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Innovation Influence The Future of Disruption Artificial IntelligenceThese days, everyone on the internet has gone berserk about ChatGPT. Anyone with less than half a clue about technology is overconfidently talking about ChatGPT and how it is going to change our future. And that is a big issue. Half knowledge is more dangerous than ignorance! So, as a qualified professional, let me uncover some of the myths around ChatGPT here.
Innovation Leadership Disruption Internet of ThingsWhen our IoT (Internet of Things) platform crashed several years ago, I found myself pushed into a corner. With an imminent demo for an important client, I had to take quick action. That action eventually turned out to be a stepping stone for me and to build my profile. Trust me, a lot can happen in 24 hours. The lesson here is - in times like this, the first principles-based thinking is your best bet.
Innovation Leadership The Future of Disruption Artificial IntelligenceThat evening my bored self decided to visit a nearby zoo. I wanted to look at different animals other than humans that day. As I was strolling through the zoo, nothing seemed interesting as such. A weakened lion, bored hippo, sleepy giraffe, and the zebra that was perhaps trying to get rid of stripes while scuffing against the wall. But as I passed by two monkeys, it sounded familiar. I felt like I understood what they were talking about. So, I stopped. I saw a $5 note in the first monkey's hand while the other had a bunch of bananas. The conversation that followed replaced my boredom with somewhat existential questions.
Innovation Transformation Leadership The Future of DisruptionTell me, how many times have you heard someone saying, "I have an idea..." And most of the time, what they say after that becomes "blah, blah" for us. So in our heads, we keep shrugging off the idea of whatever they are talking about. I come across at least one person a day who has got an idea of something or about something. But here is the main question... What is so mythical about it?
Innovation Transformation Leadership Influence The Future of Disruption Artificial IntelligenceIn the 17th century, electricity was a matter of curiosity amongst several scientists. One of them was Galvani, who did some experiments in 1780. For example, he showed that the legs of a dead frog can twitch when he applied electric current to it. His nephew Aldini, in 1803, took a step further and used human corpses to show that it also happens with human bodies. Soon the news spread and a writer Mary Shelly published a novel in 1818. The main character in that novel was Dr Victor Frankenstein. He stitches several body parts and, using electricity, brings his creation to life. In 1931 the movie "Frankenstein" was produced based on the same story, which Earl Bakken saw during his young age. That inspired him to create the world's first battery-powered pacemaker in 1957. This is one of the many examples of sci-fi turning into reality.
Innovation Transformation Leadership The Future of DisruptionHave an idea that you want to implement? Hold on and read this article before you proceed any further. Your idea may be good but there are several other things you need to consider and do before you can ensure its proper implementation. Innovation is one of the most used and abused terms these days. But what exactly it means can be quite nebulous. When we talk about innovation, it can mean different things to different people.
Transformation Leadership Influence The Future of DisruptionEvery year it happens. During the last few days of December, people talk about their reflections. They talk about what happened and how their year has been. Then in the new year, they start talking about to-do lists, reading lists, new year resolutions. Social media posts and messaging platforms get flooded with me-too fads such as being authentic, taking care of oneself, living life 'in the moment,' and so on. But then a few weeks go by. Then comes February, when things start to wane. People go back to the routine. I feel there is a better way to manage all this. So let's talk about the three best ways to thrive this year.
Innovation Transformation Leadership The Future of DisruptionHybrid work! Everyone is talking about it. But how do you really make it work for you? Whether you are a team manager, a team member, or a senior leader, you know that there have been challenges in the work as we knew it. Hybrid makes them even more challenging, or maybe not! So, if you have been wondering how to make hybrid-work work for you, then this one is just for you.
Innovation Transformation Leadership The Future of DisruptionDid you ever follow the GPS only to find yourself in the middle of nowhere? Or, without question, followed the advice of an expert - maybe a doctor, financial adviser, or someone similar only to learn later that your instincts and your thoughts were correct? So, why and how do these kinds of things really happen? I think, primarily, the issue is that our complex, data flooded, information flooded world has made us more reliant on experts, protocols, and technology. So much so that we have stopped thinking for ourselves. It's like we have outsourced our thinking to a troubling degree to gadgets and social media. We are slowly and steadily abandoning our autonomy. It irks me. How do you feel? We need a new approach for integrating them more effectively. We need to learn better ways to harness their capabilities without undermining our ability to think for ourselves. And it does take more than just critical thinking.
