April Fools! The picture above is not a real photo nor is Amazon developing a blimp delivery system (to my knowledge). Although, as I wrote back in late 2016, the company has filed a patent for a flying warehouse. So, what may look like a joke today may be no laughing matter to Amazon’s competitors in the future.
Think Smarter: Artificial Intelligence Beats Eight World Champions at Bridge. This news story is a big deal because, unlike the game of chess, bridge requires players to work with incomplete information. It also demands players to react to the behavior of other players. In this way, the game of bridge more closely parallels what business leaders must deal with on a daily basis. If you have not yet started thinking about how AI can help you improve your decision-making, the time is now.
Think Fast: “The headline is, it’s a lot closer than almost everyone thinks.” This is just one illuminating quote to be found in this article, “The Sexy Near-Future of Travel? The Plan to Bring Hyperloop to Our Cities.” I also found this quote about hyperloop transportation provocative: “We’re looking at the evolution of an entirely new mode of transportation, one with the speed of a plane, the capacity of a train and the convenience of a tram.” Currently, fifty cities are looking at incorporating hyperloop into their mid-term transportation plans. As such, I recommend that leaders in urban planning, global supply management, and transportation dedicate a modicum of thinking time to this issue because it could arrive sooner than expected.
Think Harder: A technology that pulls a modest amount of water from the air to create clean drinking water might not seem like a big deal, but it is! Many people–especially women in Africa–spend a significant amount of their time every day walking to a well, river, or lake to fetch clean(ish) water. With the hydropanels outlined in this article, millions of people (primarily women) will now have more time to start their own businesses, read to their children, or otherwise spend their time in more productive pursuits. From my perspective, this technology is a game-changer.
Think Again: When it was first developed, asbestos was viewed as a miracle material due to its remarkable fire retardancy. Over time, asbestos came to be understood as a serious (even deadly) health hazard. Could the same be true of plastics? Plastics have many beneficial properties but now that microplastics have been found in the human bloodstream this finding could cause a severe public backlash. It could also expose the plastic industry to sizable legal liabilities. Without question, it is an issue the industry needs to spend more time seriously contemplating.
Think Different: The war for talent is real. I understand that every business would like to hire the best person available for a given job but logic suggests that 50 percent of all people will be “below average” in their given occupation. This, of course, does not mean that these individuals can’t (or don’t) do a good job. Often what allows people with below average technical skills to succeed is not expertise but rather attitude. If attitude then is what distinguishes a good hire, it stands to reason that organizations should focus less on “expertise” and more on “attitude” when hiring. For more on this idea, I encourage you to read Seth Godin’s post “”Expertise vs Attitude.”
Bonus Think: For those who have seen me speak, you might be familiar with this one-minute “thinking” test. Nevertheless, the quiz in this video may serve as a good reminder for why you need to make some room in your calendar for dedicated “thinking time.”
Afterthought: “Death for the monarch butterfly is as important as life because the shorter lifespans allow for them to complete migration while solving the problems of overpopulation and genetic diversity. It is almost as if the monarch butterfly knows that death is not to be feared; it’s just another essential part of the journey.”–Rebecca Norse