• June 2015

The Business of Fatherhood

Does being a dad make you a better entrepreneur? That’s one of the questions we tackle in the special Father’s Day issue of Be Inkandescent magazine.

For inspiration, we turn to our newest client, entrepreneur and futurist Michael Vidikan, who runs the Dallas-based futurist think tank www.FutureInFocus.com.

We celebrate the launch of his revamped website this month, which features more than 1,400 briefs on international, corporate, and consumer trends — including business, emerging, generational, and geographic reports.

In this issue, we share three articles on the topic of fatherhood based on Future in Focus briefs:


And in our Tips for Entrepreneurs this month, we share two more research studies:

Also in this issue, you’ll find:

  • Manly Books. In our Book of the Month column this month, you’ll find five tomes about fatherhood, parenting, and manhood — including insights into What Women Really Want in a Man.

  • Craft Beer. If you love great beer, you’ve probably tossed back a bottle or two of Stone Brewing Co.‘s IPA. The #10 largest craft brewery in the nation, Stone generates $185 million in annual sales and employs more than 900 people. Why did Stone decide to open its East Coast plant in Richmond? Don’t miss our interview with the COO and CFO.

Find more perspective on fatherhood in our new column, Inkandescent Quotes, including this one from Dan Pearce, author of the blog Single Dad Laughing: “Saturday mornings, I’ve learned, are a great opportunity for kids to sneak into your bed, fall back asleep, and kick you in the face.”

Cheers to Dads everywhere! — Hope Katz Gibbs, Publisher, Be Inkandescent magazine • Founder, Inkandescent PR

Glimpse the Future of Fatherhood

JUNE 2015: The Changing Face of Fatherhood

Insights from Entrepreneur of the Month Michael Vidikan
President, Future in Focus

By Hope Katz Gibbs, Publisher
Be Inkandescent magazine

What will the next generation of stay-at-home dads look like? How will the Millennials parent differently than their parents and grandparents? And how will the new American grandparents behave?

Answers to those questions can be found on the information-packed website by futurist Michael Vidikan: FutureInFocus.com. A popular subscription-based strategic foresight and consulting firm, Vidikan helps companies see years or even decades into the future to make better long-term decisions today. In fact, there are more than 1,400 briefs that can be accessed when you subscribe.

Clients include ConAgra Foods, GM, The Hershey Company, Nissan, and more.

“I’ve worked with Future in Focus over the past few years, and the trend insights I’ve had access to have helped tremendously with forming our strategic plans,” says Ruth Waters, director of Consumer Insights, Commerical Foods, at ConAgra Foods.

Keiichi Kitahara, senior manager for Advanced Planning and Strategy at Nisssan North America, says, “The insights that Future in Focus provides to me and my team are invaluable. Future In Focus’ reports delve into areas of great interest to any company dealing with product development.”

Vidikan founded the firm in 2014, and this month, the team at InkandescentPR helped him launch his new monthly e-magazine, which will feature a different emerging business and consumer trend in each issue.

Vidikan continues the work previously done by Social Technologies, which was founded in 2000 by futurist Tom Conger. The company was sold in 2009 to Innovaro, a company focused on software and innovation solutions.

A graduate of the MBA program at The George Washington University, Vidikan earned his undergraduate degree in business and psychology.

When he’s not focusing on the future, you can find him experimenting in the kitchen, testing out the latest interactive gaming technologies, or volunteering in his community and raising money for Movember, a global organization committed to changing the face of men’s health. Scroll down for our Q&A with Michael Vidikan.

And be sure to glimpse the future of fatherhood, as seen through three Future in Focus reports, excerpted in this issue of Be Inkandescent:

•  The Next Generation of Stay-at-Home Dads
•  Millennials and Parenting
•  The New American Grandparents


Be Inkandescent: What is the mission of Future in Focus?

