The key challenge of the Digital Leader — Balance HIGH-END strategy with LOW-END Bits and Bytes

Organizations must understand the evolving digital galaxy and prepare to operate in it. The digital age offers an abundance of business opportunities and risks. The option of “sit and do nothing” will work, at best, for a short time. At some point, somewhere, others are already working on a business idea, a new digital technology or both, and those developments are liable to disrupt your organization’s current business model. It pays to be paranoid in this context.

Furthermore, Organizations sometimes use the term “digital transformation” only because it’s trendy and evokes the image of an innovative organization.

One of the mavens in this field, Rob Llewellyn, warns organizations about a phenomenon he calls “the great digital illusion.”

“Change fixes the past, while transformation creates the future.” Engaging in simple projects is a good way to start cultivating capabilities, but does not provide the infrastructure for withstanding competitive pressure or for future prosperity.

Herein lies the great challenge: doing both the high strategy and the daily grind of the digital. Mastering both the high-end strategic mindset and low-end bits and bytes mindset – this is the key to digital mastery.

We tried in this book to review a wide range of aspects and issues relevant to digital transformation in order to ensure that readers are familiar with the background and theory required for action and results. And herein lies the great challenge: doing both the high strategy and the daily grind of the digital age. Mastering both the high-end strategic mindset and low-end bits and bytes mindset – this is the key to digital mastery.

Bon digital voyage!

Five platforms supporting innovation (including a full draft chapter)

In this post, we present the five types of digital platforms that support innovation. Let’s first define the term platform as a cluster of digital technologies (with some shared affinity) that can drive innovation in the organization.

Each platform expresses a distinct aspect of how digital technology can be used to support innovation. The diversity of the five different platforms highlights the richness and depth of digital platforms, and their potential to serve as an infrastructure for innovation.

Grouping the various digital technologies into five platforms is designed to help digital leaders to first understand and then harness the potential of these technologies to drive innovation. Managers need to familiarize themselves with these five platforms and understand their relevance to their organization’s strategy and the creation of its competitive advantage.

  1. Platform 1: Supporting Innovation (Big, Med., Small) – the first and most common platform talks about the direct role of digital enabling big, medium, and small changes to business processes or products.
  2. Platform 2: Generating Innovation – talks about the use of digital to support the process of making innovation (on the individual, organizational, and mainly on the network level). (e.g., Slack as an internal tool).
  3. Platform 3: Analytics for Innovation – talks about the use of data to find and experiment with newer innovations. (e.g., A/B testing, analytics for micro-segmentation, etc.).
  4. Platform 4: Sub-Systems for Innovation – talks about harnessing the innovation value of common platforms like LinkedIn, Google, and Facebook, & modern technologies like the cloud, mobile, and data. (e.g., think of how Waze is using mobile connectivity, IP, mapping, and GPS to bring the unique value of user-based mapping.)
  1. Platform 5: Building Innovation Platforms – Last, but not least, what we call the 21st-century innovation – a unique type of innovation that in itself generates even more innovation (e.g., think Apple apps or Google Youtubers ecosystems.)

To receive the full draft chapter (free PDF) from the book “Doing Digital” (Hebrew) by Raz Heiferman and Prof. Yesha Sivan, please fill in the form below.

Click here for the full e-book published online in E-vrit (by Ynet).

 

Exploitation versus Exploration: Know the difference and master both types of innovation

Charles O’Reilly and Michael Tushman’s Lead and Disrupt: How to Solve the Innovator’s Dilemma, published in 2016, maps two types of innovation:

  1. Exploitation: Innovation that emerges from existing assets of the organization and improves them through innovation. This kind of innovation is relatively moderate, focused mainly on enhancement and efficiency — most managers of organizations feel comfortable with it. It deals with questions familiar to them: improving existing products, improving the product for a proximate market, etc. They know the customers and their expectations and thus find it relatively easy to address the challenge of exploiting.
  2. Exploration: This type of innovation requires the organization to leave its comfort zone and examine new markets, products, and business models unfamiliar to them. From the managers’ perspective, this type of innovation obliges them to venture into unfamiliar territory.

