By Jill Nolin

Don’t blame your legacy system, says technology futurist Daniel Burrus. It could be legacy thinking that is hampering innovation within your organization.

 “It’s not the tool. It’s how you use it,” Burrus said in his keynote address Wednesday at IWCE. “I know people who can pick up a telephone, talk to somebody and make a million dollars on that call. I know people who can pick up a telephone and lose a million dollars on that call. By the way, [what’s] the difference? It’s not the phone.”

Burrus is the author of Flash Foresight: How To See The Invisible and Do The Impossible, which was a New York Times bestseller. He is well known for his predictions on technological advances and their impact on businesses.

“In a world of uncertainty, what do I start with? I’m going to start with certainty,” Burrus said. “Because when I’m uncertain, I don’t say ‘yes.’ I say ‘no.’ When I’m uncertain, I don’t write checks, I don’t start companies, I don’t know which thing to buy or whether I should keep the old thing.

“Uncertainty is leaving me powerless.”

To navigate this uncertainty, Burrus advised IWCE attendees to learn the difference between hard and soft trends and then make decisions based on those lasting trends.

“You’re going to go back (home), and you will be busy, but you have to be something else,” Burrus said. “People depend on you. People depend on the decisions you make. Lives are at stake here.

“Yet we can’t stop the tremendous changes that are taking place on this planet and how fast they’re happening. Is there a way that we can turn that into an opportunity? The answer is ‘yes.’”