Life is a series of changes. In fact, change is so powerful in life. We are doing all that we are doing to change our lives, and if you think in terms of impact, to change the lives of other people.
Time and change are the only constants in life. You used to wear a certain shoe size, and without knowing it, you no longer fit into it.
You usually says it’s the wrong size. That is not correct, it is the right size, its only that you have outgrown it. You have changed. Your business is going to be faced with change, in fact your existence is going to be determined by whether or not you are changing.
It is Machiavelli who once said that, “Whoever desires constant success must constantly adjust to the changes in the environment.”
The truth about life and business is you have to change with the change or you will die. My advice to you is Change to Change, Change with Change and Change for Change.
When changes takes place you have to change as well. “One key to successful leadership is continuous personal change. Personal change is a reflection of our inner growth and empowerment.” (Robert Quinn).
A few case studies: Kodak
In 1998, Kodak had around 170 000 employees and enjoyed global domination of 85 percent of sales of all photo paper worldwide. However, within just a few years, their business model disappeared and they went bankrupt.
What used to be your competitive advantage in the past may turn out to be your weak point.
Who would have thought of that ever happening to Kodak?
What happened to Kodak and Polaroid is going to happen in a lot of industries in the next 5-10 years. The sad part is that most people do not see it coming.
Who would have imagined in 1998 that three years later, you would never take pictures on film again?
For a long time some people had made money from these cameras taking photos and having them processed at some Kodak franchises.
With today’s smart phones, almost everyone has a camera, and now with advancement in technology the quality of the videos from these smartphones is really astounding.
Interestingly, digital cameras were invented in 1975. The first ones only had 10000 pixels, but followed Moore’s law.
Kodak registered a patent for a digital camera but fearing to disrupt its major income earner, it sought to shield this income stream, but eventually lost out. Be ready to change, do not fight change.
A few more case studies
Artificial intelligence will change how business is going to be done. This is the 4th industrial revolution where it’s no longer about doing business by the rules, its breaking and rearranging the rules.
The adage go digital or go home is becoming very real. This Monday, many people got to experience the 4th Industrial revolution first time when Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram went down for some few hours.
The world for many people technically stopped. Sales that were supposed to happen over WhatsApp were interrupted. Those who had scheduled adverts broadcasts on Facebook noticed as well that there was no joy.
The reality is that the world we live in has gone digital, and for real if you are not going digital we have to go home.
Change is going to be happening faster due to Artificial Intelligence. Software has disrupted and will continue to disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years.
ZOOM is a software. WhatsApp is an application and controls the life of over 2 billion people in the world.
Facebook does not provide any content, its merely a platform yet it controls the life of billions of people on the planet.
Rethinking sustainable careers
I was asked to deliver a talk on the above subject by ACCA for its virtual Summer School. That theme speaks to what colleges and businesses need to work on.
A number of people are coming with distinctions in qualifications that may not be needed.
The conversations around career guidance should be centred along the lines of the future. Digitisation has not left any guarantees.
Noone is secured. We need to constantly be thinking in terms of how can we improve and stay relevant.
I am in the legal field, and it’s a matter of time before we begin to feel the real effects of digitisation.
You see Google has changed the way things happen. You can practically get anything on the internet, the only difference is that I have a formal qualification and you do not.
IBM’s Watson allows clients now to get legal advice (so far for right now, the basic stuff) within seconds, with 90 percent accuracy compared with 70 percent accuracy when done by humans.
So, if you study law, and you are thinking of making money from giving advice you may be heading for a surprise soon.
Those who will practice law will be in there for the fun of it. You will also have to be exceptionally good in whatever area that you
Currently, Watson is already helping nurses and doctors in diagnosing cancer. It’s 4 times more accurate than human nurses. There is talk about operations being conducted on humans using robots as well. Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognise faces better than humans.
In 2030, computers will become more intelligent than humans.
In this digitised world, other businesses survived Covid-19 whilst others thrived with Covid-19. The conversation should be how can we use change as an asset rather than as an adversary. This world is full of endless possibilities.
Change is not easy
Many people want change but very few want to change. Interestingly, many people want the benefits of change but they do not want the inconvenience of change.
“Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have — and underestimate the value of what they may have to gain by giving that up.”(James Belasco and Ralph Stayer).
Commit to learning
Perhaps someone who understood this principle and reflected on it earlier was Eric Hoffer who remarked that, “In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”
Eric Hoffer is an interesting figure, and perhaps also shows a character who valued learning and development. Hoffer was an American social writer and philosopher.
He produced ten books and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in February 1983 by the President of the United States Ronald Reagan.
Eric Hoffer was born in the Bronx, New York City in 1902 (or possibly 1898), the son of Knut and Elsa Hoffer, immigrants from Alsace. By the age of five, he could read in both German and English.
When he was age five, his mother fell down a flight of stairs with Eric in her arms. Hoffer went blind for unknown medical reasons two years later, but later in life he said he thought it might have been due to trauma.
(“I lost my sight at the age of seven. Two years before, my mother and I fell down a flight of stairs. She did not recover and died in that second year after the fall. I lost my sight and for a time my memory”).
After his mother’s death he was raised by a live-in relative or servant, a German woman named Martha. His eyesight inexplicably returned when he was 15.
Fearing he would again go blind, he seized upon the opportunity to read as much as he could for as long as he could. His eyesight remained, and Hoffer never abandoned his habit of voracious reading.
This explains his quote about learners inheriting the earth.
Arthur Marara is a corporate law attorney, keynote speaker, corporate and personal branding speaker commanding the stage with his delightful humour, raw energy, and wealth of life experiences. He is a financial wellness expert and is passionate about addressing the issues of wellness, strategy and personal and professional development. Arthur is the author of “Toys for Adults” a thought provoking book on entrepreneurship, and “No one is Coming” a book that seeks to equip leaders to take charge. Send your feedback to [email protected] or Visit his website www.arthurmarara.com or contact him on WhatsApp: +263780055152.