It’s 1977 and a CEO stands at the head of a boardroom and makes a sweeping declaration: “Personal computers will redefine the way business is done in the future.” There is some agreement–and conformity–in the room, while others struggle to understand what a “personal computer” even is.
Fast forward to 2015, and a CEO, mid-way through an hour-long Google Hangout with his leadership team, makes a sweeping declaration: “Big Data is will change our business forever.” Again, there is some agreement, but for the majority, “big data” is just another overhyped buzzword.
The personal computer did end up redefining business; it’s also redefined almost every aspect of society. Will the same be true for Big Data? With so much noise, jargon, and opinion surrounding the impact of future trends–Mobile, Social, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, and Big Data–how can you identify game-changing trends from short-lived fads?
I once heard a great quote that has resonated with me ever since, “great designers build verbs, not nouns.” In the business world, this translates to something along the lines of, “great companies solve problems, not build products and services.”
At GE’s recent Minds + Machines event in NYC, it was clear that GE’s focus and investment in the industrial internet (the intersection of physical machines with software and analytics) was targeted at solving a real customer problem: no unplanned downtime. It’s easy to get lost in the jargon of the industrial internet – “big data,” “the internet of things,” “connected devices” – without appreciating the problem that it’s trying to solve.
If you’ve ever sat though a university lecture, you know that in less than forty-five minutes a professor will skim over tons of theories and concepts, jumping from idea to idea, leaving you in a state of bewilderment. Students are provided with the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle and then left to their own devices to make sense of it. The problems continue in the business world, where jargon filled PowerPoints flood the boardroom. There must be a better way.
Developing and delivering training that will make a measurable impact requires a fresh approach. There’s no cookie-cutter formula, but here are 7+1 lessons to get you thinking.
A company enters a market, releases a new product and makes tens of millions of dollars. Meanwhile, a stand-up comedian walks on stage, opens her mouth and brings an audience to tears. So, who has the harder job, the stand-up comedian or the company CEO? Who has more to lose? Is it scarier being in front of 500 people and dying on stage, or releasing a product that dies in the market?