Michael Vidikan: Our mission is to help companies and organizations become more informed about the future so they can make better long-term business decisions. The future is always murky, but that doesn’t mean it’s unknowable or that it’s not possible to plan for it. As the name of our company suggests, we want to put the future in focus and provide clarity and direction for organizations as they work to plan for what’s coming next.

Be Inkandescent: For those who don’t know, what does a futurist do?

Michael Vidikan: A futurist is someone who presents ideas about what the future might or might not look like. The job involves enormous amounts of reading and research. It’s a lot like doing a puzzle. If you put enough pieces together, you start to see the outline of an image. Good futurists tend to be good historians, because if you want to tell a story about the future, you need to understand how we got to the present. Furthermore, if you can see how quickly a technology is advancing, you can forecast approximately when it will become mainstream and how it will impact various industries. For example, let’s look at self-driving cars. The technology is still years away from mainstream use, and a lot of testing still needs to be done. Based on prototypes in existence today, and the rate at which they are progressing, we can imagine how self-driving cars would disrupt commuting and carpooling down the road. Likewise, if we can understand the psychological and sociological drivers behind emerging human behaviors, we might be able to see how particular demographics or generations make new demands on companies and governments.

Be Inkandescent: What types of trends do you track, and who are your ideal clients?

Michael Vidikan: Our coverage is mostly focused on trends that are consumer-centric and will impact the business community 2-10 years out. We cover a very broad spectrum of consumer and technology trends across many industries and geographies, from research about Millennials’ food preferences to the future of 3D printing in China.

Be Inkandescent: What are some of the trends you report on that surprise you the most?

Michael Vidikan: I’m probably most surprised by the advances in biotechnology. Every day there seems to be a new headline about a discovery that may cure diseases, extend our lives, make us healthier, and improve our performance. There’s a field of researchers who are trying to grow human organs for transplants and manufacture human blood for transfusions. Imagine the lives we could save when those technologies are available.

Be Inkandescent: How can more small businesses use the research you do at Future in Focus?

Michael Vidikan: Some can use the research to see where the market is headed and tailor their products and services to meet the future. Others might want to abandon a doomed industry or market. And of course small advertising or consulting businesses might want to read our research to share with their clients.

Be Inkandescent: How does someone get into the futures business? What type of background / schooling is needed?

Michael Vidikan: There are a few academic programs that offer degrees in Strategic Foresight and Futures Studies. They teach basic principles and methodologies, but many futurists are not classically trained. It’s often just circumstance that leads a person to become a futurist. Many started as researchers or scenario planners, then followed their passion for thinking about the future.

Be Inkandescent: How did you get into the business of being a futurist?

Michael Vidikan: It started during my MBA program. I took a course called “Emerging Technologies: Forecasts & Strategies for the Technology Revolution” by Prof. Bill Halal. I was drawn in by the promise of learning about emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, space elevators, cancer-fighting nanobots, and other stuff that sounded like science fiction.

Be Inkandescent: What excites you most about this field?

Michael Vidikan: I learned that if you could plot the history of a technology’s progression, you could map its trajectory going forward and see the potential impact and opportunities it could create. Almost immediately after I finished my MBA, I was given an amazing opportunity to work for Innovaro’s Foresight Research division, helping global companies such as BASF, Hershey’s, and GM understand the future so they could make better long-term decisions. Like my clients, I love reading our reports about emerging consumer and technology trends. It’s live having a crystal ball that’s based in solid research. See for yourself at FutureInFocus.com.

Don’t stop yet! Be sure to check out two more fascinating future-focused reports in this month’s Tips for Entrepreneurs columns:
•  The 2015 Manifesto: Fathers, Sensitivity, and Parenting
•  The Five Types of Men: Which One Are You?

The 2015 Manifesto: Fathers, Sensitivity, and Parenting

High-quality (sensitive/supportive) and substantial father involvement from the month following birth is connected with a range of positive outcomes in babies and toddlers, including higher IQs at 12 months and 3 years, according to a report by the Fatherhood Institute.

