Exponentials and Exponential Thinking

Exponentials and Exponential Thinking

In this age of exponential technological change, digital transformation may be a requirement for survival in your career. Technology holds the potential to significantly disrupt current business models, impacting your ability to respond to rapidly changing customer expectations.

Often, staying on top of trends can feel overwhelming, with a constant flood of information coming from every channel. However, it’s much easier to keep abreast of trends when you are intentional: using information filters to hone your focus.

Information filters can act as a roadmap for navigating topics on technology in leasing and equipment finance; providing clarity on where to begin. I recommend beginning with these two topics:

  • Exponentials:

    How to think about the exponential progress of technology; illustrated through the Six D Framework.

  • Exponential Thinking:

    The difference between exponential and incremental thinking and the importance of developing an exponential mindset.

Exponentials are those technologies that advance at an exponential (rather than linear) pace.

During the initial phases of development, the exponential technology’s momentum is deceptive: appearing to advance at a sluggish pace. However, its progress becomes increasingly evident as the technology continues to multiply in capability up an ascending curve – leading to repeated announcements of the technology’s breakthrough developments. While these announcements feel sudden, the progression has been building beneath the surface for a long time. The technology continues to grow more powerful, with each successive innovation driving more innovation: creating a compounding effect.

The advances are exponential, rather than incremental.

This concept is described as the “Six D’s” by authors Steven Kotler and Peter Diamandis in their book, Bold, as well as in Diamandis’ overview of the subject in this video presentation. The Six D’s explains that we’re often surprised by technological advances because we are trying to apply linear thinking to exponentials. Although there are many speakers who present the Six Ds concept, Diamandis’ presentation covers a wealth of information in only five minutes; giving you a foundation to explore the impacts and possibilities of a variety of technologies that are progressing exponentially.

Exponential Thinking

In addition to technology, exponential progress applies to the phases in a business model’s lifecycle.

This concept is best described by Mark Bonchek in his Harvard Business Review article, which discusses the importance of developing an exponential mindset, and how to do it. In the article, Bonchek states “To create exponential value, it’s imperative to first create an exponential mindset. The incremental mindset focuses on making something better, while the exponential mindset is makes something different. Incremental is satisfied with 10%. Exponential is out for 10X.”

By developing this type of mindset, you’re able to feel comfortable with uncertainty; helping you become more ambitious with your vision. Imagine the impact it might have on your business if you began to focus on 10x results, instead of 10% results. What outcomes would become possible?

There are nine categories of exponential technology that I monitor for advances and trends.

One way to prioritize your focus on emerging technology is to select the top three most impactful technologies for your industry and watch them for trends.

Of the above nine, the convergence of the following three technologies hold the potential to create the greatest business model innovation in many industries – especially commercial equipment finance and leasing:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Blockchain/Distributed Ledger
  • Connected Devices/Internet of Things (IoT)

Monitoring these technologies and trends can be a full-time job. As a business leader, it helps to have a pathway through all of the information. To simplify this process, I have curated simple steps and resources that will help raise your awareness of exponential technology and current trends.

1. Review information covered in this article
  • Watch Peter Diamandis’ video and read the article by Mark Bonchek.
  • Capture your top takeaways while brainstorming the affects this could have for you and your business.
2. Download my one-page guide:
    • TomorrowZone Workshop Worksheet: Exponentials and Exponential Thinking
    • In only 25 minutes, build a foundation for thinking about the impacts and opportunities at the convergence of multiple categories of exponential technology.
    • Download by filling out the form below.
3. Apply this information to your own life and business.
  • Attend or host a TomorrowZone workshop to create an opportunity to step out of today and focus on the future; with facilitated-thought experiments designed to reinforce learning and spark your imagination as you explore the art of possibility. Click here for more information.


2019-03-20T00:27:50-05:00February 26th, 2019|