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Showing posts from May, 2020

Covid-19 and the Value of Ideas

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I was recently on a call with a client who asked, “In addition to your standard services, what new ideas are you bringing to the table?”  The client obviously placed a high value on ideas.   Competitive advantages first start as ideas.  A single competitive advantage can open doors to a tsunami of additional advantages and economic benefits ( Advantages=A² ).  For example, innovators and leaders always see data that laggards can’t.  That data can be used to guide new product roadmaps, marketing opportunities, sales, improvements and innovations. The value of new ideas, however, can only be realized if acted upon.  I have personal journals full of good ideas with little to no value.  I never acted.  I can’t tell you how many times I have exclaimed to my wife, “That was MY idea!”, after having read about another company acting upon my latent good ideas. Why hadn’t I acted?  Most often it had to do with time and focus.  My work at the time was not focused on “acting upon” t

Covid-19 and the Role of a Futurist

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Early Futurist Futurist Frank Diana leads Tata Consultancy Services' Future of Business team.  When people ask his predictions about the future he often responds, “We don’t predict, we identify and consider possible scenarios.”  He is also fond of saying that most predictions made after a crisis are wrong.  It’s not picking one future scenario to place a bet on that is the role of a futurist, rather identifying many possible scenarios and then monitoring and tracking which are becoming more likely or not - given new and continuous inputs. What then is the role of a futurist during a pandemic like Covid-19?  As a Futurist myself working on Frank’s team I can say we focus on how Covid-19 is altering the trajectory of various trends and acting as an accelerate or inhibitor to change.  The value of course is for leaders to use these insights to best position their businesses to succeed.

The Innovators' Equation for Success

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Thomas Edison's innovative, gifted and future thinking finance and operations expert was Samuel Insull.  While Edison was inventing, manufacturing and selling electric power plants to factory owners, Insull was studying the economics of the emerging electric generation industry.  The data he reviewed eventually helped motivate him to leave Edison's organizations to lead his own. The insights Insull gleaned from the data revealed there were alternative business models available for providing electricity to factories.  Rather than requiring every factory to buy and operate their own power plant, they could simply connect to an electric grid.  The data showed a large power plant connected to many factories could achieve far greater economies of scale that would generate higher profits and lower costs.  Insull understood that his insight was an advantage.  He also recognized that one advantage could in turn lead to many additional advantages down the road (An advantage mult

Innovating for Innovators with Expert Gabby Czertok, Founder of The Builders

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In this episode, global entrepreneurship expert Gabby Czertok, Founder of The Builders, shares how match making between large companies and start-ups are done, and how national entrepreneurship at scale is possible and the ecosystems necessary to support it. ************************************************************************ Kevin Benedict Partner | Futurist | Leadership Strategies at TCS View my profile on LinkedIn Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict Join the Linkedin Group Digital Intelligence ***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.

Using AI to Analyze CX Across the Business

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In this episode of Future of Business TV, we speak with expert Boaz Grinvald, CEO of Revuze about using the power of analytics and AI to understand customer experiences across the entire business.  Most businesses share some CX information with a limited segment of their leadership, but by using AI and automation, analytics can be shared across the entire business. ************************************************************************ Kevin Benedict Partner | Futurist | Leadership Strategies at TCS View my profile on LinkedIn Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict Join the Linkedin Group Digital Intelligence ***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.

AI, Autonomous Programming and Karma

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Autonomous Programming Recently an artificial intelligence system in China successfully passed a medical exam for the first time.  Potentially AI can soon provide high quality medical diagnoses remotely anywhere around the world, but I don't know about their bedside manner.   Another significant step in AI and robotics happen a couple of years ago in Saudi Arabia where they granted citizenship to a robot named Sophia.  I wonder if that robot will be forced to wear a burka?  With all these rapid advancements, I think it is time we explore the spiritual life of robots and artificial intelligence. Up until recently, human programmers coded and configured algorithms, AI, automation and machine learning system and took personal responsibility for all of their own code.  Today, however, AI has escaped the confines of human oversight and has been empowered and employed to self-program, self-optimize, self-test, self-configure and self-learn.   There are many emerging AI self

