As a student of strategic foresight, you learn that there are multiple futures. Typically, you learn about the preferable, probable, plausible and possible futures; however, I noticed that something was missing – the Purposeful Future.
A Purposeful Future is the path we choose to pursue with conscious intent because it is both significant and meaningful.
This is a major miss! How do I know this? The findings of my own research research on entrepreneurial learners and leaders repeatedly reveal one major finding – people are motivated by personal fulfillment and purpose. People are guided by a sense of purpose in the workplace and when buying products and services.
Purpose shapes everything in leadership and life – from our buying decisions to the ways in which we interact with colleagues and take care of ourselves. Research continues to demonstrate that people live longer, happier and healthier lives when they have a purpose.
Last week, I delivered a two-hour, online workshop for a government agency that is preparing its leaders for life after COVID, including the conflicts they might face in the workplace if people return to physical offices. We explored how conflict can be both counterproductive and productive. We also explored what they need to prepare for in 2021 – because change will continue to keep happening throughout the year.
The purpose of conflict was explored throughout the session. We also shared tools leaders and supervisors can use to help navigate the unchartered waters of 2021. More on that in a future post!
While coaching and teaching, I have noticed that thinking too far into the future is really challenging for leaders right now. Instead – my clients are focusing on 2021.
One of my coaching questions for clients lately has been this: Where do you want to be at the end of 2021?
It is not totally necessary for leaders to have only a long-term vision right now. Rather, many of them want to focus on the present as they create their future with intention and purpose, which is a fantastic step forward.
“Where” is the first step in the WILD Method of Strategic Foresight and Leadership. Download and use the Future Story 2021 strategic foresight coaching tool to help guide yourself and your teams through this important first step in creating a Purposeful Future.
Dr. Bill Auxier, host of the Rural Health Leadership Radio podcast, invited me to be the last guest of 2020 on his very successful and informative show. We talk about factors influencing the future of healthcare, including the longevity economy and Purposeful Future. So, what exactly is a Purposeful Future?
Purposeful Future: The desired future we choose to pursue with conscious intent because it is both significant and meaningful.
What’s Next? The Importance of a Purposeful Future in 2021
One of the questions I continue to get almost daily is: What is next? My answer: Take some time to develop a Purposeful Future for yourself and/or your company. COVID has been a monumental wildcard. It has changed the trajectory of the future, so now is the perfect time to create the future you truly desire. We have seen the importance of living, working and earning with purpose in meaning in 2020 – and this megatrend will not slow down anytime soon.
Please take some time to listen to this episode of the Rural Health Leadership Radio podcast to learn more! And, contact me if you are ready to create and pursue your Purposeful Future!
Rural Health Leadership Radio with Dr. Bill Auxier
In this final episode of 2020, we are honored to have Dr. Connie Reimers-Hild as a guest. Dr. Connie shares her perspective on several timely leadership topics: the impact of history on the future, purposeful futures, systems thinking, and leadership of the future.
“My research on leaders repeatedly revealed one major finding; people are motivated by personal fulfillment and purpose.”
— Dr. Connie
Dr. Connie Reimers-Hild, Wild Innovation’s Founder and Chief Futurist, is on a mission to help leaders and organizations intentionally create a more prosperous future in the exploding longevity economy, which is expected to be valued at $28.2 trillion by 2050.
Prior to launching Wild Innovation as a full-time venture, Dr. Connie worked at the University of Nebraska for twenty-five years. In her last position at the University, she served as the Executive Director (Interim) and Chief Futurist for the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska where she published an invited journal article, strategic foresight, leadership, and the future of rural healthcare staffing in the United States https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5916469/, which was the first of its kind published in the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (JAAPA).
Dr. Connie is a Certified Futurist, Professional Coach, and Gallup Strengths Coach with a doctorate in Human Sciences and Leadership Studies. She loves firewalking, snow sledding, swimming with sharks, and spending time with her family.
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?
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?
Mental health and overall well-being are essential to thriving families, businesses, communities and organizations. It has been both an honor and a pleasure to research, explore and learn more about the incredible field of mental health with administrators and faculty leading the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Leadership Institute. This two-year journey provided me with new tools and techniques, which I now use in my practice. I also shared new ideas and exercises, which they use in their work. Best of all? This wonderful gift provided me with new perspectives related to the intersections between mental health, leadership development, mindfulness and coaching. The learner in me was so jazzed when discovering these connections. Bonus! This partnership also provided me with access to cutting edge research and applications that I now use to support my clients!
