Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
Stephen Attenborough leads commercial activities for Virgin Galactic, part of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, which is on track to become the world’s first passenger carrying commercial spaceline. At the Digital Takeover conference, which will take place on the 13th of March at CineStar in Zagreb Branimir Center, he will tell us an amazing story of a trip to space in the digital age.
At Digital Takeover, Stephen Attenborough will give an unforgettable lecture entitled “Virgin Galactic – Opening Space to change the world for good”. He will tell us an extraordinary story of how Virgin Galactic has created a new market for space exploration in the digital age. He will talk about the importance of taking risks in order to adapt to the changes and explain what happens if you don’t invest in building a digital culture in your company.
What are the key areas of investment for a company in the digital age? Why is it so important to show courage, accept changes at the right moment and always observe things from a different perspective?
Stephen Attenborough: Differentiation has always been fundamental to business success and that remains as true today in the information age as it did in the industrial era. The access to global markets and pressure from global competition though has changed many of the traditional paradigms and that revolution is still working its way through business and society. It is clearly important, whatever the nature of your business, to use the incredibly rapid and extensive access to global markets we enjoy today, by appropriate investment in digital technology and expertise
What kind of impact will new technologies and innovations have on modifying the existing paradigms of business on the one hand, and what on the aspects of private life such as housing, education, etc. on the other hand?
Stephen Attenborough: I find it interesting and encouraging, that at a time when our world faces challenges, such as climate change, with consequences unprecedented in scale, we see areas of digitally based technology converging and promising momentous change. As a species, it is our ingenuity which has and will always be our greatest hope for future prosperity and security. What’s happening in machine learning, autonomy, robotics and, I would to that, space exploration, will bring transformational change to our business and private lives, and I hope, solve some of our biggest challenges along the way.
Today, more than ever, cooperation and exchange of information a.re critical elements in achieving individual and organizational success. Communities of Practice (CoPs) represent an environment in which individuals, experts and novices learn together to develop and improve their professional practices and skills and to create innovative solutions. How can one create the best environment for individual and collective learning?
Stephen Attenborough: There are too many aspects of this question to cover in detail, but it is clear that when you look at the huge business success stories of the 21st century, culture has been fundamental to their success and it has generally been radically different to what went before. It is evident that human and financial capital investment no longer determines or predicts business performance in the way it once did. Hierarchical structures are out and cultures which permit the free-flow of information and collaboration are in. Best ideas and best decisions are no longer the preserve of the most experienced.
To what extent should companies be focused on offering products and services that will help people meet their own needs, and how important is creating products that will enable people to create new experiences?
Stephen Attenborough: At Virgin, we like to think of products as human experiences and removing that distinction is probably increasingly important. As we set up Virgin Galactic, we did something that had never been done in space before, which was to design the spaceship from the inside out. So we drew up an output specification for the designers and builders which started with the customer experience, including of course the requirement for safety – because we knew that we would ultimately only have a robust and profitable business if we got that bit right. It is tempting, particularly with the complexities of commercial human space travel, to regard the technology, the vehicles, as the product, but that misses an important point which is evidenced by our experience of starting and running airlines. All airlines run the same aircraft which operate in the same way and fly at the same speed to similar destinations. It is airlines such as we run at Virgin, which recognized that the product was not the aircraft or the operation, but the experience of the customers, which have led the way and enjoyed success.
Although Croatia is a digital nation, many industries and businesses are still not investing enough in digital. What are the possible consequences for them and what will happen to companies which don’t adapt to the latest trends in a timely manner?
Stephen Attenborough: The digital age is not a fad, it’s actually been around for some time! Even if we think back over the past twenty years or so and of the digitally led changes we have made to all of our businesses, it is probably reasonably evident that if we had not made those changes we would not be in business now. Consumers are embracing digital technology in a way we could not have comprehended at the beginning of the century – just think about the predominance of mobile devices now compared with then. It is also important to remember that national boundaries are increasingly insignificant. Taking comfort from your competitive position only with local competition is dangerous. The difficulty of course is knowing how to adapt and what to invest in – this is a fast moving scene. That’s why spending some time at events like the Digital Takeover conference can be a good investment in time.
At the Digital Takover conference you will tell us an extraordinary story of how Virgin Galactic has created a new market for space exploration in the digital age. Participants at the conference will have the unique opportunity to learn about many interesting things you’re working on – could you reveal at least one detail?
Stephen Attenborough: I am greatly looking forward to joining everyone at the Digital Takeover conference. OK – one detail, I will explain why the badminton shuttlecock will be fundamental to making astronauts of us all!!