Thornton MayThornton May will showcase the best practices of the best CIOs leading the winnable future at the Midsize Enterprise Summit Fall 2018 event in San Diego.

Too many IT leaders are focused on the here and now, but to get ahead, you have to look ahead. Knowing the future can help with winning the future.

Futurist Thornton May will share secrets to help IT leaders win the future at the Midsize Enterprise Summit Fall 2018 event next month in San Diego. He touched upon some of the tips in a wide-ranging interview.  

Failure Is An Option

Being afraid of failure is simply human nature. But while many will do just about anything to avoid taking a nosedive, May believes failure is an option and it might just be the best one.

“Back in the day, failure meant that you were eaten by a large predatory animal. Here, failure means, well, it just didn't work.”

May encourages IT leaders not to let fear of failure prevent them from taking risks. 

“At a lot of these high-end jobs, not only do they want your accomplishments resume, but they want your failures resume. ‘I didn’t get tenure here’ or ‘I didn't get published,’ but it shows that you’re attempting these types of things. Failure is valuable.”

We Choose Our Own Limitations

“The scarcest resource today is not knowledge, nor is it capital because it’s never been easier to borrow money, so funding is not an issue. It’s courage and vision.

“There are two types of people in this world. There are people moving toward a dream and there are people running away from a nightmare. And it’s much better to move toward a dream than flee a nightmare.”

Don’t Settle For Average

“There was a time when the mantra in IT was ‘We suck less.’ IT basically was an irritant and your job was to become the least irritant. You wanted to be the mosquito that doesn’t bother you much.”

“Today, every day should be an adventure. Every day, there should be something rolling out. Every day, there should be some moment of customer insight, saying ‘We did not know that.’ For example, artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data. These are not places to experiment. These are places to actually deliver and inspire awe in your customers.”

The Customer Calls The Shots

“Where you have to differentiate is the core customer experience and that’s where they should focus all their money and all their IT stuff. There should be a whole lot of the IT infrastructure that should be similar, but at the point of customer engagement, that’s where you really want to differentiate.”

Understanding market fit is essential to developing a product can effectively and efficiently grow. This requires IT leaders to align their products with the wants and needs of their customers. If they refuse, they should prepare to face a tsunami of angry online customer reviews. 

The Importance Of Execution and Delivery

“Ideas without implementation are hallucinations. They create no value, in fact, all they do is create frustration.”

According to May, a brilliant idea will not enable IT leaders to be successful. Coherent purpose plus actionable strategy translates into victory.

“It’s all about delivering on the promise of the idea. You’ve got to have a vision that people believe in that people are willing to work their butts off to try and get to.”

May will discuss these ideas in more details at the MES Fall 2018 event in San Diego. For more information, check out the agenda.