Leading Innovation in 2020 and Beyond
One of the areas our team has been focused on is leading innovation. The monumental wildcard of COVID has forced universities, as well as every other sector of business, to change. This requires both bold leadership and the capacity to collaborate in innovative ways that can help us create a purposeful future that may be totally different than where we were heading before 2020.
If you would like more information on how lead innovation and create collaboration in the era of constant change and challenge we are experiencing right now, then contact Wild Innovation for additional resources. We are here to help create a more prosperous future for everyone!
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:
For the past year, I have had the good fortune of working with faculty who focus on mental health. Dr. Matthew Wappett is the Executive Director of the Utah State University Center for Persons with Disabilities (UCEDD) – also known as the “Laughter Doctor :). Dr. Ty Aller is a Senior Program Coordinator for for UCEDD. They are both part of a team focused on growing the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Leadership Institute.
I loved one of the recent Instagram posts because it clearly demonstrates the connections between our minds and our bodies. Mental health transforms our physical health. About fifteen years ago, I read The Biology of Belief by Dr. Bruce Lipton. His book was my first introduction to the field of epigenetics. I studied genetics in graduate school but never heard of the word epigenetics until I found his work. Dr. Lipton began is career as cell biologist. His research around the mind-body-health connection is truly remarkable and is worth reading/watching/listening to if you are interested in how your thoughts transform your body and your life. I like to use his work in my personal life but also for my clients because thoughts are so powerful!
Working with prolific leaders who focus on mental health has enabled me to learn from experts who helped me refine my own tools, ideas and thoughts. And, I have been able to share my knowledge with them too -what a blast! Follow the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities National Training Center if you would like to learn more about their work or if you are interested in improving mental health:
Webinars in October!
I am co-teaching webinars with Drs. Wappett and Aller in October. The schedule is below. I will share more details about both webinars in the next few weeks. I also wanted to share some of the content their organizations create to help all of you understand and improve your own mental health.
My role in the project has been focused on developing content and tools designed to help coach mental health leaders and professionals with a focus on innovation and the future. Why? Like many professions, COVID has been a huge wildcard for mental health researchers and practitioners. Their work is more important than ever but the ways in which they collaborate, share, train, coach and assist others has changed and will continue to evolve. They are creating next generation mental health innovations, which is super exciting!!
Zoom fatigue and burnout are real things, so I promise to add a little activity and fun to the mix! Mark you calendars and register for the remaining webinars by going by clicking on the image below. I look “forward” to seeing some of you there!
Looking for Something Different?
I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you want to learn more about or what would like help doing as you create your desired future while having more fun 🙂 Your insights, questions and ideas are what drives my creativity and content. Use the form below to send me your burning questions, coaching needs and innovative ideas. I look forward to hearing from you!
The main idea of this post was originally shared in on Memorial Day in 2014. I wanted to share it again in the time of COVID. While it is true that we find ourselves in challenging and uncertain times, we can get through it. I am also sharing this post because the ideals Ewing Marion Kauffman shared with the world were very helpful to me when deciding whether or not to leave my twenty-five year career. His words ran through my head a million times, and I ultimately decided not to be content with what someone thought I was worth – especially when it was $158,000 less than the man who held the position before me.
I don’t believe the demise of the United States is an inevitable outcome. I believe there are many futures, and we have to decide which one we are going to choose. The politics of this whole COVID situation are very real, so make your own decisions about how you want to live your life. The one thing I have learned? Always question those who tell you to be satisfied with what you have or where you are in life – they usually think they are more entitled and valuable than you – and, that you should be there to serve them in some lower-level capacity.
You have the freedom to choose, and people died for that freedom. Now is the time to use it.
To the Brave & the Fallen: Thank You for Freedom!
We have much to be grateful for this Memorial Weekend. Thank you to all who have lost their lives bravely fighting for the United States. And, thank you to those who have served and passed, the families who have sacrificed more than most can imagine and all who defend this great nation. While I realize today is for the fallen, I also want to thank our living Veterans, Military personnel and their families. You need to be recognized and remembered whenever possible for your dedication and service to this country. I also want to remember our loved ones who are no longer with us.
Thanks to our great military heroes, one of the unique gifts we have in the United States is the gift is FREEDOM! The Declaration of Independence guarantees all of us “certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This means we are free to pursue our lives and our vocations in any way that makes sense to us. Freedom and opportunity are already available, now we need the confidence to pursue our dreams!
