I will focus on the future of leadership in rural communities and plan to ask the audience a few questions about trends they see emerging now, in five years and in ten years. From my experience, women over 40 have great insights in the past, present and future. So, I would enjoy the opportunity to hear from this audience!
What do you see, think and feel on this topic?
What trends (changes in society, the economy and the environment) do you see currently? What trends to you see impacting society in 5 years? What about 10 years?
Next up, the Connecting Young Nebraskans (CYN) Summit in York, NE. While this summit is focused on young professionals, I am going to bring a future-focused approach to the theme of the summit: Creating Life Balance.
This is a topic I know a lot of you have a great deal of experience with because you have been “balancing life” and “doing it all” for quite some time.
As women who have experience and wisdom to share, what advice would you give to Millennials who are seeing more life balance? I would love to use your insights in my presentation later this month.
Please leave a comment and share your leadership wisdom!
Business is in the age of the “Empowered Consumer” who has a buffet of buying choices. Empowered consumers decide how they want to purchase goods and services. Big Data [collecting information (data) from multiple sources to detect trends, identify patterns and make decisions] is one tool that can be used to develop marketing campaigns, study human behaviors and determine patterns. It is also being used to examine and redesign various areas of the consumer experience.
Entrepreneurs and leaders can use Big Data to capitalize on consumer patterns and demands while creating more customized consumer experiences. Data is collected with every click, and some metrics can be used almost immediately. In 2014, Black Friday was November 28. Data from IBM’s U.S. Retail Black Friday Report was available almost immediately and was published on December 2, 2014. According to IBM, online Black Friday sales grew by 9.5 percent from 2013 to 2014. Retail ecommerce (orders via computer) and mcommerce (orders via mobile device) are predicted to increase by double-digit margins well into 2018 (eMarketer, 2014). Data demonstrates the continued growth of the digital marketplace, and rural businesses must find ways to capitalize on these trends.
The world is fast-becoming an “Add to Cart” society for anything and everything. Individuals are creating local, national and global communities of meaning and change that are self-selected and self-formed. Many of these same individuals are transforming commerce and communities in new and innovative ways. The definition of community is not limited to a physical location. Technology, combined with the need for meaning, self-expression and self-actualization, has created an increasingly decentralized marketplace.
People are choosing how to meet virtually, and when, where and whether or not to meet face-to-face. They are also connecting around common causes. Commerce, along with so many other areas of life, is becoming increasingly decentralized. Savvy consumers seek and create value they crave to transform their lives. Technology enables the delivery of information, goods and services anytime, anywhere, and from anyone in a way that makes sense while adding value to the lives of consumers.
For example, companies like Stitch Fix (http://www.StitchFix.com) initially get to know their customers with a personal style quiz and continue to gather information about the clientele every month by sending them personalized clothing selections. Orders are delivered to clients and customers pay only for what they keep. Stitch Fix tracks the feedback on likes and dislikes after every shipment and learns how to better serve its customers with the data it continuously collects.
Consumer demands are shaping the marketplace and future trends. Empowered consumers want unique experiences that add value to their lives. Future-focused leaders and entrepreneurs who ask and answer not, “What is the lifetime value of a customer?” but rather, “What value can we add to a lifetime?” will be in a better position to compete in the increasingly decentralized marketplace.
Coaching Tips for Female Entrepreneurs and Leaders:
Connect and work together online and offline.Build your support network to generate ideas and get help growing your business. The most successful entrepreneurs and leaders help one another. I see this all of the time with authors too! They promote one another while helping each other grow their businesses and ideas.
Get rid of assumptions and use data to make decisions. Take a few ideas from places having success in the marketplace, such as Stitch Fix.
Future-Focused Entrepreneurs and Leaders:
Take Action with Cooperation, Creativity and Purpose
Interestingly enough, the hottest jobs at Facebook require a “human touch.” Why? Facebook is looking for people who can close sales because its revenue relies heavily on ads (Anders, 2014). Perhaps the most future-focused entrepreneurial leaders are blending “high human touch” with “high-tech” in new and interesting ways that holistically add value to the lives of others.
