The theme for the 2017 Mercury Group was How to Navigate When Technology is in the Driver’s Seat. Technology is changing the transportation industry faster now than ever. Evolving truck technologies, increasing energy efficiencies, and new data capabilities are creating more complexity—and more opportunity—for shippers and their networks than we have ever seen before. Read more about this year’s guest speakers from TransRisk and Peloton as they discuss how technology is driving the transportation industry forward.
While change continues to revolutionize the way people do business, the marketplace continues to charge ahead with or without us. A session in this year’s Mercury Group focused on the human side of this change, and how transportation and supply chain professionals can respond to these changes in a manner that continues to drive industry innovations forward.
Breakthrough®Fuel is an advocate for having a “change navigator mentality,” and it is central to what we do. Inspired in part by information in Richard McKnight’s book Victim, Survivor or Navigator: Choosing a Response to Workplace Change, McKnight’s ideas support our internal leadership development program as we actively work to nurture smart, passionate, and edgy industry thought leaders.
Successfully navigating change both internally and externally is essential. We saw strong parallels between the changes we are fostering at Breakthrough® with the dynamic changes of the industry at large and the challenges these present our clients – so we decided to bring everyone together to talk about how we should collectively respond.
The victim response to revolutionary change is to remain stuck in the past—the way things used to be. Holding tightly to traditional and outdated methods of doing business, a victim fails to see the long-term benefit of innovation. Keeping their eyes on the ground they remain safely in their comfort zone, eventually finding themselves irrelevant as the industry continues to forge ahead without them. Victims fall behind the curve, always finding themselves one step behind their more adaptable peers.
Survivors slip into auto-pilot as the tides of change occur around them. Survivors have the benefit of evolving with each new wave of innovation, but never get around to thinking about the bigger picture. Following the status quo, survivors are often hesitant to new ideas and ground-breaking technology. Survivors react to changes happening in the industry and adopt them late in the game once they become common practice.
Real leadership comes from navigating uncertain waters and meeting that uncertainty with innovation. Change navigators seek out the next big thing and then drive it forward. Innovators, visionaries, and thought leaders stay ahead of the curve, taking action in the face of change and charting out the future of their company.
Characteristics of Change Navigators:
To chart a successful path forward, understand where you as an industry professional, your transportation team, and your company’s supply chain initiatives stand today. What focused, measurable changes do you hope to accomplish in your transportation network and what steps need to be taken to bring you from present state, to the future? Without specific and quantifiable goals, driving success becomes difficult to manage and track.
Seek Opportunities that Align with Strategic Initiatives
Stay abreast of the latest industry news, insights, and technology. Utilize news channels, LinkedIn, and peers to engage in what is happening in the transportation market. Once you are aware of opportunities in the marketplace, become a champion for emerging technology that supports your company’s strategic initiatives. Your support and buy-in not only promotes the technology, but it positions your company as a forward-thinking innovator.
Be Confident in Innovation
Trends in the industry dictate the new norm, and as those changes occur, companies are often hesitant to adapt to fluctuations in the status quo. Whether you are considering autonomous trucking initiatives, electric vehicles, blockchain technology, or new business intelligence tools, embrace the opportunities you seek out and be confident that innovation is the key to a successful future. As history proves, with technology comes new competitive advantages and new opportunity to improve.
Breakthrough®Fuel sets clients up with the data, network, and support to be change navigators. One way that we like to foster this innovative mentality is through collaboration at our annual conference.
The Mercury Group is hosted by Breakthrough®Fuel each year, and is exclusive to clients. This event brings our clients together to advance the practice of transportation energy management. We pride ourselves on creating a collaborative environment, providing opportunities to advance thought leadership, and determining the best ways to meet the challenges of a dynamic business environment.
To learn more about the Mercury Group or becoming a Breakthrough®Fuel client contact us!