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Seeking a New Flight Path in Today’s Competitive Economy?
Become a “Digital Unicorn” Says This Author
“To do something new, you must become new.This is true now, more than ever. The rapid speed of technological change is forcing many of us to rethink our career paths, update our skills to keep pace with future work, and increase our digital capacity.”
Trice Johnson, author, Becoming a Digital Unicorn
Our world is in the midst of an unprecedented wave of digital disruption. Whether you are with a large corporation, a freelancer or part of a startup, or are a soon to be grad looking to break into the world of work, today’s changing landscape is likely on your mind.
According to digital innovation strategist Trice Johnson, your ability to think beyond what's possible and solve problems with a renewed mindset is the secret to boosting your value in today’s evolving market economy. It’s a theme highlighted in her new book “Becoming a Digital Unicorn: 5 Steps to Set Yourself Apart in a Competitive Economy”
This timely read provides an easily-accessible, practical approach for reinventing your career and life roadmap through a cultivation of your unique mindset, purpose, gifts and skills needed to thrive amid the rapid changes taking place in the digital world.
“Today’s needs are great with no shortage of problems to solve - and the digital universe is wide open. Where you go, and how far, can largely - if not completely - be driven by you.”
What 3-4 digital disruption trends are you continuing to keep an eye on at present?
The key trends that I'm watching are Convergence Ecosystems; NextGen Digital Transformation; Real-Time Applied Observability; GenAI-Embedded Systems. Let me break each of these down:
For the past year, my discussions have revolved around the captivating concept of convergence ecosystems.
It's an inspiring journey where human creativity and intelligence blend with AI and Machine Learning, and the vast realm of the Internet of Things. These elements combine to mix industries, blurring market lines and weaving together technologies, practices, and data.
Think about the car industry. Self-driving and electric vehicles are turning car companies into tech leaders. Similarly, in entertainment, telecom and media are combining to create huge streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu.
What's also intriguing to see is healthcare companies that are now stepping into the realm of devices and IoT, and bringing together their businesses with technology companies and innovative startups. Healthcare companies are also about teaming up with retailers to create healthier wearables including clothing and shoes.
The fusion of these emerging technologies, advanced AI, industry sectors, and global business systems is creating new market opportunities, sparking powerful innovations, drastically enhancing customer experiences, and forging a new wave of cross-industry partnerships that are exciting to witness as they unfold.
NextGen Digital Transformation (NextGen DT)
Digital transformation is a continuous journey that spans new and advanced areas. Industries, workplaces, and personal lives all evolve. NextGen Digital Transformation encapsulates adopting new technologies, forward strategies, and emerging best practices. This process enhances automation, improves business processes, boosts customer experiences, and simplifies operations. NextGen symbolizes businesses embracing emerging digital technologies, necessitating an agile and adaptable mindset. This mindset is key to staying competitive, innovative, and relevant in an ever-changing digital world.
Real-Time Applied Observability
Real-time applied observability takes the theoretical to the practical – it's about harnessing real-time, observable data to instantly respond to actions and emerging issues. Imagine this in your electric car, where your insurance monitors your every move in real time. Through sensors and auto-pilot software, your driving behavior is scored, influencing your insurance cost. Such instances illustrate the integration of applied observability in our daily lives.
The final point reveals one of the most exciting trends: GenAI-Embedded Systems. This happens as AI and language models are integrated into every system and device on the planet. In this world, systems and devices get smarter, adaptable, and can create content like humans. This affects many areas, making problem-solving better, autonomously changing content, and automating analysis. This progress in how humans and devices interact is an exciting revolution.
I'm genuinely amazed at how rapidly these emerging technologies and trends are reshaping our world. It's astonishing how they're even transforming our most ingrained habits, like how we navigate, shop, and dine. No longer do I spend ages searching for my favorite restaurant; a few taps on my Yelp app do the trick. Ordering online has become seamless, and a single click provides directions, getting me there faster than before.
Our personal lives are evolving in response to these technologies, and it's truly breathtaking. Each day brings new changes, and I'm excited about the positive transformation happening in our world.
Is there anything in particular that has struck you in watching these trends evolve?
All these trends have a shared theme of radical change…a significant departure from the previous status quo. Each trend is like a puzzle piece that helps reshape industries and how we interact. They highlight the importance of being flexible, creative, and understanding how humans and technology interact. In this ever-changing world, we need people who can handle complexity, embrace diversity, and use technology to make things better. As these trends progress, they have the power to create big changes, opening doors for limitless innovation in a world that's always evolving.
So what advice do you have for those who have recognized the need to make a pivot amid these changing times? And how does your book specifically address this?
There are quite a few pieces of advice I'd like to share with those navigating this ever-changing digital landscape. Let me start with these four:
Cultivate Your Uniqueness: In a world dominated by AI and repetitive tasks, standing out is crucial. To remain relevant, you need to be purposefully and distinctly yourself. Your diverse experiences shape you into an extraordinary individual. Stepping into any situation with the confidence that comes from knowing you're different from your peers is what I believe in. Cultivate and amplify what sets you apart - your uniqueness.
