As a strategy advisor, I am constantly approached by executives seeking advice on how to use data better, how to do better analysis, and how to build better systems. And I try to help, I really do.
But the world has changed. We face a global crisis that emerged almost overnight to disrupt our lives and work. Doing better is no longer good enough; we need to do differently.
Innovation and analytics
To be different in our thinking or in our strategy is not just to be contrary; we do not merely disagree with all that’s gone before. Instead, we need to creatively survey new routes from where we are today into the future.
Innovation, therefore, is critical to being effectively different. We need to able to answer basic questions in new ways. Why are we doing what we do? Who are we doing it for? Where is this happening? Radical answers to these questions propel us forward.
Equally, analytics are essential to innovation; to find our new direction, we must thoroughly understand our current position. In other words, the businesses best prepared for the new world have a clear-eyed, analytic view of the present and the ability to innovate.
There are two habits we must develop as organizations and as individuals to support this work. To explain them, I need some help. But right now, my helper is 15 feet up a fir tree and the squirrels are yelling at her …
Curiosity and confidence
My young cat, Fern, was rescued, abandoned on a farm. As a solitary kitten, she had so much to learn, and she was full of the legendary curiosity of cats.
However, she was also afraid of every shadow. Over time, she did indeed learn: first, how to climb a tree; and then, after several rescues, how to come down safely. The more she learned, the more confident she became. And her curiosity was not satisfied. In fact, quite the opposite; now that she knows she can make it back down the tree safely, she rushes up many trees to see what else she can find.
It’s not a far-fetched analogy. In business and analytics, the more confident we are, the more curious and innovative we can be.
So how do we bring these ideas together to really help you transform your business?
Kittens may be cute, but they have their limits as business thinkers. Instead, we have brought together a remarkable range of 16 leaders from a global community of practice in data and analytics for a video series titled, Curiosity: Do Data Differently.
Whether leading strategy for major enterprises, or innovating at the edge of machine learning, or literally flying into crisis zones with the technology to help, our speakers are endlessly fascinating and engaging. We’re ready with tough, searching questions for them. And we don’t expect them to all agree on the answers. In fact, given their diverse experience and approaches, we expect to have some edgy conversations.
Will AI support or challenge us? What is the future of human decision-making in this new world? How do we make data available to a new generation of users but still work under ever-tighter rules? How do leaders cut a path through this tangle of technical, social, and ethical issues?
Through these conversations, you’ll find answers, guidance, and provocations for new, challenging business issues. Also, as this is the age of COVID and we’re all filming from home, I expect that curious kitten may make an appearance—just to see what’s going on.