Embracing Disruption

York Exponential - Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

Embracing Disruption

Taxi drivers never could have imagined that the cell phones they held to their ear would one day put them out of work. The world’s largest taxi service Uber owns no cars; the world’s largest retailer Alibaba has no stock; and the world’s largest accommodations service owns no property.

The world is changing at an exponential rate. Innovation, Disruption, and advancements in technology around Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and The Internet of Things are all drastically changing how we think about everything from Community and Economic Development to Workforce and Education. Being innovative is no longer a luxury, but a necessity if our organizations are to not only compete, but to survive as we move into the 4th Industrial Revolution.

This can be a trying and scary time for many of us. Facing an uncertain future can seem overwhelming. We know we need to change, to prepare for the future, but there always seems to be a lack of resources, funding and expertise, regardless of whether the will is there or not. For many companies, there is indeed a history and track record but as new leadership steps in, it can be difficult for organizations to adapt. The truth is simple; the future will not be But for those willing to face this change head on, and embrace this disruption, the opportunities are endless. It is for this reason that York Exponential was created.

Disruption Analysis

  • Disruption and Business Consulting
  • Software Integration and Custom Development
  • Workshops
  • Keynote Presentations Executive Training
  • Accelerated Education in Computer Programming and Robotics Programming
  • Robotics Integration
  • Machine and Deep Learning Development and Integration
  • Strategic Planning
  • Marketing and Branding
  • Ancillary and Complementary Services

What makes us different?

Here at York Exponential we are a collection of Technologists, Entrepreneurs, Experts and Moonshot Thinkers. We believe in the power of industry and business to not only drive the economy but to create lasting and impactful change in the lives of it’s workers, communities and country. We recognize that the world is changing at an incredible rate but know from history that the last time the world changed this much, this fast, it was the Manufacturers that led the way.

Our Inspiration:

The York Plan, “Do What You Can, With What You Have.”

As our country moves into a new era of challenges and opportunities, it is the Manufacturing community’s heritage and legacy of Innovation and Creativity that has inspired York Exponential to help prepare our Manufacturers for the coming challenge.

The following is an excerpt from an article written by June Lloyd YDR 12/13/2013.

It was the summer of 1940. The United States hadn’t officially entered World War II yet, but defense manufacturing was gearing up in a big way. Our active participation was on the horizon, and we were already supplying Great Britain with war material.

York was an industrial city, and local business leaders realized that effective manufacturing was essential to defense, and the York community would need to play a big part. Some local companies, such as York Safe & Lock, were already doing work for the Army and Navy, but most just could not handle large government contracts on their own.

The catalyst came when local firms had to pass up bidding on a contract for mounts for five-inch anti-aircraft guns; they realized then that by inventorying machinery and manpower available in all local firms, large and small, they might be able to get some of these big jobs.

The Manufacturers’ Association of York named four industrialists: William S. Shipley, Robert P. Turner, William J. Fisher and Warren C. Bulette to a Defense Committee. Chaired by Shipley, it was charged with getting all these tools and workers together with the greatest efficiency. The three basic requirements were:

  1. That we should enter our duties with a firm conviction of necessity for this National Defense Program.
  2. That we should be whole-heartedly, and without any reservations, in back of the President in his endeavor to prepare America and assist Great Britain, forgetting for the time being, all political affiliations.
  3. That we would, with grace, seek and consider suggestions and ideas from all branches of our people, and from every source, and that we would interest ourselves in everything that pertained to defense or that seemingly barred progress.

In February 1941, only seven months later, Shipley addressed the Manufacturers’ Association, sharing that The York Plan, as it was now known, was already a success and a national model.

The committee looked at 245 manufacturing plants, even candy makers and silk weavers, to find equipment that any company could use to subcontract. They inventoried workers, also noting those who had experience in metalwork, but had left the trade. Summer and night school programs were quickly set up at high school metal shops to train or retrain people.
It was the efficiency and zeal that the Defense Committee of the Manufacturers Association of York put into the implementation of the York Plan that made it a national model with a slogan to live up to: “Do What you CAN with what you HAVE.”

The federal government embraced the York Plan and urged other communities to use it as a model, distributing a booklet describing the plan through the Office of Price Management. Word quickly spread through meetings, national press coverage, trade magazines and popular magazines such as the Saturday Evening Post. William S. Shipley became its ambassador, spending much of 1941 traveling the country, speaking at Rotary Clubs, chambers of commerce and manufacturers’ associations from Philadelphia to Los Angeles, Atlanta to Seattle and most major cities in between.

NBC radio got the nation’s attention when they came to York to broadcast a live prime time Saturday night dramatization of the York Plan.
Patriotism and the conviction to do everything to combat the worldwide threat to democracy seemed to spur on America’s response to industrial mobilization. In his February 1941 speech, Shipley quotes Winston Churchill from that morning’s paper: “Give us the tools and we will finish the job.” Shipley says it is the least we can do, and points out that the British are fighting our battle too — if they fall, we fall. Shipley closes with: “Let us give our all so that whatever the end may be, we will have no regrets so far as our duty is concerned.”

