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Helping ourselves to flourish in the Digital Age

The digital revolution is no longer something we need to prepare for, it’s something we are living through. During a workshop I recently ran, our discussion, very early on, focused on the changes that have already have been brought about by the 4th Industrial revolution.  As a group we came to a frightful conclusion – we are grossly underprepared, and seemingly slow to catch up, let alone keep up.

Trying to prepare now, that’s not going to save us, that ship has sailed. Instead it is going to be our relentless effort toward personal transformation in relation to the impact of automation. We need to take stock and define who we want to become in this new digital era and then run like hell to catch up and keep running to stay abreast. I sometimes think that the mood of this digital era is like the human experience during the Renaissance period. That period in which curiosity propelled us to question that which we knew to be true, to test our abilities and push ourselves to new limits (although it may not have been as frenetic as the rate of information transfer was slower). The Digital age is to the industrial age what the Renaissance was to the Dark ages – we are waking up discovering new human frontiers, just as we did back then – that which we knew to be true has shifted, we are in the age of new discovery which is transforming everything our entire socioeconomic and political landscape. I mean who would ever have thought that something as tangible as resources, would be so easily replaced by something so ethereal in comparison, information.

This got me thinking that each one of us should be taking our readiness and continued development as seriously as what most organisations are. By this I mean, each of us must heed the call to transform or risk irrelevancy. From the rhetoric, it seems as though organisations have been singled out to shoulder the burden of keeping us relevant, it’s all about Talent Management transformation, rapid re-skilling and career mobility, but I think that this responsibility should not solely rest with the organisation instead it should be us, in our personal capacity ensuring our future relevance.

So, my question is this what is your personal Digital Transformation strategy, how have you and will you prepare yourself for the digital age?

We need to adopt the same strategies, pay the same amount of attention and give equal effort to our own personal transformation as what organisations are to theirs.  To transform and adapt to this new digital world we need to undergo a fundamental shift in mindset. We need to examine ourselves, our beliefs, our operating systems. We need to recreate ourselves, defining not only what makes us uniquely human, but also how we will differentiate ourselves in a widening pool of competition. Perhaps never has ‘dog eat eat dog’ been more of a reality than now.  In my view any notions you have of living in a utopian world where all basic needs are met through the provision of a  universal basic income are misplaced. In my view competition will get fiercer, if you want to stay in the game. Inequality will continue to grow, and we will continue to stratify our societies, as we have always done.

To remain competitive, you are going to need to remain focused on improving and developing yourself, never yielding to complacency, instead yourself to go beyond your comfort zone, to the edge of chaos – as this is where learning and thus transformation happens. The competition we face in this era is not only about competing with others instead it is about competing with yourself. The gauntlet, self-improvement. Making yourself better today than you were yesterday, incremental compound, constant improvement, a choice to be bold, daring – the creator of a new digitally savvy self – remembering that fortune favours the brave!

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