Over the past decade, we have experienced some of the most defining life-changing evolutions the human race has ever experienced. Imagine the next ten years! What can we expect? According to Graeme Codrington, acclaimed futurist, strategist, best-selling author and academic, we need to evolve to keep up with change.

The South African Council of Shopping Centre’s (SACSC) Western Cape Chapter recently hosted Graeme at their Networking Breakfast in Cape Town. Graeme gave a thought-provoking talk entitled “Leading in a Changing World” where he offered deep insights into the not-too-distant future.

Graeme says that technology and associated infrastructural advancements are progressing faster than we think. “In just 10 years, many life-changing things have happened. A simple example is smart phones. Ten years ago, smart phones were things seen only in movies; nowadays most people have access to smart mobile devices and this is definitely life-changing. All the forces of change come together at the same time to create a pivotal moment in history. I believe that we are living in this pivotal period right now,” said Graeme.

Graeme adds that retailers and shopping centres are likely to witness some of the most significant disruptive changes of almost any industry.

“Retail automation is fostering faster than any other industry at the moment, so I think retailers should firstly, be ‘switching on their radars’. You have to be ‘eyes open’ in this world. You have to know what trends are coming. To get yourself ahead of the change, you have to understand it – no matter what industry you are in. You have to ask better questions. Retailers can also experiment more. To have an experimental mindset is the most valuable thing you can have, and this is not only for the CEO, it’s for everyone. On the other hand, consumers too need to ‘switch on their radars’. They need to be careful not to be taken for a ‘ride’. Don’t run for every new toy that comes up. The latest gadget, the latest version of your phone and you standing in line for three days to make sure you get it – I see it as a trap there. Consumers need to become more purposeful and more deliberate in how we live our lives,” says Graeme.

Five points to stay ahead in this changing world
Graeme considers the following five points valuable for corporates, brands and individuals who want to stay ahead of the game:
1. Stay informed: Read, research and keep yourself informed about what aspects of the world are changing. Stay away from fake news and surround yourself with future thinkers.
2. Ask questions: Be curious and start asking better questions.
3. Take risks: If you are in the position to make key decisions, experiment a little. Try new ways of attracting new business – trial and error.
1. Embrace change: Don’t be afraid to change, it forms part of our evolution.
4. Don’t limit yourself: Confront your limiting orthodoxies and inhibitions.

For more information, contact SACSC on +27 (10) 003 0228 or via www.sacsc.co.za, to which full thanks and acknowledgement are given.