Jan Peter Reineke
Chief Digital Officer
It’s About The Makers
Recapturing the courage of youth to manage change
Nanotec, biotec, fintec, AI, blockchain, etc. The only true constant is change. We’ve always experienced change, but today change moves at a searing pace.
The ability to quickly adapt and adjust to different environments is what distinguishes us as human beings. Above all, however, stands our capability to foresee the future. The ability to make increasingly precise predictions based on experience and the given information.
Change itself is not the biggest challenge today. It´s the rapid speed and the frequency with which changes occur.
Our thinking and our actions take place in a linear world; in the predictable, the cause and effect. Our reality, however, is changing exponentially. New platforms and technologies arise daily, changing how we interact; changing our aspirations and needs at a speed we can no longer grasp. Hence, we – whose greatest strength is adaptation and future planning – run the risk of being superseded. What keeps us awake night is the fear of losing control.
The further we look into the future, the more unlikely, unstable and irrelevant our forecasts become. In a world that is developing exponentially and rapidly, one of our unique selling propositions as a human being is almost completely losing its significance.
How should we deal with this? What could inspire us to think and act anew? Where should we move to in a world that is becoming less and less plannable, and follows our plans less and less? Is it perhaps a matter of doing much more in the future, instead of wasting time with prognoses, planning and most of all concerns about eventualities, which ultimately don’t stand up to the exponential changing reality? Might courage be the answer? The courage to overcome our fears and embrace change and the new, and to evolve in the intensive and active debate? Is it about the readiness to invest our strength in confrontation with the new, instead of walking on well-trodden paths?
Actually, we have to become like children again. Yes, they observe. Yes, they develop strategies. Yes, with increasing age they – fortunately – think more and more. They experience, learn and therefore grow without any fear of the unknown. But above all they do. They simply do.
It is this unbiased willingness to playfully deal with the new and to learn through experience that we lose as we grow up. It is the driving curiosity, which we train ourselves off by an excess of consideration, successful prognoses and consideration of possible dangers. It is about regaining the courage to pursue our convictions. The courage that carries us forward, even in the event of failure. Because you learn to walk when you walk.
This is not about following every possible trend. Of course, the value contribution to our business and our objectives comes first. But we will only recognize this value if we give the new space in our planning and in our strategies. Space for experience, space for development, space for improvement, space for success.
Let us waste less time on talking and instead wipe away our fears, and understand change and innovation as part of a new reality that we can help shape. There is a growing range of technical possibilities through which we can explore our creativity. The question in the end is: Are we ready for it? Let's shape our future together, instead of just managing what already exists.
Will we be able to do that? We will only find out if we do.
Fortune favors the brave.