Change is Faster than Ever, but Will Never Again Be This Slow

Tech consulting

This succinct summary of the challenge of modern life is a quote from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, from his keynote at the Davos World Economic Forum in 2018.  And although that organization tried to downplay the sentiment later that year, and some see change coming more in waves than in an ever-accelerating pace, to us Trudeau’s claim seems an accurate summary of our times.

Change is hard for human beings; we are accustomed to a great deal of consistency from one day to another: in what is expected of us, in the tools we use to perform those duties, in how we’re perceived by others and how we interact with others, in what constitutes the necessities of life, and in how we obtain those necessities.  Most of us feel we can “handle” change, but when we say that we usually mean one change at a time, and with a pause after each change before we’re forced to confront the next one.

The challenge today is that the pace of change is accelerating at an exponential rate, so we’re dealing with more changes coming faster at us than ever before.  It’s one thing to acknowledge that and to accept the challenge of dealing with these changes in both our personal and professional lives – it’s quite another to realize the stark truth that this shocking pace of change is the slowest any of us will see for the rest of our lives.


It’s strange to realize we will one day look back and see 2020 as a year in which the world dealt with relatively few changes.  Considering COVID and technological change, political and social winds, medical and scientific innovation, it hardly seems possible; and yet, that is a truth embedded in the exponential change acceleration we’re experiencing.  It calls for a complete revolution in how we think about change itself.


We are Not a Society Periodically Interrupted from “Normal” by Change – We are Now a Society OF Change

Technological advances have made significant improvements to our life expectancy and our quality of life, but the news is not all good.  Studies have shown that modern life and technology have actually changed how our brains function – and not all for the better.

But we’d better adapt to it now.  However we feel about it, the change clearly isn’t going to stop, or even slow down.


Harnessing the Power of Change: Digital Transformation Unleashed

Digital transformation has become an undeniable reality of the 21st century. It involves the integration of digital technologies into every facet of a business, fundamentally reshaping how it operates and delivers value to its customers. It’s not just about replacing offline tools with digital ones; it’s about using technology to transform services into something significantly better.

From enhancing customer experience to improving operational efficiency, digital transformation holds numerous possibilities. The digital revolution is reshaping the business landscape, unlocking innovative opportunities for companies willing to embrace change.


Adapting to the New Ever-Increasing Pace of Change

Change is a constant phenomenon in business. But the speed at which digital transformations are happening today is unprecedented, leading to the unique paradox where change has never been this fast, yet will never again be this slow.

To capitalize on these changes, businesses need to foster a culture of constant adaptation. They need to adopt a proactive approach to innovation, staying one step ahead of the curve to navigate the sea of digital change successfully.


Leveraging Technological Innovation for Business Growth

The crux of the digital revolution lies in leveraging new technologies to foster business growth. Whether it’s Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), or the Internet of Things (IoT), each digital innovation brings unique opportunities to enhance business processes, streamline operations, and improve customer experience.

AI and ML can help businesses unlock valuable insights from data, driving informed decision-making and predictive analytics. IoT, on the other hand, can revolutionize supply chains, asset tracking, and consumer interactions.


Creating a Resilient Digital Transformation Strategy

A resilient digital transformation strategy is one that can stand the test of time, constantly evolving and adapting to the changing digital landscape. A robust strategy can pivot according to market fluctuations and technology advancements, ensuring that the business remains competitive in the digital era.

Here are a few essential components of such a strategy:

  1. Understanding the Digital Landscape: Begin by grasping the breadth and depth of the digital revolution. Understanding how digital technologies can enhance your business functions is the first step in creating a resilient digital transformation strategy.
  2. Aligning Business and Digital Strategy: It’s vital to align your digital strategy with your overall business objectives. This ensures that every digital initiative drives you closer to your strategic goals.
  3. Building a Culture of Digital Adoption: Cultivate an environment that encourages and rewards digital adoption. This includes providing necessary training and resources to your employees to ensure a smooth transition.
  4. Adopting a Customer-centric Approach: Digital transformation should always aim to improve the customer experience. Leverage technology to make processes more convenient and efficient for your customers.


The Road Ahead: Preparing for the Future of Continued Accelerating Change

The future of digital transformation promises continued acceleration of exciting advancements AND challenges. From quantum computing to 5G technology, the upcoming years will witness further acceleration in the pace of change.

As we embark on this journey, the only constant will be the relentless pace of digital evolution. And in this digital era, our ability to adapt and transform will determine our success. By embracing digital transformation, we can harness the power of change to drive growth and innovation, ensuring a prosperous future in the ever-evolving digital landscape.


Nurturing a culture of innovation and change will be more critical than ever for success in business. Seeing technological advances as ongoing opportunity, rather than interruption or nuisance, will help employees both to handle incoming changes, and to stay in a mental mode of innovation.


Progress and innovation are seen as some of the top priorities in businesses, always trying to stay ahead of the curve and compete for an “edge” on an ever-shifting scale.  Since Covid-19, companies are seeing just how critical staying apace with the changing times is to their survival and success. The uncertainty of the future brought on by a global pandemic has exacerbated the issue surrounding change and created several challenges for businesses as they attempt to plan ahead.

We see situations where business are struggling to “keep up” with developing technology and systems, particularly when the changes impact their business models, or when they have to defend against disruptive innovations from their competitors.

Startup companies who avoid inheriting a large installed base of “older” technology find themselves at an advantage, for a period of time at least. Some of these startups – “unicorns” – are companies that reach a $1B valuation in an incredibly short time. Many older companies will never have a chance at that kind of growth due to the weight of their legacy infrastructure, and the maturity of their competitive landscape.

It requires an increasing amount of research time to stay current with technological capabilities, and that will do nothing but increase. Business leaders, already stretched to the limit by the demands of their “day jobs,” simply cannot invest the time to stay informed and up to date of all of the changes happening in the technology industry.  That is where tech consultants like Innovation Vista can help, since we spend a significant portion of our time staying current in order to advise companies on how to stay current, and how to adapt their cultures to be ready for constant change.


Leadership’s Mindset about Change is Key for Survival and Success

Much of success in this age of accelerating change will come from how leaders frame the challenge for their organizations.  We suggest embracing it, and designing in a regular assessment and redirection of strategy to their business as a “heartbeat”.  Avoiding the perception of change and innovation as an “interruption” to business, and encouraging it as an ongoing opportunity for them to jump (and stay) ahead of the competition.


Update: in 2023 Info-Tech Research labelled this phenomenon “Exponential IT” and initiated research for how business & technology professionals can attempt to navigate it.