As you read this, companies like SpaceX is already selling tickets for civilians to visit the moon. Also, two artists recently created a “deep fake” video of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, putting words into his mouth that he never said. Digital transformation is happening fast and it’s up to leaders like us to prepare as new technologies continue to develop at exponential speeds.
What does it take to face these digital transformations? It all started with the one phrase that either excites us or scares us: the willingness to change. It’s never as easy as it’s said. So here are some steps you can adopt to embrace and prepare for technology advancements.
Learn to Embrace the Transformation
When things change quickly, our defense mechanism reacts. We want to protect what’s working now. But before we know it, we could get left behind.
This is what happened to Toys-R-Us. When internet sales began to grow, they decided to outsource their online sales to Amazon instead of pointing buyers to their own online store. Consumers got used to going somewhere else for their product. Toys-R-Us lost its buyer base and went into bankruptcy. They chose to stick with what worked for them in the past.
As our industries transform, the best way to embrace change is to always learn. Read tech magazines and websites to see what’s happening. Eventually, you will begin to see trends and know what kind of economy your business will see within the next 3-5 years.
Just a handful of years ago, new social networks popped up every week. Businesses jumped on them quickly, but many platforms failed. Other companies saw this and rightfully noticed that their investments didn’t always get the ROI they wanted by pouring resources into new technology and apps that showed up one day and disappeared the next. Embracing change doesn’t mean you can’t do it wisely.
Eric Ries lays out a great roadmap for measuring change in his book The Lean Startup. He gives us a diagram: Learn >> Build >> Measure.
When innovation happens, you will always get the advantage of jumping in first. But you don’t have to invest great resources right away.
First, you learn about it. Then you build something small, an experiment. Then you measure its results. After that, you keep repeating as you grow and as there is a return.
This ensures you will take advantage of innovation and minimize the risk.
It’s one thing to embrace change and to measure it. It’s another to keep going even when you might feel like things are good enough. By now you know how fast technology changes. Staying stagnant can be the death of a company.
The poet, William Arthur Ward, once wrote, “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”
As leaders in an ever-changing landscape, our job is to adjust the sails. We know our mission and we sail accordingly depending on the way the wind blows. When we learn to embrace change and to lead within it, our businesses will flourish.
Signe Reidla is the Managing Director and Founder of Execruit. When you need to find the right executive talent or strategic consulting for your company, Execruit will provide you with the tools to grow your business. Click at https://execruits.com for more information.