Five or ten years from now, you will find yourself living in a new and shocking world. Things are going to be drastically different. Many big companies will shut their doors and fold.
Yes, you have seen radical changes. But this time most jobs will disappear. Yours may be one of them unless you start doing things differently.
Make no mistake. This wave of change is coming like a powerful tsunami. It is going to hit millions seriously hard.
But, don’t panic. I’m going to share with you exactly what you can do to survive and prosper during those turbulent times.
First, let’s take a look at some of the new technologies that will disrupt our lives.
1- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Computers are becoming more and more intelligent than human beings. They can perform cheaper, better, faster, and more accurate than people.
3D Printing: We will be able to print almost anything including constructing a house in just a few hours. Yes, they will also print human organs like spare parts.
This is the invention of new technologies and products to help us live longer and healthier.
Simply put, they will be able to cure incurable diseases and create enough foods to wipe out hunger. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for this one.
I am talking about a total disruption to the health care industry. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals will get a rude wake-up call.
That is essentially the quest to make things as small as possible. For example, your 50 inches television screen will eventually be in your eyeglasses. You will see the images as if you were in a movie theater.
The cell phone you are using will most likely be inside those stylish and fashionable glasses as well. Then, they will continue to get smaller until they become your contact lenses.
It is the one disruptor that should concern you. It’s the technology that is having the most profound impact on us today.
Robots are slowly replacing human beings. They are doing our job cheaper, faster, better, and more efficiently.
A new mini Wal-Mart just opened in my neighborhood. There’s only one cash register with a real person. Every other cash register is a machine or robot. Soon, almost the entire frontline in the retail industry will be robots.
Many workers in the workplace will wake up to discover that they are no longer relevant and necessary.
The Future Is Already Here
Those technologies have been with us for a while. The big difference is, they are now near saturation point, and they are stepping on our toes.
Although that sounds scary, I don’t mean to scare you. Not at all. It’s not going to be the end of the world.
Soon or later, we will get used to those changes and find ways to cope. Everything will be just fine.
We are naturally problem creators and solvers. We will come with solutions when those disruptions start getting out of our control.
There will be a demand for people who can program, design, and maintain those technologies. The robots will need us to carry on.
That said, let me share with you some thoughts on how to stay relevant during those turbulent times.
3 Ways To Thrive Through Disruptive Change
1- Become An Exponential Thinker
By default, we are linear thinkers. For thousands of years, we have been programmed to think in a linear fashion.
We count one, two, three, four, five, and so on. We routinely go through our days doing the same things every day clockwise. They train us in school to go through our grades sequentially.
Linear thinking got us stuck in the agricultural age for about 10,000 years. And it took us another 300 years of the industrial age before entering the information age.
But, the information or the computer age changed the pace of change in a remarkable way. Things no longer change in linear or incremental fashion. We now have to think exponentially to keep up with the speed of change.
Unfortunately, most people continue to operate and function with a linear mindset.
Let’s see what is exponential thinking.
Unlike linear thinking, exponential thinking is disruptive thinking. You don’t count from one to five thousand. Instead, you rapidly skip to millions and billions. You think BIG!
Let’s say you are the CEO of a company, and you want to grow your organization exponentially in thirty-one months.
Let’s suppose you are starting with $1. In 31 months, you would exponentially grow your company to well over one billion dollars. On the other hand, you would grow linearly by $31. Here’s what the chart would look:
We see those kinds of growth at companies such as Instagram, Uber, Facebook, and Twitter.
It’s not enough to slowly change your way of thinking. You have to think disruptively. You have to keep reinventing yourself and the things you do. You have to do things better, faster, and cheaper. You have to become a more customer-centric organization. Be more indispensable in the workplace.
Let’s face it, you or your company may be smooth sailing now. But eventually, you will have to face the cold reality.
Your operating procedures will become obsolete in a matter of time. Here’s what I mean:
In 1888, Kodak opened their doors for business. For more than one hundred years, they dominated the film and picture industry. They were the king.
They had assets in the neighborhood of $26 billion with thousands of employees. In 2012, they shut their doors and liquidated their assets.
That same year, Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion. The remarkable thing is, they started in the field in 2010. They had 13 employees and no assets. Today, they are completely dominating.
The bottom line is, you cannot rest on your laurels and expect exponential growth.
Think disruptive, radical, and impossible thoughts. Think BIG! The slow and incremental change will not cut it in this rapidly changing environment.
Resist being too comfortable. Stop doing the same things the same way you have always been doing them..
