Change is hard. It can be daunting, frustrating and complicated. It seems that change happens at an alarming rate these days, especially in terms of the digital landscape. Lead by giants of Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google, digital platforms and products are evolving at rapid rates. No sooner do we buy a new smartphone is the next great iteration being released.
At this moment, researchers in Northern California are testing Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence programs, as well as new technologies that we haven’t even heard of. Having grown up watching The Jetsons on TV, I expected to have flying cars by now, but am satisfied (if not terrified) that I will see driverless cars in my lifetime. Amazon is finding ways to have your online purchases delivered to your door the same day and Facebook wants to bring broadband internet to the third world. Why are these companies so successful? They are able to adapt to change in a competitive marketplace, with ever-evolving technology. Change is inevitable, the ability to accept and even embrace that change is what will make all the difference.
Here are a few ideas to help navigate the changes in a digital world:
- Be aware of the digital landscape and keep an eye on the horizon.
- As tech changes, so will the digital landscape. Watch for creative opportunities as new platforms and content delivery systems are developed. Remember when TV advertising during baseball games was limited to commercial breaks? Someone realized we spend the majority of the time watching the pitcher throw to the catcher and not watching commercials, so now we can see rotating ads displayed on a virtual screen behind home plate that people in the stands don’t see.
- Become an early adopter.
- Embrace the change. Becoming an early adopter could provide opportunities to stand out and become a subject matter expert. Be the one people look to when they want to learn more. Some new platforms may peek and then fall, like MySpace, but the expertise you gain from mastering an early entry will be a great foundation to build on for the next big thing, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or a player to be named later.
- Work with smart people.
- It’s nearly impossible to be an expert on everything. Keep yourself surrounded by people who share your passion. Learn from them and grow.
- Be flexible.
- The good news is what’s new for you is most likely new for everyone and with all things digital, updates can be automated and fairly instantaneous. See what is working. Watch for trends. Reprioritize and shift resources as necessary. The next change is most likely right around the corner, anyway.