NCET helps you explore business and technology
By Andy Jorgensen
It is the year 2019. Artificial intelligence reads our email before we get out of bed and provides suggestions on how we might reply. Cars are driving themselves. Elon wants to develop brain implants to enable telepathy.
Feeling anxious yet? As we bravely head into Future Shock territory, let’s widen our focus. Yes, technology is always changing, but so are we, individually and as a society. Markets and economies are always changing. What are complex systems but groups of interrelated individual actors interacting with each other and causing ripples in the pond? Each interaction changes every actor, as well as the pond.
Often, we like to see things and people as holding still. It makes it easier for us to understand the world, only the world doesn’t hold still—our ideas about what and how the world is often do. While this habit of mind can be useful in certain situations, it can make it harder for us to recognize opportunities and adapt to new conditions.
Here are some useful exercises that can put this realization to work for you:
- List your assumptions about your target market. Who are they, what do they need? What have you been surprised to hear from your customers recently? What is changing in their world? Now look again at your assumptions and decide which ones need to be updated, de-emphasized, or thrown out altogether. What can you do to help them meet the new challenges that they face?
- Identify the problem are you trying to solve for your target market. What has changed about this problem recently?
- Make a list of other companies operating in the same space, targeting the same customers with solutions to the same problem. What have each one of them done differently this year? You might get a sense of where they are headed. Now look at how that relates to your positioning strategy and the changing needs of your target customer. Look for open road.
- Now, turn your attention to yourself and your team. How have you changed this year? Most tragically, our ideas of ourselves can be fixed and quite limiting. We are not ideas, we are people, yet we tend to mistake one for the other. It is vitally important that we recognize and encourage growth in ourselves and our teammates. How are you encouraging professional growth? Do you have systems and culture in place to help people improve and learn new skills? Are they working?
Plan on repeating this process as often as you’d like, because everything is changing, always. Let us embrace it.
Andy Jorgensen is the IT Specialist at Rehearsal and is NCET’s VP of Creative Services. Rehearsal is a video-based practice platform that helps people help each other to improve their skills. NCET is a member-supported non-profit that produces educational and networking events to help people explore business and technology. (www.NCET.org)