Tim Glover, Head of Digital Technology, Countdown, New Zealand
During my time working in technology, (20 years plus and counting) I have witnessed, participated in and even enjoyed a few of the major schisms. For example, I was working for Nokia when the iPhone and the app store were released. Most recently, I have been at one of New Zealand’s largest grocery retailers during a global pandemic.
As leaders we are undoubtedly going to confront this kind of disruption in the future: so how do we prepare for these changes?
The world has constant disruption and change. There are countless articles which aim to predict the next technology transformation. Some are correct, many more are wrong.
Who would have foreseen the inclusion of SMS in the GSM specification, fulfilled the need for a reliable payments and micro-financing platform in East Africa/West Africa in 2007.
The takeaway from this story is that we are unlikely to predict the next technology evolution – or revolution! – and certainly not its outcomes.
There are clearly several emerging macro trends (social commerce, 5G, AI/ML ..etc) which will have the potential to impact people and how they live. These in turn will interact with social trends shaped by environmental factors such as inflation, conflict and pandemics.
In short, the next digital transformation will be almost impossible to predict, and its consequences equally difficult to imagine.
Adapting to accelerating change
Humans don’t like change: we are creatures of habit. However, it is likely that yet another technology front end stack could have appeared by the time you have finished reading this article.
For several years now, educators have been preparing students for a lifetime of continuous learning. In the corporate world we are doing the same, starting to put structure and process in place to allow adaptation and support for employees in responding to change. These are typically codified under the label ‘agile transformation.’
The most important factor in ensuring that the next digital transformation is successfully embedded within an organization is that the appropriate internal culture exists, and is nurtured.
Dealing with the unknown
My thought is this. We cannot predict with confidence, if and when the next digital transformation is occurring. What we can and must do is to be flexible and adaptable in meeting customer needs as demand changes. If we are to do this successfully it’s imperative that we are sensitive to the needs and concerns of our employees. These have to be recognized and addressed – constantly! – if we are to derive the potential benefits.
This in turn demands an engaged team with a focus on delivering value and a commitment to continuous improvement.
As leaders our role is to establish the context: to set the culture and direction, then empower our team to provide the answers. Whatever the next digital transformation brings, its successful application will literally be in the hands of our people.
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#Digital #Transformation #Change #Real #Constant
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