Despite the challenges involved in the innovation of the exploratory type, O’Reilly and Tushman argue that organizations should formulate a portfolio of innovative projects that include both types. “Regardless of a company’s size, success, or tenure, we argue that their leadership needs to be asking: How can we both exploit existing assets and capabilities by getting more efficient and provide for sufficient exploration so that we are not rendered irrelevant by changes in markets and technologies?”

 

 

 

When Your Employees Refuse to be Eaten by Software

“Software is eating the world” is the pictorial representation of digital transformation. But what happens when your employees refuse to be eaten? For example, an Uber driver refusing to abide by the rules of Uber’s algorithm. Or similarly, a doctor refusing to accept an AI recommendation from the MRI.

As an organization undergoes a digital transformation, one of the keys to enabling a successful role-out of new technologies is ensuring that employees are comfortable with the level of change. Recalcitrance from employees to digital transformation can set back your organization’s progress, and stymie an otherwise successful implementation. In that light, it is critical to view them as partners in the journey rather than as an obstacle.

In organizations where digital reigns king, such as companies which rely upon algorithmic technologies to manage their employees, this dynamic challenges organizations daily. One dramatic case study of this phenomenon is Uber, which provides a powerful example of employee dissatisfaction with new technologies.

As Uber continues to transform, employee resistance to change and algorithmic management has grown, according to a study quoted recently in the Harvard Business Review (HBR). Uber’s drivers are reliant upon the whim of an algorithm to assign them customers and determine their routes, fees, and more. This, according to the HBR, has left them feeling as though they are under constant surveillance, dehumanized, and understanding little about the algorithm which manages their daily lives. As a result, employees have been known to resist, whether by attempting to manipulate the algorithm, or by organizing in political forums without the knowledge of the company.

To manage this problem, the HBR offers four best practices to mitigate the discomfort brought about by algorithmic management, which can be extrapolated out to broader challenges in digital adoption:

  1. Share information. In theory, algorithmic management can increase transparency, since even learning algorithms that are used to manage workers reflect a set of rules and procedures that comply with the strategic goals of upper management. It may not be possible to share the algorithm itself with workers, but company leadership can and should share with them the data and goals that informed it.
  2. Invite feedback. To counterbalance the unidirectional commands that the algorithm hands down to drivers, companies should find ways to democratically include them in decision-making, for example by involving them into committees or councils that discuss and negotiate work related internal regulations. Getting workers actively involved in discussions about the design of algorithm-driven systems would do much to build more engaged and supportive workforces.
  3. Build in human contact. People need people. Organizations should develop formal, supportive communities where workers feel like members and can make social connections. Adding a human element to the way people are managed will help workers feel less like they are being treated as machines.
  4. Build trust. Implementing benefits that improve worker’s welfare, such as providing financial support in case of illness, or better sick pay or maternity leave, may be a first step to humanizing the company and mitigating the anger of employees who are managed by faceless algorithms.

To view the article by the Harvard Business Review on , click here

 

November 2020 Update

Welcome to our 2020 November update, where we share our latest news and publications on Innovating innovating.

i8 Ventures is a boutique consultancy specializing in digital transformation leadership. For more info see i8.ventures.

Yours Sincerely,
Prof. Yesha Sivan and the team

Digital Mindset Live event recording
Magnus Falk, VP at Zoom, talks about Zoom and the future of the workplace

Last month, Digital Mindset held an event with Zoom where we met Magnus Falk, VP at Zoom, who joined us live from London.

Magnus presented the future of Zoom’s product offerings, and how they are deeply intertwined with the future of the workplace.

Developing innovation skills in Israel’s Bio-Tech sector
Teva Pharmaceuticals Bio-Mix 2020: Annual National BioInnovators Forum Competition, hosted by i8 Ventures

i8 Ventures hosted the annual 2020 Bio-Mix event and competition by the National Forum for BioInnovators by Teva.

