For Who the Bell (Curve) Tolls

There is a bell curve for the adoption of technology in every industry. Early adopters tend to be very open to risk and like being on the cutting edge of technology. They drive the industry forward and find great reward there.

At the top of the curve are the great majority of people, they have let the risk takers innovate and normalize the technologies before they bring them into their own business. There is significantly less risk and there is still great reward to be had as the technologies have been proven.

Trailing behind at the end of the curve are the late adopters. These are the ones that wait until their hand is forced and have actually paid some consequence to not having adopted earlier. They tend to struggle in their respective industries and in time fade into memory. We have all walked into that office, where it seems we stepped through a time warp portal. The tools are mostly from a time gone by and you can hardly understand how anyone can still function, much less compete in that manner. The fact is they’re not.

While being at the head of that bell curve may not be in your blood and that type of risk is not attractive to you, the end of the curve is a place that is better avoided than experienced. Heading towards or right at the top of the curve is where success is most commonly found. And getting there is done more through proactive measures than reactive.

Keeping abreast of the latest innovations and technologies help you make better decisions on how to steer the direction of your business. Every industry has any number of associations, conferences and periodicals that will make this information readily available to you and will send everything you need to know right to your mailbox. But if you wait until every one of your competitors have already standardized your industry in your area to those new technologies, you will find that climbing the hill to join them at the top of the curve will be incredibly steep and expensive. Stay proactive, avoid the reactive end of the bell curve. How do you keep current on what your industry is doing? Where is your organization on the curve? Can you be doing more to get to or stay at the top of the curve? Answering these questions can save you a lot of time and money on catching up.

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