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4 ways to keep pace with technology in the workplace

The team at Clarity recently attended the annual CoreNet Symposium for the New Zealand chapter of the CoreNet Global property networking organisation. This year the theme was 'Humanity and the Machine'. Here's what we learned:

How can we become digital leaders?

This year's theme was 'Humanity and the Machine', with a range of fantastic speakers that included those who had shifted to a cloud-based lifestyle - saving time, money and attention - to people who ask the questions of where we are headed for our ever-changing future.

The importance of keeping up with technology is HUGE. As the days, months and years go by, the technology advances at an amazing pace. What was once the latest and greatest yesterday, is Stone Age quality today. The bottom line is, technology doesn't wait for you and if your business isn't keeping up with it, you will surely be left behind by one of your competitors.

So, the big question: in a world where communicating with your key audiences is increasingly through digital channels how can we become digital leaders? As a newcomer to the Clarity team, here's some lessons I took out of this great day-long event.

1. Be comfortable with technology

It is no longer acceptable for the senior management team to be a technophobe. In today's business, every member must be able to contribute to discussions about technology and must be able to articulate the importance of technology to the organisation. This does not mean that everyone needs to have a detailed understanding of the capability of new technologies such as AI or augmented reality and how they can be applied of, but a general awareness and openness is a must.

2. Be digitally aware

Taking a big picture view to the role technology can play in the transformation of an organisation is key. It is about looking at all moving parts: new business models, products and services, and creating a unique customer experience. It's about looking beyond your company core services to also see potential collaborations with other companies or partners to create new offerings and generate value for all parties. Leaders who think digital is just a technology project, website or social media activity are not digitally aware. This will not provide the direction required for a successful digital transformation.

3. Be willing to take risks

Increasingly we're hearing that in order survive and succeed in the digital world, businesses need to be agile and customer focused. They need to be able to respond quickly to their customers, and easily to changing market conditions, customer preferences and competitor activity. The leaders of a digital business therefore need to be capable of making quick decisions. They also need to be prepared to take risks, try new things and test ideas in order to keep pace in the digital world.

4…… and be prepared to fail

In applying a bit of start-up and Silicon Valley thinking to larger organisations there must be preparedness to fail. It goes without saying that some ideas will not work and will need to be closed down quickly. Failure has to be an acceptable outcome for those who harness a digital business; there can be no stigma attached to trying something new but then realising that it has not worked as long as it is a small failure and a fast failure.

Food for thought

On a personal note, a key observation for me is that it is absolutely crucial that we equip youth, students and colleagues to harness the power of digital technology to transform our world for the better. That means ensuring the ICT skills of both current school leavers and university graduates are fit for the future – not just Microsoft office literate but going behind the external interface to coding and back end. It means providing incentives for lifelong learning as the pace of technological advancement quickens.

Quite frankly, I'm excited to see where technology goes. As it continues to advance, our lives will just continue to get easier, more manageable and perhaps better.

Key takeaways from the 2017 Corenet Symposium:

  • Spend min 1 hour a week studying the tech of your sector if you want to succeed
  • Be curious: be willing to learn, grow and evolve
  • Encourage all employees to develop digital competencies
  • Digitalize everything in your life, then dematerialize
By Jasmine Kerkmeester

Are you keeping up with the ways to communicate with your audiences in this dynamic digital age? Is your business? Our team The Clarity Business are here to help you move closer to where you need to be.