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The Digital Tsunami: Celebrating human experience in technology
Lipi Agrawal | HRKatha | New Delhi | Friday, 04 November 2016

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An eye-opener for those witnessing the fast-paced transformations of the digitally driven world, it compels them to rethink and reinvent the way they approach work and life.

A tsunami or a seismic sea wave is one of the most dreaded natural disasters — one that has been known to have shattered millions of lives in the past. Wikipedia says, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was among the deadliest natural disasters in human history. At least 230,000 people were killed or went missing in 14 countries bordering the Indian Ocean.

Even the thought of such humongous disruption naturally compels one to rethink and re-establish everything that seeks survival. Similarly, Abhijit Bhaduri’s new book, The Digital Tsunami is an eye-opener for those who are immersed in witnessing the fast-paced transformations of the digitally driven world. So engrossed are they that they forget that the massive shifts in everything around are bound to topple their very existence, if they do not rethink and reinvent their approach to work and life.

Bhaduri’s fourth book, The Digital Tsunami – Succeeding in a world turned upside down, released by Rupa Publications, is set to ring a bell in every individual and organisation’s mind alike. It explains the fundamental shifts coming through AI, automation, analytics and other technologies in a hyper-connected world.

Bhaduri, a celebrated author, blogger and management consultant, who was also the former CLO of Wipro, shares with HRKatha that he originally thought of ‘The Digital Mindset’ as the title for the book about two years ago, when he started working on it. However, as he delved deeper into the manner in which technology was reshaping everything, he realised that it is not merely a thing or two that is undergoing change but the whole wide world. Bhaduri says, “I tried my level best to find at least one thing that is immune to this shift but found nothing!”

From farming or agriculture to fashion, healthcare and aerospace – everything is being disrupted. Technology is not only bringing about fundamental shifts in how we work and live but presenting social and political shifts too. The book reveals the subtle swing in the way power is moving from governments to organisations and from employers to employees. The rapid pace at which all these alterations are taking place, led Bhaduri to call his work ‘The Digital Tsunami’.

“Four of the largest tsunamis have all coincided with the major shifts in the world. The first tsunami in 1740, was when the first industrial revolution came about and the second one in 1870 when the second industrial revolution was underway. Then the third tsunami struck in 2004, when India was impacted and that is also when the mobile interconnected employees and consumers, and in turn laid the foundation for e-commerce,” Bhaduri opines.

With such disruptions happening simultaneously, “There is a human element to this story that needs to be told,” Bhaduri says. The book is an effort to reveal the human side of technology. Bhaduri has created a beautiful experience for his readers, bringing together stories from his past and interesting cases of people and organisations. His artistic illustrations and sketches add a memorable visual appeal to each of the topics explored.

Abhijit Bhaduri

In line with the digital era and its social media-savvy generation that desires instant gratification, Bhaduri has designed the content in short and gripping subtopics. These keep the reader tuned into one topic even as he quickly picks up another one sharing a new story and a new case.

The volume offers great insights and suggestions for businesses and HR leaders looking to make over the way they perceive the upcoming challenges in an increasingly digital world and ways to tackle them. Bhaduri says, “Organisations will need to rethink their design, looking at how they reward and engage employees. Organisational structure and culture will all need to change.”

As Bhaduri talks about the hyper-connected world and how employees are gaining importance over employers unlike the analog times, the digital principle of ‘boundarylessness’ also applies in the book as it blurs the borders between being aimed at merely HR and going beyond to explore and explain how people live and work. “It is about how you can create that boundaryless thinking,” says the author.

Bhaduri’s closing note in the book aptly sums it all up saying, “This is the beginning of a new age where human experience is being celebrated. It is not about technology. It is about the individual.” The Digital Tsunami is a must read for businesses and individuals, who wish to sustain the ambiguity and volatility of the massive digital wave of change, as it is not just hitting one but every walk of life, in all its strength.

© 2016 HR Katha

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