CAB 2021 – First virtual meet: Key Highlights

Decision making as we know it is becoming more and more complex, as they become connected, contextual, and continuous. With the unprecedented times of the previous year, it added a layer of uncertainty, urgency, and imperfect data to the decision-making process. Business leaders were tasked to re-engineer decision making to make better decisions. Fractal’s Client Advisory Board (CAB) brought together pioneering leaders from Fortune 500 companies to inspire, share ideas with, learn from one another and collaborate for #BetterDecisions.

This was the first virtual CAB and was hosted by James Taylor, an award-winning virtual keynote speaker, and emcee.

Day One

Srikanth Velamakanni, Co-founder, Group Chief Executive & Vice Chairman of Fractal, kick-started the sessions by setting the stage for #BetterDecisions, the theme for CAB 2021. He stressed the importance of technology, involving multi-disciplinary expertise, and bringing together design and engineering to reinvent decision culture. He illustrated how digital transformation helped navigate the pandemic in India and globally and how AI, engineering and design made it possible to deliver results at scale, even with a dynamic problem statement.

Following this insightful keynote, Amitabh Bose, Chief Practice Officer, Fractal hosted Ram Charan, business advisor, and the author for a fireside chat. Ram Charan shared valuable insights on how to team up with CIOs to fund digital experimentation and transformation from his years of experience. “Digitize or die,” he said, should be the mantra for businesses looking to sustain themselves in today’s times. With the language of business remaining the same world over, the trick lies in budgeting and understanding the consumer.

To wrap up the day, Mark C. Thompson, leadership coach, and author, joined the members for an interactive session on achieving lasting success through key transformational traits. He spoke about the importance of productive paranoia, reinventing with a beginner’s mind, choosing problem-solving over selling, and collaboration.

Day Two

Artificial Intelligence combined with Emotional Intelligence is a way forward towards better accuracy, decisions, and results. The second-day sessions focused on understanding the non-conscious mind’s power and how it can enhance AI – Heuristics and Personalization.

Prof. Gerd Gigerenzer from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development deep-dived on decision making in times of uncertainty, an essential skill today. He shared his perspective on tapping into intuition, applying the simple rules of heuristics to form judgments, and making better decisions. This works especially when there is limited data available because the human brain is designed to adapt to a dynamic world.

Following this eye-opening session, Anurag Vaish, Chief Practice Officer- Behavioral Sciences and Design, Fractal, and Rahul Desai, Client Partner, Fractal, shared key insights on how to tap into emotional data and apply it contextually for better personalization. This is Personalization 2.0, to create a positive nudge for the consumer through behavioral science. Day two culminated into interactive peer-to-peer problem-solving sessions.

Day Three

The CAB’s final day began on a positive note, with members actively participating in defining Fractal’s strategic direction. This highly interactive session was followed by a fireside chat between Pranay Agarwal, Co-founder and CEO, Fractal, and Gavin Patterson, President & Chief Revenue Officer, Salesforce to route the future of AI.

Today, sustainability is a big challenge. Businesses across industries are thinking long-term to address the issue and embedding strategies to reduce carbon footprint. Business leaders, in unison, recognize the relevance of AI in helping them achieve this. Digital transformation has already been implemented to succeed in areas like crop production and the prediction of natural phenomena. But these are just the foothills, and there is so much potential to explore towards the future of AI.

The first virtual meet-up of CAB 2021 and the many interactions it saw stand testimony that AI is at the threshold of creating a whole new wave of innovation for sustainability. Empowering decision making internally will lead to disrupting the world outside, and businesses have the great responsibility of understanding and influencing digital progress now to lead the world to a better future tomorrow.