Hey, did you hear Jay-Z just launched a new digital streaming service called Tidal? Headlines are screaming it could shake up the music industry. Or how about the new apps, Meerkat and Periscope? People are saying they might upend the news business, and maybe sports too.
Tidal…Meerkat…Periscope…technologies that are going to change everything. Hello, did you just tune out? You’re not alone. There’s just so much tech innovation these days, and so much of it confounding to non-tech types. When faced with new business technology, it can make you want to shout, “I don’t get it, and I don’t care.”
Instead, embrace the seven words that are your only fighting chance for not becoming obsolete in the brave new world of business technology in the workplace today:
“I don’t get it, but I will.”
Look, checking out on new technologies is an assured career killer. Maybe not immediately, but eventually, as you slowly but surely mark yourself as a person who’s disinterested in the future. You simply can’t win in business if you’re not crazy-curious about what’s next, for better or for worse. Smart companies and managers know that; they hire for it, and they fire for it.
So embrace those seven words—even if you believe new business technology doesn’t matter to your particular, day-to-day work. If they matter to business, they matter, period.
Embrace a Love of Business Technology
Embrace them, and I should say, and live them. Identify the technologies that bewilder you, and then read up on them and ask around. You’ll find two things, I promise. First, that most “mysterious” new technologies are pretty simple to understand when you try. And second, that you’re not the only person who doesn’t understand every new digital development. You’re only one of the few admitting it, which marks you not as a dunderhead, but as self-confident, inquisitive, and courageous. All very good things.
I’m hardly a tech person. I majored in Art History in college, became a reporter and editor, and eventually made my career as a business writer. It’s been an act of sheer determination to keep up with the torrent of new apps, platforms, and services that have emerged over the past decade. To be honest, at first, I resisted, telling myself I could always hang onto writing about leadership and corporate culture, two subjects that seemed impervious to tech trends. But as technology began to impact both aplenty, I knew I would have very little left to write about if I didn’t dig in and start learning.
In our new book, The Real-Life MBA, my husband, Jack Welch, and I tell the story of an experienced HR executive who almost torpedoed her career by initially refusing to understand the ins-and-outs of her company’s new sales force management software. Why bother, she wondered, when she’d been so successful doing her job without it?
But as the executive found herself being left out of more and more conversations, she finally locked herself into a conference room with the software vendor’s rep and her boss for a half-day of learning. Afterward, she could barely believe how much she’d been missing, and she made up for lost time with gusto. She’s been promoted twice since.
Consider her’s an inspiring—and cautionary—tale. Ignoring new technology doesn’t make it go away. Ignoring new technology makes going away happen to you.
Source: This article was originally published on LinkedIn.