Brain Change and Digital Strategies

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The renowned military strategist John Boyd taught that people and institutions collect favorite philosophies, strategies, theories and ideologies over a period of time, and then try to align the future to fit them.  The problem with this is the future is rarely like the past, and trying to fit new data into old paradigms often forces us to perform irrational mental gymnastics, which leaves us farther from the truth.

Our resistance to change and unwillingness to question our beliefs in the face of mounting evidence, leads us to analytical and execution failure. A more productive habit would be to continuously review our mental constructs to find out how to modify our interpretations to align with new evidence.  This action, however, goes against our human nature that seeks stability and resists change.  We see the consequences of these challenges weekly as we read about companies (especially retail) failing as a result of their resistance. In the future, developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning will have the potential to help us overcome many of our own mental weaknesses that cause us problems in our pursuit of truth.

In the digital era, our ability to change our thinking becomes even more critical as it must happen at a faster rate.  I remember when updates to an enterprise’s mobile apps required all users to bring their mobile devices into the office to get them loaded and tested.  This was a slow, tedious and expensive process.  Today, as we all know, this can be done worldwide instantly and for very little money through cloud based app stores.  Digital transformation equals speed and accelerated change.

In a world of integrated digital platforms and systems, every new digital innovation can potentially impact everything. This was vividly reinforced as I was studying block chain.  Block chain can impact many different areas of a business.

The bottom line – one of the biggest factors determining the digital transformation winners of tomorrow will be the brains of leaders – their mental constructs.  Can executives and boards look at new evidence and innovations without biases, resistance to change and prejudices, and grasp how economies, industries, markets and competition will be impacted?  Can they learn about new digital innovations, understand the breadth of the impact, and develop new business strategies based on the new realities? Can they overcome themselves?

It is quite the irony that digital winners will be not simply those with the best digital technologies, but those that can best overcome their own human brains.

Kevin Benedict

Kevin Benedict is an opinionated Senior Analyst at Cognizant's Center for the Future of Work, where he analyzes emerging technology trends. He has worked with enterprise IT systems and ERPs for over 30 years, rising from an IT business analyst to the CEO of a mobile platform company. Today he is a popular technology analyst, Futurist, keynote speaker and lecturer. He is also an SAP Mentor Alumnus, Digital Transformation Influencer, and continues to write on mobile and digital strategies for publications around the world. In the past four years he has shared his insights and research with companies in 17 different countries, and has over 10,000 followers on Twitter that read his weekly technology and business insights. Profile Summary: -Founder/Principal Consultant, Independent Mobility Analyst, Netcentric Strategies LLC -Veteran Mobile Industry Executive -SAP/Crossgate Product Evangelist and SAP Relationship Manager -Eight years experience in leading-edge mobile and enterprise software technologies -Twenty years of successful enterprise software sales and marketing experience -Eleven years of international business sales experience -Author of many product and mobile solutions datasheets, whitepapers, technology papers and press releases on customer wins and software solutions -In-depth experience with Web 2.0 and online marketing strategies and initiatives -Seminar leader, trainer and conference speaker on many subjects related to field services automation, mobile business technologies and B2B E-Commerce -Management experience includes operating a start-up mobile technologies company, international sales teams, global marketing, business plan development, product management and sales channel development -Featured speaker at Psion Teklogix’s 2008 Mobile Technology Leadership Series -Recipient of SAP's Top Contributor Award in 2009, 2010 and 2011 Specialties: Mobile and digital transformation strategies, writing, keynote speaker

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