The faster you go, the further you need to look ahead. That is from “Future Vision” by Richard Watson, the author of “Future Files”, “Future Minds” and “Digital Versus Human”. “Future vision” is a very good book to help you plan for the future, with a particular emphasis on scenario planning. But you need good information to develop those scenarios. All his books are worth reading. Richard Watson is on our list of VUCA guru’s. He is a pessimist. Ray Kurzweil, the singularity guy, is one of our other VUCA gurus; he is an optimist.
Stretch to 2040
Let’s stretch it to 2030/2040 for the craic. By that time singularity will have happened. We will have merged with technology and immortality is a real possibility.
That seems incredibly far-fetched, but that is because most of us do not understand the impact of exponential. The best book that described that effect is “The Second Machine Age”. It’s a fairly dark book on winner-take-all, robotics and AI.
AI is interesting. Watson reads 800 million pages per second. Every second. It is also twice as good as a surgeon at making the right diagnosis. If Watson is already better than a top surgeon, what else is it capable of? Is it a threat or an opportunity?
Audi has self-driving cars with different personalities but nobody knows how or why. The ghost is in the machine.
Google has 2 AI computers talking to each other in an encrypted language and a third one trying to break the encryption. So far without success. So this means there are now two AIs talking to each other, and we have no idea what they are talking about. That is a potential Skynet.
Although the book titled “The Seventh Sense” would suggest that AI is clever enough not to let us know that is has taken over.
If you want to go even darker, combine that with “Future Crimes”, a book about cybersecurity, data and privacy. Or a criminal AI (Don Watson)
Throw in Kevin Kelly’s “The Inevitable” and “What Technology Wants”, Steve Kotler’s “Tomorrow Land”, Michi Kaku’s “The Future of the Mind”, Brett Kings’ “Augmented” and Chris Anderson’s “Makers” and you get a weird mix of the art of the possible. Anything in tech. Nano, neuro, bio, genetics, materials, ICT, data, memory, quantum and the list goes on. Best described as a box of Lego blocks that are interchangeable and combinable. Which is why we are now talking brain web, sensor dust, nano paint, spider steel, laser space travel, self-driving cars, etc.
Lies and Statistics
It is unpredictable, hence “Future Babble”; we have no idea. But we do know some things for sure:
- climate (the book to read is “Climate Change”)
- platforms (Amazon, LinkedIn, Cortana, Google, Facebook, Watson) —> the book to read is “The Third Wave”.
- action = reaction
The Power of the Mind
Or instead of looking further ahead, you slow down and read books like “Work Clean”, “Code of the Extraordinary Mind”, and “The Buddha Mind”. Focus on being aware and mindful. I think that is where it lies for the future: meaning and purpose. Because soul is how you beat technology. When you look into this field you find lots of interesting books. Books like “Exponential Organisations” that talks about the importance of transformative purpose, to more hard-core books such as “Evolved Enterprise” and “Firms of Endearment”. These type of companies beat all metrics hands down. From 8 to 14 times more profitable.
Focus on passion, values, purpose and vision.
Which brings me to what we call the strategic box. Proud to say it was ahead of its time. Created by myself and Brian O’Kane in 2003 to help SMEs develop a strategy. I read a book called “Funky Business” and realised the environment was too unpredictable and that you could only focus on movement and simplification by developing a lens consisting of six statements and weekly targets.
Ask the universe
Rather than focusing on what may or may not happen, you should focus on clarity of your own vision, passion and purpose. If you believe in the “Tao of Physics” and “The Secret”, the universe or quantum physics will do the rest.