Mindset is absolutely everything in this world we live in, and having a specific mindset in the professional world is a quantifiable asset.
How we think on a daily basis determines our professional output, whether we are an entry-level employee, middle manager, or a C-suite executive. Out of those categories, having a positive mindset about your industry as a business leader is perhaps one of the most critical, as business leaders make integral decisions that trickle down through an organization, directly impacting employees at all levels.
Of course, maintaining a positive and even transformative professional mindset as a business leader is not as simple as motivational videos and literature may make it seem. The world both inside and outside of your industry has a direct impact on your mindset.
Common factors that may impact your professional mindset may include organizational culture, the state of the economy, or perhaps even personal home life, which all of us carry to the office in one way or another. But today, it is worth noting that disruptive digital technology is definitely a leading factor in the mindset of a business leader.
For many seasoned C-suite executives and other business leaders, there is still a sense that the good days are long behind us, and that too much is being transformed by exponential digital acceleration. For instance, Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is a digital transformation happening in nearly all industries. Given the connectivity of 5G alongside Edge Computing, both of which better facilitate the functionality of A.I., business processes will continue to become autonomous — a Hard Trend future certainty that you cannot change.
A business owner or C-suite executive at an organization that views A.I. as a threat to their organizational structure and many employee roles will naturally shut down any ideas that include its application. This in turn shuts a door on ways in which their business or organization can both positively transform their industry and continue to grow. Essentially, they have a pessimistic mindset and negative outlook on the future.
Largely, business executives and other leaders balk at new, disruptive technology like in the A.I. example above because they simply do not understand it. A lack of understanding around what exactly something like A.I. is erases entirely the potential for them to think exponentially about the transformative software and hardware applications.
Perhaps this comes from that same type of generalization that often encompasses talks about mindset that I mentioned earlier in this writing. Most of the marketing surrounding A.I. applications appears to legacy thinkers at businesses or organizations as robots taking jobs away from humans.
But whether you are “old school” in your thinking or fully embracing new technologies, the key to leveraging new technology exponentially and having a positive mindset toward them is quite literally by understanding what you might not already understand. Carve out small pockets of time to learn more about the technologies that directly impact your industry to develop an actual understanding behind their functionality instead of a general overview that leaves you with uncertainty.
In the Hard Trend Methodology that I teach in my Anticipatory Leader System, there is a component that business leaders and executives can actually create an impact with — Soft Trends. These are future possibilities surrounding Hard Trend future certainties that are more open to influence.
Artificial Intelligence itself is a Hard Trend as mentioned earlier; however, how A.I. is implemented is a Soft Trend that you can influence! Too often, new technologies are soaked up by industry leaders as one-trick ponies, when in reality there are boundless opportunities that surround them, all unique to their industry and more specifically, their organization itself.
If we isolate A.I. for a moment, how you implement A.I. at your organization to improve business processes or better serve your external customers is the Soft Trend that is open to influence. When you take a Soft Trend as such and use it to your organization’s advantage, you are thinking exponentially as a human in a digital world!
An accounting firm that shifts its mindset from believing that A.I. applications on the outside will steal their customers to a mindset of utilizing the A.I. internally in custom, unique ways to better serve customers will find significance and success in the industry.
Even if you think exponentially about how you implement autonomous digital technology at your organization, what sets you apart from competitors that utilize the same digital technology?
Human beings and their individual characteristics! Human competencies in our digital world coupled with autonomous technology like A.I. are vital to leveraging these digital advancements exponentially. This is commonly witnessed in the world of customer service. You can have the most advanced A.I. chatbot to help your customers 24/7; however, many from all generations still want to speak to a person to have their problem solved.
Pairing digital components with human cognition is how an organization offers unique services to its customers, stays ahead of the curve of disruption and change, and most importantly, fosters a positive Futureview® organization-wide. And with this newfound mindset around how to integrate digital technology with your human workforce exponentially, you as a business leader can now watch for more Hard Trends and be Anticipatory in thinking exponentially about what is to come.
Daniel Burrus is considered one of the world’s leading futurists on global trends and innovation. The New York Times has referred to him as one of the top three business gurus in the highest demand as a speaker. He is a strategic advisor to executives from Fortune 500 companies, helping them to accelerate innovation and results by develop game-changing strategies based on his proven methodologies for capitalizing on technology innovations and their future impact. His client list includes companies such as Microsoft, GE, American Express, Google, Deloitte, Procter & Gamble, Honda, and IBM. He is the author of seven books, including The New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller Flash Foresight, and his latest book The Anticipatory Organization. He is a featured writer with millions of monthly readers on the topics of innovation, change and the future and has appeared in Harvard Business Review, Wired, CNBC, and Huffington Post to name a few. He has been the featured subject of several PBS television specials and has appeared on programs such as CNN, Fox Business, and Bloomberg, and is quoted in a variety of publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Fortune, and Forbes. He has founded six businesses, four of which were national leaders in the United States in the first year. He is the CEO of Burrus Research, a research and consulting firm that monitors global advancements in technology driven trends to help clients profit from technological, social and business forces that are converging to create enormous, untapped opportunities. In 1983 he became the first and only futurist to accurately identify the twenty technologies that would become the driving force of business and economic change for decades to come. He also linked exponential computing advances to economic value creation. His specialties are technology-driven trends, strategic innovation, strategic advising and planning, business keynote presentations.