Looking at a number of ongoing discussions on professional blogs, social responsibility is now a growing requirement for every organization and I would add professional. Interestingly enough, the project management profession is far from being exempt from this responsibility. An organization’s products, services, policies and programs are under increased scrutiny with respect to the implications these elements have on society. A subtle movement has been taking place for years that focuses on holding organizations accountable for fulfilling their civic duties and monitor their efforts to benefit society in general. It looks at an organization’s efforts to benefit the planet, people, prosperity and peace. All noble efforts to say the least. Some find this troubling because in many cases these undertakings run contrary to maximizing profits, which has been a primary focus for decades.
Emerging technologies bring with them some unique capabilities that some find troubling. There are some that are so troubled by one or more of these technologies, they take action. Artificial intelligence is one of the emerging technologies that has taken center stage when it comes to some being troubled. An interesting example became well publicized when Google employees and other protesters/critics voiced their concerns when Eric Schmidt delivered his keynote address at Stanford University’s AI conference. Another example came late in 2018 when workers at Amazon’s warehouse in Europe spoke out saying ‘we are not robots’ in their protests. Once again, these show a derivative implication from the disruption of emerging technologies. Could the protests impact programs and projects – yes. As a profession and as the person on point for delivery of initiatives that might be disputed, it is a risk that must be assessed and managed. On the other side of the coin, we may all be managing programs and projects that are clearly an organization’s undertaking within their social responsibility efforts.
THOUGHT: Carrie Underwood, American singer, songwriter, and fashion designer said, “Successful people have a social responsibility to make the world a better place and not just take from it.”
Check out the results of my poll asking if those responding organization was socially responsible.
When talking about break-through technologies - some place them together under the header of Exponential Innovation, while others put them together under Exponential Technology. No matter what you call them, they are those technologies where their capabilities (functionality, capacity and performance) doubles in each reporting period of time (typically annually). These technologies are at a point in their evolution where their price/performance makes them viable solutions to real-world problems that up until this point in time, could not have been functionally and/or economically addressed. Now let’s consider the current spike in the creation and discovery of advancements in technologies that bring with them creative products and services, innovative solutions, and breaking traditional best practices and or thought processes. Basically, we are talking about DRAMATIC CHANGE!
When discussing this topic, many are quick to point to the evolution of microprocessors (chips) as to the first initiation of such an occurrence and reporting. Regardless of its point of origin, it is changing how we must think about business strategy. Below are five of the more commonly referenced exponential technologies of today (alphabetical order).
Stop for a moment and think about these five technologies and the potential implications of their exponential advancement on your organization and more importantly, your career. Now consider this represents only a small percentage of the technologies commonly put under this same exponential innovation umbrella. How prepared are you and your organization? If you’re not, time is flying by. It might be a career limiting move if you fall behind or fail to catch up.
INSIGHT: John D. Rockefeller said, "Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great."
November 2019 - I was just named by Thinkers 360 one of the 'Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on FinTech'
When you think about it, you would have to think that this example of emerging technology under the quantum heading clearly fits into the category of disruption. Just recently, scientists at the universities of Alberta and Toronto have what is being described as a blue-prints for a "quantum battery." With so many breakthroughs being announced these days, you might wonder what’s the big deal. The big deal is that quantum batteries never lose their charge.
The global battery market is expected to grow at over 6.5% over the next few years. This places expectations for that global market at over $125 billion by 2025. While the quantum battery is not ready for prime time by any stretch of reality, perhaps after the next five years quantum batteries will be in a position to disrupt the status-quo!
Earlier this year, Forbes published an article titled, “Today's Companies Have a Technology Adoption Problem, Not an Innovation Problem.” By most accounts they are correct. As for emerging technology, some organizations don’t understand it, some believe they can’t afford it, others believe it is just not necessary. Whatever the reason, failure to monitor and adapt to emerging technology driven change is a big risk.
Leveraging these emerging technologies is necessary for any business to grow and prosper as well as for an increasing number to even survive! The following are the five most likely highly disrupted industries based on my analysis of the current state of emerging technologies. (In alphabetical order)
The way we live and work is changing. Emerging technologies have begun to have an intense effect on organizations large and small. There is a delicate balance that must be achieved between likely benefit(s) and the risk(s) of dealing with the new/unknown. Subject-matter Experts (SME) believe organizations need to take the first step. They commonly recommend ‘Pilot Projects’ as the best approach. Some suggest organizations seek and independent opinion from an objective third-party about the emerging technologies and or project(s). That is great advice before any organization jumps into the deep end of the emerging technology application pool. We all know what that means, more pilot programs and projects coming into our offices and being laid on our desks. Given the current workloads, resource shortages and increased expectations with regard to accelerating the delivery pace, the existing demand and overload sure looks like it will continue to increase with little regard to PM workload.
Insight: Douglas Rushkoff, American Journalist said, “When things begin accelerating wildly out of control, sometimes patience is the only answer. Press pause.”