Tag Archives: Revolution

Navigating the AI Revolution

Leveraging the Three Horizons for Tomorrow’s Triumphs

Navigating the AI Revolution - Leveraging the Three Horizons for Tomorrow's Triumphs

GUEST POST from Teresa Spangler

The future belongs to those who prepare for it today. As we stand at the dawn of the AI revolution, we must not merely adapt to change; we must anticipate it, shape it, and turn it to our advantage. Embracing the three horizons of AI is not just about technology or strategy; it’s about purpose – our purpose as leaders to guide our organizations, our people, and our society into a prosperous, equitable, and truly human future.

Teresa Spangler

As we turn the page on a year of profound transformation, the horizon of 2024 and beyond takes shape. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is steadfastly marching forward, and as leaders, the pressing call to pilot our organizations through these new frontiers couldn’t be more poignant. We must explore how executive leadership can initiate actionable measures today to harness tomorrow’s opportunities.

As the silhouette of 2024 looms ahead, we realize that maneuvering through the turbulent waters of change requires not just a reactive approach, but a meticulously charted plan. A navigational tool that can prove invaluable in this journey is the Three Horizons framework for futures planning. This framework allows us to methodically comprehend, envision, and shape our path through the cascading waves of AI development. By exploring each horizon in detail, we can create a strategic roadmap that integrates immediate actions, mid-term plans, and long-term visions. Let’s delve deeper into this process, beginning with the groundwork of understanding today’s AI landscape.

The Groundwork: Understanding Today’s AI Landscape – Horizon 1

Diving into the fast-paced whirlwind of AI, a comprehensive grasp of today’s landscape is the cornerstone for future triumphs. Familiarity with various AI technologies, like machine learning, natural language processing, robotics, and computer vision, is now an indispensable part of the executive toolkit. However, a theory is merely the starting point.

Turning this knowledge into strategic assets necessitates that you:

  • Actively interact with AI tools like, ChatGPT, DALL-E, DeepArt and DeepDream, Stable Diffusion, Midjourney …etc. Developing even rudimentary AI models with platforms like TensorFlow or PyTorch can shed light on AI’s potential and limitations. For instance, IBM’s Project Debater showcases how AI can understand the context and form logical arguments, pushing the boundary of natural language processing.
  • Forecast AI’s immediate future is leveraging trends in AI research, market dynamics, societal needs, and regulatory shifts. Access the best industry reports and collaborate with external experts that offer invaluable insights. A recent McKinsey report, for instance, found that companies integrating AI were nearly twice as likely to be top-quartile performers in their industry.

It’s widely acknowledged that AI will significantly alter the dynamics of how our world operates. While the intricacies of this transformation can seem complex, it’s certainly not an insurmountable challenge! The Three Horizons methodology is one of many effective strategies your organization can adopt to manage this transition. By strategically navigating through these horizons with a cohesive team and a well-articulated plan, your organization will be well-positioned to embrace the AI revolution. Here are a few other methodologies you might consider:

  1. Scenario Planning: This approach involves envisioning different future states and developing strategies to succeed in each potential scenario.
  2. Backcasting: Starting with a desirable future end-state, this method works backward to identify the strategic steps required to reach that goal.
  3. Roadmapping: This technique charts out the evolution of technologies and products, helping you understand how technological progress might affect your business over time.

Choosing the right methodology will depend on your specific circumstances and objectives. Regardless of the approach, remember that the key to success lies in aligning your team and developing a clear, comprehensive plan of action.

On to Horizon 2 & 3

Navigating the Waves: Crafting the Mid-Term AI Future – Horizon 2

As part of the C-suite, your role extends beyond mere reactions to change – you’re a herald of future trends. Structuring the mid-term AI future necessitates:

  • Assimilating the implications of AI for your industry. Evaluate how job roles might evolve, identify the ethical and privacy concerns, and understand the geopolitical interplays of AI on your global strategies. For instance, AI-driven automation could reshape employment, as seen with Amazon’s warehouse robots.
  • Tailoring a 3-5 year forecast using foresight platforms like FuturePlatform to incorporate technological breakthroughs, policy changes, societal trends, and economic factors. Staying informed about AI regulations through think tanks like the AI Now Institute can help you navigate this complex terrain.