Future-focused, entrepreneurial leaders can use megatrends and technology to change the game of life. One person cannot do it alone in a world that continues to change at an increasingly rapid pace; rather, rural entrepreneurs should innovate in communities with a spirit of cooperation, creativity, and purpose. Together, with a common purpose, female entrepreneurs and leaders can examine megatrends, utilize emerging technologies, and monitor analytics while creating meaningful experiences and innovating rural businesses in ways not yet imagined.
Go Wild with the Decentralized Global Marketplace! Watch the video below for more details on how you can innovate your companies and communities with cooperation, creating and purpose!
PS: Share your thoughts, ideas and actions with the Ask Dr. Connie community. We would love to hear from you!
The tools and technologies that help people create their own businesses and design their lives in ways that best suit them, are also fueling Megatrend #2: Living with Purpose and Meaning. Purposeful living is shaping everything from healthcare to education.
Our society is quickly evolving into an era characterized by shared purpose and meaning. Personal fulfillment is a growing trend in business and entrepreneurship. People are looking to decrease their levels of stress and strengthen their healthy habits while finding greater fulfillment.
Ben & Jerry’s is an example of a company that integrates purpose and meaning into its core existence by creating “linked prosperity” for everyone involved with the business. The company supports “linked prosperity” by establishing and aligning social, product and economic missions (benjerry.com/values).
The Living with Purpose and Meaning megatrend will continue to grow as the global population increases and places more demands on the planet’s limited natural resources. What does this mean for female entrepreneurs? They may be able to grow by connecting to people through purpose and meaning. Technology may be one way future-focused entrepreneurs can holistically add more purpose and meaning to the lives of both clients and employees.
For example, a forecast by Carbone and Nauth in The Futurist (2012) describes the evolution of the “cloud” from a repository or information to an intelligent resource that can help make decisions and provide assistance. They discuss the cloud evolving from a place to store data to an intelligent resource that will actively help people improve their lives:
Virtual agents will migrate from being an automated form of phone-based customer service to a personalized form of support and assistance that provides information and—more importantly—performs useful tasks. For example, such agents might design a weekly menu based on a family’s health profile, fitness goals, and eating preferences, and automatically order ingredients.
This forecast provides an example of how entrepreneurs can use technology to help their organizations innovate with a focus on the future. A transition from cloud-based computing to cloud-based living and learning is an opportunity for female entrepreneurs to create new profit centers and customer experiences while strengthening employee engagement in a more holistic manner.
Three trends supporting the Living with Purpose and Meaning megatrend include: 1) minimalism, 2) life increasingly flowing together instead of being compartmentalized into work, family, recreation, etc., and 3) the quest for greater well-being, health and vitality.
Minimalism is one of the trends shaping the Living with Purpose and Meaning megatrend because people are seeking less stuff and more life. Trend-setting places like the Silicon Valley have embraced minimalism, and this approach to living is influencing everything from living spaces, to workplaces and web design.
People are increasingly learning and living on the go in both the virtual and physical senses, which blurs the lines between family, self-care, work and play. Research has demonstrated that happiness is a precursor to success. These findings question the view that hard work will lead to success, which eventually leads to happiness. Raising levels of positivity in the present creates a “happiness advantage” in the brain, leading to better outcomes in the areas of education, business and well-being. To learn more, check out Shawn Achor’s 2011 TED Talk: The Happy Secret to Better Work.
How do these trends influence entrepreneurship? As more people want to connect with their purpose, find meaning in their lives, and increase their vitality, businesses and communities should take a more people-centered approach focused on meaning, well-being and the mind-body connection, supported by the right social networks, experiences and technologies. A few ideas might include:
Integrating holistic, healthy living and self-care principles into business practices in an effort to create better employee and customer experiences and to create more value in products and services.
Providing coaching for employees to help them uncover their purpose and to create strategies and structures to support meaningful actions designed to improve their careers and lives.
Adding physical activity and fun into the workday in an effort to stimulate creativity, decrease stress, build camaraderie and strengthen overall wellness.
