The Chaos Advantage: How Great Leaders Win in Uncertain Times
As a futurist and strategic analyst, I study future trends for executives at corporations and government agencies. We are looking at the future to see how best to guide their organizations. Most are hoping for positive trends, smooth sailing, and a clear path to success, but usually what we find is complexity. What happens next is what defines great executives over merely functional ones. Great leaders are undaunted by crazy, disruptive futures because they see opportunities in the chaos. They figure that this change will also unsettle their competitors, and thus they plan to not only lead their organization, but to find a way to create something even greater, beyond any of the competition.
I call this The Chaos Advantage.
Prohibition, world wars, and the end of communism actually led to some of the greatest triumphs in the history of leadership, and today’s future trends are no less full of potential for your organization’s success. My latest keynote The Chaos Advantage will challenge any audience how to see disruptive or turbulent developments in economy, industry, or company as an opportunity for future success.
With a look at the major shifts that are creating the future – the rise of artificial intelligence, moving global energy to the electrical grid, competitors moving fully online and mobile, consumers with significantly different needs and values – The Chaos Advantage concludes with a vision of the future that we all face. And an exhortation to be the kind of leader that finds success no matter what the odds.
The Future of Branding: How the Consumer Narrative is Entering its Third Wave
All brands connect with customers through myth and image. If you want your brand to connect with tomorrow’s customers, it needs to use tomorrow’s, not yesterday’s myths.
Brands are rarely about the product they currently help sell. They are about the people who might buy a product or service and how they feel about their identity. As the world careens into an unprecedented economic transition, the narrative that helps connect customers to brands is breaking down. To catch the next wave of branding, your organization needs to understand why the story has changed – and where it’s going.
It is a perennial sport to make fun of bad forecasts by experts – but this misses the point. It’s not that our forecasts are wrong – it’s that the future keeps surprising us, teaching us shocking, amusing and unexpected things about modern life. People need to learn from bad forecasts to make better decisions, for their organizations and for themselves personally.
To help us see the limits of our predictive abilities, I bring observations and stories about how we get predictions wrong in funny and instructive ways – from our perennial expection of information technology to create world peace, to the ever expanding complexities of science, to scandalous cross-cultural product names, the history of the future shows us where we get it wrong and why.
In a world where the failure of risk analysis can have serious implications, this presentation will show the lighter side of our intellectual journey – and ways that we can improve our thinking about the future.
Comedy: The WTF Economy
This improbable show is the result of eighteen long years providing strategic forecasts for executives around the world, culminating in the most obvious housing bubble in history, a ridonkulous bank bailout, and many years of incompetence to follow. In fact, given what I’ve seen, I’m not sure why there aren’t more people calling themselves an “economic comedian.”
Like all of my presentations, it is based on rigorous research on economic transition and the competitive dynamics of industries and nation-states – but here the goal is levity, not strategy.
The WTF Economy runs about 90 minutes and covers the following topics:
Basically, you’ll learn some stuff and probably laugh at slides of 80s TV shows and hysterical petroleum industry forecasts.
The Future of Customer Relationships
The Future of ________ (your industry)
For nearly two decades, Eric Garland has been trusted for his unique insight and analysis on economic trends, geopolitics, and society. He personally consults executives on market growth strategy, leads transformative educational sessions for organizations, and specializes in keynotes that spark conversations.
Mr. Garland is the founder and Director of Competitive Futures, a competitive analysis firm that provides insight and expert guidance to corporate clients and government agencies. A brief list of notable clients includes Energizer, Coca-Cola, Siemens, the country of France, the City of Charlotte, the state of South Dakota, and the Principality of Monaco, to name a select few.
His latest book is Observations from Upper Mexico (Wallingford Press - 2015) is a set of fifty essays containing Eric's brand of irreverent, but accurate, analysis of emerging trends in American life.
Other books include, Future Inc: How Businesses Can Anticipate and Profit from What's NEXT (AMACOM, 2007), published in English, Chinese, Korean, Indonesian and Persian, and How to Predict the Future... and WIN!!! (Wallingford Press, 2011)
In addition to public speaking, and guest broadcast appearances on BBC, AJAM, The History Channel, and RT, Mr. Garland's work as a writer has gone viral several times, and has been featured in the Wall St. Journal, The Atlantic, and Business Insider, among others.
Eric is also a professional linguist, fluent in a number of languages. His not-so-secret lifelong passion is performing and recording as a professional bassist.