I had the opportunity to present to a group of executives in transition last week on the subject: “Digital Agent of Change”. Our proposition is that this is a key new position that is emerging as a result of today’s fast moving digital world, and one that still remains vacant in the majority of corporations. The rapid convergence of multiple digital technologies that’s taking place is giving rise to a powerful all-encompassing tsunami of change – the impact of which most companies still remain blissfully unaware.
The pace of change in mobile technology, for instance, has accelerated at an unprecedented rate. By the end of this year nearly 6 billion people will be “connected” worldwide. It took 20 years for the first billion people to get a cell phone and only 15 months for the last billion!
More fundamentally, wireless connection is being used not only for voice communication but also for high speed broadband data. In a recent report Chetan Sharma, an acclaimed mobile strategy consultant, concluded that more changes will occur over the next 10 years than occurred in the last 100, and that value chains will be disrupted every 12 -24 months. This is yet further validation of our firm belief at KeySo Global that converged technologies will inevitably cause major disruption to business models – and most companies are, as yet, unaware of the magnitude of this.
New converged technologies mean that boundaries that previously existed between employers, employees and consumer communities are starting to blur and overlap. Once employees walk in through the revolving doors of a corporation, it’s no longer realistic to believe that they disengage from the outside world. Smartphones are an intrinsic part of digital life – and people will connect! We’re now seeing distrustful companies requiring that their employees contractually disclose their Twitter and Facebook identities, and pledge to not say anything negative about the company in social media forums. Maybe they wouldn’t if management didn’t give them reason to!
One member of our audience last week commented on this ambiguity of trust between companies and employees. Over the last 20 years, corporations have increasingly been treating their employees as disposable assets to achieve quarterly results – so why would they show loyalty to or trust in the management of their company? The emergence of social networking and social media also means that employees can now express their grievances more openly – and to a far broader audience. Many corporations have not yet recognized that in today’s digital world dismissed or badly treated employees will become tomorrow’s “brand terrorists”.
The challenge of recognizing and repairing this trust relationship within an organization can only be achieved when all sectors are prepared to collaborate, and open dialogue is initiated between management and employees. When trust is found lacking within a company, it cannot be expected from its customers on the outside.
It’s here that the Digital Agent of Change plays a key role – and it’s not a position for one individual alone. It’s built on the premise that the capabilities of each and every person in an organization need to be ignited; they need to be aware of and receptive to the changes that digital technologies bring so that these can be harnessed to organically restructure the business from the inside out.
To understand more about the role of a Digital Agent of Change, about how you yourself can prepare to step into this role and how your company can embrace this new position, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, +1-847-478-1633 or visit our website www.keysoglobal.com
Steve Bell, President, KeySo Global LLC