Westerman says the world keeps changing quickly, and organizations need to keep up. He adds: “The First Law of Digital Innovation says ‘technology changes quickly; organizations change much more slowly.’”
If organizations want to become more agile, they must pursue digital transformation. Westerman advises organizations to build a more digital-ready culture and rethink how they approach learning and development. To build a more digital-ready culture, Westerman advocates converting digital transformation from a project into a capability by changing the vision, changing the legacy platform, and changing the way the organization collaborates. In terms of learning and development, Westerman believes most companies are still in the last century, and that needs to change. Amidst digital transformation and other dynamic aspects of today’s workplace, Westerman’s take is that workplace learning is a key lever for success.
Dialing in on Transportation/Logistics and Retail
Heather Mueller, chief marketing and product officer for Breakthrough, a transportation solutions provider, suggests more change is exactly what the transportation and logistics industry needs. “Historically, the industry had been making incremental improvements to a baseline way of doing business—always looking to eliminate a bit more waste than last year, save incrementally more money in the process, and find optimizations that kept us creeping towards the next goal,” Mueller explains. “But the sudden shock from the last year and a half illustrated that this slow and gradual change won’t cut it when disruption hits. The biggest trend that we have seen emerge is that there needs to be a more systemic and holistic shift in how we approach the way we fundamentally do business, so that we come out of (disruption) more resilient and nimble.”
2020 and 2021 have proved that companies need to be vigilant and prepared for things to change at a moment’s notice. “In the last year, we have seen that the companies who are thriving are the ones that had already been looking to engage with the next big innovation,” Mueller says. “They had long been on the cutting edge, looking to engage with their customers in new ways. By anticipating new solutions and trends, organizations cultivate an appetite to try new things, allowing them to experiment in small ways first before the stakes are raised in practice. The lesson here is that, inevitably, the ‘old ways of doing things’ won’t hold up forever, and if that is all you are comfortable or familiar with, change becomes a hardship.”
From a transportation/logistics perspective, Mueller’s view is that the space had so long been centered on incremental improvement that when things fell apart, many teams didn’t have a portfolio of prototypes and tests they could fall back on. Therefore, she says: “The future needs to promote experimentation and flexibility to move into unexpected directions, and it will keep organizations competitive as we charge ahead.”