The Cost of Inertia Has Gone Up

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“We are now at the dawn of a profound technology-driven transformation that will make the changes we have experienced over the past 25 years seem small and slow.” -Daniel Burrus

I have used the above quote in many presentations over the last several years. Like many of you, I lived through the “technology-driven” changes over the past 25 years, and they hardly seemed small or slow. And yet, the changes in just the last five years have been dramatic. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Kindles, iPhones, iPads, TikTok, ChatGPT… the list goes on.

The world adopts technology and new ideas much faster than ever before. Just in the last couple of months, the new Generative AI – ChatGPT – exploded in popularity. It had the fastest user growth of any new technology ever. Millions immediately began experimenting with this new tool and adopted new options.

We have come to expect this kind of dynamic change. This fast pace has created many opportunities for some and will be the demise of others.

But human beings and how we work with and interact with each other have not changed. That is one of the major challenges for agencies today. A big question for agency leaders today is how they handle the implementation of technology inside their organizations and help their employees adapt and succeed. And the leaders of the future will likely be those who are flexible enough to move with these fast changes.

What does that mean?

It means that as a leader, you still need to know where you want to take your organization, but you no longer have the luxury of planning the trip to its final destination. Do you remember the 5- and 10-year plans? Today, they are a big waste of time.

If you’re going to survive this new faster race, you will have to be able to adapt and do so quickly. In the “good old days,” business plans plotted the course from A to Z by connecting all the dots and creating a linear path that was easy to follow. A connects to B, connects to C, and so forth.

In this new transformed economy, A connects to B, and C might be something completely different than it was just a few months ago. As a matter of fact, C might no longer be an option. Unless you’re able to not only live with ambiguity but also embrace and anticipate change, you’re going to be left behind.

What are the implications?

More than ever, organizations must know who they are and what they want because the “how” of their plans will be a constantly moving target. This can be frustrating to many, and it’s also exciting and dynamic for those who learn to embrace change, try new ideas, and discard ideas and systems that stop delivering results.

The cost of inertia has just gone up. Way up.

Steve Anderson

Steve Anderson

Often revered as the insurance industry tech guru or the Godfather of Insurtech, Steve Anderson is practically synonymous with innovation. He spent over 22 years as president of The Anderson Network – an authority on insurance agency productivity, technology, and profits – and has served on various boards and committees for IIABA and Big I NY. He’s also the author of the international best-selling book “The Bezos Letters” where he examines “14 Principals to Grow Your Business Like Amazon.”

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