Innovation Transformation The Future of DisruptionThat peaceful Sunday morning, I was reading a book when my son came rushing. I could sense a hint of worry in his voice as he said, "Dadda...The laptop shut down again!" I knew about the troubles this laptop was giving for the past several days. So it wasn't breaking news to me. We went inside to check it. Finally, it dawned on me as to why we are repeatedly facing that peculiar problem. I also thought that it might be a good idea to teach my son another useful life skill. So I tasked him to fix it, and this is what happened next.
Innovation Transformation Leadership DisruptionI was in my hotel room when I took off my shirt to wash. And then I realized. I don’t have another one to wear. The shirt I took off was already soaking in water. And I was standing bare in the middle of the room. It was 6 in the evening, -20 degrees Celcius and snowing outside, and I was in Shenyang, China. I was about to go out to get something for dinner. I missed my lunch that day. I was starving. So, while staring at my thin black jacket on the couch, I had a choice to make. To sleep without dinner or go out in that thin black jacket for food while risking myself with hypothermia. Earlier that day, I lost all my luggage. And this is the story of what happened next.
Innovation Transformation Leadership DisruptionHow often does it happen? We have an idea. We get curious. We find more about it. And then nothing happens! Fear of failure and perfectionism are the most common reasons people don’t take action. We fantasize about the outcomes, but we never really do anything beyond that. So how do we really overcome them? Let me show you my approach to get past these roadblocks and take action.
Innovation Transformation Leadership The Future of DisruptionExtrapolating your existing strategy is like trying to find another bottle. And you just saw, finding another bottle does not solve the problem. It only extends the time. You are only buying a few extra minutes. On a normal timescale, it may be a few extra years that you will be buying. But the problem, that's not going away. Suppose we put one hypothetical strain of bacteria in an empty bottle at 1100 hrs. Bacteria grow by dividing themselves, thus doubling at a finite rate. Let's assume that they double every minute. Then we observe that the bottle is 100% full at 1200 hrs. Now, with this information, I have two questions for you.
Innovation Leadership The Future of DisruptionDo you remember the famous quote of Henry Ford? “If I have asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” But think about it. Why should that be the case? That is when you start to see the limitations of incremental innovation and ideas around it. In comparison, radical and transformative innovations are miles apart, especially when comparing their outcomes. Moreover, the process of selling these (radical or transformative) innovations is significantly different. Incremental innovation is often the “pull-then-push” type, whereas radical and transformative innovations are exactly the opposite. They need the “push-then-pull” methodology of selling the concept. It makes all the difference, along with my assertion and the title of this article. Let me explain.
Innovation Transformation Leadership DisruptionYou can also transform and change the game, but only if you think two steps ahead of disruptors. If you want to do that, you must shift your focus from customers’ problems to customers’ intents. When you respond to those intents in the best way you can, you will stay ahead of the curve! However, most organizations are not designed for the third type of innovation, i.e., disruptive innovation. So, when they attempt doing that, they look like a dad dancing at a teenager’s party.
Innovation Transformation Leadership The Future of DisruptionLast year I predicted that this decade is going to be a significant one for humanity as I see much disruption planted on the way. Oh boy, was I wrong? Nothing happens for decades, and decades happen in a week. This would an apt definition of what happened last year. But make no mistake, it is far from over yet. And that is why, if you are making any resolutions or manifestos for this year, please factor in these possibilities. Second and third-order effects usually follow any chaos, disturbance, or disruption. And most often, the third-order effects are more prominent and intense. In fact, in engineering parlance, they are known as third harmonics.
Innovation Transformation Leadership The Future of DisruptionYou will often hear when someone is talking about disruptive innovation, "Uber didn't kill the taxi business; limited access and fare control did!" And when you hear this, the typical response comes in one of the two ways - the first says, take the help of incremental innovation and try to fix those problems. In contrast, the other response is to adapt to the disruptive innovation playbook. But, I argue, both are not sustainable, not enough!
