Thursday, January 12, 2006

The onward march of Information Technology - Nothing is Untouchable!!

Myself and four colleagues from various parts of the world are currently writing a paper about what we call "The New Local"

In my latest contribution to our paper I write about the pace of change and its impact on the business world. I quote a few examples of how things are changing so dramatically that it makes me think nothing in business is sacred any more.

All companies, products and services are in danger of becoming obsolete unless they get up to speed with technology in my opinion. Because if you don’t some competitor or some technological development will make you ‘out of touch’ very quickly.

I genuinely believe nothing is 'untouchable'.

One example I write about in The New Local is the revolution that digital photography has brought to the world of traditional photo processing which relied on people and heavy industrial equipment. Nowadays you as the customer are in charge with various options to develop your own digital pictures including;

  • Editing your own photos before printing
  • Printing your own photos
  • Uploading your photos to an organisation like TruPrint who send high quality printed photos back to you – usually within 24 hours.

Interesting then that today when I received my regular e-newsletter from Blue Point Leadership there is a lead article about Leadership and Innovation within Kodak.

Kodak acknowledges the need to be thinking ahead as the market is totally turned on its head in the world of photograph processing. I rather like the six points suggested in the article about how Kodak embrace innovation to try and keep ahead of the market.

I like the language used and it indicates to me very vividly how we all have to start thinking about new options rather than carry on doing what we have always done. I particularly love numbers 3 ,4 and 6.

The article extract is as follows:

To stay in the picture, leaders today should consider the following:

1. Look to create the future, not just follow the emerging trends.

2. Stretch yourself, imagine what is impossible and make it possible. Note: Strategic planning is great, but not if it only focuses on what you are certain of.

3. Remember that today's cash cow may be tomorrow's steak dinner.

4. Know who the potential new leaders are in your organization and develop them now.

5. Get everyone involved in "trend analysis." Cut out headlines, pass them out, ask people how that headline might impact the business. Be open to the "off beat" ideas.

6. Embed innovation into the culture - your next great product may already be hidden in your company


Rocky said...

Great article. I really like your points. I do like #3, The cash cow does often become the steak dinner in todays fast moving business arena. Technology is good and it has it bad points. I agree with you, most anything is possible. I think the ability to communicate will be the biggest change in the coming years. SKYPE and things such as this will revolutionize the way we conduct business and develop products. Fascinating stuff. Until then, Beam me up Scotty.

Trevor Gay said...

A great future ahead Rocky - 'but not as we know it' :-)

Steve Sherlock said...

Trevor, nice summary on this article. Through this, I learn we have more incommon as I received my copy of The Point today as well. The future will be what we make of it!

Trevor Gay said...

Thanks Steve. One of my favourite quotes of all time;

'Powerlessness is a state of mind - not a state of reality' Tom Peters

Sriram said...


Nice list there….Well, if I may add to that list, I believe to stay in the picture, today’s leaders should consider the following too…

1. Accept & Appreciate “KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid!)” philosophy
2. Promote CSR & Ethical Governance
3. Use Disruptive Technology – Technology as a key differentiator
4. Differentiate or Die! (Be distinct or be extinct!)
5. Benchmarking – selective, relative, futuristic & positive – This shouldn’t be a mundane exercise!
6. Sensible use of Competitor Analysis – (shouldn’t be a rote exercise!)
7. Strategic Planning & Implementation– Plans are nothing; Planning is everything! – “Actions speak louder than words”
8. Think globally, Act locally
9. Set up an “Ideas” team & constantly monitor / garner idea-generation
10. Women on Top