You are now observing the results of the invisible war of information.
I am sure many of you managers have been hearing for many years now that 40% of the existing business models will be replaced by new ones by 2035. What I would like to discuss is not whether this is true or not; instead, I would like to talk about what action managers should take and how they should prepare for the coming of the AI era.
The digital technology that triggered the industrial revolution has developed AI and its purpose has been to help human beings to work efficiently and to create a copy of the content of our brains. Efficiency means AI does machine learning of how to do things that we used to do with our own hands. It also eliminates the waste and lets the machine do the same things humans do and also try and minimize mistakes. These things have already been done by robots. Robots are not only capable of operating things but they can also communicate.
In today’s global society, many unexpected issues arise, and executive coaches must acquire physical health and resilience to respond to them, as well as adequate methodologies and thinking skills. And they need to teach those methods to executives. So, what we need now is to learn about Supervised Learning and Unsupervised Learning methods.
Supervised Learning Supervised Learning is one of the methods of machine learning, and it is called so because the AI system uses the data given in advance as so-called “examples (=advice from the supervisor)” and learns (= fitting to some sort of data) using the examples as a guide. That is, it is a lesson with proper answers derived from the input and the output data. A clear answer is already available. An example of this would be a student learning from their supervisor at school when they are given the answers.
Unsupervised Learning is another method of machine learning and it is very different from Supervised Learning in the sense that “what might be asked” and its “answers” are not decided beforehand. It is used to extract the essential structures behind the input data. There are several answers in the extracted structure and not necessarily just one. When there are a number of clusters (aggregates) the output becomes more complex and there will be various answers. Executives especially need to organize large numbers of tasks and to find the answers in order to make decisions. There are several possibilities in the cluster data, and if there are many answers including the hypothesis, you always face the challenge of how to derive the answer. If you cannot come up with the solution, things will get complicated and you will not be able to make a hypothesis for the future nor conduct scenario planning. It is also necessary to derive a number of answers from additional data using not only your own but also other people’s data. As this is the age of AI, and more complex issues and challenges emerge, executives are expected to acquire greater ability for Unsupervised Learning.
What happens if you are incapable of “Unsupervised Learning”?
In the approaching era of AI, we might encounter many unexpected revolutions. Performance management which has been stable for a long time will also be forced to change to a short-term business model. We must adjust our thinking to the future and to new challenges as soon as possible. You can use this thinking to take the next step ahead of other executives – it can become a tool or a strength. Whether you have the “Unsupervised Learning” mentality or not will make an overwhelming difference in the AI era and it will become a weapon you can use to gain an advanage. It is important to understand that the term “tactics” belongs to a “Supervised Learning” mentality, and that the “Unsupervised Learning” goal is strategy.
If you seek answers only from the existing big data or information and conduct “Supervised Learning” only, you obtain just those answers that anyone can come up with, so it will become a matter of speed in either retrieving the answer or taking action in a split second. This includes investment in stocks.
Why should an executive coach do this and how?
A true executive coach, and a general coach as well, must study specifically, learn from failure, and acquire a different way of thinking from others. The role of the executive coach is to change the client’s consciousness and let him or her break away from the conventional frame (shell). There is a wide range of ways to achieve this and it is all about capturing the matter in a professional and cross-disciplinary manner. Do not get too obsessed with logic, and think by yourself, using analogue mentality, inverse thinking, chunking-up, metaphors, elimination, and liberal arts, and finally come up with your original way of thinking.
This is called OUT OF THE BOX or BREAK THE BARRIER mentality and it is important to know its meaning, value, concept and significance well. And it is to have a thought that guides the springing into consciousness of what has been unconsciously done so far.
There are many people who use these thinking methods who have learned various things in liberal arts lesssons in their schooldays. Like these people, the executive coach has the potential knowledge, the ability to think outside the limiting belief, and if there is a person who is stuck in a limiting belief or in an old legacy theory, or even if these matters are mathematically incomprehensible, the executive coach will help you to process it all together, so things can be sorted out. These ways of organizing your thinking OUT OF THE BOX, in a BREAK THE BARRIER manner, brings you the possibility of steering free of your old thoughts.
The most important thing that an executive needs now is a person who can stay close, offer support in sorting out various challenges, understand his or her emotions such as pleasure and pain, contribute positively to his or her mental state and in some cases even to thinking in a positive way in order to prepare the company for the future in this chaotic global society. We call such a person a true executive coach for the executives. On that premise, it is essential that executives understand the future of ICT (Information and Communication Technology).
The most important things to being a coach are being able to support the thinking technology that matches the trends, to have a strong need to cope with the challenge of responding to changes, and to have an understanding of ICT. In general, a Chief Executive Officer is also expected to have the same thinking power. In addition, they are expected to be leaders who have the ability to integrate the whole, a strong mental frame, the ability to carry on to the end, determination and execution skills, or, put simply, leaders who have a strong will and give the rest of us strength through the power of affirmation. At the same time, this is also the future executive coach’s role. In particular, it is necessary to have a person who can act as an expert in global management, a person who understands metaphysics and philosophy, who is cross-cultured, a person who experiences hardship and succeeds through making big mistakes, and a person who can act and proceed as a matter of course without fear of hybridization of thinking.
The world is already in an age of ICT. Executives who are unable to use or utilize these resources will no longer be able to engage in future management.
The same can be said for an executive coach. The client who has a coach who doesn’t understand them at all is quite unlucky. He or she is bound only to obsolete and stale thoughts. If this is the case, the executive should consider changing his or her coach immediately.
But what you need now is a coach or someone who you think of as your coach, who can support you when you are stuck in your search for an answer to an unprecedented issue, who can help you understand what is going on without having to stop your thinking stream or interrupt you, who can boost your resilience, and who can support you in breaking those shells.
The full-fledged appearance of AI has led to significant changes in management. The world is changing the existing business models in order to encompass AI. 2019 will be the year of significant mentality change. And to study the idea of “Unsupervised Learning” as a tool, let’s consider it out of the box from now on.
And let’s make a habit of solving various issues ourselves when we face them. We have to think about how to solve them. These problems cannot be solved without moving from the world of knowledge into the world of wisdom and intelligence. You cannot afford to coach someone who has more than your ability to think about issues you do not understand or cannot solve.