Why progress is so difficult?


I had a very interesting discussion with a colleague today concerning  digitalization and corporate strategy.

My colleague has been doing a consulting work for a customer and I have recently been involved with a new solution development with totally new technology.

Surprisingly, we faced identical challenges in our so different projects – the difficulty of communication. Even both of us had a clear vision what must be done and how, the people around us understood differently. They had a totally different understanding, vision and plan to execute.

Additionally, it is natural that people like different things. This will add the motivation to go different way and create common goal even more difficult to achieve. When we talk about digitalization, this shows as longer projects and elevated costs.

Every-one talks and writes about the leadership and new better ways to lead. I agree, it is time for mesh-type management (guru follows guru) and project-based organisations, but this post is not about leadership, it is about communication.

Digitalization is difficult and IoT is even more challenging. Despite that, you must be part of them. If more than half of Fortune 500 companies have gone bankrupt since 2000, it is sure that disregarding digitalization and IoT will result as a end of business/operations.

What I did not realise, was that when ICT domains started siloing, so did the communications regarding them. That would seem like a obvious thing, but when dozen ICT-specialists talk about the same thing, it is sometimes difficult to see that they all actually mean different thing. The more difficult the topic, the more difficult the communication. 

Digitalization and IoT are the most difficult topics to understand, since they always involve people from totally different background, education and point of view. Achieving progress requires a lot of communication and repetition. You must have a clear vision and understand it well enough. Just like Albert Einstein stated:”If you can’t explain it simply enough, you don’t know it well enough”.

So my wisdom of the day is this:”You always work with teams and peers. Make absolutely sure, that every-one understands exactly what you are talking about”.