Ingenuity … Finding the magic of humanity in a world of digital technologies and intelligent robotics

June 21, 2017

We live in an incredible time.

More change in the next 10 years than in the last 250 years.

Combine the printing press and steam engine, light bulb and jet aircraft, automated production and space travel, microprocessors and the Internet, cell phones and driverless cars, and much more … and you still can’t imagine the impact of what is emerging right now.

For leaders there are huge questions:

  • How will you win in an age of digital technologies and intelligent robotics? The tsunami of new technologies can be overwhelming. The speed of change, the complexity of connectedness, and the fear of irrelevance. How can you embrace the future, and use these technologies, to move the world forwards, to drive innovation and growth?
  • What can big companies learn from youthful entrepreneurs and small businesses? It often feels like young start-ups have the advantage, but large organisations have unique assets too. They have more to lose, but to do nothing is the bigger risk. How can they embrace the future in relevant and audacious ways?
  • Why will human ingenuity triumph over machines and robots? Many fear that robots will take our jobs, and AI will outthink our brains. Not if we think different, and smarter. Humanity has unique assets that will never be matched, by what some see as “the point of singularity”. Instead we can harness the power and intelligence of technology to our advantage, to achieve more.

Ingenuity is about finding your magic.

The magic of humanity, of human creativity, to think and act beyond what has already been done.

In yourself as a leader. In your people as your unique asset. And in your customers and the wider communities in which your business has an impact.

“ingenuity” …  the quality of being clever, original, and inventive … the ability to solve difficult problems, often in original, clever, and inventive ways. Ingenuousness.

Ingenuity is ultimately about inspirational leadership, relentless innovation and accelerating growth.

“The one who follows the crowd will go no further than the crowd. The one who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been before …”

Analytics and optimisation, big data and automation, AI and robots, will take you where you know. Humanity, intuition and creativity will take you further.

There are 7 themes to my new book:

Future Leadership … Progress is about creating a better future for people, enabled by a better future for your business. As a business leader, how are you embracing these incredible changes in our world to create a better future? We can either wait for the future to arrive, or we can shape it to our advantage. Which will you choose?

  • What is the future of business?
  • Why business leaders desperately need a new perspective
  • The unlimited potential of human ingenuity

Rocket Fuel … Making sense of these incredible new technologies enables us to harness their potential in smarter ways. By grasping their essence we can adapt and apply their incredible capabilities to suit our needs, to support us. The alternative is to be fearful of our jobs, our society, and our future.

  • Every business is digital. Data, devices and globally distributed.
  • The 4th industrial revolution. Machine learning to 3D printing.
  • Beyond the singularity. Living with intelligent robots.

Super Human … Being more human in a technological world is about embracing it to make us better –  harnessing big data to make smarter decisions, utilising robotics to give us super strength. Humans have the advantages of imagination, emotion, creativity, empathy, sensing, engaging and more.

  • Why humans will beat machines
  • Augmenting reality, enabling people to do more
  • Smart power – the 7 unique qualities of humanity

Finding Magic … So how will you win in his incredible changing, technologically rampant, superhuman future? Where are the best opportunities to be remarkable, to innovate and grow? The best approach is to think from the future back, and as a result, you will choose different priorities for today.

  • Future back, fast forwards
  • Attitude and altitude, fusion and focus
  • Horizon planning for innovation and growth

Ingenuity Lab  … How do you turn the best ideas into fast practical action? Connecting the power of design thinking, lean execution, and agile delivery, we shape a new development path. It is like an incubator – collaborative and facilitated, building on what you know, to do more, faster and better.

  • Level 1 … Creative Amplifiers
  • Level 2 … Innovation Accelerators
  • Level 3 … Market Multipliers

Corporate Reinvention … Today’s winning companies are built on audacious ideas and contagious networks. They are global and local, big and small, physical and virtual – capturing the 800 million new consumers, engaging millennial minds, harnessing China’s new belt and roads.

  • Ideas and networks: Ideas that inspire and enable, networks that spread further and faster
  • Entrepreneurs inside: dreaming and delivering, fast and flexible, teams together
  • Innovative outside: social and sharing, human and collaborative, communal and exponential

Tomorrow Today … What does it take to be remarkable in this new world? Will you be a slave to technology, or harness its potential? Will you jump ahead, mentally and competitively, to shape the next incredible 10 years  to your advantage? How will you sustain it?

  • Heads up, not down. Forwards, not sideways. Growth, not survival.
  • Finding the magic in you, your team and your people.
  • Creating the future, whilst delivering today.

“You have to, in some ways, trust in the human spirit and in human ingenuity.”

This is a first draft of the concept … the title, subtitle and themes within the book … to develop, shape and enhance.

What do you think?

The book is ultimately for (visionary, inspirational) leaders, and how they mobilise their organisations to drive (smarter, relentless) innovation and (faster, future) growth.

It’s context is the fast-changing technological world. We all know it is digital, but beyond that is the rapid disruption of other technologies such as robotics and AI. Many people focus on that as a threat, but this book is about the opportunity. And in particular how technology can enable people to be better, organisations to be smarter, to do more. Connecting this to the broader ideas of social innovation creates a bigger human purpose for future business.

It is about the power and potential of people.

Of course many of these technologies are being harnessed by small, fast and entrepreneurial businesses. Therefore the big opportunity is also for the (big, old, lazy) existing companies to reinvent themselves, to be inspired and learn from the (small, new, fast) start-ups, and leverage their assets (brands, scale, people) in new ways. This is particularly crucial in mature markets, where automation eliminates the routine, and therefore people need to add value in more valuable and distinctive ways – to find a new creative premium.

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