The article brings us back to the time of industrialization in London. The change in the way of living and working made gin consumption rose suddenly to a level where a set of laws has been made to help control gin use. Industrialization and the relocation of the population force people to change their way of living, which builds stress and uncertainty. Heavy use of gin is only a solution people found for themselves to avoid mentally break down and to cope with this new environment. The history of gin crazy reminds me that we are also in a time when extensive changes have been brought by digital transformation.
Digital transformation, comparing with industrialization, has many similarities. In which they both created new jobs and eliminated a bunch of other jobs. They all significantly impact people’s way of living and solve many problems while creating many further questions for society. During industrialization, people’s productivity has surged, but they have to face the fact that no one is now building it’s own thing. The assembly line has replaced most of the handcrafted business. People are forced to live close to each other and work closely with each other. Now let’s take a look at the time when the internet was first popularized; people start to build connections online, work on their computers and purchase stuff online. Information transfer and business transactions are at an all-time high speed, saving a lot of effort and making everything more comfortable to get. However, it also decreases people’s attention span and fills our brain with extra information that we don’t need. Individuals need to figure out a way to stay focused and ignore the background noise brought by information explosion to increase productivity. Sorting out information to know what to learn and learning it in an environment that quickly updates is the big challenge that individuals and businesses face.
Gin crazy and my 12-hour screen use reminded me that digital transformation is more about psychology than technology. The hard part is to help everyone accept the change and to cope with the fast-transforming world. From the psychology perspective, digital adoption needs more than environmental adaptations and stress from the life and death question. If you do not adopt, you will lose a competitive advantage. Below are some critical factors to help achieve successful digital adoption.
- People need something to believe in
- Behavior change needs regular reinforcement and evaluation
- Adults have a complex learning cycle
- Role models are as important for adults as children
Successful digital adoption is more important for companies than the tool itself. Tech companies tend to perform so well on digital transformation and improvement because they only hire people who have already been educated and are the early adopters for technological advancement. Any tool can be easy to use if you have willing to learn it. However, it is continuously learning and dealing with the pain of continually changing and updating our previous knowledge that kept people from digital adoption. David Kolb developed his four-phase adult-learning cycle in the 1980s. He showed that adults don’t learn effectively by merely listening to instructions. They absorb information by using it and integrating it with their existing knowledge.
As we can see here, learning something need more than motivation. It is a whole system that we should apply to our new knowledge. To observe and think about it, practice it while trying to understand the knowledge, and finally practice it again and again until there is no longer the need to remember the book knowledge and feel like you own it. In learning new technology and tools, this process needs to speed up to catch up with the update of technologies. Such behavior change requires the right environment and willing and role models or mentors to make it happen successfully and less painful. For businesses looking to achieve a successful digital transformation, they will need to create such an environment with positive reinforcement to bring everyone on board.
Lastly, I’ll explore more about psychology and digital transformation in my next blog if you do like this one. Leave a comment if there is any related area you suggest me to write about!