Bio-Mix-2020 featured Israel’s up-and-coming top researchers, who presented their innovative ventures. The winner was “The Digital Ear”, a venture by students at Tel Aviv University who developed a way to digitally treat hearing problems.

Read more about the event in Calcalistech

Prof. Sivan’s lecture at Applied Materials
The 6 digital transformations that every manager should master

At the beginning of November, Prof. Yesha Sivan presented to Applied Materials’ managers “The 6 Transformations You Need to Master.”

Prof. Sivan focused on 6 digital transformations, divided into internal and external, that each and every manager in the digital age should master and understand. These transformations are the key to managing the synergy between digital technologies and business strategy.

Digital Mindset: The Home Of Digital Leaders in Israel by i8 Ventures & Accenture
Now you can read about Digital Mindset in English

“Digital Mindset | Digitalrosh.com | הראש הדיגיטלי” is a professional community platform catering to digital leaders at the executive level.
Want to know more about the community? We built a new “About” page in English! We invite you to check it out on Digital Mindset’s website and learn more about us.

Prof. Sivan’s Presents the 3NN Model
The Three New Normals (3NN) Model was presented to students at the University of Saint Galen

During November, i8 Ventures’ CEO, Prof. Yesha Sivan presented The 3NN Model, which he developed, to the University of Saint Galen. The model provides a way to understand, mitigate and hopefully thrive during COVID-19.

October 2020 Update

Welcome to our 2020 October update, where we share our latest news and publications on Innovating innovating.

i8 Ventures is a boutique consultancy specializing in digital transformation leadership. For more info see i8.ventures.

Yours Sincerely,
Prof. Yesha Sivan and the team

Developing innovation skills in Israel’s Bio-Tech sector
Teva Pharmaceuticals Bio-Mix 2020: Annual Bio-Innovators Competition, hosted by i8 Ventures on 05-Nov-2020 (Open Event)

i8 Ventures is pleased to invite you to the annual 2020 BioInnovators BIO-MIX event and competition on Thursday, November 5th, 17:00-19:30 IL time (10:00 AM EST). The event will be in English.

Bio-Mix-2020 will feature Israel’s up-and-coming top researchers, that will present their innovative ventures. This is the culmination of a year-long effort to enhance young scientists’ innovation and business capabilities as part of the National Forum for Bioinnovators by Teva.

Paper proposing an organizational model to deal with COVID-19
The Three New Normals (3NN model), published in The Cutter Consortium (Arthur D. Little)

The 3NN model, developed by Prof. Yesha Sivan, provides a mental framework for organizations managing the crisis brought on by the COVID-19 black swan. The model describes A) what (three new normals), B) when (three-time scales), C) how (three methods of coping), and D) for whom (three levels of influence).

The model provides a way to understand, mitigate, and hopefully thrive during COVID-19.

Digital Mindset: New community platform by i8 Ventures & Accenture
The Home Of Digital Leaders in Israel

“Digital Mindset | Digitalrosh.com | הראש הדיגיטלי” is a professional community platform catering to digital leaders at the executive level.

Digital Mindset is sponsored by the companies i8 Ventures and Accenture as part of our efforts to strengthen digital and innovation leadership skills within Israeli organizations.

Digital Mindset LIVE:

As part of our community, we present a weekly program (via zoom webinar), “Digital Mindset LIVE,” hosted by Jacob Eilon.

In the program, which lasts two hours, we host leaders who present a unique angle to the topic of digital leadership, and then answer questions from the host and audience. (Of course, questions and answers are moderated and within the context of a closed forum only). The format allows for in-depth discussion at a high professional level.

Guests have included: Dani Shavit, CEO of Lubinski Group, Brigadier General Ziv Avtalyon, Head of Digital transformation in the IDF, Itzik Abercohen, CEO of Supersol, the largest supermarket chain in Israel, Yoav Chelouche, Founder and Partner at Aviv Capital Ventures, Yoav Aziz, VP Growth at Yotpo and more.

