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Losing our brains with disruptive technologies (XVI): Strategic cognitive maps required.

Last week we have begun with the introduction to the transit-transportation activities. I wouldn´t dare to extend this subject to more than this week. We must start with the next subject, which is cleanse-cleaning activities. Let´s remember that our aim is not to stay much more than a week per topic, in consequence even if we try to deepen the core, the idea is to provide the minimum substantial material to kick off in our readers, the desire to continue learning and at least to provide the foundation of ideas to create in each of you a critical thinking perspective.

The only way to enhance our critical thinking capabilities is by creating strategic cognitive maps. My Entrepreneurial Contextual Analysis framework is an example of a cognitive map. The Strategic Innovation framework from Professor Markides is another example of cognitive maps.  By asking simple questions like what is our product? How is it going to be deployed? and Who are our clients, Markides provided a cognitive map to us.  Osterwalder-Pigneur has granted the business model canvas, which is nothing else than a cognitive map too. A simple outline of each of my sagas is a cognitive map too. Each strategist is sentenced to provide mental frameworks, roadmaps, and cognitive maps to help us as a framework of reference.

Losing our brains with Disruptive Technology-outline 21february

Our saga outline is one of the simplest examples of a cognitive map.

Critical Thinking requires habit practice. When we ask questions as: Is the data reliable? What happened? Why this took place? When did it come? What are the contextual variables of the issue? How does it occur? Who are the investors? Who are the clients? What is the value proposition? etc… By this point in time, and if you have followed my publications, you already know the whole dimensions of critical thinking. I hope by reading this saga, each of these episodes may trigger the tendency in you, to continue performing critical thinking, as a habit, on your own.

As I already explained, I want this saga to be always a surprise for you, my readers, who thankfully follow me. There will be times in which I will dig deeper into the contexts, another time, we will stick to hit the markup with the disruptive technologies analysis per each activity, and other times I will go directly to the strategic reflection. Today, as I promised before, I would like to explain a bit about what is a cognitive map, and why is it so important to use it when it comes to understanding these activities. Otherwise, you will become parasites of my analysis, which is not what I wish but to help you to learn your neuron brains to think.

What is a map? It is a graphic representation that provides a frame of reference. Regardless if maps are designed by geographers or cognitive researchers,  a map is a means of depicting something (can be a region, a country, a problem, a product, a service, an industry, an economic sector,  an era, a science project, a technology or a tool, etc). The map function is to help us understand where we are and where do we want or can go and until when do we need to stop and how long it will take us to arrive at our destination. Maps help us to find the best alternative route in between thousands of routes, they help us to translate to us the boundaries or the limits, the risks of different nature, and the concept of time associated with our route.

brain machinelearning_webart_article_v1Every activity that the human being performs is linked to an industry or an economic sector, which means that we are producing products and services associated with this activity. Irrespective of the function of the products and services (sometimes they are utilized to heal, others to make us popular or trendy, others for usefulness, or improving a current state of affairs, or to transform it completely or disrupt the status quo.

So, if for each activity people do, there is an industry associated and there are multitude of companies integrated in value chains (domestic, regional, multinational and global) I wonder, why do we need to create a strategic cognitive map for each of them?  Are you following me?

Why do we need a strategic cognitive roadmap for our businesses linked to our human activities? A simple and common-sense answer: We need it because these are graphic representations that help us in relation to our information environment. A cognitive map provides a frame of reference for what is known and believed. They highlight some information and fail to include other information, either because it is deemed less important or because it is not known. They exhibit the reasoning behind purposeful actions and in consequence, the products-services coming as a result of our actions.

An industry strategic cognitive map display graphically:

  1. The multiple companies’ strategic positions as a dispatching station or a starting point.
  2. The different roadmaps or routes each company holds as a promise to improve or neglect that position by using the NAIQI technologies (Nanotechnology, Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Processing, the Internet) and more new tech expected to happen in the future.
  3. The expected arrival station or arrival point for each route.

We are at a stage in our times that the combo of NAIQI technologies all together has disrupted our way of living, and it has the capacity or the potential to alter profoundly each of the previously established routes that companies took for givens. I am convinced many of the companies´ CEOs have no idea of where in the future the arrival point; and if they know it, the NAIQI technologies are not proven yet, and they only know that they know nothing. Probably they also know the technologies are coming up so quickly that they will have to change the original route as many times as possible if they wish to be tip-toes in comparison to the competition. And in an ultra-dynamic roadmap like the one we notice at the moment, our main function as corporate strategists is to understand how these dynamic cognitive maps can be linked to strategic decisions and actions.

In summary, a strategic cognitive map is an assessment of the business or industry current position, relationships among key actors and current-future events, and the multiple possibilities of improved positions as the basis on which each of the industry organizations acts or will act successfully or will fail to act if they start using the combo NAIQI technologies. Cognitive maps are required and related to decision making.

The reason why I wish to shake the fundamentals or the basis for decision making through strategic cognitive maps is crucial because if we are talking of a new era (which means several millennia, or let´s say at least 2 or 3 thousand years, don´t you think it is time to stop before embracing NAIQI for our lives?

We can´t go on without long term strategic cognitive maps. The combo of NAIQI technologies (and more disruptive tech to come) all together deserve many years of analysis and pilot projects, before even deciding to market them. We, the companies CEOs and decision-makers must stop to sell them without predefined cognitive maps, simply because we will get lost. If we implement NAIQI all at once, during the next decade, all our manufacturing processes will change radically, and human being’s civilization life will be seriously disrupted.  We must define our starting point, our route (or different alternative routes) and the arrival point. But we can´t do it without our sense of purpose to integral humanity, in order to rebalance our civilization beliefs. Each company from each industry has to dedicate several years, maybe decades to establish or redefine their strategic cognitive maps, understanding all the potential scenarios not just in terms of profits, but in terms of the enhancement or damage that will take to the human beings nature (our brains) and existence.  Each company´s duty at the moment is to make a lot of research about the NAIQI expanding technologies, to compare alternative evaluations, theories, assumptions about current positions, improved positions and the multiple routes between them. These interrelated activities, draw on different types or aspects of cognitive maps. Probably each company will end up with a portfolio of maps, which requires not a quantum data analysis, but a multidisciplinary team (with anthropologists, historians, social sciences specialists, corporate strategists, technology experts,  human life researchers and the rest of their business staff) trying to understand where are we going.  Without a clear strategic cognitive map, our humanity will be tempted to get lost in the intent.

evolution_transport_technology The geography of transport

An example of Evolution Transport technologies by “The geography of Transport”.

In my next post, we will continue with the introductory paragraph of spacecraft transportation, and I will provide an exercise of how the concept of the transportation-transit-logistics cognitive map could be built with some of the top technologies (from the last 20 years). I will include each of the transportation categories (terrestrial, water, air and space). This will happen before the end of February 2020. Thank you.

brain bearfoot graphics

Source of reference utilized to write this article: 

Fiol, Marlene; Huff, Anne; “Maps for Managers: Where are we? Where do we go from here?”, Journal of Management Studies,  May 1992.

Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. Other types of illustrations or videos (which are not mine) are used for educational purposes ONLY.  Nevertheless, the majority of the pictures, images or videos shown on this blog are not mine.  I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.

Thank you for reading to me.

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