The world around us is moving a mile a minute. New technology is being invented daily, and it’s hard to keep up.
When people have been in their careers for a long time, it’s a good thing. They gain expertise, utilize skills, and inevitably share their knowledge. Unfortunately, a pitfall is that leaders may not be as committed to learning.
In every industry, technology is creating waves. The companies that survive will be the ones who are resistant enough to adapt to the changes. If company leaders refuse to invest in modern ways, they could be under water quicker than you’d think.
I know there are hundreds of business leaders out there with the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude toward innovation. The truth is, this is a very outdated way of thinking. If a company isn’t efficiently utilizing modern technology, they’re already missing opportunities and falling behind in the industry.
“But I’m in a Nontechnical Industry.”
Even the industries that aren’t explicitly driven by technology are being affected. In recent years, we’ve seen improvements that make communication, navigation, collaboration and travel cheaper and more efficient.
Instead of asking why you should learn about the newest innovations in your industry, you should be asking why you shouldn’t. There are even free resources to get you started, so why not do your best to stay current?
The best leaders are lifelong learners. They thrive on keeping their minds sharp and expanding their pool of knowledge. Employees want to trust that their managers are doing their best. Similarly, modern customers almost expect innovation and some degree of tech-savviness from the companies they’re investing in.
By old standards, business leaders were advised to have a 3-year technology plan. Today, a timeline like that will leave you in the dark ages. However, that doesn’t mean you should jump on every new trend that emerges. When you hear about something promising, wait 6-9 months. Let others try it out first before investing in something that could flop. Once a new innovation is vetted by your peers, it’s a sign that it’s safe to jump on board.
One example is QR codes. They’re incredibly useful because so many people carry smartphones, but the first few companies to use them weren’t applying them as intended. Companies who waited a few months had more success.
In regards to technology for your company, you should be deliberate, have a budget and research thoroughly. Technology should be viewed as an intrinsic part of your company’s process, and therefore treated as such.