DigitalRosh Logo for Doc files

Next Digital Mindset Live event
Magnus Falk from Zoom – Open Event on Tuesday October 27th, 6:00 PM IL Time

Our next live event will be open to the public for free:
We will meet Magnus Falk, Tech Lead at Zoom, who will present the future of Zoom’s product offerings, and how they are deeply intertwined with the future of the workplace.

The event will be in English.

Zoom's presentation (1)

Work opportunity at i8 Ventures
We are hiring – Come and work with us

We are seeking a Senior Digital Transformation Consultant that will take on a senior role for our projects with industry leaders in Israel.

If you’re interested or you know someone who may be interested, we are waiting to hear from you.

P.S. If you got this from a friend, feel free to sign up for our updates.

March 2020 Update

Welcome to our March 2020 update, where we share our latest publications on Innovating innovating.

i8 Ventures is a boutique consultancy specializing in digital transformation leadership. 

Yours Sincerely,
Prof. Yesha Sivan and the team

Innovating Innovating
Corona-Busting: Top 10 Tips for Video Conferencing Etiquette

business people doing video conferencing colleagues having online business meeting web conference concept office workers group discussing co-working center interior sketch horizontal

As a secondary consequence of the Coronavirus, we now find ourselves in the largest mass experiment ever conducted on the digital workspace. Business must go on and meetings must be held, this time remotely — there is simply no choice. But how should we behave?

(Read More…)

Leadership
Professor Yesha Sivan to Present at IDF Digital Transformation Conference

The Association for the IDF C4I corps, in collaboration with the Bureau of Information Technologies in Israel and the Organization of Communications Systems Consultants (AIMT) are holding a series of meetings on contemporary communication topics, designed for the technological community in Israel.

(More Details…)

City Level Innovation
i8 Presentation at 2020 Jerusalem Municipality Conference

Prof. Sivan to give a lecture about the “Digital Era – Risks & Opportunities in the Changing Role of Auditing” at the annual Conference of the Audit Department of the Municipality of Jerusalem (Hebrew).

(Read More…)

Digital Mindset
Thank You to All Our Partners, Speakers, and Attendees! Stay Tuned

The Digital Mindset Conference lead by i8 Ventures and Accenture Israel was a huge success!
Some of the content from the conference will soon be available on the Digital Rosh website. Stay Tuned for more…

(Learn More …)

Case Study
The Year of the Rat: Digital Quantum Leap (Video)

2020 in the traditional Chinese calendar is the year of the rat – or more precisely, the year of the metal rat. To extrapolate, let’s call it the year of the digital rat.

What lesson does the digital rat have for making a quantum leap?

(Read More …)

P.S. If you got this from a friend, feel free to sign up for our updates.

Corona-Prep: Our Top 10 Tips for Video Conferencing

As the novel Coronavirus spreads globally, millions have been forced into isolation, conferences have been canceled, and companies have confined sick employees to their homes. 

Therefore, as a secondary consequence of the outbreak, we now inadvertently find ourselves in the largest mass experiment ever conducted on the digital workspace. Business must go on and meetings must be held, this time remotely — there is simply no choice.

Tools like Zoom, WebEx or Google hangouts, used from time to time will become the first platform for communication — replacing our conference rooms and coffee chats. When the epidemic passes, the 21st century knowledge worker will have a clearer idea of the limits and opportunities remote work presents.

As a participant in this mass experiment, we’d like to catch you up on some of the essentials of video conference “netiquette,” so you can at least go in prepared.

