Saturday morning 8:45 AM. Pop! Tech moves into day 3. Things you didn´t know about me: in addition to being a customer service geek, I´m also a history geek and I´m interested in how emerging technology can be used to further the fight against cancer. When you´re interested in emerging technology you can become something of a futurist, although I am to a professional futurist what an infant is to Albert Einstein.
Perhaps the most paradigm breaking presentation I heard so far was by Thomas Barnett who, in the arena of globalization, was presenting a different perspective on global terrorism and what the US could do to be more effective against it.
From a customer service perspective, he exceeded my need. A very dynamic presenter, he made effective use of humor, audio, visual, and data. Everyone was leaning forward listening and watching.
His point was that we need to foster stronger relationships with certain countries such as China and Iran. Yes, Iran. Drop your liberal-conservative political paradigm for a paragraph. His point was that Iran is the linchpin of the Middle East. We will be better able to accomplish our foreign policy goals if we can develop a strong relationship with Iran. We don´t have to be best friends; we just need to be able to work together on certain issues. Perhaps then we´ll be better able to convince them that they don´t need nuclear weapons.
China is another player. Many of you have known for years that China is key to the 21st century, but I was focusing on other areas so I was hearing, "Yada, yada China, yada yada." But China´s importance was slowly seeping into my brain.
Two weeks ago I was talking to my father. He asked if my 12-year old and 9-year old were taking Spanish in school. I replied that the older one was, and that my wife and I were strongly encouraging him. I told Dad that while we were encouraging our children to learn Spanish, they would probably encourage their children to learn Mandarin.
China-The Next Big Thing!
If you´re a small business owner who only looks into the future as far as your next payroll, it is a struggle to find time to look into the future. It´s easy to be skeptical when the only "futurists" you come into contact with are weather forecasters-and you know how often they´re wrong. Nevertheless, find time to keep up with technology, with world events, and advances in your profession.
Be careful you don´t find yourself producing something like VHS re-winders. So much in demand one year-no longer needed five years later.