Humanity needs to “unlearn” the traditional ways of doing things in order to remain relevant, says Willem van der Post, qualified chartered accountant, an exponential technology expert, the CEO of xTech Capital and founder of the xTech Institute. Willem shared his thoughts on exponential technology and disruption at a networking breakfast event hosted by the South African Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC) in Sandton in November 2017.

“Technology can learn better ways of doing things. Machines nowadays can collaborate with each other and this affects the exponential learning curve as it means that we can attain results much faster and more efficiently than ever before. Will technology take over jobs? I don’t think so. Automation and machines will take away the menial parts of our jobs and will allow us to create new and more fulfilling roles. Change-resistant individuals will suffer the most as competitors become faster and more responsive to customer needs by using technology as a tool,” said Willem.

Industries are changing and adapting technologies that streamline and cut costs of processes drastically. Exponential Technology can be defined as technologies that double in power or processing speed every year, while their cost halves, explained Willem.

“Forget about what you know, or what you think you know. Technology supplements humans. Technology is an extension of our abilities. We are living in a time where there are more technological advancements taking place simultaneously than ever before. In the next few years, those scenes in movies that seemed impossible, now seem more possible than ever. We need to unlearn the traditional ways of doing things and embrace this technological boom,” said Willem.

His advice to retailers and shopping centre managers is to prepare systemically, not tactically. Besides understanding their customers, retailers and shopping centre managers also need to understand their customers’ customers.

“Start thinking about the shopper of the future. What do the shoppers of the future look like? What do they want? How do they want it? Consistently drive your own awareness and have a keen lookout for the unexpected value chain changes resulting from technologies like 3D-printing, mixed reality and drones,” said Willem.

What do people need to be aware of for the future regarding technology
When asked to mention what people need to be aware of for the future regarding technology, Willem listed the following three points:
1. The number one capability that any company with an innovative approach to business will look for is the ability to unlearn old protocol skills and behaviours
2. Break the chains of linear thinking and force yourself to adopt an exponential mindset
3. We are headed for an era of abundance, where cost per resource is racing to zero (think alternative renewable energy), whilst our paradigms were coded in a context of scarcity.

For more information, contact SACSC on +27 (10) 003 0228 or via www.sacsc.co.za.

Photo credit: www.yorkexponential.com