I sit in the home office with my 3 kindergarten children, who often make it difficult to concentrate on work and often sit on my lap during video calls and ask, who is that on the screen? I often get the idea of what a day would look like 20 years ago in the middle of Covid-19 with all the restrictions in everyday life. I would have no broadband internet, smartphone and tablet with WiFi. How would I have kept in touch with my colleagues? How would I have spoken to my customers? Would the business have continued at all?
Most likely not at all or only to a very limited extent. All these possibilities that we have today, both in our private and business lives, are effects of the digital transformation. But in many areas our attitude / mindset is still the same as it was 20 years ago. To adjust the settings, we would have to readjust our controls. This can be compared to a mixing console at a concert, where the sliders are used to adjust the various instruments and voices to suit the size and conditions of the room. In the same way, we also must adjust our 6 mindset controllers to the new conditions.
In the same way, we also must adjust our 6 mindset controllers to the new conditions.
The digital transformation is a process of
change alongside the technical innovations, such as digitalization, artificial
intelligence, 5G Internet, etc. There have always been changes, but never
before have they been as fast, intense and complex as today. Permanent change
is the new normality and we must learn to deal with it, to use it and to adapt
For many, this process of change is stressful, as it means a step or often a jump out of one’s comfort zone. Who would have dreamed 20 years ago that all private or even business things and photos would be shared with the whole world. Many people today still see this as disconcerting and refuse to participate in social networks.
The first controller to be moved is
transparency, where we should make our knowledge public. We have been given or
exemplified that we should not share our knowledge, because then we might be
replaceable in our job and are no longer needed. Often one got the statement,
borrow these textbooks, then you can read them.
Nowadays we ask our smartphone or the
personal voice assistant and get the result in real time. Even operating
instructions and repair services are often superfluous, since everything is
clearly presented on relevant video portals in step-by-step instructions. When
dealing with colleagues, we need this transparency in order to quickly adapt to
changing and unpredictable market conditions / requirements. The focus changes
from the “need-to-know” principle to “need-to-hide”.
Whenever we are confronted with change, we
tend to weight losses higher than gains. A classic example is the diet, where
our thoughts are: Oh my God, now I can’t eat sweets anymore or now I can’t eat
the delicious burger. What we don’t realize is that the old jeans or dress will
soon fit again. For this reason, it is important to adjust the gain slider and
concentrate and focus on what you get in addition and not so much on what you
supposedly have to give up.
Focus on what you get in addition and not so much on what you supposedly have to give up.
Digital tools should make life
easier/faster. Nevertheless I have the feeling that people often hide behind
them. Do you know this? People write e-mails from one desk to another without
talking to each other or send text messages back and forth. It is not uncommon
for misunderstandings to occur. Have we forgotten how to approach another person
in person or how to pick up the smartphone (which is also suitable for making
phone calls) and speak directly? Writing
is more impersonal and it is easier to give the task / request to another
person. True to the motto, then I have done my duty and the other person is
forced to move. Everyone of you knows these chain mails where all colleagues
and superiors are also in copy. This is the consequence of hiding behind the
digital tools. We have to regain openness.
This openness and basic attitude is the
most important thing. We must accept that permanent change has become the new
norm. Always keep your focus on the opportunities and possibilities. A rule of
thumb is: recognize problems, but at the same time always focus on possible
solutions, how can we solve the whole thing together and turn it into
Now we come to the controller that brings
the most joy: teamwork. Any change always works easier if you do it all as a
team, i.e. if you surround yourself with people who support you and sometimes
give critical, constructive feedback.
The important thing is that you don’t see
change so much as a compulsory program, but rather as an attitude where you say
to yourself, okay, we have to put ourselves to the test again and again anyway.
And if you have this attitude, then you don’t see change as a necessary evil,
but as an incredibly great opportunity to constantly develop yourself as a
manager, as an employee, but also together as a team.
I notice again and again that people like
to have the freedom to contribute their ideas and suggestions and to be allowed
to help shape the future. How many “old-established” processes /
guidelines (some of which were created more than 10 years ago) still exist
today and are not questioned? A simple question is, what do we really need to
give our customers / investors the right thing, quickly. The next often rusty
value is the activity. We must become active ourselves. We often have the
feeling that we are at the reactive end, things are happening around us and we
have to put up with the whole thing or we believe that others are responsible
for the things. I like to refer to the iceberg of ignorance of Sidney Yoshida.
Only those who know the problems can find solutions.
The important thing is to actively promote
change. This means that every individual in an organization can and must be
able to take responsibility so that one can be successful as a team. This means
driving change in your own place, suggesting ideas and bringing up things that
may not work. If you actively drive things forward, you have the reins of
action in your hands and this active driving forward is for me the best way to
deal with this uncertainty in today’s world.
But it is important that we are not afraid of this future, because I believe we are living in a very exciting time.
We all simply have to deal with ever new changes. But it is important that we are not afraid of this future, because I believe we are living in a very exciting time. If we can manage to focus on the opportunities, it can be a great future, because never before have the opportunities been so great for individuals and companies alike. The more actively you help shape the future, the more fulfilling it is and the more fun it can be.
The last control on the mixing console is
the training control. Invest your time in yourself to advance your own further
education, learn a lot, read a lot, travel a lot to keep going. Because if you
work on your own abilities, if you stay flexible in your thinking and acting,
you have the best possible prerequisite to be able to deal with all these
changes in the best possible way.
What will the world look like in 20 years?
I can’t tell you and probably nobody can tell you with 100% accuracy. To deal
with the unpredictable time in the best possible way, readjust your 6 Mindset
controllers to include transparency, gain, openness, teamwork, activity and
training. The future remains challenging, but I believe it will be extremely
exciting and can be very fulfilling.
The future remains challenging, but I believe it will be extremely exciting and can be very fulfilling.
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