I emigrated from my native Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Seattle in the Pacific North West region of the USA, in January 2004. Prior to moving, between the years of 1998 and 2003, I had the chance to visit this American city several times on business trips, and I just fell in love with the whole town. It is a place that gives a person like me countless opportunities to enjoy some of the things I like to do such as exploring the great outdoors, listening to music, and trying new food experiences. But, fundamentally, it was a place that I felt could enable me to achieve some of my dreams: meet people from all over the planet, see the world, and eventually even change it. Many of those things ended up happening. Living in Seattle, working for Microsoft first, and joining Softline afterwards, gave me countless opportunities to enjoy that kind of life as well as making that sort of impact I always wished for. Today, after more than seventeen years of being a Seattleite and even having become an American, I look back and celebrate my decision to embark in this journey.
Quite often, I get a phone call from someone that is planning to emigrate, and they will invariably ask me about the key to happiness while being an immigrant. I always respond to the person that it should be a clear priority for him/her and their family to have a ‘life project’, a dream, and a purpose that will be fulfilled by moving. I usually suggest them not to relocate purely because they are upset about the reality they are leaving behind, or simply attracted to the opposite value proposition that the new destination might offer. I think that they, as a family, should try to link their future, projects and dreams to emigrating.
The new perspective of change
I do also believe that this notion applies to business leadership, and in particular, to digital transformation. We live in an era with abundant and constant options for change. New technologies, new trends, new business opportunities. Many vendors, companies, strategy consultants, and even solution providers use very elaborate and intricate marketing techniques to show leaders how things can be different, better, or less expensive, by adopting any given latest development in the IT industry.
My invitation to any and all business leaders is that we take a step back and think of change in terms of purpose. Why is change needed? What is trying to be achieved with change? And, fundamentally, what is the vision for a new type of relationship with our customers after change? Globally speaking, the years of 2021 and 2022 are bound to be years of profoundly uneven realities with certain countries already living in a post-pandemic situation, while others are still being ravaged by it.
Change will continue to be inevitable, and in some cases accelerated by urgent and incontrollable variables. But, as much as possible, I believe all of us should take a step back and put change in perspective of the deeper reasons causing it, the opportunities it enables, and the difference it can make in terms of customer impact once implemented.