Does a blank page frighten you? Or do you think "Now I have the chance to start something new - to start from the beginning. In this issue of FO, we pay tribute to the future that none of us knows yet. With blank pages, we want to inspire you to use both your fantasy and your reason. Think how it would feel if you had the chance to start all over. Don't let the fear of white paper upset the future of you and your company. On all the pages that are not blank, we give you lots of inspiration and concrete suggestions about new ways to develop your business.
When you read the theme articles, think about the difference between the probable future, which is expressed by megatrends, and the preferable future. Because even though megatrends tell us a lot about what we already know about the future, the future is never a given. You can choose to react to megatrends such as prosperity, globalization and individualization as you want.
An experiment is, fundamentally, something you don't know the result of in advance. It is an attempt to discover new knowledge by proving or disproving. You try, in other words, to find new and better solutions. That was the experiment which CIFS conducted in its project, Problem Busters. Along with recognized creativity experts, we tried to solve a company's five most challenging problems in just 24 hours. The fashion company REDGREEN quickly signed on as the subject of the project.
Just feel it! To feel requires extra energy, courage, and curiosity, and it is perhaps one of the scarcest resources for all too many of us. We are killed every day by our own and our company's inclination towards logic and rational mentality, which are in many ways true creativity killers. We excuse ourselves by saying we don't have time, while we hope for the best. Hope that it all works without us having to change. Without us, especially today, having to do things differently.
The show must go on! Brand names make up a fifth of the vocabulary of an eight-year old. They go along on five shopping trips a week. Only one-in-ten Danes can do without shopping circulars and direct mail. The sale of anti-depressants has doubled in Denmark in the last 10 years. The British toss out €26 billion worth of food a year. Consumption is a part of our life - both physically and mentally. Some collapse because they become shopaholics. Others suffer - or die - from life-style related (read: overconsumption related) illnesses.
"Work smarter, not harder" has always been the mantra for our work life; and nothing indicates it will not be in the future. Because even if we can continue to automate many tasks and have grown out of Maslow's needs pyramid, we are just now discovering the dark side of knowledge work. For example, many of us are plagued by the growing pains of our in-box, if we don't constantly address it. Which we do - but at the price of distracting ourselves from the work we should be doing. The number of global corporate e-mails have been growing from two billions per day in 1998 to almost 18 billions in 2004