Go digital in 2018: don’t be frustrated or destructive
Many people are surprised at the resistance to the inevitable changes brought about by digital technology. Resistance but I could also say distrust or distrust. An attitude that people in charge of digital internally as well as external service providers meet with their market and their customers.
And no one understands why.
No wonder people hate you when you promise them hell
The problem of the small digital world seen from the outside is very new its arrogance. Nothing new, we are only replaying yet another episode of the quarrel between the ancient and the modern. It has been played many times in history and this is probably not the last time that it happens. That doesn’t mean either that at some point you can try to heal yourself to be more constructive and get things done.
How can we hope to find the ear and support of people who are claimed to be useless (rightly or wrongly), to whom we promise that we will make them useless and make their profession disappear, of which we say? that we are going to throw in the trash everything they have built during their careers. How to move a business forward that says “you suck too bad you’re going to die anyway.”
But there is worse, so far we are in the field of observation, whether it is shared or not. There is also the “it takes that” approach. The old elites must disappear, the actors of the old economy must disappear, the 1.0 (a little reductive as a qualifier, no?) Must disappear. Why ? Because they are there and represent the past. To offer what instead? Sometimes we have no idea, sometimes something that we have no proof that it will be better, or even that may be worse. But digital is addicted to novelty so new will always be better than good.
New is better than good
Where did it come from?
There can be an infinite number of causes and I don’t pretend to be exhaustive on the subject, I’m sure you have your own ideas but in a fairly obvious way:
• Frustration: we were not part of the elites of the old economy, let’s take advantage of this wave of change to take the place. Moreover, often in the most extreme pro-digital discourse, there is a dotted line of good old anti-elite discourse that we know well.
• Desire to destroy: this is also the consequence of the previous point. Breaking the legacy is more important than providing a solution to a real problem. Let’s break everything and we’ll see what will remain. And if it works or not. By forgetting a little quickly that it is the existing which brought us there and that if it prevents today from moving forward as quickly as one would like, there are reasons for being present and that to pass from an excess to another is often not the right solution.
So we have to kill the enarques and generally the elites, eliminate all the companies that are vestiges of the old economy, bring down the governments, remove the laws, hang the managers up and down. For a better world ? The question is asked.
Anyone who has to initiate an internal transformation project, regardless of whether it is digital or not, would therefore be wrong to generate, even before having started, a self-defense reflex on the part of those they will need tomorrow. When we need allies we avoid starting by creating enemies.
Humility helps make allies
Some simple rules:
• show humility in relation to what already exists and those who built it. When it was done it corresponded to a need and there are reasons why it is there. Today the context has changed, but talk about the problem you are going to solve instead of what you are going to break. Your job is to sell the future, not to criticize the past.
• Don’t give the impression that you are here to steal someone’s job and make it useless. So-and-so has allies and networks, you don’t.
• show people how you will help them in their mission instead of believing that you can change on your own, without even against them.
Bertrand Duperrin is Digital Transformation Practice Leader in Emakina. He was previously Consulting Director at Nextmodernity, a firm in the field of business transformation and management through social business and the use of social technologies.