Transformation Innovation Leadership Disruption Artificial Intelligence The Future ofBusinesses often get carried away by the smart technology at the disposal and assume that we can use it to solve every problem around us. Emerging technologies are new hammers, avoid treating all the issues as nails. You must avoid rushing into the emerging future. Instead, deliberate efforts, coupled with thoughtful steps, can yield long-lasting positive results. This approach is crucial because it is challenging to undo strategic and technological mistakes these days. While working with over 85+ businesses of various sizes in the last 20 years, I discovered a characteristic pattern in the companies that were the best and the rest. I have tried to model this into an explainable and understandable form here as The Sanity Model.
Innovation Leadership Disruption The Future ofIf you think online shopping has made everything easier, you would be so wrong! When websites start to offer you more and more products to purchase, it has long-term consequences on your digital, physical, and emotional environment. Technology can be a force for good. But we need more people with the right mindset for using it. My TEDx talk calls out this idea of tech-ethics by sharing a personal anecdote and finding parallels between the business models being employed by most e-commerce websites today.
Transformation Leadership Disruption Artificial Intelligence Internet of ThingsIn early 2018, an Australian telecommunications company bit the bullet and rolled out an AI program for its incident management process. The telco expected to save more than 25% of the operational costs from this implementation. Unfortunately, the plan backfired. Eventually, the endowment effect kicked in, and the company had no plans to go back and fix the problem from its roots. Instead, it kept pushing through and wasting an enormous amount of money, allegedly circa $11 million in operational costs. The crucial question remains — who eventually paid for this?
Transformation Leadership Influence Disruption The Future ofOnce Dr. Albert Bartlett made a profound statement, "The greatest shortcoming of humanity is our inability to understand the exponential function." The logic is simple and irrefutable. Exponential growth cannot proceed indefinitely within a finite system, whether on earth or in an economy. To explain, Bartlett gives an interesting example.
Innovation Leadership Influence The Future of Disruption Artificial IntelligenceI lure you with the pretense of free services. Then I capture your personally identifiable data and surveil your behavior. I sell that data to advertisers and make billions in revenue, but I do not pay (fair) tax. I also crawl other's websites and show you snippets of news and other content, so you don't have to go to their website often. But, how dare you ask for fair compensation for your data and content? I am not happy. I think it is unfair. Hello, my name is Google, and I am a victim!
Transformation Innovation Disruption Artificial Intelligence The Future ofIn his seminal work “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” Clayton Christensen discussed the three main forms of innovation. Borrowing from that idea, here is the explanation of the first three kinds of innovation and their impact on jobs, capital, and economy.
Transformation Disruption Artificial Intelligence The Future ofTechnology is like an amplifier, and it mirrors our ethical stance. The only difference is that it is highly scalable and fast, which makes it more powerful as well as dangerous. Many organizations now understand that with high ethical capacity, they can have a competitive advantage in the API economy. At an organizational level, having ethical mechanisms and governance makes more sense. Here is the transcript of my speech at API Days New York 2020.
Influence Disruption Artificial Intelligence Internet of Things The Future ofYou may often think your data on social networks is private, secure, and is owned by you. However, there is more to this, and it starts with a critical question — How do you define "your data"? Technology is becoming pervasive day by day. With the proliferation of social networks & free services, our data is at stake, big time!
Transformation Innovation Leadership DisruptionWe see in our daily lives; many things disturb us. Some irate us, frustrate us or make us sad. What do we do with them? Most of the time – we react! It is a natural human tendency to react. However, I think a response has more to offer than mere reaction. Think about the traffic - it is not the traffic that disturbs us. What really annoys us is our inability to handle the disturbance and frustration caused by the traffic. If we know how to keep calm or find a better way out of that traffic, we don't dwell on it much.
Innovation Leadership Disruption The Future ofOnce an expert thief said to his young son, “Son, you are grown up now. I should start training you early. I want you to become a better thief than I am !” His son nodded in affirmation. Both decided to start the training very next day. The next day – thief says to his son, “Let me first assess your basics. I will give you 20 minutes.” He said, “Your task is to pick my pocket without getting caught. Your time starts...now !”