In a sample of African-American families, fathers’ authoritarian parenting style (rigid and bossy) was linked with poorer vocabulary and other skills in their children — with the quality of the fathers’ parenting more influential than mothers’.

“School readiness” in young children is associated with high levels of fathers’ sensitivity, in addition to mothers’ sensitivity. Helping fathers as well as mothers to respond to infant cues and develop quality interactions with their babies, toddlers, and preschoolers is very important.

Father-infant bonding is stronger when dads develop their own ways of doing things.

Fathers who exhibit “parental sensitivity” generally function as a supportive presence, respect their children’s autonomy, and exhibit low levels of hostility towards them. This trait is more often found in men who were older when they first became fathers, hold less traditional child-rearing beliefs, and report more intimacy with their children’s mothers (NICHD, 2000).

The kinds of interactions by fathers that have been shown to benefit young children’s development include supportive play, sensitive responses to children’s cues, expanding on what they say, referring to objects and events, eliciting actions, directing attention, prompting play, reading books, and using large vocabularies (Tamis-Le-Monda et al, 2012).

The magnitude of fathers’ influences is equal to and sometimes larger than that of mothers (Tamis-LeMonda et al, 2013). For example, “school readiness” in young children is associated with high levels of paternal sensitivity, over and above mothers’ sensitivity (Campbell & von Stauffenberg, 2008).

Babies whose fathers play a big role in caring for them are generally more sociable (Frascarolo, 2004).

Sensitive and substantial involvement by dads from the month following birth is connected with a range of good outcomes in babies and toddlers (Yarrow et al, 1984; Wachs et al, 1971), including better language development and higher IQs (Yogman et al, 1995; Magill-Evans and Harrison, 1999).

In China, the father’s warmth was found to benefit children’s educational and social adjustment (Chen et al, 2000).

Also in China, a father’s authoritarian parenting style (rigid and bossy) had a more negative impact on his children than authoritarian parenting by mothers (Chen et al, 1997).

Similarly, in the Philippines, fathers’ authoritarian parenting style was found to be linked to their children feeling frustrated and stressed (Esteban, 2006).

Authoritarian parenting by African-American fathers was again found to be more impactful than when mothers were authoritarian, and it was also connected to poorer vocabulary and other skills (Roopnarine et al, 2006).

To support paternal sensitivity:

  • Address myths about fathers’ capabilities with infants and children, so that both fathers and mothers understand that parenting skills and parental sensitivity are learned, not “innate,” and that fathers can learn as quickly as mothers (Myers, 1982).
  • Encourage fathers to go “skin to skin” with their newborns (Erlandsson et al, 2007).
  • Brief interventions such as Brazelton’s Newborn Behavioral Observations — which teach parents to assess their babies’ capabilities, or read infant “cues,” or engage in baby massage — can make a real difference to both the amount of father-infant interaction, and its quality (Sholz & Samuels, 1992; Myers, 1982).
  • Consider using “video playback,” where fathers and their babies are videotaped interacting with each other, and the videotape is then watched by the dad with a trained professional who points out successes in the interactions (Lawrence et al, 2013).
  • Pay attention to “micro-moments” within family routines, for example, encouraging fathers to hold their infants as often as possible, including when out as a family, and to engage in verbal exchanges with their babies when changing and feeding them (Tamis-LeMonda et al, 2013).
  • Encourage fathers to take charge of their infants on their own: Fathers who regularly spend time in sole charge of their babies develop confidence and skills and interact with them in a much wider range of ways than other fathers (Pedersen et al, 1987). This is connected with very good outcomes for children, including higher school grades (Hoffman & Youngblade, 1999).
  • Consider using “Hello Dad,” a superb and inexpensive DVD resource designed to help dads connect with their babies, which can be purchased online from the New South Wales Institute of Psychiatry in Australia. Among other things, this demonstrates to fathers how to engage in “mutual gaze” with their infants, and explains how this assists brain development.

Download a PDF of this research summary:
FI Research Summary: Fathers, Sensitivity,
and Parenting Style.

