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Perspectives

John Hagel at SXSW

A Center for the Edge perspective

John Hagel, director and co-chairman of Deloitte LLP Center for the Edge, shares his perspective on emerging business issues during the South-by-Southwest Interactive conference.

Robots can restore our humanity (SXSW 2017)

At a speaking session at South-by-Southwest (SXSW) 2017, John Hagel, director and co-chairman of Deloitte LLP Center for the Edge described how robots and artificial intelligence (AI) can be powerful catalysts for redefining work in ways that will restore our humanity.

Hagel explains that today's work is tightly specified, highly standardized, and tightly integrated—something algorithms can handle much better than humans do. As machines take over this work, he sees an opportunity to redefine work around things that are uniquely human: imagination, creativity, curiosity, and emotional and social intelligence. Given our ever-expanding desire for products and services that can help us achieve more, Hagel believes there will be no shortage of this kind of work but the transition may be painful: Our institutions will likely need to undergo a profound transformation to make it possible.

Hagel considers fear of automation and job elimination justified but encourages all institutions to embrace the opportunities presented by digital disruption—particularly the opportunity to fundamentally redefine what work should be for humans.

Watch the full session below:

Thriving on disruption: Recognize and capitalize (SXSW 2016)

In his 2016 talk at South-by-Southwest (SXSW), John Hagel, co-chairman, Deloitte LLP Center for the Edge, revealed how patterns connect seemingly unrelated developments in one industry to disruptions in another.

Disruption: As a buzzword it gives “innovation” and “synergy” a run for their money. Yet disruption remains a poignant concept: the dividing line between “before” and “after.” It strikes at the heart (and foundations) of your world, seemingly out of nowhere. What if, instead, you could see disruption gathering like clouds on the horizon and identify whether the coming storm was a tornado or a blizzard? What would you do differently?

Diving into the whitespace between the one-off disruptive strategies of Christensen and the universal forces detailed in the Big Shift, Hagel reveals the patterns that connect disruptions across sectors. What does disruption of the taxi industry portend for the retail sector? How do the unique characteristics of the sectors and the incumbents spell disruption for some and innovation for others? As the compounding effect of Moore’s Law across technologies pushes the rate of change ever faster, understanding these patterns can help you survive, and thrive, in a world of continual disruption.

Watch the full session below:

Narratives, platforms, and movements (SXSW 2015)

At a speaking session at South-by-Southwest (SXSW) 2015, John Hagel, co-chairman, Deloitte LLP Center for the Edge, spoke on the topic of “Narratives, Platforms, and Movements.” Hagel defines a movement as “an organized effort to mobilize a large number of participants at a grass root level to pursue some kind of broad effort for change.” As digital technology is creating mounting performance pressure, businesses will need to be able to mobilize, inspire and support an ever expanding array of participants.

What can companies learn from successful movements?

First, Hagel explores opportunity-based narratives that are far more powerful than stories. Unlike stories, narratives are open-ended and allow participants to take an active role in the outcome through their choices and actions.

A second key element that comes into play is a form of platforms, called creation spaces. Hagel describes these as small groups of people where they can build deep, trust-based relationships and then accelerate their learning by connecting more broadly across the entire movement.

Mobilizing movements will be very challenging for companies, and in order for them to be successful, they will need to integrate their purpose and mission with participants on a broader scale than just within the company.

Watch the full session below:

Related content

Deloitte Digital sits down with John Hagel
Over the years, SXSW has attracted quite a following and become a mecca for tech nerds, CEOs, and everyone in-between. Deloitte Digital sat down with SXSW veteran and 2016 Interactive speaker John Hagel for his advice and insight into this year’s festival. Find the full interview here.

SXSW gets the scoop on the Center for the Edge
John sat down with SXSW to share information about the Center, the goals of the organization, and his plans for SXSW 2016. To find out more, click here.

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