"Don't ask what technology can do for you, but ask what you can do with technology." This is the marketing slogan from Microsoft for their Artificial Intelligence platform. This commercial ends with the question: "You have the power of technology at your finger-tips. What will you do with it?".
Technology at your finger-tips
Indeed, you have more technology and calculation power at your finger-tips than all generations before us had combined.
What's more, most of this technology is readily available, relatively cheap, and easy to use. User interfaces are nowadays made such that even without information technology skills, anyone can use and build solutions with these technologies.
Having said that, I don't imply that you as consultant, lawyer, clinician, or other professional have to dive into these technologies and become an expert yourself. It is sufficient to familiarize yourself with the possibilities and doing so is not that hard. You only have to understand enough to appreciate the value and beware of the limitations, so that you can collaborate with others and together build a solution that helps you to better service your clients and organization.
In other words, nowadays, it is easier for you to grasp these novel technologies than it is for these technology experts to grasp your profession, organization, workflows, clients, etc.
Stop talking, start doing!
What will you do with these opportunities?
Time seems to be the biggest impediment to taking action and implementing novel technologies. Today's work pressures make that everything else is so urgent, that the important things such as innovating, get put at the back burner.
More than 10 years ago, IBM was very aware of this challenge when they featured their Innovation Man commercial, see below. The Innovation Man was about everything, except...implementation.
Their slogan: Stop talking, start doing.
What are you waiting for?
What are you waiting for? You will never have more time to work on the future than today. The longer you wait, the harder it will be. In the future, you will have to work even harder to keep yourself afloat with today's technology, unless you make the time to take that leap forward.
Starting is relatively easy, especially if you know how to start. Don't make it more complex than necessary.
Start with "What if..."
Nearly always, innovators start with an idea. You have thought about a better or new way to do something, using available novel technology such as artificial intelligence.
In the past, I have tried telling people to not start with an idea, as it makes you jump into the middle of the ideation process. While this is sound advice, it turns out to be very unpractical. Ideas are just so powerful. You can just see how it all could work and be!
Thus, a more practical piece of advice. Formulate your idea as a possibility to address an important problem or opportunity. The best way to do that is by posing the question: "What if...".
This simple "what if..." statement keeps the door open for input and other solutions. In addition, it forces you not only to think about your solution, but also about the problem it is meant to solve or the opportunity it will address.
For example: In the past month alone, three potential clients have asked me about the algorithms we use to come up with the recommendations we provide. None of them followed up after I explained we use our team of experienced consultants to draft these recommendations. What if I would spend a few hours exploring how we could use machine learning to make and improve the recommendations we offer?
Need a hand?
If you need a hand, let us know! There is lots of useful information on our website, especially in the innovators section, including a free consult giving you the opportunity to get help with any burning question you may have.