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#BizTrends2018: A positive perspective on moving towards 4.0

What a year it's been! But enough people have written about that, so I'd rather look at a few of the consequences we'll feel in 2018. Which, to my surprise, are mostly positive.
Chrisna Basson, head of strategy at Weathermen & Co, Namibia.
Chrisna Basson, head of strategy at Weathermen & Co, Namibia.

1. Hyper-local tech and innovation
The one that’s most exciting and most pressing, is southern Africa’s pace with innovation and technology. The pace is still too slow, but the opportunities are massive. Pace is due to a number of things, some of which are:

  • The cost of data;
  • The lack of exposure;
  • Complacency;
  • Risk-aversion;
  • Being distracted by all the craziness happening in our governments; and
  • The imposed Western frameworks that we’ve too easily been adopting for generations.

The Harvard Business Review (HBR)'s Reverse Innovation explainer video explains this well:

Yet we’ve come to a point where we’ve seen many of tech’s possibilities, and learned the importance of it only being successful where it’s localised. So the need for, and growth of, hyper-local tech solutions will hopefully gain momentum.

Africa can be left out. It needs to determine its own innovation and develop locally. Rely less on the rest of the world. Create not only consume.
So said Paul Scanlan, CTO of Huawei Technologies at AfricaCom 2017.

2. Being loud vs. being effective

Another move is that from a mere civil awakening, to a more strategic and intelligent civil awakening. Again, the focus is on southern Africa. An example of this is definitely NOT what goes on on Twitter, or Facebook, or in the comments section of News24.

It’s rather an informed and considered approach to addressing issues. Note the word ‘approach’, because for real change to come, whether in the boardroom or in governments, it’s not about being loud but effective.

You can’t demand something from your parents or boss and expect them to give it to you. Ask nicely. Do your homework. Demonstrate why you deserve it. Which we, as civil society, can and should do.
That sort of leads to the next point.

3. Self-actualisation

That of breaking things down to their essence and making whatever the essence is count. The minimum viable product, idea or strategy.

This is not necessarily to keep things easier or smoother, but rather to strengthen its sense of self.

It’s a journey of self-actualisation because with the continued political and economic instability we're seeing, as well as all the uncertainty that realities like big data and AI bring, there’s a need for focus.

Because that’s what makes you succeed.

4. Decentralised thinking

We'll see a lot more drive to minimise inefficiency within the entire value chain, in order to maximise a company or system’s most viable reason for existence. And what makes it profitable, of course. Making sure systems and structures are lean, and purpose is clear, so that what it does is strong and resilient, for whatever may come. Fractal patterns and biomimicry are popular because they're important.


This also builds confidence in the notion of defining your own rules. Which, when combined with all the innovation possibilities, allows for more decentralised vs centralised thinking. Cryptocurrencies, open software, YouTube, Bozza Mobile, the list goes on.

Gone are the days of us falling victim to the powers that be. We really can create the life we want to live. So yes, it's positive.

About Chrisna Basson

Chrisna is a hands-on, practical, and solutions-driven individual, who values purpose, passion and a good sense of humour. She heads up strategy at Weathermen & Co, a four-year old agency in Windhoek, Namibia, that's quickly grown to become the biggest, with clients like Tafel Lager, Ohlthaver & List, FNB Namibia, NamDairies and MTC. ..
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