Only a few days into the new year, and people have already started sending out predictions for 2024. You are highly likely to be bombarded with yet another Gartner hype cycle infographics, top ten technology predictions, and what have you.
I often say, "When dealing with emerging technologies, situations, or scenarios - sanity is the key."
While it is not easy to evade our way through all that noise and hype, I want to highlight three things that every person in a leadership capacity must watch out for during this year.
The AI and LLM hype
AI-based solutions are a dime a dozen. LLMs are coming up as a staple food in that domain. Every startup or business is trying to tag their solution with AI or LLM. It is akin to businesses trying to identify their product or service as "smart" a few years ago.
You do not want to be mis-sold with an AI-themed product or service when in reality, all there might be basic automation. And the key to avoiding that is knowing how to spot real from gimmicky ones.
Next time you come across a solution that claims to be an AI system, ask how deep is that AI's neural network. Or ask how many layers that AI's neural network has. If you don't get a numerical answer, it is unlikely to be an AI system. Automation, yes, it might be, but AI, without a neural network - absolutely not!
Without a neural network or self-learning mechanism, is it an AI?
The lure of constant adaptability
"Change is constant and we must adapt to it!" - this is another common rhetoric. People will keep telling you to constantly adapt and steer strategy to stay on top of the game. Whilst it isn't entirely wrong, there is a catch. And the catch is - you don't need to change every single time, but only when there might be consequences for you.
Now the question is, how do you know or predict if a change has any consequences to your business at all? Especially when it is in its early stages, and things are still developing. We cannot lose to be late. But we cannot afford to be sidetracked or wasting our efforts for nothing either.
This is where thinking like a futurist could be advantageous. Thinking like a futurist can help you with strategic clarity. It will not only help at a high level but also help chart out tactical aspects. This is crucial from people's perspective. Because in a race to constantly adapt, people often find it exhausting. They may give up sooner if it lacks clarity. Think like a futurist and gain that clarity.
Thinking like a futurist can help you with strategic clarity.
The push for preparation
The disruption is coming! Isn't that what we are often told? So, how do you prepare for something that is still coming?
The fact is - you can only prepare when you know what is going to happen. Preparation works when you know what you are preparing for. When dealing with unknowns, preparation is less helpful. What works better is "positioning."
This way, no matter what opportunity presents or situation demands, you will be able to address it in the best possible way. Positioning does not guarantee success, and so neither does preparation. But better positioning often means you are at your best when the time comes.
A well-positioned average company has a better chance to win a deal against a badly or weakly positioned big player.
If you are not well positioned the opportunity often gets wasted. Therefore, besides just constantly preparing for something unknown, improve your positioning, and strengthen it. That way, whatever comes, you will be at your best.
The point is
It is one thing to seek out trends and in-vogue things. But when it comes to limited budgets, resources, and especially time, sanity is the key.
So, keep a lookout for these overhyped things in 2024, maintain sanity, seek reliable information, and stay pragmatic. But most importantly, think like a futurist and position yourself well.
Because, when dealing with emerging technologies, situations, or scenarios - sanity is the key!
When dealing with emerging technologies, situations, or scenarios - sanity is the key!