1. A quote I’m resonating with this week
Ray Kurzweil is one of the most accurate futurists of all time. In the 1990s he made over 140 predictions about what life would be like today. 86% of them were accurate and timely. One of the things that informs his predictions as a futurist is his understanding of the exponential nature of technology:
“Our intuition about the future is linear. But the reality of information technology is exponential, and that makes a profound difference. If I take 30 steps linearly, I get to 30. If I take 30 steps exponentially, I get to a billion.”
2. The Source of Impact, Innovation and Disruption
Ray Kurzweil’s quote has got me reflecting again on how an understanding of the principles behind clarity are more important than ever for navigating the domain of exponential technology. Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 16 of The Little Book of Results (©2018 Jamie Smart, published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd)
At our current level of consciousness, entrusting humanity with exponential technology is like giving a toddler a loaded machine gun. We need a new understanding of how our minds work to navigate the challenges of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.
DISTINCTION: Linear thinking vs exponential insight
Computing power grows exponentially: it doubles in speed and halves in size and cost roughly every two years (a function known as Moore’s Law). Our intellects have evolved for the linear world we’ve lived in for most of human history. But digital technology is driving us at high speed into a VUCA world that requires a new, more leveraged way of thinking.
While linear thinking can be useful, it has an inherent limitation: its only reference point is the past; the thoughts you’ve already had. All too often, we approach strategy, goal setting and problem solving by identifying problems and solutions from our current level of consciousness, then setting out to solve them from the same perspective. By definition, linear thinking is blind to the present moment, and the implications of what’s happening right now. We’re riding the wave of the information revolution; a wave powered by exponential technology. When Airbnb launched in August 2008, the team didn’t have access to better data than Hyatt. They didn’t have a bigger budget or more experience. What they did have was exponential insight: realizations that aligned them with reality and allowed them to invent the future.
Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and Bill Gates have all expressed concern about the enormous risks to humanity that artificial intelligence poses. We have to recognize and harness the power of exponential insight if we want to sense and respond to the challenges of the digital age. We have to understand the nature of Thought if we are to survive and thrive as individuals, as organizations, as societies and as a species.
3. This week’s glimpse of the future
Every week, Chris Anderson (founder of TED) releases an interview with a TED speaker. Many of them are great listening, and last weeks was a conversation with the aforementioned futurist Ray Kurzweil. If you want to hear more about what your future is likely to look, sound and feel like (with an 86% probability) it’s well worth a listen: https://overcast.fm/+OySeeH_2k
4. A keynote that was a lot of fun
A few years ago, I did a keynote speech to kick off a strategy workshop for the council of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA). The IFoA has over 25,000 members, and its council had been charged with developing strategy for the future of the profession. We explored the whole domain of exponential insight and how it plays into what I call, “The strategy equation”. In fact, I ended up writing about it in my 2016 book, RESULTS: Think Less, Achieve More.
You can listen to the original keynote speech here: https://www.jamiesmart.com/rmp14/
5. This week’s 3-minute miracle
I don’t know where or when I first heard this song, but Radioactive by Imagine Dragons brings new meaning to the word “anthemic”. I looked on wikipedia and I’m not surprised it’s been used as the theme music for everything from the videogame Assassins’ Creed III to combat zone wrestling. Welcome to the new age! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktvTqknDobU
That’s it for this week!
Jamie Smart, Sunday Times Bestselling Author, Speaker and Executive Coach
PLUS: Whenever you’re ready… here are 8 ways I can help you get the clarity and results that matter to you:
1. Listen to the ‘Get Clarity’ Podcast www.jamiesmart.com/claritynow/
2. Hire me to speak at your event: www.jamiesmart.com/book-jamie-to-speak-about/
If you’re a coach or interested in becoming one…
4. Listen to The Thriving Coaches Podcast
5. Take part in the Thriving Coaches Blueprint. our 90 day, rapid-implementation programme to help you get more clients and grow your coaching or therapy practice (next registration early 2019!)
6. Learn more about the Certified Clarity Coach Training Programme, our 10-month deep-immersion into the principles behind clarity (Next programme starts, January 2020).
If you’re looking to change job, career or move from FTE to something more fulfilling…
7. Join the Transition Launchpad Facebook group
8. Learn more about Escape Velocity: The Transition Blueprint our 90-day programme to help you transition into doing fulfilling work.