A Leap Into the VoidBy Byron Amores | Mon, 08/31/2020 - 13:56
I still remember the first time I did a parachute jump. It had been one of my aspirations for several years, but I couldn't find the time or the place. Maybe what I found were excuses to put it off. When I made the decision, I went to a skydiving club, I arrived early with my family, and I bought the complete package that included preparation, photography, filming and even a discount on the second jump.
I spent about two hours completing the necessary instruction. As it was the first time, I knew it would be a tandem jump together with the instructor. Shortly after, the small plane arrived and took off with me and a group of 10 beginners to an altitude of approximately 10,000 feet. Everything seemed exciting and I had great expectations as I had waited for that moment for several years. However, the instant the plane door opened I felt a lot of fear and anxiety. Pessimistic thoughts came to my mind and adrenaline raced through my body. At that moment, I just wanted to give up.
Abruptly, the instructor who was tied to me by the harness, pushed me out of the plane. Once in the air and after a few seconds of having assimilated what was happening, I then began to practice what I had learned, some basic turns, looking at the altimeter and even smiling for the photo. There were seconds of free fall, but a lifetime passed through my mind. It was time to open the parachute that would take us safely to the ground while we enjoyed the unique view you have from those heights.
In recent decades, organizations have been looking for new and better ways to do things, be more productive, gain market share, bet on innovation and customer experience. Technological advances have begun to take shape and develop rapidly. Along with these changes, the concepts of digitization and exponentiality began to come to life. Governments, companies and society incorporate these concepts to adopt digital business models.
But what do we understand by digitization and exponentiality? The digital model implies the change from something that was physical and material to something that is transformed and loses its physical characteristics. Music no longer comes on CDs, it is now digital. Meetings are no longer physical, they are done by video. Education went from a physical classroom with a flesh and blood teacher to a virtual classroom with a teacher who has been digitized. The good thing about digitization is that it allows services to be cheaper, faster, more efficient and hyper-personalized.
As for exponentiality, this concept refers to the accelerated and increasingly rapid growth of things. One of the examples of exponential growth can be the development of technology in recent decades. In fact, those who anticipated exponential growth like Bill Gates and the PC in the 1990s or Jeff Bezos and e-commerce in recent years have benefited from that exponential growth of the business models they created.
Today there is a significant number of companies that are starting to transform their businesses to a digital mode, as well as many entrepreneurs who propose disruptive forms of business models.
While some companies are going through the transformation process, there are others that are still discussing it and unfortunately, another good number that clings to what will soon be the vintage model.
There is no doubt that for companies and their directors, being in the comfort zone is more comfortable and just thinking about a change brings as many fears and anxiety as those I had when I was at the door of the plane, ready to jump with my parachute.
At this point, if companies have anything to thank COVID-19 for, it is the same thing for which I thank the parachute instructor, which is that he pushed me to jump when I had the most fear and I only thought of giving up. In this case, the pandemic pushed companies to jump to a digital and exponential model. We may be in the initial shock of free fall, but we are certainly very attentive to the experience.
What is very important to consider is that the digital and exponential model is going to present us with a reality that is very different from the one we knew. It requires new skills and constant adaptation. On the other hand, it must be made clear that implementing online sales is not enough in the adoption of a digital transformation model. This transformation implies an internal revolution that breaks the status quo. This changes the supply system, the approach to customers, the organizational structure and the way of providing a service or selling a product, modifying the values, culture and internal habits. The ecosystem and collaboration are relevant and it is very likely that the business is not in what companies offer, but in the data that can generate information and knowledge. Data intelligence will be as important as looking at the altimeter when jumping out of a plane.
For those who dared to jump before or those who had to do it as a result of COVID-19, I would like to remind you of Albert Einstein's phrase: "The mind is like a parachute, it only works if it opens."