It’s time to focus on the whole person and what life means to each individual. Helping people find their fulfillment, purpose and definition of success may provide future-focused leaders and entrepreneurs with tools to innovate their organizations and communities. Businesses should find new ways to add increased value to the lives of customers, employees and families. People can choose where they want to work, shop and live. They also choose how to invest their time and money. Businesses that add the most value, including those in rural areas, will have the competitive advantage.
Coaching Tips for Female Entrepreneurs:
Develop a clear purpose.Clarity of purpose creates a meaningful path to success. A great coaching tool to use: Create a vision board with your “why” in mind.
Define core values. A business should develop core values that truly represent its brand. Empowered consumers connect with brands and businesses that have core values similar to their own. Outline the core values of your business and what each value means. A great strategic plan can evolve from clear core values. Create visual images for each value and make your values public. Share them with world. They help tell your story.
Make self-care a priority.Physical, mental and spiritual health and well-being are all important. Successful entrepreneurs and their teams need time for creativity and a lot of energy to grow their ventures!
Get positive.A positive mindset has been scientifically proven to support everything from creativity and innovation to increased sales and employee engagement. If you need more help learning how to be more positive, begin coloring your way to happiness with Blue the Bee Learns to Be Happy! (Reimers-Hild and Wetizenkamp, 2015).
Practice gratitude. Keep a physical or digital journal and write in it daily. Writing down 3-5 things you are grateful for everyday will help your brain focus on the positive while helping your notice new opportunities!
Share the stories that enhance the brand with your team and your customers. Use social media platforms to create and present meaningful content worth reading and sharing. People connect with experiences and stories behind the products and services they use!
HAVE FUN! Fun is absolutely invaluable. It decreases stress and improves relationship. Fun is also a foundation to creativity and innovation. This is an area I expand upon in my first book, Go Wild with Confidence! (Reimers-Hild, 2013).
Check out the video below focusing on Megatrend 2: Living with Purpose and Meaning. And, let us know what you are doing to improve your life.
Go Wild with Your Future! And, as always-Be YOU and Do Something Cool!
Do you believe that you can become persistently happier in just 21 days? Research by Shawn Achor and others studying the power of positive psychology shows that you can!
My interest in what I call, The Happiness Trend, continues to grow for good reason. Happiness makes a difference!
I am really excited to be delivering a keynote, Go Wild: Be Happy! on Friday, November 21st at the Ag-ceptional Women Conference in Norfolk, NE (Register today at: northeast.edu/Agceptional) that combines the science of happiness with practical application people can use personally, with their families and within their organizations and communities.
My prediction: The Happiness Trend will continue to gain steam as people look for more fulfillment and fun in their lives. I challenge all of you to take part in the pursuit of happiness for good reasons, such as:
Happy employees are 31% more productive
Happy people have stronger immune systems
Happy people have stronger social connections
Happiness increases self-esteem. self-confidence and creativity
Researchers continue to link the power of brain science to better lives, including performance in business and in school. Happiness also impacts our family and social lives. Check out Shawn Achor’s TED Talk, The Happiness Advantage: Linking Positive Brains to Performance, to learn more!
Be You and Do Something Cool by Going Wild with Happiness!
Status Update: I will be on from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM today, and Clint will be taking callers!
In addition to the topics I listed in the original blog post below, we will be discussing the 3 Mega-Trends I recently wrote about and presented on: 1) The Rise of the #GigEconomy, 2) Living with Purpose and Meaning and the 3) Decentralized Global Marketplace.
Plan on calling in with your questions!
Looking forward to hearing from you all!
I am counting down the hours to my interview with Clint Bellows this afternoon on 1110 KFAB (www.kfab.com). I will be in the studio at 2:30 PM.
Our conversation will focus on creating your desired future in the current economy. We will touch on the power of your beliefs and talk about how your brain impacts finances, the future and of course fun!
Let me know if you have any questions you want me to answer on the air. Clint talked about taking live calls. I would love to hear from you if he opens the phone lines!
My radio connection, Clint Bellows, invited me to “appear” on 1110 KFAB this Wednesday afternoon! Tune in after 2:30 PM and join the conversation about leading your own life with purpose, passion and fun!
