I had the great fortune of working with three very accomplished futurists in the production of our upcoming course titled: Reimagining the Future – A Journey through the Looking Glass. SAP’s Susan Galer interviewed these futurists in support of the course launch on May 23rd. The SAP Post provides a glimpse into the course, with thoughts from futurists and industry leaders. Here are several quotes from the post.
The driverless car is one of many emerging future scenarios that drive multiple paradigm shifts. As these shifts converge, they intensify the critical need for leaders to think differently about a world where the future arrives faster than people think. This speed is unappreciated, undermining the levels of urgency required to survive in this exponential age. I sat with Chunka Mui recently to discuss these shifts, using the driverless car to explore the challenges of our emerging future.
Chunka Mui is the managing director of the Devil’s Advocate Group, a consulting group that helps organizations design and stress test their innovation strategies. As a consultant on strategy and innovation, Mr. Mui has spent considerable time analyzing the driverless car scenario. He asked a question in his book The New Killer Apps about autonomous vehicles and what happens if traffic accidents are reduced by 90% as Google predicts. This simple question makes visible the broad and deep implications of these future scenarios. As society responds to their implications, new ecosystems emerge that alter our world. In this case, the driverless car is one of numerous components of an emerging mobility ecosystem that is defined by the responses that are playing out right now.
I will share insights from our interview in a series of posts, starting with this one. In this segment of the interview, Mr. Mui and I discussed the growing need to rehearse the future.
At a recent news conference, U.S. federal transportation officials described Talking Cars and their ability to avoid deadly crashes by seeing it coming before you do. The U.S. government will likely require automakers to equip new vehicles with technology that lets cars warn each other if trouble lies ahead. A radio signal would continually transmit a vehicle’s position, heading, speed, and other information. Your vehicle would receive the same information back from other cars, and the on board computer would alert its driver to an impending collision. Alerts would come in varying forms: a flashing message, an audible warning, or a driver’s seat that rumbles. Some systems might even automatically brake to avoid an accident if that option is included. Examples of what the technology enables:
“The pace of innovation is about to surge – and more powerfully than ever before”
That sentiment comes straight from a new book titled: The New Killer Apps: How Large Companies Can Out-Innovate Start-Ups. As obvious as that statement seems, many leaders still act as if nothing is really changing – or any impact to their business is too far into the future to worry. This well written book focuses on the problem with this kind of thinking. Anyone that has worked in a corporate setting will resonate with the challenges identified in this book. Behavior at every level of an organization is the biggest obstacle to innovation and the identification of what the authors call “Doomsday Scenarios”. Most of us are familiar with traditional company politics and turf-driven behaviors. The authors conclude as I have, that most bias in an organization goes toward keeping the status quo.