Editor’s note: Erik Wahl, internationally recognized artist and best-selling author, will deliver the opening keynote address at North America CACS 2018, to take place 30 April-2 May, 2018, in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Wahl, whose new book, The Spark and the Grind, explores translating ideas into action, visited with ISACA Now to provide his artist’s perspective on embracing innovation and risk. The following is an edited transcript:
ISACA Now: What are the biggest keys for enterprises to successfully translate ideas into action?
The biggest keys are discipline and structure. The fun paradox about creativity is that structure creates freedom. The more disciplined we are about the process of generating ideas, the more momentum we have to translate those ideas into actionable substance. Creativity without discipline is like a river without banks.
ISACA Now: Some might consider innovation to be an overused word in the enterprise context – what does innovation mean to you?
Innovation is how we differentiate from the competition and create unique customer experiences. Innovation is not a single event or design, but rather innovation is a way of thinking, a way of processing information, exploring and solving problems. Innovation is the ability to see what everyone else sees logically with their eyes but thinking like no one has ever thought before.
ISACA Now: What keeps many businesses from operating in more agile fashion?
Historical precedent and complacency are the recipe for business failure.
ISACA Now: Which new technologies do you consider to be most promising for society?
Artificial intelligence will have the greatest impact on our future. AI will automate our lives and free up our most valuable resource – time.
ISACA Now: How can an artistic inclination be helpful in a business context?
Artistic inclinations are like “exercises” that stretch our mind. Art leads us into expansive solutions and how to think laterally (like how to navigate ambiguity and how to master complexity). Art awakens our humanity and raises our intuition and emotional intelligence in an increasingly automated world.