AI is gaining in capability at a compound exponential rate, with new breakthroughs by the day. With so many companies competing in the AI race, this rapid pace won’t decelerate, surpassing the capacity of legislation to keep up. As humans, we are simply not designed to cope with exponential anything, we naturally think in slower, linear progress terms.

This means that there is an ever-widening gap between what AI can do and what most people or businesses are actually doing. The AIs will continue their advance. It is us humans that need the adjustment. Regrettably, many will only become aware of this shift when confronted with job loss due to automation.

Similarly, you can fantasize and dream ahead about all the things you would ask a super advanced AI to do. What are all the things that could be automated in your company if it were possible? Once you’ve set that positive target in your head, every time a new advance comes along, you were waiting for it. Instead of trepidation and panicked reactions, you happily say “Well it’s about time. I was waiting for that to become possible.”

In this way, you’ve caught your proverbial Heffalump ** . You’ve remained in control and saved yourself endless stress. You will find yourself several steps ahead of your competitors, who have reacted slower. Furthermore, you will have lower costs, and faster and better service. It’s better to take action first before your competitors beat you to it.

There are many other tricks beyond this one, but this is the basic starting point. Dreaming of happy futures is a pleasant thing to do. Anyone accusing you of having your head in the clouds will be proved wrong when the exponential change makes dreams realities. 

Most people are scared of the inevitable changes, but if you’re prepared in advance, you can calm and lead others. Organizations full of scared people and hierarchical inertia will be even slower to adapt than individuals. If you’re a business leader, your challenge is all the greater, but all the more worthwhile. 

There are fortunately some tricks people can use to protect their careers and businesses. The primary strategy is to proactively position oneself ahead of the impending change. Otherwise, attempting to play perpetual catch up becomes untenable. It’s like the story from the children’s book, “Winnie the Pooh,” about how to catch a Heffalump – you know which way it will go, so you dig a hole in its path and it falls in.  

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Tim Burrill
Membership Manager & Executive Assistant
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