How to Envision the Future

I remember back in 1997 when IBM’s Deep Blue defeated world chess champion Gary Kasparov. It was a big deal, a computer beating the best chess player ever. Well, now there’s an even bigger deal. Google’s Deep Mind just defeated Lee Sedol, the world’s best Go player. Go is an ancient board game in which circular stones are used to entrap one’s opponent. And it has even more permutations than chess.
What is remarkable is that Deep Mind was programmed to “think” – to learn how humans play, to adapt, and to get smarter with each game. Its victory is a major landmark in the development of Artificial Intelligence.
Think of the implications. It wasn’t that long ago that technology dramatically transformed manufacturing. With adaptive machines, the same thing is now likely to happen to services. (Do you think all those “expert” financial advisors should be worried?)
So, what to do? Take your leadership team through a visioning exercise. Here are the questions to ask:
     1)   How are adaptive machines likely to transform our industry?
     2)   What would the implications be for our business?
     3)   Will there be compelling opportunities we should exploit?
     4)   Will there be significant threats we should act on?
     5)   How should we best monitor how adaptive machines are
           transforming our industry?
Adaptive machines are the future of technology and the future of business. And adaptive leaders in adaptive organization are the ones who will thrive. If they first make the effort to envision.
Your thoughts?

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