Become a Savvy Researcher: Mastering research equips you to make informed decisions that transcend industries. Understanding markets, trends, and economies from various angles makes you multidimensional. Research not only enhances your credibility but also empowers you to solve complex problems, identify patterns, and create innovative solutions. As the world becomes more data-driven, adept research skills will enable you to excel across diverse domains.
Become a Skills Stacker: Skill stacking means that you are intentionally combining multiple skills to expand your capacity. Think of it as building a toolkit filled with complementary abilities. For example, merging data analysis with digital marketing knowledge can create a dynamic skill set applicable across industries. Combine this with emotional intelligence skills and domain expertise to offer a holistic solution. Such versatility makes you resilient and adaptable to changing environments.
Cultivate Your Intrinsic Attraction: Being a positive, charismatic presence can open doors beyond your expertise. Being genuinely attractive from the inside out means people want to be around you. Your energy and innovative spirit foster an environment where ideas flourish. Intrinsic attraction is authentic, drawing people to your inherent qualities and positive demeanor.
In my book, I share steps on embracing your uniqueness, honing your research skills, stacking your capabilities, and positive intrinsic attraction to become an exceptional individual who thrives in a rapidly evolving world. Your journey is a dynamic one, full of opportunities to learn, grow, and make your mark.
In what ways have books served as a vehicle for your own personal and professional growth around digital disruption?
Books remain an essential part of my journey, shaping both my professional and personal growth. They serve as an invaluable source of knowledge, helping me refine my expertise and enhance my skills. What's more, they offer incredible insights into industries and emerging trends.
To me, it's all about my own journey to self-discovery because possessing wisdom and knowledge is only half of the equation. Without the ability to inspire, to lead others along the path, that knowledge remains unfulfilled. It's about giving purpose to knowledge – using it not just for personal growth but to catalyze positive transformations in others and truly impact their lives.
So, my reading list includes books like "Unleash Your Purpose" by Dr. Myles Munroe, which helps me understand my purpose and impact in the world. For me, it's essential to begin by uncovering my personal purpose, my goals, and why I find meaning in life. This book has been helpful in unlocking these aspects for me, so I can use what I've learned to help others do the same through my writing.
Another book that's important for my personal development is "Living a Life of Significance" by Joseph W. Jordan. This book reminds me to live intentionally and with meaning, focusing on positively influencing others and leaving a lasting legacy.
"Extreme Ownership" by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin is another book that had a significant impact on me. It's written by Navy SEAL officers and emphasizes taking full responsibility for my actions and decisions. The book draws parallels between war experiences and personal growth, emphasizing how taking ownership leads to better performance.
"Digital Transformation: Survive and Thrive in an Era of Mass Extinction" by Tom Siebel is a book that enhanced my digital knowledge and experience. It explores rapidly evolving technologies, digital disruption, and strategies for navigating the changing landscape.
"Driving Digital Strategy" by author and Harvard Business School professor Sunil Gupta helped me understand how to assist customers in staying competitive in the modern business world. It addresses innovation challenges, organizational structures, and overcoming barriers to digital transformation.
"The Age of AI: And Our Human Future" by Henry A Kissinger, Eric Schmidt, and Daniel Huttenlocher explores how AI is reshaping our world, from chess to medicine. This book delves into how AI impacts knowledge, politics, and societies. It's a roadmap to understanding our present and future in this transformative era.
As I mentioned, there's an abundance of books that have been instrumental in my learning journey, too many to list individually. Yet, each one has played a role in expanding my knowledge and perspective in business…and the world.
Who is your book’s message ideally suited for? What are they thinking, feeling, and hearing at present that would attract them to your book?
My book actually opens with the people that my message is suited for. It says:
"To the millions of people around the world who lost their jobs during the 2020 pandemic and will never see the return of their occupation because these jobs have been replaced by automation, may this book bring you hope and steps to pivot to your future.
To the youth of our world who are exploring non-traditional career paths, may this book spark creative inspiration and provide you with new ideas to prepare for the digital workforce.
To everyone who has been told that you will not be successful in this new economy, may this book be the key to unlock the dreams and talent hidden within you and unleash new levels of boldness that empower you to dominate the times.”
These are the people I'm writing to. those who are on a transformative journey, those who are determined to reshape themselves and embrace change in pursuit of greater achievements.
What is your greatest hope in terms of what readers walk away with from your book?
My biggest hope for those who finish this book is that they feel inspired to begin their journey of self-transformation and reinvention. I really want them to take practical steps in creating a plan using what they've learned, and imagine a whole new life. I hope that they approach the path of change with boldness, courage, and understanding that it all starts in their minds.
Most importantly , I want them to know that if they've got the mental strength and motivation, they can accomplish more than they imagine, no matter how much the world changes around them. My wish is that the words from my book serve as a guide to unlock their personal growth journey, reminding them that there are no limits.
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