Transformation Innovation Leadership Disruption Artificial IntelligenceGenerally speaking, it is a project management strategy in which a project team imagines a project failure and works backward to determine what potentially could lead to that failure. This working is then used to handle risks upfront. However, in the risk management context, I am going to use this (pre-mortem) term interchangeably to represent a more sophisticated and engineering-oriented methodology, known as Failure Mode and Effects Analysis, i.e. FMEA.
Leadership Disruption Artificial Intelligence The Future ofTechnology is often over-hyped but underestimated. Artificial Intelligence couldn't have been any different from it. There are several stories, which don't give you the full picture. And then there are many anti-stories, which create more confusion. As I often say, the truth can be uncovered only with deep questioning and relentless persuasion for answers. It is simple, but not easy! So, here are five AI myths that keep circling without any conclusion. Everyone needs to learn to find anti-stories for each story and cross-check. Eventually, you may still believe in the main story, but you will be more confident as a result of cross-checking.
Transformation Leadership Influence Disruption The Future ofIt was my fourth phone call with Amit that month. The previous hour-long calls, while managing our work and different time zones, hadn’t brought down the interest in the subject. Instead, the feeling of being on the verge of something important persisted. The broad question that got us thinking was how careers are affected in uncertain times. The world is changing fast. Employers’ expectations from employees as well as employees’ expectations from employers are changing significantly. Moreover, the classical assumption that merely doing a good job can advance your career is getting beaten to extinction.
Transformation Disruption Artificial Intelligence The Future ofMy friend, Greg, and I attended an event in Tesla showroom last year. For about 30 minutes, we checked out Tesla’s car thoroughly. And we realized that Tesla’s market valuation and brand perception is way higher than all the others, despite the difference in the cars they manufacture. Recently, Tesla’s stock price touched $1000 per unit, so, the question resurfaced in my mind: Why is it like this?
Transformation Leadership Disruption The Future ofTransformation – some call it digital transformation while some treat it as a business transformation. Nonetheless, transformation is a significant undertaking. Now the challenge is this; we are in the middle of a crisis, a significant disruption, and this makes things even more difficult for everyone. So, the critical question is, how do you lead transformation through the disruption? I will attempt to address this question in this article. Moreover, even if it was not for the disruption, the advice will still be valid.
Transformation Innovation Leadership Disruption Artificial Intelligence The Future ofThere are two key characteristics defense forces exhibit, which corporates can learn from – the first is agility by design and second, mission-based approach. These two traits make them resilient and help in handling disruptions effectively. For any defense mission, tasks, resources, and success guarantee are critical, and it is the same for corporate projects too. Each mission begins with a small team that follows three high-level steps. I recently spoke with my army veteran friend to understand more.
Transformation Innovation Leadership Disruption Artificial Intelligence The Future ofThink of an onion - as you peel it, layer by layer, it starts to unpack a lot of punch. Traditional business models center around single-stream processes, which they manage and execute inhouse. It often creates bottlenecks and increases dependencies. But more importantly, it has an adaptability problem with changing customer demands. Artificial Intelligence and other technologies are enabling significant changes in the economy. Now the time is ripe to make transformative changes; hence business as a platform!
Transformation Innovation Leadership Disruption Artificial Intelligence The Future ofThere is an exciting and emerging trend being seen in organizations these days. Most of them now have at least three different generations in their employee mix. It is interesting because each of these generations looks at management principles and leadership quite differently. Nowadays, most of the employees do not want to be told what to do. Instead, they want leaders to trust them for being capable of doing the right thing. Most of the management principles are not applicable anymore.
Transformation Innovation Disruption Artificial Intelligence Internet of Things The Future ofMachines make mistakes, just like humans do, and they will keep making them in the future too. Businesses must accept this fact and know that machines, much like humans, also need attention, retraining, and a performance improvement plan before they go live again. Do not get carried away and assume that just because we have cool technology, we can use it to solve every problem around us. Emerging technologies are new hammers, let us avoid treating all of the issues as nails and avoid rushing into the emerging future. It is challenging to undo strategic and technological mistakes these days. Sometimes, it is better to deal with humans than machines, sanity is the key!
