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More than 95% of senior HR professionals believe that Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to greatly enhance talent acquisition and retention, according to new research.

However, concerningly, over half of professionals are not comfortable with the current pace of technological transformation in their talent function.

The research, carried out by global talent acquisition and management firm, Alexander Mann Solutions, found that 57% believe the innovation within their organisation is too slow.

In fact, despite the belief that AI will enhance the efficiency of their department, just one in four HR leaders currently use such programmes.

Thinking ahead

Laurie Padua, Director of Technology & Operations Consulting at Alexander Mann Solutions, said: “It is certainly promising to see that an astounding 96% of senior HR leaders understand the benefits of utilising AI in their HR and talent functions. AI technologies and data analytics tools both hold significant opportunities for candidate sourcing, selection and retention.

“And with figures from LinkedIn’s 2016 Global Recruiting Survey finding that 46% of HR leaders are still struggling to attract candidates in high demand talent pools, it’s clear that organisations which embrace technology will have an edge over their competitors.”

“With the ‘race to innovate’ intensifying across a wide range of professional sectors, and the business benefits of the early adoption of AI programmes becoming increasingly clear, it is somewhat unsurprising that 57% of senior HR professionals are not comfortable with the current pace of transformation within their own function. However figures suggest that there is a disconnect between HR’s willingness to innovate, and tangible adoption of AI technology. Companies who embrace change and are quick to adopt these technologies will have far greater access to in-demand talent pools, while those who fail to act are likely to fall behind.”


Mindfulness meditation is not about sitting cross-legged in a cave chanting “Om”.

What’s more, there’s no need to become a practicing Buddhist, or ‘Anything-ist’, to benefit from the principles of mindfulness.

There is, however, much benefit to be gained from using some age-old Buddhist philosophies in our lives. This is especially applicable when it comes to helping startup business to thrive, or in taking ideas forward to fruition inside existing businesses.

Taking the Right Path

One Buddhist concept is called the Noble Eightfold Path, which gives a very practical and useful framework to take a startup idea from its genus and genesis through to successful delivery. It’s also an easy and graceful way to move forward with in life.

The difference between entrepreneurs who succeed and those who spend time just thinking about it is taking action. Specifically, it’s about taking the right action at just the right time.

Hack #1: The Right View

It is important that you have clarity in your vision for your idea and that you think through its whole life cycle, from creation to maturity and even through to its replacement and obsolescence. We have to be open to the possibility that it is not our initial idea but its many possible spin offs that makes us that fortune. We also should bear in mind that it’s OK not to be right all the time. Many an invention, like the PostIt Note, the Slinky and chocolate chip cookie, came about from so-called mistakes.

Hack #2: The Right Resolve

We must hold our vision in our heart and see any rocky moments as opportunities for learning and improvement. Any serendipities that come our way are signs we are on the right path. It pays dividends to thank them for coming along. If we encounter adversity, it is not time to throw in the towel and to go and get a day job. From all adversity springs opportunity. If we hit a rocky patch, it gives us both the opportunity to learn and to design a solution to the adversity, so that we can help others.

Hack #3: The Right Speech

It is good karma to market your products and services by extolling their virtues and not by disparaging your competitors. This is especially true on social media. When we put the right message with good energy out there, others will re-broadcast it for us with amplification. If we put energy into our competitor’s products, it will back fire on us eventually.

Hack #4: The Right Conduct

It makes good sense to act ethically and morally at all times – it is a truism that what goes around comes around. It also pays dividends to bear the ecology of the planet in mind when using resources. Up-cycling old and unloved resources adds great value at minimal cost. Giving redundant stock, or unused equipment, away to those who need it, removes stuck energies from your business. Using minimal energy by turning off lights and computers does more than save the planet, it reduces your monthly outgoings.

Hack #5: The Right Livelihood

It is worth being mindful to avoid being greedy and over-ambitious. A great way to do this is to make some aspect of your products and services available to all, irrespective of how much they can afford. Give something away for free in exchange for a marketable email address. Share your wisdom so you leave a bread-crumb trail to your door and a legacy behind for when you are gone.

