Planning Methods

In the early eighties, working in new product development for Puss ‘N Boots and Ken-L-Ration, Jim was assigned the task of deciding whether pet owners would, in future, own more dogs or cats? Jim began to perform trend analysis as a result. He has come to conclude that only by studying how human needs change can we truly uncover future opportunity, a task he has performed for clients in virtually every sector.

Unlike other futurists who specialize in one trend category, such as demographics or technology, Jim is able to combine trends and look at their interplay. Real insight into innovation come from Trend Convergence, combining technical, economic, social-cultural, demographic and consumer behaviour trends to better identify future direction, improve marketing and selling results, and cope with the stress of rallying change. Jim’s trend analysis work involves a team of experts who provide insight from across sectors and meet regularly and remotely to share lessons learned.

Jim utilizes Four Dimension Planning, a unique stakeholder-focused method that he created over his years as a strategic plan facilitator (Jim’s advice: don’t do a SWOT analysis, it just locks you into the hows of now; we live in the age of changing hows).

Jim shows how to improve client need satisfaction through understanding changing needs and focuses on developing Better Benefit goals to drive success. Better Benefits are our reason for buying anything, or spending more on something and are the cornerstones of branding and social media success, powering marketing and sales results.

The key to successful change is effectively incorporating people into change initiatives. Jim examines the conditions that produce the best results, looking at the latest methods and ways to improve workplace culture and initiate positive change. Often major change initiatives go wrong for organizations. Jim can advise of how to avoid the traps that lead to the dark night of the innovator. including the different reaction to change initiatives between Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y.

For audiences, Jim’s methods inspire revelations supporting innovative approaches to better recognize and serve changing needs. For Jim, every speech is customized to the audience, but involves two themes: 1) insight into the specific future of the attendees, identifying their future challenges and opportunities, with a focus on how needs of the stakeholders they serve are changing; and 2) advice regarding strategies that will help members of the audience achieve future success, pulled from Jim’s varied experiences.


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