Entrepreneurs Rule in the Digital Age

Technology in the shape of the smartphone has reshaped the world since its introduction ten years ago. The digital revolution already lives in our pockets and is spreading at lightning speed.

Living in a new world

The new world of mobile technology has created an environment where almost everything imaginable is possible with privacy and security as the only limiting factors. The digital economy is transforming countries and communities, as it uses the power of the Internet to simultaneously destroy jobs and create opportunities.

Every aspect of the economy and how we interact with each other is challenged in ways impossible to ignore or avoid. The line between work and leisure grows more blurred as smartphones, tablets and even our watches demand attention, regardless of geographic location, social activity or time of day.

New entrants to the workforce accept leading edge technologies as normal and adapt to different ways of working and communication. The business world is not alone in coping with rapid change, as governments and the governed face similar disruptions, although often lack the necessary resources to cope.

Young people entering new industries and areas of work must master a constant slew of technologies, as there is no hiding place for the reluctant or remiss.

Learning from entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs and start-up businesses are, however, models of the new world as they thrive in uncertain environments with scarce or absent resources. Even large organisations embrace entrepreneurs and encourage the entrepreneurial mindset by inviting them to reimagine and refresh what they are doing. Independent actions, creative minds, flexible thinking, managing in unstable situations and other natural characteristics of the entrepreneur are sought as ways to infuse bureaucratic structures with greater levels of invention and innovation.

The practical reality of how we use technology is driving the economy down new and novel paths towards a future almost impossible to predict. Business leaders, as a result, have to reinvent models to compete in what is a difficult present and will be a very different future.

Among the immediate challenges is the need to balance everyday business with managing online security, as organisations are susceptible to hacks and attacks. But trying to control new ways of doing things with old ways of managing won’t work, as disorder displaces employees in many spheres.

But are we ready to meet such dramatic change? Can managers manage in an age of upheaval? How do we cope as the speed of technological change grows faster than our ability to keep up?

Cyber security breaches already pull us into unchartered territory as organisations suffer from assaults more sophisticated than current defence systems. Companies and leaders must therefore improve their capacity to think and act fast in a world moving at warp speed.

So, the technologies of the digital economy are causing commotion for many business leaders and they can learn from entrepreneurs to find solutions.