Interview with Craig Terblanche - Massive change and opportunity

Updated: Oct 7, 2019



Today’s blog is linked to my new Podcast “Exponential Organisations” and is a loose transcript of the interview I had with Craig Terblanche. It won’t be a word-for-word transcript of the interview but will rather be me highlighting some key things that Craig said during the interview. I hope you enjoy it.


Introducing Craig


Craig is an Openexo.com Advisor and Coach and is passionate about the future of digital and how individuals and corporates will remain relevant, given digital disruption.

His Massive Transformative Purpose is – “make entrepreneurship easy in Africa!”.

Craig is the Chief Transformation Advisor at ExoSystems where he focuses on helping clients transform exponentially. Continuous digital improvement is linear, exponential transformation requires radical thinking about business models, innovation and most importantly people, practices, and mindset.

He believes that Digital Transformation is more about people, practices, and mindset than it is about technology. Once we've trained on the technology we find that the Exponential Transformation Sprint brings the right critical thinking to bear to effect the fundamental change necessary to drive exponential growth.


Craig how did you get introduced to the Exponential Organisation concept?


Technology won’t change the business model

“I was researching business transformation because I was really frustrated with the view that technology will somehow magically change a company’s business model and change the outcome of what their business achieves without them thinking through what the business is doing and what the business is focused on and how they are getting what they have always got”.


Salim Ismail’s book “Exponential Organizations”

“In doing my research I came across Salim Ismail’s book “Exponential Organizations” and literally read it three times. It probably takes three reads of the book for the real nuggets to sink in and start to work in your mind. We are all on this path of linear thinking and changing your mindset is a critical part of this.”


Changing your mindset

“In early February this year I attended an event where Salim Ismail was speaking and after meeting him and his team and I was impressed by the notion of changing your mindset and having a Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP), not just for individuals but for the organisation. The MTP is more about impact, outcome and changing your environment entirely”.


What does the term “Exponential Organisations” mean to you?


A holistic approach to business transformation

“When you first look at the material it doesn’t immediately ‘hit you between the eyes’. It takes a bit of time to experience some of the thinking and seeing some of the impact of the sprints. Initially you just think it is just another methodology but as your mindset starts to shift, as you start to understand the elements of Exponential Organisations and getting to the IDEAS and SCALE attributes but fundamentally overarched by the Massive Transformative Purpose. You start to realize that this is actually a much more holistic approach to business transformation and is end-to-end.”


A transformative capability

“Initial impressions were just another methodology but now it is really clear to me that this is a transformative capability that you can entrench in your organisation.”


What particularly stands out for you?


Business leadership waking up

“The Exponential Sprint process is great because it deals with business and it doesn’t necessarily deal with the technology people in the business. It is more about business leadership waking up to the realities of the upcoming tsunami of exponential change. This is based on what Tony Saldana calls “The exponential five”. What the implications of that really are to their industry and to related industries”.


Disruption and creating new markets

“The process goes much further to actually creating ideas and looking for ways to deal with disruption from an internal point of view. It also looks for ways to build on the edge, disrupt yourself or create new markets”.


Multiple exponential technologies at the same time

“We have the situation at the moment where it is not just one technology changing one industry but that there are multiple technologies coming out of the deception phase where they are actually making an impact in markets at the same time. This is a big thing. In the next five years as these technologies increase in price-performance all at the same time. They are going to impact multiple industries at the same time”.


Massive change

“These exponential technologies are going to destroy existing business models and perhaps organisation market structures. I think there is a massive change coming and you need a way to think about dealing with that completely differently


Do you think a lot of companies are going to fail? Is Thomas Cook the first of many?


Major disruption

“I believe so. I am of the opinion that there is going to be a quite massive market failure. There could be major disruption to market structures, politics and even to countries. It is not just another market cycle.”


Do you think Exponential Organisations are directly linked to technology?


New generations coming through

“In many ways it is but is also linked to new generations approaching the world differently. They blame us ‘baby boomers’ for messing everything up. They approach the world with a different mindset that says abundance is obvious and you can do things completely differently. Nothing is impossible. Let us fix things that are broken and let's change everything for the better. ”.


Tribes bringing change

“It is not just about technology it is about a movement. Tribes that are driving for change. Look at movements like ‘Burning Man’. The changes are fundamental and massive”.


How do you see the world in 2 to 5 years’ time?


Some get it

“There are regions in the world that will just embrace the possibilities. If you look at what China is doing. They get it. They have realised the potential of the exponential technology. They are building skyscrapers from giant Lego sets in a week. They are deploying kilometres of solar at a time. Every time they deploy a kilometre of solar the cost of electricity goes down”.


Some don’t

“The institutional and traditional countries like the UK and the US are not getting it yet as far as I can see. They are going to fall behind. There will be pockets of industry that gets it – Tesla, Amazon, Google, Facebook etc. Countries and companies that stick to traditional business models, traditional upgrading models, traditional economic models are going to lag behind very quickly and in many cases are going to collapse”.


Turmoil along the way

“The world in 5 years is going to look very different and there is going to be a lot of turmoil along the way”.


Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future?


Drive positive change

“You have to look at it optimistically. What is the art of the possible? How can we create jobs? How can we make everything better? How can we leverage abundance? This is what technology is doing. Exponential technology is creating incredibly cheap access to education, communication and all of the fundamental building blocks of society. Things are becoming increasingly cheaper if you remove the limiters of regulation. You have to approach it positively and drive positive change or you will just be left behind.”

Thank you Craig for being my guest in this blog and podcast.



I hope you have enjoyed and found this blog valuable. If you would like to talk about any of these concepts further, then let’s chat. You can book me online using Calendly at https://calendly.com/ideastorm, contact me through my website at www.ideastorm.co.za or email me directly at lancepeppler@gmail.com.


Until then have a fantastic week!

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