Digital is being used these days as a title to cover the current business and computing era. Being digital is about having the right mind-set. There is no magic course or exam you can take that will pronounce you as being digital; it’s how you apply yourself against the changing landscape of business and technology.
The digital era is enabling a growth mind-set in the age of abundance. There are many areas that could be included to help shape your digital mind-set. However, for me, there are six main ones:
The business area covers the skills and thinking needed in your workplace and what you need to succeed. Businesses are being constantly challenged in the way they operate today and plan for tomorrow against what their customers demand, what the market wants and what the competition is doing.
A number of business processes may have been in place for a while and are expensive to change due to various constraints. This means the processes haven’t evolved. But now, digital era changes are helping to remove these constraints and costs, allowing business to re-think how they develop business processes. With the constraints being removed through innovations and advancements, and with costs decreasing, think about how you can change these processes to meet today’s market challenges. What can you change/transform/automate?
With respect to technology, I’m referring to both the existing and emerging technologies in our lives: what you use in everyday life and what you could use that would help you complete tasks and achieve goals quickly and efficiently. Determining the technologies you should use depends on your job position and the road maps and trends for your industry. The as-a-service economy enables us to consume technology at a faster and easier pace with an abundance of services to go along with it. Having a growth mind-set is key to navigating through the abundance of technologies and making the correct decision about which technologies are most appropriate for your needs. The key is to understand and keep up with trends and technologies.
How do you interact with the rest of the world, including your work and family life? Reading everything that is happening on social media is literally “drinking from the fire hose”. There is so much information out there that you can get easily swamped with noise. Building a personal knowledge management system is one way of staying up to date with the latest, trending news on your topics of interest on social media. Setting yourself a series of social media rules will help define when and what you should put into the public domain, plus when and what not to post.
The personal area is all about yourself. Make sure your health is in good shape and you are living life to the fullest. Eating well and keeping fit help keep the mind fresh and positive.
We need to understand that change happens daily, embrace the fact with a positive attitude and work through the ambiguity it presents. A quote in a blog post by Richard Branson wraps this up nicely: “You can’t control what happens to you but you can control how you react”.
Fear of failure is another area that often lets us down and stops us from trying things. However, we can learn from our mistakes, so it is important to experiment and innovate. Doing small things and trying them — think about the theory of little bets — allows you to fail fast if things don’t work and keep any cost/consequences small. “Successful entrepreneurs don’t begin with brilliant ideas — they discover them,” says Peter Sims, the author of Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries.
Let’s talk about how you can apply the digital mind-set areas into your everyday life using well-known methods such as agile and design thinking. The key is choosing the right method for the situation you are in. Using aids to help you may be one way of doing this, such as playing a game with innovation and thinking.
Learning is essential. Keep your skills up to date with the latest advances in all the areas above. You should be looking to do 50 to 60 hours of learning a year as a minimum (some professions require a higher number of hours). Learning is now easier than ever with online courses, videos and podcasts. Re-enforce your knowledge by explaining it to someone else or blogging about it — it’s all part of the nature and cycle of continuing professional development. Set yourself learning goals, such as learning to code, which can help you understand many more things about today’s advancing technology.