Brian Evergreen, Founder and CEO of The Profitable Good Company, speaks with Robert Lutton, VP at Sandhill Consultants and Editorial Board Vice Chair for CDO Magazine, in a video interview about shifting the mindset from problem-solving to future-solving, creating a decision tree of hypotheses, opting for a reason-driven approach over a data-driven approach, the importance of storytelling, communication, and understanding the audience, and the future of AI.
At the onset, Evergreen encourages people to shift from problem-solving to future solving. He suggests that instead of looking to get rid of an issue, people should look at what their desired future is and work backward to plan out how to get there.
The feedback on this idea is positive, and people feel inspired by working toward the chosen future, says Evergreen. He also encourages organizations to give visibility to the desired future so each person in the organization can contribute. Finally, he states that this shift brings new inspiration to the organization.
Next, Evergreen advocates creating a decision tree of hypotheses that can help with strategy perspective instead of simply focusing on initiatives, ROI, and timelines. This approach helps individuals find more meaning in their work by helping them focus on how they can arrive at a desired future. To do this, Evergreen suggests investing in improving or disproving various hypotheses.
Moving forward, he asserts that opting for a reason-driven rather than data-driven mindset is advantageous because data can only tell you where you have already been and is not scientific enough to predict where you may be going.
Further, he encourages leaders to take responsibility for the risks they are taking rather than placing the blame on the data when something does not work out. Additionally, Evergreen suggests that leaders should assess their reasoning based on the importance of that decision for the organization, rather than relying solely on the data.
Brian Evergreen | Founder and CEO of The Profitable Good Company
Delving further, he suggests that organizations typically solely measure the risks taken, rather than all the risks not taken. This practice threatens to stifle innovation and incentivizes a risk-averse leader to pick the least innovative option. Consequently, the leader may be missing out on greater opportunities and rewards.
When asked about the secret sauce to success, Evergreen says, that as a data leader, it is essential to have a storytelling framework to be successful. He opines that if data insights are not resulting in decisions, it is not a problem with the data, but instead a communication problem.
Data leaders must focus on understanding their audience to help them succeed, says Evergreen. Additionally, they should not put themselves in the spotlight but rather ensure that the audience feels empowered to make the decisions necessary to get the desired outcome.
Commenting on what the future of AI holds, Evergreen maintains that there is no immediate extinction risk associated with AI. He points out that this is a widely accepted consensus among those in the field. Moreover, he predicts that generative AI will follow a quicker hype cycle than average and that it will be a useful tool in organizational leaders' arsenals.
Evergreen remarks that he has yet to see any organization achieve true autonomous transformation. However, he is hopeful about witnessing breakthroughs from an autonomy perspective with the aid of organizations such as Boston Robotics.
In conclusion, he predicts that in the next five to ten years, a breakthrough in machine autonomy will incite an "iPhone moment" for the industry. This breakthrough technology is expected to be more focused on enhancing the human experience by taking on transactional work, rather than replacing human jobs.
CDO Magazine appreciates Brian Evergreen for sharing his insights with our global community.