As organisations embark on digital transformations, they must also be prepared to trust in ‘new-ness’, adapt to the speed of change and take note of the 3D’s…
Last week the Procurious team hopped on a plane to Munich to attend Jaggaer’s REVInternational 2018 for two days of inspiring discussion on eProcurement innovations, digitisation, and the future of procurement.
One of the stand out sessions came from futurist Stefan Hyttfors who lectures on how innovation, disruptive technologies and behavioural change affects the worlds of business and social issues.
His mission? To inspire as many people as possible to embrace digital change.
Trust in “new-ness”
“I have a lot of friends working in tech and they often approach me to ask ‘What advice should I give to my peers?’
“And my frequent reply is ‘How come you believe you have any advice to give to your peers?’
“Because if we believe in the concept of disruptive tech then we must also be humble about the fact that experience and knowledge are a problem.”
The reality of the extreme pace of change hit Hyttfors hard last summer when his 20 year old son returned home from university for summer break.
As the family sat down for dinner one evening, Stefan took the opportunity to interrogate his son about his summer plans; would he be spending the break getting some work experience?
‘No I’m not going to work” he replied. “I value my time and I don’t want to sell it to anyone”
Instead of work he had conjured a number grand plans including a road trip around Norway and various other escapades.
Stefan’s line of questioning instantly transferred from ‘What are you going to do?’ to ‘How on earth are you going to afford it?!’
His answer, ‘Don’t worry dad, I have some bitcoin’
“This is the millennial perspective today,” Hyttfors asserts. “And money is a particularly interesting discussion, particularly across generations. Where I was sightly skeptical about how far cryptocurrency should be trusted, my son was offended at the mere suggestion and far more wary of our banking systems.”
“Strange things are happening in the world; things that we don’t understand, thing that we ridicule and laugh at. We are guilty of assuming that our kids need to know what we know”
But in actual fact, it’s a trust in ‘new-ness’ that is going to become one of the most crucial factors for organisations in tomorrow’s world. Money is a great technology and a great innovation; it makes transactions smooth and solves a whole world of problems.
But, as with all technology, it only works if you believe it works…
Pay attention to the speed of change
Disruptive technology is nothing new but the speed of change is ever-increasing. In the past, organisations had the luxury of time permitting them to be skeptical about and distrusting of new innovations, which took 50 years or more to catch on.
Nowadays we hear a buzzword for the first time and within a matter months it’s everywhere; “a unicorn company appears and usurps all the other companies in that space.”
“We talk about organisations like Kodak and Blockbuster as if they were stupid. But the problem isn’t that they were stupid. They were simply the best at doing something no one needs anymore.
“When you are very good at what you do you will not be the one to disrupt your own industry.”
There are examples of this happening in every industry. And it’s never because the old companies were poor. Someone simply found a new way to solve old problems
“The speed of change puts so much pressure on leaders. But if you focus on making current processes more efficient you cannnot disrupt at the same time.”
The 3D’s of Digitalisation
As your organisation prepares for, and embarks upon, digital transformation, take note of Stefan’s predictions for the future of digitalisation. It all comes down to the 3D’s…
As technology advances it figures that we will simply need less ‘stuff’.
As Stefan points out, “If you can solve a problem digitally you don’t need material things.
“Don’t tell your kid that an iphone is expensive – think of all the junk you used to have to buy in the past to do the same job [a single iPhone can do]. It solves so many problems. Nowadays everyone in the world can take pictures for free.”
Dematerialisation means that more people can afford to do what used to be expensive and exclusive.
Deflation, as Stefan sees it, means having “millions of micro transactions rather than thousands of major transactions.”
Take cars as an example. They are absolutely not efficient; often parked for 23 hours of the day and contributing to congestion and pollution in our cities.
Along came Uber, which offers ‘mobility as a service’ and suddenly transportation is transformed globally. Selling £50,000 cars is not an ideal model – mobility as a service is the future.
“We are a big world on a small planet and because of this sustainability will be the main leading strategy of the future.
“We need to make much more with much less.”
We all like to believe that we are part of the last uninformed generation; that we have all of the answers and all of the information. But, in Stefan’s opinion, that’s simply not the case.
We will continue to face big problems and these problems can only be solved with global collaboration and global crowd-sourcing.
“We see a big decline in trust because people don’t believe in old institutions anymore” whether it’s governments, law enforcement systems or our banks.
“Why should my son trust in a banking app when he can trust in a bitcoin app?”
“He believes in decentralisation, a world in which where there is no boss.” Because, at the end of the day, it’s your boss that makes a system inefficient and corrupt.
Learn more about Jaggaer and REVInternational 2018