We’ve collected here our top ten tips that, in our experience, make video conferencing a pleasant and productive experience:

  1. Show up on time. In many ways, a video meeting is just like a regular meeting. That means it’s rude to keep people waiting. There is a 3-4 minute grace period for tardiness (and to work out technical issues), but if you plan on being later than that, let other participants know. It is surprising how many people disregard this and enter a conference call over 10 minutes late with no explanation given. As the saying goes, if you are on time, you are already late.
  2. Dress down, but not too much. In a video chat, you do not need to maintain your typical office dress code. A good rule of thumb is to dress one “level down,” i.e, business casual to smart casual. Just please, no pajamas. 
  3. Smile, say hi, and make small talk. Sheltered behind your screen, you may be under the impression that the obligatory niceties of mundane conversation are unnecessary. Not so. To foster teamwork and a pleasant work environment, allow for the chit-chat — don’t jump straight into business. Staying friendly can go a long way and maintain a sense of camaraderie while in isolation. 
  4. Mute as default. If you’re in a group, turn on mute. Whether you’re outside, the kids are jumping around, or your dog is barking, other members of a group call want to focus on the call. Unless you are the one talking, consider turning on mute. Unwanted noise coming from your mic is unprofessional, and frankly annoying. 
  5. Your setting. If your house is a mess, use a virtual background or even better organize your space. Maintain a sense of professionalism by using a filter which shows your face but displays a different background. This is particularly important when conferencing with clients or others outside your organization.
  6. We can see you; pay attention. Stay engaged by looking into the camera and listening when others are speaking. It is quite obvious to others in the chat when you are on your phone or looking at something else. Don’t answer emails while you are in the video call.
  7. Clean your screen. Most video conference apps provide a function to share your screen with other participants. This is a great tool, but make sure you clean up your desktop beforehand. If you plan on sharing your screen, close all tabs or other programs that are not relevant to the topic at hand. 
  8. Don’t slouch, and don’t put your feet up. While it’s ok to get comfortable during a long virtual meeting with teammates, for shorter or client-facing calls, maintain a pose, which helps project professionalism and engagement. 
  9. Recording. If you would like to record something, state that at the beginning of the meeting. Sometimes It can be useful to record part of a video call, or take snapshots of the screen. This is ok so long as you get permission first. Remember, video calls can be recorded.
  10. Clap your hands. When video conferencing is replacing a large group meeting (or even an entire conference), clapping hands, even while muted, is appropriate and desirable

 

Remember remote work is the new normal. Enjoy it.

The Year of the Rat: Digital Quantum Leap

2020 in the traditional Chinese calendar is the year of the rat – or more precisely, the year of the metal rat. To extrapolate, let’s call it the year of the digital rat.

Consider the video below:

Rats run through mazes to find cheese. However, running through a maze takes time. There are dead ends. There are obstacles. By the time you find your way to the cheese, perhaps some other, more innovative rat has already found it and ate your share.

In their day-to-day operations, companies are often resemble a maze. That is, the operations of a company actually work hinder innovation, whether it’s inefficient corporate structure, middle management, burdensome protocols, or more typically in our experience, poor digital infrastructure. If a company does not have the resources to innovate at scale, they will fall behind and miss out on the cheese.  

When working with companies, we guide them in expanding their digital infrastructure to allow for a higher rate of innovation (see our article  more innovation calls for more infrastructure). 

Once the infrastructure is in place, the digital culture that takes hold is what will allow a company to make the necessary leaps and avoid the maze, like the rat in the video.

We are in the age of Innovating innovating, where companies must spend less time on implementation and more time on innovation. As the new decade dawns, we see this trend as only accelerating. 

That is the difference between a leap and a quantum leap. When speed is the critical element, small, incrimental jumps are not enough to keep pace.

Rat’s have been running through lab mazes for at least 150 years.  But at least one rat has noticed that it’s time for a change. And you can be sure he’ll be the one to get the cheese. 

Wishing all our Clients and Readers a Happy New Year.

Dreaming Big (English Version): Conversation Between Chemi Peres and Prof. Yesha Sivan

To Dream Big – the Next Generation

Prof. Yesha Sivan, a global expert on digital innovation and venture capital innovation, talks to Chemi Peres, Co-Founder and Managing General Partner of the Pitango Venture Fund, and Chairman of the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation. They discuss big dreams, daring, and inspiration in the world undergoing fast and radical technological change. “The next era is an era of peace and ‘Tikun Olam*’ (Hebrew: world repair) through technological innovation,” says Peres.

