Sunday, December 16, 2012

India Leadership Forum 2013

The desire to comprehend the present is natural. But business leaders are also expected to visualize and seed the field of the future. The exercise of visualizing the future was simpler when the environment was less complicated. Today, however, this pursuit is fraught with limitations.
The economic complications and the inter-twined business environment have made projecting the future, a rare art. Unlike in the past, it needs much more than just the knowledge of the present to envision the future. It needs greater foresight to, not just project the future, but to imagine the “unknown” and prepare for it.
Economic turmoil apart, sample where we are headed technologically – once computation moves to almost zero, anything can be made into a computer - new form factors, new manufacturing, new applications, new regulations and governance. Even the innovations that will unveil “the unknown” will have to be disruptive and not just incremental – some are already visible mobile, social, cloud and more. And big data and analytics will become the enablers for a completely new way to doing and designing businesses.
All this will need new leaders or should we say “Imagineers” who don’t just predict but transform the future.  As Publilius Syrus saidAny one can hold the helm when the sea is calm. The real test of courage is to live past difficult times. Leaders must now, not just predict but also co-create the future! For this generation of front-runners, there are no dreams too large, no innovation unimaginable and no frontiers beyond reach.
We are moving into the times where businesses will have to activate imaginative, intuitive and visionary intelligence to access and transform the future. It will require them to access and use the knowledge of the past to make decisions about an unknown future.
Also, with some of the businesses and markets maturing, they have become responsible enough to move from the philosophy of exploring and exploiting, in order to engineer sensible growth. The focus has moved to innovating for the bottom of the pyramid, for creating without destroying & depleting, for saving what is there and creating afresh for future.
It would, undoubtedly, be an interesting exercise to delve into the opportunities and challenges of this new business paradigm where, as Peter Drucker puts it, “the most important resource is no longer labour, capital or land; it is knowledge”. Knowledge is undoubtedly, the new currency!
With this seeding thought, we have chosen Imagineering the Future: Disruptive Innovation for Sensible Growth, as the theme for the NASSCOM India Leadership Forum 2013, to be held between Feb 13th and 15th, at Grand Hyatt Mumbai.

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