The Pending Emerging Technology Revolution
Perhaps the best way to examine the issues and opportunities created by this period of emerging technology-driven disruptive change is to ask ourselves these questions: Are you as an individual/professional and as a leader willing to accept that a course correction is becoming necessary? Given the emerging technology adoption that is about to take place in your environment, what is the proper trajectory through this period of disruptive change? What must you do as an individual/professional to prepare for your role in this challenging period that is right ahead of us? What will it take to become resilient in this coming period of disruptive change? These questions became more relevant after the President of the United States/White House’s release of the “Interim National Security Strategic Guidance” (INSSG). This document requires the expansion of the science and technology workforce, which is essential to compete globally!
Many executives, directors, and officers have spent their entire career, honing their skillsets, reputations, and experience in what is their organization’s current core competencies. Many find it difficult to retool and transform themselves to move to a new and riskier role supporting the transformation of an organization to meet the challenges of the dawning period of accelerated disruptive innovation. The changes in the global business world have caused technology to explode from the confines of the IT department to now a core element of competitive business operations, management, and strategy. It is on the desks of executives, directors, and officers and must be present regardless of industry or size. Arguably the best way one should think about this is to consider what it takes to disrupt yourself and the organization(s) you serve.
Well-known author, educator, and management consultant, Peter Drucker said, “Business has only two basic functions, marketing and innovation.” This is far more the case today than back when Peter Drucker made that statement. Today’s fast-paced disruptive innovation demands the continual focus of decision-makers and most professionals throughout every organization. This is not a one-and-done task. It requires continuous monitoring and analysis as the emerging technologies evolve and are applied to real-world challenges. Decision-makers must work with thought-leaders, technology visionaries, and Subject Matter Experts to identify and understand the challenges, risks, and tradeoffs of being out on the leading edge of this period of disruptive innovation. Will you be a disruptor or get disrupted, your actions influence the answer!
The innovative integration of multiple cutting-edge emerging technologies is about to deliver value from new efficiencies, increases in effectiveness, and new opportunities. They also create new risks and disruptive influences as they are deployed. In some areas, the combined implications of multiple elements of this new wave of technology create an existential threat to our existing mental models. This is particularly the case when it comes to the creation of new stakeholder expectations that come along with these emerging technologies. Making the right decisions and providing the right guidance requires some knowledge about the disruptive changes that will likely take place in the near term and what is bringing about those changes. But where will leaders get that knowledge and the workers with the new skills?
Given the advancement and accelerated implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI), much of the workforce must work to become comfortable teaming with machines/robots that are quickly becoming an important part of the workplace. Think about the new skillset that requires.
Perhaps it is time for all of us to take a step back and objectively assess the Disruptive Innovation Quotient (DIQ) of ourselves and our organization(s). This measures your understanding of the value of emerging technologies and their potential, both positive and negative in your environment. After all, currently, DIQ is increasingly being recognized as an important aspect of success. Nearly everyone’s ability to succeed as a professional/leader in the global economy of today is directly linked with your ability to rapidly respond to the growing number of challenges that have begun to appear on nearly every future radar. What is the next normal for us, our organization(s), and the environment in which we operate? These are the billion-dollar questions for today’s leaders or the leaders of the not-so-distant future! What is amazing is how slowly this has begun to trickle throughout the workforce and not just at the very top of the organization! One thing is evident, the adaptation must be accelerated!