3 Ways to Foster an Exponential Mindset at Your Organization

3 Ways to Foster an Exponential Mindset at Your Organization

Share Lessons to Make Your Team More Innovative

If you were able to join us for the inaugural SingularityU Canada Summit, you were exposed to a lot of lessons and ideas over two days. Now what? Have you been able to translate exponential thinking to your teams, share your findings, and start creating change? 

Full room of Workshop participants at SingularityU Canada Summit 2017.
A full room at the Workshops at the SingularityU Canada Summit 2017.

It is not always easy to distill the big ideas and transformative practices we covered into your daily goals and work flow. If you are trying to turn information into impact, consider the ideas below. Leverage these tips from our Summit Workshop series to shorten the distance between what you know and what your team knows and make exponential thinking a universal practice in your organization.

1. Start with a learning mindset.

Lisa Kay Solomon recommends that leaders start by asking questions, joining the conversation, and embarking on the journey alongside your team. Avoid sharing a ‘fire hose of information’ that can overwhelm those who are just hearing about exponential technologies for the first time. Instead, try playing a sci-fi film or video game to find an accessible starting point and bridge the concepts through shared experiences. As you share your knowledge, be open to the viewpoints and insights other people have to offer. Share your favourite sessions from the 2017 Summit to spark discussion and empower people to speak their minds. You may find that your team has been thinking about these concepts and ideas more than you knew!

“Leading as a futurist means optimistically imagining bold new futures – and sharing stories to inspire others.”

2. Look outside of your organization.

Working towards a set goal or business plan can make it easy to lose sight of external threats, internal biases, and new approaches. Time and time again, we have observed that innovation comes from the outside of organizations and often outside of industries. Access it by finding a young mentor, exploring uncommon partnerships, visiting innovation hubs, and talking to people from different sectors. It can be as simple as committing to one coffee a month with someone who has a different role, background, or experience than you. Make time for creative discovery and connect with people within and outside of your vertical. Broaden your horizons and you may be surprised by how quick and expansive the results are – for your network and your outlook.

Workshop participants writing during a brainstorm exercise.
Workshop participants play The Thing from the Future to brainstorm creative solutions.

3. Shift perspectives.

Steer the conversation toward opportunities to take a positive lens on disruption. Use The Thing from the Future and other creative exercises to collaborate freely. Remember Larry Keeley’s view on innovation: it is a rigorous science and discipline that anyone can learn. Reframe and reconsider what you can contribute and don’t be intimidated by big changes. Forget the notion that expertise is required to invent and create. Start today and work collaboratively on projects that are not directly related to your organization or team goals. Unlocking new progress can be accomplished by shaking things up in simple, seemingly disparate ways that promote open dialogue.

People completing exercise to imagine new futures and collaborate on ideas.
Participants imagine alternate futures and collaborate on new ideas.

Use learning to unlock exponential thinking on your team.

Learning leads to innovation. Keep the conversation going and ensure every member of your organization is given the chance to explore their interests, define their values, and work toward new solutions. Each organization, team, and individual learns and grows differently. Consistently, though, good things happen when people are encouraged to grow, emboldened to act, and motivated to try and make a positive difference.

How are you driving learning and sharing your exponential mindset?

Share below or on social with #SUCanada #ExponentialCanada.

Using Questions to Shape Exponential Futures – Talk Boutique Salon Series: Answers vs Questions Recap

Using Questions to Shape Exponential Futures

Talk Boutique Salon Series: Answers vs Questions Recap

We’re on the precipice of major global transformation. Exponential technologies are converging and more accessible, on a more powerful scale, than ever before. The next few years will change how we understand and experience life.

There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the possibilities of a better, technology-enabled future but many people are pointing to the potential repercussions of charging ahead without careful consideration.

Questions will shape the way forward.

SingularityU Canada and BMO Wealth Management Tinnerman Wealth Group sponsored Talk Boutique’s 6th Salon Series: Answers vs Questions earlier this month. The event explored just how we can nurture those important questions. Talk Boutique is a Toronto-based speakers bureau and speakers coaching agency that is dedicated to catalysing intelligent conversations.

Talk Boutique Salon Series Signage
Talk Boutique hosted their 6th and biggest Salon Series: Answers vs Questions in October 2017.

The evening brought together esteemed speakers Jill McAbe, a neuroscience-based strategy, performance, and growth expert and creator of MINDCODE™, and Sonny Kohli, practicing Physician in Internal Medicine and Critical Care at McMaster University, X-Prize Finalist, and Co-Founder of Cloud DX.

