THE JOURNEY YO REMARKABLE RETAIL

Steve helps organizations understand and respond to retail disruption by creating customer-centric, memorable and profitable growth strategies.

The Future Is Already Here

One of my favorite quotations is from science fiction writer William Gibson who said “the future is already here–it’s just not very evenly distributed.”  In fact, I like it so much that Chapter 6 of my new book is basically an extended riff on what his words challenge us to understand, accept and motivate us into action.

As much as profound disruption seems to come out of nowhere, that’s rarely the case–as recent events are bringing into sharper relief. When we dig deeper on the issues that should matter to us–whether that’s our job, our calling or simply our responsibility as part of the interconnected web of human existence–it often turns out that the future is not all that hard to predict.

The technological innovations everyone is marveling at today were transforming a sub-sector of the economy years ago. The business models driving macro-shifts in the economy right now, owing to the pandemic or otherwise, didn’t start gaining traction in just the last several months. The fact that the economic and public health impacts from the Coronavirus are disproportionately hitting persons of color is not the least bit surprising. Millions aren’t venting their rage and calling for an end to systemic racism simply because of the horrific murder of George Floyd on May 25th.

Of course, just because something is brewing within one sector of the economy, one geography or among a sub-set of the population, doesn’t mean it will automatically be amplified or meaningful writ large. There are many factors, many completely unpredictable, that determine which ideas spread, why things catch on and when technologies or movements reach a tipping point. Sadly, nobody owns a fully functioning crystal ball, including those who market themselves as “futurists.”

Indeed, the future will not be evenly distributed. Hopefully that’s obvious.

The past is the past. Until Elon invents a time machine, we can learn from it, but we can’t change it.

Yet in the present moment, your future, my future–indeed, our future–is unfolding. If we don’t take the time to look, to consider the implications, to push through our denial, to accept an emerging reality–however uncomfortable or inconvenient–then there is little chance we will take the necessary actions.

The future IS already here.

The big question is whether we are doing the work to see it or not.

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"The Store Operations Council enjoyed every minute of Steve Dennis's presentation on retail's future. He always keeps it real and speaks the language of retail experts."

Cathy Hotka

Principal

Cathy Hotka & Associates

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"The Store Operations Council enjoyed every minute of Steve Dennis's presentation on retail's future. He always keeps it real and speaks the language of retail experts."

Cathy Hotka

Principal

Cathy Hotka & Associates

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