As a keynote speaker I get to see literally all kinds of industries, from chicken breeders to hotel booking sites and for the last 20+ years, I have been studying how these industries try to cope with rapid change by being creative and adapting to new challenges and opportunities.
I have observed that the companies that seem to manage this best are the companies where the employees are curious about new ways of doing things and more focused on solving clients problems rather than being obsessed with “their” existing product or solution.
Change doesn’t happen when someone invents a new product or technology, not even when that new product or technology is being bought or implemented – but when the people who are working with this new product or technology begin to change how they do what they do based on what this new technology/product now makes possible.
For example: When we got digital cameras we were so stuck in the mindset of waiting for the “Kodak moment” that we only took a picture when we had the perfect shot. But after a few years, we realized that we could take as many pictures as we wanted and then select the best ones since the cost of taking a picture is now zero.
So, if we want our employees to master change we need them not to just buy or implement new technologies – but instead, get them to want to be in a state of being open to changing their mind about what our products and technologies can be used for.
An open mindset might just be the most important skill we can have in a fast-changing world.
Fredrik Haren (www.fredrikharen.com) is the author of The Idea Book, which was included in “The 100 Best Business Books of All Time”, and he will be one of the keynote speakers at European Label Forum.
The picture is of a selfie taken by his kids who have no blockage about “having to wait for the perfect moment” to take a phot. So they take photos in the most unexpected situations and from the most unusual angles.