Convergence: Technology, Business, and the Human-Centric Future

Convergence: Technology, Business, and the Human-Centric Future

by Deborah Westphal, Beth Comstock

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Overview

What does it mean to be human-centric?

The Convergence is here. Each day the human race becomes more connected and interdependent. There is no longer a choice in the matter. There is no turning back.


All aspects of human life are rapidly converging at an intersection of people, business, and environment. With potential for either a historic integration or catastrophic collision, leaders have two clear choices: remain committed to profits above all else; or shift to a human-centric approach that embraces this convergence.

Author Deborah Westphal, a leader in future-focused strategy, leverages her experiences working with some of the world’s most innovative business leaders, to show how the interests of people (as human beings, not customers), overlap with those of companies in ways never before seen. Convergence charts the path forward for those leaders―particularly in business―who seek to shift to a human-centric mental model. This approach addresses realities from our converging world not necessarily related to a company’s business operations, often integrating a tangible response with a change in the company’s core values. Simply put, to be human-centric prioritizes the success of people and redefines success for a company.

“Westphal’s Convergence is a call to action to create the future of humanity rather than stand by. Her words of wisdom and lessons shared cannot be more timely than in this very moment when humanity is in crisis. In the midst of COVID-19, environmental disaster, and ever accelerating technological change, Convergence makes the case for authentic leadership and challenges us to rethink our primary purposes of doing business: to serve humanity.” — Diana Rau, Chief Experience Officer&Cofounder, twine.nyc | Forbes 30 Under 30


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781951213268
Publisher: The Unnamed Press
Publication date: 05/11/2021
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 967 KB

About the Author

Deborah Westphal’s career spans more than 30 years, government agencies and Fortune 100 companies, and virtually every continent. A passionate humanist and life-long learner, she has dedicated her work to guiding our era’s top minds and leaders to see and pursue the future with a sense of realistic caution and optimism. In 1999, Alvin Toffler tapped her as one of the founding members of his eponymous consulting firm. Since that time, she has guided leaders across the globe to challenge biases, ignite ideas, and build connections and resilience for a secure and sound future. The list of organizations she has supported includes Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Marriott, U.S. Air Force, Baxter International, Bayer, Heinz, Microsoft, Koppers, PPG, DARPA, National Security Agency (NSA), Loral Space Systems, NASA, Qwest, Verizon, and Westinghouse. Deborah is an active speaker who has presented perspectives on human-centric leading to numerous organizations. She has authored hundreds of short-form essays and blogs, numerous talks, and the Foreword for After Shock, a collection of future-focused essays.
Deborah Westphal’s career spans more than 30 years, government agencies and Fortune 100 companies, and virtually every continent. A passionate humanist and life-long learner, she has dedicated her work to guiding our era’s top minds and leaders to see and pursue the future with a sense of realistic caution and optimism. In 1999, Alvin Toffler tapped her as one of the founding members of his eponymous consulting firm. Since that time, she has guided leaders across the globe to challenge biases, ignite ideas, and build connections and resilience for a secure and sound future. The list of organizations she has supported includes Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Marriott, U.S. Air Force, Baxter International, Bayer, Heinz, Microsoft, Koppers, PPG, DARPA, National Security Agency (NSA), Loral Space Systems, NASA, Qwest, Verizon, and Westinghouse. Deborah is an active speaker who has presented perspectives on human-centric leading to numerous organizations. She has authored hundreds of short-form essays and blogs, numerous talks, and the Foreword for After Shock, a collection of future-focused essays.
Beth Comstock is the former Vice Chair of GE, where for twenty-five years she led GE's efforts to accelerate new growth. She built GE's Business Innovations and GE Ventures, which develops new businesses, and oversaw the reinvention of GE Lighting. She was named GE’s Chief Marketing Officer in 2003. She served as President of Integrated Media at NBC Universal, from 2006-08, overseeing the company's digital efforts, including the early formation of Hulu. She is a corporate director of Nike. Written about and profiled extensively in the media, from the New York Times to Forbes, Fortune and Fast Company, she has been named to the Fortune and Forbes lists of the World's Most Powerful women.

Table of Contents

Foreword 11

Introduction 15

Chapter 1 Knowing humans 25

Chapter 2 The human system 43

Chapter 3 Recognizing the chasm 63

Chapter 4 Decision disruption 83

Chapter 5 Overcoming obsoledge 99

Chapter 6 Leadership reboot 119

Chapter 7 Truth, transparency, and trust 129

Chapter 8 Tectonic shifts 147

Chapter 9 Creating the convergence 165

Epilogue 189

Gratitude 203

End notes 205

Bibliography 213

About the author 223

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Expansive, intriguing, and deeply human, Convergence continues the Toffler legacy. Westphal connects seemingly disparate facts to examine the vast opportunities and immense challenges facing a changing society. She offers her readers perspective and a path to create their future.” — George Anderson, Partner and Leader of Board Effectiveness Services, Spencer Stuart

“Deborah Westphal uses her own journey to show us how the business environment has evolved and more importantly, what it can become if—I say, if—we stop for just a minute and think about the power of the human system; the system that is one of a kind and always changing.” — Loretta Penn, President, PECC LLC

Convergence is must-reading for today’s organizations and businesses. Deb Westphal brings her breadth of experiences and knowledge to remind us of the need for human-centric leadership of all organizations in these dynamic times. She provides a perspective for ensuring humans are at the center of the convergence of technological, societal, and organizational changes facing businesses. Alvin and Heidi Toffler would be extremely proud of her insights for the future.” — General (retired) Lester Lyles, Independent Consultant, former Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force.

“When automation replaces humans, how should managers leverage the unique gifts that people bring to the workplace? As technological currents swirl and eddy with the currents of human endeavor, the convergence of competencies creates new opportunities. The successful enterprise of the future will understand how to navigate these swirls and eddies. Deborah Westphal brings a lifetime of experience to exploring the components of this convergence, using compelling anecdotes and allegories to identify and expound upon the components of convergence. A must-read for future-looking enterprises, Convergence will advance how you think about the future work environment and how to thrive in that environment.” — Dr. Julie J.C.H. Ryan, CEO, Wyndrose Technical Group

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