The fact that the world’s biggest technology firms are branching out into the physical world, whether it’s opening stores or Amazon opening stores, is a huge opportunity, said Laurent Haug.
Haug, a ‘disruptive inspirational speaker’, addressed treasurers at BNP Paribas’ Cash Management University in December.
Companies such as Amazon and Facebook are starting to merge the digital and physical worlds.
“That is a huge opportunity for people coming from the real world because now the digital players must figure out your business,” said Haug.
Fear of technology is nothing new, he argued. To emphasise the point, he quoted several individuals who had warned against the dangers of books centuries ago. One questioned whether we would lose our ability to remember facts.
In a similar vein to Steve Wozniak at Money 20/20 this year, Haug argued there will always be a need for humans in the future, as they can work alongside machines
“Toyota is removing robots from their production line because only humans can tell them how they can make improvements,” he added.
Haug argued that we must focus on what the human brain can do that technology can’t. “We can differentiate, we are creative, we can show empathy, we can adapt, we can improve,” he explained.
On this note, he pointed out that innovation does not always require a high-tech solution.
“Right now, a problem we have is that we think technology is the only way to innovate. That is not true. There are many ways to innovate,” said Haug.
“We think technology is the only way to innovate. That is not true”
“That does not mean that technology is not important. It is fundamental.
“Let’s not forget when there are others way to innovate. You can innovate with your structure, your business model, with your pricing, with your brand, with the ecosystem of your products, with the channel you use to talk to your users,” Haug pointed out.
Societies that have seen plenty of technological advancements forget there are very smart ways to solve problems that don’t involve technology, he argued.
Despite this advice, Haug argued that it is important to prepare for the new digital world.
About half of the highest paying jobs advertised online at the moment require a sense of how to code, according to Haug.
“I don’t think coding is important per se. it doesn’t matter if you become a big shot coder, but the digital world is like a new country,” explained Haug.
“If your company is going to send you to China, they are probably going to train you on the local culture, how people behave and think and about the language,” he said as an analogy.
“Learning to code is learning the language of something you are going to have to collaborate with”
“If you think of digital as a country, we have to learn the language of that country and the language of machines is code. It works on the very simple rules of ‘if this, then that’.”
“Learning to code is learning the language of something you are going to have to collaborate with and something you may have to fight, so learn to code and focus on what makes us human,” he concluded.
Read other reports from the December 2017 BNP Paribas Cash Management University here: