Navigating the Evolving Perception of Goals: Unraveling the Intricacies of Underperformance

Navigating the Evolving Perception of Goals: Unraveling the Intricacies of Underperformance

Navigating the Evolving Perception of Goals: Unraveling the Intricacies of Underperformance

Business Innovation Brief Best Article

When it comes to achieving goals, particularly in a business context, the stakes can be high. We often link success to the attainment of specific objectives or quotas, creating a sense of urgency and importance. 

However, when these targets are not met, it’s crucial to take a step back and understand the broader picture rather than hastily pointing fingers at those responsible for execution.

“Success is a blend of proper planning, realistic goals, optimal timing, and favorable conditions. The ability to dissect these elements and discern where the problem truly lies is the mark of a visionary leader.” 

This blog post aims to guide leaders in asking themselves insightful questions and analyzing situations when goals aren’t being met.

Are the Goals Realistic?

The first area to evaluate is the goals themselves. Are they realistic? Do they consider the nuances of the industry and market fluctuations? The determination and resilience of a team can be admirable, but when the goalpost is set too far, even the most seasoned professionals may struggle.

If the team has a strong historical track record of success, it could indicate that the goal or quota might not be achievable under present conditions. In such situations, reassessing the goals and aligning them with the realities of the market may be necessary. Remember, a goal is not set in stone; it is a guidepost, adaptable based on circumstances.

Have You Planned for the Unexpected?

The best-laid plans often go awry, courtesy of the unpredictable nature of business. It’s essential to have a plan, but it’s equally crucial to plan for the unknown.

External factors, such as a soft market, can influence a project’s trajectory. When faced with unforeseen conditions, the initial reaction may be to fault the execution team. However, leaders should instead question if they had factored in potential market downturns or disruptions into the planning process. A plan that fails to account for variability is half-baked at best.

Is the Timing Right?

Timing can be a game-changer. A brilliant idea launched at the wrong time could flounder, while a mediocre concept introduced at the right moment might soar. As a leader, evaluating the timing of your goals is as important as setting them. If a goal isn’t being met, consider whether it was launched at an opportune time.

Reflect on the external environment and internal dynamics. Were there significant shifts in the market around the time the goal was introduced? Were there internal challenges, such as organizational changes or restructuring, that could have impacted the focus or morale of the team?

Are You Asking the Right Questions?

Lastly, when a goal isn’t met, the response should be an inquiry, not an inquisition. Leaders need to engage in a constructive dialogue, asking explorative questions that encourage introspection and learning.

Try to avoid blame-oriented questions like “Why didn’t we achieve our goal?” Instead, opt for growth-oriented ones such as “What can we learn from this experience?” or “How can we improve our planning and execution in the future?” This reframing stimulates problem-solving and innovation, rather than perpetuating a blame culture.

“The underachievement of goals can often serve as an opportunity for leaders to reassess their approach towards goal setting, planning, and response to changing market conditions. It’s a chance to embrace a holistic view, shifting the focus from blame to understanding, from stagnation to growth.”

The path to success is seldom linear, and underperformance can be a steppingstone, not a stumbling block, if navigated wisely. Remember, a wise leader doesn’t just lead a team to reach goals; they navigate the team through the intricacies and dynamics of the journey towards those goals.

Reflecting on the Path Forward

In the dance of goal setting and achievement, it’s essential to remember that not every miss is a failure but rather an opportunity for reevaluation, learning, and growth. This blog is designed to encourage exploring the critical aspects that leaders should consider when their team’s performance does not meet the set targets: the realism of goals, planning for unpredictability, timing, and the quality of questions asked.

Successful leadership isn’t about relentlessly pursuing the attainment of rigid objectives. Instead, it is about understanding the fluidity of business landscapes, being open to adjust plans and targets, and appreciating the journey just as much as the destination. Leadership is about guiding a team through the complexities of a project, the nuances of an industry, and the undulations of the market — not just steering them towards an arbitrary finish line.

