Inflexion Point, April 2021

Welcome to the anniversary edition of Inflexion Point. 

In this edition, we explore the cultural issues with Boeing that led to the 737 Max disasters, how artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the creative industries, HDFC’s Aditya Puri on innovation and customer-centricity, the most overlooked strategy on problem-solving, ten breakthrough technologies of 2021, and how to create virtual water-cooler moments to enhance workplace creativity.  

What Went Wrong with Boeing 737 Max

Boeing 737 Max experienced two catastrophic crashes: Lion Air flight 610 in October 2018 in Indonesia and Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 in March 2019 in Ethiopia, in which a total of 346 people were dead. In this very incisive interview, Harvard’s Bill George discusses what went wrong at the venerable Boeing, and he identifies three major causes: 1) too many CEO level changes in a very short span of time; 2) a movement of priorities from safety to cost-cutting, and 3) an inability to be decisive and empathetic as leaders at the crucial moments.  A very relatable and readable case, indeed. 

How AI is Transforming the Creative Industries 

AI has offered a great boost to science- and technology-driven realms, but will computers usurp artists in the near future? Real art, says the German artist Mario Klingermann, is a delicate balance between control and accident. One needs to be knowing the objective but also let serendipity seep in, and that’s how it’s different from science. AI would emerge for the creatives more as a collaborator than a competitor. Roles like ‘data curator’ would be indicators of a shift that creatives would experience. Perhaps machines would push us to behave more like humans, realizing and utilizing our skills of empathy, creativity, and taste. 

HDFC’s Aditya Puri on Customer-Centric Innovations and Disciplined Risk-Taking 

HDFC is India’s most valuable financial institution and the tenth-most-valuable bank in the world, offering record-breaking…

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