Vanishing Point

AI is Worthless in the Absence of Human Judgment

Posted by Eric Chase

February 9, 2017 at 7:54 AM

In almost every industry and sector, AI is opening up new possibilities and forcing us to think outside of long-held paradigms. As these burgeoning resources reshape how we approach business, two related points emerge as vital. First, while the ‘wow’ factor of AI and machine learning is high, it would be dangerous to overestimate the value of cognitive technologies. Second, organizational leaders must be involved in the decisions to invest in and adopt technologies based on how the resources will enhance workforce performance.

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What Water Boundary Conflicts Tell Us About Critical Infrastructure

Posted by Bob Wagner

February 1, 2017 at 8:55 AM

At the intersection between the state lines for Georgia, Alabama, and Florida, the Tri-State Water Wars have waged through the 21st Century.[1] At the heart of the issue is the current future allocation of the water in the region. It’s a question of what state ‘owns’ the water in the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa and the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint basins, which cross the borders of the three states.

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The Most Important Resource for C-Level Leaders is Human

Posted by Tyler Sweatt

January 25, 2017 at 11:21 AM

Leaders continue to experience conflict between preparing for future opportunities and meeting the urgency of immediate responsibilities. In our current state of sweeping exponential change, this balance is a growing cause for concern. Yet, the tension between today and tomorrow may not be the central challenge that many leaders think it is – in fact, it might signal a source of additional resilience for the organization.

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Why Crowdsourcing May Be the World's Greatest Shared Asset

Posted by Aaron Schulman

January 18, 2017 at 9:29 AM

Consider Wikipedia, Kickstarter, 99 Designs. All are crowdsourcing platforms. All create value by using connectivity and a central platform to aggregate and assess information, ideas, funds, and other resources from a massive bank of contributors.

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Your New Year’s Resolution to Change is Too Limited

Posted by Jason Fieger

January 11, 2017 at 9:05 AM

January is a time for resolutions. For many people (and businesses) the first weeks of any new year are given over to setting goals and shifting priorities. Many of these objectives relate to how we will “change” or “transform.” Despite our best intentions we more often than not fail, as any number of articles about keeping resolutions will tell.

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How to Harness Talent and Build Great Teams

Posted by Gregory Weber

January 4, 2017 at 9:19 AM

In 1995, Alvin Toffler wrote about creating a new civilization.[1] In his aptly titled book, he delves into how societies have to address the main features of a Third Wave economy to make a successful transition from the paradigms of the Industrial Era to a future in which shared knowledge breaks down barriers between societies, organizations, and individuals. In particular, he asserts that historically flawed thought models related to business profitability and global competition would create issues for business leaders.

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The Path to Your Organization’s Success is Paved with Failure

Posted by Phil Cunningham

December 28, 2016 at 9:15 AM

In Plato’s Meno, the character Socrates raises the question of why knowledge is more valuable than a strongly held conviction or ‘true’ belief. He relates an anecdote of a traveler navigating the road to Larissa. When the traveler comes across a fork in the road, he can either know that Larissa lies to the road on the left or he can have a ‘true’ belief that he’ll reach the city by choosing to go left.

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This is the Future of Education

Posted by Dave Baber

December 20, 2016 at 1:00 PM

America moved from the Agrarian Age to the Industrial Age in the mid-19th Century. At that point in our history, farmers made up 64% of the population. Today, they comprise only 2% of the U.S. population. As we settle firmly in the Knowledge Age (The Third Wave), will Educators be the next great profession to lose employment to machines?

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Reflecting on Future Shock Forum 2016

Posted by Deb Westphal

December 15, 2016 at 1:22 PM

I’ve just returned from Future Shock Forum 2016. I’m exhausted but completely energized and so grateful.

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Why Kindergarteners Always Win the Marshmallow Challenge

Posted by Chris Gros

December 7, 2016 at 11:20 AM

During Toffler Associates training courses, we (like many other organizations) use a simple team-building exercise called The Marshmallow Challenge. Here’s how it works: the large group is broken down into teams of about five people. Each team must build the tallest free-standing structure possible out of 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string, and one marshmallow. The marshmallow must end up on top. Each team has 18 minutes to get it done. The tallest structure wins.

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