Why so many CEOs of global companies rely on Futurist speakers at their most important internal or client events. How Futurist Speakers help drive change, build vision, sharpen strategy, encourage growth and innovation

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Dr Patrick Dixon: Futurist Keynote Speaker - Patrick Dixon: Futurist Keynote Speaker

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Take hold of your future – or the future will take hold of you.  Futurist keynote above - Future of Almost Everything - based on my new book. American audience - every industry.

Why so many global CEOs rely on Futurist speakers to give keynotes at their most important events

As a professional Futurist speaker and author, I have given keynotes at over 1000 major corporate events for huge corporations over the last two decades.

I help these companies see the future more clearly, identify opportunities, innovate faster and manage risks.

I often go on stage right after the CEO’s own speech, at the start of these conference. 

In one sense, all great CEOs are themselves Futurists – because it is impossible to lead without deep insight into industry trends, how the world works, what is likely to happen, how we can change our own future. 

But few great CEOs are also great visionary communicators, able to transform large audiences in an entertaining and mind-changing way. 

And even if they are outstanding public speakers, most CEOs recognize the importance of external validation when presenting strategies to their own teams. They know how powerful it is when an expert from outside the company confirms how right their strategy is, amplifying their own key messages.

That‘s also why companies like Google, Microsoft, Siemens or Phillips invite independent Futurist speakers like me to give keynotes at their most important global client events. 

They do so because it adds credibility to their own key messages about future tech and innovation.  Because Futurist speakers strengthen their brands as “thought leaders” in these areas.

How Futurist speakers solve a problem for all CEOs

All CEOs face the same problem in large companies, which is why their event organisers turn to Futurist speakers like myself. 

How do you keep tens of thousands of people marching in step together, all aligned with common vision, driven by common purpose, with a shared vision about where the world is going, and the difference they are all going to make.

Take HSBC – with 280,000 employees.  Over the years I have shared the platform many times with the bank’s Chairman or CEO, explaining to senior teams why the bank really has to change, how customer expectations will change, how the bank needs to respond, and how to manage new threats.

What’s the point of announcing a new strategy for HSBC, if few people in the organization really understand the reasons why it matters? 

Futurist speakers reveal what is likely to happen and why

Clear vision about where the world is going is absolutely vital to business growth and success.  It’s not enough to explain what is going to happen, or likely to.  People really do need to understand why.  World-class Futurist speakers reveal both what and why.

Futurist speakers appeal to an audience’s imagination, experience and common sense, using facts, logic and emotional intelligence.  And that means more than dry lectures by analysts from some global consultancy firm – clever though they may be with endless graphs and tables. 

You need far more than data to persuade.  Graphs don’t create vision and never generate passion.  And past trends are often a very unreliable guide to a future disruptive world.

And data cannot drive innovation either.  Innovation comes from inspired people with passion to change the future, breaking the rules of the past, with radical ideas and practical genius to make it all happen.

Why most change programmes fail, most strategies fail

The world is changing really fast.  That means busy executives need to refresh their world view every year to stay ahead. 

Most of the time they are too busy running their own business units to have space and time to think about the wider picture.

The trouble is that you can have the greatest change programme in the whole world, but if your own world changes in ways you don’t expect, the result is simply that you will go even faster in the wrong direction.

Around 70% of change management programmes fail to deliver, and 65% of global strategies. 

One reason is that the world can change faster than you can hold a board meeting.  That means we need agile leadership, anticipating key trends, yet able to adjust very rapidly as events unfold.

Futurist speakers challenge institutional blindness

One of the greatest challenges is two key words: institutional blindness.  When we spend too much time with people in our own business unit, in our own company, in our own industry, we become blind. 

Entire leadership teams can experience collective blindness.  I see examples of it every day. 

Futurist speakers change the mindset of entire teams

It’s a rare skill to be able to change the mindset of hundreds of people in a single event, a single keynote. 

You have to win trust, establish credibility, and what you say has to resonate deeply with the audience, with fundamental truths that are self-authenticating the moment you hear them spoken. 

The more data points you need to drive home an argument, the weaker your case usually is.

Here is an example:  I often tell stories from my own day to day experiences as a consumer – and with shows of hands, and from the audience laughter, I quickly prove to us all that such experiences are universal.  We all get fed up about these basic things. 

And then I show how most such problems can always be solved very easily at almost zero cost – in ways, that are obvious common sense, the moment we think about it.  If so, then why are these daily mini disasters still happening in every industry? 

Futurist keynotes are all about revelation

I often say that once you have seen something, you can never un-see it.  You are changed. 

The future is often obvious – when we look clearly

The truth is that most debate in board rooms is not about direction of a major trends because it is so obvious.  It’s about the speed of the trend, and what it really means.  How much it really matters, what future competitors will do about it, how we should respond now.

For more on megatrends and how they shape entire decades and generations, changing less rapidly than many think – see feature here on How to be a better Futurist speaker – and how to avoid Fake Forecasts.

Futurist speakers open up new perspectives

The key to revelation is usually a combination of gut instinct and hard facts.  The Future is driven by emotion – we see this in every industry and all of human history, in behaviour of global markets and consumer decisions. Reactions to events are usually far more important than the events themselves.

That’s why all world-class Futurist speakers are global experts not only in trend data, but also in how public moods are likely to shift, how tomorrow’s customers will feel, how political passions are likely to change.

Book Patrick Dixon today as your next Futurist Keynote Speaker


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