Hack #6: The Right Effort

What ever you do, work hard but don’t work yourself into the ground. It’s important to take breaks but be fully focussed when you are ‘at work’. We should cut employees a little slack too and encourage them to take all their holidays and to work from home if possible and practical. We should also be mindful to apply effort at the optimum time so we don’t push water uphill or end up repeating tasks. If your creativity is flagging, go for a walk and allow your breath to bring inspiration your way, quite literally. If you can walk near water, this has amazing effects on our creative flow too.

Hack #7: The Right Mindfulness

Be constantly aware of your thoughts and feeling, their source and their purpose. An entrepreneur can be what I call an ‘ultrapreneur’ when they expand their awareness into the Whole Brain and Whole Mind states. In the Whole Brain state, they get their left and right brains to work on the same task at the same time. In the Whole Mind state, they get their head, their heart and their gut to work in harmony.

Hack #8: The Right Concentration

This simply means, at the very minimum, to give yourself at least 10 minutes of ‘me time’ each day. If we start the day with a quiet mind, we become poised for this new level of ultrapreneurship. We become better at noticing opportunities and serendipities that might otherwise pass us by.

After just a few days of regular practice, you gain the ability to stay in the meditative state with your eyes open during the day. When we do this, two remarkable things happen.

• First, we get more done in less time and external interruptions start reduce in frequency and severity.

• Second, external events seem to happen just a the right time so we end up being lucky in both life and business.

Start Yesterday

So, the best time to start meditating is yesterday and the second best time is today. If the whole world meditated for just 10 minutes a day, we would all live in a happier, more harmonious way.

It just takes 10 minutes a day for 10 days to bring your mind under control. Once your mind is quiet, the world around you will become calmer and kinder and you will discover more vibrant sense of being where opportunity just turns up at your door.

By Tom Evans, author of The Authority Guide to Practical Mindfulness

Tom is an ex-BBC TV engineer who started to meditate in his mid-40s to help reduce the stress he was encountering from a stressful job. The engineer in him quickly discovered so many spin-off benefits that lead to him becoming a full time author, an author’s mentor and latterly a meditation guide.

Tom is now the author of 13 books. He is neither a Buddhist or an ‘Anything-ist’. He is though an active philanthropist and the creator of the world’s first time management programme based on mindfulness called Living Timefully. He also hosts the popular Zone Show podcast, which explores how to get in and stay in the zone.


Many people feel really nervous when they enter unfamiliar territory, probably one of the challenges we fear most in our lives. But, with a few preparations, we can tackle our nervousness.
Before a business event:
  • Spend a few minutes imagining what kind of people you are going to meet. Will there be people you know or only strangers? The minute you have visualized the scenario – you can begin to take your precautions so that you are not paralyzed the moment you enter.
  • Prepare three small talk questions to establish a first contact.
  • Research the meeting and find out if there are participants you would like to meet.
During a business event:
  • Adopt an attitude that shows you have been looking forward to this meeting. Smile, look up and enter the room in a confident manner – do not sneak along the walls. Look like a success – successful people are always attractive
  • If you do not know anyone in the room, contact the “loners”, people who are standing around on their own, and use small talk.
  • If you are familiar with some of the guests, it is okay to say hello and start a conversation. It will calm you down and show that you appreciate them. However, after a few minutes you should move into the room and try to contact some of the participants you do not know.
  • During your research, you may have run across guests you would like to meet. Try to find the person by enquiring for him. Generally, people will be happy to help out. Remember to express your gratefulness when you are guided towards your goal.
After a business event:
  • If you meet interesting people – it is crucial that you take the initiative by following up with emails, telephone calls or coffee meetings.
  • When you contact your potential relationship, ask about and listen to his challenges. Do not start by throwing your own challenges. At this point, you are watching each other. Be a good listener and offer your assistance whenever it is possible.
  • Remember that networking is all about paying in advance! So listen, help and pay. When you need assistance for real, your contacts will be happy to help you and pay you back.

By Simone Andersen, speaker and author of the bestseller: The Networking Book, 50 ways to develop strategic relationships.

Simone AndersenSimone Andersen: Simone is a journalist and has a Master’s degree in media science. She worked for many years at the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) as an editor and talk show host. She is an expert in business networking and building relations. Simone has just written the bestselling book “The Networking Book” and gives talks on this subject. Contact: – +45 26161818

The Networking Book
It is a well-documented fact that what we want and desire is more easily The Networking Bookachieved when we understand how to build the right relationships. Networking is basically the exchange of a wide range of services – and the most precious insurance in your private life and your career. This highly practical and accessible book will help anyone understand the power of networking quickly through face-to-face meeting and social media, as well as how they can use it as a way to enhance their prospects.

