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Edition 201 – Manual Transmissions

Think about this. By 2030, no car manufactured anywhere in the world will have a manual transmission. That is, the typical H pattern, 6 speed manual with the gear stick in the centre console will be dead. In 10 year’s time. Gone.

That’s my prediction and this is why:

  1. 30 years ago, the base model car came with a manual transmission, and automatic was an optional extra.
  2. 20 years ago, automatics became a no cost option.
  3. 10 years ago, manuals became the costed option. When Holden produced the Commodore in Australia, 95% were automatic.
  4. In amongst all of that, Porsche designed the first tiptronic or paddle shift manual transmission.

So, whilst all the talk is of electric vehicles and self driving cars, there is a massive change, happening right inside every person’s vehicle, that is changing the face of motoring for ever.

The message for today is this. What’s changing right before your very eyes, in your line of family business, that could significantly impact your family business? Here’s some I’ve either seen or heard of? By the way, that noise in the background you can hear is the tectonic shift happening in each of these industries:

  1. There is software available that will essentially review a legal contract in 90 seconds. Where does that leave the business model of legal firms who rely on hourly rate and hours billed?
  2. Doctors can consult virtually, meaning they have the ability to undertake less complicated consultations whilst the patient is at home, dialling in, not spreading their germs in the waiting room. Does that mean the patient will be able to see a doctor, virtually, that could be in another region, or another state?
  3. There are pick and pack facilities in warehouses across the world where there is little or no human intervention. Robotics is taking away the human element and, in the process, the humans are either redundant, or have to skill-up to retain employment.
  4. Drones can, right now, be engaged by any government authority to fly over your property and determine whether all your structures are compliant. Do you have a swimming pool that is not properly fenced? Your council either knows about it, or will know about it shortly, and can take enforcement action against you, without a council officer setting foot on your property.
  5. Politics is becoming more fractured as fringe parties, at either end of the spectrum, draw support from the mainstream. I believe that, at least federally, Labor will never again govern in its own right and will need to be in a coalition if it wishes to be the party that sits to the right of the speaker.

The next 10 years is going to see some phenomenal change. Already, in every business, phenomenal change is taking place, everyday.

For the most part, family businesses are unprepared for this change. Or maybe, they’re unwilling to accept the change is happening, and just wish things would stay the same. Except they won’t, and their financial future, their retirement nest eggs and their ability to contribute to the causes they believe in will be severely impacted by leaving their head in the sand, rather than embracing the changing future.

How prepared are you, and your family business, for the future, which is here right now?