Disruption Artificial IntelligenceIn the AI world, there is often a debate around the need for being responsible when explainable AI is possible. And, I think both are necessary as they serve different scenarios. I think if you do an excellent job of being responsible, explainability will not be an issue, because that would rarely or never be required. But, incidents happen, so pragmatically, you must insist on both. People must behave responsibly with technology whilst technology must be explainable!
Transformation Innovation Leadership Disruption The Future ofWhat you see right now is not the future of work. But it is undoubtedly a perfect trigger to change several things at once. Adapt to the current working requirements with all the grace, but make no mistake; this is not the future of work. It is just the tip of the iceberg, call it a stimulus if you will. The good part is, no one has seen how the future of work looks; it is entirely a greenfield area. You can bring in transformative changes and become a business of the future, and show others what it is like to be the one.
Innovation Transformation The Future of DisruptionWe often hear that crisis breeds so much innovation. So, what leads to such innovation? If you can understand that, you can use it to our advantage and drive some beneficial changes in your organization. In my view, three factors come into play. These three factors are creativity, perspective, and the environment. If you want to leverage any crisis as a stepping stone, then understand these factors and do this.
Transformation Leadership Disruption The Future of“State administration has suspended 13 out of 75 colleges from the admission process,” told my friend as I was walking toward the interview venue. I was there for my university selection and admission process, and with utter shock, I nearly shouted, “What the…!” The news only came at the very last moment. So, you can imagine what I would have gone through when nearly 20% of the options were off the table. It affected the entire admissions process, and I lost my choice to study Computer Science Engineering. Whether it is uni-admission problems, Covid-19, recession, or any other crisis, none of them stays for long! But you must make sure that your response is coming from your better self.
Transformation Leadership Disruption The Future ofIndeed, the virus has caught everyone with pants down, and I don't think any sane company or individual will forget the lesson. However, don't be mistaken to believe that this is an unprecedented change. This change was due anyway in the next three to five years. The virus merely accelerated it. Had none of this would have happened, this was supposed to be the future anyway. Anyway, now it's here, and a better response to the situation is to adapt. A few years from now, what do we want to tell our children, colleagues, friends, and families? Do we want to regret it as we look back, or do we want to take pride in our actions?
Leadership Disruption Artificial Intelligence The Future ofArtificial Intelligence is the imitation of human-like intelligence by the non-human abstract agency. Although primarily we assign this term to the computer system only, I think there is merit in seeing it as a broader system that involves humans and machines together. Upon adopting this more expansive concept, you will realize that AI can be a company too! Just think about Google, Facebook, and other companies as a form of AI. Do you think that's plausible?
Leadership Disruption Artificial IntelligenceLast year when Apple launched a credit card, they also debuted in the technology bias domain. A wealthy tech entrepreneur (one of their own) was given ten times more credit limit than his wife on the new Apple Card. It was contrary to the fact that the couple had their assets held in common. When one complained, the answer was, "It is just the algorithm," Steve Wozniak (Appleâ€™s co-founder) said. Apple as well as Goldman Sachs, the bank backing the card, both were unable to explain, why's that! In layperson's term, it was more like, "Computer says so...!" jingle that any company will sing at you when they have declined you for a loan, or something similar. That is THE problem.
Leadership Disruption The Future ofThis decade is going to be a significant one for humanity as I see much disruption planted on the way. Last week, the first week of the new year was crowded with wishing messages and memes, gifs, greetings, and some other things. Many people have asked me about my goals for this year and if I have made any resolutions. This year, not! I think resolutions and goals are overrated these days. Typically, most of us would have made resolutions or goals for this year. And, as usual, some will follow through, and some will fall through. What if, instead of making any resolutions, we come up with the purpose or agenda for the year? I reckon that would be easier, wouldnâ€™t it?
Transformation Leadership Disruption The Future ofThere was once a man who lived by the side of the road and sold hot dogs. He was hard of hearing, so he had no radio. He had trouble with his eyes, so read no newspapers. Moreover, of course, he didn't watch television. However, he sold delicious hot dogs. He put up signs on the highway telling everyone how good they were, he stood on the side of the road and cried out to all that past, "Buy a hot dog, they are the best in town." So people bought his hot dogs, and he increased his meat and bun orders. He bought a bigger stove to take care of all the extra business. He finally got his son to come and help him out with his business.
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