This was just the beginning of the York Plan. Soon the majority of industries in York County had converted to defense manufacturing as prime contractors or subcontractors. York Safe & Lock came in under the umbrella as did non- metal shops, such as Red Lion Cabinet, Hanover Shoe and Dentists’ Supply companies. York Ice Machinery made refrigeration equipment for military needs, but also went into production of barbette (elevated) guns and gun parts. One of my favorite examples is subcontractor Floorola, a very small maker of floor polishers with a staff of five, which soon had 30 workers machining parts for gun carriages for York Safe & Lock and aluminum castings for Glenn Martin bombers and Fairchild training planes.

It is because of this legacy that we at York Exponential believe that the Manufacturing Community is uniquely positioned to take the lead and bring our local, regional and state economies into the future. But this cannot happen unless we rethink business as usual and actively pursue Embracing Disruption.

York Exponential’s 15 Point Disruption Preparedness Plan

Pulling inspiration from the original York Plan, York Ex believes the principles within the original plan came from an understanding of Inevitable Disruption and can be used to prepare our companies and communities moving forward.

  1. Create an organizational Baseline of understanding Disruption
    Everyone within your organization must be a part of the plan. A plan that does not include everyone, is an incomplete plan so it is imperative that everyone have the same starting point. It is for this reason that we suggest a company-wide presentation of “Embracing Disruption”.
  2. Accept this is Happening and Embrace Disruption
    Acceptance of the change is a critical first step in Disruption Preparedness. But acceptance is not enough. To survive in the 4th Industrial Revolution you must Embrace Disruption. Resist the temptation to look to others to solve problems or to assume you have time to wait. The time to act is yesterday.
  3. Accept Disruptive Technology as Inevitable
    Regardless of how fantastic, ineffective or “out of the box” a new technology seems, move forward with the assumption that someone will solve the problem and bring it to market faster than you anticipate. There are challenges that have been impossible for decades that are being overcome on a daily basis. You must have your eyes and ears open to these developments or you will be caught unawares by competitors, both new and old.
  4. Be Proactive VS Reactive
    The same way the Leaders in York in 1940 saw the change happening overseas, realize that the challenge will be at your doorstep sooner than expected. Be ready for the future now, for the cycle of Innovation is speeding up exponentially and will be at your doorstep tomorrow.
  5. Embrace Disruptors and Empower all Generations
    Embrace new employees, new ideas and new ways of thinking. Promote new comers to positions of leadership but pair them with established entities. Being a disruptor is not synonymous with being young. Identify those from within your organization that have the capability for disruption but may have not felt empowered to speak up.
  6. Exponential Technology is worthless without an Exponential Mindset Adding Exponential Technologies without preparing your company for Exponential Thinking will only grow your Problems Exponentially. You must first deal with the mindset of your teams and employees before you thrust new technologies onto them.
  7. Priority of Mindset over Skill Sets
    Again, tools will become obsolete, needed skills will change but an agile and disruptive workforce will weather every storm of disruption.
  8. Train for Jobs That Are Not Here Yet
    The time to train for the jobs of tomorrow is yesterday.
  9. Don’t Rely on older tactics to prevent change
    This generation of Disruptors will not ask permission. They will not submit for regulation. You are in the era of “The Trojan Horse Disruptor”. Within every emerging technology are several disruptive industries waiting to be revealed.
  10. Don’t Waste Energy on Solving Obsolete or Near Obsolete Problems
    Law makers, Politicians and Leadership will not be able to hold back disruptive changes. They will be forced to respond, will be unable to move fast enough and will rapidly become irrelevant.
  11. Be willing to discard obsolete or near obsolete technology and thinking, regardless of the amount of social or financial capital spent to date.
    Regardless of political, financial or social capital invested, if a system, technology or thought process is obsolete or near obsolete, it is an anchor. This Anchor will not only serve to sink your organization, it will be exploited by emerging and established competitors. In the world of Disruption, Time is valued above all else. You can always make more money, you can never make more time.
  12. Collaborate with competitors and potential partners, big and small.
    Partner with start ups or entities that have the agility that you do not and form alliances with like minded competitors. In the next decade, most companies will fail, those left will scale rapidly, with more than enough market share to go around
  13. Communicate clearly the path forward to all stakeholders from the top down and the bottom up.
    Every member of your company must understand the “Why’s of Disruption”. Why this is happening, Why we must change and Why they matter. There will be no bystanders as you embrace disruption. There will be those that push the company to the future or pull the company to the past. There will be no neutral parties as you accelerate change.
  14. Create a “Zoom Out, Zoom In” Strategic Planning Mindset
    Look to the future 20 years out, imagine the world/your industry, and make an actionable, 6 month plan to get there. With eyes wide open, look around you after 6 months, take stock of disruptive and coming changes, re examine 20 years out and adjust before moving into the next 6 months. Understand we are in a transitional time period and that
    5 and 10 Year plans are worthless when 100 years of changes happen in 10% of the time.
  15. Focus on Scaling the Edges
    Identify new and exciting opportunities for growth but do not insert them into your core business. Create stealth teams and opportunities, place them on the outskirts of you company, fund small, fund quickly, set attainable goals and be willing to kill projects that do not deliver fast enough.
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