“The only way to figure out how fast the horse can go is to get on and ride!” – Joe Wingerter
Joe Wingerter is a pretty observant guy, and I only met him yesterday. That’s because in my session yesterday for a global construction company, he had one of the most brilliant observations I’ve ever seen about ‘how to innovate in the face of uncertainty.‘ From Omaha, Nebraska, his delivery of this line, delivered with a bit of a Western drawl, certainly captured my attention, and certainly that of everyone in the room.
Let me share the story.
First, I needed to make sure I had a slide in my deck emphasizing that when it comes to AI, there is no ‘silver bullet’ to be found. There are no easy solutions, no checklist that you can follow, or a series of steps to undertake. The only way, I emphasized, was to get involved and start to figure it out. With that in mind, I worked into the intro of this section of my deck on “Action Steps” the idea that there is no ‘silver bullet’ to be found.
The image seemed kind of lame, and since I was evolving my deck so that it was mostly using AI-generated art, I decided to ask MidJourney – the text-to-image AI that I am using for such purposes – to generate for me a ‘silver bullet.’ It gave me this image.
I figure that somewhere deep within the bowels of the large-language-model lay details of a horse named Bullet. And since I asked for a ‘silver’ version, well, here’s my Silver Bullet! I left this in the slide deck as it provides me with the inherent flaw in much of this strange new world of AI – it is really good at generating precise imperfect information!
Of course, this really has nothing to do with the story but indicates why that image is in today’s post – but again, I digress.
Anyway, I have a whole section near the close of my talk where I cover what I think are practical action steps that an organization should pursue to align with fast-moving trends – things such as focusing on experiential capital, increasing the risk tolerance, taking on small projects with an uncertain payback, focusing on generational opportunities. My key point – and this seems to be echoing that of many – is that we need to invest, start working with this technology, and figure out what it might mean – before we can really figure out what to do with it.
All of this generated a lively discussion with the group, with many questions being tossed in, and a few suggestions along the way. At one point, this fellow Joe simply shouted out the comment “The only way to figure out how fast the horse can go is to get on and ride!” which completely and totally captured the attention of the room. I knew at that very moment I had seen a flash of brilliance and made sure to keep the idea in mind. After all, his point was that the only way to figure out how AI is going to change your world – and there is no doubt it will do that – is to get involved with it, work with it, and figure out what is going on.
Get on and ride.
If you have been reading this Daily Inspiration at any time over the last 7 years, you will know that I rarely share a quote from someone else, but today, I’m sharing this one from my new pal Joe. It’s a brilliant, concise observation, and I’m pretty sure that it will make its way into many of my future keynotes.
Including, in context, a horse named Silver Bullet.
Futurist Jim Carroll has never been on a horse. When he was 5, a small pony that he was riding at a birthday party waded directly into a pond, and he has been traumatized ever since.