I was at a "Disruption" conference yesterday, speaker after speaker showed examples of this amazing digital future. Blockchain, IOT, distributed operating systems, distributed avatars, the future is certainly bright.
Did it motivate anybody to run back to the office and implement a digital avatar for example? I doubt it.
To be honest, I think the presentations scared people.
During the break I talked to a number of people and they all agreed it's easier to go back to the office and get lost in the comfort of meetings than it is to be the "change maker". In the break there was tails of companies starting "incubators" only to close them down 18 months later. Why would a company want to disrupt itself?
Practically, what happens is the majority, kill off the minority.
The other subject was about digital talent. The view was that there is a lot of talk about the talent but actually it does not exist. One presenter said she was a "change maker" and then read her presentation off a script and it was full of "bullshit bingo". The guy from Lego was a change maker and he gave an insightful presentation, full of interest and humour and no bullshit. Qdos to him.
So what can a company do? Invest in its people. Simple.
Before you leave this blog I'll remind you of the quote, I think it was Richard Branson who had the conversation with his Finance Director as follows:-
Finance Director - What if we train our people and they leave?
Richard Branson - What if we don't train them and they stay.
As responsible employers and leaders we need to be driving change by training our people to be digital. It is through this that we will truly get the change makers, the innovation, and the efficiency we strive for.
Yes, we will lose people on the way, but that is the nature of work. Let me say this is about digital survival, but to be honest, most people see this as supplier bullshit.
Many people in leadership positions will be retired well before the company finally dies off. Digital is actually about "old school" elements of extra revenue, competitive advantage and greater efficiency. When I say "greater efficiency" I mean you do more for less cost. Which means more profits or if you want to be politically correct, more money to invest back in the business.
Digital isn't perpetual motion, but if you play your cards right, your digital programs could be a profit centre and not a cost centre.
There is much that business is uncertain about at present, but not the accelerating pace of automation, disruption, and the need to improve digital skills. Barely a week goes by without the publication of new research on the rise of the robots. Recent PwC analysis, for example, predicts that 30 per cent of jobs are at risk from automation by the mid-2030s.