In regular intervals, people complain about the inertia of digital transformation in Germany and Europe. A different country or continent is always miles ahead in a specific topic. Mobile payments are far from being as advanced in cash-loving Germany as in Kenya, for example. There, loading credits on one’s SIM card and paying by SMS has been around for 10 years. On China’s streets, you can pay with WeChat and QR code. In Silicon Valley, the new digital world is promoted in the form of startups with enormous sums of money. In Germany, one struggles with similar effort to obtain significantly smaller amounts. But digital transformation is change. Nobody moves from one point to another without prehistory, restrictions, constraints and goals. The strong small and medium-sized businesses and the caution learned in an eventful history of investment in Germany promote a solid base and less spectacular growth stories in individual examples. Nevertheless, this system provides resilience and thoughtful business models. In addition, hardly anyone talks about the many failed companies of the Silicon Valley, which have ensured that with “”Fail Fast”” the great success stories were possible. Nor would one want to abandon the good infrastructure in Europe, just to promote the need for mobile payment methods. Digital change is change. A simple truth is that people are ambivalent about change. On the one hand it is positive to achieve progress, on the other hand it is connected with fears, since something new is unknown. Thus, every change process faces the challenge of moving people from the old state to the new. It needs to be understood why it is important to leave the old state behind, and at the same time, the infinite variety of possibilities, where you can move, must be narrowed in a certain direction as quickly as possible. People have a hard time with it.
So you better work on what you can influence: to actively accompany change processes and to reduce frictions in change. Complaints about geopolitical imbalances do not reduce the complexity of change processes. However, these are far too often under-managed. I enjoy working with my clients on this.