Evolving through Disruption: The DroneUp Way
By John Vernon (Chief Technology Officer for DroneUp)
One of the things that I love about DroneUp is the experience of connecting with people that have a common zeal for drone technology and development and the potential for opportunities to serve our communities. When tech companies can “build a thing” that enhances the quality of life for everyone, it builds trust, strengthens relationships, and inspires transformation.
Tech disruption in the 21st century is not so different from the disruptions of new inventions in the early days of The American and European Industrial Revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries. The challenges and obstacles, as in the days of Ford and Carnegie, are much the same today. Among them, the acceptance of technology evolution. As societal demands change, the need for more safe, exceptional, and complex solutions will drive innovation; and thus, disruption of human paradigms and biases about new technology.
For DroneUp, we believe in a culture that places high value on Doing the Right Thing. This necessitates our leadership to reflect the importance of effective communication. This high level of communication is truthful, honest, and transparent and requires fortitude and courage; both from our leaders and our team members. Additionally, having the right people in the right place.
Leadership through digital disruption presupposes that there is a general acceptance of new ideas and models. Presumption occurs when we assume formal company communication will act as a tool to motivate employee buy-in; and think that they actually will! The truth: Disruption is more complicated and nuanced. It’s ugly, frustrating, and beautiful at the same time! The challenge for transformational leadership is rigorous and rugged Change Management. Having the right people in the right roles minimizes the need to keep people motivated. Motivated people thrive in disruption and they embrace change. For companies and firms to evolve in the midst of a digital transformation, the people involved must resonate with what the leader envisions, communicate the cause with the same passion that the leader has, and be intentional about the outcomes. This includes our Way of Working; processes, practices, and daily execution of activities.
Doing the right thing is so much more easily said than done and this is especially true when driving disruption requires rapid decision-making and an ongoing commitment to digital literacy and evolution. Developing a culture that can move from storming to norming quickly and frequently is critical to success. It’s exactly this process of breaking and setting that yields stronger bones and people that can adapt to new ideas and changes easily. Without this as the culture, we are doomed to address all problems through the lens of the past and not focus on how we turn problems into opportunities.