We live in a changing world, where change is the only constant – and even the rate of change is changing!
In his insightful keynote address at the 14th edition of dx100 Symposium & Awards, Prof Louis Fourie likened technology change to waves and technology change agents to surfers. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Knowledge and Information Technology Services at The Cape Peninsula University of Technology said, “Managing technological change is akin to surfing. The only difference between catching the wave (technology change) and missing it is how well you understand the characteristics of the wave it forms”.
Prof Fourie advised those leading technological change in their organizations to be strategic if they want to achieve meaningful outcomes. “You cannot surf every wave. Business leaders should not spend all their time in execution mode but spend time scanning the horizon for the next big technological wave and get into position. Surfers spend 80 per cent of their time in the water scanning the horizon for the right wave. Less than 10 per cent of their time spent on surfing.”
Here are other important points Prof Fourie highlighted during his presentation:
- Technological change is like the waves of the ocean, it never stops. It can be large or small, fast, or slow, but it is continuous. No waves are the same, but if we look closely, there are recognizable patterns. Waves build up, roll, peak and eventually break.
- Businesses need to look away from “business as usual” and the small waves and rather focus on the whole ocean and the big waves.
- Wildly few companies in Africa are riding the big technological waves.
- CIOs should distinguish between digitization, digitalization, and digital transformation. Their focus should be more on digital transformation – adding value to every customer interaction, changing the way business gets done and creating entirely new business models.