How Can an Individual Prepare for the Digital Business Continuum?
Posted on: Feb 24, 2018 by Hannu Ojasalo
We see daily an advent of some new technology. We cannot really estimate how it will ultimately disrupt our lives or anything at all. But the knowledge of such advancements will leave many of us thinking “will this be the one that will make our expertise and experience redundant?” How can I prepare myself? What should I do to keep myself useful in the future? It is almost a fact that many of the current professions will be extinct in the next decades. The bright side is that many new ones will emerge.
Fortunately, no one is alone with this question. Even whole companies are thinking about this same question: what do I need to do to stay in business amidst disruption? As part of the Atos Scientific Community, we have been thinking also about this and have just published a whitepaper entitled "The Digital Business Continuum: Enabling Organizations to Thrive Amidst Disruption". It offers a Digital Business Continuum framework for companies to help prepare for the continuous disruption in the market. The transformation required is not "one-shot": companies need to be ready to transform themselves continuously based on how the market changes. And it can change quickly as many companies are increasingly reliant on B2C business.
What does it mean for individuals when companies adopt the Digital Business Continuum framework? In summary, all the changes required are applicable also to every member of the organization. When the leadership approach changes that affects everybody. When the company culture changes that affects everybody. When the governance models change that affects everybody. When the organizational structure changes that affects everybody. Constant disruption also requires that every member of the organization is aware of what is happening out in the market and is ready to bring information about new developments into the organization. Everybody is required to adapt quickly. There will be no time for slow, organization level change programs.
How to prepare?
Here are a few tips to consider:
1) Adopt a new kind of mindset. Remind yourself that change is good. Be ready for organizational shifts. Be ready to change tasks frequently. Remember that uncertainty is here to stay. Be also ready to reprioritize your career goals. Do not let change disrupt you.
2) Follow your industry. Be aware of what is happening in your industry. What are the drivers and what creates pressure for change? Those pressures will ultimately also create pressure for you to change.
3) Try to constantly learn new things. Take any opportunity to learn new things and new expertise. Read the publications in your professional area. Do some courses or other learning activities on topics that you think might be relevant for your work now or in the future.
4) Network with your peers. Networking is the best place to get information that might not be publicly available.
5) Be ready to support your organization. Culture change is something that cannot be forced; it requires the support of every member of the organization. Leaders cannot change their leadership style without your help. New governance models are not effective if no one is working according to them. New organizational structures do not work if members are fighting against them.
6) Understand and sign up to the unifying purpose of your organization. If you cannot align yourself to it, you cannot support the company effectively enough.
When the disruption is constant, companies need to transform continuously and fast. That cannot be done if the individual members of the organization are not committed also to the continuum. That is why we all need to be prepared with a new mindset, new skills and motivation.
Watch the White Paper teaser video and get a summary of "The Digital Business Continuum: Enabling organizations to thrive amidst disruption" - published in February 2018.