SpeechesMessages Tailored For Your Company or Event
“Climate Change: Natural Cycle or Troubling Trend?”
Sea level is rising, winter weather is increasingly erratic – more water vapor in the air flavoring nearly all weather today. The climate is changing, it’s us – and there are solutions – new technologies and strategies that will rejuvenate our economy, add jobs and make us far more resilient, no matter what a more volatile climate throws at us.
“Reinvent Your Business Model, Before Someone Does It For You”
I’ve started 5 companies in Minnesota since the mid-80s, the vast majority of them weather-related. Stick to your passion. Do what you know and love, right? In each of these businesses I drew up a business plan, with what I thought was a sustainable model. In reality not ONE of these companies turned out like I thought it would, through a combination of new competitors, changes in the business landscape, new inventions and things none of us could foresee. I had to adapt, change the model (on the fly) to remain competitive and live to fight another day.
Of all the business attributes that increase the odds of success – the most important, in my humble estimation, is flexibility. Yes, creativity, and an empowered work force, clear-cut goals and incentives are all critical, but the one factor that has emerged above all others in my entrepreneurial walk is the ability to turn on a dime, to adapt, in real-time, to the unforeseen and unpredictable.
Who, in your company, is charged with reinvention, with reimagining what your business will look like 10-20 years from now. Focusing on short-term metrics can be fatal. Who is looking out over the horizon, anticipating change, pushing the boundaries of what is possible? Do you have a skunk works program charged with cannibalizing your own business? If you don’t do it – a competitor will. The reward goes to the nimble, the business owner willing to transform and even eliminate existing lines to meet the needs of future customers.
Today’s graduate may have to navigate as many as 2-4 different careers and 1 to 2 dozen jobs. Like it or not, we are all members of the “Gig Economy”. This calls for a mindset of lifelong learning and retraining; to be ready – in some cases – for jobs that don’t even exist today. We are all entrepreneurs now, but tools are becoming available to ease this rocky transition into the near-future. A willingness to fail, iterate and reinvent is no longer optional. How do we get to a place of embracing change and building flexibility into our career plans as well as business plans? One thing seems certain: what worked in 1995 probably won’t work in 2025. Paul explores the challenges and potential solutions as America charges headlong into a new Information Economy.