The world is a complex and fast-moving place. Innovation is happening in every industry and spans a multitude of both current and emerging technologies. The mixture of innovation is rewriting our society in real-time as we know it. How do we wrap our heads around this age of change to develop, adapt, and innovate?
I recently had the extreme pleasure of spending some time with Gravity Speakers Exclusive and multi-talented business strategist and futurist, Neil Sahota. His list of expertise and accomplishments ranges from IBM Master Inventor, investor, consultant, and author. His expertise in emerging technologies and artificial intelligence has been applied across industries from healthcare, retail, legal, travel, government, media, and energy. I got to talk with Neil about his passion for solving problems and helping individuals and organizations thrive in this world of change and technological advancement.
Solutions Without Boundaries
Thinking big is not enough. Neil is a constant learner who has mastered a 360-degree view of business and technology. As a management consultant, he was continually faced with the same organizational problems. “What should we do now, and how?” Neil was able to solve problems and make connections that many organizations just couldn’t see. This wasn’t enough for Neil. He wanted to not only solve the individual problems organizations were having but also he had the vision to see the bigger picture. He recognized the patterns of organizational problems and tied them to larger issues in markets and society. His thinking is, if you are going to solve a specific problem for one person, why not solve the larger problem for everyone.
Business problems are really people problems. Technology is driven by opportunity, but Neil notices that there are massive underserved markets affected by change. In his work with the UN, he could see how technology is so much more than a solution to a business problem. Technology both creates and solves problems. If we innovate in a way that goes beyond boardrooms, products, and markets we can design positive change for all. How we innovate can change the impact of that innovation. Having a broader view of how technology is changing the world can give leaders and organizations guidance in making better decisions.
Creating Ripples of Innovation
Business decisions have human consequences. In his work helping solve problems for established companies and startups, Neil was not satisfied being the hero. He wanted to create organizational heroes. Having the answers for one organization is great, but to scale the kind of positive impact he was interested in, he knew the way he helped organizations innovate was as important as solving the specific problem they have right now.
Teach an organization to fish. Neil is the embodiment of the parable about giving a person a fish vs teaching them how to fish. Neil wants to create ripples of innovation within a company that goes beyond the organization to all society. This means teaching people the mindset and understanding needed to develop innovation at the source. Innovation can’t just come from a CEO or consultant. It needs to happen throughout an organization and at every level. This means changing from specific innovation to organizational mindsets. The ripples must radiate out to create a culture of adaptation and innovation. This means addressing the larger problem which in turn will solve all the smaller problems. By doing this through understanding connections, Neil is able to generate ripples of innovation that push beyond brands, touching our global society.
Today is almost yesterday. Most organizations are trying to digitally transform to stay relevant and keep up with technology. The problem is, that is simply the wrong goal. By the time they succeed at catching up, they will be behind again. What is needed is a new way of thinking about your organization where transformation is not a goal or where integration is not a success, but where the goal is being able to operate in constant flux. There is no catching up, only leading in change. Welcome to the new age of perpetual change.
Going beyond innovation. Neil has an incredible resume and ability to connect the dots for organizations, he has the vision to see what organizations are missing and give them the practical tactics to execute against those goals, but the real value he brings is developing organizational innovation cultures. By creating deeper understanding and enabling broader innovation, Neil is changing the very way we think about innovation. Book Neil today for your next event!