“When we ask better questions, we get better answers,” Nick Kindler, Co-Founder and Executive Speaker Coach at Talk Boutique explained as he introduced the topic.

Andrea Sampson. Co-Founder and Executive Speaker Coach at Talk Boutique introduces the salon and discussion topic.
Andrea Sampson, Co-Founder and Executive Speaker Coach at Talk Boutique sets the stage for the evening.

The speakers and audience were invited to share their perspective on questions, artificial intelligence, meaningful work, and how these notions and boundaries are shifting. The talks explored the succession of questions and answers. Rooted in futurist, Gerd Leonhard’s argument that “computers are for answers and humans are for questions,” the conversation covered personal development and broader social change. Speakers were asked, “In order to preserve our humanity, do we need to focus less on the invention of new technology and more on the creation of provocative questions?”

“It’s a perfect storm right now,” explained Kohli, “We have tech giants with unfiltered access to our lives, we’re willingly welcoming them in, and Moore’s Law, that observes computing power has exponentially increased in price performance, accelerating growth – it’s all occurring simultaneously.”

Jill McAbe talks at Talk Boutique Salon Series.
Jill McAbe describes the role of quality questions in her personal journey.

McAbe emphasized that questions have a major impact on our personal and collective trajectory. She pointed to disruptive problem-solvers like Einstein who said that if he had one hour to solve a problem, he’d spend 55 minutes defining the problem. The question or problem is essential to set the foundation. “That’s what we do as humans, we ask questions. As we do, answers arise and possibilities come before us.”

The impact of quality of questions influenced McAbe’s own career path and sense of fulfillment in her work, social, and personal life. “Visioning is just as important for businesses as it is for individuals; companies that have a strong vision outperform the market by 2-12 times,” she shared, illustrating the exponential power of a strong, foundational question and goal.

“The visions that work, for individuals and organizations, have two consistent qualities: first, they have a giant, meaningful goal. Something you couldn’t imagine not wanting to achieve. Second, they have a purpose that is and always will be important, even if it’s intangible.”

When it comes to technology, McAbe pointed to the overload of information as a barrier many people face in making meaningful contributions and attaining fulfillment. “Vision allows you to tap into emotion, picture achievement, and get your subconscious on the job, helping you focus on what you need and filter out what you don’t.”



Sonny Kohil, physician and Co-Founder of CloudDX, talks about AI.
Sonny Kohli emphasizes the pervasive role of artificial intelligence in our daily lives.

Sonny Kohli also called attention to the vast amount of information that is constantly available to people. “AI has entered our daily lives, uninterrupted with exponential velocity,” he explained as he invited members of the audience to reflect on their smartphones. He focused on how humanity’s collective vision of AI hasn’t matched the current reality, leading to little reflection and rapid integration in our lives without the groundwork of quality questions.

Kohli quickly recalled experiences where AI outsmarted him (and the audience) in covert, seemingly innocuous ways. Navigating to a restaurant, shopping online, diagnosing a patient, helping with his daughter’s homework – AI is consistently a playing a part in our daily lives.

The crowd discusses and connects before the talks begin.
The audience connects over ideas of rapid technological development and thoughtful reflection.

In daily cognitive functions, ongoing relationships, and even fundamental physiological decisions, the technology is having an impact that may not always be as positive as it seems. “Ray Kurzweil’s predicted Singularity isn’t coming – it’s here. It’s time to start asking how much of an influence we want AI to have. Do we want transparency in the algorithms being used? Do we want regulation?”

Despite making a living as a champion of innovation and leader in healthcare technologies, Kohli ended his talk with a provocative question:

“Should we slow innovation and allow our questions to catch up?”

“Fulfillment is possible for humanity,” McAbe insisted. “The right questions can change the world.”

What questions do you want to ask to help shape a positive, sustainable exponential future for yourself, for Canada, and for the world?

Let us know in the comments or join the conversation online with #SUCanada #TalkBoutique.


Matterport is picking up new funding as it looks to speed the development of deep learning tech in its capture technology which brings immersive views of spaces into 360-degree 3D

The company, which largely specializes in scanning spaces for commercial and real estate purposes, announced today that they’ve picked up $5 million in funding from Ericsson Ventures. This strategic raise brings the company’s total announced funding to $66 million according to Crunchbase.