We got used very quickly to changes, even when we cannot understand them in depth. In recent decades, the technological revolution “annulled” distances, greatly relativizing the borders between countries. Words like “instantaneity” and “hyper” are now in our vocabulary, but especially in our daily lives. As consumers -of products and services, but also of information- these changes have been a key to both our intellectual development and our access to entertainment and global culture twist.
For businesses, the impact has been equally intense. The consolidation of technological advances allowed them, as never before, to establish a direct and immediate connection with “the world”. In practice, this meant having a permanent window to the entire globe and know, for example, what companies were doing the same item elsewhere? This virtually unlimited access to information, also had another positive effect because it significantly reduced the gap between SMEs and large companies, especially in technology insertion. Thus, the benefits and resources of the digital revolution were, as never before so close to large corporations and entrepreneurs beginners.
The paradox of technological globalization, however, has quickly become apparent: from the moment that all economic actors have similar resources anywhere on the planet, competitive advantage has to be “elsewhere”. The answer, anticipated by experts, can be summarized in the following words: imagination, innovation and ideas.
The word “imagination” -to which sometimes mistakenly associate with fantastic connotations and even some realists is vital to the digital economy. In practice, “imagine” means to be creative again and again, both on stage or goals we set and the means to reach them.
Don Tapscott, one of the most respected leaders in the field of digital economy , emphasizes that talk of “knowledge society” should not be reduced to mere use of new technologies but, above all, to adopt a new approach that prioritises the ability to transform in economic terms, the data into information and knowledge the latter. Promising prospects “Big Data” , supported in turn on our growing ability to store, process and transmit data, are unmistakable traces of our not so distant future and would be a mistake not to look at them .
From my point of view, the contribution of Tapscott is critical because it indicates where we should direct our creative and transforming energies. In networked societies like ours, in which information is generated constantly, one of the main challenges of the companies is, and will remain develop skills to process data and turn them into innovative solutions. In this sense, the difference between being or not being creative enough will be decisive.
Imagine to inspire
Imagination is also a crucial capital to redefine the current organizational models. Optimize the resources of the digital economy means being able to create friendly, open and inspiring environments. To achieve that goal, not enough to have the most advanced devices and infrastructure nor the talent -by the way, very valuable-new generations of professionals and consumers (the “millennials” called). Here, the role of creativity is essential to generate -another stimulating working environments and time- efficient and productive practices.
Inspire “digital natives” and promote all their powers will, indeed, an increasingly urgent challenge. Faced with the advance of teleworking and new philosophies of life tending to balance personal and work life, human capital management demands new perspectives. Gary Hamel, head of the Management Lab at the London Economic School, highlights about the need to modify some classic management guidelines. In this sense, Hamel emphasizes that more than professionals who meet the goals of a company, companies that arouse passion and imagination among its professionals are needed.
This scenario is a real challenge for all business leaders, we must be as attentive to technological change and the consequences thereof. As a provider of technology solutions, Avaya believe that imagination is not only the engine to drive new and better products but also to anticipate the future of an increasingly complex and fast-paced world. In this context, the best tools are provided, which enable the best ideas and can, in turn, feed on them.