Get your copy of the eBook for just 99p

The Dragon Boat Festival, also called Duanwu or Tuen Ng Festival, is an annual holiday, occurring on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month in the Chinese calendar.

Taking place on 30 May, the festival has been observed for more than 2,000 years and is traditionally celebrated with boat races in the shape of dragons.

The origins of this custom surround the attempts to rescue the patriotic poet Chu Yuan, who drowned in 277 B.C. Chinese also threw bamboo leaves filled with cooked rice into the water so the fish could eat the rice rather than the hero poet. This later on turned into the custom of eating tzungtzu and rice dumplings.

To mark the festival, LID Publishing is offering readers the chance to get their hands on The Wanda Way by Wang Jianlin for just 99p.

Asia’s richest man, and probably one of the most important entrepreneurs in the world at present, Wang Jianlin is the founder and chairman of Dalian Wanda, China’s largest property development company.

Wanda generates revenues of $40 billion globally, and owns some 9-million square metres of investment property.

This book expounds the managerial philosophy and values of one of China’s greatest business successes.

Visit the LID Publishing website to download your copy now.



We work with a growing number of start-ups and we’ve been thinking about what businesses at any age can learn from their younger cousins.


1. Consider different employment types. Zero-hours contracts can come with a bad reputation, but in some cases they can really help fill a gap in your team. This is particularly true with professionals looking for flexible employment, such as parents with young children. Timewise is one example of a marketplace matching businesses seeking part-time talent, or try Facebook or Gumtree for local resources.

2. Grow with direction and purpose. Don’t fall into the trap of hiring just when things are busy and your team seems too small to cope. Make sure each new-hire fits with your longer-term strategy, your team shape and the skills you already have. Also consider the paths for promotion for the people you already employ, what future do they have in your company?

3. Demand flexibility but give people some boundaries. People need to be flexible in their roles, but clarity on their responsibility is still important. As a minimum, make sure each employee has five key responsibilities; a long-term goal, a short-term goal and clarity on what they deliver themselves and how they deliver through others.

4. Be innovative with your support functions. When you’re small you don’t need in-house HR, IT or accountants and there are numerous outsourced solutions to save money. But you’ll also be surprised by the favours you may be able to pull from your networks, like PR, marketing or events management. Local business networking groups like BNI, Athena and Business Biscotti are a great place to start.

5. Have an ideas culture, but also know when to make decisions. One of our clients gets this just right. They have an open-dialogue in workshops that involve the whole team but, at other times, they’re clear that some decisions are made just by the senior leadership. Your team will thank you when they’re not asked for an opinion on everything!

6. Don’t neglect development. It’s tempting in start-ups to run as fast as you can for as long as you can. But, to be sustainable you have to stop and give energy to training and team-work. And this isn’t just for junior staff – CEO’s need development too. Consider using a coach or mentor if you’re a CEO, and find someone who you trust to challenge and support you when you’re feeling frazzled.

Source: Bedrock HR works with businesses at all stages, typically with between 5 and 50 employees, to provide a cost-effect outsourced HR solution. Talk to us if you’ve got any questions, we’d love to hear from you.

Bedrock Human Resources

British workers spend an average of 182.5 days a year staring at screens, according to new research.

The report, commissioned by The Eye Doctor, investigated the screen habits of adults, considering how long they spend glued to computers, tablets and smart phones.

The average person will pick up their smart phone up to 20 times a day, spend seven to eight hours a day on a computer, two hours watching TV and another two hours on a tablet.

This adds up to around 12 hours of ‘on-screen’ time every day, says the Tear Film & Ocular Surface Dry Eye Workshops II Report.

Nearly half of the 2000 people surveyed agreed with the statement ‘ I have days where it feels like I am looking at a screen from the moment I wake up to the moment I sleep’.

What’s more, 47% admitted that the first thing they do the minute they wake up is jump on their phone, with one fifth saying they even look at their phone while eating.

