Future-ready means disruption-ready

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The past two years have really shown us the importance of a proactive business approach, fueled by a greater adoption of agile methodologies. This is turning out to be a crucial strategy for dealing with the current uncertainties while also preparing as best as possible for potential future disruptions.

In this sense, we’ve been granted a clearer definition of the term “future-ready” which had previously been more of an ambiguous buzzword. Now we know that future-ready means disruption-ready.

In this article, we’d like to revisit some of our favorite podcast episodes and articles from last year which highlight the most important aspects of what it takes to be future-ready.


Growth vs. fixed mindset

This is definitely the number one element of future-readiness that we need to address. A fixed mindset strives as hard as possible to preserve the current state of affairs, falling victim to the “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” cognitive bias instead of looking ahead and thinking of ways to optimize things for the future.

At the beginning of last year, we had an excellent discussion with one of the top digital transformation experts, Cyril Coste, on the importance of nurturing a growth mindset and striving toward de-siloing for successful transformation. 

Especially in a crisis such as this pandemic, it has been essential for companies to promote a more open and growth-oriented mindset, with a greater tolerance for failure, which also facilitates collaboration and thus helps eliminate silos. Due to the often more complex nature of digital experiences, efficient collaboration and continuous improvement are key to success.


Embracing change & uncertainty

Another fascinating conversation happened with Howard Tiersky, leading digital transformation influencer and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. We discussed the importance of overcoming change resistance and embracing uncertainty for succeeding with digital transformation.

In fact, this point is very closely tied to the previous one: resistance to change is one of the main components of a fixed mindset, and the capacity to embrace change a key step toward obtaining a growth mindset.

Agility also plays an important role here as the most popular modus operandi of the brands conquering the digital age (e.g. Facebook, Uber, etc). It’s an approach with change readiness baked right into it, which makes it a particularly great fit for periods with a lot of uncertainty and innovation.


Employee-focused culture

Due to the amount of change and stress over the past 2 years, a focus on employee well-being has become one of the top business priorities. The strongest driver of this has been the Great Resignation which began somewhere mid-2021 and which has prompted companies to invest more into retaining employees.

Trust and empathy are key pillars of an employee-focused culture. As we discussed with Younes Hairej, CEO of Japanese company Aokumo Inc, this is particularly pronounced in Japanese culture and hence reflected in the cultures of Japanese companies.

Basically, it all comes down to business fitness – the intrinsic connection between the well-being of a business’s employees and its performance. We had a great conversation about it with IT consulting expert Brad Tornberg, who underlined the importance of empathy and flexibility in times of disruption.


Technical longevity

Of course, we can’t talk about future readiness without taking a look at the technology aspect. Having a future-ready culture will have very little effect if you rely on outdated or inadequate technology solutions.

You need to choose the technologies that will allow you to scale without having to mix things up all the time. The two key elements here are:

  • Maintainability: you need systems that will make it easy for employees to perform at their best (tying back to the previous point) without massive changes needed down the road.
  • Integration: as the digital landscape is constantly changing, you can’t just expect to always stay on the same platform and be as successful on outdated channels. Your number one priority should be your different technologies working well together to enable you to create omnichannel digital experiences and meet users where they are.

We wrote more in-depth about the importance of having the right technology stack in an article from summer 2021, in which we emphasized the need to make well-thought-out, informed decisions when it comes to technology investments, exactly with the goal of being more future-ready and more resilient to any kind of disruption, good or bad.


In conclusion

We hope this article was able to give you a clearer understanding of what future readiness means for businesses, and what traits to cultivate and how to approach technology investments in order to achieve it. For those who already knew about all of it, we hope you at least enjoyed listening to the podcast conversations and found some new people to follow.

If you’d like to learn more about succeeding in the transformation age, here’s a breakdown of the essential skills you need to thrive in the new digital reality. In case you need some extra development capacity in making your brand future-ready, drop us a line or find out more about working with Agiledrop.