When goals aren’t met, it’s a signal to leaders to reassess. It’s an invitation to delve deeper into the causes, scrutinize the realism of the objectives, evaluate the timing, and assess the efficacy of planning. It’s an opportunity to move away from a culture of blame to one of understanding, fostering a healthier and more dynamic working environment.

In the face of underperformance, the kind of questions leaders ask can make all the difference. 

“By shifting from blame-oriented to growth-oriented queries, leaders can inspire introspection, problem-solving, and innovation, ensuring the team evolves and becomes better prepared for future challenges.”


The path to success is a winding road with inevitable ups and downs. Underperformance, seen through a constructive lens, can be a steppingstone leading to better strategies, enhanced understanding, and ultimately, to a more robust framework for future success.

As leaders, it’s our responsibility to lead with flexibility, adaptability, and a learning mindset, turning every stumble into a stride towards success. Embrace the journey, for it’s there we find the most valuable lessons.

After all, leadership isn’t just about reaching goals; it’s about navigating the ever-changing terrain that lies in between.

Business Innovation Brief
Blog Subscrition Here

Elevating Executive Engagement by Embracing Empowerment and Emotional Intelligence

Elevating Executive Engagement by Embracing Empowerment and Emotional Intelligence

Elevating Executive Engagement by Embracing Empowerment and Emotional Intelligence

Business Innovation Brief Best Article

In the business world, stepping into a new leadership role often presents a labyrinth of challenges. One of the most critical yet complex tasks is to effectively engage the executive team, ensuring that they are aligned with your vision and are committed to achieving shared objectives.

Traditional leadership approaches may advocate for a command-and-control strategy, believing that the leader’s role is to issue directives and ensure compliance.

However, in the contemporary business landscape, such an approach can be counterproductive, often leading to disenchantment among team members.

Today’s leaders need to redefine their role from being an authoritarian figure to becoming a collaborator, a coach, and a guide, cultivating a climate of engagement and commitment.

This shift not only fosters a positive work environment but also demonstrates a leader’s emotional intelligence, a key attribute that significantly influences the leader’s effectiveness.

Understanding the Power of Collaboration Over Command

It’s a daunting task for a new leader to step into an organization and enroll the executive team in a way that creates more engagement and commitment. Traditionally, many leaders relied on a command-and-control approach, but this is increasingly seen as an outdated strategy. 

“Often, command-and-controls management styles alienates the team and results in talented individuals feeling marginalized, leading to higher attrition rates.”

This command-and-control style is not only ineffective, but it also demonstrates a lack of emotional intelligence, making it difficult for a leader to build meaningful relationships within their teams and ultimately, impeding their ability to lead effectively.

Emotional Intelligence and Leadership

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to identify, understand, and manage emotions — both one’s own and others. EI has a significant impact on leadership as it underpins key aspects such as self-awareness, empathy, relationship building, and decision-making. Leaders who exhibit high emotional intelligence can form deeper connections with their team, fostering trust, motivation, and commitment.

“A leader’s lack of emotional intelligence can create an environment where team members feel under-appreciated and misunderstood.”

In the absence of empathy and understanding, a command-and-control environment emerges, devaluing team members’ contributions, which ultimately leads to disengagement and even departures of talented individuals.

From Command and Control to Collaboration and Empowerment

Leaders looking to shift away from the command-and-control style should strive to create an environment of collaboration and empowerment. This approach values the collective input of the team, fostering an environment where ideas can be freely shared, and everyone feels heard. It instills a sense of ownership in team members and leads to greater commitment and engagement.

“Empowering your team requires a degree of vulnerability, showing them that you trust their expertise and judgement.”

It means moving away from the notion that as a leader, you should have all the answers. Instead, it’s about creating a space where everyone is encouraged to contribute and take decisions.

Enrolling Your Executive Team: Practical Steps

Lead with empathy: Understand the motivations, aspirations, and challenges of your team members. Show genuine interest in their perspectives. Empathy allows you to connect on a deeper level and helps in building trust.

