Interview with the charismatic guru, Dietmar Dahmen.
Dietmar Dahmen is fast. Fast speaking. Fast thinking. It’s necessary in order to be on top of the digital development, which is like a train running faster and faster. We all want to get on that train of progress and development, but it’s so fast and jumping onboard does not seem safe. And that’s exactly Dietmar’s point: You’ll never be a leader in your field without taking risks.
Dietmar: “The companies are playing it safe. They keep doing the same things, but doing the same just does not get you the same results any longer. You have to do new things, think new things. At the minimum companies need to follow the trend, but they are finding it hard to do even that.”
Consumers won’t wait till opening hours
The consumers are embracing the here and now. Dietmar calls it the nowism. They are ultra connected and being online is the norm. However, the nowism clashes with the companies’ way of thinking.
Dietmar: “The companies are not responding as quickly to the development as the consumers. They are acting like off-line is still the norm. They need to act in real time, and they also need to stop thinking about target groups and start thinking about individuals, relevance, ease. The consumer expects to be treated as an individual, not a group and quick is the name of the game.”
We keep doing the same
Why do companies keep doing the same things, when it is pretty obvious that old ways are not leading anywhere good? Dietmar believes the answer is quite simple.
“We can’t help it. We keep doing the same things, because we are used to it. Today the average TV-viewer is 52 and will probably keep on watching TV because it’s a deep rooted habit. Children, however, are not used to watching TV the same way. They watch Youtube on iPads and are creating completely new ways of doing things.”
Enter the unknown
So the answer is thinking new. Keeping up with the development and finding new ways, but apparently it is far easier said than done. Dietmar agrees.
“Entering into the unknown involves risk. The first 100 people who tried to fly were killed or crashed. It feels a whole lot safer to do what you are used to, but to be a market leader you need to advance. You even need to define new standards and new products. I completely understand that companies are afraid. However, this is how you’ll excite your customers and keep them hanging on.”
Think like Dubai
Dietmar has just been to Dubai. The city is growing and evolving by the minute.
“20 years ago there was nothing but desert. Now there’s a huge city. The people in Dubai believed that they could change the world and they are actually doing it. That’s the attitude I think is lacking in many places.”
Apple just launched the next version of the iconic iPhone. Dietmar is not impressed.
“They gave it new colours. Really! Is the innovation power of Apple evaporating? That’s dangerous for a company who has become a world leader by defining new products we did not even know we needed.”
Define situations, not products
One way of thinking new is to define situations rather than products, explains Dietmar.
“Kodak and Blockbuster keept improving their products instead of dominating the situation. We need to detach us from the production method. Imagine if a candlestick maker in the 18th century was introduced to the light bulb and then started to think of smarter, cheaper ways of producing candles instead of thinking new. We all know how that would end. Then imagine if the candlestick maker did not care about the production method but instead said, what a brilliant way to create light. I just need a new machine. “
Dietmar admits it is hard to change, to think new. Nevertheless, he sees no alternative if you want success.
“Change makes new winners and new losers. That’s why we are scared. Change management is pain management, but playing it safe, is no longer safe. Better to try to keep up than to be run over by development. Old ways just don’t lead to new goals”.
Meet Dietmar Dahmen at Sitecore Symposium, Barcelona 2014.
Dietmar will share many more of his interesting points at Sitecore Symposium in Barcelona. If you’re not already signed up, there’s still time. You don’t want to miss this.
Sign up here: http://www.sitecore.net/registersymeu
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