It’s official! Amazon Pharmacy has launched, and it is already available in places like Nebraska! Amazon makes it easy, and filling your prescriptions will be more seamless than ever as they continue to use their insights, resources and business philosophies to serve consumers in ways we don’t even know we want – yet.
I began talking and writing about the evolution of healthcare several years ago. My obsession with how Amazon does business, while shaping the future, has been the subject of many keynotes and publications.
It was an honor to talk about the future of healthcare at the annual meeting of the Western Healthcare Alliance (WHA) in a 2019, which included both a keynote and post-keynote coaching circles. The final part of this conference engagement included executive coaching sessions and interviews with 20 leaders. We talked a lot about the changes happening in healthcare at that time. I learned a lot from those leaders, and they were already challenged by the changes and growing number of competitors.
The signs indicating that Amazon was building its capacity to disrupt healthcare have been evident for quite sometime. One of the slides from my WHA keynote demonstrated some of the moves Amazon was making to achieve their goals in this space, and the acquisition of Whole Foods and PillPack were two of those strategic investments. Both of those moves were in addition to the already established mammoth market share of Prime memberships (pre-COVID) as well as the smart speaker market.
Jeff Bezos is the ultimate think like a futurist and act like an entrepreneur leader. I would love the opportunity to tap into his business mind because he was shaping the future from the very beginning. It may be a challenge to get him to sit down for an interview because estimates have him making more than $220,000 per minute.
Companies can learn a lot from the four principles Amazon has lived – and grown by – since day one, and I have used their principles to help other leaders think about ways they can lead like a Futurist while acting like an entrepreneur:
The connected world is not going away any time soon, and the implications with the growing longevity economy are staggering! As you can all imagine, my keynotes and workshops have been delivered as webinars for the past few months, and one of the areas I am really diving into is the longevity economy. According to the AARP, the longevity economy is expected to balloon to over $28.2 trillion by 2050. My Futurist mind can’t wrap its head around how many more prescriptions will be filled in that time – in the U.S. alone!
What about the Costs to Humanity and the Environment?
While Amazon is doing great, the actual Amazon is not. Workers’ rights and climate change continue to be a major concern. CNBC stated that Amazon delivered 425 million packages between April and June of 2020. And, that is just Amazon. How many packages, boxes and envelopes are delivered around the world each day? Each delivery requires the use of natural resources, fossil fuels and people.
The AP conducted a comprehensive study of the palm oil industry, and not surprisingly – rape, abuse, healthcare challenges and lack of financial security are rampant. Agricultural workers, especially women, have been exploited for a long, long time. I first learned about these abuses while studying natural resources and entomology at both the undergraduate and graduate levels – and that was in the 1990’s. The pesticide poisoning and abuse inflicted on agricultural workers in rural areas is very real. This type of abuse is part of the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics supply chain many of us take for granted every day. The people who grow, harvest and make the products and pharmaceuticals shipped and used around the world are suffering – and so are their families. The women who work in these situations have no choice, no voice and no hope. We must do more for the rights of workers – especially women – who are exploited and attacked while trying to make a living. True prosperity does not exist if wealth and power for a few come at the expense of so many.
A New Economy: Prosperity for All
We can and must to better – I am not sure what it all looks like or exactly how we get there; however, there has to be an economic system that moves towards a more purposeful and prosperous future for all.
What do you think? How can we create a new economic system that benefits more people as well as the planet?
I would love to hear your thoughts…
I am an Independent for a number of reasons and usually don’t support candidates because I truly don’t know them that well.
Here in Nebraska, there is a candidate I do support. Her name is Janet Palmtag, and she is an entrepreneur, inventor and true leader. Janet is a total maverick who bought a house and a plane – without permission from anyone! She has also always graciously helped me whenever I needed support.
Now, she is once putting her business acumen and leadership skills to work in the political arena, and I am completely jazzed about her being in office! She has always been a great example of setting your mind to something and then doing it.
