Thursday, February 28, 2013

Why rapid change is in our future

The Tipping Point
The Tipping Point (Photo credit: Go Gratitude)
Just a short post to capture some thoughts I had today about how social technology, online capabilities and mobile are changing the way we behave, interact and live and what we can expect in the future. My primary premise is that technology is the driver that is going create rapid change because with adoption of technology comes changes to human behavior.

Although I wasn't impress with the book, the Tipping Point, I do agree there are points in time where something really starts to take off - the hockey stick phenomenon where the change is accelerated and happens faster than it did previously.  I believe this is where we are with technology; it is accepted and generally adopted and in the future is going to change things much quicker than it has previously.

A good example of technology driving change is the way marketing a brand is done.  Previously, companies could position a brand the way they wanted to because they had the ability to influence individuals and individuals didn't have much ability to influence the company or their neighbor.  Then social technology came along and now an individual can voice a concern on Facebook (for example) and others can pile on and turn that single voice into a crowd chat that grows (and is heard) around the world.  Do you think the public will believe the positive Nike advertisement on TV if 50,000 people are voicing their unhappiness on the internet about how Nike is using unfair labor practices in Asia? No way! (and I don't know this to be true... just sayin'...)

My point here is not so much about what is happening today, although it is definitely a big shift. My point is more about the future.

  1. Technology is at the stage now (with the internet, mobile and Social software) where it will quickly change the way we interact with each other and with businesses.  
  2. Technology growth and evolution is happening much faster than it did even 10 years ago, driving faster  and more frequent change.  
  3. In addition, people are getting much more comfortable adopting new technology, also leading to more rapid change in behavior (since the technology itself drives that change). 
  4. The additional realization that has come to me recently is that although people generally resist change, it seems technology changes are much more palatable and even pursued by many individuals.   It is almost like flying for the older generations - it was novel and cool so people didn't mind changing the way they travelled even though it might have been more dangerous initially.   Accepting change drives even faster adoption. 

Bottomline is that businesses need to be more agile in the way they do business and how they interact with their customers.  If they don't they will not keep up with their competition now and will not be positioned well for the future where change is going to continue at a fast rate. They have to watch technology which is going to be at the core of the way their customers behave and change their business processes accordingly.


Have an outstanding day!

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