Encourage Participation: Invite ideas and feedback from your team. Encourage them to participate in decision-making processes. This communicates that their contributions are valued and important.

Promote a Culture of Open Communication: Establish channels for open and honest communication. Encourage constructive feedback and create a safe space for your team to voice their concerns without fear of retribution.

Recognize and Reward: Acknowledge your team’s efforts and achievements. Recognition fuels motivation and commitment. It communicates that their work is seen and appreciated.

Empower: Give your team autonomy and the necessary resources to do their work effectively. Empowerment increases engagement, productivity, and promotes a sense of ownership.

Embracing emotional intelligence in leadership is not just about improving interpersonal relationships — it’s a fundamental step towards transitioning from a command-and-control approach to a style that embraces collaboration and empowerment.

Recognize the Shifting Tides

The tides of leadership are unmistakably shifting. The days of command-and-control, once seen as the bastions of effective leadership, are being replaced by an approach rooted in collaboration, empowerment, and emotional intelligence.

It’s a crucial evolution, acknowledging the power and potential that resides within every member of an organization. For the leaders who are stepping into this transformational space, the rewards are palpable: higher levels of engagement, commitment, and overall performance from their teams.

“Having emotional intelligence as a leader isn’t just an added advantage, it’s a fundamental prerequisite for any successful leadership journey.” 

It’s the key to understanding, connecting with, and unlocking the potential in others. More than just being ‘nice’, it’s about building trust, fostering open communication, and demonstrating genuine appreciation for the efforts of team members.

Stepping away from the command-and-control approach doesn’t signify a lack of direction or leadership. Quite the contrary, it presents an opportunity to leverage the collective intelligence within a team, fostering an environment that values contributions from all members. It’s an endorsement of the shared mission, signaling trust in the collective capabilities of the team.

“Leaders who genuinely embrace an EQ centered approach to empowerment don’t just create teams; they create cultures and legacies.”

They cultivate environments where people feel valued, heard, and empowered to make meaningful contributions. This shift doesn’t only affect the immediate team dynamics, but it also reverberates throughout the entire organization, creating a culture of engagement and commitment.


In conclusion, as a new leader aiming to elevate executive engagement, adopting a leadership style rooted in collaboration and emotional intelligence is not an option — it’s a necessity.

“It’s not about having all the answers, but about asking the right questions and enabling your team to find the answers together.”

This leadership paradigm creates a dynamic, engaged workforce, driving not just productivity, but also innovation and growth.

It’s time for leaders to transcend the confines of the command-and-control approach, and fully embrace a style of leadership that truly values and nurtures the collective intelligence and unique contributions of every team member.

Business Innovation Brief
Blog Subscrition Here

Orchestrating Design Thinking and AI for a People-Centric Business Future

Orchestrating Design Thinking and AI for a People-Centric Business Future

Orchestrating Design Thinking and AI for a People-Centric Business Future

Business Innovation Brief Best Article

The tapestry of business evolution tells a remarkable story. From the onset of marketing in the 1950s to today, we’ve seen clear transformations. The early business landscape, dominated by the industrial revolution, prioritized mass production. Marketing during this era was essentially selling — creating a demand for what farms, factories, and mines produced.

As we moved further into the 20th century, we saw a seismic shift. Companies began to realize the importance of keeping the customer at the center of their universe. Thus, emerged an era of customer-centricity, where customer satisfaction became the lynchpin of successful businesses. 

Products were no longer simply created and sold; they were designed to meet customer needs and solve their problems. Companies strived to deliver superior value to customers, which they identified as a more sustainable source of competitive advantage than merely having cutting-edge product technology.

Now, as we stride towards another transformative phase in the 21st century, we are looking to bring together the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the human element — the very heart of business — through a powerful methodology known as Design Thinking.

The Advent of a People-Centric Business Age

Today’s business landscape is characterized by constant change. New technologies are emerging at an unprecedented pace, and businesses must adapt quickly to survive and thrive. One of these transformative technologies is cloud computing, which has made businesses more flexible and adaptable, allowing them to respond quickly to changes in the market.