Tired eyes

Another recent study from Binghamton University – State University of New York stated that excessive smartphone use can be addictive. Women are especially susceptible to this. The report clearly indicates that the impact of screen time is affecting both our physical and mental health.

The UK research verified these findings as it found that people would rather give up guilty pleasures like chocolate, sex, fast food and alcohol rather than part with their smart phones.

The survey also revealed that people are now shying away from personal contact. Three quarters said they would rather text people than have to pick up the phone, meaning we are engaging face-to-face of by voice much less.

Dr Colin Parsole, an Ophthalmologist and contributing author of the report, said: “As well as affecting every area of our lives from mental health to family life, our survey shows that our increasing obsession with screen-time is also having a definite impact on our eye health.”

Over 40% of those polled admit to suffering from reoccurring headaches, tired eyes, dry eyes and fatigue as a result of their compulsion to spent time on some sort of screen device.

People are aware that all this screen time is impacting their health:

  • 88% agreed that they spend far too long looking at screens.
  • Three quarters admitted they are worried about their eye health, and the impact of excessive screen time on their eyesight.
  • Nearly a third admitted that they’ve had to notch up the font size to read on all their screens over the last year
  • Many have had to seek medical advice due to the headaches, migraines, dry eyes and failing eye sight experienced because of excessive use of screens.
Seeing clearly

“The figures are staggering and speaking specifically in relation to conditions like dry eyes, which nearly a quarter of those surveyed said that they suffer from, people need to consciously think of the impact screen time is having on their eye sight,” said Dr Parsloe.

“Dry eye disease arises when there is a shortage of water being produced, or when the oil layer is of poor quality or quantity. Evaporation results in the remaining tears becoming concentrated, salty and acidic, causing inflammation and damage to the surface of the eye.

“We normally blink to refresh our tears once every 10 seconds. When you concentrate, or read from a computer screen, your blink rate reduces and some people may only blink after two minutes! If you’re not blinking then the tears will evaporate from the surface of the eye leaving dry spots resulting in inflammation, redness and pain.”

Dr Parsloe recommends that, just as we care for our skin and teeth daily, we need to introduce a regular health care routine for our eye sight. The simplest way to do this is to focus your eyes 20 feet away from the screen, for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes, to relax the eye and encourage blinking.




One of the greats things about digital material is that you can do a search for it. Or rather, we can let the computer search for it, while we do something else or get another cup of coffee.

Papers and other physical material is a whole other story. Sure, there are cumbersome indexes and search registers, but most of us try to organize the binders, folders and magazine holders in which we store such non-digital reference material somewhat logically.

It stands to reason that we ought to digitalize as much of our now physical materials as possible. But, judging by what I see in the offices I visit, most of us still have to deal with a considerable amount of papers.

The perfect order

What can actually be considered organized and what is the optimal order? What should we sort by? What are some reasonable and useful categories to be filing by? What should stand, lay or hang where? So many decisions. And so, oh so very, tempting to just put it all in a pile for now. But if we do, it will most likely remain there.

In favor of shortcuts

The Japanese economist Yukio Noguchi seems to have the same penchant as myself for making things as easy as possible. He has therefore invented a way of filing his papers that makes the decisions regarding what order and categorization that are best obsolete. The method is simple and we can either apply it in its entirety or select the parts that suit us.

To the left, to the left

• Put the papers and documents you need to save and make easily accessible for later in folders. These need to be stiff paper folders, because they need to be able to stand on their ends. Hanging file folders in a storage cart works too. The folders can represent different projects, cases, subjects or whatever you would write on tabs in your binders.

• Place the folders on their ends in your bookshelf and write on the side what the folder contains. Or, attach labels on the side of the folders as needed. If you use hanging folders in a set of drawers or storage cart, use the labels at the top as normal. Do not try to think of a perfect order to place the folders in, just put them on the bookshelf as you create them.

• Once you have finished making folders and filing them with their appropriate contents, you just get back to work.

• When you need a folder, you take it out of the shelf or cart and work with it.

• When you are done using it, put it back, but not where you took it from. Instead  place it to the far left, meaning at the very end of all the folders on the left side. If you use hanging file folders, just place the folder so that it is now hanging closest to you.