Freedom is what makes America so great. What we do with our freedom is up to us. It is our choice. Freedom is our grandest opportunity and should be protected, especially in challenging times. The importance of the freedom to choose is demonstrated by the story of Ewing Marion Kauffman.
After serving in World War II, Ewing Marion Kauffman started working as a salesman for a pharmaceutical company and was extremely successful. When he started making more money than his boss, he found that his sales territory was suddenly limited. Mr. Kauffman’s boss limited the sales territory on purpose. After all, an employee couldn’t make more money than the boss!
Mr. Kauffman made a decision after his boss limited his sales territory and income. He quit his job and vowed never to work for anyone else again. He started his business in 1950 in the basement of his home. He generated $36,000 in sales and $1,000 of net profit in his first year. By 1989, Mr. Kauffman’s business made over $1 billion in sales and employed over 3,400 people.
Mr. Kauffman wanted to give back to the world and used his knowledge and wealth to form the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a foundation designed to support entrepreneurship and innovation.
Dr. Carl Schramm, the former President of the Kauffman Foundation, wrote The Entrepreneurial Imperative. In this book (one of my absolute favorites), he notes three things all Americans should remember in the face of gloomy times (p. 81):
1. Never bet against the American system.
2. Know that being an American is your very best asset…
3. Finally, never count on anyone but you to create your own destiny.
The American system is designed so that we can pursue our passions and dreams, especially in challenging times. Our ability to pursue our dreams and create our own destiny is what makes our country so great. We all have the freedom to choose what to do with our lives, and we have the freedom to help one another. We have the freedom to pursue our ideas, our dreams and our passions. We have the freedom to create our own destiny.
People like my Great Uncle Jack realized this and helped protect the freedoms we have in the United States. Uncle Jack was a fascinating man. When I was young, all I knew about him was that he was great at hunting night crawlers. In fact, he taught me how to hunt them. We lived in the apartment above my parents’ TV and appliance store. It was located on the main street of a rural community and did not have much of a yard. Luckily, Uncle Jack lived only a few blocks away and had the perfect yard for gathering night crawlers. When it rained at night, we would walk down to his house with our flashlights and buckets. Dad and Uncle Jack would help us kids hunt night crawlers so we could use them as bait when we went fishing.
There is actually a trick to getting your night crawler. You have to shine the light on night crawlers to find them while they are above the wet ground. And, you have to be quick! Too much light scares them back into the ground. You have to remember where they are and grab them quickly yet gently. Then you have to slowly coax them out of the hole a little bit at a time. If you try to force them out, they break.
Night crawlers and people are similar in this regard. If you force individuals down a path they do not truly want to pursue, they eventually break. Humans must find their own paths and pursue their own destinies with passion and purpose in order to live their best lives.
I did not understand much about Uncle Jack until I was a young adult. He was a World War II Veteran and served under General George S. Patton during the Battle of the Bulge. Absolutely amazing! He was a World War II hero and I thought he was awesome because of his ability to catch night crawlers!
Uncle Jack and his family sacrificed when he served our country. As Americans, we must remember that our freedom is not free. Many men and women have died, been injured and sacrificed a great deal to provide us with the ability to live our lives with freedom and choice. Taking our freedom for granted dishonors our troops and veterans. It also dishonors their families, who have sacrificed more than many of us can imagine. These people have truly sacrificed for all of us and our great nation. We should honor and salute them everyday because they have given us the gift of freedom and choice. We get to choose how we spend our time and our lives.
The bottom line: Cherish your freedom, protect it and use it to create your destiny!
Freedom is foundational to entrepreneurship, business development and the future. We must protect freedom for our future generations. My daughter’s birthday is this time of year. Happy Birthday Raquel! As a your Mom, I will do whatever I can to preserve your freedom so you can pursue any dream you choose!
Coaching Challenge: Participate in a Memorial Day Activity and show your gratitude for our Veterans and Military families!
Now may be the perfect time to either establish or revisit your core values.
In a time of drastic change, it can be helpful to either establish or revisit and renew your core values. Why? Core values are what we stand for and judge to be right. They serve as the guiding principles that influence our beliefs, behaviors, attitudes and cultural norms.
The COVID pandemic is a Wild Card that has changed many of our habits, beliefs and behaviors. I have written and talked about Wild Cards for years in my work as a Futurist; however, I want to remind readers about my definition of Wild Card.
Wild Card: Unpredictable, unforeseen happenings that impact our present and future.
