I’m in Barcelona for business and I just read that Igor will be speaking here at a marketing conference.
His schedule is sheer madness: he travels around the globe to speak at seminars, offer consultancy services to corporations that bring us household name brands in addition to expanding his own entrepreneurial undertakings.
I attended his presentation and we’re catching up afterwards.
“Well Igor, I must say I am struck by how completely different your approach is. You shook up the status quo and delivered a wake-up call to the audience. Congrats, I might say.”
“Thanks, I appreciate that,” Igor replies. “It is just that once I’m on stage and see that what I say, lands with the audience, there is no stopping me.”
“What particularly resounded with me was your call to action, the sense of urgency,” I continue.
“Well,” Igor responds, “the time is now. If we sit back and watch the world as we know it crumble, that’s exactly what will happen. We all need to understand that we have to take action, that we need to change the way we think and overcome our fear of the unknown in order to move forward.”
“I guess there is a lot of resistance to change,” I say.
“Enormously,” Igor replies. “I tell them, people… it’s called digital Darwinism for a reason, the survival of the fittest all over again. Adapt or die! We stand on the brink of the fourth industrial revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before.”
It is obvious that Igor feels very strongly about the subject. He shares with me an anecdote about his father.
“Years ago during Christmas dinner, I told my 70 year old father, who owns a few retail stores in Amsterdam, that he should use the technology available to him to put his business back into gear. He laughed me out the door, told me I was crazy and that everything digital was a waste of time. Things were just fine the way they were. Until business started to slow down and he had a difficult time keeping his head above water.”
“I guess that at that time he did start listening to and acting upon your advice?” I ask.
“Indeed he did, and I’m really glad about it,” Igor says with a smile. “Today, he’s communicating with Chinese customers through WeChat, is informed about the latest developments and can adapt to changes in the market almost instantly. The business is thriving, and moreover, my dad thoroughly enjoys using social media and technology. His perspective has changed, the world is open to him and he is more open to the world.”
“This is indeed an interesting story and development,” I reply. “I see it as well in my line of business, people from every generation start adopting the new technologies that are available to us all, to stay connected, relevant and hence to continue to play a role in society, regardless of your age, background and industry.”
“I’d say that’s a win-win situation. And if my 70-year-old dad can accept that the world is a different place that requires us to adapt and become more agile, can’t and shouldn’t we all?” Igor adds.
I’m glad we had this chance to speak and all fired up, I’m leaving him to relax and get ready for the press.
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