As time passes, the folders you use most will be placed to the far left of the bookshelf, since you always place the most recently used folder at the left end of the row. If you have not used a folder for a while, it will slowly make its way towards the right side. Eventually you will probably be able to store away the folders on the far right, as you more or less never use them. This leaves more space for the materials that you do use. If you need a file that you used a few days ago, it will most likely be placed amongst the first ones on the left.

The same goes for binders

If you use Noguchi’s filing system you will spend less time putting back what you took out, since you will not have to remember or look for the spot where you took the folder or binder from – you simply place it on the left side. The risk of making those treacherous ‘will sort soon’-piles decreases and you will likely have an empty desk more often, which in turn makes you less distracted by random items or documents laying about. You will find what you look for faster, since most of the times you are looking for something, it will simply be to your left.

Looking for things may sometimes take a bit longer to begin with, especially if you are looking for something you do not use on a regular basis. But, on the other hand, you will not have to look for these folders very often.

What is your method?

Have you organized your physical material by using some other clever method? If so, write to me at and share. I meet a lot of people who are over their heads in paper, and they could definitely use your tips and experience. I am all ears.


David StiernholmSource: David Stiernholm, author or Super Structured
David Stiernholm is a trainer who teaches thousands of people every year in companies, government authorities, organizations and universities how to become more structured and attain a higher degree of personal efficiency.

Super Structured

“Information overload”, “too much going on”, “full email inbox”, “too SUPER STRUCTUREDmuch on your plate”, “heavy workload”, “ASAP”, “piles that keep growing”, it has to get better soon… Yes, there are many ways to describe the chaotic life many of us lead at work. But, if we create a better structure at work, we will have more time for what matters most to us and to our business. Super Structured is based on a highly successful training program and is for anyone who wants to create a workday that runs smoother and with greater ease. In short chapters with useful advice and tips

The recent ransomware attack on the NHS and companies across the globe has brought cybercrime to the top of the risk and news agenda.

More than 50 hospitals, doctors, surgeries and pharmacies were hit by the Wannacry attack on Friday 12 May. The computer virus targets older software, such as Windows XP.

Elsewhere, more than 29,000 institutions were hit in China in what many are calling a cyber-attack wake-up call. Nissan Sunderland, German rail network Deutsche Bahn and US delivery giant FedEx are among 200,000 companies in 150 countries known to have been affected.

It is estimated that more than £30k has been paid out in ransoms so far, with operations at some Trusts and GP surgeries still affected.

Risk anaylsis

“The NHS is unusual because it has so few people with the skills to fundamentally understand risk across the enterprise. While the NHS in England employs 1,300,000 workers, it has just 27 partially/fully trained and experienced enterprise risk managers,” said Patrick Keady, Institute of Risk Management (IRM) board member and chair of the IRM Health & Care Sector Interest Group.

“At the same time, it is reassuring that most of the NHS organisations affected by Wanna Decryptor say they have plans in place to react to the impact of the malware.

“However, we have known for years that increasing amounts of IT software and hardware used in the NHS are simply out-of-date and no longer supported by their manufacturers. NHS bosses really do need to take major steps now, to prevent similar episodes and the accompanying disruption to patient services.”

Mr Keady undertook research into current risk registers of the 34 NHS Trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups reported to have been affected by the cyber-attack.

In his view, this research found that 34 NHS Board papers are over-crowded with information – with one set of Board papers exceeding 400 pages.

Key findings:

  • 10 organisations publish Risk Registers online.
  • 13 publish Board Assurance Frameworks online (this requirement was introduced by New Labour circa 2004).
  • Nine do not publish risk registers or board assurance frameworks online.
  • Mid-Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust was the only Trust to mention Cyber-Security in their Board Assurance Framework. (Page 20, risk number 949).
Cyber risk

A 2016 survey of IRM members showed that cyber risk, including data breach, hacking, theft of IP, cyber fraud and commercial sabotage was one of their most pressing concerns.

“We live in an increasingly networked world, from personal banking to government infrastructure. Protecting those networks is no longer optional – the internet of things means enterprise wide risk management, including cyber security policy, has never been more important,” said Nicola Crawford, CFIRM, Chair of the IRM.

“Cyber risk is now firmly at the top of the business agenda globally as high-profile breaches raise fears that hack attacks and other security failures could endanger the global economy. Ransomware and data breach can have catastrophic consequences including loss of life”.