The Importance of Relativistic Competition and Theory

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In a race what matters most is your position relative to your competitors'.  If everyone in a race is slow, then the winner must simply be less slow.  It's all relative.  "It is not enough to do your best; you must know what to do, and then do your best." ~ W. Edwards Deming Given the importance of relativity in winning, it is critical to understand how you are positioned against your competitors even in business.  This has traditionally been a very difficult exercise because of the lack of data.  Today, however, systems that use artificial intelligence can scan millions of data sources, multiple languages and dozens of news feeds for information related to your competitors.  This data when given value scores can generate a competitive ranking number that can be used to determine relative positions in a competitive field.  “Without data you're just a person with an opinion.” ~ W. Edwards Deming Only one company can be in 1st place in a competi

Who Will Protect Us from AI? Expert Nigel Willson has some Ideas

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In this episode, I have the privilege of interviewing artificial intelligence expert Nigel Willson.  Nige spent twenty years working at Microsoft and much of it studying and speaking about artificial intelligence. He is now dedicating his time to helping societies, especially in the UK, understand how artificial intelligence should be monitored to ensure it is used for the common good. ************************************************************************ Kevin Benedict Partner | Futurist | Leadership Strategies at TCS View my profile on LinkedIn Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict Join the Linkedin Group Digital Intelligence ***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.

Space, Pandemics, Roman Roads and Air-Conditioners

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The author on a Roman Road The only definitive protection against the Covid-19 coronavirus so far in this pandemic is space – at least six feet of it.  Isn’t it interesting that space the infinite 3D realm in which all material objects are located and all events occur, is the solution to stopping a global pandemic?  Space between people, in great abundance in Idaho, is in high demand and low supply in many heavily populated urban environments where the Covid-19 coronavirus is having the deadliest impact. Krys Johnson, an epidemiologist at Temple University explains the origins of the six foot space for social distancing commonly referenced during the pandemic, "Six feet is the average distance that respiratory droplets from a sneeze or cough travel before they settle and are no longer likely to be inhaled by other people.”  Space offers protection and the more space, the more protection. In Roman times, soldiers were expected to be able to march at the pace of 20 mi

Human, Digital and Future Cadences on a Time Continuum

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Strategy is the art of making use of time and space. I am less concerned about the later than the former. Space we can recover, lost time never. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte Digital transformation involves the process of transforming a business from one state to another.  It is also about time.  An important part of this transformation is speeding up the cadence of business and information movement along the time continuum from human, digital and finally to future-time.  Businesses today must be capable of competing in all three of these cadences on the time continuum simultaneously. What are the time cadences on the time continuum? 1. Human-time – time cadence governed by our physical, biological and mental limitations as humans and the regulatory environments that we work within. 2. Digital-time – time cadence supported by the digital and mobile technologies used including computers, software applications and network transmission speeds. 3. Future-time – time cadence

Navigating a Pandemic with Dropbox's CMO Tifenn Dano Kwan

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In this episode,  I have an insightful conversation with Dropbox’s CMO Tifenn Dano Kwan on how Dropbox is navigating through the Covid-19 pandemic.  We talk about working from a home office, changing customer needs, marketing strategies and future trends.  Enjoy! ************************************************************************ Kevin Benedict Partner | Futurist | Leadership Strategies at TCS View my profile on LinkedIn Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict Join the Linkedin Group Digital Intelligence ***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.

Thinking Like a Futurist During a Pandemic with Frank Diana

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In this episode, I have the pleasure of learning from futurist Frank Diana as he shares his advice on how to think like a futurist during these chaotic times.  He walks us through his mental frameworks, concepts and methodologies, and shares how ecosystem thinking can help businesses survive and grow. ************************************************************************ Kevin Benedict Partner | Futurist | Leadership Strategies at TCS View my profile on LinkedIn Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict Join the Linkedin Group Digital Intelligence ***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.

Napoleon, True Competition and Pandemics

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Napoleon In 1809, a British military expedition of 40,000 soldiers was sent to Walcheren in the Netherlands to defeat Napoleon’s troops.  After a few light skirmishes, the French army evacuated and left the British occupiers to themselves.  After a few weeks the British began to get sick with “Walcheren Fever.” Soon over 4,000 British soldiers were dead and 12,000 were too sick to continue.  The competition for Walcheren was less about the French army and more about the fever. On June 24, 1812 Napoleon’s French army of 685,000 soldiers invaded Russia.  Over the next six months the French army won a long series of bloody battles.  Although winning nearly all the battles the French army still found itself in deep trouble.  The cold and wet of autumn and winter destroyed them.  They were forced to retreat back to France with only 27,000 out of the original 685,000 soldiers left.  Historians say that Napoleon didn’t lose to the Russian generals, rather to the weather.   Napol