I have known Janet for a long time, and she has always been a champion for people, small businesses, and positive progress. Janet helped support our entrepreneurship club when I worked in Nebraska City, took the time to meet with students when I was with the Rural Futures Institute and has always been there to provide support, guidance and advice. She not only understands the challenges in rural communities-she turns them into opportunities!
Janet Palmtag is one of the strongest and most honest leaders I know.
Our team interviewed Janet for the Rural Futures Podcast. You can listen to episode 30 with Janet by clicking on the link below:
Janet Palmtag for Legislature!
Go Wild & Vote!
Women’s prosperity is a focus area for Wild Innovation.
Research continues to demonstrate that gender equity strengthens economic prosperity. When women make money, they invest it into their families, businesses and communities.
It is time to support #EqualforEqual and ensure economic equity and prosperity for all.
This is something that I am personally passionate about because of my own experiences with inequality in the workplace. Instead of simply talking about my story, I am taking action to help other women (as well as workplaces) create futures that are more inclusive and more prosperous for women, their families and their communities.
I am absolutely thrilled to partner with Talbot County Economic Development and Tourism to offer a strategic foresight workshop for female leaders committed to playing big in both work and life while having fun!
This new workshop coincides with their declaration of 2020 as the Year of the Woman because it marks the 100th year of women’s right vote in the United States. In addition to the workshop, I am giving the keynote for their annual Business Appreciation Breakfast focused on “How to Lead Like a Futurist in Talbot County.”
What is Leadership & Life 2025?
Leadership & Life 2025 is a strategic foresight workshop designed for women who want to take charge of their futures. Women are forging new paths in leadership, business and entrepreneurship. They are creating new models of work, life and income generation in an era of full-time careers, gig-economy side hustles, dual-working couples, the #metoo movement and an aging workforce that prizes youth.
Join us for this workshop if:
You are a high-achieving, female leader and/or entrepreneur who is ready to get to the next level
You are challenged by work-life balance and want to get your life back on track
You are in a time of transition and lack sense of direction but want something “more” that you can’t quite grasp or understand
You feel hopeless, lost or unsure about where you are going and why you are currently doing what you are doing – even if you just keep doing it
You are bored, disengaged and uninterested in your current career, business endeavor, romantic relationship or even life in general
You have a sense of unease because you “aren’t getting any younger” and feel that you are running out of time to do, be and accomplish all you desire out of this lifetime
You are ready to take some time to work on your dreams while having fun with other women making great things happen!
Come to Leadership & Life 2025 and leave with:
Your new vision for the future as well as the focus, confidence and excitement you need to make your future vision a reality
A personal innovation plan that sets you up to WIN by taking Wildly, Inspired, Natural Actions
Connections with other female leaders and businesswomen who are ready to make their new visions a reality
Women who Lead in Talbot County….Join Us April 23, 2020 and Go Wild with Your Dream Futures!
PS: Need some ideas to support International Women’s Day 2020? Go to InternationalWomensDay.com and Take Action!
I am currently working on a day-long, customized strategic foresight and leadership curriculum for the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities (MHDD) National Training Center’s National Leadership Institute. MHDD’s National Training Center is a collaboration between the University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at the University of Kentucky, University of Alaska Anchorage, and Utah State University.
One of the topics we will focus on is creating and leading what I call a Purposeful Future. This is a pivot from the preferred future I have learned about and talked about for years. Why? Years of my research, and that of many others, continues to reveal the importance of purpose.
Too many people keep their desires inside of them. They unwittingly pursue the Purposeless Future. This is the future that “just happens” because people opt to stay on the hamster wheel of life rather than taking the time to develop and pursue a purposeful future that they truly desire.
A clear sense of purpose this is especially important for women, as well as businesses, looking to reinvent themselves, innovate or create a different future than the one they think the present will support. Purpose is associated with longevity, health, vitality and the ability to innovate.
Which future are you choosing to pursue right now? Have you been purposeful in the pursuit of your future? Or, are you running default mode?? There is no judgment here! I have, and still do, struggle to get out of default mode – especially when life gets overly busy!
