During a working lunch at RECONVERGE:G2, Barton transitioned his talk to a panel of audience participants who provided their own thoughts on thinking globally in periods of disruptive innovation—as influenced by artificial intelligence. Barton asked panelists to share their experiences for audience members to understand how they’ve approached AI challenges—and realize how they might best approach this technological disruptor.


• Conditions change so quickly it is impossible to predict what’s changing next if you don’t have your ‘eye on the ball.’ Those using analytics will outpace those who lack such information in the business environment.
• To develop optimism around the AI issue, find a methodology and practice around the “certainty of uncertainty.” Technology has always been a game-changer, but the velocity of technological advancement has greatly increased.
• Technology by itself does nothing, but it can become an enabler for progress and improvements.
• Ask how we might learn by doing something—investigate experiential learning. Find the value in learning in rapidly changing situations: explore the new modes of discovery.
• In the environment of a professional services organization, know competitive advantages of companies are shrinking in technology. The business model is shrinking: how can they be matured in a faster space by leveraging technology?
• Centrality of data: We are in the “golden age” of data due to our access to massive amounts of it. The question is, how do we transform the way we think about it to realize what it can tell us about the nature of our business? How can we use it to reshape our thoughts in conducting business? We need to understand what the data tells us—and be able to admit when we are wrong.
• Collaborations can be beneficial–disrupt locally. The model is sustainable and replicable.
• All of us need to come together to address the AI situation. There is opportunity to connect with local communities.
• The future of work: First grow awareness of change. Where do we know the jobs will be? Highly skilled jobs and low-skilled jobs will exist—we need to know how to adapt as individuals in the changing of middle-skill jobs. Think of continuous learning as an objective in evolution and know how to adapt to that.
• Rescale at organizations: Ask what assets you have and determine how “just in time” educational opportunities can help reskill employees.
• Biggest challenge is that companies need to think in business terms about technology.
• “Winner takes all” is not an advantageous attitude—consider benefits of democratizing.
• The reason companies fail is they continue to do things as they have always done.
• Destroy your perception of the narrative and the notion that the amount to disrupt is greater than the effort to improve. Sometimes taking a small step will yield great results.