However, amidst this tech-driven evolution, a new paradigm is emerging. It’s a shift from business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) models to a more human-centric model: People-to-People (P2P). 

This model places people — not merely as consumers, but as individuals with unique needs, desires, and values — at the core of business strategies. And at the heart of this paradigm is Design Thinking, a human-centered approach to problem-solving that nurtures a deeper connection with people.

Bridging Tech and Humanity Through Design Thinking

Design Thinking, with its foundation in empathy, can serve as a bridge between technology and humanity. It advocates a people-first approach, emphasizing the importance of understanding users’ experiences and emotions to provide meaningful solutions.

Design Thinking encourages businesses to dig deeper into the human condition, to understand not just what people need or want on a superficial level, but also their deepest desires and values. 

“Businesses that champion meaningful causes that align with deeply-seated human values don’t merely cultivate customers; they build robust communities that share a collective purpose.”

But in a world that’s becoming increasingly commoditized, businesses can lose their unique identities by attempting to cater to everyone. They risk becoming mere profit-churning entities, devoid of character and purpose. 

To cause meaningful disruption, businesses need to re-weave the human element back into their strategies, and leverage AI, refined by Design Thinking, to amplify their unique value proposition.

AI: The Compass to Navigating Deeper Connections

Let’s illustrate this with the example of a European company entering the U.S market with sustainable energy products. Their mission is not just to sell products, but to save the planet. 

This mission is underpinned by deeply held values such as respect for people, environmental consciousness, and a sense of moral responsibility to future generations.

AI can be a powerful tool in this context, but only when refined by Design Thinking principles. By processing and analyzing vast amounts of consumer data, AI can help the company identify and connect with people who share these values. These connections go beyond mere interest in sustainable energy, and instead, nurture a community of individuals committed to preserving the planet for future generations.

Beyond Transactions: Crafting Experiences

When a business understands why it exists and the values that inspired its creation, it transcends the realm of mere transactions to craft meaningful experiences. 

AI, informed by Design Thinking, can be a potent tool in unlocking these experiences. By analyzing data about consumer behavior, AI can help businesses offer personalized, emotionally resonant experiences, creating a truly people-centric business culture.

This culture becomes the nucleus of a community of interest, engaging not just customers, but also employees, partners, vendors, investors, and other stakeholders. AI can serve as the manager of this community, predicting needs, personalizing interactions, and ensuring that everyone feels valued and heard.

The Future: Blending People-Centricity and AI through Design Thinking

The future of work will undoubtedly be people-centric. To attract the right talent, businesses must be clear about their own values and how these values inspire them to do what they do every day. 

AI, informed by Design Thinking, can provide valuable insights into employee behavior, helping businesses shape a workplace environment that aligns with these values.

A people-centric approach to brand building, rooted in values and amplified by the power of AI, can yield a strategic competitive advantage that’s hard to replicate. 

AI, guided by Design Thinking principles, can ensure consistent delivery on these values, providing an unparalleled customer experience that sets businesses apart.

Conclusion: AI and Design Thinking Fueling the Heart of Business

In conclusion, the business model of the future will prioritize a people-focused approach, anchored by values that cultivate a lasting and fulfilling sense of community. 

AI, refined by Design Thinking, will enable businesses to better understand, serve, and connect with their communities. This model places people at the heart of business operations, using technology not as a replacement, but as a catalyst for deeper, more empathetic human connections. 

In this symphony of empathy, AI and Design Thinking will come together to fuel the heart of business, creating a harmony that resonates with the fundamental human desire to connect, belong, and contribute to a greater purpose.

Business Innovation Brief
Blog Subscrition Here

The Future of Autonomous Flying Through the Metaverse

The Future of Autonomous Flying Through the Metaverse

The Future of Autonomous Flying Through the Metaverse

Business Innovation Brief Best Article

The metaverse, a collective virtual shared space where the physical and the digital worlds converge, is an ever-evolving platform for interaction, collaboration, and exploration. Recently, Tullio Siragusa conducted an enlightening discussion with Diana Deca, the co-founder of Nü Robotic AI, about their project, MetaPilot.

