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Retrospect makes fools of many of history’s giants, consistently proving true the proverb, “Pride comes before a fall.” From enemies to empires, individuals to organisations, it’s the players who grow too comfortable at the top who suffer the hardest fall.

When I’m working with clients, I strongly encourage them to keep a watchful eye on the forces of disruption that they may be least expecting or least concerned about. Unconventional competition is constantly the catalyst for the downfall of the big players, not least because it is often dismissed, underestimated or simply undetected until it’s almost too late. Of all the many forces of disruption organisations are vulnerable to in the modern world, unconventional competition might be the hardest to monitor and respond to.

A couple of years ago, I caught a typo in the Wall Street Journal. It was in one of the regular email newsletters that I had signed up for, called The Future of Everything. Written by staff at the WSJ, the newsletter always has a warm and conversational tone while keeping the polish and elegance of a publication of such prestige.

All the talk of the importance of failure can feel tired at times. Beyond that, it can feel ingenuine – as much as people say they believe in the importance of failure for success, it feels unlikely that they themselves actually want to fail and even more unlikely that they believe pursuing failure as an end in itself is a wise or worthy approach.

However, it remains true that genuine, well-meaning, measured and sensible risks that result in failure must be applauded and encouraged. The reason for this is that they are a sign of genuine risk-taking, and in an age of disruption, the surest sign that an organisation will fail is an unwillingness to take genuine risks.

The world’s most famous Youtuber made the news in late January for his big spending. While Youtubers are notorious for their opulence, the standout part of this video was that this was spending with a cause – that cause being the funding of life-changing eye surgery for 1000 unsuspecting strangers. Mr Beast may be known for his extravagance, but he is undeniably admired for his philanthropy[1].

Sometimes you just ‘know’. In the absence of evidence, logic and often common sense, all of us experience a deeply felt certainty that seems to defy all of our standard principles of decision-making. Despite this, we can’t help but be led by these gut instincts, and they play a larger role in the formation of our beliefs, opinions and decisions that we realise.

The tech world is off to a great start this year with the famously ground-breaking and mind-blowing tech convention, CES, presenting some breakthrough innovations. The Las Vegas megashow is known for showcasing the most futuristic and quirky of the tech world’s inventions, and this year’s event lived up to its reputation.

Here are some of the most promising gamechangers.

If you have been anywhere close to LinkedIn or business news over the past few weeks you would have encountered the conversation surrounding ChatGPT. Launched in November 2022 by OpenAI and stirring up the tech world since, this new AI chatbot is unparalleled in its capacity to seem truly human. Able to carry out flawlessly natural conversations, as well as replicate the language of humans across a range of contexts, this technological innovation and its many applications are raising some serious questions.

The holiday season is here. While rest is undoubtedly and necessarily a priority for most of us this year, the holidays can be a stressful time for many. The bustle of Christmas gift shopping and the logistics of family trips and get-togethers can eat away immense energy. Then, once the gatherings have begun, await the universally dreaded conversations arising when someone unwittingly raises a political opinion that divides the family dinner table.

Who else is tired? At the beginning of 2022, we were all in a rush to return to normal. We speculated about what the ‘new normal’ might look like, we rushed full-speed back into work, we filled up our calendars again, all in an attempt to make up the time we lost in the previous two years. While 2022 has seen us regain the ‘normal’ we missed, and certainly engage in enough activity to make up the lost time, it has also left many of us feeling totally depleted.

On top of the fatigue that is characteristic of this time of year, it is important to remember that we are still carrying the emotional burden of the trauma, grief and confusion of the last two years. Our full calendars may have distracted us from this trauma, but they in no way eliminate it. Busy schedules might make up the time that was lost, but they don’t heal the grief of the loss.

The human being is a tribal creature. We operate as a ‘we’ far more reliably than we operate as an ‘I’, and our compulsion for conformity is consistently stronger than our impulse towards individuality. This revelation has been key to the last century of psychological findings, and offers vital insight to the social and trends of our day – and how we might influence them.

Intuitively, we all know we operate as a group. Anyone who has been caught up in the energy of a sports match or immersed in the atmosphere of a concert has witnessed firsthand the striking power of the herd. The group’s influence on the individual has been proved over and over in psychological studies, often to rather comical effects.

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