Business Strategy | Leadership / Management | Technology & Social Media

Want to be relevant? Be a ‘wisdom filter’

There's an old saying about technology: Once it becomes ubiquitous, it also becomes invisible.

Thanks to Moore's Law, the hyper-accurate theory that says computing power doubles every 18 to 24 months, that's where we are today. Computer-enabled technology is like electricity. We just assume it's there, so we ignore it.

"In 2020, computing power will be everywhere … and nowhere," author, futurist and City University of New York physics professor Dr. Michio Kaku told attendees at the 2013 DigitalNow Conference in Orlando. "We are witnessing the digitalization of life."

And here's the thing about digitalization. Kaku says it's inevitable. Resistance is futile. Either harness its power or become irrelevant.

Listen, friends: There are some trends you can flat-out ignore. Tattoos, for example, or zombies, or Grumpy Cat, or The Harlem Shake. Amusing? Maybe. But that doesn't mean you have to spend time and energy on them.

Others, though, are reshaping our world. Advances in technology, for example, or the social movement. And I'm not talking about social media. I'm talking about social business -- making deeply personal connections with your customers, creating meaningful and memorable experiences for them, adding value to their lives. Social media is just one small part of that.

Those aren't trends. They're transformations. To paraphrase author Brian Solis, if we don't adapt, we'll die. And though technology is the sexy change that captures everyone's attention, our social skills will be the true differentiators.

Take information. Thanks to advances in technology, we have more information at our fingertips than ever before.

"But the information explosion isn't a wisdom explosion," Kaku told the DigitalNow crowd. "Wisdom will be a prized commodity going forward. … We need better filters that will select our voices of wisdom."

Perhaps our continued relevancy depends, in part, on our ability to act as wisdom filters for our members, clients and customers -- to add value to their lives by sifting through the avalanche of information and giving them exactly what they need, exactly when they need it.

Help them learn. That'll keep them ahead of the rate of change -- and us on their radar screens.


Bill Sheridan