25 Oct LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT: A FUTURIST APPROACH
As leadership and management keynote speakers, we’re often asked: Why is it important to apply futurist thinking and strategies when leading a business? The simple answer: It boosts your insight, agility, and capacity to adapt.
For example, a few years back, Coca-Cola Australia put on its futurist thinking cap and decided to study the shape of changing consumer markets, and quickly noticed that Millennials and Gen Zers were rapidly becoming two of the largest audiences for its carbonated beverages. In addition, they also realized that these younger audiences – having been raised on the Internet and social networks – were less likely to engage in face-to-face interaction than previous generations. So over time, when young adults in Australia inevitably started getting together more often online than in real-life, and stopped drinking its soft drink products as much as in the past, the company was already well aware that it needed to radically reinvent its strategy to connect with them both online and off.
But rather than take out millions in TV or radio advertising, which it had already researched and realized wouldn’t connect with digital natives? And rather than try and cook up all sorts of crazy new flavors, which it knew wouldn’t fix the bigger underlying problem it faced? Coca-Cola instead decided to bridge the gap between the digital and physical worlds by printing the 150 most popular Australian boys’ and girls’ first names on Coke bottles (bottles it was already manufacturing and selling) and —via cost-effective social, online, and mobile media programs—invited citizens to share them and strike up a conversation, online and off.
Incredibly, within 3 months, the business had successfully blanketed the entire country and increased consumption among young adults by double digits. As you may have noticed, the campaign proved to be so clever and cost-effective that it later came to the U.S. and other territories in a big way as well. As you can see, a little advance planning and forethought can be a powerful tool for helping drive ongoing growth and success for any given business.