But all the while I was alone, the past was close behind, I seen a lot of women, but she never escaped my mind, and I just grew, tangled up in blue.”

– Bob Dylan

The great use of life is to spend it on something that will outlast it.”

– William James

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”

– Magical

A man who strikes first admits that his ideas have given out.”

– Chinese Proverb

Practice kindness all day to everybody and you will realize you’re already in heaven now.”

– Jack Kerouac

The journey is the reward.”

– Greg Norman

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly,
 what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.”

– Gandi

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

You may ask me for anything you like except time.”

– Napoleon

A warrior cannot complain or regret anything. His life is an endless challenge, and challenges cannot possibly be good or bad. Challenges are simply challenges.”

– Carlos Castaneda

If you would create something,
 you must be something.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

It is possible to fail in many ways…while to succeed is possible only in one way.”

– Aristotle

Do not be afraid of mistakes, providing you do not make the same one twice.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

Friendship is the only cement that will hold the world together.”

– Woodrow Wilson

Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do.
 Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.”

– Ella Fitzgerald

Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”

– Basil King

No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it”

– Andrew Carnegie

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

– Leonardo da Vinci

Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.”

– Francesca Reigle

As each woman realizes her power, she transforms the world.”

– Patrice Wynne, WomanSpirit Sourcebook

Whosoever knows how to fight well is not angry. Whosoever knows how to conquer enemies does not fight them.”

– Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

– Joseph Campbell

Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.”

– Albert Einstein

Treat the attainment of happiness in the same way an entrepreneur would approach building a business — with a vision, plan, goals, and a systematic approach.”

– Ted Leonsis

The person who makes a success of living is the one who see his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.”

– Cecil B. DeMille

Entrepreneurs are willing to roll the dice with their money or reputation on the line in support of an idea or enterprise.”

– Victor Kiam

They who give have all things. They who withhold have nothing.”

– Hindu Proverb

Look at everything as though you were
seeing it either for the first or last time.
Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.”

– Betty Smith

By your stumbling the world is perfected.”

– Sri Aurobindo

Who cares if my glass is half empty or half full; I still have something to drink.”

– Optimism rules

If people like you they’ll listen to you; if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.”

– Zig Ziglar

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nobody talks about entrepreneurship as survival, but that’s exactly what nurtures creative thinking.”

– Anita Roddick, founder, The Body Shop

You don’t love someone because of their looks or their clothes or their car. You love them because they sing a song only your heart can understand.”

– L.J. Smith

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently.”

– Steve Jobs, Apple, Inc.

You don’t go into a field that requires cracking people’s heads open or operating on something as delicate as the spinal cord unless you are comfortable with taking risks.”

– Dr. Ben Carson

Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.”

– Helen Keller

Are you willing to help other people succeed even when it’s not a requirement of your job to be of assistance?”

– Steven Schussler

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

– Anais Nin

Death is to lose the earth you know, for greater knowing; to lose the life you have, for greater life; to leave the friends you loved, for greater loving; to find a land more kind than home, more large than earth.”

– Thomas Wolfe

Your own words are the bricks and mortar
of the dreams you want to realize.
 The words you choose and their use establish the life you experience.”

– Sonia Croquette

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”

– Robert Louis Stevenson

Of course there is no formula for success except perhaps an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings.”

– Arthur Rubinstein

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams, for when dreams go, life is a barren field frozen with snow.”

– Langston Hughes

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”

– Jimi Hendrix

The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. The greatest failure is to not try.”

– Debbi Fields, Mrs. Fields Cookies

Never cut what you can untie.”

– Joseph Joubert

I have spent a good part of my life convincing people that a blank sheet of paper is the greatest opportunity in the world, and not frightening at all.”

– Marty Skler, executive vp, Walt Disney Imagineering

Let us seize the day and the opportunity and strive for that greatness of spirit that measures life not by its disappointments but by its possibilities.”

– W.E.B. Du Bois

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