Archive for: December, 2016

Game-Changer’s Most Popular Posts of 2016

Game-Changer's Most Popular Posts of 2016

2016 is over. What a year. In terms of writing, this year was was my most varied and productive yet. As 2016 comes to a close, I want to share the 10 most popular posts from the year. These posts cover a range of topics, but the overall theme is hard to miss: being future-proof is more important as ever as we enter the Next Economy. Economies are undergoing the greatest shift since the industrial revolution, and it’s time for organizations to work together and chart a new course forward.

Enjoy!


10 Emerging Technologies that will drive the Next Economy

2016 might have been the year AI finally came of age, and from here on out it will only get more interesting and more annoying because everyone will pitch it forth and center as a unique competitive advantage.

AI underpins all technologies, including AR and VR, genetics, and drones. The Next Economy is going to look very different as new technologies will enable new interactions and business models.


Solving the 10 most common innovation challenges

Innovation doesn’t happen in a straight line, the greatest enemy is corporate culture. In this post I lay out 10 common innovation challenges inside organizations and how to solve them.


Innovation isn’t a job

Innovation isn’t a job, it’s a mindset. A better way to look at “innovation is everyone’s job” is: Not everyone is cut out to be an innovator, but everyone can point out things that can be done better.


Want To Hire Innovators? Here’s How You’re Dismissing Them

Hiring 101 says that one should hire for culture-fit. The problem with this idea is it leads to complacency and closed mindedness; which blocks innovation. If you want innovators you have to hire for cultural contribution.


How Do You Learn How To Learn? Learn From Learners

A culture of innovation is a culture of learning. In this post I lay out a few ways how you can become better at learning…


Creativity At Work: How To Implement And Manage It So It Delivers Innovation

To manage for innovation is to manage for creativity. In this post I lay out 6 things that companies and managers can do to support and inspire creative work.


How Technology is Disrupting Geopolitics with Abishur Prakash

On this episode of the Big Bang podcast I chat with Geopolitical Futurist Abishur Prakash about his new book Next Geopolitics where he lays out how technology is changing geopolitics.


Most Bosses Don’t Know What Purpose Is

What are the most important leadership skills? According to a study, the ability to inspire and motivate others is most important at all levels. Yet, most leaders don’t understand how to inspire…


How Do You Train People In Jobs That Are Yet To Exist?

Education is ripe for reinvention. With the rise of AI, many jobs will eventually be automated. That means we need to sharpen and further develop the skills at which AI is not good at: empathy, creativity and collaboration.


The attitude needed to be a better forecaster…and innovator

Best forecasters (& innovators) have ability to keep changing their minds. “Experts” are overrated.

Chaos Learning: The Key To Mastering Uncertainty

how to master uncertainty

It’s a given that The Next Economy will be driven by 10 essential technologies, some of which are already a big part of our daily lives. What’s not a given is we don’t know how everything will play out. Still, it is imperative for leaders to understand how these technologies will shape business and society, for every organization is slowly turning into a technology company but are not acting like one.

This changes how leaders think about strategy.

Innovators Don’t Outwork Non-innovators, They Out-think and Out-execute Them

outthink

Ask any person or team who’s ever worked on and delivered a better future about their process and they’ll tell you it was a messy journey; not a straight line. Those of us who’ve been in the trenches know that delivering the future doesn’t happen in a straight line, as most things rarely do, yet most people want to believe there’s a silver bullet prescription, secret, hack, tip and the like to follow to avoid the mess that is innovation.

There isn’t one.

Sure, there are methodologies that are growing with popularity every day but following them to the T doesn’t guarantee anything. You might eliminate a few headaches here and there but for the most part their value is in helping you think through things, giving you a sense of security and certainty; not giving you the right answer.

The Real Challenge of Leadership

innovate or die

I’m writing this post for my friend Julio, who I hope takes the leadership challenge head on…

Innovative leaders are cut from a different cloth from traditional ones. It’s why you just can’t assume that giving leaders a set of tools to help their organization innovate will work; it goes deeper than that.

All businesses at some point become addicted to stability, and the people leading the organization become “maintainers of the status quo”; don’t break it or you’ll get fired.

It’s all about avoiding difficult times and enjoying stability.