MetaPilot: A Metaverse Project by Nü Robotic AI

Diana shared that MetaPilot is a highly ambitious gaming platform and research project that aims to create a truly immersive metaverse. Nü Robotic AI uses the MetaPilot platform as a comprehensive data collection tool where the players’ actions are analyzed to improve the algorithms of real-life flying vehicles.

Drawing Parallels with Tesla

Diana compared the MetaPilot project with Tesla’s approach to training their AI algorithms for autonomous vehicles. Similar to how Tesla utilizes sensor and location data from drivers to enhance its autonomous driving algorithms, MetaPilot utilizes player data to train their algorithms for flying vehicles. This iterative process of learning and improving is what pushes their system towards full autonomy, a goal that aligns with the principles of AI development.

Safety Concerns and Future Applications

When asked about safety, Diana highlighted their proactive collaboration with regulators like Boeing and NASA. The goal is to simulate hundreds of thousands of flights under different conditions to improve safety standards and prepare for unpredictable scenarios. Ultimately, the intention is not just to transform gaming experiences, but also to enhance space applications by preparing for different gravitational situations and other unknown elements.

An Engaging Gaming Experience and Its Dual Business Model

Beyond the high-tech applications and the potential to revolutionize flight simulations, MetaPilot is also an engaging game. It’s available to anyone with a computer or VR goggles, offering an exciting entry into the metaverse. The business model comprises a dual revenue stream: the gaming subscription model and providing valuable R&D input for commercial applications.

The Path to Future Air Travel and the Startup Journey

Nü Robotic AI’s ultimate vision is the seamless integration of the metaverse into real-world applications, particularly in air travel. Diana emphasized the company’s goal to incrementally introduce technology that would eventually lead to autonomous air taxis. As she described, the idea is to treat these air taxis as “slightly cooler helicopters,” gradually adding more advanced features, such as electric or hydrogen-based propulsion, AI systems for control, and ultimately, the capability for space travel.


Reflecting on her journey, Diana voiced the importance of humility and learning in the startup world. She praised the value of working with various groups and organizations, like NASA and Boeing, and highlighted the unique opportunities that arise from combining her background in neuroscience with the technology industry.

In summary, the Nü Robotic AI MetaPilot project exemplifies the convergence of the metaverse and the real world. It stands as a pioneering initiative, blending gaming and serious R&D, to shape the future of autonomous flying vehicles.

Check out the video podcast about this blog by clicking here

Originally published at Tech Leaders Unplugged on May 23, 2023

Business Innovation Brief
Blog Subscrition Here

Empowering Human Potential: The Synergy of Generative AI and Human Ingenuity

Empowering Human Potential: The Synergy of Generative AI and Human Ingenuity

Empowering Human Potential: The Synergy of Generative AI and Human Ingenuity

Business Innovation Brief Best Article

Exciting advancements in Generative AI have opened new avenues for creativity and innovation. With the human factor at the helm, the possibilities are boundless.

The Tech Leaders Unplugged podcast recently interviewed Miguel Navarro, a seasoned digital leader and patented inventor, has been at the forefront of harnessing this potential as the SVP of Business Technology at KeyBank.

His vision and expertise have propelled the integration of Generative AI into KeyBank’s operations, revolutionizing customer experiences and streamlining processes. Navarro’s leadership exemplifies the transformative power of combining human ingenuity with cutting-edge technology.

Balancing Automation and Human Creativity

The topic of generative AI often sparks questions about how it impacts work, and the role humans play in the process. Can AI generate creativity? Can it help humans think outside the box?

The answer lies in finding a balance between automation and human creativity. While AI can handle repetitive and labor-intensive tasks, freeing up humans to focus on more creative aspects of their work, it is important to remember that AI is a tool, not a replacement for human skills. Human intuition, experience, and contextual understanding are vital in decision-making and creative processes.

