We define Reinvention as:
“Quantum Individual and Organizational Change Accelerated”
For you and your organization to be successful, you must have the ability to change, pivot, and morph faster than the speed of the ever-changing external environment you operate within.
And you must have the ability to accelerate the results that matter most to your customers and stakeholders.
What the Future Holds
It’s getting harder for futurists to predict upcoming changes in the global business environment. These strategists can no longer depend upon past trends for predictions. After all, just a decade before the World Wide Web became commonplace in 1996, there was very little buzz about its potential, or even its existence.
Although we may not know for certain what future global disruptions might be, we can be certain that they are already locked and loaded in the pipeline and are being prepared to launch.
Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are now vowing to disrupt entire industries. Hearing this, a Fortune 500 CEO recently commented anonymously that he and his fellow chief executives are now more concerned about the competition coming from the Bay Area than from traditional sources of competition.
And although many of the new ideas, technologies, and disruptions may emanate from Palo Alto and its neighboring cities, the phenomenon of disruption is clearly global.
Disruption Emanating from Nontraditional Geographies
We recently met Omar Christidis, the Lebanese founder and CEO of ArabNet.
ArabNet was launched in 2009 to help grow the web and mobile sectors in the Arab world. The intention was to stimulate growth in the digital knowledge economy throughout MENA (Middle East and North Africa). This would help create high-quality, knowledge- driven careers for young Arabs.
We were fortunate to attend the 2015 ArabNet conference in Dubai. The conference placed special emphasis on ways to disrupt traditional banks across MENA through peer-to-peer lending, crowdfunding, mobile payments, electronic payments, crypto-currencies and more.
One speaker cited the acceleration of global investment in Fin-Tech start-ups. FinTech companies are newly funded companies withthe purpose of disrupting incumbent financial organizations. Fueled by venture capital and private equity, Anthony Butler, of The Political Quarterly, calls this investment infusion the “Cambrian Explosion of Start-ups.”
What Happened to My Job?
To get our minds around the topic of quantum global change, let’s take a look at what futurist Graeme Codrington predicts for three of the world’s most prevalent jobs in the future:
- Private bankers, wealth managers, and stock traders: Dynamic programming and algorithmic engineering will eventually replace these positions. Most stock exchange floor traders are gone, and backroom traders are now struggling to keep their jobs. Stocks and commodities are being traded by complex and lightning-fast algorithmic platforms. As soon as these new machines have the capability to recommend the best ROI, private bankers and wealth managers will eventually disappear.
- Frontline military personnel: The military employs many young people who need jobs. But the US military is in the process of removing frontline military troops and replacing them with robots, drones, and other mechanical fighting machines. Advanced military forces like China and Russia will quickly follow. Eventually, people toggling video-like consoles in rooms far away from enemy fire will fight tomorrow’s battles.
- Lawyers and accountants: Artificial intelligence machines will eventually replace these white-collar jobs. The main tasks of these professions are crunching and dispensing valuable advice to clients. But scientists are making great strides in creating computers that are capable of intelligent behavior and thought.
Codrington is quick to point out, however, that whenever an economy replaces old jobs, many new jobs spring up. For instance, although frontline troops in the military might be replaced, there will be a high demand for new military roles such as drone operators, robot designers, and cyber warfare experts.
But this raises a question: Who will be prepared for these new jobs when they come online? We believe it will be those who proactively pursued cutting-edge education and skills training and who invested time and energy into making the necessary changes to their lives. These fortunate individuals will have anticipated job shifts ahead of others, and many will reinvent before they have to.
Changing Because You Choose To
Proactive personal change agents will be the winners in the new economy and in the growing on-demand marketplace.
The right approach to dealing with incoming change is to change before you have to versus change because you have to. Why not be proactive? Besides, who owns your career path and career trajectory other than you? And who is in charge of running your team, department, or organization at work?
Proactive strategies have always proven to be better than reactive strategies in terms of individual and organizational high performance.
It’s better to make change happen on your own terms and within your own time frame.
Excerpt from Reinvention: Accelerating Results in the Age of Disruption by Kate Sweetman and Shane Cragun, courtesy of Greenleaf, 2017.
About the Authors:
Kate Sweetman is a founding partner at SweetmanCragun. Sweetman was listed as an Emerging Guru with Thinkers50, and is co-author of the bestselling business book, The Leadership Code published by Harvard Business Press. Her first-hand experience with world leaders, Fortune 100 organizations, and Asian multi-nationals provides a substantial foundation for insights that extend beyond borders. A former editor at Harvard Business Review, she has been published in HBR, Sloan Management Review, Boston Globe, and the Times of India, and has appeared on CNBC in the U.S. and India. She is also a coach and visiting lecturer at MIT’s Legatum Center for Entrepreneurship.
Shane Cragun is a founding partner at SweetmanCragun, a global management consulting, training, and coaching firm. His passion is creating high performance excellence at the individual, team, organizational, and societal levels around the globe. Cragun has worked as an internal change agent within a Fortune 500 High Tech Firm, a line executive at FranklinCovey, and a global external management consultant. His projects have received prizes in the areas of leadership and change. He recently co-authored Employee Engagement Mindset published by McGraw-Hill, has presented a TEDx talk in Silicon Valley, spoken at business conferences worldwide, and was featured in Open Computing magazine.
For more information, please visit www.sweetmancragun.com.