Exponentials Downunder

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Tag: Digital Disruption (page 1 of 2)

Leaner, faster, more decentralized – Jeff Immelt’s address to Stern’s School of Business Graduates

Jeff Immelt GECLast Friday, GE’s CEO delivered NYU Stern School’s commencement address. This FORTUNE piece highlights his insights, including:

“Change requires new business models… leaner, faster, more decentralized.

The days of cycling global ideas through a central headquarters is over.

Globalization requires pushing capability to local teams who are empowered to take risks without second guessing.”

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Want support in transforming your business into an exponential growth business, ready to thrive in the new world of business? Email or call me on +61 (0) 439 979 577

Is any profession safe from Digital Disruption?

Would you trust an “artificially intelligent colleague” to solveAI your legal disputes?

It may be closer than you think as AI and cognitive technology advances prove no industry is safe from disruption.

(thanks to the Procurious Blog for this article)

At the end of last week, it was announced that a major US law firm, Baker & Hostetler, had hired Ross to run its bankruptcy practice. Not major news you might think, until you realise that ROSS is the world’s first “artificially intelligent attorney”.

Built upon the same concept as IBM’s Watson, and using the same cognitive technology, ROSS is another example of a major technological disruptor, and proof that no profession is safe from the advance of AI.

Setting a Precedent

In many ways, ROSS is very similar to the original Watson technology. The AI can read and understand language, generate hypotheses for questions it is asked, and can back up these hypotheses with research and citations from legal literature and cases.

The success of ROSS is centred on how it learns. As the AI interacts more with its human colleagues, it learns from its experience, getting more intelligent and faster at problem solving with each task it does.

It can also perform these tasks faster than human counterparts, examining thousands of documents in a fraction of the time it would take a person to do. It is also able to filter these results, and only presents the most relevant cases and citations from the data available.

Although Baker & Hostetler are the first to publicly announce signing up ROSS, Andrew Arruda, CEO and co-founder of ROSS Intelligence, has confirmed that a number of other law firms have already signed licences to use ROSS too.

My own market research confirmed this trend in my industry

In December, during the process of my stage one of my business digital disruption, I discovered that there were already two artificial intelligence driven coaching products on the market.

At the time, feedback showed the technology was performing at a simple level, but it had aready automated several key coaching services.

What does this mean for your industry?

That is precisely what you are in charge of.  How are you going to respond to this trend?  Where are you going to position yourself and your products in the market to ring fence your clients from this challenge?  Can you use this technology to your own advantage?  How?

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There’s many more questions you need to ask yourself. Let me know if you need some support with this. email me.

Disrupting Your own business…before someone else does!

“If there is more change outside of your business than what’s happening inside of your business… the end is near!”

One of Jack Welch’s great quotes, is frighteningly accurate, given how many businesses I see operating as “business as usual”.


In preparing for a talk about Digital Disruption, I’ve been reviewing a number of Tsunami Videos on YouTube.  It’s a graphic demonstration of exponential growth, characterised by long periods of slow growth, then punctuated by a period of sudden and overwhelming growth.

The parts that get me is seeing people completely taken by surprise, some of them curious about what is happening and putting themselves in the way of danger.

Why aren’t we talking about this more?

You see, everything you see on TV,  delivered by “trusted media personalities”, is not an accurate description, “twisted by spin” to cater to some deep pocketed interest group.

The whole concept of digital disruption, instead of being debated and explored in the television media, has been relegated to another techno buzz word we don’t really want to know about.

That’s why it’s good to be proactive about change.

Actively disrupting your own business, educating yourself about the big and important trends and positioning yourself to take advantage of these big changes, are best practice behaviors in the face of impending and overwhelming change.

And then there’s cultural disruption.

Forget the fuss about the resetting of boat people in Australia – that’s small numbers.

A friend who recently returned from a business trip to China told me: “They are coming for your quality food, they are coming for your investment properties, they are coming to come and live in Australia” 

She was shocked at what she saw as overt and publicly discussed plans to settle and own Australia.  Sydney was seen as a preferred option.  She no longer wanted to work with Chinese companies, knowing this.

