People will have to change their thinking, before the mining industry can change, international business motivational speaker Michael Jackson has said. Delivering a keynote address at software company Dassault Systemes’ Natural Resources Forum conference, last week, he said:
“Our software requires an upgrade. “Doing more of what we do, in a world that has changed during our lifetime, is not working. The future is different. We need to break away from familiar patterns. We are creatures of routine, hoping for a better result but doing the same thing.
“Business has evolved faster than we have. Business has become complex”, Jackson pointed out. “We need a way of thinking differently, because the world [has] changed. The industrial revolution no longer exists. The industrial revolution began in 1760, ending in 1970. It is now outdated, it has come and gone.”
He noted that computing had evolved to communication, connectivity (the Internet) and collaboration in a bigger ecosystem. The old formula was simple and suitable for a slowly evolving world, he stated.
There was now a new formula where the past and the present did not matter, since the one was over and the other was not long lasting. Jackson said thinking and processing should be centred on the future.
“When you look at the winners in business today, they are concerned with skills and knowledge, decentralisation, networks, alliances and partnerships, artificial intelligence and customisation, versus the old focus of capital and labour, command and control, bureaucracy, hierarchy, and mechanical and standardised processing.
“Companies fail because they refuse to change. Innovation that used to take a generation, now takes weeks or months.”
Jackson said a modern Fortune 500 company had objectives, projects, teams and information, which should all be open to change.
“We agree with people who agree with us – other beliefs are our greatest enemy. Memories become facts. We have stereotypical thinking, grouping people into categories and labelling them. We suffer from observational selectivity.”
He added that humans preferred conformity and ‘fitting in’, which were the main causes for stagnation and were not conducive to innovation.
“Identify what is important to you; eliminate everything else – if you cannot do it yourself, automate, delegate or get help.”
Further, towards smartening up, Jackson said humans learnt by replicating stories.
“When you begin the learning process, you start at a state of unconscious incompetence – you do not know what you do not know. Next is conscious incompetence – you know what you do not know, followed by conscious competence – you know what you know.
“Then follows unconscious competence – you do not know what you know, meaning you have forgotten what you learnt, even though you do the implementation, meaning it has become more habit than a conscious effort.”
At the tip of this pyramid was excellence, which some believed took 12 years to fortify, with constant conscious competence.
In terms of specialisation, Jackson said, it involved a continuous strategy of learning, tuning, refining and developing. “We cannot just wait for the future to happen.
“The light is not the illusion, but the length of the tunnel you create,” Jackson said, adding that humans limited themselves to grow and harness opportunities.
“Upgrade your software and your business will follow suit.”