Blog

Andrew Au

July 30, 2019 by Speakers' Spotlight

Navigating Digital Transformation with Andrew Au

In 2007, Apple released the first iPhone, and now, just 12 years later, more than 1 billion of these devices are in use worldwide. In our tech-driven world, change is constant and happening at an accelerated rate. As everything shifts around us, we must adapt or get left behind. This is where Andrew Au excels.

Digital technology has set a new equilibrium for organizations across all industries and sectors — from how they engage their customers to how they motivate their employees to how they innovate their products and services. As the co-founder of Intercept, a strategic management consultancy, Andrew helps global brands respond to this new culture and nature of work.

We recently sponsored Andrew to speak at the CSAE Trillium Summer Summit “In It to Win It” — an educational and networking opportunity for association executives and leaders. As their opening keynote, Andrew dove into the world of digital transformation, sharing the good news that yes, we will all have jobs in the future, and sharing insights into navigating this change and thriving in the new digital landscape.

High energy, informative, and motivating — his talk was met with great enthusiasm from the crowd. We’ve rounded up three takeaways that we walked away with after listening to Andrew speak.

1. Technology Amplifies Human Ability

Digital transformation brings a lot of change, something that we as humans seem to hate. Change triggers an identity crisis in us, Andrew said. We see it as a signal that we’re doing something wrong, that we are becoming obsolete. Andrew argues that new technology and the change it brings isn’t a threat to us, but instead an opportunity — it amplifies our ability.

To illustrate his point, Andrew brought up ATMs, the dreaded technology that was going to take jobs away from bank employees! But, instead of replacing tellers it gave them the opportunity to expand their role and become a sales representative and trusted advisor as well.

Andrew was asked, “Will we lose your jobs to AI?” His response was, “No. But we will lose our jobs to other people who know how to work with AI.” He followed up by encouraging the organizational leaders in attendance to get curious about the potential of emerging technologies and start thinking about practical use cases to drive both innovation and efficiencies.

2. Adopt a Creator Mindset

Those with a creator mindset are much more likely to be adaptable in the face of change. They aren’t a victim to their circumstances but instead, master of their destiny. They are able to see all of the opportunities or options in front of them and choose the best option that will get them what they want. As such they drive innovation and are able to implement it effectively.

Andrew urged us all to adopt a creator mindset, especially as we’re living and working in a world powered by data. We have all the information we need at our fingertips and because of it, we can make informed decisions and enact the change we need to help us stay ahead and thrive in a constantly changing world.

“We are being forced to solve different problems, to battle a new breed of competitors, to explore new revenue models,” he said. “If we want to thrive, we must embrace unorthodox thinking.”

3. Empower Digital Natives

Digital natives are the millennials in your office — the 19-39 cohort that is currently the largest generation in the workforce. Growing up with technology, they have a natural understanding of it. Andrew implored the audience to use this to their benefit. Empower this generation to help move your organizations forward — capitalize on their expertise and knowledge of the digital world and how it can shape your business for the better.

Andrew shared key findings from his firm’s proprietary research, “We learned that millennials are 3x more likely to aspire to become a business owner vs. a corporate executive,” he said. “There’s an inherent entrepreneurial spirit that organizations can awaken to drive powerful change and innovation.”

Specific to his audience at this conference — member-based associations — Andrew shared insights into what members want out of their associations today: access, awareness, and, most importantly, time. People today are always looking for ways to get more time. They want to be more efficient, they want their services streamlined, etc.

He recommended that associations look for ways to add value to their members that can capitalize on some of the free technology or resources already out there. For example, LinkedIn acquired Lynda.com, an online learning resource with hundreds of hours of content geared towards professional development in a variety of disciplines.

LinkedIn wanted to provide more value to their users. Instead of recreating this material, they bought Lynda.com so they could offer their existing materials to their users, but specially curate it to their interests and industries. This acquisition saved them time and money by not having to produce materials, plus it saved their users time by offering them affordable, specialized professional development opportunities from the comfort of their own home.

Andrew ended his talk by reminding us all that digital transformation isn’t just about tech, but about us. We drive it and it’s up to us to prepare for it and build a culture that is driven by it.

His message resonated with the audience with several people sharing their feedback online:

Interested in learning more about Andrew and how his customized talks on digital transformation benefit your next event? Email us at info@speakers.ca.