he might review the past 17 years, say, going back to the mid-80s?
Trailblazer: And, farther as you more recently discovered – to the big bang and the American Saeculua – Revolutionary, Civil War, Great Power and finally, Millennial. But, the point is for clients to profit from reviewing three or more five-year cycles.
J2020F: When they work with you, then, you help them project forward for three more five-year cycles, right?
Trailblazer: Exactly. We’ve found that breaking the future down into 5-year cycles is a much more manageable process for most clients, who don’t tend to look past tomorrow. And, we can adjust along the way.
J2020F: Which explains the presentation you gave in the Sonora Pass Conference Room on “Foresight -- How to shift your perspective to anticipate and prevent devastating disruptions to your success.”
Trailblazer: Yes. And, to your original question – during our trip out west we fine tuned 2003 to 2008, tweaked 2009 to 2014, and recast almost completely 2015 to 2020.
J2020F: That reminds me of that Harry Dent quote, “Although you have your own life cycle and plans, the economy has its life cycle -- and it will affect your life in major ways.”
Trailblazer: Or, maybe more to the point – the workshop I conducted in the John C. Fremont Conference Room: “Big Bang, Long Fuse Decisions: Scenarios, Implications and Indicators.”
J2020F: How so?
Trailblazer: I don’t know if he told you or not, but Pathfinder and I used to argue all the time. I saw him as a motivational speaker, getting clients all hyped up on the vision-purpose-abundance-wealth-dreams without getting them to see things realistically.
J2020F: The do-what-you-love-and-the-money-will-follow approach. How did he characterize you?
Trailblazer: Yes. He described me as that futurist-weatherman. The type that conducts high-level strategic scenarios for executive boards, and whose predictions prove to be no more accurate than the 5-day forecast on the local TV news.
J2020F: Or, by the time the plan is complete, events change and the document sits on everybody’s office bookshelf gathering dust? But …?
Trailblazer: But, we’ve rubbed off on each other. I’d say together we help clients see where “the rainbow hits the road.”
J2020F: How is that?
Trailblazer: While the content is interesting, the process is what it is all about. Neither hindsight nor foresight provide any value unless the client gains insight – and more importantly, makes better choices – life and career decision – as a result.
J2020F: And, can adjust before it is too late?
Trailblazer: That’s right. We all know that it takes time to break habits. We all can use an early warning system to give us enough time so we aren’t devastated.
J2020F: Why did you choose the lit-fuse, big bang? Was it as in the beginning of the universe?
Trailblazer: No, as an explosion of dynamite – as in the kind of blasting needed in mining operations across the West.
J2020F: So our lives are the fuse – as in time’s running out?
Trailblazer: Yes. And the choices you make – or don’t make -- today have the greatest impact on you tomorrow – a tomorrow arriving many years from now, though.
J2020F: So, you won’t know that you made the wrong choice until much later, unlike getting drenched, because you didn’t believe rain would actually show up as forecasted?
Trailblazer: Yes, the feedback isn’t hourly, daily, or even weekly. If you make the wrong decision today, you may not be able to recover before everything blows up a decade from now.
J2020F: As in living for thirty more years past the traditional career, but with a depleted next egg?
J2020F: What about the implications and indicators in your title?
Trailblazer: Implications refer to story lines in “if-then” scenarios. If oil prices triple and the cost is passed on to consumers, then …
J2020F: And, if the cost is passed on to consumers, then they’ll buy more fuel-efficient vehicles.
Trailblazer: Then, if the automakers fail to see the early warning signs, and you work for General Motors in Detroit, then you could be outsourced without your pension, etc.
J2020F: So, to an indicator – an early warning sign would be signs of unrest in the Middle East.
Trailblazer: Yes, exactly – which is something we’ve been monitoring, especially between 2003 and 2008.
J2020F: What else?
Trailblazer: Well, the key question is: 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.
J2020F: Which are?
Trailblazer: Will the pattern of growth and good times be followed by a recession? If so, will the recession last for only five years?
Trailblazer: Yes to the first and no to the second.
Trailblazer: So, make your money and run. That is, acquire wealth and protect it for at least a decade, while you take advantage of buying opportunities in a prolonged recession lasting for the last two of our 5-year time frames.
Copyright ©2002 - 2006 Aarnaes Howard Associates. All rights reserved worldwide.
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