There Is No Future In The Status Quo

There is no future in the status quo . . . Just ask Sears, Blockbuster, Novatel, Blackberry, Nokia, and the list goes on and on!

There is no future in doing things the way we have always done them! Status quo always ends in irrelevance and obsolescence!

As business leaders we need to continuously challenge ourselves and our organizations to innovate and improve. We need to shake up our industries and stop doing things because we have always done them that way. Rather, we need to start doing the right things smarter, more cost effective, more rapid, and error free!

For example, in the project engineering world, projects have continuously escalated in cost over the years. We have all heard of projects that started at $X billion and ended up costing 2 or 3 times $X billion! Now there are many reasons for this (refer to my mega-project article) but one of the major reasons is that we are simply not challenging the status quo. Instead, we doing things the way we have always done them . . . it seems more comfortable that way because change is uncomfortable!

Although an engineering project today has basically the same objectives as an engineering project 20 years ago, how we get from start to finish needs to be fundamentally changed! Engineering companies need to step back and re-evaluate their businesses to remove legacy mindsets, legacy tools, and outdated processes while implementing new and relevant ones.

Take the automation engineering world as an example. It is undergoing dramatic change because of technologies like:

How to Increase Your Productivity Using Boundaries

Blaise Pascal, the 17th century French philosopher, mathematician, scientist, inventor, and theologian once opined; “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.

This is a powerful statement coming from a man who lived in the 1600’s! This was before any sort of modern technology that we take for granted today. Now we are at a time where it is becoming more and more difficult to disconnect from the constant barrage of emails, text messages, Facebook messages, LinkedIn updates, Instagram feeds, cell phone calls, etc., etc.! Our world is accelerating forward at a pace like never before.

As business leaders in today’s world, it is critical for us to lead by example. This means establishing boundaries so that we can be as productive as possible. When we lead by example, the people around us will take notice and begin to structure their work practices in a similar productive fashion.

What Do Productivity Boundaries Look Like?

The 1-Page Marketing Plan

Get New Customers, Make More Money, And Stand Out From The Crowd

This week’s book review is The 1-Page Marketing Plan by Allan Dib.

Dib does an amazing job of describing the marketing process in an easy to understand and powerful format. I am a huge fan of simplifying complex topics and Dib does this for marketing. He clearly defines his 1-Page Marketing plan in a way that allows the reader to complete their own business marketing plan while they are reading through the book.

My takeaway from this book are the nine components of a marketing plan organized into three stages listed below and shown in the graphic below:

How to Align Your Organization Around Your Top 3 Priorities

Most people in today’s business world would agree that Ram Charan is an icon. He has written a number of best-selling business books, runs a consulting company out of Dallas, and has consulted with many of the largest companies globally.

So, when Charan describes tools that he uses to get organizational alignment, we should all take note and see if these tools can benefit us and our businesses.

In his book, The Attacker’s Advantage, he describes a tool that he uses to get business leaders to align around and focus on the most important strategic activities for their organizations.

I think we can all relate to the scenario where we assume our organizations have alignment around the same core objectives only to find out that people are focusing on very different and sometimes conflicting priorities.

I have seen this misalignment over the years both in organizations and within project teams. In fact, I remember a few painful project incidents where engineering disciplines had differing priorities that caused some significant project delays and cost overruns. These were totally avoidable if we were following Charan’s advice.

And, this is where the “Top 3 Priorities” tool comes in.

What Are Your Top 3 Priorities

How to Leverage Artificial Intelligence in Your Business

By now, most of us have heard about Artificial Intelligence (AI). Once the exclusive domain of science fiction and futuristic movies, it is now becoming prolific in many aspects of our society!

But do you understand what it is? Are you and your business prepared for AI and how are you leveraging it in your business today?

AI has been around and evolving since about 1956 and it is now advancing at a speed that is almost incomprehensible!

According to Ray Kurzweil, the speed of advancement of society today is accelerating exponentially. Furthermore, he asserts that the entire progress of the 20th century would have been achieved in only 20 years at the rate of advancement we saw in the year 2000. So, the rate of advancement in the year 2000 was 5 times as fast as the average in the entire previous century!

He believes that another 20th century’s worth of advancement happened between 2000 and 2014 and another will happen between 2014 and 2021! In a few decades after this, a 20th century’s worth of progress will take place multiple times in the same year and a decade later it will happen multiple times in the same month!

Basically, it boils down to the “Law of Accelerating Returns.” Kurzweil believes that the 21st century will see 1000 times the progress as the 20th century!

A big part of the changes and advancement that we will see will be both in Artificial Intelligence and made possible by Artificial Intelligence.

Current State

The diagram below comes from a webcast from Dr. Kai-Fu Lee and Peter Diamandis. They classify AI into “waves” and show the high-profile companies that are leveraging AI into the core of their business.

  • 1 – Internet AI
  • 2 – Business AI
  • 3 – Perception AI
  • 4 – Autonomous AI