Alexander Larsen, CFIRM, President of Baldwin Consulting and IRM expert on cyber said: “The speed at which this virus has affected companies around the world shows the impact these hackers can have. Patient’s records may be at risk of being leaked, operations have had to be rescheduled, ultimately putting lives at risk.

“Going forward we can only expect hackers to become more organised and well-funded, which, alongside advances in AI and technology, will lead to more sophistication in their attacks. Some organisations are already spending hundreds of millions of pounds on cyber security, while governments are spending billions in order to prevent these attacks. But experts warn that it is impossible to stop these attacks and that organisation’s should also be focusing on business continuity and recovery while also safeguarding their reputation, which could be severely damaged if the incident is not managed correctly”.

SOURCE: The Institute of Risk Management




Yes, why, indeed. Now that you have achieved a favorable position by having attractive and important contacts in your networking portfolio, the most logical scenario would be to keep those cards close to your chest. Right?

Some time ago, I had a meeting with an employee in a big organization. He was to arrange an important event for the greatest contributor to the company. To make the event successful, he had to ask for help from colleagues who had some of the most important contacts. But he found they were reluctant to cooperate about the contacts.

The event ended up being attended by fewer and far less important participants than had been expected. This in turn resulted in a far lesser overall result for the event.

Although many resources had been spent on the event, the return on the arrangement was dramatically reduced.

Friendly competition

Is this a unique story that applies to this organization only? Unfortunately not. This is a lot more normal than unusual – it happens in all sorts of companies.

Some people regard important business relations as private property, to be activated only when it suits them and can create value to their advantage.

It is quite understandable that people should want to keep their golden eggs to themselves. Probably they have been working hard to add them to their portfolio!

On the other hand, why would your contact drop you, or reduce your value, if you are worth having in your network?

If you have built a good and stable network, the likelihood of losing your contact is almost non-existent.

Mutual benefit

Try to consider the situation from your contact’s point of view. How will he react to the fact that you appreciate him so much that you recommend him to others?
Or from your colleague’s point of view. What kind of relation would he like to establish to you if you share one of your great contacts with him?

You do not seem to run any risk by sharing good contacts. On the contrary, it is likely to be a win-win situation for everybody.

Objectively, there are big gains for both the individual employee and the entire business if you pool and share your contacts.

Generally speaking, you can achieve almost everything if you join forces – not least, because many companies do not have the courage to do it! In other words, pooling good contacts facilitates a growth potential free of charge, for the individual employee and the company.

By Simone Andersen, speaker and author of the bestseller: The Networking Book, 50 ways to develop strategic relationships.

Simone AndersenSimone Andersen: Simone is a journalist and has a Master’s degree in media science. She worked for many years at the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) as an editor and talk show host. She is an expert in business networking and building relations. Simone has just written the bestselling book “The Networking Book” and gives talks on this subject. Contact: – +45 26161818

The Networking Book
It is a fact that what we desire is more easily The Networking Bookachieved when we understand how to build relationships. Networking is basically the exchange of a wide range of services – and the most precious insurance in your private life and your career. This highly practical and accessible book will help anyone understand the power of networking quickly through face-to-face meeting and social media, as well as how they can use it as a way to enhance their prospects.

Change is the new status quo and it is accelerating exponentially.

Technology adoption is driving change at a dizzying pace. Billions of devices are connecting to networks—most of them the sensors, controllers, and machines that power the Internet of Things (IoT).

You probably see the rapid growth of connected devices in your own organization and you probably also see the impact of these connections on your organization’s people and culture. Because the change IoT is driving isn’t really about technology; it’s about business processes, and perhaps even business transformation.

Positive disruption

IoT is driving disruption in every industry—from mining to manufacturing, from agriculture to aviation. Just look at how Lyft and Uber have disrupted traditional taxi service, and how Amazon’s hyper-connected supply chain has transformed e-commerce.

Or consider the auto industry, which only a few years ago offered mostly blue-collar manufacturing jobs. Today, every new vehicle rolling off the assembly line is a connected datacenter on wheels that generates up to two petabytes of data per year.

The same phenomenon is happening across most other industries globally. With the adoption of IoT, all industries are becoming technology industries, and every company is becoming a technology company.