I would really enjoy learning from those who are pursuing their Purposeful Futures with wild abandon! Why did you decide to approach your life and/or business with purpose? How do you approach the intentional creation of a Purposeful Future?
I look forward to hearing from you!
Go Wild with Your Purposeful Future!
PS: Enjoy the article (below) by Singularity University’s Chipp Norcross. I completed a professional development certification with Singularity a couple of years ago and like to study their strategic foresight research and ideas for the future.
Is Purpose A Company’s Best Protection Against Disruption? – Singularity University
Are you optimizing for the industry you think you’re in, or for the actual service you’re providing to your customers? Your answer could indicate how likely it is that your company might be disrupted, notes SU’s Chipp Norcross.
After all, an organization’s purpose is fundamentally an inspirational communication from leadership about what is essential to focus on and prioritize.-Chipp Norcross, Vice President of Enrollment program at Singularity University
Sadly, Mass Extinctions will Continue
Trends don’t look good for creatures, big and small, around the world. Predictions estimate that Australia’s mass wildfires have now killed one billion animals…and counting.
The knowledge of mass extinctions is not new. The planet’s flora, fauna, animals and natural resources have been under duress for quite sometime. As the number of humans increase-the amount and quality of wildlife habitat decreases.
Dr. Larkin Powell and I discuss this very issue in Episode 27 of the Rural Futures podcast, which can be accessed by going to: https://ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/episode-27-researcher-larkin-powell-intersects-humanity-wildlife-ecotourism/
There is nothing that happens in rural landscapes that does not effect wildlife. The tie between human community and the biotic community is tighter than ever before.Dr. Larkin Powell
Professor of Conversation Biology, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
The truth is that we are all connected. Larkin provides an example of seeing flowers being produced in Columbia that are ultimately purchased in places like Nebraska. We also talk about chocolate and coffee. Much of what we consume travels a long way to find our plates!
What does this mean? None of us are removed from the tragic fires in Australia.
Larkin notes that there are long-term concerns about extinctions. I talk about a strategic foresight tool, Future Users, and propose that generations living on the planet today (including that of my children) will see mass extinctions in their lifetimes. Australia is only the beginning. Go ahead and add polar bears, bees, cheetahs, elephants and many, many more to the list.
As we see the continued psychographic (wants, needs and desires) shifts in the human population…
We definitely have to put sustainability at the forefront.Dr. Connie
We all need to do better, including me and my family. A more prosperous future for all, including women, depends on humanity having -and taking care of- this wonderful planet. The time for future-focused leadership and innovation, with a focus on sustainability, is NOW!
Dr. Jim Cavaye, Professor of Regional Community Development at the University of Southern Queensland, was one of our Faculty Fellows at the Rural Futures Institute. I wish Jim and everyone in Australia all the best as they move forward in this very challenging situation. Jim: We are here for you friend!
I tried to find what legitimate information on to donate to relief efforts in Australia. I found this news site in Australia that may be useful. If you know of legitimate places people can help, please share!
Prayers and Love to You Australia!
Check out the interview with Dr. Larkin Powell by clicking on the link below:
Larkin Powell, Professor of Conservation Biology at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, talks with Dr. Connie about the opportunities within ecotourism, humanity’s affect on wildlife and natural landscapes, the benefits of precision agriculture for animal habitats, the possibility of mass extinctions of wildlife in the coming decades and more.
Many of the leaders I coach and work with want to improve their public speaking skills and abilities. TED’s official public speaking course may be a great opportunity for many of you to learn from other leaders who have experienced success with their presentations. I am always looking for growth in this area as well, and the course looks like fun!
Extra Bonus! It is all done through as an app-based course, and final talks can be submitted to TED’s curators!!
Check it out to see if it is a fit for you! It may be time to go a little wild and share your ideas. Take those calculated risks that help you grow and have the potential to share your message with the world! We need more women to step up and make their voices heard!
Go Wild & Have Fun Telling Your Stories!