Skill Augmentation: Leveraging AI for Enhanced Productivity

Generative AI has the potential to augment human skills, particularly in areas where precision, scalability, and speed are crucial. By leveraging AI tools, individuals and businesses can achieve greater productivity and efficiency.

AI can generate content, offer new perspectives, and break traditional rules and conventions, inspiring humans to think outside the box and push the boundaries of their creativity. However, it is important to note that AI outputs should be refined and validated by human judgment to ensure accuracy and relevance.

Navigating the Evolving Landscape of Human-Machine Collaboration

As AI continues to evolve, it is necessary for humans to adapt and evolve alongside it. The roles of labelers and prompters emerge as humans work hand in hand with AI to refine outputs and make informed decisions.

While there may be concerns about skill displacement, the focus should be on skill augmentation. Humans possess unique qualities such as intuition, empathy, and the ability to consider the impact on others, which are indispensable in the collaboration with AI.

Embracing the Potential of Generative AI

Generative AI holds tremendous potential to empower individuals and organizations. By embracing the synergy between humans and machines, we can unlock new possibilities, increase efficiency, and drive innovation.

The key lies in maintaining a balance between being data-driven and leveraging AI tools while tapping into human intuition and creativity. Through this collaboration, we can harness the full potential of generative AI while retaining the unique qualities that make us human.

In conclusion, the integration of generative AI into various industries offers exciting opportunities for growth and transformation. When combined with human ingenuity, AI becomes a powerful tool for enhancing productivity, fostering creativity, and streamlining processes.

By embracing this collaboration, we can shape a future where human potential is truly empowered, and meaningful contributions are made through the synergy of generative AI and human creativity.

The Future of Human-Machine Collaboration

Looking ahead, the future of human-machine collaboration holds immense promise. As AI technologies continue to advance, we can expect even more sophisticated tools that can generate content, provide insights, and assist in decision-making processes. However, it is essential to approach this future with a thoughtful and responsible mindset.

Ethical Considerations and Responsible AI Development

As we embrace the potential of generative AI, ethical considerations and responsible AI development should be at the forefront. It is crucial to ensure that AI systems are trained on unbiased and diverse datasets to avoid perpetuating existing biases and discrimination.

Transparency, accountability, and privacy must also be prioritized to build trust and protect user data. By adopting ethical practices, we can maximize the benefits of generative AI while minimizing potential risks.

Embracing Continuous Learning and Adaptation

The evolving landscape of AI requires a mindset of continuous learning and adaptation. As AI technologies progress, humans must stay informed and up to date with the latest advancements.

Embracing a culture of learning and upskilling will empower individuals and organizations to effectively leverage generative AI and stay competitive in a rapidly changing world.

Collaborative Innovation for a Better Future

Generative AI has the potential to drive collaborative innovation across industries. By fostering partnerships between AI experts, domain specialists, and creative thinkers, we can harness the collective expertise to tackle complex challenges and create impactful solutions.

Through collaboration, we can ensure that generative AI is applied in ways that benefit society, improving customer experiences, advancing research, and driving positive change.

The Journey Ahead

As we embark on this journey of empowering human potential through generative AI, it is crucial to remember that AI is a tool that complements and amplifies human capabilities.

The true power lies in the fusion of human creativity, intuition, and empathy with the capabilities of AI. By embracing this symbiotic relationship, we can shape a future where humans and machines work hand in hand, unleashing unprecedented levels of innovation, productivity, and growth.


The integration of generative AI opens a world of possibilities for human potential. By leveraging the strengths of both humans and machines, we can achieve remarkable feats and drive meaningful progress.

It is up to us to navigate this evolving landscape with responsibility, ethical considerations, and a commitment to continuous learning. By doing so, we can shape a future where generative AI empowers us to reach new heights and make a positive impact on the world.

Check out the video podcast about this blog by clicking here

Business Innovation Brief
Blog Subscrition Here

Pin It on Pinterest