On the other hand, innovative leaders who push their organization to achieve breakthrough performance know that tough times are inevitable, they just come with the territory.

How Technology is Disrupting Geopolitics with Abishur Prakash

next geopolitics abishur prakashThe Next Economy will be driven by emergent technologies, bringing new possibilities for a better future along with many challenges for the world economy.

But, how is technology changing geopolitics?

To answer this question I chat with Geopolitical Futurist Abishur Prakash who recently released a book on how new technologies, such as robotics, artificial intelligence, embryo editing, space colonization and more will transform world affairs; the book is called Next Geopolitics.

Amazon Go: Freedom from Checkouts and a Sign of Automation To Come

amazon go

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” — Authur C. Clarke

When technology works, it works like magic. Amazon just announced its vision for the future of retail: a smart store that knows when you’ve selected an item, and automatically charges you for your selected items upon leaving the store. There are no cashiers, no registers, and no checkout lines.

Powered by artificial intelligence and sensors, this concept, called “Amazon Go,” eliminates the worst aspect of the grocery store experience: waiting in line to buy your items.

Think about any grocery store visit you’ve had: It can be fun to look at all the food, navigate and browse the aisles, pick various foods and throw them into your cart. But the food-shopping experience almost always turns sour when you get to the checkout part. Even when there are no lines, the checkout process is slow, you have to look at all the items you selected again as they get scanned, and then you have to pay for everything, sign a receipt, and wait for all of your food to be placed into bags.

It takes time, a lot of waiting, and it’s generally boring.

That’s why Amazon Go is a sound concept. There, the whole shopping experience happens on your phone, specifically, you download the Amazon Go app before visiting the store, scan a QR code to get in, and the store recognizes which items you’ve selected and charges your Amazon account once you’ve left the store.

Easy.

So, is there a lesson here for businesses?

Automation is coming

Amazon brought its 1-click online shopping to the offline store, setting the stage for a world where offline retail is going to look alike its digital version in that there is no waiting in line. This is another sign that automation is coming: one of the biggest tech companies, with considerable capability in logistics and artificial intelligence, is putting a stake in the sand and is planning to build 2,000 grocery stores across the U.S. in the next decade.

Amazon is not the first company to take on the “waiting in line to buy your items” challenge, Apple, McDonalds and Disney have approached it differently; but Amazon is setting the standard in the grocery category and thus showing what full automation might look like and how it will affect minimum wage jobs in the service industry and beyond.

Some may believe that interacting with humans is a key for customer experience. I believe it’s important in the right situations, not all the time. AI will enhance the customer experience by eliminating common hassles that people have come to accept as a given; not mess it up.

It’s inevitable that AI technologies will make their way to every industry, the companies best positioned to push it are the big ones like Microsoft, Google and Amazon; established business take note.

Reset people’s expectations

Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” technology might make Grab-and-Go the norm across every retail category. Why? We are living in the Age of Efficiency, where computing is anticipating our every need making our lives simpler and more convenient without having to go through time-wasting hassles.

Tech companies are responsible for this, and non-tech companies better take note because people’s expectations are being reset to expect more efficiency in their day to day activities.

Soon, we might hear people say: I wish every business were like Amazon!”.

Innovation is about solving real problems

Some believe this is just hype. It’s not. Innovation is about solving real problems, not just creating gimmicks to gain attention. Amazon went after the worst aspect of the retail experience and used AI technologies to figure out how to eliminate waiting in line to buy your items.

Entrepreneurs and business leaders should take note and learn from Amazon on how to approach innovation. Like Google, Amazon is also known to entertain wild ideas that get headlines that rarely make it into the world, but both are focused on solving real problems. Entertaining wild ideas is a form of experimentation, testing for hints on how something might and not work and course correcting as you learn.

Remember, there is no innovation without experimentation.

Ask yourself: what is my industry’s biggest pain in the ass and why hasn’t anyone solved it? How might we eliminate that pain in the ass? How might we make this vision of how it could be real?


Bottom line: This is a bold move by Amazon, but not surprising. Amazon understands that in the future every business is a dead business if they’re not digital. There are many problems legacy industries have that will be eliminated with technology; it always happens.