Some days ago, I had the pleasure of being a guest speaker at a conference organized by our friends at ‘Professional Firm’, where we talked about digital transformation. If you already know me, you know ‘digital’ is an excuse for me to talk about what really matters.

When we speak of digital transformation, even if it seems fabricated, we do not refer (only) to technology. Today, almost everything is digital.

The change that companies must make is to be cultural. Otherwise, it will not work.

The level of digitalization is irrelevant. What is important is how the organization adapts and acts in a new context.

We have to learn to plan with uncertainty

Technology is ever-changing and forces us to behave differently, both as professionals and citizens. What has changed? Uncertainty. We can not predict what will happen in the future and “we have to learn to plan differently.”

Uncertainty has grown due to the growth of certain variables, thus everything has become more complex and unpredictable. We have not changed much, so with the same resources, we must learn to move in a more agile, faster and above all more flexible way if we want to survive in our current environment.

If we are bison organizations, we will pay dearly

Some companies continue to behave as they did before the technological revolution took place. They are like bison. They are large, peaceful animals that live predictably, and in turn, have value. In short, they are an appetizing target for hunters. The Americans devised a plan to attack them as a group; they made stampedes, drove them en masse to a slope and waited for them below, trapped them, and killed them. As the bison were caught unaware and were not able to be warned, they were a very easy prey. In fact, in the 19th century, the American bison were hunted until they were almost extinct.

Un momento de la jornada en el Col·legi de Metges de Barcelona Barcelona.
Col·legi de Metges de Barcelona.

The bison could not react to a disruptive change. The change in the new hunting strategy is just as strong as the one technology has forced upon us in the business world. It still seems paradoxical for us that Uber, the company that controls the highest number of taxi drivers in the world, has only one app. Where are Kodak and Blockbuster, who thought they would always dominate the photography and video industry at home? “If we do not innovate, we are going to do the others, and we can also afford it,” says Rosales. We must ask ourselves “how much bison does my organization have?”

Why do we have so much resistance to change?

Adopting a new technological standard is a matter of attitude and overcoming resistance to change. We are in the era of the customer, and the key to business is always being able to fit in one’s pocket. Are we prepared?

Resistance to change is due to three factors:

An innovation strategy is missing. Sometimes it is not clear or too many co-exist at the same time. This is the key role of business managers.
The team is not prepared to be imaginative.
The goals are unreal. There is no clear strategy or budget.
In fact, overcoming this resistance requires vision, skills, incentives for the people in the organization to aid in the response to change, resources, and a concrete and specific action plan.

To survive, we need to know if we have many or few “bison” and how we can be hunted. We must innovate and evolve as much as possible and adapt our organization to the maximum. We must be ourselves, not someone else, to get us out of the market.

Question to reflect upon: Is my organization prepared for the future?