The renowned military strategist John Boyd taught that people and institutions collect favorite philosophies, strategies, theories and ideologies over a period of time, and then try to align the future to fit them. The problem with this is the future is rarely like the past, and trying to fit new data into old paradigms often forces us to perform irrational mental gymnastics, which leaves us farther from the truth.
Our resistance to change and unwillingness to question our beliefs in the face of mounting evidence, leads us to analytical and execution failure. A more productive habit would be to continuously review our mental constructs to find out how to modify our interpretations to align with new evidence. This action, however, goes against our human nature that seeks stability and resists change. We see the consequences of these challenges weekly as we read about companies (especially retail) failing as a result of their resistance. In the future, developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning will have the potential to help us overcome many of our own mental weaknesses that cause us problems in our pursuit of truth.
In the digital era, our ability to change our thinking becomes even more critical as it must happen at a faster rate. I remember when updates to an enterprise’s mobile apps required all users to bring their mobile devices into the office to get them loaded and tested. This was a slow, tedious and expensive process. Today, as we all know, this can be done worldwide instantly and for very little money through cloud based app stores. Digital transformation equals speed and accelerated change.
In a world of integrated digital platforms and systems, new digital innovations can impact markets instantly and competitors must be able to react.
The bottom line - one of the biggest factors determining the digital transformation winners of tomorrow will be the brains of leaders – their mental constructs. Can executives and boards look at new evidence and innovations without biases, resistance to change and prejudices, and grasp how economies, industries, markets and competition will be impacted? Can they learn about new digital innovations, understand the breadth of the impact, and develop new business strategies based on the new realities? Can they overcome themselves?
It is quite the irony that digital winners will be not simply those with the best digital technologies, but those that can best overcome their own human brains.
I invite you to watch my latest video on digital technology trends.
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict, connect with me on LinkedIn or read more of my articles on digital transformation strategies here:
- Combinatorial Nature of Digital Technologies and Legos
- Digital Transformation from 40,000 feet
- Winning in Chaos - Digital Leaders
- 13 Recommended Actions for Digital Transformation in Retail
- Mistakes in Retail Digital Transformation
- Winning Strategies for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
- Digital Transformation - Mindset Differences
- Analyzing Retail Through Digital Lenses
- Digital Thinking and Beyond!
- Measuring the Pace of Change in the Fourth Industrial Revolution
- How Digital Thinking Separates Retail Leaders from Laggards
- To Bot, or Not to Bot
- Oils, Bots, AI and Clogged Arteries
- Artificial Intelligence Out of Doors in the Kingdom of Robots
- How Digital Leaders are Different
- The Three Tsunamis of Digital Transformation - Be Prepared!
- Bots, AI and the Next 40 Months
- You Only Have 40 Months to Digitally Transform
- Digital Technologies and the Greater Good
- Video Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
- Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
- Virtual Moves to Real in with Sensors and Digital Transformation
- Technology Must Disappear in 2017
- Merging Humans with AI and Machine Learning Systems
- In Defense of the Human Experience in a Digital World
- Profits that Kill in the Age of Digital Transformation
- Competing in Future Time and Digital Transformation
- Digital Hope and Redemption in the Digital Age
- Digital Transformation and the Role of Faster
- Digital Transformation and the Law of Thermodynamics
- Jettison the Heavy Baggage and Digitally Transform
- Digital Transformation - The Dark Side
- Business is Not as Usual in Digital Transformation
- 15 Rules for Winning in Digital Transformation
- The End Goal of Digital Transformation
- Digital Transformation and the Ignorance Penalty
- Surviving the Three Ages of Digital Transformation
- The Advantages of an Advantage in Digital Transformation
- From Digital to Hyper-Transformation
- Believers, Non-Believers and Digital Transformation
- Forces Driving the Digital Transformation Era
- Digital Transformation Requires Agility and Energy Measurement
- A Doctrine for Digital Transformation is Required
- Digital Transformation and Its Role in Mobility and Competition
- Digital Transformation - A Revolution in Precision Through IoT, Analytics and Mobility
- Competing in Digital Transformation and Mobility
- Ambiguity and Digital Transformation
- Digital Transformation and Mobility - Macro-Forces and Timing
- Mobile and IoT Technologies are Inside the Curve of Human Time
President, Principal Analyst, Futurist, the Center for Digital Intelligence™
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.