When we think about transformation, we have to think about at least 5 years later – not the very next day. Especially in big corporations the changes will not be accepted as quickly as expected or planned. In this post I do not want to talk about negative things like middle management rangers or members of past alliances. The transformation is going to let them rest in peace anyway and we will see a shift of power centers. Meanwhile we will talk about understanding the changes and shaping the future.
In 2007 I had volunteered to be a PC instructor for school kids as part of an NPO’s education program. I still remember how the children were enthusiastic about the PC lab and how they wanted to trade off other lectures for my short class in which I was showcasing Word, Paint, Minefield, or if possible, the Internet. These 8-9 year-old children were immediately lost in this digital world and didn’t want to move away from the monitors and mousepads. Our curriculum was pretty simple: Type a text, add some shapes, draw some circles, avoid the mines, navigate on the desktop, start the browser and so on… We were aiming to give glances from the digital world and familiarize these kids with programs and tools which started to become household items in Turkey in those years. Whether we were successful I am not really sure… We were trying to transmit to the new generation what we knew these days. And perhaps we were unaware of the next big thing. Now after 9 years smartphones, tablets, and all other connected device became obviously a must-have (or cannot-give-away) item for everybody. I simply cannot imagine myself now going into a classroom and talking about the new world in front of the kids from a younger generation. Most likely I will be taught a lesson by them. How they interact with each other and how they pick services or apps on the stores would not need my help or guidance. Moreover I can be overwhelmed with their attitude of asking “What can I do with this?” instead of “Why do I need this?”. This underlines the first foot of transformation: Change-readiness.
Secondly after all years of owning a car, using carpooling websites, hailing a taxi, and renting cars directly from the car rental companies I have recently joined one of the car sharing platforms. These platforms are backed by of course car manufacturers and car rental giants. But needless to say in order to walk into a random car, which is parked on the street, we needed to create an end-to-end system which enables the business and customers. We needed to remove the bare-metal keys from engine-start process. We needed to develop navigation systems which work like a charm in and out of the cars. We needed to implement touchless/contactless/online payment systems. And many other processes and legal issues are wrapping up this big change. Can you ever imagine how we would make it work without all of these components? How would you enable the key-handover? How would you track the cars as vendor and how would you book a car as customer? How would you pay the fare in middle of the night while you are on your own with a shared car? And how you could connect people and devices… This one now underlines the second foot of transformation: Integration of separate inventions.
In summary two feet of transformation require excellence in whatever you do on daily basis and patience combined with open-mindedness. You can’t start a club and say: “Okay now we are going to transform”. This never happened this way and will never happen to you as well. We must all wait for the right moments while we do good work and invest in the right direction. By doing so we will gain surefootedness in our transformation journey. No not-invented-here mindset or no power ranger can stop this big wave of change. Think about it: My 61-year-old mum, who runs a small education center, reaches out the students by using WhatsApp. You are never as old as you are if you are open to change and have willingness to make things work in a new way. It is time to feel strong about transformation because it changes the power centers without telling anyone a word.