So what can you do?

Perhaps it’s time to learn Mandarin or Cantonese – certainly we should be encouraging our children to learn these languages, if such a human tsunami is coming.

So how are we to survive and thrive in such massive changes?

Most of these things, you can’t stop – they are beyond your control

Talking and thinking thoroughly about it before it happens is usually a good idea.

That’s the first steps to forming a strategy.

Let me know what you think.

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You’ll find I’m always up for a talk about how to position yourself for a future in a rapidly changing world. email or phone me:  0439 979 577


Everybody dies, but not everybody lives

Agile Principles

A lot of peopleAgile have been asking me about Agile – the system of rapid development, that swiftly responds to change.

So here’s 12 principles Agile is based on, (summarised from the Agile Manifesto):

  1. Customer satisfaction by early and continuous delivery of valuable software
  2. Welcome changing requirements, even in late development
  3. Working software is delivered frequently (weeks rather than months)
  4. Close, daily cooperation between business people and developers
  5. Projects are built around motivated individuals, who should be trusted
  6. Face-to-face conversation is the best form of communication (co-location)
  7. Working software is the principal measure of progress
  8. Sustainable development, able to maintain a constant pace
  9. Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design
  10. Simplicity—the art of maximizing the amount of work not done—is essential
  11. Best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams
  12. Regularly, the team reflects on how to become more effective, and adjusts accordingly

Trust you find this useful.

John Chambers of Cisco: The Digital Age

The new skills of business are all about playing a new game,  often making up the rules as you go along: Do something | Test and measure | innovate | Do something |Test and measure | Innovate…. have a look:

Hocus focus - amazing what happens when you find some clarity! email me.

Dancing in the moment with whatever you have in front of you, dealing with the immediate, chasing your goals – you may need some support with this – that’s what i do. email me.

Realising what’s important

It’s been a big tough six months for me, an emotional and business roller coaster that’s taught me lots about disappointment, success and what it takes to succeed.Bill Campbell 5

Reflecting upon Bill Campbell’s passing last week (a great oak tree has fallen in the business coaching forest),  I can see the essence of the lessons that this brilliant coach shared with his clients and mentees:

  • Teamwork,
  • Structure,
  • Integrity,Bill Campbell 3
  • Accountability,
  • Passion,
  • Hard work,
  • Empathy,
  • Love,
  • …and Communication

Thanks for that Bill.

Not only that, in the work he did with the pioneering founders of Bill Campbell 2technology driven entrepreneurial companies, where there were no text book case studies or proven methodologies to guide people from.

Nobody had the magic formula.

You just had to take a risk, try something out, test and measure it, adjust and innovate, test and measure, adjust and innovate.

People like Bill encouraged their clients to make as many mistakes as possible and quickly learn from them, adjusting their strategies and actions, moving constantly forward.

Old school measures your success on the way you comply with the old ways of doing things and following the road map.

New school is all about throwing your hat over the wall and working hard to find a pathway to make it happen.  There is no road map.

There’s been some good lessons from all of this for me.

In the wild west of the coaching forest, it’s full of cowboys and loose cannons shooting fairy dust.  A giant and great oak tree has fallen in this forest.  It’s legacy shows us all the way to play a great hand in our work.

I aspire to walk in Bill’s footsteps and stretch myself to fill his shoes in my part of the coaching forest.

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Phew! That’s big! Do you want to work with someone like this? Email me if you do.


I’ve discovered a conversation about digital disruption that’s making it’s rounds in Sydney, led by the savvy Dinesh De Silva and his team from his company; Netstripes.

It’s a conversation that subverts the conservative status quo and cuts to the chase about what works in a digital world right now.

Not only that, it’s a great place to meet other business owners who are exploring the possibilities of all the business they are currently missing out on, in a world where all their customers are online surfing the net.

