Our expectations around the rate of change in generative AI is way off.

We poke fun of Mid-Journey’s ability to draw fingers as if it would forever be an AI-art tell. The next day, millions believe the Pope wears a cool parka. We make fun of the nonsensical recipes that Chat GPT-3.5 produces. The next day, version 4 is passing the bar exam, and developers are questioning their career choice. And of course, our inability to change the course of climate change is well documented. For companies and brands, this inability shows up in two ways.

The first way:

We don’t challenge individuals and organizations because we’re on the outside, and we can’t keep up. We don’t have time for due diligence, so we end up with a Theranos or FTX.

The second way:

We don’t challenge ourselves because we’re on the inside, and we can’t keep up. We’re attached to yesterday’s incentives, labels and narratives. So we end up with Silicon Valley Bank mismanaging the change of interest rates and Tupperware mismanaging the change in consumer preference.

Being a challenger brand means managing change better than your competition.

In self assessment, humans often maintain that our ability to adapt to change is our defining trait. That narrative looks like it’s being seriously challenged.