We’re excited to announce the release of TED Masterclass — TED’s official public speaking course. Delivered via mobile app, the course is guided by TED’s Head Curator, Chris Anderson, and is designed to help you identify, develop and share your best ideas as a TED-style talk. Based on Anderson’s book TED Talks: The Official TED…Announcing TED Masterclass: TED’s official public speaking course — TED Blog
Today is a great day to celebrate the importance of mental health. While I was hosting the Rural Futures Podcast, I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Howard Liu about mental health. Dr. Liu serves as the Vice Chancellor for Faculty Development at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He is also the Director of Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska, an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist. Even better than his training, experience and titles? Howard is a dedicated husband, father and all around super-cool human being!
Part of the interview focused on mental health disparities and shortages in rural areas; however, we also talked about the importance of fun and play for both children and adults.
I included a portion of the transcript that focuses on the importance of play and taking risks below. You can hear the entire episode by visiting the Rural Futures Podcast web site:
Rural Futures Podcast Episode 14: Psychiatrist Howard Liu intersects mental health, workforce, access
Dr. Connie: I do a lot of work, of course on strategic foresight and futuring, but part of that is creativity, part of that is innovation. And it’s really hard for people to be creative when they’re just focusing on a to-do list and a massive amount of activity, rather than being very intentional and using discernment on what’s really important, what can you say no to, what’s maybe not in your wheelhouse, how do you engage a team around these things and create different systems that really support the ability to be creative? So many organizations say, yes, we want to be innovative, we want to really be competitive in the future. But they really aren’t designing the lives of their employees to be that way because innovation does start with the individual.
Dr. Liu: It really does. I think it does start with the individual, but I think it’s fed by the culture, or stifled by the culture.
Dr. Connie: No, that’s true! That is absolutely right.
Dr. Liu: And I know you’re someone that’s a futurist, and so you really think ahead, and I have no doubt that you found ways to really carve out that time. I believe in two things. As a child psychiatrist, and also as a parent of four kids myself, I think that adults often don’t take the time to play in the same way that kids do. And there’s something that, I don’t know if you grew up watching Mr. Rogers, but Mr. Rogers actually was quite a profound thinker, as it turns out, and then one thing he said is sort of like, play is the work of childhood. You really are trying things out, you’re processing things. We notice in kids who have been through traumas, well, often you’ll see in the play some of the terrible things they’re trying to work out, and what happened, and reenact, and so on.
I believe that for all adults, you have to have some time to play, but that entails two things. One is, it takes some risk, right? Because if you’re going to play, you might mess up, because you’re probably not the world’s expert in that thing, you’re sort of processing in the back of your mind, or balancing off a couple other people.Tweet
And then, second thing is then, if it’s going to be risky, you have to be ready to fail, and that’s have to be okay, right, with the organization, with your unit, with your boss, whatever, or your colleagues. And I think for a lot of people, those two things are hard, because it’s a little bit of a risk, and you don’t want to put yourself out there.
I recently read a book. It’s about the founding of Pixar, and written by Ed Catmull, the president, I believe, and it really said the manager’s job is not to prevent risks, is to make it safe to take them, and I really like that, because it makes you really think about, well, as a leader, am I stifling creativity by saying, oh, you messed up here, do better next week, or do I say something different, wow, it looks like you really put yourself out there. Maybe it didn’t work this time, but I’d love to see you keep trying new things. I think there’s different ways we can approach it, and kind of buffer that risk for our employees and our colleagues.
Dr. Connie: So the culture norm is to be so serious, and really stiff.
Dr. Liu: Right.
Dr. Connie: It’s nice to see some of that changing that, but, a lot of the high level leaders I’ve coached, that’s the thing that is missing from their lives so often, and part of coaching them is to encourage them and help them create some time, and make that time to actually play. I mean, there’s nothing more refreshing than a snowball fight with your kids, even. Go sledding, go do these things.
Dr. Liu: Yes.
