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What will the world look like in 2025?

By Phil Verghis on November 23, 2008

Every five years, the National Intelligence Council provides the President of the United States and senior policymakers with analyses of foreign policy issues that have been reviewed throughout the (US) intelligence committee. (Those of you who have heard my talk on ‘Possible states of the support world in 20XX’ know that I have tapped into research from the NIC and scenario planning in general.)

A few days ago, they released  Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World with four preliminary assessments. (Don’t worry, this well written report is declassified.)

  • The whole international system—as constructed following WWII—will be revolutionized. Not only will new players—Brazil, Russia, India and China— have a seat at the international high table, they will bring new stakes and rules of the game.
  • The unprecedented transfer of wealth roughly from West to East now under way will continue for the foreseeable future.
  • Unprecedented economic growth, coupled with 1.5 billion more people, will put pressure on resources—particularly energy, food, and water—raising the specter of scarcities emerging as demand outstrips supply.
  • The potential for conflict will increase owing partly to political turbulence in parts of the greater Middle East.

What does this have to do with service and support? A lot. I’ve always advocated that in order to be the ‘Ultimate Customer Support Executive’ you have to know a lot about groups that you don’t normally think about, but are crucial to the customer experience. It is the same with geopolitics. The more you know about possible scenarios of the world in 2025, the better you can help your organization’s strategic planning.

Prediction markets – for service and support?

By Phil Verghis on April 11, 2008

Have any of you considered (or adopted) prediction markets for service and support? (Prediction markets are markets where participants trade in contracts whose payoff depends on unknown future events. For example, how low will the US dollar go against the Euro?)

In the service and support world, an example could be where you create a market to see how internal staff, partners and *gasp* customers predict whether your product or service offering will be bug free and delivered on time. If developed properly, I can envision this support prediction marketplace with helping service and support leaders get more relevant in critical conversations about the importance of the customer in an organization (beyond lip service).

One of the best known examples of prediction markets is the one run by the business school at the University of Iowa — Iowa Electronic Markets. You can put real money in and participate in academic research.

For those of you interested in this prediction markets, there is a great article in the Journal of Economic Perspectives that explains this concept nicely.

So, are you doing anything like this in your organization related to support? If you could, what would the key questions you want answered (and predicted) to be?

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