* Tikkun Olam: In Jewish teachings, any activity that improves the world, bringing it closer to the harmonious state for which it was created.

By: Prof. Yesha Sivan

“A big dream is one whose fulfillment may affect people’s conditions, whoever and wherever they are, for the better,” says Nehemiah (Chemi) Peres, one of the Israeli high-tech community leaders, Co-Founder and Managing General Partner of Pitango Venture Capital. I was invited by The Marker’s (HaAretz) editorial team of the annual “High-Tech Book” to hold an in-depth conversation about dreams, with Peres – who also chairs the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation (and son of Shimon Peres, Eighth Prime Minister, Ninth President one of the founders of the State of Israel.) Not dreams in the Freudian sense of the word, but reality-shaping dreams, facing the fast and messy technological change and globalization process that today’s’ world is going through. Towards 2020, with the opening of the second decade of the 21st century, Peres draws a futuristic vision – a vision based on “dreaming big” on a personal, organizational, national, and international level.

Intermediate: “Big Dream Inspires and Gives Meaning”

The central element of your vision for the State of Israel is thinking big. How do you define a “big dream?”

“A dream that creates significant value for human kind. Of course, the size of a dream relative. There are global companies with a big dream, such as Apple, Amazon and Google. There are global companies born in Israel and they, too, has a big, significant dream, e.g., Check Point, Mobileye, SolarEdge, or WIX; Shay Agassi’s dream, to create electric vehicles and infrastructure that will change the world of transportation and energy, is a huge dream that connects energy and mobility; even younger companies have a big dream, for example, from the medical-diagnostic field. Companies such as Zebra and Helthy.io bring the digital world to the health-care field and they use technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence. Each in the field and level in which it operates.

“When I meet entrepreneurs, I look for the vision and the big dream, but I also look for a grain of dread or concern. ‘Can I really fulfill that dream? Is it big enough?’ If I’m not mistaken, Richard Branson said that ‘If you are not afraid of your dream, it is not big enough.’ But, it’s not the paralyzing fear I am looking for, but the one that inspires and inspires, challenges and motivates. The dreamers should feel the opportunity, the burden, the fear – build the valor – and then dare even further.

A big dream has an advantage in the set-up phase, because it inspires, gives meaning, is challenging and sweeping because it is a dream. It attracts the best of people – the entrepreneurs, the workers, and investors. The dream produces energy, which is also used as a safety airbag at the beginning. Over time, in the implementation and operation phase, there are likely to be many difficulties, which may increase in a linear function to the dream size”.

Intermediate: “At the individual level – Self-realization should be encouraged”

What did you learn at home about dreaming big?

“Alongside the command to dream big, there is another one – to serve a great cause. My late father used to say that ‘a man is as great as the size of the things he serves.’ The big dream should be attached to a big cause worth serving. By this definition, a dream that amounts to the individual service, in the realization that satisfies the ego, does not qualify the definition of a big dream. A dream that serves something that is beyond the individual – society, environment, state, region – is a dream that serves a great interest. The size of the dream is in linear proportion to the size of the community you serve and to the degree of impact.

“Ben-Gurion dreamed of the founding of the state of Israel. He had a life mission – to serve the Jewish people and materialize the Zionist vision. He encouraged my father to create and establish the cornerstones for dreams, and enabled him – at age 29 as Director General of the Ministry of Defense – to initiate the construction of the reactor in Dimona and establish the Israel Aerospace Industry. The bigger the matter, the better the dream was.

“My father’s vision for a new Middle East, a new regional reality, is a bold and tremendous vision. In a sea of ​​hatred, extremism and violence he dreamed and strived to serve peace. A big step on the way. ”

Can you educate to dream big?

“I think so. You can certainly inspire. I would say that the required key action is to draw the younger generation’s attention inward, into themselves, to discover the immense potential of each and every one. It’s about self-realization. Not to be afraid to dream and realize, dream and imagine what is possible as a way of life, and to move on to the realization. We must say to parents and teachers: We protect the children and restrict them with concern, as we do not want them to fail or disappoint. But at the same time, we must encourage self-realization. The trick is to create a sense of capability which can grow alongside failures, the failures that are a part of us all.”