Dr. Connie: They’re actually fun, or if you were a musician and you haven’t picked up your instrument, like you had mentioned earlier, for years, reengage that part of your health because it really brings out the best in you. And when I used to say that, people would look at me like, oh my gosh, she’s talking about having fun, and we’re talking about leadership and futuring and all these things, but then, it’s like it clicked, and people are like, okay, now how do I do that? Because it was really lacking from their life, but I always say fun is the fountain of creativity, but it’s also the fountain of youth.
Dr. Liu: I have this philosophy about workforce, future workforce, future people in any field, and it’s that, kinda like what you were saying, you can’t just do the routine things if you’re going to flip something, there’s not enough people in any field, right? So otherwise, in 25 years, guess what? Exact same thing, if we’re going to use this same approach. But there’s some science, and I do believe there’s some art to it as well. So my first job in this department was, the only formal title I had was to help build a psychiatry interest group, which was medical students, and there was only one in the interest group, so it wasn’t very successful.
Dr. Liu: But I had in my fellowship, encountered a really outstanding mentor. Her name was Dr. Paula Rauch, who’s a child psychiatrist. And when were trying to learn development, normal childhood development, she would invite all the fellows over, there were nine of us, to her house for breakfast for I think six or nine weeks. And we’d go sit around the table, and she’d serve us a very simple breakfast —just bread and peanut butter, and whatever, and we’d talk about development. And one of the things that we then did was go to see a preschool where her kids had gone to school, and then just see what they did in their sort of all day recess. And that experience always stuck with me for two things because one is that it takes a little courage to open up your home to trainees, or to colleagues, whatever. It’s an extra step, but two was I never have forgotten it, and I think others have never forgotten it either. Many of us remember it fondly as one of the best parts of our training. And I realized that when I started here, and there’s one person going into psychiatry, and that we needed to do better than that. And so I started hosting things in my home, and we’d invite students and faculty, and you really see outside of the work environment, people really let their hair down. It’s best if they can show up in their shorts or something, and it’s casual, and they can just relax and get to know each other, and I think as the students get to know the faculty, then I think that we’re also sort of unconsciously sort of auditioning them as future colleagues. They’re looking at their lives, and sort of auditioning their lives. Is this the kind of person I want to be? Is this the kind of balance I want to pursue? And as it turns out, the latest study on why students choose psychiatry, work life integration and balance is one of the top three factors. So the only way you could show that is definitely not in your office, but by showing them that thing. Maybe it’s piano, maybe it’s something different. It needs to be something that gives them some sense of who you are outside of work.
Dr. Connie: Oh, absolutely, you get to see the real person. I mean, in so many ways, when we go to work, it’s not really a facade. I mean, I think for some people it is, but you don’t see the family that they’re raising. You don’t see who they are, or the hobbies they have. You don’t see them as a whole person. My previous position before coming to the Rural Futures Institute, I did a lot of team building at the Kimmel Education and Research Center, which is on Kimmel Orchard in Nebraska City, Nebraska. We’d have companies come and we’d do things like Iron Chef cook-offs.
Dr. Liu: That’s great.
Dr. Connie: Real active, very fun, but also very purposeful types of activities. It’s the same thing you’re saying, I mean, so often, a lot of team conflict is because people just really don’t know or understand each other outside of the meetings they sit in. So how can we break down those barriers, really understand people as people, and build that camaraderie, but also that compassion, and real like for other people. And we’re more apt to do that if we know them and appreciate who they are rather than judging who they are.
Dr. Liu: That’s really well said.
Dr. Connie: You are a leader in your space. I’d love to know more about your leadership philosophy, your style. There’s a psychologist that said, with any organization, it’s always good to be half in and half out, and what he meant by that was that if you have six different jobs, no one really feels like you’re part of that organization because you’re running around, and you’re not really present, right? And people understand that, right?
