Escape The Trap Of Incremental Thinking

By Shreyas Dukle, CIO-Mahindra Partner Companies, & Gr CIO Office at M&M Ltd

Escape The Trap Of  Incremental ThinkingVUCA world, Digital disruption and business transformations are all effects of the pace of change of technology which is driving organizations crazy and surprising people on professional as well as personal front. How does one update and upgrade oneself to remain in the main stream without getting disrupted.

Digital disruption is the change that occurs when new digital technologies and business models affect the value proposition of existing goods and services. Customer tastes are changing, and technologies are capable of keeping customers hooked on to the services. In this process of change, the products are getting converted to services. In fact, some products have been sold as product but were fundamentally a service and were sold as products because it was difficult to measure the consumption. Digital technologies can now convert these products to services. (E.g. filtered water, insurance as per use, mobility when needed) The business models are changing, as well as new models are evolving, and so the businesses need to transform.

Products getting obsolete with changing times are nothing new. In just 13 years, 5th Avenue in NewYork saw the horse carts replaced by cars. Times of London in 1884, due to increasing number of horse carts, predicted that “In 50 years every street in London will be buried under nine feet of manure” - however that did not happen due to the shift to cars.

Similarly, “Television won't be able to hold on to any market it captures  after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.” Quoted by Darryl Zanuck, executive at 20th century fox, 1946 is completely void today with not just TV but the smartphones in everyone’s palm and in front of eyes.

Predictions have gone wrong due to pace of technology change. Tech adoption S-Curve showing a steep ascent and over the years has proved that the adoption has been quicker.

The world of digital is nothing but convergence of technologies and it is not necessary that only one will play the role of driving the change. Changes are happening faster than our thoughts, so it is not only that we need to think faster but also smarter.

To quote a few examples like,

• Bots or Robot Citizens, who will be the colleagues in tomorrow’s office, will redefine jobs or perhaps replace the need to go to a lawyer for a run of the mill legal advice.

Blockchain will disintermediate high quality data, lower the transaction costs along with transparency & immutability, bring in security & privacy; to the current uncertain regulatory issues.

IoT will scale to billions of devices connected on the internet, broadcasting huge amount of data and cloud will support the scale with unlimited possibilities.

At the same time, we need to take into account the Cyber Threats, Security risks, Governance & Compliance.

All these have enough threats to shut down a business in no time. Being cautious without being fearful is the need of the hour; perhaps we should call it ‘Positive Paranoia’.

Let me put forth a scenario of mobility in future

• Li-on Battery costs are dropping exponentially.

• Electric vehicles compared to vehicles  with IC engines are more Energy Efficient& cheaper to run, have about 100 times less moving parts.

• Solar cell costs have reduced manifold.

• Cost of sensors & computing power required in Autonomous car, have reduced drastically.

So in near future we can hope to see Autonomous Electric Vehicles powered by efficient lithiumion batteries, charged by abundantly available solar power. This will impact many facets of our lives.

The new-edge transport solution will aim at improving asset utilization which today is less than 5% (with cars being parked most of the time) to may be over 90% and with convergence of Solar Energy, Electric & Autonomous Vehicle. It would take cognizance of low maintenance (low running costs), higher safety (consequently low cost of insurance), lower pollution (impact on environment), lesser parking space (real estate released), driving as a profession, driving time utilization and fuel stations (solar stations instead of gas stations). Also, it will provide a solution to the parking & traffic congestions. This will be the breeding ground for a new mobility business model.

So what we as individual need to do, think and act? Try it before discarding, even the thoughts.

It’s time to connect to a vision. A vision, that re-invents in this digital world in order to create disruption. It is not about doing the same thing differently, but it’s about doing different things.

As an analogy, if we look at the world’s best sports persons – whether Sachin Tendulkar, Rodger Federer, Michael Johnson or Muhammad Ali – all of them are perfect example of reinvention. Over the years, the conditions have changed, competitors have changed, game format has changed but they continued to reinvent themselves by changing their mindset over time. Best man survives not with best competencies but with best abilities to adopt. (Remember Darwin!)

My 5C secrets to take the giant leap in the world of Digital

1. Convergence is the key to success

2. Collaborate to win

3. Change the mindset. Have an open mind

4. Cross your threshold. Think beyond tomorrow

5. Co-create & Lead

The time is here & now to Lead Disruption rather than being Disrupted. It’s time to escape the trap of incremental thinking and re-invent in the world of Digital.

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