2- Leverage Your Available Resources
There’s a big difference between having resources and being resourceful. Most people complain about lack of available resources.
If you are resourceful enough, you will multiply your results with what you now have. The difference is the kind of questions you are asking yourself.
The question should not be, “How do they expect me to do all of this when they are taking away my resources?”
Instead, ask yourself a more empowering question that gives you the power to tap into your genius. And yes, you were born a genius.
The question to ask is, “How can create magic with what is left?” The goal of this question is to access your creative and innovation insights.
When I started in the speaking industry, I was a doorman at a hotel. I didn’t go to college or high school in the United States of America.
I didn’t have any resources or friends in high places. But, I was very resourceful.
Well, come to think of it, that’s the results of my poverty and diseased stricken childhood a tiny Haitian village. By necessity, I learned how to do more with less. I learned how to repurpose and reinvent whatever was available.
So, I said to myself, “I’m going to be a motivational speaker in this country.”
I knew it was going to be tough to compete with the big-name speakers. After all, meeting planners and speakers bureaus didn’t know me from anywhere.
Some of the expert speakers told me that it would take from five to ten years to be successful in the speaking arena.
That’s linear thinking. I knew there was a better way.
In 2012, Google started dominating and disrupting the Internet. People were flocking to their search engine to look for answers.
Bingo! That was my opportunity. I started studying search engine optimization or SEO.
Soon, my site was showing in position number one on the first page of Google. Meeting planners, company executives, and speakers bureaus were discovering me.
Some speakers would call me and say, “Man, how do you do that? You’re on top of the first page of Google!”
I was like, “Yeah. I don’t know. I’m from a small village in Haiti. I just did a couple of things, man, and I’m on the first page.”
The reality is, I was kidding. I knew exactly what I did.
Unfortunately, Google changed their algorithm many times. They messed up my plan.
Millions of websites got penalized. Some lost their positions, and others disappeared. Mine was one of them.
Today, I buy traffic. I also create content like this one to get long tail traffic. Google is way too fickle and time-consuming to keep figuring out their secret sauce.
My guess is, there are lots of internal and external resources available to you that you are not leveraging.
Let’s say you are a salesperson in the sales force.
Are you leveraging the new ways of selling to get more prospects and close more sales?
Ask yourself this question:
“What’s available to me now that I can leverage. How do I remain necessary and relevant in the workplace?”
Chances are, your company already has the training and everything else you need to succeed. You simply need to look at your challenges with a different mindset.
3- Collaborate More
When was the last time you came up with ways to collaborate with the players in your industry? I’m talking about your co-workers, customers, suppliers, or even your competition.
No employee can prosper in this rapidly changing world with a selfish mindset. The individualistic attitude doesn’t work in this context. Information must flow freely within departments, districts, divisions, or regions. There should not be any constipation of information.
Collaboration is when we put our limited resources together. It’s when we create something bigger and better so that everyone can benefit.
I recently bought an LED light kit for my video studio. The maker is Polaroid. But, guess what? Polaroid does make those LED lights.
It turns out that a Chinese company is collaborating with them. And they do so to leverage their distribution channels.
So, how can you collaborate with others in and outside of your company? How do you tap into the resources they have that you don’t have?
Recently, I spoke for HIG, InterContinental Hotels Group. They are creating a new GRS (Guest Reservation System) to disrupt the hotel industry.
But, they realized they didn’t have enough time and resources. Neither did they have the manpower to pull it through on time. What did they do?
They joined forces with a disruptor that created something similar for the airlines industry. They collaborated with Amadeus, a French company.
Suddenly, they have enough brains and resources to create something big. They can create something disruptive in the hospitality industry. Do you see what I mean?
My Heartfelt Advice
Let me wrap up by encouraging you to reassess and rethink your current job, function, and focus.
The days when employees used to cocoon in a comfort zone with a nice salary while doing routine tasks are gone. You have to challenge yourself to contribute fresh and disruptive ideas to your organization.
If not, your days in the workplace are numbered.
As a team member, reevaluate your current contribution to the team. Ask yourself if you are thinking big enough to help your company prosper. During turbulent times they need cutting-edge thinking.
Collaborate more. Leverage more.
Whether you are a team member or an executive at the C-suite level, you must be an exponential thinker. That’s how you stay relevant and indispensable.
Finally, remember this…
A robot or someone else will possibly perform your job faster, cheaper, and better soon. Wake up and pick up your pace.