By Stephen Garber
Rapid change happens. In a May 21 special issue titled “Sooner Than You Think,” Bloomberg Businessweek explored the impact of artificial intelligence. How we think about business has perhaps changed while we were thinking. If we hold on to the past, the present will pass us by, and our future could become seriously cloudy. We’ve all heard the expression, “Change or die.” Transform or be forgotten.
Levatas and SFBW recently hosted a discussion on AI. Four bright, visionary leaders spoke about their experiences with large organizations on what they are doing with AI and technology. The stories are fascinating if not astounding. Ipads that can show air flow. Virtual reality that can look into machines and warn of impending failure. Hospitality programs that predict—with uncanny accuracy—what we will want to do when we stay at a hotel. Sailboats, submarines and drones that can navigate themselves, gather data and go places that no human could go. Elon Musk put his Tesla in space, and two of three of his rockets landed on an X back on earth. What is science fiction to many of us is reality and old-hat to others.
Digital transformation is ubiquitous. It’s not just at large companies. Never before in business have we been asked to anticipate, adapt and respond so quickly. Our air conditioner service people, our veterinarians, our doctors and our dentists have digital equipment and technology that bring their services, diagnostics and technology to us at home and at work—remotely. Lawyers hardly use paper, and robots scan copious amounts of documentation for them. Soon, you will be able to walk out of Amazon’s Whole Foods with your groceries, having paid without scanning or stopping at a cashier. (You know they’ll sell that technology to small businesses.)
To navigate the ever-evolving digital age—no matter the size of your business—you need exceptional technical talent, and you need your people to manage this transformation passionately together. Interpersonal skills have a higher currency than ever before. Teams working together and learning from each other will be even more crucial. Resistance will be futile and costly. Collaboration is essential.
As entrepreneurs, we dream big. Technology will make the dreams bigger, faster and more amazing.
Change? Transform, or watch it pass you by. ♦
Stephen Garber is director of Third Level Ltd. Contact him at 561.752.5505 or email@example.com.