Global Times

I was recently featured in China’s Global Times. In the article I talk about the seven radical principles that will transform your business.

By Zhang Lei

Technotrends author and “business futurist” Daniel Burrus foresaw the future over a decade ago, when he predicted the 20 technologies that would be driving businesses and economic change today, including the use of fibre optics in broadband Internet, streaming videos and the wireless Web.

Now he’s teaching readers how they can do it too, with new book Flash Foresight: How to See the Invisible and Do the Impossible.

Technotrends author and "business futurist" Daniel Burrus. Photo: Guo Yingguang/GT

Seven principles

In a purple shirt and grey suit, 63-year-old Daniel Burrus gave an inspiring speech on the book’s “seven radical principles” in Beijing last week. His audience was keen to learn how they may transform their fortunes – as Burrus’ website (and uncorroborated but enthusiastic reviews on claims it did already when it became a bestseller in the US this January.

The seven systematic, easy-to-implement principles instruct users to “start with certainty, anticipate, transform, skip what you think is your biggest problem, go opposite, redefine and reinvent and direct your future.”

He explained the terms: in “going opposite,” Burrus used the example of Crocs, a company that challenged the notion that cheap rubber shoes were the “opposite” of desirable footwear. Having started in 2002, by 2005 production had reached 1 million shoes a month with sales in 2007 of $847 million.

As for “skipping,” a reader once apparently told Burrus she had something she couldn’t skip – terminal cancer. “Why don’t you skip thinking about dying until your death and why don’t you start thinking about living as long as you’re alive?” According to the tale, she contacted him a month later from Europe to thank him for changing her life.

Burrus is a keen exponent of meaningful-sounding jargon, using phrases such as “flash foresight” and offering insights such as “the more you look, the more you see.”

He has spent years traveling and imparting the same wisdom at every stop, such as “the power of ‘flash foresight,’ is when you get a number of certainties and put them together, all of a sudden you realize that you can start to see the future, and you can see it with certainty.”

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