According to the experts, whether we like it or not, we are all technology companies at our core. Technology has become integral to almost every business function and relationship that we have.
But it is also a moving target.
From increasingly sophisticated IT infrastructures, to the way we order, store, check, communicate, account and pay, to the ever increasing use and appreciation of the data that we can now glean, with the help of technology, from each of those activities and the means by which we conduct them; to the machine-learning applications that can help us further analyse and extend that data knowledge, stripping away inaccuracies, bias and uncertainty; to blockchain, cloud-first systems, chatbots and the ultimate recognition that almost everything, traditional products included, can now be reimagined as a service, there's no escaping technology and how fundamental it has become to everyday business practice.
Following Deloitte's identification of 8 key trends for 2017, Doblin Global's Geoff Tuff, the expert author of the linked article points out that 'control and predictability are becoming less and less relevant as management tactics.'
As for leadership and industry best practice, the safety measure on which as business owners, leaders and managers, we've always relied (since it used to be a reassuring benchmark, especially when it comes to demonstrating responsible and competitive management), Tuff's position couldn't be more categoric or scathing:
'[I]t is no longer possible to rely on best practice', he emphasises. 'What might have been 'best' last year might not even be 'good' this year. And if we all do our planning based on peripheral vision (not to mention the still-dominant tendency to glance in the rear-view mirror), it is virtually guaranteed that we will work our way towards obsolescence.'
The only constant is change.
Tuff is very convincing. Real leadership, and mastery of technology to real competitive benefit, will, he says, come from 'learning in the moment', figuring out how to source and engage the best talent without employing it and learning how to use technology, without owning and always fully understanding it.
The linked article is a short, worthwhile read by the leader of Deloitte Digital's design and innovation think-tank.
it is no longer possible to rely on best practice. What might have been “best” last year might not even be “good” this year. And if we do all our planning based on peripheral vision (not to mention the still-dominant tendency to glance in the rear-view mirror), it is virtually guaranteed that we will work our way towards obsolescence.