Dinesh has crafted these meetings beautifully with his support team.  Angelo Grasso, is the “Networking Queen” who leads the room through a series of clever and entertaining networking processes that get people up and connecting with each other.

If you get a chance to go to one of these events – Go!

Hocus focus - amazing what happens when you find some clarity! email me.

Hocus focus – amazing what happens when you find some clarity! email me.

Why I digitally disrupted my business over the holidays

It all started when I read over December “Exponential Organisations” by Salim IsmaExponential Organizationsil

I knew I’d gotten complacent about this. This book scared me silly!

Firstly, because it made sense – I’d seen this happening by reading www.springwise.com and www.trendwatchers.com for the last ten years.
I’ve seen so many new disruptive business case studies to know that whatever business you are in, you either have to disrupt yourself…or be disrupted, oftentimes by someone with little resources and little experience in your industry, but a technical advance helps them to find a niche that steals away your business right under your nose.

Secondly, because our Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s first statement after being elected as prime minister that “Australians need to embrace disruption as our friend”

And thirdly, because the NSW government has been reviewing their take on Airbnb, Uber and Kickstarter.

Late January this year, they announced that they released a position paper, and that they would be moving to regulate these three operators. – They are letting them in!

I knew I had to disrupt my business.

This was no longer something I could put off.

This was now a priority and I had to act with speed.

How I disrupted my business

The hardest part was to make the decision to do it.

I then set out a plan.

I would research what was going on in my industry, particularly regarding new disruptive competitors.

I would analyse my business for areas that could be digitalised and make a plan for that.

I would then put my disruption plan into action.

Researching my disruptive competition

There were a number of new disruptive competitors out there, who’d emerged under the radar, including a fully automated coach. “A robot coach?!” Yes there are at least two of those out there in the marketplace. How come I’ve been ignoring this?!

I found a couple of people who were using this automated process and asked them enough questions to find out what this method’s strengths and weaknesses.

They even told me what my strength are – that is – one on one coaching to keep them accountable. The automated coaching didn’t do that well. – Phew!  Mental Note:  Great to get that feedback. I must be more open and transparent with my clients.  I must participate more online.

There was much to be done…and fast.

My second step was to analyse my business

I analysed every part of my business and clarified all the areas I could transform into a digital format.

This was a surprising and amazing process.

I could see how I could add enormous value to my business offering by digitalising as many processes as possible. It simply made my product better…and my many resources readily available to my clients.

Not only that, I could see how I could reduce my fee to nearly half of what I’ve been charging.

What I have achieved

I’ve got a sharper, more competitive product out in the marketplace.

I’ve reduced my fees by 45%, I’ve tripled the value I offer to my clients and I’ve addressed operational inefficiencies I’ve been putting off improving for years.

In short, I’ve achieved a lot in a short period of time.

What I have learned

It’s simple once you make the decision (like everything worth doing well)

The threats are already out there…and I need to stay alert (ignore disruption at your peril)

The best defence is active offence (thanks again Sun Tsu)

The changes I’ve been putting off for years were easy to make within the context of disruption.  I could no longer tolerate inefficiencies

I’ve made a start.  There’s much, much more to come.

Trust you find this useful

Let me know if you do something about it.

At least – the very least – read Exponential Organisations by Salim Ismail

Implications of 5G: Driverless cars, the internet of everything

The fifth generation wireless network is already in the works and the outcomes will be profound.

A 5G network will be powerful enough to download a movie to your tablet in less than 5 seconds, or to control a self-driving car.

It will be around 110% faster than anything available at the moment.

If you think things were moving fast in the last 12 months, hang onto your hats for the things to come.

There’s going to be fantastic opportunities for all manner of tech businesses as well as  every other business as well – think: more intelligent everything from fridges to bicycles to smartcards.

What can you discuss in your next meeting about how you are going to prepare for this new opportunity?

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Want some help to get you and your team engaged in how to bet your head in the game? mike@exponentialsdownunder.com

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