Reflection on Scenarios & Strategic Foresight
As a digital leader, I should keep a reflective journey. This is because we tend to underestimate the future and I need to keep an open-mindedness to try doing things differently and think from a different perspective. I should surround myself with people from diverse backgrounds, and suspension of my judgement to find a creative and viable solution. I would need to train my brain to think differently and not shoot down new ideas. Instead of being too comfortable at my job, I should go out of my comfort zone and withhold judgement is the key to thinking about future scenarios. I would need to be a domain expert but with a beginner mindset at the same time, taking a long-term view and being prepared for all plausible futures.
I am accountable for leading the change now and being ready for the near future. There are only two options: adapt or die. Look at the blockbuster failure and disruption of Netflix. Look at Sony’s failure and domination of Apple’s iPod. Look at Kodak’s failure and replacement by the iPhone camera. The example goes on with changes in trends. Doing nothing as a response to the market is a real threat. I should think of a blue ocean strategy with differentiation and at a low cost on value creation. I would not prefer to compete on price in the red ocean, instead, I shall make the competition not relevant. I could adopt the ERRC (Eliminate, Raise, Reduce and Create) framework for innovation. Moonshot thinking would result in multiplier times of impact, but first I need the willingness to learn, not fail to fail. It’s not glamorous to fail but I have to stay audacious.
The key challenge and impediment to planning and evoking change are senior management tends to use convergent thinking and narrow down ideas. They are too busy with day-to-day operations and firefighting but do not have the time for divergent thinking. Sometimes we need to take a step back and tackle problems in the industry with unique ideas. It means we need the courage to make mistakes, fail fast and fail cheaply. It is not easy to have psychological safety in the workplace because our main job was to manage risk with a focus on short-term profit. It is especially difficult for a company to destroy its cash cow and pivot directions for a new disruption. Our daily job is a bias towards the short term and coordination is not easy at cooperate level. As an explorer, it needs to detach from the rest of the business while sustaining sponsorship support, remembering purpose and finding the right balance.
To adapt to change in the future, I would need stakeholder management skills, storytelling skills for others to believe in new trends and courage to challenge conventional group thinking. I would not dismiss science fiction technology because technology will find a use case eventually. The future is not based on what I know, but it could be based on what I do not know. The future is already here, it is just not evenly distributed. The first adopter is already using technology that will eventually a larger population adoption in the future. For example, an AI co-pilot is happening in programming, it will happen soon everyone has an AI co-pilot to assist our daily jobs. Space travel was limited to certain rich people, but it will soon be democratized and affordable to everyone. I should prepare myself by controlling and measuring the deliverables, commanding others to do the executable, influencing others, and being an advisor and facilitator.