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Showing posts from February, 2020

Kevin Benedict's 26 Strategies for Career Advancement - 2020 Edition

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One of the most popular blog articles that I have ever written was on career advancement strategies.  One of the advantages of getting old is the ability to accumulate a lot of experiences and lessons.  Since the 2019 article seemed to be appreciated and useful, I have written a new edition for 2020 with eleven additional lessons learned. My Strategies for Career Advancement: Be an Expert - Create opportunities to be recognized by your employer’s leadership team. Become an expert in your field. Experts get recognized for their contributions by their communities, industries and employers. Be the person that has read more books, studied more industry reports, attended more training classes and networked with more experts. Become THE expert. Know your trends -  Know your industry's trends.  Know where your company fits in the industry, and where they rank against competition and why.  Know how the trends will impact your customers and prospects.  Talk about trends and their im

Culture and Humility as Competitive Advantages

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In 2019, I interviewed over one hundred business leaders .  In the course of these interviews and follow up discussions I learned a great deal - some of which I want to share here.  I have seen workforces that are united with their leaders in a desire to change and improve.  I have seen organizations that bring in all new leadership eager for change, but watched them fail because of institutional resistance.  I have seen leaders and workforces passionate about winning, but without the humility to learn from their customers.  I have witnessed how difficult it is to change. I have learned the human-work of solving problems, facing challenges and overcoming obstacles tends to share a common purpose: creating stable, secure and predictable environments. The tendency for most humans is that once we solve a challenge, we want to be done with it.  That propensity, however, does not fit with today’s reality of perpetual change.

Digital Transformation for the Greater Good

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Adam Smith wrote about rational self-interest, which posits we work for the greater good when it benefits ourselves.  But what is the greater good, and how does digital transformation impact it? I believe most of us would agree that replacing large numbers of humans with machines that result in wide scale unemployment and suffering is not in our rational self-interest or the greater good. Having massive numbers of jobs terminated by the Terminator does not result in a safer, healthier, happier civilization or vibrant economy.  So what is the greater good that we, out of rational self-interest, can strive for? Just because something is possible, and VCs will fund it, does not mean it supports the greater good. Technology that takes all meaningful jobs away from humans resulting in their suffering will soon become a target for their wrath.  I can already imagine brands placing badges on their products that certify "Human-Made" to gain a competitive advantage over machine-

Technologies Without Strategies

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Layers of GIS Maps Fingerspitzengef├╝h l:  The literal translation of this German word is finger tip feelings.   It is used to describe one's ability to maintain situational awareness by receiving real-time data.  The problem with fingerspitzengef├╝hl, in addition to difficult pronunciation - is knowing how much data a person needs in order to maintain situational awareness without it being too much.  Today we have data coming at us from every direction.  In fact, as I am writing this article I was notified that my security camera detected humans at my front door.  I now have situational awareness, but at the cost of distraction.  What is really needed is not just any information, but information that will materially impact one's ability to succeed.

Digital Transformation Requires a Doctrine

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Knights using Stirrups for Balance In my 30+ years in the high tech industry I have often heard the business maxim, “Develop a business strategy first, and then find the technology to support it.” This teaching I have come to believe is wrong. Let me support my argument by first asking a few questions.  What came first e-commerce or the Internet, mobile commerce or wireless networks, commercial airline travel or the airplane, knights in shiny armour being used as shock troops, or stirrups?  Answer: Stirrups of course!  Innovations and technology have a long history of appearing first, and then doctrines and strategies forming later. What we are learning is if your outdated business doctrines and strategies are dictating the speed of your technology adoptions - you are in big trouble! The world is moving much too fast and organizations must now align the tempo of their business doctrine and strategy evolution with the pace of technology innovations and customer adoptions. &quo