Dr. Liu: So you have to be at least half-time in, doing that thing, where people see you, they recognize what you do in that work and that kind of thing. But this goes back to your earlier point about creativity. You have to find that thing, you have passion area, and you have to carve it out. And it may not be there right away, but however you get there, that’s what’s going to create vitality for you in the workplace, is having that thing and for some people, that’s research. For some people, that’s community engagement. I really enjoy that piece, for example. For some people, it’s something different, right. It might be building infrastructure, or could be anything, publishing. But having that space to really carve that out, is so important. And then not being too committed to too many things is very important as well. So that was one principle. Another one that someone told me was, think about your portable skill set, because in a career, you may wear six, ten, many different hats, but what do you take away from each, and have you grown? And as I’ve thought about my career, I came in, again, really just as a clinician, which is a great thing, but I didn’t really know anything about leadership, and so a lot of what I’ve learned has been on the job. But I do try to be intentional about it, and try to write some things down. At some point I realized, there’s some major gaps of what I do and don’t know. I know a little bit on managing budgets, but I really don’t know about healthcare economics in the same way as someone who’s running a hospital does, and if I’m going to ever do clinical leadership, I should probably learn something about that. So for example, last year, I enrolled in an executive MBA program that’s sponsored through our hospital. Having those relationships, what Gallup would say, is the “friend at work” is so important. It’s so easy to neglect, but if you don’t have it, I really feel it So it’s the people that you can go and really debrief with, that aren’t doing it because of your role, but really, they genuinely, you like each other, that you can share your woes, and they can share theirs, that kind of thing. You can’t just create it, you have to find it. You have to carve that time out, and then you have to nurture it once you have those people. I’ve been lucky to have those people here, and it’s so important just for attention and for your own vitality as a leader.
Howard and I had a great time during the interview (I left the “laughing” element of the show notes in tact so you could literally read about the fun we had while talking).
Play and laughter need to be a bigger part of our human experience. We have forgotten not only that it feels good but that it is also good for us, our families, our communities and even our businesses!Tweet
This whole idea was the basis of creating a futuring school (F * School) for women in midlife. This creation has come from my many years of coaching clients and working with businesses who have all lost their ability to create their desired futures and engage with their world because fun is typically a distant memory. It may sound a little wild, which you all know that I am totally fine with being. The first module is going to focus on…FUN! Yes, you read that right…the first module is going to focus on the power of play and fun as the foundation for creating your future (while enjoying the present). We will explore a bit about of the science associated with the importance of fun. Then, we will get into into practical steps designed transform life through fun and fulfillment.
If you have any interest in learning to have more fun, please add your email to our list and you will be one of the first to receive the enrollment information. The fun lessons will be absolutely free! The more fun we can get out there into the world, the better!
Enjoy yourself today and everyday, and remember to…
Go Wild & Have Fun!
I recently had the privilege of being interviewed by Dierdre Breakenridge. Dierdre is a PR guru, entrepreneur, teacher, author and awesome person! Learn more about Dierdre and her work by going to her web site: https://www.deirdrebreakenridge.com/
We had a million things we could have talked about in this episode of Women Worldwide; however, we ended up talking about futuring, the importance of a vision and how to have fun while pursuing your desired future! Check out this episode Women Worldwide and join Deirdre’s mission to advance a global conversation designed to help women succeed in business and in life.
Futuring – What is it and Why Do You Need It In Your Business?
I have to admit that I was super excited to do an interview with Nicole Jansen as part of her Leaders of Transformation Podcast. We talk about the future, the importance of a vision and how work and leadership are evolving; however, my biggest moment was actually diving into my own transition! I have not said or written a lot about why and how I left a twenty-five year career to pursue my own desired future. Honestly, it has been a hard to talk about for a number of reasons. We discuss it a bit in this interview, and it felt awesome just to voice my truth as well as my new adventure in midlife!
Enjoy the show, and let me know what you think! I would love to know what topics you want to know more about in the future. Make sure to download the free
Start creating your desired future today by enjoy the Dream Life 2025 exercise that is mentioned in podcast! After you complete the Dream Life 2025 exercise, let me know what your desired future looks like in the comments section below!