Setting the Sails: Envisioning a Decade Ahead – Horizon 3

Leadership in the AI epoch means having the courage to gaze beyond the immediate future. For the long-term horizon, consider the following:

  • Contemplating the possibilities. Quantum computing, advanced neural networks, and sophisticated AI-human interfaces might be the norm a decade from now. Consider how Microsoft’s recent advancements in quantum computing could revolutionize data processing and analysis in your industry.
  • Employing scenario planning to prepare for a multitude of futures. Use strategic planning software like Lucid chart to visualize different assumptions about technological progress, regulatory changes, and societal evolution.
  • Formulating strategic plans based on these scenarios. The essence of leadership is making today’s decisions with an eye on tomorrow’s probabilities.
  • Maximize the power of external expertise. Benefit from programs like Plazabridge Group’s Innovation Pro™, Innofusion™ Transformation, Innofusion™ Sprint, and Innofusion™ Sustainability Assessment to aid your journey. These programs offer valuable outside perspectives that can enrich your understanding and application of AI. They provide fresh insights, hands-on experience, and expert guidance in navigating the complex AI landscape. Find out more [Learn more] to embark on your AI journey.

External experts act as crucial navigators in this AI expedition. They help decode ethical challenges, demystify technological complexities, and forecast future trends, equipping executives to make well-informed, strategic decisions in the face of AI’s rapid evolution.

As we draw closer to 2024, remember that we’re not merely spectators of the emerging AI revolution – we’re the trailblazers. As leaders, we have the power to do more than respond to change; we can architect it. The ripples of our leadership will extend beyond our organizations, shaping the very fabric of our society. The future isn’t something that simply happens to us – we’re active participants in its creation. Now is the time to embrace this momentous journey, and lead with boldness and determination.

Image credit: Unsplash

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Building a True Revolution

Building a True Revolution

GUEST POST from Greg Satell

“Revolution” is a term that gets thrown around a lot. There was an Industrial Revolution powered by steam and then another one powered by oil and electricity. The Green Revolution transformed the way we fed ourselves. Many political revolutions have overthrown powerful regimes and the digital revolution changed the way we work with information.

My friend Srdja Popović, who helped lead the Bulldozer Revolution that overthrew Slobodan Milošević in Serbia, told me that the goal of a revolution should be to become mainstream, to be mundane and ordinary. If you are successful it should be difficult to explain what was won because the previous order seems so unbelievable.

The problem with most would-be revolutionaries is that they seek exactly the opposite. All too often, they seek attention, excitement and crowds of admiring fans. Yet all that noise is likely to create enemies just as fast as it makes friends. True revolutions aren’t won in the streets or on the airwaves, but through smart strategies that transform basic beliefs.

A Shift in Paradigms

The idea of a paradigm shift was first established by Thomas Kuhn in his book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, which explained how scientific breakthroughs come to the fore. It starts with an established model, the kind we learn in school or during initial training for a career. Eventually, those models are shown to be untenable, and a period of instability ensues until a new paradigm can be created and adopted.

While Kuhn developed his theory to describe advancements in science, it has long been clear that it applies more broadly. For example, in my experiences in post-communist countries, the comfort of the broken, but relatively stable, system seemed to many to be preferable to the instability of change.

In the corporate world, models are not only mindsets, but are embedded in systems, processes and practices, which makes them especially pervasive. To bring change about, you need to disrupt basic operations and that comes with costs. Customers, partners and suppliers depend on the stability of how an organization does business.

So, the first step to driving change about is to create a new vision that can credibly replace the existing model without causing so much chaos that the perceived costs outweigh the benefits. As I explain in my book, Cascades, successful revolutionaries are more than just warriors, they are also educators that are able to mobilize others through the power of their vision.

Mobilizing Small Groups, Loosely Connected

We tend to think of revolutions as mass actions, such as protestors storming the streets or excited customers lining up outside an Apple store, yet they don’t start out that way. Revolutions begin with small groups, loosely connected, but united by a shared purpose.

For example, groups like the Cambridge Apostles and the Bloomsbury Group helped launch intellectual revolutions in early 20th century Cambridge. The Homebrew Computer Club helped bring about the digital revolution. Groups like Otpor, Kmara and Pora formed the grassroots of the Color Revolutions in the early 2000s.

