Rich Karlgaard Gives ‘REACH’ Attendees Economic Insights to Ponder

Keynote speaker Rich Karlgaard

Keynote speaker Rich Karlgaard started off Thursday morning’s general session of REACH 2018 in Hollywood, CA with a look at politics, businesses, consumers, and more importantly three mega-trends impacting the U.S. economy with respect to how people and leaders communicate and trade.

“We are entering a new era of digital transformation from 2016 – 2030,” said Karlgaard, a Forbes Magazine journalist, bestselling author, and award-winning entrepreneur. He discussed the recent mid-term elections with attendees of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ annual convention. He noted how those in the financial markets were happy.

“It’s not so much that nothing can happen with a divided government, but it’s the fact that legislation can get locked-in for two years,” he said. “Otherwise, when you have a political unknown, that adds a lot of risk. The markets don’t like one political party having all the power.”

Is the U.S. economy’s latest economic growth sustainable? Karlgaard discussed the recent surge in optimism over the past year and the ramp-up in economic growth on a quarterly basis. “The economy is increasingly a ‘two-speed’ economy,” he said. “It’s like it was put into a centrifuge, which is spinning faster and faster and is sorting out businesses that work, cities that work, and other elements that work versus those who are really struggling. There are those who are alive and running and aligning with the future of business, technology and the workforce, but there are also those who are struggling.”

What’s driving this centrifuge? Multiple “megatrends” that are currently forming may show how the future will unfold. For instance, technology is not slowing down but speeding up (industries that are easy to enter are being disrupted). Also, “adaptability” will become more important.

“Boards of directors and CEOs have to now take ownership of technology of the future,” he said. “They can’t leave it to their information technology employees.”

The forecaster and entrepreneur offered a unique vantage point on the trends driving the investment climate today. He shared unique developments while also pointing out the difficulties of navigating today’s business environment, as well as the opportunities available to those who have the courage to “reach out” for them.

By the middle of his presentation, Karlgaard offered solid insights to aid in better decision-making for credit unions to attain a sustainable competitive advantage—especially work culture. “If you’re going to be adaptable enough to face changes in the marketplace, and if the people in your organization have to ask permission for everything, it’s not fast enough. A lot of that is the trust you have to build internally.” It was just one of several inspirational perspectives the speaker delivered that morning.

Want a "recap" of REACH 2018? Visit the "REACH Onsite Live" news page! Also check out the REACH Social Wall—a round-up of social media posts. Or see Twitter (@CUatREACH). This year’s REACH 2018 conference—hosted by the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues from Nov. 6 – 9—was held at the Loews Hotel near Hollywood & Highland (in Hollywood, CA), a world-class entertainment destination. The annual REACH conference is a premier event drawing 700 – 800 credit union leaders and system partners from across the United States.

Pin It