RAB Research Archive

The Two Ts of Tomorrow



It happened whether or not we liked it: Technology has changed our lives. It was Dr. Everett Rogers’ book, The Law Of Diffusion of Innovation, that gave us the framework for how people would adapt to technology. The two ends of the scale are the innovators who jump at technology and embrace it even before it’s ready. On the other end, the laggards who resist technology, kicking and screaming all the way. No matter where you fall on the diffusion of innovation curve, technology has impacted our lives. In one way or another, we all work for tech companies.

From product development and testing to customer experience, technology has reshaped the way we consume goods and services. It also affected the way we interact with brands and the ability for new brands to come into our lives. Everything, from meals and mattress delivery, to movies, audio choices or just getting around town – all facets of these industries and many others have been disrupted – forever.

In a recent article from Rishad Tobaccowala, author of Restoring the Soul of Business, he writes:

A river of change is carrying everybody and every company into the future. A half dozen significant forces are sculpting the frontiers of tomorrow. While there is a great complexity to be dealt with to ensure a profitable and successful tomorrow, there are only two key drivers that matter. These are ones we should focus on and not be distracted by a cacophony of distracting headlines or consultants offering complexifying choices.

Tobaccowala says that if you focus on nothing but these two key drivers and get them right, your company will thrive:

1. Tech alignment – It’s crucial to understand how technology is changing people and their behavior, as well as re-configuring your products, services and experiences.

2. Upgrade talent – Given the right resources, the firm with the disproportionate share of talent passionately aligned towards a common outcome is likely to win.

The two Ts of tomorrow are tech and talent. The tech alignment that Tobaccowala mentions is about looking at your current systems and identifying ways technology can enhance product and service delivery and customer experience. Technology has dramatically changed customer expectations in every category. Adapting to those expectations is critical for business survival.

Please don’t read this and get the feeling that your talent or skill is obsolete and there won’t be room for you in the future. Tobaccowala says upgrades in talent will come in two ways:

Smart companies are realizing that the next few years will be driven by how they can upgrade their talent through a combination of the acquisition of new talent as well as training and inspiring existing talent.

For managers, this means providing resources like professional development opportunities, tools and resources to help your current staff acquire new skills. For employees, this means that continuous education and learning will be required for you to thrive in the new tech-driven landscape.

Tomorrow, we will share the six key types of growth Tobaccowala identifies that companies must offer to attract and grow the best talent.

Jeff Schmidt is the SVP of Professional Development. You can reach him at Jeff.Schmidt@RAB.com. You can also connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB





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