Wild Cards can and do happen. COVID is an example of a global sized Wild Card with very long-term, history making and future-changing consequences. Wild Cards can also happen on a smaller scale. We might lose a job or have an unexpected health emergency. We might inherit a large sum of money or land a big client. We may find ourselves needing to revamp our business while practically homeschooling our children (sound familiar?) We don’t know exactly when Wild Cards will occur or how they will impact the world, our businesses and our lives. As leaders of our lives, families and businesses and communities, we need to deal with Wild Cards and the changes that come with them now and into the future.
Wild Cards are a part of business and life. As leaders, we have to learn to deal with what comes our way.
Establishing or renewing your core values can be a valuable first step in transforming your business and life.
One of the clients I have been working with relies heavily on customers physically visiting their property. It is clearly a time for them to pivot, and they wanted a new strategic plan that helped them rethink what is possible in a time of long-term business uncertainty. After the initial in-take and assessment, I recommended that they establish their core values. We start at two levels 1) Each individual employee should establish their core values, and 2) The company also creates core values for the organization.
I have also been “assigning” a core values exercise to my individual coaching clients. There are a number of core values lists out there you can use to establish your core values; however, I prefer that businesses and leaders create their own core values. It is really important to get excited about and connect with your core values. You also need to own them. So, have a little fun with this as a person, family, team or business and create something that energizes and excites you!
The coaching tool I am giving to you all as a download in this blog post is typically used for teams or small businesses. However, you can use the same steps as an individual, family or group of leaders.
5 Simple Steps to Creating Your Core Values
Core Values Uncensored: Forget the Norm & Bravely Brainstorm
Create a “Top 5” List
Work Together to Make the Core Values Better
Reflect, Revise & Test to Find the Best
Choose How to Use Your Core Values
Download the FREE “How to Create Core Values” Coaching Exercise Below!
Core values are the beliefs and principles that help guide your present while laying the foundation for your future.Consumers are increasingly loyal to businesses they can identify with, relate to and believe in because they want a sense of purpose and connection when buying goods and services.
On an individual level, core values represent what we believe, how we behave and who we are. Our values influence everything ranging from how we show up at work to who we choose as friends.
Think of core values like this: An apple has five chambers at its core. Each chamber holds a seed that possess important elements for the regeneration of future apple crops. Seeds hold the keys to a healthy and thriving future. Core values are similar to seeds in that they can help individuals and businesses regenerate themselves to grow the future they desire.
In both business and life, core values should serve as foundational guidelines we use to make decisions, guide behaviors and influence strategic directions. Core values establish both the present and the future when it comes to business, leadership and life.
Go Wild & Have Fun Creating Your Core Values!
Download the FREE “How to Create Core Values” Coaching Exercise Below & Join Wild’s Email List to Receive Coaching Tools, Exercises and Ideas Designed to Help You Create Your Desired Future!
It may be time for a fresh start. Clients have been reaching out to me because they are stressed and wondering what to do next. The uncertainty created by the COVID-19 situation is a challenge for businesses and leaders. How can you possibly create a bright future right now?
In face-to-face workshops, I really enjoy watching my clients jump over fresh start lines after they have decided to pivot and move in a different direction. Now is the time to jump over that line if what you are doing is not working.
We have made a lot of changes in our house too. Growing a business while helping kids with their new normal of remote learning at home is a total mind bender. One of our dogs died, and we closed on a house that we were in the process of buying before this all happened. We also received very difficult news about two loved ones that are struggling with health issues. It has been hard and more than a little depressing.
Through all of the challenge and stress, there is hope and opportunity.
For example, I had to give myself permission to hold off on launching the online version of F*school while also expanding my client base to serve those who are in need. The challenge was putting my almost completed F*School on hold so I could move into the opportunity of helping more clients. My personal philosophy is to serve the immediate needs of existing or new clients first while developing products requested by future clients.
If you need to create a fresh start for yourself, or your business, then do it. Today, or any day, is the perfect time to do something different, experiment with ideas and reconnect with yourself and the clients.
If you are having a hard time dealing with the need for constant change and need a mindset shift, then let me know. The experienced coaches I know and admire are all adding clients in an effort to help individuals and organizations navigate this rollercoaster of a ride we seem to be on right now.
Give yourself permission to create a fresh start! If you need help, please let me know. I am here for you. If I am not the right fit, I will help you find someone who is.
We will get through this, and there are opportunities out there – for people at every age and stage of life. Let’s create joy and hope in the world again. It’s time.