Episode transcript The transcript is generated automatically by Podscribe, Sonix, Otter and other electronic transcription services.
Hi everyone, I'm Ricardo Vargas, and this is the 5 Minutes podcast. Today, I would like to discuss the World Economic Forum in Davos. That just came to an end. And I know many of you may ask me why Ricardo is discussing a forum that is, I would say, initially focused on the economy but also focused on governance and trends. And why does this matter? When I started my career many years ago, our focus as project managers was much more on, I would say, delivering what was asked. To us. It means fulfilling deadlines and meeting the budget, reducing risks, and delivering whatever people ask us to do. This was to be a project manager, but today being a project manager is far more than that. And what is my concern? My concern is that I still see many project managers looking only to their belly buttons and trying to figure out, okay, my tiny team, the stakeholders, my client, and this, this is extremely important, but this is an absolutely narrow view of what your project is about. You need to remove your head from the water and try to understand what is going on on this planet, what is going on in geopolitics, what is going on in the economy, and what is going on in technology. I said this in my first episode of this year. We are facing an unprecedented time and a time that could be, for many of us, a remarkable time, a time that we can make a lot of positive impact. But also, for some of us, it can be a very painful time because if we do not see what is coming and if we do not get ready for that, we will have a tsunami in our heads and will not even notice that.
And why the World Economic Forum? Because it's so important to understand what these global leaders are discussing, what is important. And I know many of you will tell me, but Ricardo, a couple of years ago was Covid, a few years before Brexit and all the turbulence. So what is different now? It's the pace. It's the pace. Things are happening as we speak. Look, I look, the wars look, the conflict in the Middle East. It changes on a daily basis. Maybe tomorrow, when you hear this episode, things will be different. And why does this matter to you? Why does this matter to you? Because your project is deeply impacted by that. Because if you work for a company, this company will be affected by technology. Your work will be affected by AI. Now, we are seeing some scary news like Duolingo. That is a platform that teaches people. I'm a student of Duolingo, by the way, that teaches people languages and is laying off translators and using AI to do that. Did you see how crazy this is? This is crazy. We are seeing diagnoses being made by AI that are far better than those made by human doctors. So what I see is that it's a time of unprecedented change, and some of you hearing me will benefit dramatically from that. We'll be able to really leverage projects, leverage your career, leverage your company to a new level. But at the same time, sadly, for some of us, it will be painful.
It will be a time for job changes and job descriptions. It will be a time of personal risks and corporate risks. And we need to understand that. This is why, for example, I'm spending a lot of time this month trying to see where the waters are moving through. You know, where is the path? I'm like any of you; I'm scared about what's going on, how things will evolve, what will happen. And I'm trying to understand so I can prepare myself. I can help my clients to prepare themselves to what is coming. What I can tell you is that changes are coming at a much faster pace. And what is my suggestion for all of you this week? Instead of spending two-three hours this week watching Netflix or watching TikTok videos, that, by the way, they are fine to spend. Some time watching some of the discussions in Davos. They are all free and available on YouTube. They are all available on the web website. Just watch them. I had the chance to be in Davos for three years in an event with The Economist that we promoted at Bright Line, and it was amazing just to see the environment of the discussions because these are the people who are leading governments, these are the people that are leading the very top organizations, and we need to hear from them. For example, you need to hear what some Altman said. You need to hear about the need for urgency in several panels that we saw because this trend will reflect in our own lives extremely soon.
Tomorrow our projects will be affected. And what I can tell you is that there is no single organization that will not be affected. My concern is that many organizations, if they are not prepared and if they do not understand, and if we do not understand, we will not be able to take advantage of that, and it will become fragile. Remember the concept of antifragile that I said on the LinkedIn generative AI course? We need to do that. And this is why I invite you all to see that. And this is, for me, far more important that you study new trends in project management than you study new methods. Please spend some time trying to remove your head from the water and see what is going on. If you are not able to do that, you are not able to make the best decisions and decide on what path to take because today, there is no clear path on what the value will be. All companies are concerned; all companies are changing all of them. We can see universities today trying to revisit. What are our values for people doing university revisiting? Is this really important for me to do? This was unthinkable a couple of years ago, but now we see that we see organizations under pressure from all sides to change from members. PMI is doing that. Pmi is trying to move as fast as we can. As I'm saying, we're, but I'm not. I'm PMI from my heart, but as fast as they can.
But it's hard because we don't know what the future of association, university, or high school will be. We don't know because we don't know up to what point technology will surpass our ability. And this is serious. This is something that nobody wants to talk about, but it's serious. It's serious. What we see today is very scary, and what we probably will see in a couple of months will be even more. We need to be prepared to understand what our role will be and what the value that we will add to society in the work we do. And this is above and beyond project management, but you need to be aware of that. The best tip I can give to you is to start taking a look at what the Economist is saying, what the Financial Times is saying, what the New York Times in some specific columns saying, and what the World Economic Forum is saying to understand how do we react and embrace this new time? Because if we only see what we are used to seeing and what we are comfortable seeing, we will not see the wave. And maybe we'll get hit by a tsunami. And instead of being able to surf on probably the biggest wave of opportunity that we may face, think always about that. Open your mind and try to get new content and new understanding. This will for sure make you a much better project manager. I hope you enjoyed this podcast. See you next week with another 5 Minutes Podcast.