Being Digital in 2018 : don’t be frustrated nor destructive

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Worker in personal protection equipment with demolition hammer at interior brick wall construction breaking in building industry

Many people don’t understand why others are reluctant to embrace the unavoidable changes caused by digital. I say reluctance but I could also say resistance or mistrust. You can face such attitudes either if you are in charge of digital in your company or are helping companies to transform as an external expert.

And nobody understands why.

If you promise people hell there’s no surprise if they hate you

The problem with the digital industry, seen from the outside, is its arrogance. Nothing new here, it’s the umpteenth replay of a movie we all know : the quarrel between the elder and the moderns. It’s not the first time this movie is played and it’s surely not the last. But that’s not a reason for not trying to fix things and be a little bit more constructive.

How can one expect to find a positive interlocutor, supportive partners, when he claims that they’re useless (rightly or wrongly, that he will make them obsolete and make their job disappear, that he’ll throw away everything they’ve built along their career ? How to move a business forward when one say “you’re bummers and you are going to die”.

Bu there’s even worse. There’s also the “must effect”. Old elites must die. Old industry players must die. “1.0 people” must die ? Why ? Because they are here and represent the past. To replace them with what ? Sometimes the digital guys have no idea, sometimes with something they have no idea if it will be better or not. But digital is addicted to novelty so new will always be better than good.

New is better than good

Where does it come from ?

There must be several causes and I won’t claim I get all of them. You have certainly your own ideas but it some causes look obvious.

• Frustration : we’re not part of the old economy elites so let’s leverage this change to take their seats. Have you notice that many in pro-digital discourses we can find traces of the old anti-elites ones that have always been around.

• Will to destroy : that’s a consequence of the previous point. Breaking the heritage est more important that bringing a solution to an actual problem. Let’s break everything and see what remains. And if it works or not. And it’s done forgetting that there are reasons why the existing is here and that it’s a burden today moving from one extreme to another is not always a good move.

So old elites, businesses that represent the old economy, governments, laws, managers must disappear. For a better world ? That is the question.

Anyone willing to start a transformation program, either digital or not, should not cause a self-defense reaction even he starts from those he will need support from. When one needs allies it’s stupid to turn them into enemies.

Humility helps to find allies

Some rules based on common sense.

• be humble regarding the existing and those who built it. When it’s been done it was because it matched a need and there are reasons why it’s here. Today the context as changed but focus on the problem you want to solve instead on what you’re going to break down. Your job is to build the future, not to criticize the past.

• dont give the impression you’re here to steal someone’s job. “Someone” as a network and allies, you don’t.

• Show people how you’re going to help them with their mission instead of trying to change things without them, against them.

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