14 PUBLIC GAMING INTERNATIONAL • MAY/JUNE 2023 Continued on page 38 When you’ve worked with the likes of IBM, Johnson & Johnson and MasterCard, and are one of small group of people in North American trained to teach Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of High E ective People, you have a good idea of what moves consumers to support some products and reject others. While decades of data can help us plan, unforeseen circumstances – like a pandemic – can alter the path forward for even the largest companies. Jim Harris, one of North America’s foremost thinkers on disruptive innovation, observed how the pandemic demonstrated the need to be ready for any situation. In many industries, a decade of change took place in less than two years. As someone who leads strategic planning sessions for executive teams, Jim said the past few years have been a wake-up call for many companies about their business, their employees, and their customers. “ e changes we have seen since 2020 can be di cult to comprehend sometimes,” he said. “For instance, in December of 2019, Zoom had 10 million daily users. e pandemic hit and the Zoom software was downloaded 300 million times in just 90 days. How many companies do you know that in normal situations grew their customer accounts by a factor of 30? e fact that companies were able to handle this growth is incredible, but it also shows you the power of disruptive trends and events and how quickly they change our plans.” While the rapid change of the past three years has bene ted some companies, there have been unanticipated consequences for others. Take for example foot tra c in dense commercial areas. As the pandemic gripped the country and workers were sent home, many o ce buildings sat empty. “Even now, the CEO of IBM said recently that only 20 percent of IBM's U.S workers are in the o ce for three days or more,” Jim said. “Pre-pandemic there was 95 percent occupancy of commercial real estate in the U.S and then the pandemic hit, and it went down to 10 percent occupancy. Last October it was back up to 47 percent, which is still half of what it was a few years ago. And you know what that means for the lottery. Fewer people shopping at the convenience stores in or near o ce buildings, fewer people buying lottery tickets. And there really is no indication that the trend of remote work will change back to the pre-pandemic levels.” While o ce buildings and the businesses that support their workers struggle, e-Commerce companies have soared. Like Zoom’s rapid growth in 2020, Amazon has altered how we shop (yes, sales have attened in the most recent quarter). e online sales of top retailers such as Walmart, Target and Best Buy combined don’t equal Amazon’s mind-boggling levels. And it is the e-Commerce route through which many millennials and Gen Z-ers are buying their goods. “Credit Suisse recently reported that 100,00 U.S. retailer locations will permanently close because of the shift online,” Jim said. “Younger shoppers never want to go to a store, which means they won’t be exposed to lottery products at checkout, like most of us were rst exposed to lottery. So how will the next generation of players learn about lottery?” e way money is spent has also changed dramatically, a trend that started prior to 2020. For younger consumers, if they can’t a ord a house, they still have options beyond living with their parents. If they can’t a ord a car, they don’t have to walk or buy a bike. Between Airbnb and Uber, cost conscious consumers have options. “Airbnb recently reported that more than 25 percent of all Airbnb stays are now more than one month,” Jim said. “And given the work attitudes of younger employees, the company itself allows employees to work in one of the 170 countries where they o er housing for 90 days at a time. So they can live in Vietnam and work with their team in North America and after 90 days move to Germany for another 90 days, and so on. If you’re a millennial who worries PLANNING STRATEGICALLY FOR DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION AND DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION Following is an executive summary of one of the fabulous keynote speeches delivered at the World Lottery Summit Vancouver.