What made these groups effective was their ability to connect and bring others in. For example the Homebrew Computer Club would hold convene informal gatherings at a bar after the more formal meetings of the club. In the Serbian revolution that overthrew Slobodan Milošević, Otpor used humor and street pranks to attract people to their cause.

Revolutions are driven by networks and power in networks emanates from the center. You move to the center by connecting out. That’s how you mobilize and gain influence. What you do with that power and influence, however, will determine if your revolution will succeed.

Influencing Institutional Change

Mobilization can be a powerful force but does not in itself create a revolution. To bring change about, you need to be able to influence institutions that have the power to drive change. For example, Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t write a single piece of legislation or decide a single court case but was able to influence the legislative and legal systems through his activism.

In his efforts to reform the Pentagon, Colonel John Boyd went outside the chain of command to brief congressional staffers and a small circle of journalists. As he gained support from Congress and the media, he was able to put pressure on the Generals and create a reform movement within the US military.

Now compare that to the Occupy Movement, which mobilized activists in 951 cities across 82 countries. However, they wanted to have nothing to do with institutions and actually refused opportunities to influence them. In fact, when Congressman John Lewis, himself a civil rights leader, showed up at a rally, they turned him away. Is it any wonder they never achieved any tangible change?

Make no mistake. If you truly want to bring change about, you have to mobilize somebody to influence something. Merely sending people out in the streets with signs won’t amount to much.

Preparing for the Counterrevolution

In his 2004 State of the Union Address, President Bush delivered a full-throated condemnation of same-sex marriage. Incensed, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom decided to unilaterally begin performing weddings for gay and lesbian couples at City Hall, in what was termed the Winter of Love. 4,027 couples were married before their nuptials were annulled by the California Supreme Court a month later.

The backlash was fierce and led Proposition 8, an amendment to the California Constitution that prohibited gay marriage, on the ballot. It was passed with a narrow majority of 52% of the electorate and was so harsh that it not only galvanized LGBT activists, but also began to sway public opinion.

The tide began to change when LBGT activists, began to appeal to values they shared with the general public, such as the right to live in committed relationships and raise happy, healthy families. In a Newsweek op-ed, Ted Olson, a conservative Republican lawyer who had previous served as President Bush’s Solicitor General, argued that legalizing same-sex marriage wasn’t strictly a gay issue, but would be “a recognition of basic American principles.”

Today, same sex marriage has become, to paraphrase my friend Srdja, mundane. It has become a part of everyday life that is widely accepted as the normal course of things. That’s when you know a revolution is complete. Not when the fervor of zealots drive people out into the streets, but when those in the mainstream begin to accept it as the normal course of business.

— Article courtesy of the Digital Tonto blog
— Image credit: Unsplash

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Five Immutable Laws of Change

Five Immutable Laws of Change

GUEST POST from Greg Satell

When I first arrived in Poland in 1997, change was all around me. It was like watching a society transform itself through time-lapse photography. Everywhere you looked, the country was shaking off decades of post-communist rust and striving to make good on the promise of 1989’s historic Round Table Agreement.

Yet it wasn’t until the fall of 2004 that I truly understood the power of change. By then, I was living in Kyiv, Ukraine and the entire country erupted in protests now known as the Orange Revolution. While Warsaw in the 90s was like rebuilding after a tornado hit, Ukraine was like being in the eye of the storm itself.

That experience led to a 15-year long journey of discovery and my book Cascades. What I found was that throughout history many have sought to create change and most have failed, but a few succeeded brilliantly. Starting out with very different challenges, philosophies and personalities, they eventually all arrived at the same principles that allowed them to prevail.

Law #1: The Status Quo Has Inertia On Its Side And Never Yields Gracefully

We tend to overvalue ideas. We think that if we have a good idea, people will immediately see its worth. Yet that’s hardly ever the case. As computer pioneer Howard Aiken put it, “Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats.”

Consider the case of Ignaz Semmelweis, who first came up with the idea that medical staff in hospitals should wash their hands before operating on patients. You would think that would be an obviously good idea. Nevertheless, he was ostracized for it and ended up dying in an insane asylum, ironically from an infection he contracted under care.

Semmelweis’s plight was tragic, but is also so amazingly common that the tendency for the establishment to reject ideas is referred to as the Semmelweis effect. In fact, while researching my book Mapping Innovation I interviewed dozens of successful innovators and I found that every single one had to overcome stiff resistance to transform their idea into something useful.