Intermediate: “At the enterprise level – every company can and should dream big”

Can a big dream be identified?

“A big dream can be identified, but its realization capabilities cannot always be estimated. Naturally, there is a difference between a possible dream and an illusion. The bolder the dream, the more challenging its realization. For example: Landing the ‘Genesis’ spacecraft on the moon was a big dream for a small country. Although we failed to make the final step of landing, it is of enormous importance to set the target, mobilization, daring, and learning – all these created value for Israeli society. And perhaps a different and opposite example: WAZE had a dream to change the way we navigate, familiarize, and manage traffic. Many investors considered the venture’s difficulties and focused less on the possibilities of success in realization. Thinking back – this was a big dream and the realization was perfect. In the entrepreneurial world I give great importance to human capital, the talent of the entrepreneurs, and the ability to navigate and change. The ‘dream big voyage’ usually has a starting point and direction. Obviously, there will be changes along the way and from there the navigation is in a world of uncertainty.”

And what about existing companies?

“Usually a mature company has a choice: Either it is change-based and constantly renewed, or it will be based on preserving the existing. A company that has a DNA of renewal, R&D and risk-taking – its chances of surviving are higher. A company that concentrates on the existing is in danger. It will find it difficult to attract talented and dynamic personnel ,and may fall prey to competitors.”

How do you create a supportive organizational environment for dreaming big?

“Not everyone can build big innovative companies, such as Tesla or Amazon, but every company can and should dream as big as possible. The CEO needs to discover the potential of the company that has not yet been revealed. Shareholders should support and enable the change to take place. I recommend exploring the possibility of connecting to a relevant big dream, and finding your place within it. For example, for a company in the medical field, a big dream can be the effort to extend life considerably, and within that find its opportunity.”

What are the technologies that will affect companies?

“Within a decade, I would mention the field of artificial intelligence (including machine learning), IOT, and data. The combination of these creates opportunities for small companies to become large, and in turn – makes big companies fall off the map as they are replaced by new ones. AI is transforming to be much like the software world: Every company will use artificial intelligence. The change is parallel to the change made by the HTML and TCP/IP technologies that created the Internet era. These digital technologies are becoming the neural network of the organization. This is the corporate core. The ability to collect data, process them, and make business decisions.

In the more distant span of over ten years, with even more far-reaching effects, I will note quantum computing, DNA engineering, the human brain, and nanotechnology. These are technologies that will create waves of change.”

Intermediate: “State-level – Israel is an example of a big dream”

In Israel, a unique ecosystem has been created to generate and materialize big dreams. How did we get there?

“Israel was founded by virtue of innovation and entrepreneurship and is thus being built. Several epochs can be discerned where innovation was in focus during stages of our development, tier after tier. The first era can be described as ‘the building of Israeli society’ and it includes the revival of the Hebrew language, the construction of institutions that existed before and close to our Independence: the first universities, the Zionist Congress, etc. Creating a new society during the transition from the Diaspora to a state. The Second Age is the era of ‘Innovation in Settlement and Sustainability’ across the country: the building of kibbutzim, aquaculture and energy – innovation such as water desalination and the drip irrigation system. The following era was ‘Innovation in Safety & Security’ that naturally resulted from the need of our existence here, where the foundations of research and development, engineering and technology were built, starting with the establishment of an advanced atomic reactor, aerospace industry and entering the cyber era. These led to the era of ‘innovation in economics.’ On the ruins of agriculture farming we established a technological industry for export creating an Eco-system of entrepreneurship, digital industry, global capital and the breakthrough into international markets. Israel has been recognized as the “startup nation”. For me, the next era is the era of ‘peace and repairing the world through innovation’. The Age of “From Zion will come out learning” through solving major issues that the world focuses on, and here I incorporate the vision of the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation: Creating Peace by Innovation and Empowering Innovation by Promoting Peace.”