You can listen live by going to KFAB.com. Looking forward to having a great conversation on Wednesday!
Go Wild with KFAB!
Clint Bellows invited me to be part of his radio show on 1110 KFAB this Wednesday afternoon! Tune in after 2:30 PM! pic.twitter.com/BGO6AcmHwa
Interestingly enough, the hottest jobs at Facebook require a “human touch.” Why? They are looking for people who can close sales because their revenue relies heavily on ads (Anders, 2014). Perhaps the most future-focused distance learning administrators should consider blending “high-human touch” with “high-tech” in new and interesting ways that holistically add value to the lives of learners.
Future-focused leaders in distance learning are using technology to change the game of education and life. One person cannot do it alone in a world that continues to change at an increasingly rapid pace; rather, distance administrators should innovate in teams with a spirit of cooperation and creativity. Together, with a common purpose, distance leaders can examine megatrends, utilize emerging technologies, develop content, streamline design and monitor analytics while creating meaningful educational experiences and innovating the world of distance education in ways not yet imagined.
Thanks for following and celebrating this blog series focused on the future-focused leadership in distance learning. Keep those ideas and trends coming!
Go Wild with the Future of Learning!
The manuscript, Future-Focused Leadership: Three Mega-Trends Influencing Distance Learning (including references used in this blog series), can be downloaded online by visiting the Kimmel Education and Research Center’s Digital Commons site: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/kimmelfacpub/24
Distance learning is in the age of the “Empowered Consumer-Learner” who has a buffet of educational choices. The empowered consumer-learner decides what educational experiences and knowledge they need, when they need it and how they want to experience it. The wide-array of non-credit and for credit choices makes for a very competitive marketplace but also a field of new opportunities.
Venture capitalists continue to invest in distance education because of the return on investment potential. Big Data is being used to develop marketing campaigns, study human behaviors and determine patterns. It is also being used to examine various areas of teaching and learning. Data can help create bite-sized, customized courses and programs that are both personalized and interactive (Koller, 2012). Technology enables the delivery of information and education anytime, anywhere and from anyone in a way that makes sense to the learner while adding value to their lives.
It’s no longer necessary for people to enroll in college, formal classes or workshops to learn. They are learning what they want to know from their networks and resources they find on the Web, through Apps or in iTunes. People will increasingly be able to create and print their ideas from wherever they choose with 3D printing. Technology, combined with the continued growth of self-expression and meaning, will continue to change education at a rapid pace.
Value is becoming less about college credit and more about meaningful outcomes and self-expression through enhanced skills and evolving abilities. The world is fast-becoming an “Add to Cart” society for anything and everything, including educational experiences. Individuals are creating local, national and global communities of meaning and change that are self-selected and self-formed. Many of these same individuals are transforming distance learning in new and innovative ways. Technology, combined with the need for meaning, self-expression and self-actualization, has created an increasingly decentralized marketplace.
People are choosing how to meet virtually, when, where and whether-or-not to meet face-to-face and connecting over common causes. Education, along with so many other areas of life, is becoming increasingly decentralized. Savvy consumers seek and create the value they crave to transform their lives. They are choosing whether or not they want a badge, certificate, credit hour or degree, and their demands are shaping the marketplace and future trends. The Empowered Consumer-Learner wants a unique experience that adds value to their life. Future-focused leaders who ask and answer not, “What is the lifetime value of a customer?” but rather, “What value can we add to a lifetime?” will be in a better position to compete in the increasingly decentralized marketplace.
According to Dictionary.com, a megatrend is, “a large-scale change in circumstances or fashion.”
The next series of blog posts will focus on megatrends in distance and online learning. Why? Education, like all industries, is undergoing a dramatic shift. It is really important to study the megatrends, or large shifts, to plan for, anticipate and even create change. Megatrends can help us decide which road to take and where to invest our precious resources-especially when the path seems a bit flooded and unclear! The megatrends in this series will be helpful to people working in a variety of industries ranging from education to entrepreneurship and healthcare. The only hint I will give is this: Fun will be included in the series!
Please add your thoughts, ideas and views on current megatrends. I would love to hear from you!