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Like it or not, you are a negotiator

LCM SA: The managers of the day after tomorrow 

On the 27th October 2018, on an early Saturday morning, LCM SA was sucked into a time machine. Our captain: Rik Vera. He took us on a journey, where we looked at the past and headed to the far future. What seems unlikely, or even impossible, might just be our destination.

Let’s start by introducing Rik Vera. He is a renowned thought-leader, worldwide keynote speaker and author of business bestseller “Managers The Day After Tomorrow”. His specialties are extreme customer centricity, digital innovation, artificial intelligence, growth hacking and the mobility of the future. His everyday job is to convince the board of various companies that their business model needs to be up-to-date and that radical changes are happening. 

He then helps them with changing their mindset and reorganizing the company structure. He also gives guest lectures in many business schools, is a jury member of the “Best Managed Companies”-competition of Deloitte and is a part of the board of directors within a couple of companies.

The lecture he gave us was primarily focused on the topics of the future, a.k.a. the topics of the day after tomorrow. The changes in customer behavior and how companies must adapt is a story of customer centricity. Creating a product that is useful for many is just not good enough anymore. There is a need to give a personalized experience to the customer, or they will move on to another retailer, probably online as well. In the words of Rik Vera: “Leaders have to connect to the many and at the same time be able to engage the individual, if they want to survive”.

Not only did the mindset of the customer change, but the whole technology market is also constantly transforming. Where only 10 years ago, going to a store and getting personal help was considered the most efficient way of shopping, today is leaving your house a bother. If you can’t compare a dozen similar products, then your experience is insufficient. And if the package delivery takes more than a week, you don’t need it anymore.

Rik can find an amazing balance between launching new – sometimes controversial – ideas and getting them across through a wide arsenal of examples. Furthermore, he gave plenty of tips on how to implement this “new knowledge” in our own words and fields of study.

One thing is certain: his message came across and will stick with us. During our lunch break, many were discussing how they saw the future and even our WhatsApp-group was named “Smombies” (Smartphone Zombies) as a cheeky reference to the lecture.

The day after tomorrow? LCM SA is prepared.