The fact that you will face opposition when protesting an authoritarian regime is obvious, but an organizational environment can be just as cutthroat. Make no mistake. If your idea is important and has real potential for impact, there will be some who will hate it and they will work to undermine it in ways that are dishonest, underhanded and deceptive.

That must be your primary design constraint.

Law #2: Small Groups, Loosely Connected, But United By Shared Purpose Drive Transformational Change

For decades, change consultants have been telling us that if we want to drive transformation, we should “start with a bang” and create a “sense of urgency” through a big communication campaign. The results have been atrocious. In fact, McKinsey has found that nearly three quarters of organizational transformations do not succeed.

It’s not hard to understand why. If there are people who are determined to see your change fail—and every significant change encounters resistance—than a “rally the troops” type of approach will only serve to alert those who oppose change that they better get started undermining it or it might actually happen.

Fortunately, science points to another way. The truth is that small groups, loosely connected, but united by a shared purpose drive transformational change. So instead of trying to convince everybody at once, identify those who are already enthusiastic about your idea, who want it to work as much as you do. Those are people you can empower to succeed and can help bring in others, who can bring in others still.

Yet identifying advocates is only part of the battle. You also need to find imbue the effort with purpose and give it meaning. Unfortunately, all too often the quest for purpose is treated as a communication exercise. It isn’t. For change to be meaningful it has to actually solve a problem that people care about.

Law #3: Revolutions Begin With a Cause, Not A Slogan

Every change effort starts with a grievance. There’s something that people don’t like and they want it to be different. In a social or political movement that may be a corrupt leader or a glaring injustice. In an organizational context it’s usually something like falling sales, unhappy customers, low employee morale or technological disruption.

Whatever the case may be, the first step toward bringing change about is understanding that getting mired in grievance won’t get you anywhere. You can’t just complain about things you don’t like, but must come up with an affirmative vision for how you would want things to be.

The best place to start is by asking yourself, “if I had the power to change anything, what would it look like?” Martin Luther King Jr.s vision for the civil rights movement was for a Beloved Community. Bill Gates’s vision for Microsoft was for a “computer on every desk and in every home.” A good vision should be aspirational, but not completely out of reach.

One of the things I found in my research is that successful change leaders don’t try to move from grievance to vision in one step, but rather identify a Keystone Change, which focuses on a clear and tangible goal, includes multiple stakeholders and paves the way for future change, to bridge the gap.

For King, the Keystone Change was voting rights. For Gates it was an easy-to-use operating system. For your vision, it will undoubtedly be something different. The salient point here is that every successful transformation I found started out with a Keystone Change, so that’s where you will want to start as well.

Law #4: Design Tactics That Mobilize People to Influence Institutions

Organizational change consultants often recommend that changemakers prepare a stakeholder map. This isn’t necessarily a bad idea, but it is somewhat inadequate because it fails to distinguish between different kinds of stakeholders. Some stakeholders are targets for mobilization and others are targets for influence.

For example, both parents and school boards are important stakeholders in education, but for very different reasons. School boards wield institutional power that can effect change, parents do not, so we mobilize parents to influence school boards, not the other way around. We need to approach constituencies and institutions in very different ways.

One of the things we’ve consistently found in our work helping organizations to drive transformational change is that leaders construe stakeholders far too narrowly. Fortunately, decades of non-violent activism have given us powerful tools for both: the Spectrum of Allies for constituencies and the Pillars of Support for institutions.

A crucial point to remember is that you can’t dictate change by mandate. You can’t overpower but must instead attract people and empower them so that they can take ownership of the cause and make it their own. You need to accept that people will do things for their own reasons, not for yours.

Most of all, remember that every action has to have a clear purpose and be directed at influencing specific institutions. So before taking any action, ask two questions: Who are we mobilizing and to influence what?

Law #5: Every Revolution Inspires Its Own Counter-Revolution

In the aftermath of the Orange Revolution we thought we had won. After all, we had stood up to the injustice of a falsified election and prevailed. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out that way. Five years later, Viktor Yanukovych, the same man who we had taken to the streets to prevent from office, rose to power in an election that international observers deemed free and fair. His corrupt and incompetent rule would trigger a second Ukrainian Revolution.

