SpeechesMessages Tailored For Your Company or Event
“Climate Change: Natural Cycle or Troubling Trend?”
Douglas talks about (what else) the weather. But he uses weather as a metaphor to talk about disruptive storms of change impacting every sector, and the implications for your business. Whether it’s sharing his journey from climate skeptic to accepting the science, or sharing the trials and successes of his entrepreneurial ride, Douglas inspires audiences with a message of curiosity, experimentation and continuous reinvention. The forecast calls for change.
I’ve started 8 companies in Minnesota since the mid-80s, the vast majority of them weather-related. Stick to your passion. Do what you know and love, right? In each of these businesses I drew up a business plan, with what I thought was a sustainable model. In reality not ONE of these companies turned out like I thought it would, through a combination of new competitors, changes in the business landscape, new inventions and things none of us could foresee. I had to adapt, change the model (on the fly) to remain competitive and live to fight another day.
“Reinvent Your Business Model, Before Someone Does It For You”
Of all the business attributes that increase the odds of success – the most important, in my humble estimation, is flexibility. Yes, creativity, and an empowered work force, clear-cut goals and incentives are all critical, but the one factor that has emerged above all others in my entrepreneurial walk is the ability to turn on a dime, to adapt, in real-time, to the unforeseen and unpredictable.
The most successful companies today are motivated by more than money and shareholder return. They have a collective vision, a passion for creating great products and services, and serving their customer base. That’s a given. But the business world is littered with the road-kill of great business plans and exuberant founders. What’s the secret sauce? I don’t pretend to know, but in my experience the one factor that has made all the difference is flexibility; the willingness to shift business models literally overnight, reinventing our business to be in tune with rapidly shifting market forces beyond our control.
Who, in your company, is charged with reinvention, with reimagining what your business will look like 10-20 years from now. Focusing on short-term metrics can be fatal. Who is looking out over the horizon, anticipating change, pushing the boundaries of what is possible? Do you have a skunk works program charged with cannibalizing your own business? If you don’t do it – a competitor will. The reward goes to the nimble, the business owner willing to transform and even eliminate existing lines to meet the needs of future customers.
Paul’s presentation on climate volatility was well received by employees and company leaders alike. People valued not only his scientific explanation but also his personal journey in understanding weather trends and their implications for the future. Paul’s meteorology expertise, combined with his engaging style, make him a strong presenter on what can often be a very complicated and charged topicCatherine Gunsbury
Paul was an energetic and dynamic speaker. Our students enjoyed hearing about his entrepreneurial work. It was beneficial for students to hear from someone who was able to combine his passion with his career.Christaine Bartels
Paul spoke at our annual meeting last week. He gave an energetic, thought provoking talk. His upbeat style had us smiling through all points of business. He truly inspired us. Thank you, Paul!Julie Hirsch