That kind of relentless change threatens the survival of many businesses. According to The Boston Consulting Group, only 19% of S&P 500 companies from 50 years ago still exist today. So, how can you ensure the survival of your business in the next five, 10, or 15 years?

Reinvent Yourself

In the fast-paced technology world, we have adapted to the model of reinventing ourselves every three to seven years. We may be able to miss one major technology or business transition and survive but, if we miss two, we will likely perish.

Now, people and organizations in other industries must face this very challenge. No longer can you expect to stay in the same role for 10 or 20 years, doing mostly the same things. The rapid pace of change today means you have to be prepared to continuously reinvent yourself—as an employee, as a company, and as an industry.

Next generation

A new generation of leaders, makers, thinkers, and doers is meeting that challenge with flexibility and optimism, and transforming it into opportunity.

I call these pioneers ‘Generation IoT’. These are the people who see the transformational power of IoT-driven processes, business models and new revenue streams. They are eager to champion and drive these opportunities in their organizations. These people know that IoT is not just one project, one training session, one change. They know that in order to succeed they and their organizations need to adjust and re-learn, over and over again.

Generation IoT is first defined by openness—open standards, open collaboration, open communications, and open, flexible business models. Members of Generation IoT can be found in Information Technology or Operational Technology. They can run the plant, or be part of the supply chain. They can be vendors, contractors, or CXOs. They can be young or seasoned.

All are willing to learn and take risks and are good at building virtual teams internally and partnering externally. You can recognize these new winners not by their age or their titles, but by their ability to build and deploy agile, flexible business solutions.

Rethink Your Workforce

Building Generation IoT is requiring companies to rethink their approach to workforce roles and hiring. So, that means cultivating a culture of constant learning and role evolution.

Will the chief information officer become the chief IoT officer instead? How will the plant control engineer’s role change in the face of IoT and automation? Will you also need a chief supply chain management officer? What new skills will an assembly worker need in order to operate an automated line?

And how can you fill these new roles?

• You can start by cultivating your own people. Invest in your existing employees to help them grow new IoT skills.

• Next, expand your search beyond the usual places. Rockwell Automation, for example, runs a summer internship program for high schoolers. Other companies have found that smart devices, accessible technologies, and broadband have opened up a vast untapped talent pool—roughly a billion people in the world with disabilities.

• And finally, build relationships with schools, veterans groups, and industry organizations. Sponsor research, offer internships and even consider co-developing curricula with these institutions.

Tackle the Cultural Challenges

Of course, not everyone will embrace the changes they see as your organization embarks on the IoT journey. In fact, changing culture may be your toughest challenge. So think of your task as not just implementing IoT solutions, but as a change management process that will transform your company.

You can maximize your chances for success by tackling the cultural issues head-on, not waiting for trouble to arise. Before you kick off your first IoT project, meet with employees, discover their issues and concerns, and address them directly. Identify key influencers and people in key roles and include them as part of your virtual team.

Naysayers can become your allies if you take the time to hear what they have to say and actually leverage their expertise. Uncertainty fuels negativity, so be clear about the impact of IoT on current roles and the new opportunities it can open. Work closely with employees on adopting the new technology, and continue to expand a coalition of the willing as you build on each success. In short, listen, include, and communicate!

Embrace and Shape Change

IoT will also impact organizational structures and decision-making, both of which will become more collaborative and less hierarchical. Partnering across organizational lines and with external partner ecosystems will become more important. IoT is complex and interdependent, and no one can do it alone.

Change can be scary, disrupting familiar roles and processes. It requires us to rethink old assumptions and acquire new skills. It is also inevitable. So the best approach is to embrace and shape change within an overall strategic direction. If you’re an IoT champion, you are by definition an agent of change. Now is the time to lead your company toward digital transformation by creating a culture that is agile, flexible, and collaborative.

Maciej KranzMACIEJ KRANZ is a business leader, frequent keynote speaker, and the author of the New York Times Best-Seller, Building the Internet of Things: Implement New Business Models, Disrupt Competitors, Transform Your Industry. Kranz brings 30 years of computer networking experience to his current position as Vice President of the Corporate Strategic Innovation Group at Cisco Systems. Prior to this role, he was general manager of Cisco’s Connected Industries Group, where he drove the Internet of Things (IoT) business for key industrial markets.