We find a similar pattern with many of the executives we work with. They work for months—and sometimes years—to get a project off the ground. Yet just when they think they’re turning the corner, when they’ve won executive sponsorship, signed up key partners and procured enough financing to have a realistic budget, all the sudden things seem to get mired down.

That’s no accident. Just because you’ve won a few early battles doesn’t mean opposition to your idea has melted away. On the contrary, faced with the fact that change may actually succeed, those who oppose it have probably just begun to redouble their efforts to undermine it. These efforts are often not overt, but they are there and can easily derail an initiative.

That’s why every change effort must learn how to survive victory. The truth is that change is always a journey, never a particular destination, which is why lasting change is always built on common ground. That doesn’t mean that you need to win over your fiercest critics, but it does mean you need to try to empathize with their perspective.

There is a reason why some change leaders succeed while others fail. At some point everybody needs to decide whether they would rather make a point or make a difference and, in the end, those that prevail choose the latter.

— Article courtesy of the Digital Tonto blog
— Image credit: Pexels

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How Collaborative Innovation is Revolutionizing the Healthcare Sector

How Collaborative Innovation is Revolutionizing the Healthcare Sector

GUEST POST from Chateau G Pato

In the rapidly evolving healthcare industry, traditional models of innovation are no longer sufficient. Today, the integration of technology, data-driven insights, and collaborative approaches is redefining the future of healthcare. In this thought leadership article, we will explore the powerful impact of collaborative innovation within the healthcare sector, highlighting two compelling case studies that demonstrate its transformative potential. Let’s dive in!

Case Study 1: Open Innovation Platforms in Drug Discovery

In the quest for new treatments, pharmaceutical companies are increasingly turning to collaborative innovation models. One remarkable example is the Open Innovation Drug Discovery (OIDD) project by Eli Lilly. Instead of relying solely on internal expertise, Lilly embraced external collaboration, opening up its early-stage research projects to the global scientific community. Through a secure online portal, scientists from diverse backgrounds and organizations could contribute their ideas and expertise, leading to accelerated scientific breakthroughs.

The OIDD project not only tapped into a vast pool of collective intelligence but also fostered a collaborative ecosystem that transcended organizational boundaries. By collaborating openly, Lilly expanded their research network, leading to a 30% increase in the number of partnerships and a substantial reduction in drug development costs. This collaborative innovation model benefited not only Lilly but also the broader healthcare community, as it democratized access to cutting-edge research and improved patient outcomes.

Case Study 2: Healthcare Hackathons for Accelerated Innovation

Hackathons, traditionally associated with the technology sector, are increasingly finding their place in healthcare innovation. These intensive collaborative events bring together diverse teams comprising clinicians, engineers, designers, and entrepreneurs to tackle pressing healthcare challenges. By leveraging their collective skills and viewpoints, these teams work relentlessly over a short period, converging new ideas into viable solutions.

One striking example is the MIT Hacking Medicine initiative, which has revolutionized the healthcare hackathon landscape. Through their hackathons, MIT has successfully addressed a wide range of healthcare problems, such as telemedicine, patient monitoring, and personalized medicine. Participants with different backgrounds join forces, benefiting from interdisciplinary collaboration and ultimately creating groundbreaking solutions. These innovations have the potential to transform patient care, improve healthcare access, and enhance operational efficiency across the sector.

To delve deeper into the transformative power of collaborative innovation within the healthcare industry, we recommend reading the in-depth article, Lead Innovation, Don’t Manage It by Arlen Meyers. This article offers a comprehensive exploration of collaborative innovation and its role in reshaping healthcare delivery.


As the healthcare sector advances, collaborative innovation is emerging as a powerful force for positive change. The case studies discussed above, along with numerous others, clearly demonstrate the significant impact that collaborative approaches can have on accelerating breakthroughs, fostering cross-disciplinary collaborations, and enhancing patient outcomes. By embracing collaborative innovation, healthcare organizations can tap into a broader collective intelligence, tackle complex challenges, and revolutionize the delivery of care. The future of healthcare lies in collaborative ecosystems, empowered by technology and driven by a shared vision of improving health and well-being.

SPECIAL BONUS: The very best change planners use a visual, collaborative approach to create their deliverables. A methodology and tools like those in Change Planning Toolkit™ can empower anyone to become great change planners themselves.

Image credit: Pexels

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