Weekly Research and Commentary on the Future of Business and Technology.
Tech Fallacy, Betting the House and Radical Networks.
Nov 13, 2018
Welcome to the first radical Briefing (serial number 0001 if you will). As some of you know, when we set sail with radical, we wanted to create something new and useful – something which challenges the status quo and supports those who do. We believe radicals need three things to be successful: insights, leadership, and allies. In this Briefing, we will explore all three.
Let’s get started!
The Tech Fallacy
All too often we make the mistake of seeing a (new) technology and assuming/believing that the technology in and of itself is at the core of disruption. Take the hyped-beyond-believe blockchain: The blockchain technology itself is, without a doubt, exciting and has some particular, unique applications – but the technology itself will not lead to the “revolution” some of its evangelists want us to believe in. The technology (blockchain) will enable some new use cases (cryptocurrencies) and enhance some existing ones (supply chain management across vendors) – but at its core, it is just that: A technology. I remember vividly the hype around NoSQL – a technology which promised to get rid of databases as we knew them. Or so the pundits wanted us to believe. Well, turns out: NoSQL is good at some particular use cases and rubbish at many others. Today, a decade after the hype, we have learned what the technology is capable of and used it accordingly. The very same will happen with blockchains – the technology will allow new use cases to emerge, companies will be built on top of it, others will be made more efficient and effective. But turning the world upside down? I doubt it.
Remember: Technology is just that. A piece in the much larger disruption puzzle. It takes many more pieces to change the world (or a market).
Many radical ideas about leadership are not new. What leaders do need is a renewed focus and commitment to the people they serve. In an always-on world, where uncertainty in the market is common, and where businesses are moving fast, it’s often an organization’s people, culture and relationships which pay the price. One of the foundations of our new body of work, ‘The Seven Layers Model’ addresses this very outcome. We believe culture and people are just as critical, a necessary component to succeed in the midst of disruption, as your business model and innovations. Alas, we don’t spend nearly enough time cultivating and evolving these foundations of our impact. Usually, it’s messy work, hard to measure and takes time. We shy away from the people work, as it’s complicated, involves a one-to-one connection, and likely means hard conversations. However, when the going gets tough, your people are the ones you need to count on to create, hold fast, think bigger. Ask yourself, how much time as an executive do you spend with your people? How well do you know them, serve them, and how much time are you actively working to create an environment for them to succeed? If you are only focused on innovation… you are missing a massive contributor to your success. And if you’re not… are you comfortable betting the house on innovation alone?
We are working on some exciting ideas to support this group of radicals – a private, invite-only network for folks on this mailing list to meet fellow radicals, exchange ideas, learn from each other and work together as well as a learning partnership program where we invite a few select companies and their leaders to join us on our journey as we develop brand-new content, models and exercises/workshops around “The Future (of) Organization(s)” and “The Future (of) Business”. Stay tuned!
Jane, Mafe and Pascal @ radical
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