What should be preserved in this aspect in Israel? And what needs improvement?

“Our core values ​​must be preserved as part of the Jewish people and as a democratic society, while striving for a worldview, deepening education and striving for excellence, together with equality, sharing and inclusion. One fate for all of us: together we rise and fall. All those good things about Judaism and Israel built in the past ages.

“What needs to be improved? The source of innovation, previously mere existence (no water, no food, no security) is changing before our eyes. What will drive future generations is the search for meaning, the preservation of the earth and the human society, and self-realization. We need to be more global and more serving: Moral Values, Impact (IMPACT), Searching for Meaning. The sources of innovation will be less military and security and more focused research in dedicated research institutes with a connection to personal (internal and non-organizational) entrepreneurship. We live in the global era and need to be global players, which includes connecting to the sources of need, to technology, to manpower, to financing and to the global market.

“Of course, this means that managers need a new and different set of capabilities: Innovative Leadership, Corporate social responsibility (CSR), and adaptation to ever-changing reality. To foster growth. I wish we not only be the innovation state, but also a source of moral values ​​and applications for the use of advanced technologies.”

Intermediate: “At the global level, we are all single trees that create one forest”

Israel has long been not a solitary island, but part of a global fabric of innovation. The arms of Israeli companies are present in the world’s focal points: New York, San Francisco, London and even Shenzhen and Shanghai. What are the key trends in the world that we need to connect with?

“The global connection is critical, both in finding big dreams and in realizing dreams. I see some trends in the world that affect both the creation of the dream (the need) and the way of realization: The first trend is the social gaps created as a product of acceleration in innovation – gaps between those who advance and those who remain behind;  gaps between those who are connected to the new world and those who suffer from it. These gaps are politically expressed and lead to instability. The second trend is the common destiny of all of us. The major worldwide challenges of global warming, sustainability, disease, terrorism, and the likes, require inte-state cooperation because everything depends on everything, everything is at stake, and is not within the power of the individual. Only together can we meet these challenges. We are all single trees that create one forest. The third trend is the growth of new extra-state forces, mainly huge global companies such as Google, Facebook and their Chinese counterparts that create a socio-economic fabric of new empires. The leaders’ challenge, today and in the future, is balancing so that the gain of one will not become the loss of the other, but a shared success. Mutual prosperity.

A summary message?

“Each of us, at the level at which he or she operates – the individual, the organization, and the states – should be in constant forward motion. Standing in place means falling and decay. Like cycling – you have to be in forward motion to maintain equilibrium. And the best way to move forward to a better future is through sharing, through service, and the daring way of dreaming and dare.”

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Prof. Yesha Sivan is the founder and CEO of i8 ventures – a boutique consultancy focusing on digital transformation leadership. He is also a visiting professor of digital, innovation and venture at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Business School. Sivan’s professional experience includes developing and deploying innovative solutions for corporate, hi-tech, government, and defense environments. He focuses on digital strategy, innovation and venture, mindful leadership, virtual worlds (3D3C platforms), and knowledge age standards. After receiving his doctorate from Harvard University, he has taught executives, EMBA, MBA, engineering and design courses in his areas of expertise.

The Peres Center for Peace and Innovation was established in Jaffa on the beach in 1996 to promote Shimon Peres’ vision: A prosperous Israel through promoting peace and regional cooperation. In October 2018, Israel’s Innovation Center was launched as the president’s flagship project, to be the epitome of Israeli innovation for leaders from around the world, international leaders, senior business executives, and youth.

The Center presents, for the first time under one roof, the story Israel as the ‘nation of innovation’. Along the four floors are presented the 100 events that made Israel a startup nation, including: a conversation with inventors in interactive holograms, which tell first-hand about the way to the ground-breaking Israeli inventions; Exposure of the inventions that are at the forefront of Israeli technological developments that have changed the world, including display presentations, models and prototypes of these inventions; The start-up floor is updated with 45 developments; The future floor simulates a time capsule through VR technology, in which visitors are exposed to the future developments of the State of Israel.